9th Parliament · 3rd Session
The President (Senator the Hon. T. Givens) took the chair at 11 a.m., and read prayers.
– I have to inform the Senate that I have received a certificate of the choice of William Plain to fill the casual vacancy in the representation of Victoria in the Senate caused by the death of Senator E. J. Russell. The certificate will be laid on the table and read by the Acting Clerk.
Certificate read by the Acting Clerk.
Senator Plain made and subscribed the oath of allegiance.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -
That so much of the Standing and Sessional Orders be suspended as would prevent the bill being passed through all its stages without delay.
– I was nearly going to say that- I am surprised at the proposal submitted by Senator Pearce, but nothing surprises me. A bill has come to the Senate, and without a word as to its contents, and without any explanation as to the necessity for haste, the Minister moves for the suspension of the Standing Orders to pass it through without delay. I appeal to honorable- senators opposite to say, flinty as their hearts may be, biased and prejudiced as they have shown themselves to be throughout the whole of this session, whether this is’ the proper way to treat the Senate? If there is need for the suspension of the Standing Orders, it should be made known within the walls of this chamber, but the Minister has failed to give that information, because he is satisfied that his subservient following-
– I do not think that the honorable senator is entitled to reflect on other honorable senators.
– That is a matter of opinion.
– It is not a matter of opinion. It is a matter of obeying theStanding Orders.
– - If my remark is against the Standing Orders I withdraw it. The last thing I wish to do this morning is to come into conflict with the chair. This motion for the suspension of the Standing Orders has been moved without a word of explanation or without a word as to the necessity for it, because the Minister is confident in having the support of his -highly intellectual following jio matter what may be the purpose of the bill. Thanks to the courtesy of the President and the officers of the Senate, a copy of the measure was handed to me a few minutes before the Senate met, but I do not think that honorable senators opposite know any more than I do about the bill which the Minister seeks to have passed through all stages without delay. It contains nothing of very great importance. Its importance is really due to the part it plays in regard to another wicked bill that has managed to find its way on to the statute-book.
– Is that in order?
– 1 doubt whether it is, but “wicked” is the only word that occurred to me at the time, and I shall probably be obliged to find another to use. I have risen merely to express my serious protest against this gradual, constant, and increasing encroachment on the rights of this Senate by Ministers. If the Senate is to live up to its traditions it will do nothing on what it has learned outside; it will take no step except on information placed before it by Ministers in the Senate, and then only after giving the matter full consideration. I can understand the Minister acting as he has done. Honorable senators supporting the Government have supreme confidence in him. They all love him. His long years of service to the country have endeared him to them all. They have even had an effect on my hardness. Realizing that honorable senators are prepared to follow him blindly wherever he chooses to lead them, he has submitted his motion for the suspension of the Standing Orders without any word of explanation. I suppose he thinks it would be a waste of time to give an explanation in the face of the intelligent support he has. I am sorry that Hansard cannot convey sarcasm. Committees of this House appointed in times of peace, when all party feeling was absent, ha.ve laid down the correct procedure for the conduct of business. The Senate has endorsed their recommendations and adopted them as its Standing Orders. We claim that we have the most perfect set of rules for the conduct of business that it is possible to devise. Yet, whenever the Ministry thinks there is occasion for haste, these rules are to be set aside. When we have a nervous, inept, stupid set of individuals administering the affairs of the Commonwealth, they are always anxious to get away from the deliberate procedure Parliament itself has devised and adopt some new method. And when, they have a highly intelligent following they can do it without a word of explanation! I have never allowed to pass unquestioned any deviation from the set procedure of the Senate, lest the frequent suspension of the Standing Orders and the method of hurrying business through, instead of being reserved solely for exceptional occasions, should become the standing practice, and cause the Senate to lose the esteem in which it is held by the people. We are a small number of men, gathered together in thi3 chamber to represent the States, to act a3 a brake on hasty legislation, and to see that no bill becomes an act of Parlia-ment unless it has received the mature consideration and calm judgment of those who represent not only small constituencies, but also large aggregates of population. The Senate was set up to be the sole safeguard of the States, and I question whether, in accepting without explanation the motion moved by Senator ‘ Pearce, we are living up to the high standard which the people think should be observed by us. I shall not unduly proling the discussion on this motion. I utter my protest against the procedure Senator Pearce is asking the Senate to adopt today. It is altogether unnecessary and uncalled for, and is simply put forward for the purpose of creating an atmosphere and fooling the people into the belief that something extraordinary is happening among the industrialists of. this country. The bill for the appointment of what may be termed “Pearce’s peace officers” will, I understand, be in charge of the Minister who moved the suspension of the Standing and Sessional Orders, and who is in control of the department which will control them. I regard the Minister as a pocket edition of W. M. Hughes. The right honorable gentleman served under that distinguished statesman for such a lengthy period and became so accustomed to the tyrannical manner in which he gave effect to his wishes that he thinks that he, too, should follow the same course. We all recall that historical incident at Warwick when the ex-Prime Minister - who had the misfortune to stop an egg - later conferred with his colleagues and the representatives of the press in the Commonwealth offices in Sydney. A statement of the incident was prepared and published in the press next morning. That was the first step taken towards the establishment of a Commonwealth police force. Perhaps I might further enlighten honorable senators by referring, somewhat in detail, to the Warwick incident.
– What has this to do with the motion.
– I think it has a direct bearing on the motion submitted by the Minister for the suspension of the Standing and Sessional Orders. The Min ister has moved a motion to enable him to submit a measure under which it is proposed to appoint peace officers; and as these peace officers will perform duties similar to those once undertaken by the Commonwealth police force, surely I am in order in referring to the circumstances under which that force was established. I was about to say, when interrupted by Senator Greene, that the representatives of the Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, and the Melbourne Age conferred with the exPrime Minister in an office on the seventh floor of the Commonwealth Bank Building in Sydney concerning the Warwick incident and the -necessity for the Commonwealth Government to appoint a police force to act when, as it was alleged, certain State officials declined to intervene.
– I think the Leader of the Opposition is unusually well within the Standing Orders.
– As the honorable senator is an authority on the Standing Orders, I thank him for the interjection. As the Minister is .now endeavouring to follow in the footsteps of that great statesman with whom he worked for some years he, too, now imagines that it is his duty to assist in the establishment of a similar force. An egg has not been thrown at Senator Pearce, and, so far as I know, he has not conferred with the representatives of the press concerning the necessity to re-establish a Commonwealth police force.
– Is it the intention of the honorable senator to repeat all he is now saying on the motion for the second reading of the bill?
– I am now giving the Senate only a few prefatory remarks. When the proper time arrives, I shall enlarge upon the arguments which I am now submitting. I can, however, assure the Senate that it is not my intention to unduly prolong the discussion on this motion, and as Senator Lynch has reminded me that I shall have an opportunity to repeat if necessary what I am now saying when the motion for the second reading of the bill is before the Senate, I shall not occupy further time at this juncture. I .warn the Government, however, that the procedure that has been adopted, not only in this, but in other instances, is bringing the Senate into ridicule. We are asked to sit on Saturday to discuss a bill the consideration of which could wait for months and would even then be premature. There is no need for any haste or hurry. The bill is one upon which the electors will look with suspicion. The Government has failed in everything ‘ it has attempted, and will fail more miserably in attempting to rob Britishers of their right to trial by jury.
. -It is the duty of honorable senators to exercise to the fullest extent the rights afforded them under the Standing Orders. Honorable senators on this side of the chamber are, therefore, justified in endeavouring to prevent a suspension of the Standing and Sessional Orders to enable the Government to introduce panic legislation as is now proposed. One would imagine from the statement made in another place by the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce), and in the Senate by the Minister (Senator Pearce), that the country was in a state of revolution. What arethe facts? A number of men are on strike in Sydney, and in other ports of the Commonwealth, but notwithstanding the unsettled industrial conditions, not a single minor offence such as would be dealt with in a court of petty sessions has been committed. I am strongly opposed to the introduction of the bill, because I believe that it will only be the means of encouraging industrial strife, and will seriously affect the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth. It is a direct invitation to law-abiding citizens to break the law.
– That will suit Walsh and his followers.
SenatorHANNAN. - During the debate in this chamber yesterday Senator Guthrie referred by interjection to Mr. Walsh, the action of communists and the security of the Empire, but the honorable senator knows that it is only something in. the nature of an industrial disturbance, such as has occurred in Sydney, that is likely to save his political skin. Senator Guthrie and those with whom he is associated are urging the Government to rush this legislation through in their own interests. Yesterday, in moving that the Senate should meet this morning, the Minister did not endeavour in the slightest degree to justify the action of his colleagues. I now challenge the right honorable gentleman to justify the action he is taking.
– Why not give him a chance? The Minister is ready to proceed.
SenatorHANNAN. - I would give him the opportunity now if I thought he would listen to reason, and pay some regard to the arguments adduced from this side of the chamber. When the members of the Government have made up their minds to incite men to become lawbreakers, it is useless to permit the Minister to proceed. In these circumstances it is the duty of honorable senators on this side of the chamber to exercise their rights to prevent such an iniquitous bill coming before the Senate. The organized workers are the most lawabiding men on the face of God’s earth, and notwithstanding the fact that feeling is running high, and that industrial unrest prevails, the men who are most vitally interested are obeying in every way the laws under which they live. The bill has not been introduced with the intention of suppressing lawbreakers, but’ merely to incite men to do wrong. Senator Guthrie said yesterday that we were endeavouring to penalize the primary producers, and prevent them from exporting their commodities to the markets of the world.
– That will be the effect if the strike continues.
– If the Government refrain from interfering in this deplorable dispute it will terminate within a week. The action of the Government in submitting an amending Navigation Bill, an amending Immigration Bill under which it is proposed to deport certain persons, and appointing a police force to give effect to its decisions, can only lead to further industrial unrest. The dispute which exists between the British shipowners and certain British seamen could be terminated within a very short time if the Government declined to intervene in this way. If it desires to protect the interests of the primary producers it should not introduce such a measure as this. If anything is calculated to embitter men it is this attempt to bring their leaders under the ban of the law.
SenatorWilson. - Does not the honorable senator think that they should be under the ban of the law in the same way that every one else is
– Already we have laws to deal with every section of the community. There is no occasion to create a new law. The measure which was placed upon our statute-book recently is opposed to the fundamental principles of British justice. Now the Government proposes to pass a bill under which they may interfere with the leaders of Australian trade unions. Honorable senators opposite, or, at all events, those of them who have been associated with the Labour movement in the past, are aware that at times differences of opinion occur between trade union leaders and their followers. They also know that whenever any attempt is made to interfere with the leaders, the differences of opinion previously existing amongst the rank and file immediately disappear, the workers close up” their ranks and stand together.
– Order! I have allowed considerable latitude in this debate, but the honorable senator is out of order in discussing the principles of trade unionism. The only question before the Chair is the motion for the suspension of the Standing Orders, and I ask the honorable senator to confine his remarks to the motion.
– I am opposed to the motion, because I know what will happen if the projected bill is introduced and . passed by this chamber. No one regrets more than I do what has occurred, but I am as certain as I am that night follows day that the measure about to be introduced will incite the men, and that grave trouble will occur if any attempt is made to deport their leaders. It will not then be a question of tying up a few ships flying the British flag, but perhaps the dislocation of the entire shipping trade of Australia. Some people believe that this is the intention of the Government. A false psychology was created at thecommencement of the dispute. People were led to believe that it was instigated by Australian industrial leaders. As a fact, the action taken by certain British crews upon arrival in Australia was similar to that taken by other British crews in British ports. A few weeks ago this Parliament passed a measure commonly known as the Deportation Bill, under which the Government proposed to deal with certain leaders of a dispute in the Australian shipping industry. That dispute would never have been settled if Ministers had had their way. Fortunately, calm, brave men who lead the industrial movement outside this Parliament got together and brought about a settlement. But for their intervention, the probability is that the whole of the Australian shipping trade would still have been held up. I am hopeful that these calm and courageous men will again intervene, and prevent the Government from achieving its purpose. I believe that the measure to be introduced will incite and invite law-abiding citizens to break down peace, order, and good government in Australia. For this reason, I am strongly opposed to the suspension of the Standing Orders. All the legislation passed during the past few weeks by this Government to deal with industrial disputes is quite contrary to our conception of that liberty and freedom which we have enjoyed up to the present.
– Nineteen years ago I was elected a member of this chamber, and during the whole of the time that I have had the honour to remain here, I have always opposed a motion for the suspension of the Standing Orders, particularly in circumstances such as the present. The present Government holds the record in this respect. During the past two years the Standing Orders of the Senate have been suspended more frequently than in all the years preceding its accession to office. It has been obliged to resort to this expedient because of its inability to govern efficiently. The present situation reminds me of a story which perhaps I may be permitted to relate. It deals with a claim on behalf of a workman who had met his death as the result of. injuries. Counsel for the insurance company whilst crossexamining a witness endeavoured to get his interpretation of a miracle. “ Suppose,” he said, “that Brown climbed to the top of a ten-story building with a load of slates, and, after delivering them to the slater, fell down to the ground and escaped injury, what would you call that?” “I would call that an accident,” replied the witness. “Very well,” said counsel, “suppose he climbed the building a second time, and again fell without injury, what would you call that?” “I would call that a coincidence,” said the witness. “ Suppose it happened the third time ; what would you call that ?” “ I would call it a damned bad habit,” was the witness’s reply. That is what may be said of this Government in respect of this motion for the suspension of the Standing Orders. It has become a habit, which’ we should seek to check. The Senate is supposed to jealously guard the interests of the States. Speaking generally, it does. Its members are supposed not to be stampeded into the passing of ill-considered legislation. Unfortunately, the Government has been ‘ stampeded, not by the people of Australia, but by the National Federation and the Shipowners Federation. They are virtually the dictators. They have intimated to the Government that it must do something to cover up the deficiencies in the recently-passed deportation law. They have told the Government that it must rush this legislation through at a special Saturday sitting of the Senate. The bill foreshadowed could very easily have been dealt with in the ordinary manner. The industrial trouble with which it is supposed to deal will probably be settled very shortly. Parliament yesterday could have adjourned at the usual time, and members could have gone to their homes in their respective States. In all probability the trouble would have been disposed of before their return on Wednesday next. But no. This Government is panicky. Bereft of every argument against the policy of the party which we have the honour to represent in. this chamber, the’ Government desires something to happen in order to give it a political advantage. Ministers and their ‘supporters know that, in the ordinary course of events, they must face the people at an early date. They know also that they have not a feather to fly with. Measures promised in the GovernorGeneral’s speech have not been introduced. The business-paper in the Senate indicates that the Government is not giving effect to its policy. Ministers know that their reputation has been lost, and, like a drowning man who clutches at a straw, they have seized upon this pretext and are trying to make the people believe that there is a state of revolution in Australia. The Government got into a panicky state and said, “ We will keep Parliament sitting all night and all next day to pass legislation that will enable us to appoint peace officers.” It is only three or four weeks since the Senate was asked to, and did’, suspend its Standing Orders to allow of the passage of another measure dealing with an industrial trouble. The Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) told us on , that occasion that if the Senate passed the measure, which is known as the Deportation Act, this Government and this Parliament would have all the powers that were necessary to deal with the trouble that was said to exist.
– The Government thought that it could rely upon the loyalty of the States.
– It is unwise f Or the Government to ask honorable senators so frequently to suspend the Standing Orders. Senator Payne will remember that both Houses of this Parliament sat all night debating the provisions of that measure, so far as the application of those two modern political instruments, the “ guillotine “ and the “ gag “ would allow. Yesterday honorable senators had evidence of the panicky state in which the Government now finds itself. No sooner had the Leader of the Senate intimated yesterday, the desire of the Government to sit to-day, and my respected leader (Senator Gardiner) had replied, than the “gag” was introduced in order to prevent other honorable senators from discussing, in a reasonable way, the queston whether or not we. should meet to-day. My honorable friend, Senator Wilson, smiles. I am not dealing with this matter in a spirit of levity; I am serious. When a state of panic exists, even legislators are not free from infection. It is not possible to legislate for a nation when the minds of its legislators are agitated or’-excited. I have not the slightest intention to become either agitated or excited, but I know that the members of the Ministry are in that state. If honorable senators agree to the suspension of the Standing Orders - as I believe they will - I ask them to approach in a calm and serious way the consideration of the bill. The Leader of the Senate has treated the Senate with contumely, and honorable senators like a lot of school boys. He could have told us yesterday the reason for asking us to sit today. When, a few minutes ago, he moved for the suspension of the Standing Orders, he could have given some information to support his proposal. I see that Senator Duncan is anxious to repeat his performance of yesterday. It would have been much better if the Leader of the Senate had stated yesterday that on the next ordinary sitting day a measure would come forward from another place and be dealt with in the customary manner. I do not think there is any necessity for this bill, and the Government would not now have had to bring it forward if, three weeks ago, a little calmness, coolness, and forethought had been exercised.
– Mr. President-
– Mr. President-
- Senator Duncan.
– I knew that you would see him.
.- I move-
That the Senate do now divide.
- Senator McHugh has made a reflection on the Chair, and I ask him to withdraw it.
– In what way did I reflect upon the Chair?
– Honorable senators of the Opposition apparently hold the belief that they are entitled to monopolise the debate, and that no honorable senator should be called from the Government side. If that course were followed, we should have a mere travesty on debate.
– Senator Duncan has no intention to speak.
– I again ask Senator McHugh to withdraw the reflection that he made upon the Chair.
– What am I to withdraw ?
– I ask the honorable senator to withdraw his reflection upon the Chair.
– What was the reflection?
– The honorable senator must obey my ruling.
– How did I reflect upon the Chair?
– The honorable senator knows quite well. It is not for me to say in what way he reflected upon the Chair. It is for the honorable senator to obey my ruling.
– What am I to withdraw?
– I have several times requested the honorable senator to withdraw a reflection that he made upon the Chair. He has persistently evaded my ruling, and has practically refused to withdraw. I shall therefore name Senator McHugh ; but, before asking the Minister to move a consequent motion, which, when moved, must be put without debate, Ifinally ask Senator McHugh to put himself right with the Senate. He knows quite well the way in which that can be done.
– Although I am not aware of what reflection I have made upon the Chair, I withdraw.
Question - That the Senate do now divide - put. The Senate divided.
Majority . . 11
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Question - That the motion (Senator Pearce’s) be agreed to - put. The Senate divided.
Majority . . . . 13
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) -
That the bill be now read a first time - put. The Senate divided..
Majority . . 14
Questionso resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a first time.
– I move-
That the bill be now read a second time.
In submitting this bill I think it is necessary that I should state a few elementary facts in regard to this Parliament and the laws that it passes. A few weeks ago I should not have thought it essential to do so, but the happenings of the last two or three days have forced me to this view. First of all, let me say that this Parliament has been empowered to make laws within the ambit of its Constitution. That Constitution, although an act of the British Parliament, has been accepted and endorsed by a majority of the people in a majority of the States of the Commonwealth. It endows this Parliament with as full power to pass legislation as that possessed by any Parliament in Australia or in any other part of the British Empire.
– That is not correct. This Parliament has only the powers that are conferred on it by its Constitution.
– Within the area defined by its Constitution it has as full power as any other parliament in any part of the world. That being so, the question arises as to the responsibility in connexion with the laws that this Parliament passes. As to their merits and political aspect, this Parliament is responsible to the people of Australia and to no one else. It is not responsible to any other Government - not even the Imperial Government. It is responsible solely to the people of Australia. It is the people of Australia and not any government or any Minister of any government that must pass judgment on the merits of any law that is passed by it. As to the legality of our laws, the duty of determining their validity or otherwise, is placed, by the Constitution itself, upon the High Court. No other authority has the right to decide the constitutionality of our laws. In respect of certain of our enactments, an appeal to the Privy Council has been expressly provided for, but all questions as to their constitutionality must be decided by the High Court, unless the court itself grants permission for an appeal to be made elsewhere. No Government, not even the Imperial Government, is entitled to express an opinion, or to pass judgment, upon the constitutionality of any law we pass. That also is a fundamental and elementary principle, but, apparently, some gentlemen in this country have never learned it. If they have, they have forgotten it, otherwise some statements that have been made recently would certainly not have been made. All parliaments may pass laws upon which the people at the proceeding election were not consulted. The people, however, have this remedy: That when the Parliament next goes to the country they may, at the polls, reject the Government and those who supported them in passing any law of which they disapprove. That is and always has been the only measure of control that the people can haveover a Parliament working under the British system of parliamentary government. No section of the people, no outside organization, no other government has any control, or- ought to have control, over any free Parliament within the British Empire. The people who elect it alone can deal with it. Slow, having set out these rudimentary principles upon which our legislation is based, I come to a consideration of the province of the Executive, or Government of the Commonwealth. Its province is the same as that of any responsible Government operating under the British parliamentary system. Collectively and individually it is sworn to administer and give effect to the laws that Parliament has passed. Its responsibility is the administration and enforcement of the law, and it is answerable in that respect only to this Parliament. .No British Parliament, no State Parliament, no British Government, no State Government, has any authority over it. It is subject to this Parliament alone. The only body that can rightfully call into question its executive and administrative acts is this Parliament in either House. That is another elementary principle that seems to have been forgotten by some gentlemen. I wish now to quote a section of the covering act of the Constitution which has an important bearing on the relative positions of the Commonwealth and State Governments in respect to the laws of the Commonwealth. I remind honorable senators that this section is part of the Constitution Act which was passed by the British Parliament to give legal effect to the Constitution subject to the will of the people of Australia, and subsequently endorsed by the people. Section 5 reads -
This act. and all laws made by the Parliament, of the Commonwealth under the Constitution shall be binding on the courts, judges. and. people of every State and of every part of the. Commonwealth, notwithstanding anything in the law3 of any State; and the laws of the
Commonwealth shall be in force on all British ships, the Queen’s ships of war excepted, whose first port of clearance and whose port of destination are in the Commonwealth.
– It saYs “ every part of the Commonwealth.”
– That is so. Apparently some people have never read that section, or if they have read it they are prepared to disregard and utterly flout it. There have been frequent occasions when the Commonwealth Government, in the exercise of its administrative power, has had to have recourse to the police forces of the States, for the reason that no Commonwealth Parliament has, as yet, by statute, inaugurated a Commonwealth police force. The enforcement of all our acts has been effected by means of the State police forces. It has never for one moment been suggested that a State Government has the right to judge of the merits of a Commonwealth act, and to decide whether it agrees with its principles before it will allow its police to administer it. The adoption of any such procedure could lead only to chaos and anarchy.- There have been three occasions, however, in the history of the Commonwealth when a State Government has arrogated to itself that right. One of these was during the war period when the “War Precautions Act was in operation.
– An act passed originally by a Labour Government.
– An act, as Senator Greene reminds me, that was passed by a Labour Government, and it continued to operate throughout a period in which three appeals were made to the people, and, therefore, was endorsed by the majority of the people of this country. In the administration of this act the State Government of Queensland, of which the late Mr. Ryan was Premier, refused to allow its police force to act. That was while the war was proceeding and while the War Precautions Act was being used to express, through administration, the legislative powers of this Commonwealth in its prosecution of the war. The next incident occurred in Western Australia. A shipping strike was in progress, instigated and conducted by the very gentlemen who are instigating and conducting the present dispute, and it was directed not only against the Australian shipping service, but also against the pilotage and harbour services of the State Government. During the progress of that strike, Customs officers, charged with the administration of the Immigration Act and the Customs Act, and quarantine officers, charged with the administration of the Quarantine Act, sought to board incoming vessels at Fremantle. The Customs officers, in the performance of their duty, desired to board the first, vessel that arrived, in order to line up and count its coloured crew and so protect the White Australia policy, lt was also their duty to protect the Customs revenue. The quarantine officers required to board the vessel in order to protect the Commonwealth against the introduction of infectious and contagious diseases. But these- Customs and quarantine officers were blocked on the wharf, because less than 50 men refused to permit them to board the launch which was to take them te the incoming steamer. There were State police on the wharf at the time, but they said, on being appealed to, that they had no instructions to interfere. The Commonwealth officers appealed to the officer in charge of the police at Fremantle, but he told them that he could not act without instructions, and that he would have to refer the matter to the Commissioner of Police at Perth. The matter was so referred, and the answer came back that the Commissioner could not interfere, as he had no instructions to do so. When this was communicated to the Commonwealth Government by the responsible Federal officials in Western Australia, the Prime Minister at once telegraphed to the Premier of Western Australia asking that protection should be afforded to these Federal officers. The Prime Minister intimated to the State- Premier that further information had been received that the same people had also refused to allow His Majesty’s mails to be taken from or placed on the mail steamers, and he asked that police protection should be given in order that the Immigration Restriction Act officers, the Customs officers, the quarantine officers; and the postal officers might board all steamers and carry out the Commonwealth laws. To that telegram no reply other than an evasive one has ever been received from the Premier of Western Australia. And so for several days the Commonwealth officers were held up, and the Commonwealth laws defied by less than 50 people, most of whom were under the age of 21 years, on the wharf at Fremantle, the State police looking on. Now I come to the third and more recent case. Here, again, we have a law of the Commonwealth providing for certain action to be taken. But, although the Prime Minister communicated with the State Government of New South Wales, asking that that action be taken, the only reply he received was a statement in the press. By telephone he communicated with the Premier of New South Wales asking if he could have a reply, or whether he was to accept a statement appealing in the press as the opinion of the State Government. He was told over the telephone that he could accept the statement appearing in the press as the decision of the State Government.
– Was the courtesy of a reply refused?
– I have stated the facts. The honorable member can draw his own conclusion as to whether it was a courteous reply or not. On three occasions State Governments have refused to allow their police to enforce Commonwealth laws. The refusals of the Queensland and New South Wales Governments were sought to be justified on the ground that in each case the State Government of the day did not agree with the Commonwealth legislation it was asked to allow its police to enforce. A very little consideration of the matter will show that, if that attitude were maintained, it would speedily bring about absolute chaos and anarchy and put an end to all Commonwealth government in Australia. But the attitude of the Western Australian Government was entirely different. Its inaction was sought to be justified on the ground that it was afraid that if it allowed the State police to protect Commonwealth officials in the exercise of their duties, it would be regarded by the unionists on strike as a provocative act, and would be likely to prolong the strike. That is to say, a section of the community which happened to be in an organization was. to be exalted above the Commonwealth Government.; the administration of the affairs of the
Commonwealth was to be brought to a standstill, lest that particular section of the community might be exasperated. While there is little, if anything, to be said for the attitude of the Queensland and New’ South Wales Governments, the attitude of the Western Australian Government was even worse. If ever there was an abandonment of the first functions of government it was when this plea was put forward by a government as justification for its inaction. Let us suppose that the position was reversed, with a Labour government administering the affairs of the Commonwealth, and a National government administering the affairs of a State, If a Commonwealth Labour government passed legislation which proved obnoxious to the Nationalist party, and called upon a State National government to allow its police to enforce it, what would be the attitude of the Labour government and its supporters if the State Nationalist government refused to do so? They would say that it was a negation of all Commonwealth government and its functions. At a very critical time in the history of this country the Government of New South Wales has refused to allow its police to be employed in the enforcement of a Commonwealth law. There are only two courses open to the Commonwealth Government and this Parliament. We must either admit that the State Government and the State Parliament are to be the judges of whether or not the Commonwealth law should be enforced, or we must clothe ourselves with the necessary power to enforce our own laws. It is the latter course that we propose to take. The Government, therefore, is asking Parliament to clothe it with the necessary power to enforce the Commonwealth laws. That such a course should have to be taken is regrettable. It means unnecessary expense and duplication of machinery. It may have a tendency to bring about strife and recrimination between the Commonwealth and State Governments. But in that regard our skirts- are clean. We have not sought this quarrel. We have not brought it on. It has been forced upon us by the attitude of State Governments. The legislation to which objection has been taken in certain quarters should be regarded as an entirely- separate issue from the enforcement of the law itself. If it chooses Parliament can take steps in either House to repeal the act. But are we to do it because of terrorism brought about by a minority of people in the country ? Or are we to do it because we are genuinely of - opinion that it is the sort of legislation that should be repealed because it is wrong? There is only one answer that can be given to that question. The bill before the Senate to-day is in no sense an attack on State rights. On the contrary, it is a defence of Commonwealth rights. Whenever there is any attack on State rights an appeal can be made to the High Court. If the State Government of New South Wales believes that the Immigration Act, as recently amended, is an attack on the rights of the citizens of the State, the proper and constitutional course for it to take is to ask the High Court to declare the law invalid. Any one in this community who stands for constitutional procedure, and is against revolution, would take that course, and the Government or party which takes any other course, stands for revolutionary action as opposed to constitutional procedure. It is for the High Court and not for Mr. Lang or his Government, or the New, South Wales Parliament, to determine whether the Immigration Act is constitutional or not. As a matter of fact, this issue has already been tested in the High Court. Some years ago the Commonwealth Government took steps to constitute a Deportation Board. When individuals in the communtiy sought to subvert the Constitution and take certain action against the British Empire, a Deportation Board was convened, -and on its recommendation an order of deportation was made. The High Court was appealed to, and it declared the law to be constitutional and valid.
– Does the power then challenged correspond with the power now sought to be exercised?
– The procedure is the same, but the power has been increased by an amending act. The power of the Minister to summon a person before a board to show cause why he should not be deported because he is deemed to be a person who would subvert constitutional government in this country was decided, however, in that particular case.
– Was it not the ease of new arrivals?
– There were two new arrivals involved.
– It is now proposed to deport a man who has resided in Australia for 31 years.
– The Leader of the Opposition will not gather any comfort from that fact, because the question of whether the law applies only to new arrivals has also been before the High Court, and four Justices of the High Court have laid down the principle that “ once an immigrant, always an immigrant.” The question of whether a man is or is not an immigrant is not determined by the length of his residence in Australia. The High Court of Australia, the highest constituted authority, has declared to be constitutional and valid a law by which this Parliament took the power to deport British subjects. And the court having made that declaration, the responsibility rests upon the Commonwealth Parliament to say that no authority in Australia shall be allowed to subvert its constitutional right to enforce that law. What does all this mock thundering amount to? The main provisions of the Immigration Restriction Act have been in force for many years. It was on the statute-book when a Labour Government was in office with a clear majority in both Houses. Section 3 of that act provides that the following persons are prohibited immigrants : -
Any of these persons could be deported without trial, and without even an investigation by a board.
The Government is determined to maintain peace and order in this country. An endeavour has been made to make it appear that the action Parliament is taking is in some way directed against the industrial movement in Australia. Nothing could be further from the truth. The greatest protection the industrial movement in Australia has is the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act. It is under that act that the great increase in the number of trade unions and trade unionists has taken place - an increase greater than has occurred during any other decade in our history. The increase in trade unionists and their access to power is almost entirely due to the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act. This Parliament and this Government stands for that law. This Parliament has had the power at any time since the last election to repeal it. If the majority in this Parliament had been opposed to the industrial movement of this country it could, at any time, have stripped it of the protection and benefit which that act affords. It has not done so.
SenatorFindley. - Not yet.
– Neither has it attempted to do so. There are anarchists and others in Australia who would do away with all law and order. But they do not influence those on this side of the chamber. What is happening in Australia is this : There has been, and is to-day, in the Commonwealth, as there is in every other country, a movement which is not industrial, but which is simply using or attempting to use the industrial movement for revolutionary purposes. There is no secrecy about it. There are, in this country, certain men who have openly declared that it is their object, and that of their followers, to “white ant” the industrial movement in order to bring about its destruction and the destruction of society in Australia. The members of this Parliament would be recreant to their trust if they shut their eyes to what is openly going on in this and other countries. We should be recreant to our trust if we allowed dust to be thrown in our eyes by those who say that if we take certain action we shall be considered to be aiming a blow at certain industrial unions; as acting as the mere tools of the capitalists, and playing into the hands of the employers. The people of Australia are an educated democracy, and will not be fooled by fustian of that kind. I am convinced that amongst the great mass of the workers, including the trade unionists, there is an urgent desire for industrial peace. The great mass of the workers of Australia who own their own homes to a greater extent than do those of any other country - the married men particularly - do not wish to be continually involved in industrial turmoil for revolutionary purposes. There are no unionists in any part of the world who will fight more strongly than will those of Australia to defend what they believe to be their rights. There are, however, those who, knowing this spirit of determination and courage which is a characteristic of the unionists of this country, bore into the unions and try to use them for their own revolutionary purposes. There is another fact that we cannot afford to lose sight of, and that is that this revolutionary movement is absolutely and essentially anti-British. How is it that foreign ships are not held up in our ports to-day? It has been said here this morning that the shipping dis pute which now exists is due to a decrease of fi per month in the wages of British seamen.^ What are the wages paid to the seamen engaged on the foreign ships in our ports? Is any attempt being made to bring up, to the Australian standard, the wages of men engaged on these foreign ships ? Is it not a fact that every foreign vessel, whether she carries a white or coloured crew, can proceed without interruption around our Australian coast? These so-called industrial leaders .have not a word to say against them. Is it notsignificant that not only in Australia, but even in China, this movement is almost exclusively against British shipping? Is there any difficulty in ascertaining the cause? Is it not a fact that these revolutionaries are international in their organization and outlook? When they study the fabric of -the nations they see, in Britain, the one nation that is the keystone of the arch of our civilization to-day. Sap that nation, destroy it economically, and the whole arch of our European civilization falls to the ground. That is why this movement is not only revolutionary, but also anti-British. That is why we have these thrusts all the time at British industry, wherever it may be, while foreign industry is allowed to go untouched. We should be fools, aye, even worse, we should be cowards, if we shut our eyes to these facts, and allowed ourselves to be misled by the statement that the present industrial trouble is in the interests of British seamen. Those who are directing this movement have not at heart the interests of British seamen or any other Britishers. Their object is to destroy, not to build up. And so this Government is determined that, so long as it has the support of Parliament - and it believes it has - it will see this matter through. We are going to tell the people that this is a. revolutionary movement, and, therefore, being extraordinary, can be dealt with only by extraordinary means. We are going to ask the Parliament of this country to provide us with the means. If the time comes when the powers in our hands are insufficient we shall ask the people to provide us with the means to effectually and completely remove for ever from Australia those revolutionary forces which would destroy the Commonwealth.
– I listened to the Minister (Senator Pearce), as I always do, with a good deal of interest. I admire Senator Pearce for his audacity. He commenced by endeavouring to justify the action of the Government on constitutional grounds, and by saying - I admit he corrected himself afterwards - that the Commonwealth had sovereign power to make laws. The Commonwealth has power to enact laws only within the ambit of its Constitution. It is the States whose power is sovereign; the Commonwealth’s legislative powers are directly confined to those set out in section 51 of the Constitution. It is extraordinary that the Minister should, in introducing the bill, endeavour to discredit three States of the Commonwealth. The Constitution specifically provides that the States and their laws and law courts shall be regarded in good faith; but the Minister, his colleagues, and supporters wish in this case to disregard ‘ all British precedents and British laws, and place the responsibility upon the State Governments merely because 1 they do not agree with the Commonwealth. The Minister deliberately - I say it advisedly - misrepresents the situation. He has led the Senate to believe that the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce) did not receive any reply to his overtures to the Premier of New South Wales (Mr. Lang). I have not been in communication with Mr. Lang; I have not had one word concerning what he is doing. I have, . however, watched the whole procedure during the last week, and I am satisfied that when the Solicitor-General (Sir Robert Garran) interviewed Mr. Lang, the latter gave a full reply to every proposition placed before him. These replies Sir Robert Garran communicated by code, so the newspapers say, to the Prime Minister. Why, then, try by that skill for which we know the Minister is renowned, to misrepresent the position by saying that the courtesy of a reply was not vouchsafed by the Premier of New South Wales ? In dealing with constitutional law we have to remember that the States have full power to legislate on all subjects except those in respect of which they have definitely handed over the authority to the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Parliament, as Senator Pearce has said, has authority to legislate upon powers conferred upon it by the States, and under n Constitution adopted by the democracy of Australia, the Constitution, I emphasize, provides for the preservation of liberty as we knew it before federation. A law recently passed by this Parliament unquestionably violates that principle of British law, which has been the sheet-anchor of British people for centuries. I suppose we may regard the British Constitution as an unwritten one. strengthened by precedent, developed from day to day, the mattner judgment of one generation being added to that of preceding generations until at the present time it is looked upon as the’ most perfect instrument that has ever been devised for the government of a people. It represents the growth of centuries, and has as its starting point that charter which gives to every man the right of full, fair, and free trial. This Government seeks to take away that right. Notwithstanding Senator Pearce’s statement, that the High Court alone has authority to interpret the Constitution, it is abundantly clear that when the people entered into the Federal compact, there was a definite understanding that all offenders against the laws of the Commonwealth should have the right of trial by jury. There is no getting away from this all-important fact. Honorable senators are probably as well acquainted with this provision of the Constitution as I ain. We have heard something about repudiation of agreements and about revolution. What condition could be worse than that created by legislation which denies to the people those liberties which they have hitherto enjoyed ? What can be worse than to deny to people the right of equality in the eyes of the law? So long as they have this safeguard of their privileges there is no need for revolution. Let mc put the position to Senator Plain, who has been recently appointed to this chamber. There was a time when he and 1 were pretty close together in the political arena. Perhaps he has forgotten. 1 have not. Under the law recently passed, if he became involved in any industrial disturbance, the Government could deport him to the country of his birth. If I. committed the same offence I could not be deported. Does Senator Pearce claim that this discrimination is permitted by the Constitution? .Does any honorable senator suggest that there is sanity in legislation of this character?
Let us consider also the position of Senator Lynch and Senator Plain. Both, I understand, not being native born, could be deported.. It may be my pleasure, in a few months’ time to order their deportation. Senator Pearce claims that the Government is acting within the Constitution in asking the Premiers of the various States to uphold this deportation law. He made much of the fact that the Constitution was adopted by the democracy of Australia. Let us see what the people voted for. Section 80 of the Constitution states) -
The trial on indictment of any offence against any law of the Commonwealth shall be by. jury . . .
Will the Minister deny that the offence with which, certain industrial leaders are to be charged are. against any law of the Commonwealth ? If the persons concerned have offended against the Commonwealth law, why is it that they are not to stand their trial in accordance with the provision in the Constitution, which I have just quoted ? Mr. Lang, bearing, as Senator Pearce well knows, a heavy load of administrative responsibility, believes that the powers conferred upon the Commonwealth Government by the Constitution are sufficient to meet the circumstances, and refuses to allow the State judges or the police authorities of New South Wales to participate in proceedings that will take from citizens of New South Wales privileges which they enjoyed prior to Federation. Let me read the whole of section 80 of the Constitution : -
The’ trial on indictment of any offence against any lawof the Commonwealth shall be by jury, and every trial shall be held in the State where the offence was committed, and if the offence was not committed within any State the trial shall be held at such place or places as the Parliament prescribes.
Senator Pearce is complaining because Mr. Lang refuses to allow the judiciary of New South Wales to be employed in the prosecution of persons whose right to trial by jury, secured to them by the Constitution, is taken away from them. Mr. Lang, I have no doubt, has read the Constitution very carefully, and has decided that there is no occasion for impetuous or childish action, such as this Government contemplates. It would be well, therefore, if the Government reconsidered its position. Senator Pearce may contend that section 5 of the
Constitution, which provides that all laws made by the Parliament of the Commonwealth shall be binding on the courts, judges, and people of every State, justifies the Government in asking the Premier of New South Wales to give effect to its request. On this point I should like to remind the Minister of what happened many years ago. For a short time I was associated with Senator Pearce in a Labour Ministry. During our term of office a constitutional question, somewhat similar to that now under consideration, cropped up between the State of Queensland and the Commonwealth Government. The then Premier of Queensland belonged to a. different political party. The views he held were somewhat similar to the views now held by Senator Pearce, who, I may add, took the same view that Mr. Lang takes now.
– No. Not on that issue.
– There was a tramway strike in Brisbane, and, acting within the Constitution, the Premier of that State made application for Commonwealth assistance in accordance with the Constitution.
– He made application direct to Mr. Fisher, instead of to the Governor-General .
– Senator Pearce’s interjection reminds me of the expedient adopted by Australian soldiers when on active service. One of our returned men told me that whenever the enemy flying machines were dropping bombs on Australian positions, and whenever shells from the big guns were making terrifying noises, soldiers sometimes would take shelter under bits of hessian or bagging, and feel a bit safer. The Minister when he hears the noise caused by a political bomb that threatens the safety of his position, promptly interjects and suggests that what is being said is not correct. He now makes the excuse that the Premier of Queensland did not make application to the GovernorGeneral, but to the head of the Government (Mr. Fisher). Well, we will put it that way. Let us see what was the Minister’s attitude on that occasion. Section 119 of the Constitution provides -
The Commonwealth shall protect every State against invasion, and, on the application of the executive Government of the State, against domestic violence.
The Premier of Queensland was acting in much the same manner as the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth is acting to-day; that is to say, he was seeking to aggravate an industrial trouble and endeavoured to enlist the support of the Commonwealth Labour Government. Senator Pearce, posing as the strong man in the Labour Government, declined to give the protection asked for. He did what Mr. Lang is doing now. He exercised his own judgment. He declared that there was no occasion for Commonwealth interference and that there was no danger threatening law and order in Queensland. It would appear, however, that Senator Pearce has changed since then. He now holds the view then held by the Premier of New South Wales, whose responsibility to-day is as great as that which rested upon Mr. Fisher on the occasion to which I refer. Senator Pearce says that the High Court alone can decide matters affecting the Constitution’. The High Court, he claims, has already declared that the Government may deport citizens; that it may separate a husband from his wife and a father from his children. He declares, in effect, that, because an Australian citizen may have been born in Great Britain, he is inferior in the eyes of the law to a man born in Australia.
– Is the honorable senator referring to Jacob Johannsen?
– No, I am referring to Senator Pearce. I am also referring to Senator Guthrie, who, by his support of this Government, is endeavouring to draw an invidious distinction, between an Australian citizen from another country and an Australian citizen born here. Nothing can be more degrading in any British community than legislation which discriminates between citizens of the country in its courts of law.
Sitting suspended from 1 to 2 p.m.
– When this Australian democracy entered into the Federation, it did so on the definite understanding given by section 80 of the Constitution’ Act that -
The trial on indictment of any offence against any law of the Commonwealth shall be” by jury, anc! every such trial shall be held in the State whore the offence was committed, and if the offence was not committed within any State, the trial shall lie held at such place or places as the Parliament prescribes.
It ill-becomes Senator Pearce, and more so the Prime Minister (Mr.’ Bruce), to attack a gentleman in the position ot Mr. Lang, who has to consider something more than the technicalities and the cobwebs of the law. He has first to consider the well-being of his State. This attack is made by what is really a revolutionary Government. If we went amongst either the best-informed or the worst-informed people from one end of the Commonwealth to the other, I do not believe that we should find a human being who would be prepared to sacrifice that foundation stone of British Liberty, Magna Charta, which grants to every man the right to be tried by a jury of his peers, after having an accusation made against him and being given an opportunity to justify himself. Senator Pearce reached a, stage of dramatic utterance that I had not previously seen him. reach when he said, “ Are we- to shut our eyes to the fact that these men are threatening the very existence of the British Empire?” What has he been doing for the last ten years? Have similar conditions not existed during the whole of that period? Is it only on a calm Saturday afternoon that the right honorable gentleman wakes up to the fact that he can shut his eyes no longer? Whether a person offends directly against the law, or takes action within the law in such a way as to disorganize the industries of this country, the laws of the Commonwealth give to the Government sufficient power to mete out punishment. If that power is not sufficient, members of the Government should possess the necessary ingenuity to enlarge it.
– They have done so.
– They have not. They have departed from what we customarily call courts of justice by the establishment of a board to mete out punishment. That board is repugnant, not to one, but to every section of the community. I know that there is one section which will say, “ Tom Walsh, Jock Garden, and Johannsen ought to be sent out of the country.” A similar cry has been raised whenever there has been industrial trouble, but Australia has progressed, for a hundred years without such drastic legislation. I stated yesterday that one of the members of this board is an official in the Public Service. What will be his position ? If he finds a man guilty,- it will be said of him that he could not help doing so because he is under the control of a Government which might take from him his job. If, on the other band, he brings in a verdict of not guilty, it will be said of him that he is afraid of losing his job when another Government comes into office. Even though it had reached such a low level as to take away from British subjects the right conferred upon them by Magna Charta, surely the Government could have found for appointment to this board some one who was accustomed to meting out justice. The matter is of sufficient importance to warrant the appointment of the judges of the High Court. Nothing is more serious than an- infringement of the rights of men. »
– Was not one of these gentlemen a magistrate under the Western Australian Government?
– I believe that he was.
– ^ Is he not accustomed to dealing out justice?
– He holds a position in the Public Service. A judge should not only be an upright man, he should also be above suspicion. In the minds of those who are accused under this legislation there will be the grave suspicion that they will not receive justice, because one of the men who is trying them is dependent upon the Government for his employment. I have no complaint to make against these men who have been appointed to the board; I do not know them. But I do think that when a Government departs from the beaten track, when it leaves that safe path which Britons have followed for 700 years, we are entitled to something better than what is now proposed. Let us look at what was the idea in the minds of those people who understood the foundation on which British liberty is based. Chapter 39 of Magna Charta provides^ -
No freeman shall be arrested or detained in prison, or deprived of his freehold, or banished, or in any way ‘molested, and we will not set forth against him, nor send against him, unless by the lawful command of his peers, and by the law of the land.
Has anything happened lately to warrant dispensing with -that splendid safeguard of British liberty ? There has been industrial trouble. ‘ What raised this Govern ment to its present pitch of anger? The Inchcape crowd reduced British seamen’s wages by £1 a month. That aroused in the minds of Senators Pearce and Lynch, and other persons, the idea that this is the time to ca3t aside the charter of our liberties. They say, “ We must punish men who resist a reduction of wages ; they cannot be tolerated in Australia.” Inchcape, to whom they bow the knee, is the head of a shipping combine. The Government and its supporters propose to dispense with what, to my mind, has been the one thing that has elevated British people to the position that they occupy today. It has been responsible for a reverence and respect for the laws of this and other British’ countries that even the fiercest party feeling cannot break down. What has enabled our courts to be held in high respect by the whole community? It is the fact that the judges have never been partisans. The duty of a judge is to direct the jury as to the meaning of the law, and to advise it. Should his advice on any occasion be tinged with partisanship against an accused person, there is the right of appeal. He must act impartially between the accused and the prosecution. All that will now go by the board. This tribunal will act as prosecutor, judge, and jury. What can it bring upon the nation? Nothing but contempt. How deeper does that contempt grow when we know that it is only the British-born section of the community that can be summoned to appear before this board. Senator Elliott, being Australian born, will be free from its operations. I shall enjoy the same freedom. Senator Lynch may be summoned to appear before it I hope that he will, and that he will be sent out of this country. I should like to be a member of the board that ordered his deportation. Unfortunately, Senators Pearce and Wilson own Australia as their birthplace. I still believe that we shall be able to lay an indictment of conspiracy against Senator Pearce and Mr. Bruce for their action in connexion with the sale of the Commonwealth Woollen Mills. They will be given a fair trial in the courts of the land. We shall not require the services of a board to convict them, because we have evidence that will prove either criminal neglect or wilful corruption in. connexion with the sale of these mills at an unfair price. We shall send Senators Lynch and Reid back to their own country under the legislation that they are assisting to pass. I am endeavouring to impress upon the minds of honorable senators the futility of this legislation. I realize that this bill is merely supplementary to that obnoxious measure which takes from those Britishers who live in Australia the safeguards of liberty provided by Magna Charta. Chapter 40 of that document says -
To none will we sell, to none will we deny or delay right or justice.
Writing upon this matter, Sir James Mcintosh, in his History of England, said -
In these clauses of the charter are clearly contained the habeas corpus and the trial by jury, the most effectual security against oppression which the wisdom of men has hitherto been able to devise.
I again appeal to honorable senators to pause before dispensing with what has been a safeguard of the liberties of Britishers for centuries. TaswellLangmead. writing of the clauses of Magna Charta in English Constitutional History, said -
There is a breadth about the simple language employed as if those who wrote it felt that they were asserting universal principles of justice. Henceforth it must have been a clear principle of our Constitution that no man can be detained in prison without a trial.
Does Senator Elliott, who is a trained lawyer, agree with legislation under which men may be detained in prison without a trial, or tried by a board that has been selected with the object of convicting them ? Blackstone, in his Commentaries, Vol. IV., page 424, states -
It protected every individual of the nation in the free enjoyment of his life, his liberty, and his property, unless declared to be_ forfeited by the judgment of his peers.
I can imagine Senators Pearce, Wilson, and Elliott saying, “ I do not know whether Tom Walsh has any property, but whether he has or not, we are going to send him out of this country,” Creasy, in his English Constitution, page 151,. said -
The ultimate effect of this chapter was to give and to guarantee full protection for per=ons and property to every human being that breathes English air.
They have that protection while they breathe the English air, but when they come to this proud dominion they are treated, as aliens; the Magna Charta of their liberties ceases to have effect.
– Does the honorable senator contend that that would prevent the British Government from deporting an undesirable?
– I do not know whether it would or not, but I do not know of any British Government that has wanted to do anything contrary to law. I believe that governments have the power to do what they will, and that there is even a higher law than the statute law to guard the interests of any country. Honorable senators opposite have been pleased to pose as the props of the Empire during the last ten years. They have said that if they are removed from the Government bench the Empire will collapse - at least in so far as Australia’s participation in it is concerned. But what is the position to-day? Senator Pearce has said that a man who emigrated to Australia from Britain, and has lived here for 30 years, is still an immigrant, and as such may be deported. That is the attitude of these liployalists. We have had to listen to a lot of their cant about the Empire and their love for it; but honorable members of my party have stood solidly as one body in their desire to make Australian laws conform to British laws.
– And to support Germany during the war.
– Senator Elliott is a liar!
– Order ! Senator McHugh has flung across the chamber a most objectionable epithet.
– What Senator Elliott said was untrue.
– The honorable senator will hold his tongue while I am addressing the Senate.
– “Hold his tongue “ is rather nice.
– I should have said “the honorable senator will remain silent.” The meaning, however, is the same. Senator McHugh must withdraw his objectionable epithet.
– I withdraw.
– I rise to a point of order. I desire Senator Elliott to withdraw the insult he offered to honorable senators on this side of the chamber. He said that we were allied with Germany during the war.
– I did not understand Senator Elliott to say that.
– I deny having said it; but I withdraw anything that is objectionable to honorable senators opposite.
– “When Senator Elliott interjected, I was about to say, as mildly as I could, that, as far as I can see, unless we are to enjoy the liberty of Britishers - that liberty which has made the name of England famous throughout the centuries - aud unless our laws are to be administered properly and constitutionally, it appears to me to matter very little what’ our nationality is. It is most surprising to find the section of this community that has always claimed for itself that it is the upholder of the Empire legislating against the interests of Britishers. This Government has shown, by the measures it has introduced since its election, that it is against the trade and commerce of Eng: land, and it is- now showing that it is against Englishmen, for it is requesting us to pass a bill which may bear very harshly upon every man who has come here from England.
– Listen to the great freetrader speaking!
– It will be a sad day for Australia if many more gentlemen of the type of Senator Guthrie are elected to this Parliament. He is so busy giving expression to his own narrow, stunted views that he has no time to listen to anybody else. I have never hidden my political views from the people who elected me to represent them. From the first day I entered public life, my utterances on the public platform and elsewhere have made quite clear my opinions on the .various subjects I have discussed. We are up against something more serious now than hampering the trade of England. The Government has already done a good deal in that respect. While lisping about its loyalty to England, it has built barrier after barrier against British trade. Now, however, it proposes to make invidious distinctions to the detriment of Englishmen.
– Not Englishmen alone.
– -It proposes to punish Englishmen for doing something that Australians will not be punished for doing. An Australian may participate in an industrial dispute without fear, but an Englishmen may only do so under threat of deportation. If an Englishman leads a trades union, he may be deported for it, but an Australian may safely do so. 1 suppose that presently this Government will try to contest an election on the issue of loyalty to the Empire.
– The trading distinctions in the law that the honorable senator has referred to were there even while he was a Minister of the Crown.
– I am beginning to realize how unfortunate it was that during the two years in which I held ministerial office the whole of the Government’s time was occupied in dealing effectively with war problems. Senator Pearce knows very well that during the years 1914-16 there was no time to’ devote to remedying .the evils in our tariff laws. But even then I realize that in these tariff matters my voice was as that of one crying in the wilderness. In fiscal matters I am practically the only one in my party that is in step. But still they tolerate me. These caucus-ridden men, against whom honorable senators opposite declaim so frequently, are broad enough in their views to permit me to disagree with them on this question. This Government, which has boasted so much of its loyalty to Britain, has constituted itself prosecutor and judge of Englishmen in Australia. It has framed the charge, authorized the Attorney-General to issue the summons, and instructed its officer to deliver it, but, lest even now the accused person should escape, it has constituted a board that will convict. Nothing could be more harmful or more wicked. I cannot contemplate anything that will more seriously damage the name of Australia in the eyes of the world than this. We have sunk to a low level indeed. We ‘ are not willing to follow the splendid example that was set by Great Britain in 1915. Not only are all honorable senators opposite favorable to the views expressed to-day by Senator Pearce, but they also support the remarks made yesterday in another place by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister, after referring to statements made by Mr. Lang, went on to say, “ We wish to get the strongest possible tribunal.” He said the object was “ to deal with one of the most undesirable citizens that Australia has ever harboured.” To what low levels have we sunk that one holding the high office of Prime Minister not only appoints his own court and constitutes itjudge and jury, but also uses every means possible to condemn beforehand a man who will appear before it, by saying that he is “ one of the most undesirable citizens that Australia has ever harboured.”
– I heard the Prime Minister make that speech, but I did not hear him say that.
– He said it a dozen times.
– He did not.
– Order !
– Senator Greene is one who may come within the purview of this board, and he may find himself having a free voyage to England.
– I have before me the Hansard proof of the Prime Minister’s speech. What he said was, “ Even if the person who might be deported, was a most undesirable person to retain in Australia.”
– That is what he did say.
– And Senator Gardiner knew it.
– I pass over that gratuitous insult from Senator Guthrie. The words I used were copied for me from the Age report. Senator Pearce and other honorable senators opposite have made it quite clear that the practical purpose of this bill is to deport certain individuals. They may be Tom Walsh, Garden, and Johnson.
– His name is not Johnson, and you know it. His name is Johansen. I have proof of it.
– Why quibble about a name? “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I do not care if his name is Guthrie.
– But I do.
– What I object to is that the Government is wicked and infamous enough, not only to break down our British laws and take from us the security that we have always possessed of trial by jury, but it is also guilty of contempt of court. It has issued summonses against these persons, constituted itself their prosecutor, and set up its own court to try them, and now it is using every minute that it has available in mouthing over and over again the accusations that it has made against their character. I believe that it has some ulterior motive in introducing this bill. We have been told that it proposes to force an early election, and that it is using these deportation measures as the ground on which it will appeal to the people. I do not believe it. The Government hopes that in consequence of this legislation there will be a general cessation of work. I sincerely trust that that will not be so. Fortunately our workers are armed with a better weapon than a quick-firer. It is their vote at the ballot-box. While some of the more impetuous ones may say, “ We will do no work while our leaders are outside of the country,” I believe that the more reasonable will use the more effective method and deal with the Government at the ballot-box. I certainly do not believe that the Government intends to push on an election. It has not the courage to do so. I support Mr. Charlton’s statement in another place that if the Government is prepared to throw down the challenge we are willing to fight it on this issue. The people of Australia will not accept this legislation. If an election should occur in the near future they will state their opinions in no uncertain way. I do not believe in deportation, but I earnestly hope that the time is at hand when we shall be able to use the Deportation Bill, as it is called, against some honorable members of this Parliament who were responsible for its introduction.
– Docs not the honorable senator think that if his party obtains possession of the Government benches a good many people will deport themselves voluntarily?
– I agree with Senator Lynch that if our party came into power some people would at once get out of this country. But the greater portion of Australia is now under the control of Labour Governments, and in every State where Labour is in power the population is increasing.
– The result is seen in the Queensland railway strike to-day.
– Strikes are inevitable wherever there are men working. No one imagines that the time will come when all the people will be satisfied. Strikes, like the poor, will always be with us. There has been no serious interruption of trade through a few British ships ceasing to -work because the wages of the seamen have been reduced. The unanimity with which honorable senators on the other side rush to assist the employers to reduce wages is surprising. I nave never before seen Senator Guthrie so enthusiastic as he has shown himself to be since he has had an opportunity to fight for a reduction of wages.
– That is not so. The honorable senator knows that these men are disobeying their union leaders.
– I know well what their argument is. They’ are opposed to a reduction of wages. For years Senator Pearce has kept his eyes shut to infringements of Commonwealth rights, but now that an effort is being made to reduce wages he seeks to impose drastic laws which will have the effect of preventing these seamen. from resisting any reduction of wages and of putting them out of the country if they do not cease resisting that reduction. The Government has defied and broken that part of our Constitution which says that every man tried for an offence against the Commonwealth laws must be tried by a jury.
– That is not what the Constitution provides. The honorable senator has omitted the word “indictment.”
– Section 80 of the Constitution is as follows: -
The trial on indictment of any offence against any law of the Commonwealth shall ha by jury, and every such trial shall be held in* the State where the offence was committed, and if the offence was not committed within any State the trial shall be held at such place or places as the Parliament prescribes.
– That is not what the honorable senator said.
– The right honorable gentleman seeks to shelter himself behind the omission of one word, just as when I accused him as a member of the Fisher Government of refusing to agree to a request from the Queensland Premier for the military protection for which the Constitution provides, he sheltered himself behind the subterfuge that the State Premier applied, not to the Commonwealth Government, but to Mr.
Fisher as Prime Minister. Section 80 provides a charter of liberty. Those great men, Sir Henry Parkes and Sir Samuel “Griffith, who put that charter in the Constitution could not foresee that any government would seek to convict any person without an indictment, or that any breach of the law would not be tried in a proper way. Yet that is just what the present Government is doing. Its action will receive full condemnation at the hands of the people of this country as soon as the question is put fairly before them. I join Mr. Charlton in issuing a challenge to the Government to take the matter to the country at once and let the people decide whether they prefer these new-fangled methods of the Bruce-Page combination or the wellbeaten track of constitutional procedure that has held good in Great Britain for the last 700 years.
– The ‘ right honorable the Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) has given evidence during this debate of a desire to fasten on to the slightest excuse for the legislation now put forward. In the first place, when Senator Gardiner spoke of the request made by the Premier of Queensland to a Commonwealth Labour Government of which he was a member for military assistance, he raised the quibble that the State Premier did not take the proper course of approaching the Commonwealth Government. A moment or two ago he endeavoured to shelter behind another quibble, and contended that Senator Gardiner had omitted to mention the word “indictment” in his eloquent reference to the right of trial by jury, as given by section SO of the Constitution. If I were to follow the puerile reasoning - if it be reasoning - of the Leader of the Senate, I would ask him to tell me the meaning of the word “ indictment.” If it does not mean that some one has been charged with committing an offence against the laws of the land, I should like to know what it does mean. Under this bill, called the Peace Officers Bill - I could give it another designation, and probably I shall attempt to do so in the committee stage - certain men will be brought before a board which has been appointed by the Government to try them for an offence against a provision of what I call the Deportation Act passed by this Parliament a few weeks ago. If that is not an indictment, I do not know what an indictment is, and I venture to say that the constitutional authorities of the Commonwealth will have some difficulty in discovering another meaning for it. I say advisedly that this Deportation Act, as I term it, is ultra vires, inasmuch as it clashes with section 80 of the Constitution. Does Senator Pearce contend that the men whom the Government desire to deport will have no ‘right of appeal? The Constitution cannot be nullified by the mere passing of an act by this Parliament. It cannot be altered except by the passage of a bill through both Houses and its acceptance at a referendum of the people. The Deportation Act proposes not only to nullify, but also to suspend, section SO of the Constitution, which gives every citizen of the Commonwealth the right to a trial by jury. I know one member of the board which has been appointed, and before which intended deportees will be brought even before they have been convicted under any law of the land. I refer to Mr. Canning. I knew him in Western Australia, and I met him in Sydney recently. I do not know the other gentlemen appointed, but I know that, no matter what may be the offence of the persons brought before it, the board must, and I venture to say will, decide that they should be deported. I want to elaborate the important point stressed by Senator Gardiner, and that is the distinction made between Australian-born citizens and citizens of Australia not born in Australia. Here, again, the Constitution has been violated. Every adult who comes to Australia and resides here for six months has a right to a vote for this Parliament. When we extend to any person the right to the franchise, we give him rights of citizenship equal to those of the Australian-born. I do not know why this distinction has been made in this legislation. I venture to say it will not stand at law. I know that this bill will be passed, because there is on the other side of the chamber just as there is in another place a servile majority at the disposal of the Government.
– I think that is an offensive term.
– I did not hear exactly what the honorable senator said.
– My honorable learned and. gallant friend, Senator BrigadierGeneral Elliott-
– Is that all one man?
– If the honorable senator considers the word “ servile “ objectionable I am quite prepared to withdraw it and substitute submissive or obedient. Honorable senators opposite, however, have to respond to the crack of the whip ; and, although I have no objection to discipline which is necessary, I do not wish discipline to prevent the legitimate and reasonable discussion of legislation involving the liberties of Australian citizens. Recently the Commonwealth Parliament passed two very important amending measures which are closely related, one of which was the amending Navigation Bill, and the other an amending Immigration Bill, which may really be termed the Deportation Bill. Reasonable discussion of those measures was not permitted, as they were rushed through both Houses of Parliament during all-night sittings. When honorable senators on this side of the chamber rose to speak, they were gagged, and in another place the guillotine and the “ gag “ were also employed.
– The honorable senator is not in order in discussing what happened in another place.
– As all the legislation dealt with in this chamber must be considered by another place, I contend, sir, that I am in order.
– The honorable senator may refer briefly to statements made in another place, but he will not be in order in referring to the actual procedure of the House of Representatives.
– If I were to refer specifically to the House of Representatives I should be called to order. At any rate, the guillotine was used at one stage and the “gag” at another. In consequence of the hasty passage of the legislation to which I have just referred, the Government has now found it necessary to introduce what is termed a Peace Officers Bill, under which certain persons are to be appointed in order to give effect to the wishes of the Government. The legal advisers of the Government should have informed the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce) that, under the provisions of. the amending Immigration Bill, power was not provided to do what is now sought under this measure.
– Provision could not be made in that measure for any lack of loyalty of this kind to the Commonwealth.
– We do not deal with the loyalty of governments m our legislation. All governments operate under the laws passed by Parliament, and they are also loyal to the Empire, if Senator Payne would prefer it put that way. Section 5 of the Constitution does not give this Parliament the right to dictate to any State. That section reads -
This act and all laws made by the Parliament of the Commonwealth under the Constitution shall be binding on the courts, judges, and people of every State, and of every part of the Commonwealth, notwithstanding anything in the laws of any State, and the laws of the Commonwealth shall be enforced, and shall obtain on all ships, the Queen’s ships of war excepted, whose first port of clearance or port of destination is in the Commonwealth.
– Surely the honorable senator does not want anything clearer than that?
– I do, and .1 specially direct. Senator, Payne’s attention to the words “under the Constitution.” I contend that the deportation provisions of the Immigration Act as recently amended are ultra vires. The Premier of New South Wales (Mr. Lang), who, of course, had the assistance of his legal advisers, knows, as well as Senator Payne does, event if he has not the courage to admit it, that the deportation provisions I have mentioned are ultra vires.
– Then the act is useless.
– We are up against the Constitutional position, and I should like Senator Greene to tell the Senate if a person to be deported has or has not the right to appeal from the decision of the board. According to section 80 of the Constitution, if a person commits an offence against the law he should hot be compelled to appear before a board constituted under the Immigration Act, neither should this bill be introduced to appoint police to serve summonses upon him. He should be tried by a properlyconstituted tribunal.
– If the law is ultra vires, as Senator Needham suggests, that is the end of it.
– I am simply expressing my opinion, which will in time be re-echoed in the courts of this country. The amending Immigration Bill is unconstitutional, and so also is the measure we are now discussing. This bill has been introduced as the result of panic legislation, and is a continuation of the violation of section 80 of the Constitution. I should like to ask the Minister (Senator Pearce) from what source the peace officers whom the Government propose to appoint will be obtained? Will they be public servants, or will they be appointed from outside the service? Although a message was received from the GovernorGeneral in another place authorizing the appropriation of certain money, we have not been informed of the amount to be appropriated. When the Immigration Bill was under discussion, honorable senators on this side said that it would have been better if the Government had made an attempt to settle the dispute instead of introducing such legislation. As Senator Hannan pointed out this morning, it was left to people outside to bring about a settlement in which the Leader of the Opposition in another place (Mr. Charlton) played a prominent part. Australian seamen are not involved in the present trouble; it is a dispute between the members of a union which has its headquarters outside and British ship-owners. If certain persons resident in Australia desire to assist these men, why should they be deported on the recommendations of a board which has already been instructed to bring in a verdict of guilty? Because the Government of New South Wales will not be a party to an unconstitutional act we are asked to give this Government the right to appoint its own peace officers. When that famous Warwick egg was hurled at the head of an ex-Prime Minister-
– I suppose the honorable senator knows that the person who threw the egg was one of the worst criminals in Queensland. He served two months, and then two years in prison.
– That may be so, but the incident did not result in him being made a hero. The ex-Prime Minister of Australia endeavoured to make himself a hero, but is to-day in his proper place. It was a most remarkable egg, and one which hatched something after it had been broken.
– That is a very old joke.
– The honorable Minister is very impatient. He does not like to hear the truth.
– This is a tragedy, but honorable members opposite are trying to make it a farce.
- Senator Guthrie is notable for his activity in connexion with any oppressive legislation, but when other legislation is before us he is conspicuous by his absence. This bill is an attempt to resurrect the defunct Commonwealth police force. The events of the time did not justify its creation. The circumstances of to-day likewise do not warrant this contemplated action. I should like to hear Senator Guthrie attempting to justify this legislation on a public platform in Geelong. I believe he would like to speak on the second reading debate, but Senator Duncan, the Ministerial Whip, will not allow him to do so. Therefore, we are getting his views by way of interjection. There is no justification for the measure. Ministers have become panicky. They want a cry with which to go to the country. They realize the danger since Labour is in power in five States of the Commonwealth. Their supporters are on the run in all the States.
– Oh, no.
– Even in Tasmania there is a Labour Government, and, as Senator Payne knows, it is doing good work trying to lift that State out of the condition of penury into which it was plunged during the time when Senator Payne was a Minister of the Crown.
– And there is a nice mess in. Queensland.
– Queensland is all right.
– Does the honorable senator think the railway service is all right?
– The trouble is that the wheels will not go round in Queensland.
– I admit that there is an ‘industrial dispute in Queensland, but it will not cripple that great State. Where all the people are contented there is no progress. I hope the day will never come when everybody will be so satisfied that nothing requires to be done. The Government is endeavouring to create a false impression in the minds of the people concerning the present situation. They are endeavouring to show that members of the Labour party stand for revolution, chaos, and disorder. Why did not the Prime Minister accept the challenge made by the Leader of the Labour party (Mr. Charlton) in another place, dissolve Parliament, and appeal to the electors? If Ministers had the courage to do so, I should have no fear of the result.
– No, because the honorable senator would not have to face the electors.
– That is quite true, but when the time comes I shall be prepared to meet the people. If the Government is really sincere in its belief that the people are behind this legisla- tion, now is the time to test public feel- ing. An election now would only hasten the appeal to the people, because, in the ordinary course of events, a general election will be held in February or March of next year. When it comes I shall have no hesitation in going before the people on this issue because, in my opinion, this deportation law is ultra vires.
– I was under the impression, when this measure was introduced this morning, that the sitting of the Senate would terminate at the ordinary time, namely, 3.30 p.m., to enable members of this chamber to leave for their homes by the afternoon trains. The Minister in charge of it (Senator Pearce)’ presented the case for the bill, and the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Gardiner) in due course, as was his duty replied. I thought this would end the discussion. For some reason, his first lieutenant (Senator Needham) apparently thought that his leader had not put the views of the Opposition quite so effectively as he might have done, and . accordingly he occupied a certain amount of time in supplementing Senator Gardiner’s remarks. In other words, he sought to improve upon the job which his leader had essayed. We are now within twenty minutes of the time when, according to our’ Standing Orders, the Senate should adjourn. It is utterly hopeless for me to compress a fractional part of what I wish to say on this subject within that short space of time. The Ministers, their supporters, and, for that matter, every member of the Opposition should have reasonable time to expound their views on a subject of such rare importance as this. 1 call it a measure of rare importance because in my experience of this Parliament, extending now over a period of some eighteen years, I cannot recall the introduction of a similar bill. As is well known, the reasons for its introduction are exceptional. Therefore, there is need for an exceptional remedy.
In the circumstances, it is well that members of this chamber should exercise the authority which has been conferred upon them by the Constitution. It is also as well to remind honorable senators of the great obligation that rests on their shoulders. This chamber must face the * position and discharge its legislative duties in co-operation with another place. No other institution can take the place of the Senate. In view of the special position occupied by this chamber, its members should possess certain qualifications for the proper discharge of their duties. I said just now that the task before the Senate was one of rare importance. In the first place, we must have courage to face the problem before us, because, whatever may be said to the contrary, a grave problem confronts the Commonwealth Parliament at the present time. In the second place, we must have the quality of toleration; that is to say, we must be tolerant in the expression of our own views and tolerant with respect to views of honorable senators opposite. In the third place, we must exhibit that spirit of good-will without which we cannot approach the performance of our task with any degree of confidence. Starting with these essential qualifications as a body, we should be able to discharge our duty with credit to ourselves and to the satisfaction of the people. I repeat that the problem with which we have to deal is one of rare occurrence. The present deplorable situation is the creation of some misguided people in this country. -I remind honorable senators that we are beset at present, and may continue to be for some time, by many almost insuperable difficulties. We are a handful of population in charge of a continent set in a lonely sea. We have to develop and preserve it, and hand it down, with all the freedom that its people now enjoy, to those who come after us. We are confronted with difficulties which will tax all our ingenuity, and the finest qualities that we possess. But when to those difficulties, for which nature or circumstance is responsible, we have added another that is created by some misguided citizens; when we see the Commonwealth Government, which is the supreme authority, opposed by a subordinate government, we must admit that we are faced with a situation of no mean order. The magnitude and peril of that situation will exact the severest tribute of those qualities which are necessary to enable us to discharge our duty fully, fearlessly, and adequately. We have been told that this measure, and the act of which it is a counterpart, may later be found to be ultra vires and worthless. The meanest intelligence, however, is capable of grasping the fact that so long as any measure that has been passed by the Commonwealth Parliament remains law, it must not be violated by any individual or subordinate government. When the people of the Commonwealth decided to federate 25 years ago, they imagined that they were creating an institution that would secure for them peace, order, and good government on a wider and much more effective scale than they then enjoyed. Yet to-day the position is that a law which was passed in the most deliberate manner by the elected representatives of the people, is to be either brought into contempt by some subordinate government or allowed to remain a. dead letter. Was such a state of affairs ever contemplated? On the contrary, it was considered that any law passed by the Commonwealth Parliament would remain on the statute-book and be enforced until it was repealed. We now find ourselves challenged. When a law, which has been placed upon the law tablets of this Commonwealth, is being disregarded and repudiated by a State Government, it is time for us to say whether we intend to discharge our duties or become the menial, subservient tools of that or any other State Government. Either we must fearlessly and courageously discharge the duty that has been cast upon us, or repudiate our trust and go back to the people with the honest and frank statement that we are afraid to do what we were sent here to do. I am not afraid to perform my duty, and it is because I am of this opinion that I support the Government, which holds a similar view. Do honorable senators who applaud the action of the New South Wales Government say that the whole, which is the Commonwealth, is subordinate to its part ? Do they mean that the part should be greater than the whole? Do they mean that the tail shall wag the dog, instead of the dog wagging the tail? If they mean that the States, which have been enjoined to fulfil the sacred constitutional obligation of helping the Commonwealth to execute its laws, are justified in opposing those laws, the logical conclusion is that the part is greater than the whole, and that the tail ought to wag the dog. I believe that we have not yet arrived at that stage, and that that does npt fit in with the sentiments which were held when the Federation was established.
I have said enough to indicate that a serious problem confronts Australia. Some gentlemen who criticize, this proposal of the Government say that no difficulty, no problem, exists; that we should go on as we have been going regardless of what is happening in the industrial field. What is happening ? Not only is the law of the Commonwealth being flagrantly broken, but the well-being of the citizens of this country, that this Government was created to conserve, is being trampled under foot. The facts are very simple. We are being asked to share in a dispute that had its origin a long way from Australia. I go further, and say that we are being asked to accept the largest and greatest share in that dispute, to decide which a mere fragmentary part of the British seamen have chosen Australia as the battleground. What has this country done that it should be made the battleground for the settlement of a dispute that was created outside Australia? Have we not troubles enough of our own without being embroiled in one to which we are not a party? This is a very serious matter. The shipping industry is at the head of almost every industrial and social activity. Some persons are inclined to minimize the trouble, and say that it is only a tinpot affair. It is nothing of the kind, lt is the most serious maritime trouble that has occurred in the history of this country. I have here figures that I received recently from the Customs Department, which will give some idea of the magnitude of the trouble. During the year 1924 the amount of tonnage entered and cleared in all Australian ports by ships from the United Kingdom, was not less than 2,939,210. Foreign shipping was responsible for 1,026,871 tons, and Australian shipping for 486,170 tons. The total tonnage of shipping in , the Commonwealth last year was 4,911,136 tons. Shipping from Great Britain contributed no less than 60 per cent, of that total. Foreign shipping was confined to very respectable limits - 25 per cent, of the total - and Australian shipping was responsible for only 10 per cent. The answer to the statement that this is only a small affair lies in those figures. We are dependent upon British shipping. Therefore, the present holdup affects the lives, movements; and destiny of every citizen in the Commonwealth.
– And British seamen are receiving only £8 10s. per month.
– I shall deal with that point directly. Let us look at the way in which British shipping is distributed the world over. I have here figures that have been taken from a publication of the House of Commons, covering the six months ended June last. The total tonnage of British shipping entered and cleared was 33,000,000 tons. To northern Europe the total was 12,000,000 tons, central and eastern Mediterranean ports 2,000,000 tons; North America, 5,000,000 tons; and Australia, 1,000,000 tons. What I desire to make clear is that the British seamen, and particularly those instigating them, are trying to make Australia their battle-ground, although less than 3 per cent, of the total British shipping enters our ports. Why should they not go to northern Europe? But no; Australia must be selected. Why is Australia chosen in preference to northern Europe? It is well known that British shipping is entering Russian ports to-day, and that a big trade in wheat and timber is being done with that country. Russia, apparently, would have been an excellent battleground. The reason that it was not chosen is that the Russian Government, when it is not penalizing, imprisoning, and putting to death persons who disagree with its red programme, is working hard to suppress strikes. A man who engages in a strike in Russia under the Bolshevik regime is in a more parlous condition than any one in Europe. If he says, “ Boo ! “ it is the last “ Boo “ he says. The Russian Bolshevik Government is firmly determined to keep the people at work. That is the reason why Russia was not made the battle-ground of this dispute.
But has not Australia enough troubles of her own? Of course she has. 1 contend that every country ought to settle its own troubles in its own country. Every country ought to consume its own smoke. The British seamen decided to make Australia the battle-ground for their dispute, for the all-sufficient reason that it was the best place for -them to come to deal with it. Their leaders knew that they would find a sympathetic atmosphere here. This dispute, has been engineered carefully fully by men who ought really to have adopted an altogether different attitude. It is being fostered now by men who are totally opposed to the best interests of Labour. Unfortunately, some honorable gentlemen in this chamber arc shirking their duty; they know that they ought to speak out against the strikers, and those who are conducting the strike. But they are not doing so, for they fear it might mean their defeat at the coming elections. For this reason they will not say what they believe in their hearts to be true. They prefer to allow these Bolsheviks to upturn our whole legislative system. The men who have engineered this strike left their own country - probably for their country’s good - and came here with a deliberate intention to destroy our industrial peace.
– Why did the honorable senator come here?
– These disturbers of bur peace ought not to be allowed to con tinue their destructive work. They ought ‘ to be sent back to their own country.
– Why did the honorable senator come here?
– Will this small boy keep quiet? Let him go away and learn something.
– Tell the small boy something. Why did the honorable senator come here?
– I ask Senator McHugh not to interject.
– Senator McHugh is here by accident. If the combined imagination of his family for the lastten generations could have been exercised in one great effort it could never have imagined that one of the family would be returned to this Senate by the votes of the people. His election was an accident.
– I was born here; I was not booted out of my country like you were.
– When I decided to leave Ireland, I had the choice of every country in the world. ‘ The honorable senator had no . choice. To use a Shakespearean expression, he is like a mewling and puking infant.
– I think Senator Lynch has replied sufficiently’ to Senator McHugh. I ask him to revert to the bill before the Chair, and I ask Senator McHugh to refrain from. further interjections.
– I am glad that the Government has decided to do its duty towards these disturbers of the peace, and I am glad, also, that the overwhelming bulk of the workmen in Australia, and the trade unionists particularly, are behind the Government. They realize that this action is being taken in their interests. Let us hear what one of their own leaders has to say on this dispute. In an interview which appeared in the Argus newspaper on the 27th August, Mr. Moate, the leader of the Maritime Cooks and Stewards Union, made some interesting remarks. The paragraph reads as follows : -
Asked whether his union intended to care for the stewards of the Euripides, Mr. Moate said the stewards had disobeyed the instructions of their union, and he was not going to bring his union into conflict with the British union by countenancing such disobedience. He knew how strongly he -would feel if a similar thing were done with his men in Great Britain. The stewards of the Euripides had apparently no right to leave their vessel, and having taken this step independently their future welfare while ashore was their own affair. If the British seamen and stewards had a grievance and wanted to strike, Mr. Moate added, they should have aired their grievance and conducted their campaign in England, not, as they were doing now, embarrassing the Australian unions by making an unofficial strike here.
Mr. Moate is a champion of the workers. I have a few quotations to make from some of the strike leaders. I do not desire to give them an advertisement, so I will try to avoid calling them by their names. I will refer to the first one as Mr. XYW. In the Argus of the 22nd August he is reported to have “ advised the British seamen to leave their ships and insist upon their right.” A motion was agreed to at a meeting of the seamen in Sydney, in which the men repudiated Mr. Havelock Wilson, the executive of their union, and all the agreements entered into by them with the shipping company. Mr. Johannsen - I have said his name after all - in addressing the men on that occasion, advised them to follow the example of the Australian seamen, who were prepared to adopt any measures in order to secure a victory. Mr. Garden spoke in favour of shorter hours and a good time. He declared, “I am a bolshevik. Who would not be ? “ It is most unfortunate that the seamen have been misguided enough to take the advice of men like these in preference to that of Mr. Moate and their own leaders. It is hard to believe that they have turned their backs upon that grand old champion of the seamen, that man who has grown grey and withered in the seamen’s cause, that man who stands second only to Samuel Plimsoll in his championship of the seamen - Mr. Havelock Wilson. Mr.
Havelock Wilson and the executive of the unIon were opposed to the men striking, but, unfortunately a remnant of the men, preferred to accept the advice of the wreckers in Australia rather than that of their own leaders. Unfortunately, also, they are being encouraged by those who should know better. We can imagine what Senator Barnes would say if a section of the Australian Workers Union flouted his authority and denounced him. If the Western Australian section did so, for instance, Senator Barnes would be over there in a few hours looking for the heads of those who had been so disloyal. Ishould like to see how Senator Gardiner1 and some other honorable senators opposite would deal with men who had floutedtheir union executive. They would be intensely annoyed, it would be only human. Let them then consider what must be the feelings of Mr. Havelock Wilson, who for 50 years has been the great champion of the seamen, and has done more to improve their conditions than any other man, with the exception of Samuel Plimsoll. 1 realize, and have always said, that trade unions are the bulwark of the workers. It is distressing te see trade-union leaders like Mr. Havelock Wilson denounced and betrayed, and it is distressing that union leaders in Australia, who ought to know better, are aid-1 ing and abetting’ those who are leading the betrayal. Mr. Johannsen is also reported in the Argus newspaper as follows : -
He was of opinion that whatever was said in favour of the British Empire was detrimental to the interests of the British seamen.
I assert that the Government is only doing what Mr. Havelock Wilson wants it to do. It is supporting trade unionism. Those who are fomenting this disturbance have made no secret of the fact that their intention and desire is to undermine the British Empire - that commonwealth of free nations on which the freedom of the whole world stands. That lies behind this insidious, bolshevistic effort in Australia to overturn the British Em-; pire, so that the emissaries of the communists in England may have their own way. Everything that has been said or done in the history of the British Empire has never had my approval. But side by side with that qualification I say, as one who has roamed through many lands, and been in many countries, where I could, if I chose, have stopped, that I have come back to this country with the firm belief and conviction that there is nowhere else under the sun where a person has a greater degree of freedom to work out his temporal destiny than in this fair land of ours under the Southern Cross. And when these men say that they are acting in the interests of the seamen they are liars. Havelock Wilson is my witness when he says that the men who aid and abet this strike are traitors to the cause of trade unionism. The underlings who are promoting this strike are only in their suckling tradeunion babyhood. They know nothing about the meaning of trades unionism. All that they have gained has been under the leadership of that grand old trusted leader of the workers in Great Britain, Havelock Wilson.. What he has had the courage ‘ to say is that which some men in this chamber are so foreign to that if they met it on the road they would not know it. He has had the courage to say, not what others have thought, but what he has had in his own mind. As Milton said, “ Give me the liberty to know, to feel, and to express the” thoughts of my mind above all liberties.” That is what we want, the glorious liberty to express the thoughts that are in our minds, and if by some modern miracle we could compel honorable senators opposite to state what we know is in their minds instead of prattling in opposition to this bill, they would be supporting it. We know it. I have not gone out of the way to get this evidence. These men have come to me spontaneously, and told me what they think of so-and-so, and they have said almost in these words, “Why not do your duty?” Yet now we are doing it we find them with their tongues in their cheeks attacking us, and opposing us for doing so. No wonder that great central spirit of the Trench Revolution, Danton, said, when sent to the guillotine by his old friend, Robespierre, “ Better a man be a fisherman, than meddle in the art of governing men.” No wonder Madame Roland said -
O liberty ! liberty ! how many crimes are committed in thy name !
T might paraphrase that, and say, “ Oh labour, glorious labour, but latter-day labour, why hast thou become the ignoble patron of hypocrisy and cant?” It has become the ignoble patron of hypocrisy and cant. In its heart of hearts it knows that the bill is right, and that the Government’s action cannot be challenged; it knows that the Government has the support of all that is good, and best, and of all the brightest intelligence among the leaders of the British seamen, yet it seeks to deny it. And honorable senators talk about taking up the cudgels. Senator Barnes never dreamed of taking up the cudgels for the unfortunate foreign seamen engaged in 25 per cent, of the Australian trade. He talks about the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of women.
– I take great exception to Senator Lynch charging me with saying anything about women, and I think he should be called to order.
– As Senator Barnes has taken exception to Senator Lynch’s remark, I must ask Senator Lynch to withdraw it.
– Certainly. I am very sorry.
– I think it was a well-staged “bull.”
– In trying to carry on the political work of the country, we have to contend against the effort so repeatedly made by gentlemen who obtain high and honorable positions in Parliament not to confine themselves to actual facts, but- to rely on whatever Heaven has blessed them with, and blessed them very stingily, in the shape of inventive faculties. They invent stories about this Government and the party in power, and about what they propose to do. It is only an adaptation of the ancient practice of poisoning wells in advance of an army. Chivalry has existed through all the ages, but there have always been an inferior few. Just as in the chivalrous old age a few indulged in the practice of poisoning wells in front of an advancing army, so that the gallant heroes of those armies could not stand against a most insignificant foe, to-day we have men engaged in the practice of poisoning ahead the wells of public opinion. In fact, it is the chief stock-in-trade of some honorable members of this Parliament. What are they saying? I never make an assertion without giving chapter and verse for it. I hope I shall always keep my feet firmly planted on the granite base of truth. When these men are not engaged in praising themselves, and in taking credit for virtues they have never possessed, they are formulating proposed actions on the part of others. Among a long list of prospective political misdemeanours they attribute to this party are the following: - (1) We are in favour of a reduction of wages; (2) we are killing trade unionism; (3) we are doing violence to the political susceptibilities of a State of the Commonwealth; (4) we are supporting the action of Lord Inchcape, the shipping master of the Old Country. Why is this done? It is done with the avowed object of poisoning public opinion against us, in the hope that when the time comes’ they will get a verdict in their favour. There is not a shadow of truth in any of their accusations. It is a malicious lie to say that we .are in favour of a reduction in wages, when no other government has gone out of its way more than the present Government has done to raise the standard of the workers in this country. We heard prophecies that all the legislation placed on the statute-book by the Labour party would be scrapped by the present Government. That Labour legislation, stands intact today. But what Government passed the Superannuation Act, increased the oldage pensions, and appointed board after board to give better treatment to the public servants? It was the National Government that did it. And when it was a matter of amending the Navigation Act to remedy the grievances of seamen, it was the same Government that fathered it. Yet these facts do not stop these gentlemen from saying that we are the enemies of the workers. Let me recall the hollow hypocrisy of this allegation apart from its untruth. Yesterday Senator Gardiner said that of the total population of the Commonwealth, 99 per cent, were manual workers, and the odd 1 per cent, he called the moneyed class. I am not disposed to controvert the honorable senator’s statement of the case, but is not the position which he occupies in this chamber a sad commentary upon his policy. If what he said in the past was in the interests of that 99 per cent, of the population he should be on this side of the chamber to-day, and we should be sitting in opposition. But we are in power, and without telling any lies in order to get into power.
Next, as to the question of killing trade unionism. What has not been done by the Government to foster trade unionism ? In every contract issued from a Government department there is a special provision enjoining on the contractor the payment of wages in keeping with the proper standards of labour rule. What is wrong with that? It was said by an old Roman philosopher that his enemy lived by crime. If ever a political party has lived in these latter days by systematic lying it is the party opposite.
– Mr. President, I object to that. It is a damned lie!
– I ask Senator Lynch to withdraw that statement, which Senator McHugh has classed as objectionable, and which I also consider objectionable.
– I withdraw it.
– Now I ask Senator McHugh to withdraw the statement which he made, and which was just as offensive as that of Senator Lynch.
– I withdraw it
– I submit that the withdrawal by Senator Lynch is not sufficient.
– I am the judge of that.
– Every opportunity is taken in the most unscrupulous and unblushing way to blacken the character of the Nationalist party, with the avowed purpose of gaining some advantage. I have given an example of the things which are so sedulously promulgated in this country for the avowed purpose of bringing the Nationalist party into unpopular favour and raising the latter-day Labour party into popular favour - all brought about by what the Old Book, on which the Christianity of the world has been founded, describes as lying, systematic lying. If we can tax our patience, let us come, if we can, to the case sought to be made out against the passage of this bill. In the first place, we hear the charge from the left of the chair that we are wanting in courage. Courage, as
Ave know, is that moral quality which enables one to face great odds against the success of a venture. If, by honorable senators’ own showing, we are going to our doom and are to be relegated to obscurity, we must have courage to embark on a plan which invites public hostility. Therefore, we cannot be charged, in the one breath, with lack of courage, and at the same time with having it. If we are engaged in an effort, in the face of hostile action, and are likely to be condemned, we must possess courage to engage in it. Yet we bave the statement from Honorable senators opposite that we do not possess courage. Next comes the statement from these political soothsayers opposite that we are rushing to our doom and are digging our own graves. Why, then, do they rush forward to take the spades away from us ? Why do they not let us dig our own graves in peace and certainly without abuse ? They should say “ Hear, hear !” to us, instead of rushing forward and wresting the spades from our hands. In the action the Government is taking it is looking neither to the left nor to the right, and, notwithstanding what may be said to the contrary, it is doing it3 duty in the interests of the people of this country. It has been given a trust which it must honour, and the’ course it has adopted in this instance is a recognition of that responsibility. The public welfare has been grossly outraged, and law-abiding, honorable, and deserving citizens of Australia have been thwarted and injured at every turn. A point has been reached where the men engaged in the shipping trade cannot seek an engagement without interference. Many are unable to obtain the wherewithal to provide themselves and their families, with the food they need, the clothes they must wear, and the beverages they require. An influence has been operating between the citizen and his objective. We have a Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act on the statute-book - a legal tablet placed there by a Labour government - and every strike which has occurred since that act was passed has been illegal Honorable senators opposite and those with whom they are associated outside have kept their tongues in their cheeks, and have actually assisted in the violation of that law. The Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act is one which you, Mr. President, and others who were the fathers of the Labour movement, assisted to place upon the statute-book. But after having converted public opinion to the necessity for such legislation, those whom it was to benefit openly flouted it. The act provides a means whereby the workers in Australia can obtain higher wages and improved conditions, but those who should have been its stoutest champions have, stood idly by and allowed it to be torn to shreds, so to speak, without uttering a word of protest. . It has nearly always been the representatives of the powerful unions who at certain salient points on the highway of our industrial and civic endeavour have openly prevented men from obeying the law which they so keenly sought in earlier years. . The financial and numerical strength of the more powerful unions was such that the weaker and poorer organizations had to suffer in consequence of selfish action involving an interruption in industrial effort. What was once regarded as the bulwark of trade unionism has been trampled in the dust. Those who have fomented these troubles have never been denounced by honorable senators opposite and those outside with whom they are working. Present conditions must cease. I know what our arbitration laws have done, and, as Senator Needham knows, I took my share of the responsibility of carrying out that unpopular task of telling men to respect its awards, although it might have meant a reduction in wages. I was told that my action would bring about my political downfall, but instead of listening to these malicious liars who wished to bring about my defeat, the electors returned me to the State Parliament, and later to this Parliament on several successive occasions.
I recognize that the Government is confronting a situation of no mean proportions, but it must be faced. We have been informed that in consequence of the action which it is suggested may possibly be taken, certain individuals will be sent out of the country. Do honorable senators really believe that that will be punishment? Wherein lies the penalty? Have we not been told over and over again, by persons whose names I need not mention, that they are making an avowed and determined effort to overturn the institutions of this country?
– Why not give these men’s names?
– I am referring to Garden, Walsh, and Johannsen. Have not they said that our legislation, public institutions, and economic life are at variance with their beliefs? If their surroundings are uncongenial, would we not be doing them a favour by sending them to some country where the conditions more closely conform to their desires? Are we not doing them an injustice in allowing them to remain in a country where the conditions are so utterly at variance with those which they favour?
– Why send them away at all?
– I wish to deal kindly with them and assist them in reaching a country where their lives will be happier. The face of the Government has been almost slapped away by turning cheek after cheek ; but to use a humble phrase, “The worm is now beginning to turn.” We have too long been trodden upon. The constituted authority of this country has been ignored, but at last these three or four unfortunate men may have to leave Australia. I use the word “unfortunate,” because I have a higher regard for them, since we know where they stand, than for those who skulk in the background and who assist in creating an atmosphere which produces such wild and lawless men.
– The honorable senator has exhausted his time.
– After the speech of the last speaker, I hope we shall get down to a cooler and saner atmosphere. During the hour that I have listened to Senator Lynch he has said very little that has any bearing whatever upon the measure before the Senate. This bill has a close relation to measures passed by Parliament a short time ago, one of which was an amending Immigration Bill, which gave the Government power to deport certain persons. The Government finds, however, that the Government of New South Wales declines to do that which it desires, because that Government and the people supporting it will not stand for anything that is anti-Australian, antiBritish, or antediluvian and foreign to the fundamental principles of British justice. I regret that during the discussion on the Immigration Bill and the measure now before us honorable senators opposite engaged in personalities instead of dealing with the principles which those measures embody. Why should there be any necessity to introduce this bill, or to place an amending immigration act upon the statute-book ? It is true that there was a dispute amongst seamen engaged in the Australian coasting trade, and the Government, instead of assisting to settle it in a peaceful way, declared that it would have to be a fight to a finish. It did nothing to bring about a peaceful settlement. It was left to industrial leaders in this and another State to intervene, and as a result of negotiations an understanding was reached under which it was agreed that no more strikes should occur in the coasting trade for two years. The present dispute, however, is between seamen engaged on British ships and British ship-owners. A number of seamen on British ships in Australian waters decided, of their own volition, to strike against a reduction of 20s. per month in their wages. Since then, the names of office-bearers of the Australian Seamen’s Union have been mentioned in connexion with the dispute. The speeches of honorable senators supporting the Government have been made for the purpose of inflaming the passions and prejudicing the minds of the people against the executive officers of the Australian Seamen’s Union. It is not proposed, I presume, to summon them before the board for anything that happened in respect of a dispute that was settled a few weeks ago. For what reason, then, are they to be required to appear before the board? Are we to understand that any office-bearer of an industrial organization who sympathizes with and pledges himself to support men on strike engaged in overseas vessels is to be brought before the board. That, apparently, is the charge that will be levelled against them. They are not responsible for the dispute. A manifesto issued by the President of the Seamen’s Union, published recently in the daily press, stated that the British seamen in Sydney and at other Australian ports acted spontaneously. Having ceased work, they approached the local Seamen’s Union with a request for assistance, but made it clear that they had determined on their course of action before approaching the local body. The British seamen ceased work without any advice from officials of the Australian Seamen’s Union. It is true that, when appealed to, the Australian seamen pledged their support to their British comrades. I know it has been said that the officials of the union referred to really run the organization. The same statement is made of every industrial organization whenever a big dispute takes place. In this case, proof to the contrary is readily available. The following resolution, carried at a meeting of seamen engaged in the coasting trade at Newcastle, was published in the daily press a few days ago:-
That we will do everything in our power to frustrate any attempt to take our leaders out of the country and would suggest that 80 per cent, of the Australian seamen should be deported, because their leaders have only carried out the seamen’s instructions in what they have done to support their comrades overseas.
A similar resolution, carried at a meeting in Adelaide, shows clearly that the great majority at least of members of the Seamen’s Union are of the same opinion as their responsible leaders, namely, that British seamen on strike in Australia are deserving of sympathy and every consideration. Honorable senators supporting the Government seem to have lost sight of the fact that our existing courts of law are still available. It will be admitted, I suppose, that even garroters, bushrangers, and murderers are entitled to a fair and free trial by jury. If found not guilty, they are acquitted, but if found guilty they are adequately punished. If existing courts of law in Australia are competent to deal with men charged with the crimes I have mentioned, surely they are competent to deal with offences - that is, if any have been committed - that may be charged against men associated with the present industrial trouble. Up to the time when this Government took office, the belief was entertained that all men were equal before the law. Recent legislation passed by this Government has shattered that belief. It makes invidious distinctions. It denies to men engaged in industrial disputes that right of fair trial conceded to garroters, bushrangers, and murderers. Officers of the Seamen’s Union, enjoying the confidence of their fellows, merely carry out their instructions. Does any honorable senator believe that, if the officers are brought before this biased board and, if convicted, deported, other men will not be appointed to the positions filled by the deported leaders, and that the organization will not go on as before. If Australian born men are appointed to the vacancies, they cannot be deported.
– Exactly. We are hoping that they will think more of Australia .than outsiders do.
– I have yet to learn that the leaders of the Australian Seamen’s Union are foreigners in the true sense of the term. It has been left to this Government to define a foreigner as a man born in Britain, notwithstanding that he may have lived in this country for 30 years, reared a family here, and obeyed its laws. We are now told that if a Britisher is appointed to a responsible position in an Australian trade union, and if, in giving effect to the mandate of his fellow members, he becomes involved in any big industrial dispute, he may be regarded as a foreigner and deported. Australia is the only British dominion where a Britisher, under an act of Parliament, may be defined as a foreigner. We hear a good deal about a certain industrial dispute.. Everything is so peaceful that, if it were not for the scare head-lines in the newspapers, one would hardly know that there was a dispute in progress. There has been no disorder, no destruction of life and property; in fact, it is one of the most peacefully-conducted industrial disputes we have had in Australia for a long time. This proposal to distinguish between Australian born and British born industrial leaders is a doubtful advertisement for our immigration policy, because we shall have to tell British people, who are thinking of migrating to Australia, that, if they become prominently associated with trade unionism, and get involved in an industrial upheaval, we have legislation on our statute-book to deport them.
– If they were told that, it would not be true.
– The people of Great Britain will be told, that, and the statement will be true. Those honorable senators opposite who, in former years were associated with the Labour movement, know that, but for the fact that, in the years gone by, men were prepared to take the consequences of their actions, unionism would not be in the strong position it occupies to-day. Some of them would never have seen the inside of these legislative halls but for the wholehearted assistance of the men and women engaged in the workaday unionistic world. Yet we find them either introducing or supporting coercive legislation such as we have had before us recently. Senator Pearce is usually cool when introducing measures in this chamber. To-day, however, he worked himself into a state of frenzy and fury. In an endeavour to play upon the emotions of honorable senators opposite he referred to certain actions as “ anti-British.” I was unable to follow his argument for the reason that the men on strike on British ships are Britishers, and no doubt many of them played a part in the world’s war. If, however, he intended his remarks to apply to the bill, I cordially agree with him. This is not an Australian dispute. Australian seamen are not in any way responsible for it, but because three or four men who are prominently associated with a certain organization have taken a part in it, the belief is entertained by some honorable senators opposite that if they were got rid of everything would be quiet and peaceful. That is an insult to the intelligence of the members of the organization. No one seriously believes that any dispute will be settled by the deportation of men who express opinions- that are endorsed by their fellows. I vigorously object to the deportation of anybody who is associated with an industrial organization. I know that my remarks will have little or no effect upon honorable senators opposite. It should, however, be clearly understood by those who vote for this measure that it is a direct attack 11nm organized labour throughout the Commonwealth. If these men were not officebearers in a certain union no action would be taken. ‘ Because they play a part in that organization, and carry out the instructions of its members they are to be deported without the opportunity to be tried by a jury that is given to even the worst criminal in Australia. What offence have they committed? Have we no laws under which they can be dealt with ? If they have committed an offence why has ont the Government charged them with it ? Honorable senators cannot prove that there is any charge against these men other than that they are prominently associated with a certain union. Senator Lynch had a great deal to say about fair play and justice. Does ‘ he stand for this class of legislation? If he does, I fail to understand what has come over him. Surely there is a right and a wrong way to proceed. This is not the right way. It is totally dissimilar from the way in which governments in other parts of the world have proceeded. There are maritime disputes to-day in England, Canada, and South Africa, but the Governments of those countries do not even hint at action such as this.
– What about the Lyons case?
– What was done in New Zealand has nothing to do with what is proposed in Australia. So far as I know, there is not a country in the world that has deported men in the manner that is proposed by this Government. There is no warrant for the bill. There was no justification for passing what we know as the Deportation Act. If the men whose names have been so (frequently mentioned have broken the laws of this country, those laws should be put into operation, and they should be tried as other offenders against the law are tried.
– They have already been tried.
– Because a man has been convicted once, should he not be brought before the same courts if he offends again?
– It shows that he is an undesirable.
- Senator Elliott proposes to set up a new standard. His argument is that if a man engages in industrial warfare, and is punished by a court, he shall no longer have the right to be tried by that tribunal, but shall be dealt with by a special tribunal. What kind of trial would these men get from honorable senators opposite, who are so biased that they would find them guilty before hearing their defence? Let us assume that the board was composed of Senators Elliott, Lynch, and Guthrie. Such a board could not, and would not, be impartial, because those honorable senators are blinded by prejudice, and their minds would be made up before these men appeared before them. I have heard Senator Lynch say what he would do. It is in very bad taste for honorable senators, before the trial takes place, to say what they would do.
– Is the honorable senator aware that the chairman of this board was specially chosen by a Labour Government for a high judicial position?
– That has nothing to do with this matter.
– Is not the honorable senator reflecting upon his honour and honesty?
– Admitting that he was appointed for a special purpose, that is quite distinct from the. purpose for which this board has been created. The Government would be extremely foolish if, having a certain objective, it did not select men who would do what it desired to have done.
– The honorable senator has made a gross reflection upon Mr. Canning.
– I say fearlessly that if the board has not been appointed for the purpose of deporting these men, there is no necessity for it.
– The honorable senator has made an equally gross reflection upon the Labour Government of Western Australia.
– There is no Labour nominee on this board.
– Mr. Canning was selected by the Western Australian Labour Government for a high judicial position.
– I repeat that there is no Labour nominee. on the board that was recently appointed by the Commonwealth Government.
– Does the honorable senator want to have Labour men on it?
– I do not want any hoard. The courts of this country are competent and trustworthy enough to deal with offenders against the law. It is an insult to the judiciary, and to the intelligence of the people of Australia, to appoint this board. Let us discuss this matter from the stand-point of principle. Do we, or do we not, believe in trial by jury ?
– -Why is the honorable senator advocating the cause of these bolsheviks ?
– We are standing steadfastly to certain principles that are fundamental. No one who has any sense of justice or fair play can support a measure of this kind. What is its object?
– To authorize the appointment of policemen.
– For what purpose?
SenatorReid. - To serve summonses on behalf of the Federal Government.
– And to serve them on men who are associated with industrialism. A new crime has been added to the list. Henceforth “ sympathy with and support for men on strike “ is to be punishable by deportation. In the view of some honorable senators opposite it is a more serious offence than murder, garrotting or bushranging.
– That is a foolish statement.
– I challenge the honorable senator to disprove it.
– It is too outrageous to require that.
– On the contrary, it is perfectly true. It is for that reason that honorable senators on this side of the chamber are so strongly denouncing the bill.
– Not strongly, but noisily.
– It is not my fault if my voice is louder than that of Senator Kingsmill.
– I shall be glad if the honorable senator will keep going. He is making a certainty of my return at the next election.
– So in the view of Senator Guthrie support or opposition to this bill is to be the acid test?
– The honorable senator is making it so.
– The bill is to authorize the appointment of a police force and for other purposes. What other purposes? The Minister gave us no information on that point. Sub-clause (1) of clause 2 reads -
The Attorney-General may appoint, or may authorize the appointment of, so many Peace Officers, of such ranks or grades, as he deems necessary for the preservation of the peace throughout the Commonwealth.
Apparently the Government intends to appoint a large and an expensive force. “ Ranks or grades “ would not be required if the object of the bill was merely to enable summonses to be served. The Government ought to give us some information on the salaries it proposes to pay. A police force was appointed a few years ago, which we were told was to be a temporary force, but it cost the country several thousand pounds. I am not sure that, the men who were appointed are not still in the Government service. So far as we know, they are still clothed with the power that was” then conferred upon them. If summonses are to be issued, why could they not be used to serve them ? In my opinion, there is no necessity whatever for this bill,” the proposed police force, or the board that has been appointed. If any of our citizens have violated our laws let them be tried in our law courts in the ordinary way, and let the presiding judge or magistrate deal with them according to. their guilt or innocence. The members of the Labour party stand steadfastly by the fundamental principles of British justice. We hold and emphasize on every possible occasion that all men should be equal before the law. The Government holds different views, and for that reason we intend to lose no opportunity to criticize, condemn, and denounce it.
– Does the honorable senator know how revolutionary agitators are dealt with in America? They are sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment and then deported. I have a case before me at this moment.
– T am concerned with Australia, and not America. Our duty is to legislate in the interests of our people. I believe that the great majority of the people of Australia are opposed to the object that the Government has in introducing this bill. Senator Guthrie.- That is the biggest insult that has ever been offered to our people.
– It is an insult to assume that they do not believe in trial by jury and in the proper administration of justice. I shall lose no opportunity of vigorously denouncing this and every other measure which I believe will result in a violation of the fundamental principles of British justice. I am quite satisfied that the people will realize that those who vote for the bill are against trial by jury, and that those who vote against it believe in constitutional methods of government.
.- I consider it to be my duty to express my views on this bill. At the outset, let me say that I was returned to the Senate by the electors of Tasmania because of certain platform utterances which I made and believed to be in conformity with the principles of the Labour party. As president of the Australian Labour party in Tasmania, and as the holder of many official positions in the Labour movement there, I have frequently expressed my utter disapproval of. and my undying hostility to, the communistic doctrines that are being preached in this country. I told the electors of Tasmania, prior to the last election, that the Labour party did not believe in communism, and would oppose it and every similarly extreme doctrine. I believe that my colleagues expressed the same sentiments. At any rate, I intend to give effect to my pledges by voting for this bill. I consider it to be my duty to adopt every means in my power to oppose communism. The doctrine is not only dangerous to the workers themselves, but also to the existence of trade unions and the advancement of the Labour movement. It threatens the welfare of our people, and it may even have a dire effect on the British Empire itself. Holding these views, I consider I should be false to the electors who have supported me and whom I have represented for a quarter of a century if I did not adopt every reasonable measure to oppose it. I shall endeavour before I resume my seat to prove that it is already seriously affecting the Labour movement in Australia, and is sapping the very life-blood of our whole economic structure. Some little time since we gave the Government power to deport from this country those who held and advocated these dangerous communistic views. Seeing that the object of the bill now before us is to provide the machinery to make effective the power to deport, we are individually responsible for it. If, as a Labour leader and a Labour member,
I believe that the communistic element in this country is detrimental to the interests of the people and the Labour movement. I think it my duty to say so. No other Labour man, with the exception, perhaps, of Mr. Birrell, in South Australia, has taken up my attitude and endeavoured to point out where the workers have been misled, and to keep them in the right path. My attitude is in the interests of misled, and to keep them in the right the workers themselves. It is the duty of Labour leaders to. speak. Why has not the Leader of the Labour party in the Federal Parliament spoken?
– Or the Leader of the Labour party in the Senate?
– Yes, or the Deputy Leader. Do these leaders of Labour believe in the communist movement?
– Evidently they do.
– They do not. They have debarred communists from becoming members of the organization to which we belong; but the only way in which they can give real expression to their obpjection to them is by giving the Commonwealth Government authority to deal effectively with them. They do not believe in strikes; they believe in the principle of arbitration - I do, at any rate, and when I believe that the workers are being led astray, I tell them so - yet they remain silent. They are either afraid of telling the workers the truth or are anxious to make - I do not know whether I ought to say it - political capital out of what is taking place. We are not in Parliament for our own political gains.
– Because the honorable senator has had the courage to say what he thinks, he has been told to get out of the Labour party.
– The Leader of the party in the Senate told me the other day that I am a non-Labour member. He wanted to force me to sacrifice the convictions I have held and cherished for many years. While the workers are led astray, and the sacred edifice of arbitration, built up by the Labour movement for years, is threatened with destruction, the leaders of Labour in this Parliament prefer to remain silent and let certain individuals work their baneful influence among the workers of Australia. If only they had spoken out there would have been no trouble and no need for this bill. Even at the risk of being called anti-Labour, I shall lend my support to this bill. First of all, we have to ascertain whether communism is a dangerous element in Australia, and in order to prove that it is I shall quote the words of a gentleman who is very prominent in the industrial movement. I am not afraid to mention names. Mr. Jock Garden, secretary of the Trades and Labour Council in Sydney, went to Moscow in 1922 to attend a bolshevik conference. The head-quarters of the communist movement are at Moscow. The Third Internationale has its headquarters where it can be controlled by the Soviet Government of Russia, and Mr. Garden, who was the accredited representative of the communist movement in Australia at the conference of 1922, is reported in all the newspapers as having made the following speech there : -
The Communist party in Australia is able to direct 400,000 workers. It is based on the neuclei system. Every union has its neuclei from twenty down to two, and all the neuclei leaders must meet once a week. The I.W.W. have now come in with us and operate inside the craft unions to direct policy, and the communist party formulates this policy. The executive of the Labour Council in New South Wales is fully controlled by the communists.
Now we can understand why some of the Labour leaders have been afraid to speak at this juncture. Mr. Garden went on to say -
Out of twelve members eleven are avowed communists. We find we are able to change the policy of the Labour party, too.
I object to that most strongly. The Labour party should not be controlled by these individuals.
– Neither is it.
– Mr. Garden says that it is.
– He is a liar! ‘
– If it is not, let Senator Graham come over to this side and prove that he is opposed to these men by voting for this bill. Mr. Garden went on to say -
We changed the objective from nationalization to socialization-
I know that that is true, because I had something to do with the conference at which this was done - by revolutionary, political and industrial action. The council directs the struggles for the abolition of capitalism, and this can only be accomplished when the trade unions act in perfect unity with the revolutionary political party of the working classes.
He says that eleven communists control the whole of the industrial movement in New South. Wales.
– Labour members are as puppets to them.
– I should not like to say that that is so, although it looks extremely like it. We have further evidence that Mr. Garden is a communist in the list of those who form the executive of the Third Internationale. Their names are Lozovsky, Dimitrov, Watkins, George, Tomski, Pruchniak, Kunitariodudo, and there are a number of other unpronounceable names. At the end of the list is the name of Mr. Jock Garden, as the representative of Australia.
– What has Labour got down to?
– I want to preserve Labour from its so-called friends who are really its enemies, and that is why I am voicing these opinions in the Senate. I want the Labour movement to prosper. Here is an opportunity for its leaders. If I were a leader of the party now, with full authority-
– The honorable senator would have been if he had been straight.
– No one can accuse me of not being straight. Whatever opinions I hold I express. I am not afraid to do so. I am not like other honorable senators, who have told me in private their disapproval of certain individuals, but are afraid to express it publicly. Is life worth living if we have to deny our own convictions and smother them up ? And so I may say to my fellow Labourites here, “ Speakthe truth ; say what you believe, no matter what the consequences may be.” I have told the Senate that the communists threaten not only the industrial movement, and the welfare of Australia, but also the existence of the British Empire. We have verification of this in a report in this morning’s Argus of certain speeches delivered at a meeting held yesterday in Sydney.For instance, Mr. Jock Garden said : -
He had come to the conclusion that the sooner the British Empire got a holiday the better. If the British Empire stood for 84 hours a week, and 30s. a week for wives and children, then it was time for the workers to consider the British Empire.
He was not courageous enough to say that he believed in the destruction of the Empire. But there was the veiled insinuation in his remarks that he did believe in that. Then we have another man by the name of Jacob Johannsen. He comes from Holland, and I believe he is of German descent. He made a speech at the same meeting. He said: -
The working class, in fighting for better wages and conditions, had been fighting for the wrong thing. Their only hope and outlook was the abolition of the existing system of society, termed “ capitalism.” That system was responsible for all wars, and the suffering and misery endured by the working class. He was of opinion that whatever was said in favour of the British Empire was detrimental to the interests of the British seamen. The British Empire had only been built upon the degradation, starvation, and misery of the class to which he belonged.
If that is not a straight-out declaration that the aim and object of these men is the destruction of the British Empire, I do not know what it is. As Senator Pearce pointed out, the objective of the communists is to destroy the Empire, which they know is the bulwark standing between civilization and anarchy. We read in the paper the other day that Mr. Trotsky, who once was outlawed by the bolsheviks, but succeeded in getting back again, has published a book entitled Where is England Going? in which he points out that if the communist movement is to prosper, it is essential, first of all, to destroy the British Empire. We have these men in Australia. There is Mr. Garden-
– He is doing well.
– He has never done an honest day’s work. He came to Australia as a Scotch parson, and was later employed as a temporary clerk in the Defence Department. So far as I know, he did not go to the war.
– In the Defence Department he would be able to perform good work for Germany.
– I do not know what happened to him there.
– He got . the sack when he was found out.
– And probably he deserved it.
– Why did not the Minister push the thing then right to the limit?
– I am sorry we did not.
– Since then he has’ been employed as secretary of the Trades and Labour Council. He is a parasite, as he has been living and imposing upon the workers for years. All he has done has been to preach the gospel of communism. What has Jacob Johannsen done in the interests of the welfare of the people of the Commonwealth ? All he has done is to preach the dangerous doctrine of communism, which threatens the safety of the people, and he has openly stated that his objective is the destruction’ of the. British Empire.
– He is respected by the party opposite, is he not?
– I am not defending him. 1 intend to carry out my pledges to the electors who sent me here. I hope the Government will not play with this measure, and that Parliament will provide the necessary machinery to do the right thing. An honorable senator on the other side of the chamber-
– Which side of the chamber ?
– The side on which the honorable senator is sitting. That is the side to which I belong, and I intend to remain there until I consult the electors of Tasmania, who elected me to represent them. 1 am not going to be coerced or intimidated by statements that I am no longer a Labour man merely because I dare to differ from views expressed by some of my party.
– ± sometimes wonder on which side the honorable senator actually belongs.
– He is not on the side of the communists.
– I have sometimes been in doubt as to whether Senator Needham belongs to the Labour movement or to the communistic element. I believe in workmen having good wages and decent living conditions. We have an Arbitration Act and other acts which protect the workers, and we also have an Arbitration Court in which they can ventilate their grievances. The advantages the workers now enjoy have not been won with the assistance of such men as
Walsh, Garden, or Johannsen, who amongst other things preach the abolition of capitalism. Do honorable senators opposing the bill believe that capitalism should be abolished? The desire to possess is inherent in the human race, and no honorable senator present would object to becoming a capitalist: The love of offspring is the beginning of the desire to possess. If we destroy capitalism and the desire to acquire, we destroy one-half the incentive to human energy, and in doing so threaten the welfare of the nation. Even the baby in the cradle, before it can speak, desires to possess something. The small schoolboy desires a whistle, a trumpet, or a top, and his ambition when he reaches manhood is to amass wealth in order to provide for his offspring. It is a hollow sham to speak of the abolition of capital. All we can do is to endeavour to make the best we can out of existing conditions, and to improve instead of to destroy. False doctrines have been preached by communists with the idea, they say, of protecting the workers. Garden said he was a bolshevik because, under bolshevism, workers would have shorter hours and less work. I am an apostle of hard work. The Labour movement should realize that our Australian man-power must give of its best, and instead of opposing measures such as this, it should encourage greater effort. The hard and fast rules laid down by the trade unionists who oppose the contract system and desire to adhere to day work, are largely responsible.
– The honorable senator should adhere a little more closely to the bill.
– In the interests of the community, and of the workers especially, it is time we were protected from the false doctrines preached. The only way in which that can be done is by sending Garden back to Scotland, and by returning Jacob Johannsen to Holland, where he can preach, the doctrine of Sovietism. It may be asked if a man such as Walsh, who has reared a family of five children in Australia, should be deported ; but there would be no occasion to do so if he observed the laws of the country in which he lives. I have stated upon the platform that I would make every effort in my power to protect the Australian people, and, in this instance, the only way I can do so is by supporting the Government, which I intend to do when a vote is taken.
.- As an Australian, I consider the objective of the Government in this case will be very objectionable to a large majority of the Australian people. Perhaps honorable senators are aware that Mr. Walsh, whose name has been frequently mentioned during the debate, came to Australia many years ago, married an English women, and is now the father of five Australian- born children. What is to be done with those helpless little ones?
– They can go with him.
– If the Government intend to deport not only the man, but also his wife and family, the least it can do is to look after them in the country in which they will eventually live. If the Government thinks Walsh and others whose names have been mentioned are a menace to the community, why cannot they be dealt with by the present properly constituted legal tribunals? Personally, I am strongly opposed to the deportation of any person. The Government has taken a certain course because of something that has happened. This is an Australian problem. Legislation passed recently gives the Government power to deport certain persons who are alleged to be concerned in an industrial dispute. The attitude taken up by Mr. Lang, the Premier of New South Wales, has been referred to in this debate. All that Mr. Lang has done has been to declare that he will protect citizens of his State, and test the constitutionality of the Commonwealth law.
– And this measure is our answer to his declaration. .
– Mr. Lang has expressed his determination to resist the encroachments of Commonwealth laws that threaten the liberty of citizens of New South Wales. We should not forget that the people of Australia have certain established rights secured to them under the Constitution. We also have our courts to administer justice.
– Why do these people want to overturn our courts ?
– Apparently some people forget that laws may be particularly offensive and repugnant to others. This deportation law is offensive to me, becauseI am a man.
– Does the honorable senator believe in communism?
– Why bother our heads about that?
– Does he believe in communism?
– I will tell the honorable senator. I do not know the conditions under which people in other countries are living, and I do not know what I would do if I were living in Russia or Germany, but I think I would take a white man’s part in any country.
– Does the honorable senator approve of communism in Australia ?
– I am the head of the greatest industrial organization in this country. Our membership totals 120,000. My union has always stood for the observance of the law. Honorable senators opposite represent those who have always been against the Labour party, and have opposed the system of arbitration. My union, on the other hand, fought for the arbitration law.
– But the honorable senator makes one mistake. We are not against the workers.
– I know Senator Guthrie will say he is not against the workers. Of course, he cannot say that he is, but I tell honorable senators frankly-
– Will the honorable senator explain why so many well know communists occupy such high positions in the Labour party?
– I do not know that any communists occupy those positions.
– “Jock” Garden, for one.
– The Australian Labour party “ fired “ the communists out of their ranks some time ago. But it cannot eject the communists from the trade unions because the Arbitration Act compels trade unions to, admit to membership any man who may be following an industrial occupation, and makes application. . As president of the Australian Workers
Union I can speak with some authority. Whenever a man comes along to my union - it does not matter whether he is a communist or not - if he is a worker, my union is compelled to admit him.
– But the Labour party does not admit communists to its ranks.
– For a very good reason. The communists, whilst forming part of the Labour party organization, wished to promulgate some other doctrine, and we said to them - “ If you come into our party you will have to abide by its regulations and rules.” They wanted to advocate something else, and so we said - “ No; out you go.”
SenatorOgden. - If the communists are not fit to be associated with the Labour movement, surely they are not desirable citizens of Australia.
– I am merely telling the honorable senator what the Labour party did with regard to the communists. As I have shown, the Arbitration Act insists on industrialists being admitted as members of trade unions. We have to obey the law. Honorable senators opposite, in their ignorance, say - “ You admit that the communists have been ‘ fired ‘ out of the political wing of the Labour party, but they are still in the industrial wing.”
– Yes, and that is where they have the power.
– Who is a communist, anyhow? In all probability he is a wage-earner who has to earn his living. I do not know, but I suppose that communists are like the rest of us. Possibly they get married, and no doubt they have responsibilities. The Labour movement is so great and so grand that it can afford to ignore these people. It is allembracing, and it is quite sane. A number of people have found fault with it, but it is the one movement that has made it possible for a great many persons in this country to “ stand four-square to all the winds that blow.” No organization has done more for the people than the Labour movement. Possibly it has made mistakes, but there has never been a time when those mistakes could not be rectified by the thoughtful co-operation of the men and women in the movement. But let me get back to the bill. This measure, in my opinion, is not fit to be tossed into a spittoon. What does the Government propose to do? Enforce its authority by deporting certain people? I tell honorable senators plainly that I do not care “tuppence” for Garden, Walsh, or any one else. I would make it clear to them that if they declined to abide by the laws of the Commonwealth they would have to suffer the penalty. But surely we should not do away with trial by jury.
– The honorable senator is not a communist, I hope?
– I am trying to explain to honorable senators the foolishness of this business. Some years ago I was acting general secretary of my organization during the temporary absence of Mr. Grayndler, the general secretary, who was under medical treatment. I was trying to give effect to the wishes of my fellow members, but the Arbitration Act was put into operation, and I was fined £100. When he fined me the gentleman who represented the law said to me - “If you come here again I will give you prison.” The same treatment was meted out to my president, and to the editor of the newspaper, which is the official organ of our party. We were taken through the High Court, and an injunction order made against us. Every official of our organization - there are about 500 of them - was also named in the order.
– What had the honorable senator been doing to invoke the law?
– We were fighting the honorable senator’s people.
– And breaking the law.
– We did not think we were. I had prepared for publication certain material referring to our case, and I thought we could dodge the law.
– Your president was breaking the law, too.
– I again tell the honorable senator that we did not think we were. Mr. Blakeley, who was then president of the Australian Workers Union, wished to publish our case in Hansard. It was submitted to our legal adviser. He said, “That matter cannot be delivered.” I could not get our case placed before the people of this “country through the columns of Hansard. Do honorable senators opposite stand for that sort of thing? I do not mind engaging in a “ scrap,” and I am prepared to take a knock. This is a paltry action that the Government proposes to take. Does Senator Ogden support the provisions of the Deportation Act?
– I do, in the interests of the workers.
– I should never agree to the deportation of Senator Ogden, or any other man.
– We must all conform to the law.
– My view, too, is that the citizens of any country must conform to its laws, whether they believe in or object to them. But surely it should be fer their own countrymen to say what shall be the penalty if they offend against the law. Honorable senators opposite propose to rid their country of ‘ a “ cancer “ by passing it on to some other country.
– Does the honorable senator refer to Walsh as a “ cancer?”
– I do not call anybody a cancer. If Senator Guthrie did anything that was wrong, why should I place on another country the responsibility of dealing with him? I should deal with him myself, and give him the fairest possible trial.
– I am an Australian, and therefore could not be deported. Walsh is not.
– I sat with Walsh on a conference that was held in Australia 30 years ago. I do not know him intimately, and I often disagree with him. I do not know why Walsh should be advertised so widely. What I do know, however, is that he. married an Englishwoman in Australia. Apparently he is an advocate of Labour, and a prominent official of the Seamen’s Union.
– He is an advocate of revolution, too.
– -What of. that? No one would worry if the honorable senator held similar views. Australia has been brought to its present position by the efforts of men and women who came here from other parts of the British Empire. They were responsible for the building, up of a race that will not tolerate action such as this. Walsh and his wife settled in Australia, and they have five Australian kiddies. What will be done with those children? Do honorable senators opposite think that they can get them out of Australia? 1 say that they cannot. I do not want to shift my troubles on to any one else. If there is a citizen of Australia who commits an act that is objectionable to the people and against the law, we can deal with him under our laws, instead of sending him out of this country. Where do honorable senators propose that Walsh shall be. sent?
– Moscow is his home.
– This is foolish legislation, and it should not be seriously considered by a Parliament that is supposed to represent the considered opinion of the people of Australia. If I were in the position of Mr. Lang or the Premier of any Australian State, and the Com- monwealth Government sent its peace officers to arrest any citizen of that State, I would surround that citizen with the protection of the whole of my police force and other citizens to prevent him from being taken. Five of the States in Australia are absolutely opposed to this proposal.
– We are going to rescue the six States.
– The honorable gentleman and his confreres will do nothing of the kind. “ Their names will be anathema to the people of this and succeeding generations. Five of the States are being governed by Labour. Why, then, persist with this stupid proposal?
– Any one who votes for it will take the responsibility for his action.
– Fools rush in where angels fear to ‘ tread. As a responsible Australian citizen, I do not want the Australian statutes to be disgraced. It is not necessary to appoint a peace force to bring any one before a board. I venture the opinion that if Walsh or Johannsen were summoned to appear before a board they would do so.
Sitting suspended from 6 to 7.30 p.m.
– There is no doubt that the’ proposal to establish this police force is absolutely objectionable to a large section of our people.
– Any police force is objectionable to evil-doers.
– All the States have police forces which are able to cope with evil-doers. This trouble is centred in New South Wales because certain responsible officers of trade unions are there. It is an amazing thing to me that although the New South Wales Premier (Mr. Lang) has intimated that his Government is quite capable of dealing effectively with all the law breakers there, the Commonwealth Government says, “ You have certain men there whom we wish to arrest. If you do not arrest them, we shall.” In these circumstances it is quite possible that if the “ show down “ comes, the State Government will take a certain action.
– Does the honorable senator suggest that the State Government will instruct its police to resist Commonwealth officers?
– Anything may happen if this Government persists in its present cranky course.
– It would be revolution.
– And revolution because the Government of New South Wales, which is capable of maintaining order in that State, and is doing so, resists the intrusion of a posse of Commonwealth police. The State Government may say, “ We will not allow you to take lawabiding citizens of this State into custody.”
– Nobody has any desire to interfere with law-abiding citizens.
– Then why introduce legislation of this character? If certain persons in New South Wales are disobeying the law, let them’ be dealt with in a lawful way. Let us cease our attempts to apply these old-women methods, and do the thing properly. The New South Wales Government has said, “If certain citizens in our State deserve jail, we will jail them.” It has intimated that it will maintain law and order. Why, then, should we appoint a Commonwealth police force? It is quite possible that the entry of Commonweath police into New South Wales may cause trouble.
– Does the honorable senator say that the State Government has the right to object to this “action of the Commonwealth Government?
– Australia ought to speak with one voice, but there are some principles that must be maintained.
A certain man, named Johannsen,- has been criticized. I do not know him personally, but I know that he is a responsible officer of a responsible organization. The workers in various industries in this country have organized themselves according to their own desires. If the seamen, for instance, care to put into office a man named Johannsen, or a man named Anathema, for that matter, it is their business, and not ours. We must allow their officers to speak on their behalf, and stupid panic legislation of this’ kind will not prevent it. I do not profess to know every fact in this dispute, but I know that the British” seamen left their own country under certain conditions, and that while they were on the high seas they were notified by wireless that their wages had been reduced by £1 per month, which meant that some of them would get only £8 10s. a month. Does any honorable senator opposite suggest that’ that is a reasonable wage? A sailor who had a wife and three or four children in England could, at that rate of pay, send them only £2 2s. 6d. a week if he sent all his pay. Naturally the seamen resented the reduction in their wages, and when they reached Australia they consulted the union leaders’ here. They said, in effect, “ Will you assist us to resist this reduction ? “ What could the Australian seamen do but reply in the affirmative?
– But what was the attitude of the British Seamen’s Union?
– I am not concerned about that. I ask honorable senators opposite to tell me fairly, squarely, and frankly whether they consider £8 10s. a month a reasonable wage.
– We do not decide what wages they shall be paid.
– But the Government is attempting to force them to accept £8 103. a month.
– It is not doing anything of the kind.
– What do we pay our own Australian sailors? “ Senator BARNES. - A good deal more than that.
– Of course we do; and so we ought.
– Then how, can the honorable senator support this endeavour of the Inchcape combine, which has made huge profits out of its shipping interests, to force the English seamen to work for £8 10s. a month ?
– But did not their own union agree to it?
– Why quibble about that? The British sailor who comes to Australia and finds that his wages have been reduced by £1 a month says to the seamen of Australia, “Will you help me? Although I am in a strange country where I have no personal friends, I am prepared to fight to prevent my wife and children from being deprived of that £1 per month.” Some of them were fighting in the wars of their country.
– Is it not a fact that the Trades Hall Disputes Committee has refused to intervene in this matter?
– I do not think so. I would have heard of it if it were so. Many of us have read in our school-books the story of the English sailor whom Napoleon found on the shores of Prance building a raft. When Napoleon asked him what he was doing, he said, “ I am only trying to build a raft. I want to get back to my own country to see my mother.” Napoleon said, “Desist; a noble mother must have bred so brave a son.” And he saw that the man was sent across to England to see his mother. The same type of men are to be found to-day coming to Australia on these English ships, and when they ask us to assist them to maintain their rate of pay honorable senators support an infamous bill like this to prevent us from giving them any assistance. In other words, the purpose of this bill is to prevent English seamen from getting more than £8 10s. per month. If laws are generous and just, I will stand by them, but this bill is neither generous nor just. Honorable senators seem to forget that in this matter they are not only dealing with New South Wales, where, unfortunately, Mr. Walsh and Mr. Garden happen to be. If the same thing had happened in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, or Tasmania, there would have been just as strong a protest as wehaveheard from New South Wales.
– There is another importation in the shape of Mr. Houghton in charge of the seamen in Western Australia.
– I do not care twopence who is put in charge of the Labour movement. Every provision is made for shifting any one who is undesirable or who is not doing his work well. No one can occupy a position in a union unless he is placed in that position by the members of the union.
– Does the honorable senator say that the unions should have the power to throw out undesirables?
– They all have it.
– Then why should not the Commonwealth Government have the same power ?
– I think that the Commonwealth should have very wide powers, but I do not think that it is wise to violate the democratic sentiment of the people of Australia. The Government says that it needs Commonwealth machinery to do something that the States are not doing, but what warrant has it for saying that? There are only a few English sailors here who want the Australian sailors to help them to keep something to which they are justly entitled. If they are wrong in their conduct-
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Newland). - The honorable senator has exhausted his time.
Motion (by Senator McHugh) proposed -
That an extension of 30 minutes be granted to Senator Barnes.
– There have been no extensions during this debate.
-I do not seek an extension of time.
Question put. The Senate divided.
Majority . . . . 11
Question so resolved in the negative.
– In expressing my disapproval of the bill, I do not wish to take up much of the time of the Senate. The Government, in proposing to appoint a special police force in New South “Wales is going a step too far. We have already passed a Deportation Act, and now the Government asks us to pass a bill to permit of that act being enforced, and to allow it to take the very arbitrary action of deporting certain persons. That these persons are undesirable and a menace to the peace and good government of the country is a matter for conjecture; we do not even know their names. It has been hinted at that they are leaders of a big organization like the Seamen’s Union.
– They should comply with the law.
– This measure has been submitted to enable the Government to deport persons, who, in its opinion, are considered undesirable citizens.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - The bill does not provide for the deportation of any person; it provides for the appointment of peace officers.
– That may be ‘so, but it has a very direct bearing on the amending Immigration Bill passed by Parliament a few weeks ago, in which provision was made for the deportation of certain persons. That measure is now on the statute-book, and the Government having found that it could not, without the assistance of special peace officers, give effect to it. has introduced this bill. Whatever may have been said to the contrary by the Minister and honorable senators opposite, it cannot be denied that certain persons are to be denied the right of trial by jury which is given to every other citizen of the Commonwealth. The Government intended to place in the hands of the three members of the Deportation Board powers which should not be exercised by any three persons. It is easy to imagine other union leaders being dealt with by the Deportation Board in the same manner as it is proposed to deal with those whose names have been mentioned this afternoon.
– But the Board has already been appointed.
– I am aware of that. In all civilized countries, those who do not obey the law have to appear before a properly constituted court and be tried by a jury.
– What happened in South Africa?
– I am referring to Australia.
– The honorable senator referred to all civilized countries.
– The proposed action of the Government will unnecessarily curtail the liberties of the people, and it is obvious that this measure has been introduced with the sole object of punishing certain men who happen to be associated with the Labour movement. The industrial unrest which at present prevails in New South Wales is not of sufficient consequence to justify the appointment of a Federal police force. There have not been any disorderly scenes, but, on the contrary, the behaviour of the seamen is said to be exemplary. It is only natural that men whose wages have been reduced should endeavour to protect their interests. According to the cabled reports, the members of certain unions have decided to accept the reduced rate.
– All the unions have agreed.
– Not all. The Government is now endeavouring to force the men hack to the ships. I have a vivid recollection of what happened in Broken Hill on 25th July, 1892, when the miners refused to return to work. Armed mounted police were sent from Sydney, and the Riot Act was not read, because the atmosphere was more peaceful than it was in this chamber this afternoon.
– And 28 men were put in jail in ten minutes.
– That is not so. When it was found that the miners would not return to work, their leaders were sent to Deniliquin, one of them, Sleath, being manacled, and there they were tried before a biased judge and a jury consisting of squatters and business men, who it was certain would record a conviction. The Deportation Board should be termed the prosecution board, because all those who are unfortunate enough to come before it will be convicted. I do not know
Garden, Walsh, or Johannsen, and it is needless for me to repeat that the members of the party to which I belong are opposed to communism.
– Why support the communists ?
– I am not supporting them.
– Why allow them to be placed in such important industrial positions ?
– The communists cannot join the Labour party.
– If the honorable senator does not approve of the action proposed to be taken, why does he not suggest some other means of dealing with these men?
– I have suggested that they should be tried before a ‘jury.
– They will have to appear before a jury consisting of three men.
– Whose minds are already made up.
– That is very unfair.
– They would not have been appointed unless they were likely to record a conviction.
– The Government is endeavouring to enact a law which will make them lawbreakers.
– Nothing of the kind.
– The men whose actions do not meet with the approval of the Government have been placed in responsible positions by a majority of the members of the organization, and the Government, is now seeking a means whereby to deport them without, a proper trial. This afternoon Senator Guthrie referred to the red flag.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Newland). - There is nothing in this bill about the red flag.
– No. But it was mentioned to-day. If an able-bodied man could be led away by a red flag on a stick his outlook must be very limited. I have a great deal of respect for Senator Guthrie. The Union Jack, he says, is his flag. It is my flag, too.
– Then why does the honorable, senator sing “ The Red Flag “ ?
– I have never sung “ The Red Flag.”
– But members of the honorable senator’s party have sung it.
– They must answer for themselves. I believe in fair play for every one. For this reason I object to this pernicious measure. It will not redound to the credit of this Parliament if we pass it, and authorize the establishment of a police force to carry out the provisions of the deportation law. I have as much respect for the law as any other honorable senator, but I object to deportation being used as a weapon against any persons concerned in industrial disputes.
– Before the dinner adjournment rhetorical sparks were flying. Honorable senators opposite were remarkably eloquent as advocates for “ Walshevism,” that canker that is eating into the heart of our industrial system.. I was astounded that the representatives in this chamber of what -was once the great Labour party, but which now is discredited in the eyes of the workers, should by their speeches uphold the actions of foreign agitators in this country. It is extraordinary that they should support men who for many months past have been the declared agents of the bolshevists of Russia, and have done everything in their power to disturb the peace and destroy prosperity in Australia. These anti-Britishers, these anti-Australians, and these anti-unionists have been busily employed for many months in their nefarious work. Jacob Johannsen, to give the man his proper name, is a communist, and “ Jock “ Garden is an avowed ‘bolshevist. He is proud of the fact. As for Walsh, we know that he has disowned the British Empire time after time, so it is about time that we disowned him. These men have had the audacity to interfere in a dispute with which actually they have, no concern. The British seamen, who have been induced to cease work in Australian ports, have for the last 30 or 40 years been under the leadership of Havelock Wilson, one of the finest figures in the history of British trade unionism.. Havelock Wilson to-day has 70,000 seamen and kindred unionists behind him. A few weeks ago he and other representatives of these kindred unions in Great Britain came to an agreement with British shipowners as to future rates of pay for British seamen. Those British seamen who have ceased work in Australian ports represent only about 3 per cent, of the total membership of their union. Unfortunately, they have been misled by these foreign agitators, who have incited them to’ rebel against their own leaders. These agitators, who are supplied with money from Moscow, stand for the ideals of bolshevism, and are trying to cause disruption, and worse, in this country. Their purpose is to bring about strike after strike to cause unemployment amongst thousands of the people, with its dreadful consequences to the wives and families of all the trade unionists involved. It is astounding that the Labour party should be associated with these foreign agents and their emissaries in Australia. Senator Hannan was a good prophet this afternoon. He was a better tipster even than Vockler when he said that I was pleased that this upheaval was being. engineered by Walsh and his Moscow friends, because it would mean that I would win the next election. Any one who stands for the British Empire, the Union Jack, and fair dealing, and obedience to the laws of this country, is sure to beat another man who advocates bolshevism and stands for chaos and disruption. The Labour party, which once was a great party, has dug its grave by its support of these foreign agitators who are traitors to the Empire, to Australia, and to trade unionism. The men who are behind the present trouble .have been inciting industrialists to strike for years. Walsh and his satellites engineered the last Australian shipping strike. They failed then, and now they are endeavouring to use these misguided British seamen who are thousands of miles from their leaders to bring about disruption in this country. There is nothing that the bolshevist likes better than to cause suffering and hardship amongst the working .classes. Walsh, Johannsen, Garden, and Casey have no time for conditions that mean peace and prosperity. They stand for bolshevism and all that it means. Their one aim is to dislocate our industrial machinery, cause disruption and unemployment, so that they may preach their horrible doctrine of class hatred and cause enmity among the people. The majority of these agitators have never done an honest day’s work in their lives. They live on the workers. They incite industrialists to strike on every conceivable occasion. Otherwise they would lose their jobs. They hate the British Empire and the Union Jack. Nothing would please them better than to be able to do something to bring about the disintegration of the Empire. Their one object is to poison the minds of the workers, to preach class hatred, and cause discontent. The great majority of the people in Australia wish to get on with their work. They realize that this is a country of wonderful opportunities; a land where the conditions are better than in any’ other country in the world, and where wages are the. highest. Unhappily, on so many occasions, the workers are intimidated by a handful of tyrants. These men are not democrats. On “ the contrary, they are the greatest autocrats that have ever come to Australia. Honorable senators opposite, if one may judge from their speeches in this debate, appear to have entirely overlooked the fact that these men have been endeavouring to induce British seamen to revolt against their accredited leaders. It is extraordinary that representatives of the Labour party in this Parliament should admit that Walsh and the other agitators are accredited leaders of labour in this country. Let me read, for the information of honorable senators, a challenge issued by Mr. Cathery, the general secretary of the National Sailors’ and Firemen’s Union in Great Britain. The following cabled statement appeared in the Melbourne Press a few days ago: -
Mr. Cathery said he welcomed the press announcement from Sydney that Mr. Tom Walsh proposed to go to England for the purpose of smashing Mr. Havelock Wilson’s union. “ T would not like to suggest that Mr. Walsh was making a virtue of necessity, like the coon who said, ‘ Don’t shoot Colonel, I will come down,’” continued Mr. Cathery. “I gave Mr. -Walsh credit for taking himself seriously, but if he dared to tackle Mr. Havelock Wilson on his native heath he would get the surprise of his life.
Mr. Cathery said that he had been associated with Mr. Havelock Wilson for forty years, and he was the most successful Labour leader he had ever known, as evidenced by the way in which he had built up the Seamen’s Union, which was the world’s greatest organization of its kind. That was the reason for the request from Canada and the United States of America three years ago to Mr. Wilson “to come over here and help us.”
What an impertinence for Mr. Walsh to think that he is able to smash Mr. Havelock Wilson who, as I have shown, is the leader of the greatest union in Great Britain. The statement continues: -
Mr. Cathery emphasized the fact that the present wages agreement had not only been confirmed, firstly, by the executive council of the. union, and, secondly, by 72 branches, but also by the Ships’ Officers’ Union, representing the engineers, shipwrights, and boiler workers.
I remind Senator Hannan, who was so fierce this afternoon in his denunciation of honorable senators on this side, that the agreement referred to has been made between the British ship-owners and the accredited leaders of the British seamen. Therefore, it is not for us to say what wages shall be paid. Our duty is to look after our own affairs. We repudiate any suggestion that we believe in reducing wages in Australia. Honorable senators on this side of the chamber have done a great deal more for the workers of Australia than honorable senators opposite have done, or are ever likely to do. We believe in paying good wages, and in providing good food and working conditions. Our one object is to ensure peace, progress, and prosperity for the people of Australia. It would appear that some honorable senators opposite are prepared to support foreign agitators whose one object is to incite the workers to revolution and so cause an upheaval in this country. They are not the true representatives of Labour. We stand as pro-workers, anti-shirkers, anti-communists, and anti-Walshevists. Mr. Cathery also said -
There was a disturbance this morning outside the Stepney office of the Seamen’s Union, whose officers have been threatened by the communists.
On every occasion lawbreakers and strikers are “ egged on “ by the communists. Honorable senators opposite have the effrontery to say in this chamber that they do not believe in the communists? Yet Mr. Jock Garden, the man whom they have been lauding during the whole afternoon, openly boasts that he is a communist. There is another in the Victorian legislature, who handled the communistic funds in this city.
– That is not true.
– I shall prove it.
– I say that it is a deliberate untruth.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - Order ! I ask Senator Hannan to withdraw the unparliamentary expression that a statement made by Senator Guthrie is a deliberate untruth.
– In deference to your wish, sir, I withdraw; but I ask the honorable senator to prove his assertion, before he forgets to do so.
– I shall not forget. If the honorable senator will be patient, I shall prove the truth of every statement that I make.
– If time permits.
– Time will permit. It is palpable to every thinking person that the Walshites are agents of the bolshevists. Recent strikes have been engineered with one object. They have fitted in admirably with the strikes and disruption that took place in Shanghai, and the fresh terrible outburst in Russia. This is all part of a huge plot to smash the big unions and disintegrate the British Empire. The members of a big, well-led union? who are carrying on their work, are not men who can be turned into agitators or murderous cut-throats. A new communistic offensive was launched just when Walsh, Garden, Casey, and Johannsen commenced the trouble in Australia. It must be apparent to honorable senators that 2,000 British seamen, on landing in Sydney, would not know what hall to go to. The bolshevist sympathizers, apparently, had agents on all these vessels, inciting the men to strike immediately they landed in Australia. Walsh, Garden, and Johannsen were waiting for them on their arrival. An excellent article appeared in last Tuesday’s Herald, under the heading “Price of Communism.” “New Reign of Terror in Russia.” This is how it reads : - “ The terrorism which marked the earlier period of the Soviet regime has been revived throughout Russia,” says the Riga correspondent of the Times. “Numerous summary shootings have also been reported. These methods were for a long while suspended and their resumption is causing much alarm. The reason for ‘the resumption is not apparent, but it is stated to be due to the anxiety of the Bolsheviks as to the security of their regime.”
Evidently they were not sufficiently bloodthirsty for some of their supporters. They have, therefore, revived torture and bloodshed, which honorable senators opposite pretend do not exist, or of the existence of which they plead ignorance. The bolshevists have an agitation department, to which honorable senators opposite could very well be attached. The following quotation illustrates the methods that are adopted: -
The international scope of Moscow’s exertions makes it evident that the tricks and devices used in London, Ottawa, Shanghai, and in Sydney will be much the same. In the recent Shanghai riots the police investigated the charge that a Russian, named Dosser, who had been arrested, was a Soviet agent. Cunningly concealed in the binding of a telegraphic code book among Dosser’s possessions wasi a certificate revealing the existence of a Soviet agitation department which was formed to foment strikes in the Far East. Dosser, it was shown, was officially known as agent No. 43.
I do not know the number of Mr. Walsh, Mr. Johannsen, or Mr. Garden. The quotation proceeds -
The certificate read -
Certificate of the Agitation Department op the Russian Communist Party op Shanghai.
The bearer, Comrade Dosser, is sent by the Agitation Department, South China Section, to Hong Kong and Canton for organizing strike committees. All members of the Russian Communist party should give him every assistance.
Honorable senators opposite evidently desire to render every assistance to the agents of the bolshevists in Sydney. It goes on to say -
Activities in England.
In England,, the communists arc said to number only 5,000, but they are capable of great mischief. They have at their backs the cash which the bolsheviks have stolen in Russia, and all the elaborate organization of Moscow for promoting and perpetrating crime. With these Moscow subsidies and the aid of Moscow agents, thinly disguised, the communists have made much headway with their propaganda. The slow, steady drift of a corrosive poison is permeating organized labour. There, also, the unit of organization is the nucleus, and the chief aim is to influence the younger workers. The hand-book of the Young Communist League, with a foreword from Moscow, explains in detail how the youth is to be corrupted and brought under the iron heel of bolslievisin. It says -
The nucleus must be borne out of an ordinary dispute, such as a dismissal, wages cut, or alleged ill-treatment. The two or three communists composing it must utilize this opportunity for inaugurating their campaign to control the men. The leisure hours of the youths must be passed under communist influence.
The Sydney agents of the bolshevists have used the temporary reduction in the wages of the British seamen, with which we have nothing whatever to do, as an excuse for their present action.
– From what paper is the honorable senator quoting?
– That quotation is from the Melbourne Herald. If the honorable senator wants further condemnation of bolshevism and Walshism I can supply it to him from the columns of practically any newspaper in Australia. Honorable senators opposite think that we draw the long bow when we refer to the horrors of the mental disease of bolshevism . that was initiated by German propaganda during the war, and flourished so rapidly in Russia. The bolshevists are now endeavouring to conquer the world by means of a world-wide revolution. Many of the supporters of honorable senators opposite belong to the I.W.W. - the “I want war “ party.
– The honorable senator wants the Czar to be restored to his office; he is not in favour of democracy.
– - For all I know, the Czar may have been a very fine man. I should say that he was a far better man than Walsh, Garden or Johannsen. I shall quote the considered opinions of some of the most learned and unbiased persons in the world, men of all nationalities, democracies, and denominations, showing what bolshevism has done and is doing to-day in Russia.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT.Order ! Unless the honorable senator can connect his remarks a little more closely with the bill he will not be in order.
– The bill proposes to create machinery which will enable the Commonwealth Government, if necessary, to deport foreign agitators and other persons whose presence in Australia is prejudicial to the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth. The following are extracts from a - recent article by Professor Charles Sarolea, whose knowledge of Russia past and present is famous: -
Trade-union leaders travelling on a personallyconducted tour may still inform us that Russia is still enjoying peace and tranquility. But the tranquility is the tranquility of prostration and exhaustion, the peace is the peace of the desert. And in that desert are stalking the four spectres of hunger and plague, terror and madness. A once prosperous country has been turned into a madhouse and a prison, into a hospital and a cemetery.
– What do we care about that? We are living in Australia.
– Apparently, the honorable senator does not care. He and those who think as he thinks evidently desire to have those conditions in Australia.
– Not at all.
– The quotation continues as follows: -
Judged by any test which was ever applied to any human government, the Soviet regime stands condemned. It has repudiated every one of its principles, it has broken every one of its pledges. It started by establishing a communistic policy, and ended by partitioning the Russian continent in huge concession areas, and the concessions were offered as bribes to the millionaire capitalists of the world. It claimed that it was going to abolish the rich man, and only succeeded in creating a hideous class of profiteers, traffickers in purloined diamonds, furs, and pictures, the receivers of stolen property. It started by suppressing the. death penalty,” and ended by slaughtering millions of inoffensive people. And the slaughtering and starving process has been so ruthless that, according to a high American authority, ex-Ambassador Ashburn Child, the pre-war population of 180.000.000 has been reduced to less than 00,000,000. ‘
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT.- The honorable senator is wandering too far from the bill. I ask him to confine his remarks more closely to it.
– I desired to enlighten honorable senators opposite in regard to the grave danger of allowing the agents of bolshevism to remain in Australia. One of the leaders in the present strike who may possibly be deported under this measure is Mr. J. S. Garden. He is connected with the Labour party, and also with bolshevism and communism. In a speech at the Communist Hall, Sydney, on Sunday evening, the 15th of February last, he presented his political plat- form. It contained the followingplanks : -
Nationalization without compensation, and with the workers’ control of banks, mines, and large-scale industries.
Workers’ control of all State and municipal services.
Payment of the full basic wage to all workers when unemployed or incapacitated by sickness, accident, or old agc.
A minimum wage of £6 per week for all workers, irrespective of sex.
A six-hour working day and a five-day week, totalling 30 hours a week.
On the 22nd of January last, in his report as secretary and treasurer of the Trades and Labour Council, Mr. J. S. Garden said -
The ‘ shadow of communism is over the Labour movement, and all efforts to banish communism and communists are bound to fail. The good old times of playing at politics are gone; revolution lias stepped upon the stage.
We make no apology for desiring to deport men who are propagating sentiments like that. Mr. Garden is also reported to have said that his party was not in opposition to the Labour Government. He added, that the communists, while retaining their’ separate identity, would give the Labour party general support. In spite of that honorable senators opposite have endeavoured to dissociate themselves and their party from communism . On the 20th February, 1925, Mr. Garden outlined his policy as a communist candidate at the recent election in New South Wales. The full text of his speech was published in the Workers’ Weekly. It contained the following pertinent sentence : -
The immediate need is the return of the Labour Government.
It is quite clear that the communists are trying to rule, and then ruin trade unionism in this country. Honorable senators opposite will find out when they face the electors shortly what the general opinion is respecting this class of man. Although they say that they are against communism and bolshevism, they have allowed the Deputy Leader of the Labour party in New South Wales (Mr. Loughlin) to make statements like the following, without repudiating them: -
The preference system of voting in Federal and State electorates gives the communists an opportunity of functioning separately without prejudicing the united front against the Nationalists. They have their own party organization and their own newspaper. Let the
Communist party select its own candidates to attack the Nationalists. The candidates can try their policy out on the primary votes, and give their preferences to the Labour men. In this way we can secure all the united front we want. Under this arrangement each party would be free to give the fullest expression to its ideals, and the full weight of the anti-capitalist parties could be thrown against, the Nationalist Government. And there is no other way of doing it.
It was nothing more nor less than a huge election bluff that led Labour in New SouthWales to repudiate the communists during the last election campaign there. They are convicted out of their own mouths of the most patent insincerity.
– In view of these statements, what value can be placed on Mr. Lang’s repudiation of communism?
– None at all, in my opinion ; particularly in view of the fact that he had refused to assist the Commonwealth Government in its endeavour to rid this country of undesirable foreign agitators, I am astounded that honorable senators opposite have not the common sense to see through the devices of the communists.
– The honorable senator is talking concentrated nonsense.
– The law of selfpreservation should have prevented them from applauding the communistic sentiments that have been expressed by some of their reputed leaders, who are nothing more nor less than bolshevik representatives fromRussia.
– The honorable senator is talking concentrated nonsense.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT.- I ask Senator McHugh not to continue to repeat that interjection.
– Senator Guthrie ought to talk sense.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - Order !
– It cannot be denied thatWalsh, Johannsen, Garden, and their satellites are doing great work as representatives of bolshevist Russia in this country. They believe in the all-red route to ruin, via Moscow, and honorable senators opposite who are afraid to denounce them will be in a queer position when they face the electors. Comrade Garden attended the Third International in Moscow, and he is one of the most prominent men in the Labour movement in New SouthWales. Since his return he has stated publicly that the communists hope that by “white anting” the trade unions of New SouthWales they will “ direct the impulses of half a million votes.” But Comrade Casey, one of the noisy four who are disrupting and misleading the workers, does not think that Communist Garden is hot enough. He is too conservative for Casey. Let honorable senators listen for a moment to the following report from a Sydney newspaper : -
Seamen’s Official on Communists. Labour Council’s Quaint Ways.
At every meeting of the Sydney Labour Council instances of reckless talk are to be heard: but at the meeting on June 25 Mr. William Casey, organizer of the Seamen’s Union, eclipsed the average effort.
A motionhad been moved censuring Mr. Jock Garden for standing as a Communist candidate at the State elections in opposition to Labour candidates. But. Mr. Casey expressed the view that the communists were too conservative and reactionary to be of any value to the”working classes.”Mr. Garden, he said, had not taken the true stand in the interests of the workers, because, instead of combating the palliatives proposed by the Labour party,he had set up another list of palliatives to tempt the workers. Whereas the Labour party had proposed a 44-hour week, Mr. Garden had countered the proposal with a 36- hour week. In place of the Labour palliative of ?5 a week for every one, he had offered a minimum of?6. Everything the Labour party had proposed to temporarily ease the lot of the worker had been simply imitated by Mr. Garden ; but he had offered a little more. Thus the Communist party had trifled with the great working class movement, seeking to betray the workers in the same way as the Labour party.
Mr. Casey made his attitude clear straightout revolution, the upsetting of the present form of government, and the existing methods of conducting public and private business, and the substitution of themade in Russia methods of the Bolsheviks.
I direct the attention of honorable senators to several aspects of that paragraph. First of all, Mr. Casey is described as “ organizer of the Seamen’s Union.” He is not attached to the British Seamen’s Union, for Mr. HavelockWilson is their leader. He must, therefore, be connected with the Australian seamen.
– How could he have time for work when he is so busy preaching the gospel of the revolution? The report concludes with the statement that Mr. Casey is behind most of the Johannsen-Walsh troubles.
– Let us have a few words now about the woollen mills the honorable senator stole from this country.
– So the honorable senator desires me to revert to the subject of the woollen mills? I shall be very pleased to comply with his wish if the Deputy President will give me permission to do so.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - I cannot allow the honorable senator to do that. He must confine his remarks to the bill.
– I am showing, sir, that Walsh, Johannsen, Garden, Casey and company are responsible for the strike of the British seamen in Australia.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT.- The bill before us deals with the appointment of peace officers.
– And it is time that the honorable senator devoted some attention to it.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - Senator Needham must not reflect upon the Chair.
– I am endeavouring to show that, in the interests of this country, these agitators should be deported. Honorable senators opposite harped for a good while this afternoon on the low wages paid to the British seamen. What have they to say about the wages paid to foreign seamen who are coming here to remove our produce while the British seamen are on strike? The seamen on the Japanese and other foreign vessels that come here are paid less than half as much as the British seamen, and while the bolshevik leaders in Australia are engineering this strike the poorly-paid foreign seamen are reaping the benefit and capturing the shipping trade from the British. The prospect of the hold-up of the overseas shipping is alarming. Australia, very largely - in fact, almost entirely - lives on the value of the exportable primary produce which the rest of the world wants to buy from us. .During the last twelve months the value of our exports of wheat, butter, and wool was £100,000,000. If this shipping strike continues we cannot export our produce. Just as we are about to embark on a new export season vessels are held up, and as a result the overseas export trade of Australia will, if the strike continues, be held up. What will the farmers think of those who come here and talk as honorable senators have talked to-day ? Throughout the recent strike those honorable senators did not lift a finger to try to enable the trade of the. country to go on. Of last year’s wool clip 200,000 bales have still to be sold and got away. The new season’s clip will provide another 2,250,000 bales to be shifted. The butter export season is at hand. How will the dairy farmers and the other producers be financed if, through the tactics of three or four foreign extremists and agitators, they cannot get their produce away to the markets of the world? If this strike continues much longer there must be a serious fall in the price of all Australia’s exportable produce. Already there is a fall in the price of wool. The wool manufacturers of the world come to Australia to buy our wool, but if they are unable to ship it they will not buy it, or, at any rate, will buy it only at a low speculative price, in the hope of making something out of it later on. They, will not take the risk of paying the full market value for any commodity they cannot ship. To a large extent, they finance against shipping bills of lading. Is that fair to the producer? Is it fair to him that honorable senators should encourage agitators toremain, in this country igniting the fires of strikes and disruption? What will the farmers, the backbone of the country - they produce 75 per cent, of the wealth of Australia - think of those who help such men to bring about conditions of hardship, strife, starvation, and ruin, thus making the Common-1 wealth a hotbed for the’ development of bolshevism? We all know that when these strikes are in progress it is the poor unfortunate women and children - those who have not a vote in the union - that suffer. The capitalist does not suffer. He has enough inside fat to keep him alive. He can increase his freights later on and get back his present losses. But the poor women and children suffer when the husbands are 0U of work. I cannot be told by honorable senators that the men are anxious to be out of work. If secret ballots were taken there would not be one strike a year, whereas we now have a strike almost every week. Honorable senators talk of the democratic method of using the secret ballot in the election of members of Parliament, of which all approve, but they do not approve of it in the conduct of the affairs of their unions. They would rather fan the flames of a worldwide conflagration. Throughout the negotiations of recent months they did nothing but try to baulk the Govern- ment from carrying on. They vied with one another in applauding Mr. Walsh and Mr. Johannsen, calling them fine leaders of the men. “Misleaders” I call them, or leaders of bolshevism, but enemies of unionism. The position to which official labour has fallen in this country is sad indeed. But I do not fear that bolshevism or communism will succeed in Australia, no matter how hard the agitator may try to fan the flames. The Australian people are too loyal. They are too well educated; they are too well off. The savings bank figures show that the deposits during the last ten years have doubled, and that *per capita they are greater here than in any other country. The people of Australia will not be easily led away by agitators. The efforts of those who plan to cause a conflagration here will fail. The people of Australia will not stand for communism, bolshevism, or Walshevism. But official Labour has blundered deplorably. Those who love Australia want it, to be peaceful, prosperous, and progressive. But can we have peace, progress, and prosperity when the outside, if not the inside, leaders of Labour are foreigners or agitators of “the type of Messrs. Walsh, Garden and Johannsen ? The people of Australia have only to be told the truth - that all this disturbance emanates from the bolshevists and Industrial Workers of the World organizations - for them to determine to stand behind the efforts of the Government to provide as far as is humanly possible for the peace, progress, prosperity, and good government of this glorious Commonwealth of Australia.
.- I have listened very attentively to the debate, and have been surprised to find that a good deal of extraneous matter has been introduced into it. What we are asked to do is to give the Commonwealth Government the power to put into operation a law which was pased by this Parliament a short while ago. I regret that this bill should have been found necessary. The bill we passed a little while ago provided that in certain contingencies the Commonwealth Government should have the power to prosecute certain individuals, whoever they might be, and deport them if they were found guilty of the offence with which they were charged. Every one naturally expected that the States would1 stand loyally behind the Commonwealth, and that if any assistance was required in order to carry this law into operation ifc would be forthcoming immediately it was asked for. But, during the last few days, we have had the deplorable spectacle of the Government of New South Wales absolutely declining to recognize a Commonwealth law. A request having been sent to the Government of New South Wales for the enforcement of a Commonwealth law has been refused. Honorable, senators who are opposing the bill have always boasted of their advocacy of majority rule. No measure can pass this Parliament unless it is agreed to by a majority. Therefore, if honorable senators are true to their professions, they ought to stand behind the decision of the majority and help the Government to make effective the law passed a short time ago. Instead of doing that they are denouncing the Government ,and every honorable senator who is supporting the Government in its effort to make effective a law that has been passed by the Parliament of Australia. A great deal has been said to-day to try to make the people of Australia believe that there is no necessity for this legislation. There is necessity for it to-day, and, as recent developments have proved, there was equal necessity for it over a year ago. I was astonished to hear an honorable senator say that the Ministry had failed to govern Australia as it should have been governed. To a certain extent that is true, but only because of the absence from our statute-book of a measure of the kind just recently passed. As a matter of fact, that act should have been passed long ago. This is not the first occasion on which the Government of Australia has been thwarted, and the action now proposed to be taken would have been justified over twelve months ago. I regret the delay that has taken place. Honorable senators are urging that this legislation is a direct challenge to trade unionism in Australia. I have heard pleas put up for the workers of Australia. I have heard statements made here which are not the whole of the truth. They have been made by honorable gentlemen who know the whole of the truth, but deliberately keep half of it to themselves. One statement made was to the effect that the British seamen who are now out on strike in Sydney were not aware of the reduction in the rates of pay for British seamen agreed to by their union. That statement is not correct. I am assured, on the best authority, that a fairly large proportion of these men were aware of it, and that before they left London they signed articles which included the reduced rate of pay. This reduced rate came into force on the 3rd July last, and some of them left London after that date. But even if that were not so, though I am assured that it is the case, there is still no justification for men failing to recognize what has been done by their union. If ever there was an instance of men “ scabbing “ on their union it has occurred during this strike. When a deliberate attempt is made by a small minority to disobey the decision of the majority of a union, that small minority is chargeable with “scabbing” on the majority. I am anxious to see the trade, commerce and industry of the Commonwealth carried on without let or hindrance whilst giving a fair deal to the workers. If honorable senators opposite visited the wharfs yesterday they would have witnessed a spectacle which I am sure would have deterred them from making some of the extraordinary statements they uttered this afternoon. A large quantity of cargo which was to be dispatched by British ships held up in Melbourne was being shipped by foreign vessels. Do trade unionists believe in trade being diverted from British ships into foreign vessels, on which the wages of the seamen are much lower? I have heard honorable senators opposite argue that British seamen should be paid the same rate of wages as is paid to Australian seamen, and yet the action of theirleaders is responsible for cargo which should be carried by British ships being transferred into foreign vessels. Apparently they have no genuine desire to assist the British seamen.
– This bill does not deal with the men now on strike.
– No, but it will affect those who are inciting them to strike. I remind Senator Findley that these men did not come out of their own volition.
– Yes. According to the official manifesto-
– By Mr. Walsh and his colleagues. Is that the official manifesto?
– What has happened in South Africa?
– I am dealing with the situation in Sydney and Melbourne. From the evidence available it should be patent to all that, if these men had been left alone they would not have left their ships. One has only to read the statements of Walsh, Garden, and Johannsen, when the dispute first arose, to see that they were influenced by the action of these so-called leaders.
– Where is the proof ?
– If they were not these men will not be affected by the passage of this bill. If they have not been guilty of an offence under the Immigration Act they cannot be deported. The fight put up by honorable senators opposite to=-day has been, not in support of genuine trade unionists, but on behalf of Walsh, Garden, and Johannsen.
– We have been fighting in support of trial by jury, and it is on that question that a vote will be taken.
– Honorable senators opposite are not sincere in their opposition.
– We have certainly made some progress if they admit that these men should be tried before a jury.
– If guilty of any offence they should be.
– I claim to have as good a knowledge of the average working man in. Australia as any honorable senator opposite. I came from a family of workers. I have had a difficult row to hoe, and I have toiled as hard as any man in Australia. A majority of the members of the trade unionsin Australia are conscientious, honest men, who welcome such legislation as this. They have been tired long since of incessant industrial disputes, which have been placing them in most unfortunate circumstances. If men such as those whose names I have mentioned cause industrial trouble, interfere with the trade and commerce of the country, and cause distress to a large section of the community, they should be properly dealt with. Australia is no place for them. We have a country blessed by Providence, more, perhaps, than any other, and if our people work unitedly under the laws which have been passed for their protection our prosperity will be unbounded. But no country can progress under a policy such as that adopted by these present leaders of trade unionism. Although I regret there should have been any necessity to introduce the bill, I wholeheartedly support it. We should all be prepared to recognize that the Commonwealth law is supreme, and . that whenever it is necessary to seek the assistance of a State in carrying out Commonwealth laws, that assistance should be readily forthcoming. I trust that the measure will soon become law, and if it is found that there are men in Australia whose actions have necessitated inquiry, I hope that they will be fairly dealt with. If found guilty they should be compelled to leave the country.
– Guilty of what?
– Of an offence against the Commonwealth law.
– I hope, by a close observance of the Standing Orders, to conclude, within five or ten minutes, the few remarks I wish to make in support of the bill. Possibly my remarks may thereby be rendered much less interesting than those of others who have spoken, but I feel that at this hour of this day it is the duty of honorable senators who have yet to speak to consider the feelings of those who have preceded them, and of those likely to follow. The bill is entitled “ a bill for an act to provide for the appointment of peace officers and for other purposes,” but any title given to the debate would be too extensive to recapitulate at the present time. I desire to make one or two remarks, first, as to the necessity for the bill, and, secondly, as to its urgency. Its necessity has been brought about, strange to say - it may be only a coincidence - by the action of persons who belong to the party of the honorable senators who occupy seats on the opposite side of the chamber. At the inception of Federation it was recognized as sensible and reasonable that asthe services tobe performed were the same as those which were necessary prior to federation, the States in return for the grants made to them by the Federal Government - and still being made - should allow their police to be used for such work as might be necessitated by the procedure of the courts and the enforcement of their decisions. That is implied in that section of the Constitution which demands the recognition of the Federal courts by State authorities. Federal jurisdiction is, of course, as honorable senators know, not limited to matters demanding the employment of the police, but State recognition of it is, as I have said, implicitly required under section 5 of the Constitution. That arrangement worked well for some 20 years. No objection was taken to it by the States or by the Commonwealth. But, unfortunately, on three occasions the States have manifested an inclination to give effect to Commonwealth action only when it was in keeping with their political views. That this grave dereliction of duty on the part of the States has occurred is to be regretted. The worst offender in this respect has been the State which I have the honour to assist in representing. The duty of a government, as I see it, and as honorable senators opposite see it during election periods, is to look after the interests of the people, irrespective of the political party to which they belong. It came as a most unpleasant surprise to the Commonwealth to find that the Governments of certain States would allow the use of their police forces only when the action to be taken was in what it considered their party’s interest. That has happened on three occasions; first in Queensland, secondly in Western Australia - a very bad case - and the last, recently, in New South Wales. The States having thus unwarrantably refused to give effect to legislation passed in the supreme Parliament of the Commonwealth, I ask, is it to be set aside, because there is no effective means of administering it?
The only course open to the Government is that which it is now pursuing. The Government is dealing with the situation in a businesslike, commonsense manner, and with the intention of continuing what hitherto has been done by the observance of a constitutional agreement. The States are causing the Commonwealth Government to adopt procedure which involves the duplication of expense, but still the situation has to be faced. The introduction of the bill is due to the fact that the Commonwealth has found that to enforce its laws” it is necessary, owing to the failure of some of the States, to establish a police force of its own.
– What has become of the police force that was in existence some time ago?
– I think there are only two or three of its members left, and they are engaged on various duties in which police officers are not usually employed. I do not know whether that police force was appointed under statute, but I think it was not. It is regrettable that the action contemplated . should be necessary, and the more regrettable that it should be rendered necessary by what I can only describe as a breach of faith on the part of certain States, as well as the justifiable apprehension on the part of the Commonwealth Government that if three of the States have failed to support it, the other three States, under similar circumstances, may follow their example should an emergency arise. I suppose also that it may be regarded as a peculiar coincidence that on each of the three occasions when this dereliction of duty, this breach of faith, has occurred, the State Government concerned has been composed of the same political party as my friends opposite. It is surprising that honorable senators opposite should hold the belief that they are going to sweep the polls at the next elections. If they do succeed on the appeal to the people, I do not know what is going to become of the administration of Federal law. However, I do not think that their expectations will be> realized. If, in a humble way, I may be permitted to offer counsel to honorable senators opposite, I urge them to drop their quixotic attitude. They tell us that the action now being taken by the Government will mean its ruin. If they believed that, I am, perfectly certain they would not liftone finger, or speak one word to avert such a fate. So I ask them not to be so quixotic ; but to let this Government rush on to its fate. The Government, I have no doubt, and this party which supports it, are prepared to accept full responsibility for this step, which the Ministry considers necessary in the interests of Australia.’ After all, it will be, so to speak, our funeral if the people of Australia fail to endorse a policy of common sense to ensure the prosperity and good government of this country. With regard to what has been said about the urgency of the bill, I do not suppose that we on this side, any more than honorable gentlemen opposite, like to be brought back to our legislative duties on unaccustomed days-, especially on those days when amusements, so dear to the heart of the average Australian, are going on around us. We do not like to be denied the little holidays which occasionally come our way. It seems to me that several months have elapsed - actually only a few hours have passed - since. Senator Gardiner regretted that, owing to the action of the Government over this business, he had been obliged to cancel arrangements’ which he had made yesterday to return to Sydney. I am wondering if the honorable senator thought of the position of those passengers on, say, the Euripides whose journey was terminated so abruptly in Melbourne, instead of being allowed to continue their voyage to Sydney. There were, I understand, about 200 of them so inconvenienced.
– And 750 migrants are being held up in three Commonwealth ports.
– It would appear, according to Senator Gardiner, that any inconvenience suffered by these people is of no account compared with the inconvenience occasioned an honorable senator. His complaint, perhaps, may be taken as a true criterion of the regard which honorable gentlemen opposite have for the happiness of those whom -they are called upon to govern. Already I find that I have exceeded the time limit which I set myself when I rose to speak. But before resuming my seat, I should like to say that if the boast of the Leader of the Opposition, and of several of his followers, concerning the issue of the next election - they have spent no inconsiderable portion of their time in threatening and intimidating, or endeavouring to threaten and intimidate, honorable senators on this side - prove true, I have every reason to believe, from recent happenings, that the administration of the Federal law, in at all events some directions, will be remarkably lax, and coloured by favouritism in the extreme. Because, I believe that the bill is urgent, and absolutely necessary; because I believe it to be the only solution of an extremely difficult problem, I consider it my bounden duty to the people T represent, to Australia, and to the Empire, as well as necessary for my own self-respect, to give it my whole-hearted support.
– I compliment the honorable senator (Senator Kingsmill) who has just resumed his seat upon the very reasonable presentation of his views. Other honorable senators opposite have spoken in the harshest of terms concerning the manner in which honorable senators on this side have dealt with the problem that confronts us. As I listened to Senator Guthrie, I was afraid that once more he intended to present us with a chamber of horrors. He gave us a thrilling description of what was happening in another part of the world. We all know that Russia is on the map, and that there is “a Soviet Government in power in that country. We know also that there are communistic agents in every civilized country of the world, including Australia. We recall also that, before the Soviet regime, Russia was under the heel of Czardom, and that unnamed horrors were perpetrated by the Russian autocracy. But I have read many of Tolstoi’s works, and I know what was the fate of those intellectuals who endeavoured to make Russia a country fit for decent people to live in. I admit that there are communists “ in Australia. I remind Senator Lynch also that many years ago there were Fenians and dynamiters in Ireland, as well as Chartists in England. Transportation was their fate. Some of the finest stock that Great Britain ever produced came to Australia, not as free agents, but as convicts, and to-day there are thousands of their descendants in this country. I do not approve of the economic doctrines of the communists, and as a member of the Australian Labour party I recorded my vote for their expulsion, from the party, because I believe that the policy they enunciate and the proposals they make for the attainment of their objective, are unpalatable to Australian democracy. Every lover of freedom in the Old World protested against the transportation of the flower of Britain’s manhood, just as to-day we object to this proposal to deport certain industrial leaders or other people- from this country. We believe that they should have the same right to advocate what they consider’ to be the best system for the government of society.
– Why, then, were they expelled from the honorable senator’s party ?
– Because we did nob approve of their policy. But expulsion from a party and deportation from a country are totally different things. Every political party claims the right to expel undesirable members from its ranks. It has been done before, and it will be done in the future. The Labour party is opposed to this bill because it violates the fundamental principles of liberty. Senators Payne and Guthrie again to-day pictured the results to the primary producer of the hold-up of the ships. They said that thousands of bales of wool are waiting to be carried oversea, and that those who are opposing this bill are responsible for their remaining in Australia. What have honorable senators opposite done to settle this dispute? A few weeks ago, the Senate discussed what is popularly known as the Deportation Act. Our advice to honorable senators then was to “ call off your dogs “ ; that the strike would not be settled by threats, but by the efforts of the able and courageous men who direct the great industrial movement through the trades and labour councils of Australia. The Government was impotent. It dared not use the power that it possessed, because capitalism did not want it to do so. The strike was settled by the efforts of Mr. Charlton, Mr. Lang, Mr. Holloway and other men who are connected with the industrial movement. All that the Government did was to try to “sool” on the dogs of war.
– Was there not a conference with the steamship owners?
– They conferred with our people.
– Does the honorable senator not think that the action of the Government had a salutary effect?
– The Government desired it to have an effect similar to that which is sought by this bill. It is asserted that the desertion of their ships by the British seamen was engineered in Australia by the leaders of the Australian Seamen’s Union. Mr. Havelock Wilson’s cablegram to Mr. Walsh gives the lie to that statement. That cablegram said, “You are 28 days too late.” Before a meeting of British seamen was held in Australia the sailors in the ports of Great Britain, South Africa and Canada were on strike. The dispute has developed into one between the executive officers and the majority of the members of the British Seamen’s Union on the one hand, and, on the other, a powerful minority who have repudiated the agreement which was entered into by their officers. The majority of the men who are on strike in Australia to-day were at sea when that agreement was signed, and they had no knowledge of the reduction in their wages. When they reached Canada, South Africa and Australia, they showed their resentment of the action of their executive officers, and the majority of the members of their .union in England, by going out on strike. Walsh, Casey, and Garden were not in South Africa, Canada or England. Yet according to statements that have been made in this Senate, and repeated ad libitum, the whole dispute, which is international in its operation, was initiated in Australia. That contention is so ridiculous and absurd that another reason must be found for the introduction of the bill. Honorable senators opposite desire that the wool and other primary produce shall be taken from Australia. How are we to accomplish that? Not by sending special police officers to New South Wales and placing the hand of the Commonwealth law on the shoulders of these so-called strike leaders. The Government of the State of New South Wales has refused to cooperate with this Government in that proposal, and it is perfectly justified in its action. Five thousand British seamen are supposed to be led by four revolutionary communists, yet so far there has not been an act which would justify the arrest of one man for the most petty offence. Hon orable senators opposite are surprised at the refusal of the Government of NewSou!^ Wales to allow itself to be made a tool of the Commonwealth Government, If these men had committed acts of violence, and life and property were in danger, I have not the slightest hesitation in saying that the full power aud authority of the State Government would be put into operation against them without any appeal from the Commonwealth Government. I am anxious that the deepsea vessels shall get away from Sydney as quickly as possible.
– Then help the Government.
– I know that the British seamen’s strike cannot be won in Australian ports. If I were asked to advise those men, I should say to them, “As good unionists, accept the decision of the majority of your mates in England, go back to Britain, and put your house in order there.” The Government, however, desires to arrest certain men. What have they done? The British seamen are strangers in a strange land, and the trade unionists of New South Wales are merely feeding, clothing, and housing them whilst the dispute is in existence. They sympathize with their brother seamen because of the low wage that they are receiving. This measure will not bring about industrial peace. On the contrary, its aim is to incite industrial strife. If men are arrested, practically every boat employed in the interstate service will be tied up. I, therefore, advise the Government to use its power - ‘and authority, in conjunction with the leaders of the industrial movement, to bring the parties together and have the ships manned. If the negotiations that are being carried on by Mr. Lang, Mr. Willis, Mr. Holloway, and others break down, and there is a continuance of this strike, the Government will not be able to escape its responsibility. If wool and other produce is left here for months, Senator Guthrie will be more responsible than any other man, because of the attitude that he is adopting in this matter.
– The workers are the greatest sufferers.
– Those who lead strikes and those who take part in them know that when they cease work their dependants suffer most acutely.
– That is the pitt of it.
– I know it, and they know it. But they also know from experience that reform has been brought about only by sacrifice. They are prepared to make that sacrifice. If the Seamen’s Union in Great Britain had declared in favour of the cessation of work because of this reduction in the wages of the men, I should have supported it up to the hilt. Scandalous and disgraceful conditions have been farced upon the British seamen during’ the last three or four years. At the conclusion of the war, Mr. Lloyd George said : “ Victory is ours ; the Allies axe victorious. Our enemies are defeated. Great Britain, in the years to come, will be a land fit for heroes to live in.” Many of those heroes were seamen. One cannot wonder that they ha*re revolted against even their own union officers and executive because they haVe been asked to accept this reduction in wages. Great Britain has 2,000,000 unemployed men and women, who, with many children, are living on what has been described as a charity dole. Many of the seamen took grave risks during the war, and it is astounding to me that honorable senators opposite, who applauded them in those days, are condemning them to-day for resenting an unfair reduction of their wages. Senator Pearce told us to-day that the Government was justified in introducing the bill, because of revolutionary conduct on the part of certain persons in New South Wales. I should like to know what justification he had for making that remark. During the maritime dispute of a few weeks ago, when practically all the shipping in Australia was hung up, not a single member connected with the seamen’s organizations was prosecuted for a misdemeanour. The Minister said that a revolution was brewing, but he produced no evidence to that effect, and none of the newspapers have been able to obtain any. He also interjected during the debate: “What about the wages paid to German seamen.” Does he wish our seamen to accept the wages and conditions that prevail on German ships? Senator Guthrie said that our wheat, wool and other produce was being transported on foreign vessels. How did those vessels get here ? Did they come by wireless? The dispute has only been in progress two weeks.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - This bill does not deal with the seamen’s dispute
– But it deals with a proposal to create a police force which the Government desires to take certain action in consequence of the shipping dispute.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - The honorable senator has dealt exhaustively with the shipping dispute, and I ask him now to give some attention to the bill.
– The responsibility for whatever happens in consequence of the passing of this bill will belong entirely to the Government and its supporters. The Labour party will oppose the measure in every way in its power. Senator Guthrie, this evening, referred to Johnson as Johannsen. The mistake that Johannsen made when he changed his name during the war period was that he did not call himself Windsor instead of Johnson. The Labour party is entirely opposed to the deportation of respectable and law-abiding citizens. Personally, I should vote against the deportation of even my most bitter personal or political enemy. Any honorable senator who understands the basic principles of British liberty would do the same. The bill is a stigma on British jurisprudence. No one who professes to believe in liberty and freedom can honestly support it. Some of my best friends have come to this country from other parts of the world. My friend Senator Lynch, for instance, came from Ireland. Others have come from England, Scotland and Wales. Chartists came here because of the treatment they received in their own land. They all came with a desire to improve their conditions, and to make this country better and freer than the one they left behind. I have seen men leave the shores of England with a tear in their eye and a lump in their throat. They loved their country, but not the conditions under which they had been obliged to live there. The bulk of the population of Australia has descended from people who came from the United Kingdom. That is why our people stand for the great institutions of the old land. It is an insult to the memory of our forebears, and a stigma on the great traditions of the British race, that a bill like this should have been introduced. One of the first acts of the Labour party when it is again in possession of the Government benches will be to remove this stain from our country’s fair name.
– I am sorry that we are here tonight, but I should consider myself an unworthy Australian if I failed to record my protest against this blot on Australian history.
– Is it a blot to appoint two policemen?
– The bill provides that the Government may appoint “ ranks or grades “ of officers. That may mean a strong force. The party to which I belong stands, among other things, for peace and justice. The present Government has shown that it stands for disruption and injustice. I am convinced that the people of Australia will indicate their opinion of the recent actions of this Government by rejecting it decisively at the coming election. Many members of this Chamber were born in Australia, but those who came here from other countries came, I have no doubt, because they had a desire to improve their conditions. Some of them believed in certain’ great principles which they have since sold, and they are now working hand in hand with the oppressors of Labour. One honorable senator opposite told me the other day that he would like to see me with an axe, cutting down trees for him - without payment, of course. I am bold enough to say that he is glad that he did not have to cut down trees when he was walking through Queensland. Senator Reid was once very popular in Queensland, but he does not now express the sentiments that made him popular.
– What has this to do with the subject before the Chair ?
– The honorable senator desires to deport, not only the workers of mis country, but also those who are fighting for the workers. This bill is a political dodge, because honorable senators are quite well aware that, although they may appoint policemen, the workers of Australia will see that no one is deported. The trouble is that when some men attain a certain position they get. swelled heads, and think that they can do all sorts of things. They may do so for. a little while; but the workers are now awake. They have now begun to realize their power. It is true that, by a fluke, there is now in control of the affairs of the
Commonwealth a Government anxious to embarrass them. It may do so for ft while. It may seek to foist on some other country people who are not wanted in Australia; but I claim that we, as a nation, have no right whatever to foist on any other country people we cannot handle ourselves. A person considered bad for Australia must be equally bacl for any other part of the world. The individual who breaks the law ought to be dealt with by the country in which the law is broken. If persons are to be deported, where can we send them? Some years ago, one man who was deported from’ Australia was sent all over the world, and no country would have him. That may happen again. If a person is deported, and no other country will’ have him, I suppose he will have to be dropped overboard. But I object to murder. The workers of this country are opposed to injustice. This Government has done more propaganda work for the Labour party than the party itself could do with an expenditure of £50,000. Although we resist this bill, and will fight it to the last ditch, its introduction has awakened the liberty-loving people of Australia to the danger confronting them. It has taken hundreds of years to reach the stage of civilization at which we have arrived, and now the party in control of the affairs of the Commonwealth ‘is anxious to drag us back to the point from which we started. It would like again to see little girls employed in coal mines, but Labour will not allow such things. The masters of honorable senators opposite want on the Australian coast the conditions which prevail on ships manned by Asiatics. Australian seamen are paid £18 2s. 6d. a month, and British seamen are paid £8 10s.; but Asiatics are paid only £3 10s. Of course, honorable senators want black labour on our coast. It is part of their programme. This bill is part of the little joke.
– Two policemen !
– Why are they needed?
– Why are you keeping us here?
– Why did you not vote yesterday against a proposal to hold a special sitting to-day? If you had done so we should not be here now.
– That matter has already been decided, and cannot be referred to again. I ask the honorable senator to address honorable senators through the Chair, and to keep his remarks relevant to the bill.
– I am doing my best, but to-day I have heard Russia discussed freely by honorable senators opposite. We do not wish Australian workmen to have to submit to the treatment they received some years ago; but that is apparently the desire of Senator Guthrie. Neither do we wish the conditions which existed in the country from which Senator Lynch came to prevail here.
– Why does not the honorable senator discuss the bill?
– I am discussing the Peace Officers Bill, and you are looking for fight.
– Is the honorable senator addressing that remark to me?
– The honorable senator is distinctly out of order. My responsibility is to see that the debate is relevant, and to maintain order. If the honorable senator wishes to address his remarks to the Minister, he should do so through the Chair.
– I shall endeavour to do so. This Government will do anything that is “ crook.” Although my request may fall upon deaf ears, I ask the Minister, even at this late stage, to drop the bill, as it will only cause further industrial unrest and compel peaceful citizens to become law breakers. The days of slavery have passed, and men endeavouring to improve the conditions under which our workmen are living should receive encouragement instead of treatment such as is proposed. Trade unionists will always stand up for their rights, and as an attempt is now being made to interfere with their rates of wages and the conditions under which they live, the Government must not be surprised if they become more militant. The party to which I belong desires industrial peace and justice for all. It could be inferred from the remarks of an honorable senator that it should be the duty of the Government to appoint the leaders of all industrial organizations, presumably to compel the trade unionists to become the tools of the employers. The workers of Australia will never submit to such a proposal. Trade unionists believe in appointing officers whom they can trust, and who will work in the interests of the great trade union movement. If ever an attempt is made to do what was suggested to-day, the Government will have to fight every trade unionist in the Commonwealth. All we desire is industrial peace and justice. That should be apparent to any one who has brains.
– Is it apparent to the honorable senator?
– It is not to you.
– I again direct the honorable senator to address the Chair.
– I shall endeavour to do so, but it is disorderly on the part of Senator Elliott to interject.
– Order ! Interjections which are, of course, disorderly, are being invited by Senator McHugh. I have allowed the honorable senator, in common with other honorable senators, considerable latitude, and I now ask him to discuss the bill.
– I rose more particularly to stress the point that the members of the party to which I belong stand for industrial peace and justice.
– The honorable senator has already made that statement several times.
– No, only twice. It must have impressed you so much, sir, that you believe that I have been repeating it.
– Relevance and not repetition is required in debate.
– We demand industrial peace, and just treatment of all sections of the community.
– I have already pointed out that the honorable senator has repeated that expression several times seemingly in defiance of my ruling, and I therefore ask the honorable senator to discontinue his speech for tedious repetition.
– Do you say, sir, that I must resume my seat?
– Because you do not believe in peace and justice.
– Order ! The honorable senator must not reflect on a decision of the Chair.
Question - That the bill be now read a second time - put. The Senate divided.
Majority . . 13
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
This act may be cited as the Peace Officers Act 1925.
.- I move-
That the word “officers” be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the word “ prevention”.
The clause will then read -
This act may be cited as the Peace Prevention Act 1925.
Every one knows that, prior to the introduction of this bill, steps were being taken to effect a settlement of the strike of British seamen. This measure is not calculated to further the cause of peace. On the contrary, it will aggravate the trouble. I know of no man who has done more to bring a.bout peace than Mr. Lang, the Premier of New South Wales.
– The honorable senator’s amendment is irrelevant. If he can prove relevancy, I shall be prepared to hear him. The amendment must be relevant to the purpose of the bill.
– Surely my amendment is in order. If you rule that it is not, I may be in order if I move to delete the word “ officers.” Mr. Lang, as
I have said, is doing all he possibly can to ensure a peaceful settlement of the dispute; but he has refused to allow police officers in New South Wales to take any action under the deportation law. As a consequence, Parliament has been engaged since yesterday on the consideration of this measure. I may be permitted to refer to certain remarks made during the second-reading debate. I listened attentively to Senator Ogden, and especially to his apologia that he was speaking on behalf of and for the trade unionists of Australia.
– The honorable senator is out of order in referring to the debate on the second reading.
– I do not think your ruling ought to be allowed to pass, Mr. Chairman. It may have very farreaching consequences.
– I have been a member of this chamber for very many years, and this is the first occasion when the Chairman of Committees has ruled that, during the committee stages of a bill, an honorable senator may not refer to the debate on the second reading.
– I find that the standing order is the reverse of what I thought it was. It precludes an honorable senator, in the Senate, from referring to the proceedings in committee. I shall be glad if the honorable senator will now confine his remarks to the clause of the bill.
– I thought you were wrong, Mr. Chairman. I am glad to know that I was in order in referring to the debate on the second reading of the bill. I shall now content myself with submitting the amendment.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) - That the committee do now divide- put. The committee divided.
Majority . . . . 10
Question so resolved in- the affirmative. Question - That the word “officers” proposed to he left out (Senator Needham’s amendment) be left out - put. The committee divided.
Question so resolved in the negative. Amendment negatived. Motion (by Senator Pearce) - That the committee do now divide - put. The committee divided.
Majority . . 9
Question - That clause 1 stand as printed - put. The committee divided.
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Question so resolved in the affirmative. Clause agreed to. Clause 2 -
Senator GARDINER (New South Wales [11.13]. - I direct attention to the strange wording of this clause. It provides for the appointment of these peace officers by the Attorney-General, whilst the remuneration is to be such as the Governor-General in Council thinks fit. Why should not the appointments be made by the Governor-General in Council ? The Attorney-General may make appointments in the teeth of the Government.
This is one of those matters which, in the hurry of passing the bill, might easily be overlooked. Things that are done in a hurry are never well done. I ask the Minister to give me a reasonable explanation.
– The Attorney-General will administer the act. In such cases appointments are always made by the Minister. That is the practice in the States also. The Attorney-General will have the power to appoint and to dismiss. The honorable senator is familiar with the practice that is followed. Although the Governor-General in Council is mentioned in certain cases, it is the Minister who takes the executive minute to the Executive Council.
5], - The Minister may be satisfied with his explanation, but I am not. lt is altogether unsatisfactory from my point of view. I consider that the power to appoint these officers should rest’ with Parliament. I understand that an amount of £9,000 is provided on the Estimates for the payment of officers of this description. 1 do not know why the existing Commonwealth Police Force, which numbers 36 officers in New South Wales, could not do what’ the Government requires. In any case, we ought to have some information as to the rates the Government proposes to pay. It would be a food thing to fix the amount at thegure the British seamen receive. We ought, also, to know how many officers it is proposed to appoint. The Government may intend to appoint the whole community. The Attorney-General is a capable officer - in my opinion, the only capable member of the Ministry - but we ought to have some check upon him, I can see no reason why Parliament should not fix the salary of these peace officers in the same way as it fixes the salary of customs officers. I have .no desire to delay the committee unnecessarily, but I ask the Minister not to compel us to pass this clause hurriedly.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) - That the committee do now divide - put. The committee divided.
Question so resolved in’ the affirmative. Question’ - That the clause be agreed to -put. The committee divided.
Question so resolved in the affirmative. Clause agreed to. Progress reported.
– Mr. President, I understand that it is your intention to suspend the sitting until Monday. I therefore move -
That the committee have leave to sit again at a later hour.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
– I have to remind honorable senators that if we do not have a untinuous sitting, resuming on Monday, the staff at the Government Printing Office will have to be kept on duty after midnight to-night. I have, therefore, decided that the proper course for me to follow in order to meet, not only the convenience of the Senate, but also that of another place, is to suspend the sitting until 11 o’clock on Monday morning.
Sitting suspended from 11. SS p.m. until
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 29 August 1925, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1925/19250829_senate_9_111/>.