19th Parliament · 1st Session
The President (Senator the Hon. Gordon Brown) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.
Message received from the House of Representatives intimating that it had agreed to .the amendment made by the Senate in this bill.
The following bills were returned from the House of Representatives without amendment : -
Defence ( Transitional Provisions) Bill 1050.
Commonwealth Railways Bill 1950.
Interim Forces Benefits Bill 1950.
Assent to the following bills reported : -
Customs Tariff (No. 2) 1950. Customs Tariff (Canadian Preference) 1950. Australian Soldiers’ Repatriation Bill 1950. Appropriation Bill 1950-51. Appropriation (Works and Services) Bill 1950-51.
Sales Tax (Exemptions and Classifications)
Sales Tax Bills (Nos. 1 to 9) 1950.
Commonwealth Aid Roads Bill 1950. Income Tax and Social Services Contribution .
Assessment Bill 1950. Income Tax and Social Services Contribution
Wheat Industry Stabilization (Refund of
Charge) Bill 1950. Salaries (Statutory Officers) Adjustment
Bill 1950. National Welfare Fund Bill 1950. Superphosphate Bounty Act Repeal Bill 1950. Flax Canvas Bounty Bill 1950. Wool Products Bounty Bill 1050. Customs Bill 1050. Tractor Bounty Bill 1950. Nationality and Citizenship Bill 1950. Customs Tariff (Export Duties) Bill 1950. Customs Tariff (No. 3) 1950. Excise Tariff 1950. Excise Tariff (No. 2) 1950. Egg Export Control Bill 1950. States Grants (Administration of Controls
Reimbursement) Bill 1950. Life Insurance Bill 1950. States Grants (Imported Houses) Bill 1950. Services Trust Funds Bill 1950. Port Augusta to Alice Springs Railway (Alteration of Route) Bill 1950. Wool (Contributory Charge) Assessment Bill (No. 2) 1950. Wool (Contributory Charge) Bill (No. 1a)
Wool (Contributory Charge) Bill (No. 2a) 1950.
States Grants (Milk for School Children) Bill 1950.
Defence. Forces Retirement Benefits Bill 1950.
Loan (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) Bill 1950.
Brachina to Leigh Creek North Coalfield Railway Bill 1950.
Superannuation Bill 1950.
Commonwealth Railways Bill 1950.
Defence (Transitional Provisions) Bill 1950.
Interim Forces Benefits Bill 1950.
Statute Law Revision Bill 1950.
– I ask the Minister for Fuel, Shipping and Transport whether the Government has appointed a committee to investigate the petrol position in Australia, and to advise (whether petrol rationing should be re-introduced or whether a quota system should be applied to garages ? If so, is the Minister aware that a quota system which would allow garages to ration petrol to regular customers would immobilize many motor vehicles and bring about the greatest black-market racket ever known in Australia?
– The answer to both questions is “No”.
– Will the Minister for Trade and Customs inform me what tonnage of steel has been exported from Australia during the last eighteen months ? If steel has been exported, to what countries has it been sent, and what was the export price ? What was the total tonnage of steel imported into Australia during the same period of eighteen months? From what countries was steel received, and what was the landed price? What subsidy, if any, was paid to the importers ?
– The honorable senator will realize that it is not possible for me to provide him offhand with a detailed answer to his questions. I shall be happy to obtain the information that he seeks, and to let him have it as soon as possible. In the meantime, I can assure him that only minor quantities of steel have been exported. Those exports have gone to New Zealand and to certain islands which depend on Australia for steel supplies.
– Can the Minister representing the Treasurer say whether it is true that, as from Friday the 2nd March, 1951, all appeals outstanding, and those yet to be lodged, by wool-growers in Western Australia under the Wool Sales Deduction (Administration) Act, will be heard in Melbourne or Sydney? If so, is that not a policy of centralization? Would it not be more satisfactory for all concerned if pending appeals were heard by a land valuation board domiciled in Western Australia? If that were done, would it not be possible for the board to hear appeals at, say, six main country towns throughout the State, thus saving wool-growers who desire to appear before the board in person - the most satisfactory method of procedure - loss of time, travelling expenses and hardship? Accommodation is still difficult to obtain at city hotels. How many appeals were heard in Western Australia during the sittings of the board, and how many were successful?
– I have not the details that the honorable senator seeks, but I should be surprised if the report that future appeals by Western Australian wool-growers are to be heard in Sydney and Melbourne were correct. I shall consult with the Treasurer and, in view of the importance of the question, ask him to let me have an answer to it as soon as possible.
– In view of the hostile reception accorded by the woolgrowers of Western Australia to members of the Liberal party and the Australian Country party who tried to explain to them the Government’s proposal for imposing in advance a tax of 20 per cent, on the- proceeds of wool sales, will the Minister representing the Treasurer give an assurance that the tax will not be removed ?
– So far as the honorable senator is concerned, the wish is f ather to the thought. He would like to believe that the Government’s proposals were given a hostile reception. No one likes to pay taxes in advance of the date on which they become due, but that is a small matter in comparison with the national problems that we have to face. I am not prepared to say yea or nay to the honorable senator’s request. Indeed, it is not reasonable to expect a Minister so to answer a question of that kind.
– Can the Minister for Fuel, Shipping and Transport inform me whether any approach has been made to him or to the Government by the Associated Steamship Owners for the purchase of the Australian Shipping Board’s fleet? Has any such approach been made by any other body or person, or have there been any discussions or negotiations with the Minister or with the Government for the sale of those ships to the Associated Steamship Owners or any of their constituent bodies such as the Adelaide Steamship Company Limited, the Australian United Steam Navigation Company Limited or Huddart Parker Limited? If so, what was the nature and what has been the result of such discussions? Will the Minister assure the Senate that Commonwealth ships will not be sold without the prior knowledge and concurrence of the Parliament ?
– Under the Standing Orders, questions without notice relating to Government policy are not permissible.
– It is for the Minister to say whether or not a question involves Government policy.
– If the Minister declines to answer my question I shall know what action to take. In fairness to the Opposition and to myself as its leader, the Minister sho’uld say whether the Government refuses to answer the question. Then- the Opposition would know what action to take.
– Although the Minister for Repatriation stated some time ago, in reply to a question that I asked him, that the children of exservicemen of “World “War I., and who were born after the 30th June, 1938, would receive repatriation benefits, I have received information from an ex-servicemen of World “War I. to the effect that no such payments have yet been made. I have further information concerning my informant, who is almost blind and is totally and permanently incapacitated, and I shall furnish details of his case to the Minister by letter. I now ask the Minister why the payments to ex-servicemen of “World “War I. in respect of children born after 1938 have not been made?
– Legislation that waa passed by the Parliament some time ago to amend the Australian Soldiers’ Repatriation Act does provide for the payment of pensions and allowances in respect of wives of ex-servicemen of World War I. who were married after 1938 and whose children were born after that year. I do not know the details of the particular case that the honorable senator has in mind, but if he- will interview me later-
– Have any pay- ments been made ?
– Yes, they have been made. I shall be glad if the honorable senator will give me full particulars of the case that he has in mind, and I assure him that I shall get in touch with the Repatriation Department and have the matter expedited.
– Is the Minister representing the Postmaster-General aware that the wages provisions of an award made by the Public Service Arbitrator and referred to as “ Determination No. 87 of 1950 “ have not been observed by the Postmaster-General’s Department? Is the Minister aware that although the payment of a certain wage adjustment was made retrospective to the 29th December, 1949, by the award, employees receiving low wage rates, such as cleaners, watchmen, storemen, linemen and motor drivers, have not so far been paid the arrears of wages which are lawfully due to them? In view of the fact that the value of money is depreciating daily in Australia, will the Minister say when the amounts due to all the employees concerned by the relevant award will be paid in full?
– I shall ensure that the matters raised by the honorable senator are brought to the notice of the Postmaster-General, and I shall ask my colleague to furnish a reply as soon as possible.
– On the 7th December, 1950, Senator Amour indicated that he would ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice - ]. Is it a fact that there has been no recent increase in the salary range of the Off,3ersin.charge of the Federal Members’ Booms in the various States?
This matter has been the subject of certain proposals which are receiving the consideration of the Public Service Board. It is expected that a decision will be reached at an early date.
– I ask the Minister for Trade and Customs the following questions: - (a) Is it a fact that the Minister for External Affairs, Mr. P. C. Spender, has been dismissed from the Cabinet because of an intrigue, during his absence abroad, to displace the Prime Minister from leadership of the Government? (b) Is Mr. Spender’s appointment as . Australian Ambassador to Washington for a period of five years contrary to the expressed policy of the Liberal party in connexion with political appointments to diplomatic posts? (c) Is the proposed political appointment of another member of the present Cabinet as High Commissioner in London an outward expression of the existence of grave defections in the Cabinet, and a sign of the rapid disintegration of the Menzies regime ?
– In spite of the youthful credulity of the honorable senator, I must deprecate such an idle and silly question, and remind him that he is a member of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Australia,, not of a kindergarten.
– Is the Minister for Trade and Customs aware that numerous official invitations have been issued by the Commonwealth jubilee celebrations authorities to .persons occupying civic positions in the various States to attend official functions to be held in Canberra this year? Many of the recipients of these invitations have given laudable service to the people of Australia over the years, in an honorary capacity, and while many such persons residing in Western Australia are willing and eager to attend the official functions, they will be precluded from doing so either through their inability to obtain air, sea or rail bookings,, or because of the high cost of fares and accommodation. In the circumstances will the Minister request the Prime Minister to arrange for the provision of additional travelling facilities to enable the invitees to travel to Canberra, and to approve of the granting of concession rates of travel to them ? Alternatively, will the Minister request that approval shall be given for the granting to invitees out of jubilee celebration funds of a refund of portion of the cost incurred by them in travelling to Canberra from distant States?
– Although I am not aware of the full circumstances that have been mentioned by the honorable senator, I agree with him that it would be most regrettable if, for financial reasons, highly deserving .people to whom invitations have been extended by the Commonwealth in recognition of outstanding public service, were denied the opportunity to attend official functions in Canberra. If the honorable senator will place his question on the noticepaper, I shall see whether anything can be done on the lines that have been suggested by him.
– On the 21st November, 1950, Senator Armstrong asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister the following question, upon notice -
The Prime Minister has supplied the honorable senator with the following answer : -
This production was recommended by the Musical Sectional Committee of the Federated Arts Sub-committee comprising ‘ Mr. Goossens (Chairman), Sir Bernard Heinze, Sir Angus Gollan, Miss (Dorothy Helmrich, Dr. K. L. Barry and Mr. W. G. James. It was considered by this committee that there was no Australian production which could equal “ Hiawatha “ in spectacular appeal to the majority of the people and the committee accordingly proposed that the cantata be staged in the mainland State capital cities. No Bed Indian baritone was engaged for “ Hiawatha “. After preliminary arrangements had been made, unexpected difficulty was encountered with regard to the performing rights and despite protracted negotiations, it has not been possible to arrive at a solution considered satisfactory by the Jubilee Committee. It was therefore decided to discontinue negotiations and cancel the project. No alternative proposal is being put forward as a recommendation by the responsible committee at present, but various proposals for the production towards the end of the year of a major spectacle with an appeal to all sections of the community are under consideration.
– In view of the vital importance of aluminium in connexion with, the construction of aircraft, and from a defence and industrial point of view, will the Minister representing the Minister for National Development investigate current rumours that the production schedule of the Australian Aluminium Production Commission’s plant at Bell Bay in northern Tasmania has been delayed indefinitely? If the delay has been occasioned by the decision of the Department of National Development to curtail expenditure on government undertakings of this kind, will consideration be given to granting the highest possible priority to this industry in respect to plant, materials, and manpower ?
– There is no necessity to refer the honorable senator’s question to my colleague, because I am quite sure there is no substance in the rumour. There is no suggestion that the aluminium project in Tasmania will be delayed indefinitely.
– Can the Minister representing the Prime Minister inform the Senate whether there is any substance in reports which recently appeared in the press to the effect that in an attempt to restore value to the £1 it is the intention of the Government to seek the co-operation of the various State governments in order to purchase beef when prices are low and to resell it when prices are high? If . there is any substance in the reports, can the Minister indicate whether the Government is in possession of any data that indicate that there is likely to be a fall in the price of beef at an early date? If not, are we to take this announcement as but another attempt by the Government to cover up its inability to deal with the spiralling costs of living? If the reports do contain any substance, has the Government considered the possibility of such a proposal being linked up with the teachings of Marx and thus rendering them subject to antiCommunist legislation?
– The question to which the Senate has been subjected is typical of the inane remarks frequently made by members of the Opposition and is indicative of the spleen and pettiness which they show because of the splendid handling by the Government of the very difficult problems confronting it. I assure honorable senators that in spite of this most un-Australian attitude, the Government, with the assistance of the people, will conic through successfully.
– Before the adjournment of the Parliament for the Christmas recess, I asked the Leader of the Government whether it was possible for the names of the nations fighting as the United Nations in Korea to be made available to the Senate. Despite the Minister’s assurance that they would be made available, no answer has yet been given to my question.
– I well recall the honorable senator asking me that question, and I also recall the assurance that I gave to him. However, until he mentioned the matter just now, I did not know that he had not received the information. The omission is certainly not deliberate, and I shall obtain the information for him without further delay.
– I desire to ask the Minister for Social Services whether aged pensioners will be entitled, free of charge, to all medicines prescribed by doctors under the Government’s health scheme, and, if so, when will they be entitled to receive such medicines?
– That question more directly affects my colleague, the Minister for Health, who is in control of the medical and pharmaceutical benefits arrangements. As far as medical services are concerned, pensioners are being asked to enroll and to furnish the requisite information that is required. They are then being sent an entitlement card which, upon presentation to their medical practitioner, entitles them to receive medical services. The pharmaceutical arrangements, unfortunately, are not as far advanced. The arrangements to provide for a free pharmaceutical service to pensioners are not yet quite complete.
– In view of the Prime Minister’s recent statements concerning the grave international position, will the Minister representing the Minister for Supply inform the Senate upon what production the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow is at present engaged ? Is it a fact that that factory has, at the moment, no orders on hand for the production of rifles and machine guns, or of any other small arms equipment? Is it also a fact that the factory is not at present engaged on war production?
– I cannot give offhand the information asked for, but I shall bring the honorable senator’s question to the notice .of the Minister for Supply, who will furnish a reply as soon as possible.
– Is the Minister for Trade and Customs aware that there is a shortage of white sugar in the State of “Western Australia? Is he aware that stone fruit crops and grapes, &c, are .in full supply, and as suitable sugar is not obtainable, many housewives are unable to convert the fruit into jams and preserves ? Will the Minister take early action with his Cabinet colleagues to ensure that sufficient white sugar is made available to meet the requirements of consumers, so as to avoid a great waste of home-grown fruit, and to enable thrifty housewives to take advantage of the glut on the market?
Is it a fact that white sugar is being withheld by distributors in anticipation of a price rise?
– It is not a fact that white sugar is being withheld by distributors in anticipation of a price rise. The honorable senator has asked me to invoke the assistance of my colleagues to ensure that sufficient white sugar is made available to Western Australia. I, in my turn, ask him to use his influence with the waterside workers to expedite the turn-round of ships. If that could be done, it would go a long way to alleviate the shortage of sugar and other commodities in Western Australia and in other places.
– Can the Minister representing the Treasurer say whether the Government is giving financial or other assistance to the Black Watch Band that is now touring Australia? If so, what is the extent of the assistance being given ?
– I cannot say. My personal opinion is that if the Government is not giving assistance to the band it should be doing so.
– Has the Minister for Social Services yet completed a reciprocal arrangement with the Government of the United Kingdom regarding the payment of social service and war pensions? If not, can he say what stagethe negotiations have reached, and when they are likely to be completed?
– The honorable senator has touched upon one of the most difficult problems with which my department has to deal. We are attempting to make a reciprocal arrangement that will relate benefits payable under a contributory social services scheme, such as obtains in Great Britain, with a noncontributory system, such as obtains in Australia. Negotiations -between the Governments of the United Kingdom and Australia have been going on for a. considerable time. About five months ago, two officers from the United Kingdom visited Australia and took part in a long series of discussions on this subject, and we thought that we had evolved a formula that would be acceptable to both governments. My latest information is that the Government of the United Kingdom has raised some new matters, as a result of which we have not yet been able to reach finality. I am anxious to have the matter settled, because the problem is becoming more and more pressing with the arrival of increasing numbers of British citizens under the immigration scheme. The new arrivals want to know what is their position in relation to either the Australian social service system or the British system. There are still several difficulties to he resolved.
asked the Minister for Social Services, upon notice - -
– The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as follows : -
The problem involved in, the cases where pensioners are endeavouring to secure possession of their homes is a very difficult one. I am aware that the honorable senator himself, when administering social services legislation, endeavoured to find a solution to the problem but did not succeed in doing so. The question of giving discretionary power to the Director-General of Social Services to disregard the value of the property in cases of this nature was considered by the former Govern ment and rejected as unsatisfactory and likely to lead to abuses. My Government has come to the same conclusion. In my opinion discretionary powers are seldom satisfactory. They lead to special representations and difficulties in administration and often create more problems than they solve.
Apart from that afforded under Commonwealth laws, protection of tenants is given under the Landlord and Tenant legislation of the States. It seems to me that it should be possible for’ State governments to afford some relief to pensioners in this matter by making appropriate provision in the legislation by means of which such persons could more readily . succeed in obtaining vacant possession of their properties for use as a home.
– Has the AttorneyGeneral been informed of the reported statement of the President of the Australian Council of Trades Unions that consideration of the coal miners’ claim had been postponed until Friday next? What is the Government doing to reduce the loss of production, and the inconvenience to the public, caused by the continuance of the coal dispute? When is it expected that the responsible Minister will be advised from outside sources of the determination of the dispute?
– The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate is not displaying a sense of responsibility by asking a question of that kind at this time. As he knows, the coal dispute is at the moment at a somewhat delicate stage. The Government hopes that members of the miners’ federation will follow the sound advice extended to them by the Australian Council of Trades Unions, and that they will return this week to the tribunal that was appointed to deal with their grievances. I point out for the information of the Leader of the Opposition and of the public that the Australian Government is not the only government charged with responsibility in this matter. The government which has the most effective control over coal in Australia happens to be the Government of New South Wales.
– In view of the continuous spiralling of the cost of living will the Minister for Trade and Customs say whether the Government will increase the rate of payment under the Commonwealth. Workmen’s Compensation Act?
– This matter cannot be dealt with as if it were in a vacuum. I do not kno w what thehonorable senator has in mind - he probably does not know himself. If he will write to the appropriate Minister and place before him a concrete proposition, or formulate his proposals at greater detail in this chamber, I am sure that all available information on the point will be made available.
– Since fountain pens can, in the main, be considered tools of trade, will the Minister representing the Treasurer review the sales tax imposed thereon with a view to removing it entirely or considerably reducing it-?
– I shall convey the honorable senator’s request to my colleague, the Treasurer.
– I understand that during the recent conference of Commonwealth, and . State Ministers a discussion ensued in regard to prices control. In view of the failure of the States adequately to control prices because of their limited constitutional powers, which prevent them from fixing the prices of goods sold interstate, and because of the serious position into which the country is drifting as the result of the lack of adequate prices control, will the Government consider the summoning of a special conference of Commonwealth and State Ministers with a view to obtaining from the States power to control prices for a limited period as. was done by the Chifley Government under its defence powers?
– Without discussing in detail matters of Government policy, I can assure the honorable senator that the Menzies Government will leave no channel unexplored in its efforts adequately to face up to the problem to which he has referred.
– As the Communist Government of China is now in control of the whole of the mainland of that country and has the support of about 400,000,000 Chinese people, is it the intention of the Australian Government formally to recognize that Government?
SenatorO’ SULLIVAN. - I am sure that, upon reflection, the honorable senator would not expect me to answer that question in this chamber.
– I address a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration. I propose to quote from correspondence which I have received with reference to the accommodation being provided for new Australians now housed at the Bradfield Park immigration centre, and their reluctance toleave the settlement there. I ask for leave to quote from the correspondence before I submit my question.
– Is it the pleasure of the Senate that the Leader of the Opposition have leave to quote from certain correspondence?
Leave not granted.
Special ReportoF Select Committee.
– by leave - I present the special report of the Select Committee on National Service in the Defence Force which I propose to read to the Senate. The report reads as follows : -
Parliaments without parliamentary liberties are but a fair and plausible way into bondage. - Pym.
The important truth, powerfully expressed in those words of prominent seventeenth century statesman, John Pym, may well form the theme of this Special Report to the Senate from the Select Committee which, on the 6th February, 1951, resolved -
1 ) , That the Committee takes a very grave view of the action of the Cabinet in flouting Parliamentary authority by directing that the Chiefs of Staff and other officers should not attend before the Select Committee.
That such action by the Cabinet is an interference with the freedom of prospective witnesses, and can only be construed as calculated to defeat, hamper and obstruct the purpose which the Senate had in appointing the Select Committee.
That a statement of the facts be laid before the Senate in a Special Report as soon as possible.
Pursuant to that resolution, the Select Committee now presents this Special Report to the Senate.
Sections of the Report.
Section I. - Constitution of the Committee.
On the 7th December, 1950, on the motion of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Senator the Eon. N. E. McKenna), the Senate agreed to the following resolution: -
Section II. - Press Speculation.
Section III. - Committee’s Approach to the Prime Minister for Co-operation.
The Rt. Hon. R, G. Menzies, K.C., Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, Parliament House, Canberra.
On the 7th December the Senate agreed to the following motion: -
Pursuant to the powers - and responsibilities - vested in it by the Senate, the Select Committee proposes to ask. a number of Service Chiefs and officers of the Public Service to. give evidence upon the subject referred to the Select Committee. Amongst those whom it is proposed to ask to appear before the Committee are -
The Chief of the Air Staff.
The Chief of the General Staff.
The Chief of the Naval Staff.
The purposes of this letter are, first, to advise you of the action proposed by the Committee in respect of witnesses from within the service of the Commonwealth, and, second, to seek your kind co-opera’tion in the matter of the availability of those witnesses.
In this latter connexion it is noticed that, in the Sydney Daily Telegraph of the 8th December, it is reported that the Government will not co-operate with the Committee: that “ This means that the Committee will find it difficult, if not impossible, to get Service Chiefs to give evidence to it “.
While the Committee, naturally, attaches no credence to a report which, conceivably, is entirely without foundation, nevertheless it is felt, in all the circumstances, that it is desirable to seek your positive assurance in this matter before proceeding to the formal summoning of witnesses who are in the service of the Commonwealth.
Evidence by the officers indicated is, you will appreciate, fundamental to the Committee’s inquiry and, as it is the wish of the Committee that a Report be presented to the Senate as soon as practicable, I have therefore to ask if you will be kind enough to facilitate the attendance of the proposed witnesses.
I take this opportunity to extend to you best wishes for the Christmas and New Year season, and for success in your forthcoming visit abroad.
Chairman of the Committee.
Dear Senator McKenna,
I refer to your letter of 14th December relating to the appointment by the Senate of a Select Committee to consider and report on the Government’s proposals for compulsory national service in the Defence Forces.
It is, I believe, a sound rule of policy that permanent officers of the armed services or the public service should not be expected to comment on government policy. To the extent, therefore, that their opinions are sought the officials concerned would have no alternative but to claim privilege. In these circumstances, I think that little purpose would be served by their attendance.
I would like to take the opportunity oi reciprocating your kind seasonal greetings and to thank you’ for your best wishes for my forthcoming visit abroad.
Yours faithfully, robert G. Menzies,
Senator the Hon. N. E. McKenna, Federal Members’ Rooms. Sydney.
It is not proposed, at this stage, to comment on that letter. Rather is it the purpose, in this Section, to record the letters which were exchanged between the Head of the Government and the Committee.
Rt. Hon. A. W. Fadden, Acting Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, Parliament House, Canberra.
On the 14th December, 1950, I wrote to the Prime Minister informing him that the Select Committee on National Service in the Defence Force proposed to ask certain Service Chiefs and officers of the Public Service to give evidence upon the subject referred to the Select Committee, and asking the Prime Minister’s kind co-operation in the matter of the availability of those witnesses.
In his reply of the 23rd December, the Prime Minister stated that he believed that it was a sound rule of policy that permanent officers of the armed services or the Public Service should not be expected to comment on government policy; further, that to the extent that their opinions were sought the officials concerned would have no alternative but to claim privilege.
Apart altogether from the question as to whether Commonwealth officers may claim privilege, so far as such officers are concerned the Select Committee is primarily concerned with factual evidence, and not with comment and opinions upon government policy, which, I appreciate, the officers may have diffidence in expressing. It is proposed, therefore, to invite the officials named in my earlier letter to give evidence before the Committee.
The Select Committee will take evidence in Melbourne on the 6th-9th February, and in Sydney from the 13th February. In a statement attached are set out, for your information, the particular dates on which it is proposed to invite certain Commonwealth officials to give evidence.
Any action which you may be kind enough to take to facilitate, in any way, the attendance of these witnesses will be appreciated by the Committee.
Chairman of the Committee.
Select Committee on National Service in the Defence Force.
Tuesday, 6 February 10 a.m., Chief of the General Staff. 2.30 p.m., Chief of the Naval Staff.
Wednesday, 7th February - 10 a.m., Chief of the Air Staff. 2.30 p.m., Director-General of Recruiting.
Thursday, 8th February - 10 a.m., Secretary, Department of
Labour and National Service. 2.30 p.m., Secretary, Department of
Tuesday, 13th February - 2.30 p.m., Secretary, Department of External Affairs.
Dear Senator McKenna,
I have your letter of the I2th January. The Chiefs of Staff and the other officers mentioned therein have informed me that they have received invitations from the Clerk of the Committee to attend to give evidence at various times during the next few weeks. Cabinet has considered fully the proposal to call these officers and has decided that it would be against the public interest for the Service Chiefs or members of the Public Service to be required to participate in this inquiry.
The ground of the Cabinet decision ‘ is clearly stated in the Prime Minister’s letter of the 23rd December last. It is quite impossible to draw the line between what your Committee may call “ factual “ and what is “ policy “, and it should not be for any official or for the Committee, in the view of the Government on matters which may touch security, to decide whether it is either one or the other.
Since the officials concerned would be compelled to claim privilege immediately, they have been directed that there is no purpose in their attending, and that they should accordingly not do so.
I have accordingly directed them that they should not attend.
Senator the Hon. N. E. McKenna, Federal Members’ Rooms, Sydney, N.S.W.
Section IV - Letters to Witnesses Relative to Attendance.
I am directed by the Chairman of the Select Committee on National Service in the Defence Force (Senator the Hon. N. E. McKenna) to ask you to attend before the Committee to give evidence upon the subject referred to them by the Senate.
In order to acquaint you with the full scope of the Committee’s inquiry, I enclose herewith copies of the following: -
Would you kindly let me know,’ for the information of the Chairman, whether it would be convenient for you to attend at Parliament House, Melbourne, on Tuesday, the sixth day of February, at ten a.m., to give evidence upon the subject referred to the Select Committee by the Senate.
Clerk of the Committee.
Lieutenant-General S. F. Rowell, C.B., C.B.E.,
Chief of the General Staff,
To these letters, which were posted on the 12th January, 1951, the witnesses responded as follows: -
Letter dated 5th February, and received 6th February, from General Rowell stating that, on direction, he would not be in attendance on the 6th February - see Annexure B.
Sir Edmund attended accordingly, and gave his evidence.
Section V. - The Powers and Privileges of the Senate, and of its Committees, in Relation to Witnesses.
A select committee cannot require the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents without express authority from the House. - May, 14th edition, p. 588.
The regular course, then, would seem to be to order him to attend at the Bar of the Senate to answer for his contempt.
If a witness fails to appear . . . his conduct is reported to the House, which usually orders the offender to attend at its bar. - May, 14th edition, p. 588,
The refusal or neglect of a witness or other person, summoned to attend either House or a Committee of either House, to attend affords the most common example of this type of contempt. - May, 14 th edition, p. 110.
Disobedience to the orders of a committee is a contempt of the House by which the committee was appointed, provided the order made is within the scope of the committee’s authority. ibid., p. 111.
If the House resolve that a breach of privilege has been committed, the President or Speaker is authorized to issue his warrant for the imprisonment of the offender . . . The power of the House, however, is limited to the duration of the current session, and upon the prorogation of Parliament the sentence of imprisonment expires ipso facto, and the offender is released, although it would be competent to either House to recommit an offender in the ensuing session if it was thought he had not been sufficiently punished. - (Parliamentary Paper, No S.6 of 1907-8, p. 4.)
The House of Commons not having imposed a fine since 1666, that power is generally considered obsolete.
That if it shall appear that any person hath been tampering with any Witness, in respect of his evidence to be given to this House, or any Committee thereof, or directly or indirectly hath endeavoured to deter or hinder any person from appearing or giving evidence, the same is declared to be a high crime and misdemeanour; and this House will proceed with the utmost severity against such offender.
Other authorities include -
The Sessional Order and what may be described as the general privilege of the House of Commons clearly prohibit anything in the nature of intimidation or force or any suggestion of false evidence on a question of fact or any attempt to prevent any person from appearing before a Committee of the House or from expressing his honest opinion. - Report of the Committee of Privileges; Commons Paper 90 of 1934.
To tamper with a witness in regard to the evidence to be given before either House or any committee of either House or to endeavour, directly or indirectly, to deter or hinder any person from appearing or giving evidence is a breach of privilege. - May, 14th edition, p. 129.
Any conduct which is calculated to deter prospective witnesses from giving evidence before either House or before committee’s of either House is a breach of privilege. ibid, p. 129.
Persons who tamper with witnesses in respect of evidence to be given before committees of either House, or endeavour, directly or indirectly, to deter or hinder persons from appearing or giving evidence are punishable as for breach of privilege. ibid., p. 593.
Whatever may be the character of a Committee, whatever may be the nature of the evidence to be tendered by a witness, any interference with a witness’s freedom is a breach of the privileges of the House of Commons. A witness who is to give evidence in a representative capacity must, of course, consult beforehand with those whom he is to represent; and, apart from this, any witness may properly ask advice before giving evidence before any committee. Such advice may properly take the form of suggestions as to how he can best marshal his facts, no less than as to how he can best state his opinions, or the opinions of those on whose behalf he is speaking; but it is as improper for his adviser to interfere with his opinions, whether individual or representative, as to interfere with his facts. - Report from the Select Committee on Witnesses; Commons Paper 84 of1935.
The right of investigating, by the testimony of witnesses or otherwise, any subject or matter in reference to which it has power to act is one of the collective privileges of the House; and all conduct of a kind calculated to obstruct the House in the exercise of this right is consequently a contempt of the authority of the House and a breach of its privileges.. - Sir Horace Dawkins, then Clerk of the House of Commons, in a memorandum to the Select Committee on Witnesses; Commons Paper 84 of 1935, p. 52.
Section VI. - Committee’s Comments on the Non-attendance of the Proposed Witnesses, together with Recommendations.
The Chief of the General Staff (LieutenantGeneral S. F. Rowell),
The Secretary, Department of Supply (Mr. H. P. Breen) - an equally clear advice that, on direction, they would not attend. To give emphasis to this point, the letter from the Chief of the General Staff is quoted - 5th February, 1951.
The Acting Prime Minister has directed that the Chiefsof Staff should not attend before the Senate Select Committee on National Service in the Defence Force.
I have to inform you that, in accordance with this direction. I will not be in attendance before the Committee in Melbourne on Tuesday, the 6th February, 1951.
Chief of the General Staff.
There can be no misunderstanding in connexion with that letter. The witness simply refused to attend, be it on direction.
The Chief of the Air Staff (Air Marshal G. Jones), and
The Secretary, Department of External Affairs (Mr. A. S. Watt) - no word was received that they would be unable to attend at the times proposed; nor did the Secretary, Department of External Affairs, extend to the Committee even the elementary courtesy of an acknowledgment of the Clerk’s letter, written as itwas at the direction of the Chairman of the Committee. At the time set down for the attendance of these three witnesses, the Committee assembled, and were put to the necessity of having the Clerk call the names of the witnesses at the times appointed and then report that they did not answer the Calls. The Committee is left to speculate whether the conduct of these proposed witnesses springs from ignorance, ill-manners, plain contempt of the Parliament, or otherwise. Under any circumstances, their conduct is inexcusable.
Service Chiefs Snub Senate - and going on to say -
The three chiefs of Australia’s armed services yesterday boycotted the Senate Select
Committee’s inquiry on the introduction of compulsory national service for defence it becomes a matter of urgency that the principle of the supremacy of Parliament in a democracy, and the respect due to it, should be asserted, and that public servants should - equally with members of the Cabinet - clearly recognize, and if necessary be made to recognize, that principle.
The action of Cabinet, and the resultant conduct of the officers, cannot help but create in the minds of public servants a false conception of ministerial hegemony in matters’ Parliament. It can only be in the general interest to put these matters in their right perspective.
It has often been said, by members of all parties, that “ The Senate is master of its own affairs “. That maxim would be well served by resolute action by the Senate of a kind which will manifest to public officials generally that, in a democracy, the institution of Parliament is still paramount; that Cabinet derives what powers it may have from the Parliament, and not Parliament from the Cabinet; and that Parliament’s rights are, in essence, the rights of the citizen. It is in the national interest that public servants should understand and act upon these’ precepts, even if they themselves are required, by a misguided Ministry, not to give expression to them.
SectionVII. - Committee’s Comments on the Action of the Cabinet in Flouting Parliamentary Authority, together with Recommendations.
Introductory. - In paragraph 42 the Committee has expressed the opinion that the Cabinet, by its action in directing that the Chiefs of Staff and other officers’ should not attend before the Select Committee, is more culpable than the witnesses who failed to attend because of that direction.
The attitude of the Prime Minister. - In its comments on the conduct of the Government, the Committee proposes, first, to examine the stand taken by the Prime Minis’1 ter. A reading of his letter of the 23rd December,. 1950 - see paragraph 13 - shows that the Prime Minister was careful not to say that the witnesses would not be allowed to attend. The Prime Minister did no more than seek to place a limitation on the evidence which the Committee could expect from the witnesses. He said, first -
It is, I believe, a sound rule of policy that permanent officers of the armed services or the public service should not be expected to comment on government policy.
With that view, the Committee has no quarrel.
Next, the Prime Minister stated -
To the extent therefore, that their opinions are sought, the officials concerned would have no alternative but to claim privilege. In these circumstances, I think that little purpose would be served by their attendance.
In reply to that, the Chairman pointed out in his letter of the 12th January, 1951, to the Acting Prime Minister, that-
Apart altogether from the question as to whether Commonwealth officers may claim privilege, so far as such officers are concerned the Select Committee is primarily concerned with factual evidence, and not with comment and opinions upon Government policy, which, I appreciate, the officers may have diffidence in expressing, lt is proposed, therefore, to invite the officials named in my earlier letter to give evidence before the Committee.
The position, then, was clear. The Committee proposed to call the witnesses, but in their examination did not intend, as the Acting Prime Minister was told, to seek opinions’ oh government policy. - 50. That course of action must surely be accepted as confirming even to the limitation sought to be imposed by the Prime Minister - although, let it be understood, the Committee does not for a moment concede that a witness can refuse to answer any question, and it fails to see -what valid claim of privilege a witness could make. However, in this particular’ matter, there was no conflict between the Prime Minister’s view and that of the Committee.
Cabinet’s decision. - Almost immediately after his letter of the 23rd December, the Prime Minister went abroad.’ On the 12th January, 195], the Chairman addressed to the Acting Prime Minister the letter referred to in paragraph 48, advising him that for the reasons given the Committee proposed to call the witnesses in question, and detailing the times proposed for their attendance. It will be appreciated that this letter was in the nature of a courtesy to the Acting Leader of the Government.
Arrangements for the sittings of the Committee, commencing 10 a.m. on the 6th February, 1951, proceeded according to plan. And at that very time - 10 a.m. on the 6th February - the Chairman received the Acting Prime Minister’s letter, dated 2nd February (nee paragraph 15) announcing Cabinet’s decision that Commonwealth officials were to be directed that they should not attend before the Committee.
First, an observation on the Government’s lack of consideration in this matter. Admittedly, the Clerk of the Committee had been advised the day previously, the 5th February, of the contents of the Acting Prime Minister’s letter, and had passed the information on to the Chairman that afternoon. That belated effort, however, did little to mitigate the Acting Prime Minister’s unpardonable discourtesy in notifying the Committee at such a late stage of Cabinet’s decision. 5-1. Coming now to the merits - or rather lack nf merit - of the Cabinet decision, it is interesting to analyse the Acting Prime Minister’s letter.
In the first place, the Acting Prime Minister stated that Cabinet had decided that it would be against the public interest for the Service Chiefs or members of the Public Service to be required to participate ing.,the inquiry. A later paragraph of his letter rests this decision on the gound that matters touching security may be involved.
The clear implication of this decision is that members of the Select Committee of the Senate may act irresponsibly or against the national interest. All members of the Committee resent this as grossly improper, and insulting not only to themselves but to the Senate and to all members of the Parliament.
Such an assault as the Government has levelled against Parliamentary privilege is not to be camouflaged by concern - real or pretended - for national security.
The outrageous character of the Government’s decision in this matter is highlighted by the Prime Minister’s statement of the 18th December, 1950, in which he is reported as having told the National Security Resources Board that members of that Board would be fully in the Government’s confidence. It has, in fact, come to the notice of the Select Committee that the Prime Minister wrote to all Departments requiring them to make available to the Board all information at their disposal, no matter how “ secret “ it may ‘be regarded. The Committee has now only to record that the Board in question recently appointed by the Government has only one Parliamentary member - the Prime Minister or his. Deputy, six public servants, and five private ‘citizens.
It should be recorded here that, realizing that matters of security may be involved in the inquiry, the very first resolution which the Committee passed, at its sitting of the 6th February, was -
That Strangers and representatives of the press he not admitted to the sittings of the Committee.
At the same time, the Chairman stated to the Committee that it was more than probable that, when the time came for the Committee to decide whether or not to present the evidence to the Senate with the Report, the decision would be that the evidence be not so presented.
The Cabinet, in pleading public interest to justify its action, is probably relying on the passage from Arthur Berriedale Keith’s The British Cabinet System, 1830-1938, at pp. 303-4, as follows: -
In yet other cases the ministry may appeal to the House to forbear from investigation or demands for information on the score that it is not in the public interest that disclosures should be made. Hence the ministry is not questioned on the expenditure of secret service funds, and the amount demanded is voted without discussion. Most striking of all, it has been agreed by the Commons not to question the use made of the enormous sum placed under Governmental control as the Exchange Equalization Fund. Moreover, on details of defence preparations the ministry is permitted to preserve complete silence, as is shown by the replies of Sir T. Inskip to all efforts in 1937-38 to extract from him encouragement as to the effectiveness of new British armaments, or types of aeroplanes. The ministry in like manner escapes severe pressure regarding its detailed plans for defence ; whatever the degree of scepticism felt as to their efficiency, the Commons will not press a Minister to go beyond his statements of what it is safe to reveal. Hence from time to time the suggestions made that the Commons should hold a secret session to discuss such issues as the state of the air defence scheme, but the proposal, which was occasionally acted on during the Great War, has never in peace been adopted.
The Opposition may comment on the vital change from Mr. Baldwin’s view of the necessity of equality with Germany in the number of first-line aircraft to Mr. N. Chamberlain’s insistence that other factors must be taken into account, such as reserves, productive capacity, and quality of airmen, but even Mr. Churchill had to rest content with the assurance that all matters relevant had fully been weighed. No doubt many Conservatives share his doubts as to. the soundness of British policy in this regard, but it would have been wholly contrary to precedent to question the issue further in the Commons. Only in the case of domestic action has the issue been pressed as regards troop and ship movements, as it was in “the famous controversy over Mr. Churchill’s attitude towards the means to be taken to suppress any attempt in Ulster to resist, by armed’ force, the authority of the Crown during the controversy over Home Rule.
There is, however, no real analogy between the two. Professor Keith’s comments clearly refer to demands made in the House for information on defence matters, &c. In our Parliament, too, it is not uncommon for Ministers to refuse to answer such questions on the ground that it would not be in the public interest. But such policy has no relation whatsoever to investigations by a Select Committee, particularly a Committee sitting in camera, where the plea “that it is not in the public interest that disclosures should be made” cannot possibly he sustained. Moreover, any plea by the Cabinet of public interest is additionally answered by the words of Mr. Attlee - see paragraph65 - when he declared that the freedom of members from pressure by the Executive must be defended against attack even if that attack should be cloaked under anxiety for the national safety. In any event, Professor Keith most certainly does not suggest that the Cabinet may place itself above the authority of Parliament by directing that witnesses should not attend before a properly constituted Select Committee.
Any act which affects the working of any Committee of the House, amounts to a breach of privilege, if it is intended or calculated to defeat, hamper or obstruct the purpose which Parliament had in view in appointing the Committee. - Commons Paper 84 of 1935, p. 25.
There can be no greater blow to democracy than the admission of any right of the Executive to hamper, hinder, or restrain members of this House from carrying out their duty to the nation. The freedom of members from pressure by the Executive was fought and won years ago, and it must be defended against attack even if that attack should be cloaked under anxiety for the national safety . . . We cannot have the assumption that members of this House’ are deliberately acting against the interests of the country . . .
In these days when liberty is challenged and derided in other countries we should be specially vigilant to set an example to the world of the preservation of our parliamentary rights.
If once the Executive, as represented by Cabinet Ministers, is given power to override the Parliament and the privileges of members, then at that very moment our free democracy ceases to exist, and the institution of Parliament, as we know it, is supplanted by a dictatorship of nineteen Ministers answerable to noone but themselves.
The leading principle which appears to pervade all proceedings between the Houses of Parliament is that there shall subsist a perfect equality between them, and that they shall be, in every respect, totally independent one of the other. Hence it is that neither House can claim, much less exercise, any authority over a member of the other. Neither House of Parliament can take upon itself to punish any breach of privilege or contempt offered to it by any member of the other House. If any complaint is made against any individual member or against any of the officers of the. other House the usual mode of proceedings is to examine into the fact and then lay. a state of that evidence before the House of which the person complained of is a member or officer.
When a member, officer, or servant of either House has been guilty of any offence either against the other House or against its members, which would be punishable by the latter if committed by one of its own members, officers, or servants, it is the duty of the House to which such offender belongs, upon being apprised of the fact, to take proper measures to inquire into and punish the offence in ‘a proper manner.
Parliaments without parliamentary liberties are but a fair and plausible way into bondage.
I have to acknowledge receipt of your memorandum of the 11th January, 1951, and attached papers, relative to attendance before the Select Committee on National Service in the Defence Forces.
Chief of the General Staff.
The Acting Prime Minister has directed that the Chiefs of Staff should not attend before the Senate Select Committee on National Service in the Defence Force.
I have to inform you that, in accordance with this direction, I will not be in attendance before the Committee in Melbourne on Tuesday, the 6th February, 1951.
Chief of the General Staff.
I desire to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated 11th January, 1951, relative to the Select Committee on National Service in the Defence Force.
The delay in acknowledging your letter is due to my being absent from Melbourne during the past fortnight until to-day.
First Naval Member and Chief of the Naval Staff.
Clerk of the Select Committee,
I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 11th January, 1951, and the papers attached thereto relating to the Senate Select Committee on National Service.
Chief of the Air Staff.
Clerk of Select Committee on National Service,
With reference to your letter of the11th ultimo in which you advised me that you had been directed by the Chairman of the Select Committee on National Service to ask me to attend before the Committee to give evidence on the 8th instant, I desire to inform you that I have been instructed by the Acting Prime Prinister that I should not attend.
I have your letter of the 11th January in which you convey a request from the Chairman of the Select Committee on National Service in the Defence Force for me to attend before the Committee to give evidence upon the subject referred to it by the Senate. The delay in replying to your letter is regretted, but I felt obliged to notify my Minister of this request.
I have now received a direction from my Minister that I am not to attend before the Committee. I am therefore unable to be present at Parliament House, Melbourne, on the 8th February, as requested.
Clerk of the Select Committee on National Service in the Defence Force,
I move -
That the Special Report be printed.
Question put. The Senate divided. (The President - Senator the Hon. Gordon Brown.)
Majority . . . . 5
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Motion (by Senator Critchley) - by leave - agreed to -
That leave of absence for two months be granted to Senator O’Flaherty on account of ill health.
asked the Minister for Social .Services, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as follows : -
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice -
– The Minister for Civil Aviation has furnished the following answers: -
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation. upon notice -
Will the Minister consider providing both a freight and passenger air service to King Island?
– The Minister for Civil Aviation has furnished the following answer : -
It will be appreciated that the question of commencement of air services of this nature is primarily one for the operator concerned. The
Australian National Airlines Commission has examined the possibility of operating to King Island, but is of the opinion that existing services are adequate to cope with the business offering and has decided therefore that it would not be justified in establishing additional regular services. The Commission has on several occasions operated special flights under charter between Melbourne and King Island to carry special loads which could not be handled by the regular service, and is still prepared to operate on a special aircraft charter basis when required. It is pointed out that Australian National Airways Proprietary Limited provides a three-times-weekly passenger and freight service, and a weekly freight service, supplemented as necessary by additional flights; for instance, special flights are operated over the Christmas and Easter periods. In view of this fact, I share the opinion that it would not be desirable for Trans-Australia Airlines to operate additional services to the island.
– On the 7th December, 1950, Senator Murray indicated that he would ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice -
In view of the promise made by the Prime Minister in his policy speech to set up an allparty committee of both Houses on International Affairs, and in view of the serious situation in Korea and the Far East, when can the setting up of this committee be expected?
A reply was furnished by letter to Senator Murray pointing out that the Government had taken steps towards establishing such a committee, but when the Minister for External Affairs attempted to move the necessary motion on the 7th December, 1950, on the objection of the Opposition, he was not granted leave to do so. Accordingly, despite the Government’s endeavours, the committee has not yet been set up.
– On the 7th December, 1950, Senator George Rankin indicated that he would ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice -
In view of the proposals to offer substantial prizes in the Jubilee year for the best Australian novel, poem and play, will the Government consider offering a substantial prize for an Australian National Anthem?
Senator George Rankin was advised by letter during the Parliamentary recess that the Commonwealth Jubilee Committee had something of this nature in mind and was organizing a jubilee national song competition as part of the official celebrations. This competition is for words and music of a song which might be suitable for adoption as Australia’s national song. Prizes totalling £200 are being offered in this competition.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice -
– The Minister for External Affairs has furnished the following answers : -
asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, upon notice -
– The Minister for National Development has furnished the following answers: -
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture, upon notice -
– The Minister for Commerce and Agriculture has furnished the following answer: -
Some years ago research work was undertaken by the Queensland Department of Agriculture at their Research Station in South Johnstone to determine the possibilities of tea production. Recently I noticed a press statement by the Queensland Minister for Agriculture and Stock, the Honorable H. H. Collins, that good quality tea had been produced at South Johnstone. The question of production responsibility rests entirely with the State and at the present juncture, it is not considered desirable for the Commonwealth to establish plantations.
However, -the Commonwealth Government is interested in tea production and would be pleased to discuss any matter in this connexion with the Queensland Government if requested to do so by that Government.
asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice -
– The PostmasterGeneral has furnished me with the following reply : -
All State sections of the Engineering Branch have not been re-organized. The organization of the Engineering Branch throughout thedepartment is like that of other branches under continuous review and as the need for reorganization arises the department’s views are placed before the Public Service Board which, if in agreement, issues the necessary approvals accordingly. The re-organization of the Engineering Branch generally is effected progressively and proposals affecting Tasmania will be submitted to the board at an early date.
asked theMinister representing the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture, upon notice -
– The Minister for Commerce and Agriculture furnished the following information to the honorable senator in a letter dated the 6th January, 1951: -
In addition to the goods received ex MayDecember quota, a quantity of 12,500 tons waa received during this period, being the carry over from the January- April 1950 quota.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice -
– As the answer to the honorable senator’s question is rather lengthy arid has already been supplied to him, I ask for leave of the Senate to have the reply incorporated in Hansard.
Leave not granted.
Reports on Items.
– I lay on the table the reports of the Tariff Board on the following subjects : -
Dredging and excavating machinery.
Silvered crystal reflectors.
Coal and stone-drilling machines.
The first three reports are available for immediate circulation to honorable senators and the remaining three will be circulated as soon as possible. The first five reports, which recommended that the rates of duty on the related goods be not varied, have been adopted by the Government. The proposed tariff changes arising from the recommendations contained in the report on coal and stone-drilling machines, were given effect by the House of Representatives, along with other recommended tariff changes, by ‘Customs Tariff Proposals No. 4 of the 7th December, 1950.
Ordered to be printed.
– by leave - It is with deep personal regret that I have to announce to the Senate on behalf of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) the resignation from Cabinet of the Honorable Dame Enid Lyons, G.B.E., Vice-President of the Executive Council. For some months Dame Enid has been on leave of absence from Cabinet duties because of ill health. We had all hoped that a complete rest from political activities would restore her to normal vigour. However, as Dame Enid has set out iri a letter to the Prime Minister, this hope has not been realized. Dame Enid has always been willing, notwithstanding ill health, to carry on her official duties, and to give to them the devotion and spirit of public service for which she is well known to us all. ‘ The gravity of the international situation and the seriousness of our mounting internal problems have led her to the view that, without vigorous health, she cannot carry out her duties to her own satisfaction. Dame Enid’s resignation has been received with regret, not only by the Government, but also by the Australian people by whom Dame Enid has long been regarded with affection and admiration. I know that, on behalf of the Senate, I can express the earnest wish that her lightened responsibilities will lead to a marked improvement in her health. Dame Enid’s resignation will take effect as from to-day, and, for the present, the Prime Minister will assume the duties of Vice-President of the Executive Council.
Debate resumed from the 7th December, 1950 (vide page 3891), on motion by Senator SPICER -
That the bill be now read a second time.
– In common with other Opposition senators I want to emphasize my objections to the bill-
– Is the honorable senator going to vote against it?
– I shall give good reasons for my attitude. The bill is absolutely unnecessary. It is opposed to the interests not only of our economy but also of the youth of this country. The Government introduced the bill for the purpose of conscripting the youth of the country and placing them in camps. Although Australia is supposed to be a democracy, the Parliament is being asked to exercise powers of compulsion over boys who have not even a vote.
– Of course, boys in the Soviet Union have a vote!
– Honorable senators are all aware that the young men of this country are not permitted to vote. Although we boast of our democracy, we propose to pass legislation that will vitally affect the liberty, and perhaps- even the lives, of our young men, who are not even permitted to vote ! It is all very well for grey-headed nien to endeavour to conscript young men to do work that they themselves should be doing. I remind the Government that the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) has already said that we have no cause to fear an invasion of this country. Indeed, in his speeches he has stated that there is no possibility of an invasion. If that is so, why do we propose to conscript the youth of this country to defend us, when we believe that there is no possibility of an invasion? The fact that the Prime Minister declared that there was no need for worry about an invasion proves conclusively that there is no urgency about this matter or such defence preparation. We are certainly not justified in imposing conscription on our boys. I know that some honorable senators will say that Australia is in danger of being attacked, and I know that many have expressed that fear. However, I. ask them, “ Who is going to attack us ? “
– The honorable senator’s “ cobbers “.
– Who are my “cobbers”?
– The Russian Communists.
– I have just been told that the Russians want to attack Australia. I make this offer to honorable senators opposite : If any honorable senator can place before the Senate any evidence of any authoritative statement made by either the Russian Government or Marshal Stalin to the effect that Russia wants to attack Australia I will vote for the bill, notwithstanding that the measure is opposed to principles that I have held all my life. Furthermore, I challenge any honorable senator opposite to produce any authoritative statement to the effect that Russia is arming for the purpose of aggression.
Honorable senators interjecting,
– Never mind about what appears in the press or what we hear in the streets. I am looking for facts, and I repeat that if any honorable senator can produce any authoritative evidence that Russia is contemplating aggression I will vote for the bill.
I have heard a lot of loose talk about Russia and other countries wanting to attack us. Let us examine the facts. In the State of Tasmania, which I represent in this chamber, not one hap’orth of damage was done by enemy action during the last war - nor, for that matter, was any real damage done in any part of Australia. I stress that fact because it emphasizes the serious disorganization caused to our economy by the recent war, notwithstanding that we escaped direct enemy action. As every one knows, we have not yet overtaken the lag of production caused by the recent war. After five years we are still acutely short of materials, man-power and many other things. Contrast the immunity from enemy attack enjoyed by Australia during the recent war with the enormous physical damage inflicted on Russia. From the North Sea to Stalingrad roads, railways, factories, furnaces, mines, oilfields, hydroelectric projects and all kinds of other essential works were destroyed. It has been estimated that during the recent war 10,000,000 . were killed, 12,000,000 Russian citizens were maimed or injured, and 10,000,000 homes were destroyed. We all know that heavy industry is the back-bone of any country’s effort in modern war. How then can Russia, which sustained such terrific losses, make v/air or even desire war? I realize, of course, that propagandists would have us believe that Russia is eager to fight us.
– Why is the Socialist Government, of Great Britain re-arming to the degree that it is?
– Because we are living under a decadent system, which is collapsing so rapidly-
– The British Government is not a capitalist government.
– Order! Senator Maher will have an opportunity to speak later. In the meantime he moist maintain order.
– I shall not enter into any arguments with interjectors because I know that the purpose of interjections is to divert me from the point that I am endeavouring to make.
– What is the point that the honorable senator is endeavouring to make?
– I have said that if any honorable senator can produce evidence that Russia is contemplating aggression-
– The honorable senator would not believe the evidence even if he saw it.
– Let any honorable senator produce that evidence. That is all I have to say on that aspect of the matter. I know, of course, that it is also contended that the Chinese may attack us. Surely honorable senators realize that the Chinese have scarcely one vessel that they can use even to carry on shipping services from their coastline to the adjacent islands. How it can be suggested that the Chinese could find the ships to convey an invading army to Australia is beyond me. Moreover, the desire is not there.
I am convinced that Australia has only one actual or potential enemy, and I refer to the people whom the United States of America is now re-arming. The Japanese people are increasing in number so rapidly that it is inevitable that they must overflow into other lands. American capitalists, who worship the almighty dollar, see more profit .in exploiting 80,000,000 Japanese than they do in defending us. For that reason they would be prepared, if necessary, even to assist the Japanese. I know that honorable senators will -remind me that America helped us considerably during the recent war, and no one realizes more than I do the value of help that they rendered in defending our country. In deed, Australia could not have survivedwithout the help of America. However, the position has altered now. Japan has been defeated, and the American industrialists have to exploit some one in order to amass wealth. They are now busily engaged in exploiting the Japanese workers, and for that reason, I repeat that Japan is the only country that we have any cause to fear.
Almost every day now we are -being told that submarines have been constructed which can travel submerged in the water for extraordinarily long periods. It has even been claimed that they can remain submerged for as long as twelve months. We are also told that such submarines could deposit along our coastline atomic bombs or mines which, when exploded, the radio activity could cause destruction -along stretches of our coastline to a depth of 20 miles inland. We learn that aircraft have been devised that can drop atomic bombs from heights of as great as 40,000 and 50,000 feet. Those reports are particularly disturbing to Australians, because we know that more than 60 per cent, of our population is located in the capital cities. Apparently, all that an enemy would need to do to us in wartime would be to attack Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Adelaide with atomic- weapons, which could be brought here either by submarines or by highflying aircraft. I have dwelt on these warnings in order to lend point to this question : “ What chance will Australian land forces have of preventing such attacks ? “ We have a coastline of more than 12,000 miles, and it would not be possible for us, with our limited population, to man that coastline for defensive purposes even if we called upon every man, woman and child in the country. What part is it intended, then, that the boys who will be conscripted under the national service scheme should play in defending this country against attacks by aircraft and submarines?
I know the old argument that in the interests of young men we should not send them into battle without first training them, but in my view that argument is futile and stupid. How can soldiers, however efficiently trained, fight suV marines and aircraft? If the Government was sincere it would leave our young -men alone and concentrate its efforts on establishing an efficient air force, if such is necessary.
– Even the aborigines prepared their young men to defend their tribes !
– Of course, I realize that some honorable senators opposite want to live on the youth of this country. However, the fact remains that if we are to be subjected to attack, that attack will be made by aircraft and/or submarines. What is the use, therefore, of wasting public money on the construction of large military camps and in training young men for army service? The real purpose of the Government in introducing this measure is to pave the way towards industrial conscription. Once the country has been submitted to conscription the government will go on and on, and eventually those persons outside the Parliament who support the present Government will get their pound of flesh. I have no doubt that a depression will occur in this country in the near future, and when that happens the workers, who will probably try to defend their hardwon conditions, will find that the new conscript army will be used against them.
– That is an old bogy.
– The honorable senator who has just interjected has “ fallen “ for the bogy of the war scares that are published in the press every day. The trouble with honorable senators opposite is that they do not think. Undoubtedly the real purpose of the bill is to pave the way for the introduction of industrial conscription. Australia does not want conscription of any kind. The figures cited by Senator McKenna earlier in the debate prove that the voluntary system of enlistment was working admirably until the Prime Minister threw a spanner into the works by announcing that young men who volunteered to join the Citizen Military Forces would be liable to fight anywhere in the world. Notwithstanding the improved pay and conditions of service in the . forces, the recruiting campaign slumped as soon as the Prime Minister made that announcement. I repeat that the people of Australia do not want conscription. The farmers of Australia say, “If you take our young men away how are we to continue producing foodstuffs for the defence of this country ? “ I recently discussed this matter with small groups of farmers. When I spoke to them while they were working in their different fields, they told me that because of the present acute shortage of labour the only way in which they could keep their farms going was by spending a certain amount of time working on their neighbours’ farms. They pointed out to me very forcibly that if their position becomes any worse they would have to cease working their farms ; and they wanted to know how the Government proposed to replace the young men called up from their farms for military service. Food is one of the principal sinews of modern civilization, and we cannot do without it. How then does the Government propose to obtain sufficient foodstuffs during the next few years?
The recruiting campaign has slumped so much that the Government has been considering introducing conscription in order to bolster up our armed forces. It was significant that the day after the decision of the conference of the Australian Labour party iri the matter of national military service was announced the newspapers immediately urged complete conscription. That fact alone bears out my contention that sinister forces are behind the move to introduce industrial and military conscription. The State of Tasmania, which I represent, is being industrialized very rapidly, but like every other State it badly needs additional electric power. Although the Tasmanian Labour Government has made energetic efforts to provide more electric power for industry? its efforts have been frustrated by the drought which prevailed in that State for some months and also because of the acute shortage of manpower to carry out construction works. In fact, at present the hydro-electric project in Tasmania has 600 fewer men than its needs. Nevertheless the Australian Government now proposes to take lads out of industry and place them in camps where they will have practically nothing to do. A lot of paraphernalia will be involved. They will have to be provided with food and clothing, which, in effect, will be all wasted effort. I consider that economically it is not right that thousands of boys should be taken from industry and allowed to sit down in army camps producing nothing, particularly at a time when the nation is starved for goods. It is the most stupid proposition that I have ever heard. A few moments ago Senator George Rankin interjected to the effect that we are in danger of attack by Russia. I remind him that not long ago Stalin was reported to have stated, “How can we build up armies and go on with great hydro-electric schemes at the same time ? “ I consider that it is economically unsound to establish large standing armies instead of completing large government undertakings already begun.
– Has not Russia got a standing army?
– I do not know anything about the Russian Army. I am merely referring to what I have read.
– The honorable senator is apparently an innocent abroad, and a danger to the community.
– I am a danger to the exploiters of this country, the class of people that the honorable senator who has just interjected represents in this chamber. I have never disguised my contention that one class of the people is exploited by the policy of the present Government. The workers are being fleeced so that the rich may become richer. I realize, of course, that the truth hurts supporters of the Government. The present proposal will intensify the inflationary spiral, because lads will be taken out of industry and placed in camps where they will do no productive work. Ultimately the inflationary tendency will become so great that our economic foundations will be shaken to the roots. It is axiomatic that inflation must result if lads are taken out of productive industry and placed in camps. It is utterly stupid for honorable senators opposite to suggest that the country will be saved by putting 30,000 boys into camp. Honorable senators opposite are merely “ falling “ for the brass hats who are spreading war hysteria amongst the people.
– Does the honorable senator contend that the socialist government in Great Britain is afflicted in the same way?
– I am addressing myself to the problem in this country.
We must look after our youth and Australia’s productive effort. Honorable senators opposite claim to be patriotic, but nevertheless they continue to demand their pound of flesh. Senator Maher is not in favour of revaluation because the interests that he represents wish to continue to extract an additional 25 per cent. from the British people. The honorable senator knows very well that so long as he can continue to exploit the British people to that extent, he is better off.
– The honorable senator is going the wrong way round.
– I emphasize that we should not conscript these boys, because conscription is contrary to the Australian tradition, against our standards, and against our dignity. Australians have always responded readily in time of war. When the recent world war broke out the first couple of battalions were formed by enlistments from the ranks of boys who could not get jobs, and who were only too ready to join the Army.
– That is a lie.
– It is the truth, and the truth hurts. At the outbreak of war there were 298,000 men unemployed, in this country.
– That is not correct.
– It is correct.
Government senators interjecting,
– Order ! The honorable senator must be allowed to proceed with his speech.
– It is provocative.
- Senator Morrow has a perfect right to make his speech in his own way provided that he observes the Standing Orders. Several honorable senators have interjected repeatedly. I ask them to desist.
– My remarks are provocative only to those that the truth hurts. It is a crying shame that the training of apprentices and young men pursuing scientific courses is to be interrupted by military training. It will take those young men a long time to pick up the threads once their continuity of study is broken. On many occasions during my recent tour I heard the opinion expressed that when our lads were taken from industry and placed in camps, their jobs would be filled by new Australians, and that in the event of war breaking out our boys would have to fight to protect others who had taken their places in industry. I am not saying anything about the new Australians, because I realize that although many of them’ would like to join the Army, they are forbidden by law to do so until they have lived for five years in a British country. It was apparent to me during my tour that there was much opposition to the compulsory military training scheme by the middle class as well as by factory workers. The resentment of the people is reflected in the poor response to the recruiting campaign. I personally resent .this country being conscripted.
– Apparently the honorable senator wants the Red Army here ?
- Senator Maher continues to croak interjections, which are based only on what he has read in the newspapers.
– The Curtin Government brought in conscription.
– I remind Senator George Rankin that we were at war at the time, and that the Curtin Government also forced the British Government to send our troops back from the Middle East to defend this country, when invasion was threatening from the north.
– Does not the honorable senator believe that troops are necessary to defend us?
– With the application of scientific warfare, troops could not now defend us. Furthermore, the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) has stated that it is unlikely that Australia will be invaded. Why; then, should we put all of these men into camp, with consequential waste of time, material, and food? I consider that the labour effort that would thus be lost would be sufficient to complete the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric project in about three or four years.
– It would then be handy for the Russians when they arrived in this country.
– I am opposed to any form of conscription. Although the Australian Labour party has agreed to allow this bill to go through, honorable senators on this side of the chamber may speak against it if they so desire. I am opposed to conscription, and I shall oppose it all my life. If it became evident that Australia was to be attacked, every Australian would be prepared to fight to resist an invader. During World War II., Australia put up the best effort amongst the nations on a per capita basis. As honorable senators are aware, women entered the factories, took jobs as tram and bus conductresses, and worked in the land army in order to release men for fighting. That proves conclusively that Australians will fight readily, when necessary, to protect their country. I do not want to see Australian youth conscripted in order to protect the oil-wells in the Middle East and capitalists in other countries. Let us look after our own country. Senator Maher has mentioned the Red Army. I am endeavouring to apply a little reasoning and logic, but I realize that that is not possible as far as he is concerned. I pointed out that Russia was in such a position that it could not recoup its losses in such a short time.
– Why has it an army?
– I do not know that Russia has an army. I recently saw a statement to the effect that the Russian army was demobilized in the years between 1945 and 1948. It may have a big army, but proof is never brought forward. I repeat that I do not know whether Russia has an army or not.
– If the honorable senator could get the Russians to lift the Iron Curtain we should know.
– Recently in Melbourne there was a man suffering from eye trouble. It was desired to obtain advice from a professor in Russia in an endeavour to cure the man’s eye condition. Within two hours people in Melbourne were speaking to others in Moscow. I ask the honorable senator where was the Iron Curtain then?
– This Government did that!
– Yes, but where is the Iron Curtain? If we had foresight we should enter into trade and mutual defence pacts with both Russia and China. Those countries are potential markets for our goods for the next twenty years. If we increased our production - which we are doing in some instances - we could sell our goods to Russia and China.. The countries of the South Pacific are out on the end of a limb. I remind honorable senators that on the outbreak of the last world war we could not get protection from England.
– Yes, we could!
– England was so preoccupied with its own affairs that it could not help us. In fact, Mr. Curtin was obliged to demand that the Australian troops in the Middle East be sent back to this country in order to protect it.
– And that was the greatest shame that this country has been called upon to bear.
– It was proved that Mr. Curtin was correct.
– We received some help from the United States of America.
-Yes, and I appreciate that help. But it should not be forgotten that the United States of America did not help us solely for our benefit. Once the Pacific Islands had been attacked by the Japanese, the United States of America was obliged to eject the Japanese from those islands. Australia was therefore made the base from which to do so. The Americans started off in Adelaide when General MacArthur went there. When be found that the Japanese were not approaching Australia as quickly as it was thought they would, he moved to Melbourne, then to Sydney and Brisbane, and finally to the islands. The Americans were helping themselves while helping us. I admit that the United States of America also helped us by supplying ‘machinery under lend-lease, but we paid dearly for it. For every article that we received from the Americans, we paid double in return.
– The honorable senator is telling falsehoods, which must be deliberate.
– The honorable senator obviously does not know anything about political economy, because if he did he would not make such a statement. I suggest that he is too busy with hi3 law-dodging studies to study anything else. We were happy to pay the Americans what they asked at that time, because we required their help. However, the position to-day is somewhat different, because the United States of America is able to exploit the Japanese people. The American magnates think that it is far more profitable to exploit 80,000,000 Japanese than 8,000,000 Australians. They think only of dollars, and if it can be proved that they will receive a greater return from exploitation of the Japanese they will foster Japanese friendship.
– Then we must defend ourselves.
– What chance have we to defend ourselves? Australia has only 8,000,000 people, whereas there are many millions to the north of Australia. Yet we are insulting every one oi those nations.
– Are we supposed to lie down like lambs?
– No, but we should be negotiating for peace with them, and endeavouring to win their friendship, not their hatred, as we have done in the past. The policy of this Government has been to insult most of the Asiatic peoples, and because of that we are earning their hatred. Australia sent troops to Malaya, although there is no war there. I suggest that the reason for their being sent was to permit the Goodyear Tyre and Rubber Company (Australia) Limited and other companies to exploit that country and to amass huge profits. Our business is to protect our country and our youth. We must have a sane programme for the purpose of promoting friendship with other nations.
With 8,000,000 people, the strongest army that we could muster would be one of approximately 1,000,000 troops. What chance would such an army have if this country were to be invaded from 40,000 feet above ? If the Government were sincere in its defence programme it would not bother to call up these youths, but would pursue a more scientific programme and build up the country’s air strength.
– How does the honorable senator know that the Government will not do that ?
– The Government is taking these young men from industries when they could be contributing towards the economy of this country.
– Why should all the responsibility be placed on the young men who go up in the air ?
– Order! This is not a questionnaire.
– I do not believe that we shall be attacked, but I say that if the Government were honest about its defence programme it would adopt the most scientific method. The placing of young men in camps will not affect an enemy 40,000 feet in the air. This is a “ snide “ method of committing the country to conscription. Once that is done, industrial conscription will follow, so that the waterside workers, coal miners and other workers will be subjected to threats that troops will be employed to do their jobs whenever they attempt to fight for better conditions or even to retain the conditions they have.
– What did the Labour Government do in 1949 ?
– I did not support its action, and the world knows it. Even to retain the conditions they have, the workers must fight. This so-called conscript army will be used for the purpose of bludgeoning the workers into accepting reduced wages and increased hours. In two years’ time it will be found that that will be so.
– The honorable senator has no proof of that. His statement is all supposition.
– I have a great deal of proof. There has been much bluffing concerning the coal miners. We read that the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Holt) will make a dramatic dash to Sydney to do something and that somebody else will make a dramatic dash somewhere else. The newspapers are full of such reports. Dramatic dashes were made and are still being made, hut it was all bluff. There cannot be production in this country unless the workers produce goods, and in order to produce goods they must enjoy the best possible conditions and pay.
– The honorable senator does not think that the army should be brought out ?
– I certainly do not think so, because I say that that is what the Government is working up to. The conditions of the coal miners could be made such that there would be no necessity to put the Army in to relieve them and force them to work. The men merely want a square deal.
– The men wish to work, but the “ Commo “ leaders will not allow them to do so.
– That is also newspaper talk. I have had some experience of such things and I am of opinion that a man will not strike unless he has good reason for doing so. The first shot at the Labour movement in this country has been fired at the waterside workers. It aims at a reduction of wages and an increase of hours. Recently the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration gave to most workers an increase of £1 a week in the basic wage. Waterside workers received 10s. 8d. However, that is not the main dispute. The main dispute is that the waterside workers’ basic wage is based on a 30-hour week, because it is intermittent work, and the basic wage is divided by 30 in order to ascertain the hourly rate to which they are entitled. The Australian .Stevedoring Industry Board increased the hours to 32, which meant reducing the hourly rate and increasing the hours of work. Accordingly, employers would be receiving for nothing, two additional hours’ work a week from every waterside worker. That is what the fight is about.
The coal miners received an increase of wages provided that they worked ten shifts a fortnight. If they did not work the full ten shifts they did not receive the increase. These employees are waging an industrial fight. Should the Government be successful in conscripting youths, in a few years time it will be able much more easily to force its conditions on the workers of Australia because there will be an army with which to do it.
Sitting suspended from 5.58 to 8 p.m.
– There is no justification for this bill, the preamble of which warrants my condemnation of it. The preamble contains these words : “ To provide for national service in the defence forces, and for other purposes”. What are the other purposes? The bill is to provide for national service in the defence forces, and surely that covers everything necessary. However, the framers of the bill have cunningly inserted the words “ for other purposes “. For what reason ?
– To deal with the “ Commos “.
– The honorable senator has supplied the very information that I was seeking. The purpose of the bill is to deal with the civil population in accordance with regulations to be issued under this legislation. Those three words “ for other purposes “ confirm the fears that I have entertained regarding the bill. They have confirmed my fear that this legislation is but the first step on the road to industrial conscription. Once the measure becomes law, the Government will say, “ You have committed yourself to conscription, and we shall go on from there “. We shall have surrendered our freedom, and with it the freedom of the Australian people and of the trade union movement. That is how the dictatorship began in Germany. That is how dictatorships have always begun. In Germany, capitalism was dying. Under the capitalist system it was no longer possible to feed the people, and it was necessary to introduce force to keep the economic system going. Now, this Government is endeavouring to introduce the same system into Australia. The Government is so lacking in original ideas that it has followed the example of the corrupt Chiang Kai-shek regime in China by collecting next year’s taxes in advance. That is really what the wool tax amounts to. The effect of that tax will be to impose greater hardships on the workers, and to keep them in subjection. Senator Scott admitted that the purpose of the bill was to enable the Government to deal with the Communists. By that inter- jection he let the cat out of the bag. Whether we like it or not, we have to recognize that Communists in Australia are part of the working community. They are helping to produce the goods by which _ we live. If the purpose of this legislation is to deal with the Communists why not say so straight out? If the Government sincerely wishes to strengthen the defences of Australia let it meet science with science, instead of drafting youths into camp to engage in the old-fashioned footslogging military exercises. By taking young men out of production and putting them into camp the Government will aggravate the shortage of goods, and stimulate the inflationary trend. I am uncompromisingly opposed to this bill.
– Never before have I listened to such an astounding speech as that delivered to-day by Senator Morrow. The honorable senator must be either Wind and deaf, or he is deliberately refusing to face the facts. Surely the position in the world to-day is clear for everyone to see, and members of the Opposition must be just as well aware of it as is every one else. Nevertheless, Senator Morrow had the audacity to say in this chamber that Russia is not our potential enemy; that Russia, so far as he knows, has no army; that Russia is not arming, and that we have nothing to fear from that country.
– I did not say that. I said’ that I did not know.
– Only a man who is blind and deaf, or one who is deliberately misrepresenting the position, could say what the honorable senator has just said. It is only necessary to recall what is happening in Europe in order to know that Russia is the only enemy that we have to fear. The -honorable senator claimed that under an agreement entered into in 1945 Russia, in common with other countries engaged in the war, disarmed. If the honorable senator really believes that statement to be true he must be the only man in the world who does so. All the reliable information available is to the effect that Russia did not disarm. Moreover, Russia illegally detained millions of prisoners of war and kept them as slaves to further its armament programme. The countries whose citizens were thus illegally detained protested to Russia without avail, and yet the honorable senator has the audacity to tell us that Russia has disarmed. What hypocrisy
– What is the honorable senator’s authority for his statements?
– If Russia has disarmed, and has not kept its factories engaged in war production, who armed Red China?
– The United States of America. The Chinese took the American arms from the forces of Chiang Kai-shek.
– Who made the guns and the aeroplanes that have been used by the Communists in Korea ? Who provided the “ Stalin “ tanks that have been used by the Communists in Korea ? What rot the honorable senator tries to foist upon us ! Russia has demonstrated that it never intended to disarm. Russia has one motive only and that is the complete domination of the world. By prosecuting a cold war Russia has drawn the iron curtain around one country after another in Europe. Russia has tried to gain control of the whole of Germany. It objected to the proposal that the Allies should re-arm Western Germany, but it has itself rearmed Eastern Germany, where there is to-day a huge standing army that bears the name of a police force. Still the honorable senator tries to convince us that Russia is not arming,’ and is not our potential enemy. If Russia has disarmed, and if its war factories have been converted to peaceful purposes, why have other European countries begun to arm? What about Yugoslavia? Why has Marshal Tito established a powerful army ? Surely he has not done so in order to attack any other country. The Yugoslavians are quite content to remain within their own boundaries. Marshal Tito has established an army of 1,000,000 men in order to prevent Russia from dropping the iron curtain over his country. Why is Turkey re-arming? Would any country other than Russia wish to be embroiled in a third world war after having passed through two world wars? Every other country was content to settle down in the hope that there would be a long period of peace. Russia, however, decided that the time was ripe to force its ideology upon the rest of the world. The Russian leaders convinced themselves that Great Britain, after having borne the brunt of the last war almost alone for years, and then having fought the war to the finish, would be of no military significance in Europe for many years to come. They thought that France was in a similar position, and that the experiences of the United States of America in World War II. would deter the Americans from participating again in another conflict. They thought that the time was ripe to commence to give effect to their shrewd campaign of using one country after another to further their aims, merely providing the wherewithal for their satellites to carry out their deadly work. In pursuance of this policy they gradually dominated one country after another until at last the democracies decided that they can be permitted to go no further. The British Government - not a Liberal or a conservative government, but a Labour government - has introduced conscription for the armed forces and is re-arming Britain as fast as it can possibly do so. Does Senator Morrow seriously ask us to believe that the Australian Government is endeavouring to establish a military force for the purpose of enforcing unfair conditions of labour on the workers ? Surely such a statement is beneath the dignity of any honorable senator. For what purpose did the Labour Government in Great Britain introduce conscription and launch a huge rearmament programme? Does Senator Morrow contend that it has done so for the purpose of depressing labour conditions in Great Britain? Does he believe that the British Government will use its armed forces for the express purpose of forcing unfair conditions of labour on British workmen? What absolute rubbish! The British Government, in common with the governments of other democratic countries, is imposing a terrific burden on the taxpayers, because it realizes that war can be prevented only if the free countries of the world are strong enough to say to the Russian leaders “We do not want war; we want peace. If you are foolish enough to think that we shall sit idly by and allow you to dominate the whole of the world, you have no conception of our determination.
If you pursue your present policy you must be prepared to take the consequences.” Rearmament in the United States of America is proceeding at a rate which is almost unprecedented in the history of that country. Does Senator Morrow suggest that the United States is also enlarging its defence forces for the purpose of downing the workers? The United States realizes that it must combine its strength with that of the other democratic countries and say to Red Russia, “ “We shall have none of your doctrines; we refuse to permit you to overthrow any other democratic countries. Although we are raising huge armies and producing large quantities of equipment, we pray to God that it will not be necessary to use them against you but if necessary we shall do so.” That, too, is the attitude of the Australian Government. We must be prepared to play our part side by side with other democratic countries in resisting the red menace so that, should Communist Russia throw down a challenge to the world we shall be ready to meet it.
How can Senator Morrow seriously contend that the Government proposes to raise an army for the express purpose of downing the workers?
– I said that the army would also be used for other purposes.
– The honorable senator quite clearly said that the armed forces were being expanded with a view to their use against the workers.
– That is so and I repeat that statement.
– The honorable senator also said that universal military training would be of no value, that under the Government’s proposals thousands of young men would be taken from industry and put into camps in which they would do practically nothing, and that modern scientific advances in warfare had rendered unnecessary the existence of large armies. What has happened in Korea ?
– Tell us what has happened there. We want to know what has really happened there.
– The honorable senator probably knows better than I do.
In Korea the Reds are armed and equipped with weapons of the very latest design, as are also the forces of the United Nations. Have the forces of the United Nations .been able to blast the Reds out of existence? Not at all. The countless millions of Chinese Communists who have been equipped by the Russians have rolled over the smaller forces of the United Nations time after time. No matter what scientific aids may be available, in the final analysis, not guns and equipment but numbers of men count in driving home the final victory.
This Government would be recreant to its trust if it did not prepare the defences of this country. Does any Opposition senator contend that Russia has not threatened the peace of the world? According to all the information at our disposal we may not have a very long time in which to prepare. We would be recreant to the trust reposed in us by every section of this community, and in particular to the youth of this country, if we did not make immediate arrangements to train our young men so that, should they be called upon to defend their country they will be well equipped to do so. The young men of Australia should not be asked to commit what would virtually be military suicide by having to take part in a war without adequate prior training. We all agree that there is no better fighting man than a trained Australian soldier, but no matter how good a natural fighter an Australian may be, he must be properly trained in the use of modern weapons and equipment. I am astonished that any honorable senator should endeavour to create the impression that in introducing this measure the Government is actuated by anything but the highest motives. Its sole purpose in doing so is to save Australia from the red menace. The workers of Australia will not be hoodwinked by the statements of Senator Morrow. They at last realize that members of the Australian Labour party are running too close to the red elements which are menacing our community and whiteanting the trade unions of Australia. They look to .the Government, and not to the Opposition, to give them an opportunity to eradicate the red element from the trade union movement so that, should this country be attacked we shall not first have to fight the fifth column in our midst. We have to face two enemies, the enemy without and the enemy within. The Government will not, in any circumstances, he ‘persuaded that the time is not now ripe to prepare our defences and to work shoulder to shoulder with the other members of the British Commonwealth of Nations and the democratic countries in their efforts to eradicate the red menace. Only by so doing will the free countries be able to secure the peace of the world.
This measure was introduced last year and should have been placed on the statute-book last year. What good purpose has been served by the subterfuge adopted by the Opposition in this chamber of referring the bill to a select committee? In the interval the international situation has greatly worsened.
– I invite the honorable senator to prove the truth of that statement.
– Every country outside the iron curtain is apprehensive of the future. The honorable senator asks me to prove the truth of. my assertion. He is either completely oblivious of what is going on in the world or is deliberately trying to deceive the community about the threat of Russian Communism. Surely he has only to consider what is occurring in Red China, Malaya, Korea and Indo-China.
– This Government is worsening the position in Malaya by the policy it is pursuing.
– What further proof does the honorable senator want to convince him that the international situation has deteriorated in the last few months? This measure would have been on the statute-book last year but for the tactics adopted by the Opposition in this chamber. In spite of the threat to our security, members of the Opposition were not game to support this measure until they had ‘received their instructions from their masters. They have now received their instructions. The statements that they made when this bill was last before the Senate apparently had no real value . or weight. Members of the Opposition then advanced a host of arguments against the bill; now they say - obviously with their tongues in their cheeks- - that they support the measure. If the bill was bad six months ago, it must still be bad; but the Opposition has been told that the measure is not to be opposed. Can honorable senators opposite claim to be helping democracy in this country or in any country by such tactics ? Obviously they cannot. We were told last year that the bill was ‘unsound and impractical. Since then however, the Labour bosses have met, and, after discussing the Go”vernment’s proposal, have decided that it would not be wise to oppose the bill further. What an exhibition! It must be clear to the community that there is in this Parliament, a group of individuals who are not prepared to support democratic government. Honorable senators opposite were elected to this Parliament to make decisions and to participate in the government of this country, but they are not doing that. What can members of the public say? They can only say “ We elected you to govern, but you are not game to govern until your bosses, who have no responsibility to the electors, have given you your instructions. You are breaking down democracy in Australia, and deliberately opening the door to communism “. That is the position as I see it. I was surprised and disgusted by some of; the statements made by Senator Morrow, who preceded me in this debate.
– He will not vote against the .bill.
– No. He will run away as he did before. We all have an obligation to the community to ensure that this country shall be prepared to resist its enemies both without and within. That obligation we on this side of the chamber are prepared to honour and this measure will go a long way towards that end. Although I support wholeheartedly the Government’s endeavours to ensure the safety of this country both by the passage of this measure and by the fulfilment of . an adequate armament programme, no one hopes and prays more fervently than I do that the strength of our defences will never be tested.
.- The issue implicit in this measure is of vital importance to the Australian democracy. I propose to traverse briefly the history of the attempts that have been made by various Australian governments to enforce compulsory military training. Such compulsion is contrary to one of the basic principles of the Labour movement.
– A Labour government first introduced compulsory military training.
– I remind the Attorney-General (Senator Spicer) that the use of military forces during the waterfront strike of the 1890’s in Victoria was one of the events that led to the firm establishment of the Labour movement in this country. Since those days, Labour has always been wary of compulsory military training. The conscription issue split the Labour movement politically and industrially during World War I. Conscription for overseas service was rejected by the Australian people, and the voluntary system was retained, nevertheless, Australia had a greater percentage of men at the front than had any other country engaged in that war.
– A Labour government introduced compulsory military training.
– It is true that, 40 years ago, compulsory military training was introduced by a Labour administration. That, too, caused disruption in the Labour movement, and the legislation under which compulsory military training had been introduced was eventually repealed because of agitation, not so much by Labour men and women as by certain religious organizations and other movements.
Let us be realistic in considering this measure. I realize that the Government has felt compelled to introduce this hill because of international tension resulting from conflicting ideologies. In parts of Europe and in Asia there are not 500,000,000 people, but more than 1,000,000,000 people facing the great Western Powers. Every student of history or of current affairs knows that civilization is being rocked by the conflict between capitalism and communism. We stand for democracy. Senator Reid said that the British Labour Government had introduced conscription. I remind him that although the Attlee Government has introduced conscription, members of the anti-Labour parties are repeatedly launching motions of want of confidence in that Administration.
This measure is of great importance because it concerns the youth of this country. If the Labour party does not seek to protect the interests of Australia’s youth, who will protect those interests? The young people look to us to protect them.
– But they elected us to office.
– I assure the honorable senator that if the young men whom this Government proposes to conscript for military training had had a vote at the last election, the present Government parties would never have been returned to office. The Government has been trying to intimidate the public by raising false issues.
– Rot !
– I shall tell the honorable senator why I made that statement. The Government is expending £200 for each recruit that it gets to the armed forces. So far, only 4,500 men have enlisted.
– Has the honorable senator helped?
– One of the gentlemen who gave evidence before the select committee that was appointed by the Senate to consider this measure was Sir Edmund Herring. The Government was so afraid that assistance would be given to the committee that an order was issued to military chiefs and to departmental heads, not to give evidence before the committee. Why was that done? Who was the Government afraid of? I firmly believe that, had the chiefs of the various services given evidence before the committee, a report could have been made to the Senate which would have had the unanimous support of all the parties in the Parliament.
– The Labour bosses would not have allowed that.
– The Attorney-General is a member of the Cabinet which prevented the service chiefs from appearing before the committee. Senator Reid said that he believed in a universal call-up for military training. This bill does not envisage a universal call-up.
– That is a pity.
– That is a different point. University students are to .be exempted from a call-up. Therefore more than half of the youths in the age group specified in the bill will not be liable for military training. That will cause confusion and discontent in the ranks of those who are to be compelled to serve. Today’s Melbourne newspapers report that the price of lamb chops has risen in that city from 2s. 9d. per lb. to 3s. 6d. per lb. Such price rises cause 95 per cent, of the discontent and discord that exists in Victoria to-day.
I desire to be realistic in this matter, and I shall deal with some of the reasons for the introduction of this bill. Every one agrees that every Australian should be prepared to defend the land of his birth, and if he is riot prepared to do that, then he is not worthy of Australian citizenship, irrespective of the colour of his political views. Therefore, as nativeborn Australians it is our duty to stand behind the government of the day so long as it protects the interests of the people. I propose to deal first of all with the provisions of one of the clauses of the bill, which deals with the liberties of our young people. I invite attention to the economic conditions of the young men whom it is proposed to call up for military service. I maintain that any young man who is called up for military service should not thereby lose any of his civilian pay. No young man in industry should be called upon to make a financial sacrifice if university students are to be exempted from the obligation to undergo military training.
– University students will not be exempted from military service. The Government proposes merely that their period of military service shall be deferred.
– That is not 30. I have seen statements in print to the contrary. Clause 61 will empower the Government to do many things that are not specifically mentioned in the bill. However, I direct attention now to clause 41, which reads as follows : -
Where a person who is registered under this Act is necessarily absent from his employment for the purposes of complying with a notice requiring him to present himself for medical or other examination or to’ attend at a place as required by a notice under section fifty-two of this Act, the period of his absence shall be deemed, for the purposes of his contract of employment, to be a period of absence permitted by the employer without deduction or loss of pay.
I should like the Attorney-General to say who is to make up the loss of pay of a young man called upon to leave his civilian employment in order to undergo a medical examination? Will the Government or his employer have to bear the financial liability?
– A young man might receive more money from hi3 military pay than he would receive in his civilian employment.
– The honorable senator is out of date. He must be thinking of the bad old days !
– The wages of a boy of eighteen years are not very high.
– The honorable senator is out of touch with realities and does not know the wages that young men are receiving now. Although the Labour movement had to fight for many years before it achieved a 40-hour week and a five-day working week, it seems that all our efforts have gone for nothing. A young man who is called up for national service training will be required to give up his leisure on Saturdays and, in addition, he will lose money during the period that he is absent from his civilian employment while undergoing military training. Honorable senators should realize that army pay is still inadequate.
Clause 46, which deals with contracts of apprenticeship, is another unjust provision. That clause is as follows : - (1.) Where a person is employed under a contract of apprenticeship, the contract shall not, except with the consent of the Minister, be terminated “by reason of the absence of thai person for the purpose of rendering service under this Act, but shall be suspended during that absence and shall be resumed upon the termination of that absence. (2.) The contract shall be deemed to be terminated if, in the opinion of the Minister, the apprentice did not resume his employment under the contract as soon as was reasonable and practicable after the termination of his period of service under this Act. (3.) Unless the Minister otherwise directs, a period during which a contract of apprenticeship is suspended under this section shall not, exw.pt for the purposes of section forty-two of this Act, be deemed to be a period of employment under the contract.
What does that mean? It means that a young man who is called up for military service, whether under pain of penalty or otherwise, will he required to absent himself from his apprenticeship for a period of from twelve to eighteen months. During that period he will lose all the privileges and advantages to which he would have -been entitled if he had not been .called up for military service. I hope that the Attorney-General will give his attention to this apparently unjust provision when he speaks in reply.
Of course, the Government’s proposals are even more far-reaching than a cursory examination of the bill suggests, because the last clause authorizes the Government to make regulations to give effect to the’ bill and, incidentally, to impose very heavy penalties. That means, of course, that the Government may do all sorts of things without the knowledge of the Senate.
– That is not so. The regulations can be disallowed by the Senate.
– But the regulations cannot be disallowed unless the Parliament happens to be sitting.
– After the damage has been done!
– Yes. In the meantime a young man might have lost his liberty or his job or have suffered some other serious disability. The Opposition desires that that injustice shall be avoided. We are not so much concerned about the present Government’s professions. After all, that is the Administration which promised us months ago that it would settle all industrial disputes, get our ships running and keep the coal mines working. We all know what has happened since. In its attempts to deal with the two major industrial disputes that are now confronting Australia, the present Government has had to rely on the industrial movement to get it out of the mess into which it has got itself.
The Labour movement not only in Australia but also in all other democratic countries, including the United States of America, has had to be most vigilant to protect the rights and liberties of the people. At the present time the powerful Labour movement of the United States of America is endeavouring to compel the President of that country to take action to regulate prices. In Australia the Labour movement is equally concerned about the welfare of the people. We want to try to save democracy in this country, and at the present time the Australian. Labour movement is about equally divided in its attitude towards this legislation. I am not greatly concerned about the political complexion of the present Government. However, I am concerned that we should protect the liberties and the interests of the young men whom the Government proposes to call up for military service. Labour must protect those youths, just as it protects other classes of Australians. Incidentally, I have noticed ‘that so far no honorable senator opposite has accepted the challenge thrown out by Senator Morrow, who offered to vote for the bill if certain evidence was offered by the Government.
Everybody knows that in a democracy we must -be prepared to obey the decisions of the majority, irrespective of whether we are members of the national Cabinet or of either House of the Parliament. I point out that this debate and the special report of the Select Committee on National Service in the Defence Force will at least provide some information to assist us to solve the great problems that now confront us. Not the least of those problems are those concerned with the present situation in Asia. As we all know, even the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) made a special visit to Asia to obtain information, and Mr. J. F. Dulles of the United States Government has recently spent a considerable period in the Far East. They have a big job ahead of them in attempting to solve those problems. We all appreciate the magnitude of their task, but unless members of the Government realize that the legislation that they introduce for the solution of those problems meets with the approval of the Opposition, they cannot take effective action.
– I do not want questions to %e asked by way of interjections during my speech about whether or not I support this bill.
– The honorable senator should tell us. at the outset how he intends to vote on the bill.
– In order to save the Attorney-General (Senator Spicer) any mental stress I say at once that I am in favour of the measure. However, I shall take the trouble to offer some criticism of the political parties which support the Government that has introduced this measure, and also of their predecessors. I listened carefully to the speech delivered by Senator Morrow, and I think that honorable senators opposite must agree, irrespective of their feelings towards him, that he spoke with sincerity. I also listened very carefully to the speech delivered by Senator Reid, who did not tell us very much at all. However, quite early in his speech he evinced an inquiring mind. For instance, he asked, “ Who armed Red China?” The inference that he wished us to draw from his question was that Russia armed Red China, but, in my opinion, that inference would be quite wrong. I think that all honorable senators must realize that it was the United States Government that armed Red China. It did so. by sending huge consignments of military equipment and stores, and numbers of incompetent officers, to assist Chiang Kai-shek. Of course, the Chinese Communists simply waited until a sufficiently large number of consignments had been received by Chiang Kai-shek, . before pouncing upon his forces in order to take possession of the military stores. It is clear, therefore, that the United States Government did, in fact, arm Red China. I was surprised, therefore, that Senator Reid was apparently unaware of that fact, more so because he posed as a mind-reader. He asked a number of questions about the politics and personalities of Soviet Russia, and he advanced a lot of conjectures of his own in answer to his questions. He should be on a panel’ of international directors of international affairs! In fact, he is the best mind-reader that I have heard in this chamber for a long time.
– He was a “brass hat “ in the last war.
– I am not much concerned about that. Many people who are opposed to conscription do not know the history of ‘ this subject. My first ex perience of conscription was in 1911, when a Labour Prime Minister, Mr. Andrew Fisher, introduced compulsory military training. I joined a body known as the National Freedom League, which was opposed to compulsory military training for boys. Although I did not oppose compulsory training for developmental purposes, I considered that training in war-like purposes was wrong, especially in those days when it would have taken enemy troops many weeks to reach this country. The age at which Australia proposed to conscript boys was lower than in any other country with the exception of Natal, which country would have been more justified than any other in training its children in the art of warfare for defensive purposes at an early age, because it was beset by hostile tribes of Basutos, Hottentots and Zulus. Periodically the hostile tribes used to raid the townships and massacre many people. For this reason Natal commenced, to train youths at the age of ten years.
Conscription was introduced by Frederick the Great during the Thirty Years War. People had become tired, the glamour of war had worn off, industrialists refused to work, and in many instances the soldiers refused to fight. In order to keep up to his troops food and arms, Frederick introduced a ‘ form of conscription in order to tie them to their jobs. That was the origin of conscription, so far as Europe and the civilized world was concerned. It is therefore clear that industrialists have a right to oppose conscription, which was introduced primarily not to win a war but to tie men to their jobs willy nilly. In 1903 there was a postal telegraphists strike in Paris. It was one of the first syndicalists movements. At that time Briand was President of France. In order to break that strike he called the men to the colours, and then ordered them to go to work. That shows the real purpose of conscription. In 1910 there was a strike by the vineyard workers in the south of France. The then president of France, Clemenceau, who was known as “ The Tiger “, followed the method adopted in 1903 to break the strike by calling the youths to the colours, and then ordering them into the vineries. By that time conscription was about as popular in
France as the proverbial pork chop would be at a Jews’ banquet. It was thoroughly disliked, and great hostility was evinced against it.
Senator Katz has already described the industrial aspects of the great maritime strike, and how militarism was used to endeavour to crush that strike. That supports my contention that to a considerable degree conscription is industrial in its application and purpose. In 1915 the British Government experienced difficulty in floating its second war loan, the response to the appeal being very poor. At that time a prominent parliamentarian, the present right honorable member for Bradfield (Mr. Hughes) was being acclaimed in London as an empire saviour. The British Government convened a special secret meeting of Parliament, the first for 157 years, to consider an ultimatum from the Jewish money lenders of Lombard-street that they would not contribute another penny piece to the war loans unless the Government safeguarded their interests by introducing conscription. The real purpose of conscription is therefore obvious. I can vouch for the accuracy of the incidents that I have related.
Having described the reason for my opposition to conscription, I shall now justify my support for this measure. Until World War I. the use of aircraft had not been extensive. Australia had been protected by its isolation and insularity, and the Australian Government considered that it would be impossible for an enemy to reach our shores without our receiving timely notice, enabling the Mother Country to come to our assistance Since those days there have been extraordinary advances in weapons and implements of warfare, anil space has been annihilated. Therefore, modern warfare is not comparable to the warfare of 40 years ago.
About 50 years ago I read a fantasy by .lc Queux, illustrating the capture of London. It was stated that the war of the future would be carried out not by deeds of arms hut by scientists in secluded chambers far removed from the possibility of injury from the operation. As a result of the changes that have occurred in the last half century, Australia is now within easy reach of the teeming millions to the north and northeast of Australia, and the forces of our potential enemies there could reach Australia in a short time. I understand that the natural increase in J apan is so great that that nation must expand in order to continue to exi?t. A somewhat similar state of affairs exists in Indonesia where there is hostility due to a growing resentment against domination by the white man. One of our greatest charges against the Teutonic races was their claim, to be superior persons. In the past our prototypes have ground down the coloured peoples and failed to treat them as human beings.
I shall again relate an incident that occurred during the Japanese advance in Malaya. I think that I know why the Malayans and Lascars bolted “ at that time. When I was waiting at Tilbury Docks, London, to join the vessel that brought me to Australia, there was a steamer of the British India Company alongside. I noticed an injured or dead Lascar on a stretcher being carried down the gangway by two other Lascars. Beside it was a youngster, and as they reached the. wharf and walked towards me I was struck by the woebegone expression on that child’s face. It must have been his father or his brother or his cousin on the stretcher, and I could read his story. He had to go home, many thousands of miles away, and carry the’ sad news to somebody. One could sec him turning it over in his mind. Alongside me were two Trinity House pilots. Trinity House comprises a very exclusive and conservative section of the community in England. Both pilots were big men. One saw the crowd and said, “What is that?” The other, a very tall man - at least as tall as Senator Reid - said, “ I shall see “. He walked away and looked over the heads of some of the people. He then > came back and said, “ Only a so-and-so Lascar “. That instance could be multiplied thousands of times in our dealings with the coloured races. Incidents such as that have built up a resentment that we cannot easily break down. The attitude adopted by the predecessors of the people represented by the present Government has been responsible for the fact that it is necessary for use to protect our way of life against the resentment of those people, a resentment born of the treatment meted out by the so-called justiceloving peoples of the world. We should encourage those coloured people. I do not believe in distinctions of race, colour, creed or sex. If that is socialism, put the tag on me and keep it on me. I can work with any man, and any man can work with me. I believe that I am as good as any man and that other men ar« as good as I am.
Amongst the Dutch and the people who have lived in India for. many years conversation is heard that makes one’s gall rise and one’s blood boil. The tragedy of it is that those people think that they are right in adopting such an attitude toward the coloured peoples. They do not realize the resentment that they have been fostering, or that its result may overwhelm us in the future.
When I look at the young people, and particularly the children, of to-day I am very sorry for them. I wonder what the future holds for them in view of what we have gone through during the last 4.0 or 50 years. If there is a Deity, all that I can say is “ God help those youngsters “. Let all the forces in the universe turn towards the securing of peace. North and north-east of us there is a growing hostility, created by our own attitude, so that we find it necessary to arm our youth. I agree that it is necessary to do so, just as I said that I agreed that it was necessary for the Government of Natal to arm the children of that country in order to prevent the marauding expeditions of the tribes that peopled Africa 50 years ago. Our youth has something to defend. Forty years ago, when I was very active against conscription, the possibility of our having to defend this country was very remote. But science has advanced. Space has been annihilated, with the result that by a turn of fortune’s wheel, or because some power has bequeathed planes and armaments to the peoples of the east, we could come under fierce attack in less than three days. That is why I-wish to make myself clear. I do not need to apologize for the fact that I intend to support this measure. It spite of anything that has been said on this side of the chamber, I think that it is necessary to train the youth of this country. I support the .measure with the claim that there is nobody in this chamber who has been more active against the operation of conscription than I, and I doubt if there is anybody who understands nearly as much about it as I do. I cannot say that I give the measure my blessing, or that I agree with the methods to be adopted. Senator Katz has dealt with those methods so effectively that it is unnecessary for me to discuss them.
I have endeavoured to bring to this debate an entirely new angle. I do not apologize for the fact that in the .years that have passed I feared the industrial aspects of conscription, and considered that that justified all my hostility towards it. I have no doubt that the measure will be passed, and I do not wish to take up further time. However, I thought that it would be of benefit to honorable senators if I presented an illustration of the true concept of conscription and its operation down the ages, from the days of Frederick the Great.
Senator SIMMONDS (Queensland) ‘9.23. - It is not my purpose to debate this subject at any great length. I propose to confine myself entirely to the principles of the bill and the reasons for its introduction. First, I think that we must ask ourselves upon whom falls the responsibility to defend a nation? Is it to be the men or the women ? If it is not to be the women, then the men must accept that responsibility. The people having decided upon a policy that was endorsed from one end of the country to the other, the Parliament is in duty bound to give effect to that policy.
A considerable amount of time has been devoted to the question of where and how Australia could be attacked. We should remember that during the past few years Australia has taken a considerable part in the councils of the world. Lt has had a great deal to say concerning what other nations should do, how the United Nations organization should operate, and matters of that kind. Yet, it is contended that that implies nothing and that we are to be held up as a people who are not even prepared to train ourselves to defend our own land. If there is truth in what has been said by the speakers on the opposite side of the chamber concerning our future safety and the absence of necessity for training, so much to the good. In that event, there will be less hardship forced upon those people who are to be equipped to defend themselves should the necessity arise. That, to my mind, dissipates the arguments of honorable senators opposite. If our troops do not have to be used, we shall be a very fortunate nation. I sincerely hope that the future holds that promise for us. But we should be indeed fortunate if we were enabled to take our place with the other members of the United Nations, and at the same time to escape responsibility to play our part as a member of that organization.
Could there be anything more diabolical than that, with a full knowledge that there was a possibility of hostilities, we allowed our manhood to be untrained and forced it to commit suicide ? “Without referring to particular cases, I am sure that honorable senators can recall occasions on which untrained man-power has been thrown into the battle line, with only one consequence. To those who say that we have no right to train our manpower, and particularly to the parents who dread the possibility of their sons being trained, I say : “ Is it not far better that they should be equipped and ready, should the occasion arise, than that, without training or equipment, they should be thrown into battle with little chance of defence ? “ Training is a common factor in all phases of life. If a man enters the boxing ring he does not go in untrained. Swimmers and tennis players train themselves. There is born of that training not only a knowledge of the equipment that is to be used, but also a confidence and a consciousness of the capacity to defend oneself.
There is an unfortunate tendency in this country to decry every effort to advance its best interests. Some people even glory in the fact that the voluntary enlistment campaign is not doing as well as it might. Whilst admitting that it has not been as successful as it should be, it is possible to admit the necessity for it. The difficulty with which one is confronted lies in not knowing just exactly who presents the opinions of the Opposition. I do not want to be personal. I feel sorry for them, because they are in such a plight. After having delayed the Government’s defence programme for some months, they are now in the position of having to allow it to go through. Some of those who oppose compulsory military training say in justification, “Well, we have an Air Force”. Apparently, they are prepared to sacrifice the members of the Air Force. They are prepared, it would seem, to build ships and aeroplanes, but not to train men to handle them. Military equipment would be of little use to us without trained men to use it. Unless we are prepared to defend our country we shall fall an easy prey to any one who may attack us. The best way to ensure peace is to be prepared to resist attack. It is not sufficient to live in the past, and tell ourselves what our soldiers did in previous wars. We must be prepared to defend ourselves if we would preserve the democracy about which we have spoken so much. One of the principles of democracy is that the majority must rule. This Parliament was elected by a majority of the people, and the people have declared themselves in favour of an adequate defence system. Honorable senators opposite have expressed abhorrence of the idea of compulsory military training, but the Labour party has always been in favour of compulsory unionism. They should recognize that compulsory military training is unavoidable if we are to preserve those values for which democracy stands. They should not expect others to do their fighting for them.
– Honorable senators opposite have criticized the Opposition for having delayed this bill since December last, but we have no apologies to offer for any delay that has occurred. We were elected by the people who well knew that the platform of the Labour party was opposed to compulsory military training. The Government has said that international developments during the last few months justify the introduction of this bill. I propose to analyse that assertion. It is probable that when the Government was considering defence measures it had regard to the position in Europe. It was aware of what had happened to Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia. In all of those countries a political regime identical with that of
Russia was imposed and they now constitute a physical buffer between Russia and the rest of Europe. Now China, with its population of 475,000,000, has come under Communist control. To the south of China such countries as Burma, French Indo-China, Siam, Malaya and the Indonesian Republic may well be threatened with the same fate as befell those countries which constitute Communist buffer states on the borders of Russia. The Government, apparently, regards this as a grave international development, yet the most it ‘ can do is to introduce a scheme for the compulsory military training of 18-year old youths. Apparently, the safety of Australia is to rest upon the shoulders of these lads of 18 years of age. It has been said that there is not sufficient time for Australia to make any great preparations for war. That may be true, because we know that the waging of war to-day is a complicated business. The old methods of warfare have passed forever, but surely that does not justify us in placing the entire responsibility for our defence upon 18-year-old youths.
As a matter of fact, this bill is not necessary, because everything it is proposed to do under the measure could be done under the Defence Act. We have been informed that the threat of war is real; that war may come at any time to Australia, or to territories with which Australia is vitally concerned. The Defence Act defines” a condition of war as a threatened invasion or attack against Australia. Therefore, the National Service Bill is not necessary, because the Government should have invoked the provisions of the Defence Act in order to do anything it thought necessary in the defence of the country.
Members of the Opposition do not intend to oppose this bill, but we propose to bring certain matters to the notice of the Government. We have been told that the actual geographical dispersement of the 18-year-old males in Australia is not at ‘present known. One can understand that such lack of knowledge is an obstacle to the successful launching of this scheme, and that some time must elapse before it can be known just where the men are, and to what extent they can be drawn on for service. That is the first step taken by the Govern- ment in connexion with the universal military training scheme. It will have to ascertain where the 18-year-old males are residing, and from that point the registration of youths and the callups will proceed. That task, we have been informed, will be carried out by the Department of Labour and National Service. The Government proposes to utilize machinery similar .to the manpower regulations, promulgated under the National .Security Act during World War II. Similar regulations will be put into operation to enable the Department of Labour and National Service to carry out its functions of registering youths and arranging for their call-up and medical examination. In effect, that department will finally decide who shall serve and who shall not serve. Place of residence will apparently be the principal deciding factor in determining whether a youth shall or shall not be called up for service.
It is astonishing that this scheme should be described as democratic. Our concept of a democratic scheme is one in which every physically fit youth in the community is called upon to undergomilitary training. Under this scheme, those who reside more than five miles from a training centre will not be required to undergo training. That is obviously unfair. I am not at all clear how the Government proposes to operate the scheme. I do not know whether it intends to establish training centres close to the big cities and towns and train the youths residing in such cities and towns at those centres or whether it proposes to establish large central training camps in each State in which youths from each of ‘ the States will be trained. Youths engaged in coal mining operations will be exempt from training. Most of the youths employed in rural areas will automatically be exempt because their place of residence will be more than five miles from a training camp, although it is possible that many of them will desire to undergo military training. Apparently the sons of -farmers, graziers, selectors and other rural dwellers will not be required to train at all, whereas the physically fit sons of working men who reside in the cities and towns will be compelled to undergo training.
Provision has been made for the deferment of the training period in certain instances. I agree that such a provision is reasonable, especially in the case of apprentices who are half way through their apprenticeship period and are about to sit for qualifying examinations. It is only fair that such lads should have an opportunity to prepare themselves for their examinations and that their period of training should be deferred until after the examinations have been completed. Such a provision must, however, be fairly administered. “We have also been told that the scheme will not apply to those for whom no training facilities are available and for whom there are not sufficient instructors. That provision will also automatically exempt many youths from the scheme.
Provision has been made under this scheme for the training of 30,000 youths throughout the whole of Australia. The Government has made much of its allegation that the Senate has delayed the passage of this bill and a great deal has been said by honorable senators opposite about the gravity of the international situation. In spite of that, apparently the most the Government can do in 1951 is to commence the training of 30,000 eighteen-year-old males.
Reference has been made to the provision of equipment but we have not been told how the equipment is to be provided or who is to provide it. Mention of the word “equipment” conjures up in our minds the huge profits that have been made out in the past out of cost plus contracts for the supply of war materiel. The youths of this country are to be !called upon to sacrifice their leisure hours in order to equip themselves for the defence of the nation. As a counterbalance to that personal sacrifice stringent provisions should be applied to those who stand to gain by the manufacture and supply of equipment for the members of the forces.
It is regrettable that at a time when we are proposing to enlarge our armed forces statements should be published in the press that members of the forces will be used to man the wharfs and the opencut mines.
– The Labour Government used troops for that purpose.
– It is very unfortunate that such a statement should be published at a time when a bill of this description is before the Parliament of this country. This bill is being considered at a time when industrial workers are being threatened that, if they do not come to heel, military forces will be used to replace them. I make no comment on the merits of the claims that have been made by the workers concerned. I merely say that when a bill such as this is under consideration it is regrettable that they should be threatened with the loss of their jobs and replacement by members of the defence forces. Honorable senators on this side of the chamber will vote for the measure.
– This bill is a carefully prepared document the purpose of which is to authorize the calling up and training in the armed forces of eighteen-year-old youths. It is intended to fill the gap in the defence forces as the result of the failure of the recruiting campaign. A volunteer soldier i3 much better than a conscript soldier. The voluntary training scheme has been badly handled and has been badly presented to the people. The Government, by includ-ing in the attestation of a volunteer for the Citizen Military Forces an obligation to serve in any theatre of war in the world, failed to secure the co-operation of honorable senators on this side of the chamber and of a very large section of the community. Furthermore, it has gone beyond the mandate which its members claimed for it after the general election on the 10th December, 1949.
I view this bill as the first outward sign of an act of war. It is equivalent to saying to the world that we propose to embark on a war which, in the view of the Government, is inevitable. I do not subscribe to the view that war is inevitable. The members of the Government are irrevocably committed to a third world war, against Asia and the 1,100,000,000 Asians who live in countries north of Australia. This is the first definite provocative act of war. in that cycle.
There are in the community many men who received basic training during World War II. - some of them in two world wars. Twice in my lifetime I have seen the youth of this country going away to war. Under the capitalist system wars and booms are inevitable. The intensity and frequency of such wars will increase as long as that system continues. Most of those who received basic military training in World War II. have not yet been given an opportunity to volunteer for the defence of Australia. Mention has already been made of the fact that no provision is made in this bill to make up the normal salaries or wages of the boys who are to be conscripted under the Government’s compulsory military training scheme. There are in this country at least 20,000, and perhaps 50,000, ex-servicemen of World War II., who have had training at least equal to that to be given to the eighteen year olds under .the proposals now before the Senate.
– Where are they?
– Unfortunately many of them are just wandering around, and some have already been rejected at the recruiting centres. I read in this morning’s press of a man whom I know personally who came down from New Guinea to enlist. He is a sub-inspector of police in New Guinea and I know him to be capable of holding his own in any company, yet he has been hanging around recruiting offices for two months endeavouring to enlist in the Citizen Military Forces. He is being messed around. I have every reason to believe that there is considerable jealousy between the permanent forces and the Citizen Military Forces. Although members of the permanent forces undergo thorough training at our various training institutions, opportunities for promotion are limited because of the smallness of our forces. On the other hand, members of the citizen forces - the “ Saturday afternoon soldiers “ or “ hostilities only boys “ - have a habit of displaying initiative, enterprise and ability. There is therefore not very much harmony between the two sections of our defence forces. Young men who were discharged from the armed forces in 1946 had been given excellent training. There are sufficient of them, 1 believe, at least to equal the 20,000 “ children “ - an eighteen-year old can only be described as a child - who are to be called up each year under the Government’s compulsory military training scheme. Apparently the Government regards those boys as good material for the purpose that it has in view.
– They would have to volunteer for service in time of war.
– I shall come to that point later. As I have said, there is considerable jealousy between our permanent and citizen forces. Each wants to get hold of the new material that the Government’s compulsory military training scheme will offer. I should rather see that material go into the Citizen Military Forces in which the traditional “ Aussie “, who has won fame throughout the world for his initiative, drive and ability to do a job well, has been trained. Most of our best soldiers have come from the country districts, but this measure excludes such men from call-up. The Government’s plan is conscription “on the cheap “. The Government wants first of all to get recruits for the permanent forces so that the people already in those forces will have some material to work on. Ultimately the two groups will be welded together and the volunteers and the conscripts will train side by side. At the completion of their /training, the conscripts will be lined up and asked whether they intend to join the Citizen Military Forces. We all know that when an eighteen year old is paraded with his squad and asked whether he is going to be a “ daffodil “, or intends to join the Citizen Military Forces, he will volunteer to enlist. The compulsory trainees will, I consider, automatically transfer, to the Citizen Military Forces, and will thus be committed to serve in any part of the world.
– .Only if they volunteer.
– They will volunteer. Obviously no soldier would drop out of his squad when a call for volunteers was made. This bill is the first move towards compelling young men to join the Citizen Military Forces. The form of attestation commits members of the Citizen Military Forces to service in any part of the world, not at the discretion of the Australian Parliament, but at the discretion of some outside authority such as General MacArthur or General Eisenhower. They may be called upon to fight in Iraq, Iran, or perhaps Malaya or Korea.
– Or even in Dutch New Guinea.
– Perhaps, but not for a long time yet. The point I make is that this measure will permit eighteenyearold lads who have no vote and are not old enough to understand the issues involved, to be sent to any theatre of war in the world.
– It is of no use to close our eyes to realities. The purpose of this measure is to meet the present deficiencies in our Defence Forces.
– There is nothing in the bill about that.
– I remind the honorable senator of the words in the preamble “ . . . and for other purposes “. That phrase covers a whole field. In view of the Commonwealth’s powers under the Defence Act, I cannot understand why the Government has thought it necessary to introduce this bill at all. The measure is merely a snide, backdoor method of filling the ranks of our armed forces. If we can survive only by conscripting our youth, imposing taxes that are beyond our capacity to pay, and strangling our national development, I am inclined to wonder whether survival is worth the sacrifice. It is a poor commentary on our way of life that for the third time in my relatively short number of years, Australia is facing the threat of war. Eighteen months ago there was no threat of war. This Government has been in office for only fifteen months yet already a. third world war is looming. “We are told that it may occur within the next three years. Fortunately it is still within the power of the people of this country to change their Government and 1 have no hesitation in saying that that will be done, because the electors certainly never gave this Government a mandate to Involve Australia in a third world war. Recently we saw the spectacle of the Government’s- spokesman a.t the
Prime Ministers conference purposely taking action which might have caused the disintegration of the British ‘Commonwealth. That action concerned the recognition of the present Chinese Government. If the Prime Minister had been of a different political colour the Government of China would have been recognized by Australia as it has been recognized by other and larger sections of the British Commonwealth. That was another incident in the Government’s provocative warmongering. It is a part of the Government’s policy ultimately to involve Australia in the war which seems inevitable while the political organization of “Western Europe remains as it is. A question was asked in this chamber to-day why the Lithgow Small Arms Factory was not producing ammunition. The reason why it is not. doing so is that Australia - can get its ammunition elsewhere. During the last war the people of the United States of America, as well as producing enormous quantities of war materiel in their magnificent war effort, also increased their civil production. It is therefore easy .to understand that now that the war has ended members of the United Nations, including Australia, will be supplied with all the ammunition that they require. In the light of those circumstances it is easy to see why the Lithgow Small Arms Factory is not producing ammunition.
The conscription of man-power is only part of the pattern which will inevitably unfold and which will not end until Labour is wholly conscripted and .the trade union movement broken down. At that stage it may well be that the fundamental rights of ordinary human beings will be lost. It will be interesting at that stage to discover how long it will be before the wealth of the country is conscripted. During the last twelve months, since the lifting of capital issues controls, some people have made an enormous amount of money. Company shares have been watered four, six, and in some cases even eight times. Tremendous profits have been made through tha stock exchange, and those who have a_a inside knowledge of financial affairs have had an absolute picnic.
The period of three years which it is estimated will elapse before involvement in an inevitable war could be shortened by the strained relations between India and Pakistan. Perhaps events in the Mediterranean might involve Australia in hostilities. Australia will have no direct voice in any such involvement but will merely supply its proportion of troops to the United Nations. If the men to be supplied were volunteers in the true sense of the word their efforts would have the support and co-operation of all Australians. The Australian people have a belief that compulsory military training should connate the training of men .solely for the defence of Australia. The new form of oath to be taken by members of the Citizen Military Forces binding them to overseas service cuts across the tradition of the Australian people that its citizen forces should be used solely for home defence. Senator Simmonds said that compulsion should be spread over the whole population. I believe that that is true. He mentioned compulsory membership of trade unions to point his argument that the bill had that effect, but the scale of exemptions under the measure destroys the validity of that argument.
– What is the scale of exemptions?
– Only 30 per cent, to 40 per cent, of each age group will be trained ; the rest will be exempted. It has been said that the Senate has delayed dealing with this bill, but I say that the Government has become a victim of its own propaganda and that the delay on the part of the Senate in dealing with this bill has been caused solely by that propaganda and the Government’s own actions. In the last few weeks we have heard a lot about co-operation between employer and employee. On this subject no one has said so much and done so little as the Prime Minister. Honorable members on the Government side talk and talk and talk; but that is all they do. This Government has merely been placed here to maintain the status quo.
– What is the status quo?
– Honorable senator? on the Government side have been placed in their positions as stooges to maintain the citadel of capitalism and to resist attacks upon their masters’ privileges made by progressive sections of the community. That is what I mean by the status quo. The Government accuses the Senate Opposition of delaying the measure and of refusing to co-operate in obtaining better employeeemployer relationships. It is interesting that such great upholders of democracy, who are constantly mouthing all these abstract slogans about the people’s liberties and so on, should have themselves been responsible for the delay in introducing the bill. Of course, the Government attempted to gain political capital out of the introduction of the bill. Members of the anti-Labour parties thought that they would be able to put the Australian Labour .party “on. the spot” by suddenly introducing this measure. They thought that because of the attitude adopted by the press, which operates on honorable senators opposite like a hypodermic syringe, they would succeed in stampeding the Opposition into supporting their proposals without giving proper consideration to them. The’ fact is that at all times Labour wanted to meet the Government in some way on this important matter of national defence. The political parties that support the Government made a grave political blunder by altering the terms of enlistment for service in the Citizen Military Forces. In fact, I regard that as the greatest blunder that they have ever committed. There can never be any compromise by the Labour movement on its opposition to men being sent outside Australia while there is a threat to this country.
I shall deal now with the lack of co-operation on the part of the Government when it was invited to join with the Opposition in giving full and proper consideration to this vital matter of our defence. At the instance of the Opposition the Senate appointed a select committee to consider this legislation, and the appointment of that committee should have afforded an excellent opportunity for all political parties to investigate jointly the causes of the failure of the system of voluntary enlistment. Members of the Opposition hoped that when the committee was appointed it would be possible to evolve a common policy with the Government on defence. However, because of the course taken by the Government that hope now seems impossible of achievement. Because the Government is insisting on power to send volunteer forces overseas I am sure that it will never obtain the co-operation of the Labour movement in its defence plans.
In my opinion the introduction of this bill represents the thin end of the wedge in. undermining the cause of the international peace. It is, indeed, the first open provocative act of war. If the present Government is still in office in three years it will discover that this legislation has been the cause of war with Asia. It seems clear that a mighty clash between the East and theWest is inevitable. We know definitely that the Western powers have the atomic bomb, and reports suggest that the Eastern powers also have the bomb. However, we must remember always that Australia is surrounded by 1,100,000,000 Asians, who have not had much cause to love or to respect the foreign policy of the present Government. Indeed, relations between Australia and the nations of the Far East have depreciated alarmingly during the last fifteen months during the term of office of the present Government. Our relations with China have deteriorated-
– And those with Indonesia?
– Yes. To borrow a homely simile, we cannot expect to have good relations with our next-door neighbour, irrespective of his political, religious or other beliefs, if we keep prodding him with a stick through the fence every day.
– That is precisely what the previous Labour Administration did.
SenatorO’BYRNE.- During the last fifteen months the present Government has frittered away a tremendous amount of goodwill that had been built up with the Indians, the Malays, the Chinese, the Burmese, the Ceylonese and other Asian peoples. I regard the introduction of compulsory military training for service overseas as a provocative act on the part of Australia. Whilst it is true that the majority of the representatives of the Australian Labour party have decided, in their wisdom, not to oppose the passage of this measure, I consider that many of its features are most disagreeable. How ever, I hope that the time is not far distant when the people of Australia will deliver judgment upon the political parties which form the present Government, and that they will throw them back into the political wilderness from which they have so recently, and for so brief a period, emerged. In the meantime I hope that we shall be able to prevent the Government from implementing some of its most distasteful proposals, one of which is that, regardless of any threat to the security of this country, Australian servicemen should be liable to be called upon to serve in any part of the world.
. -It appears to be a foregone conclusion that the bill will be passed, and I shall therefore confine myself to making one or two observations on the remarks that have just been made by Senator O’Byrne. My first comment is that I hope that Australians will not be made mere cannon fodder in any future war. Because of our small population we cannot afford to supply troops for overseas operations and at the same time produce food and munitions for our allies. I do not think that it is fair that Australia should be asked to supply and equip troops for service overseas in the defence of countries that are conserving their man-power by concentrating on the manufacture of munitions.
– Order! In accordance with the sessional order relating to the adjournment of the Senate, I formally put the question -
That the Senate do now adjourn.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
The following papers were presented : -
Arbitration (Public Service) Act - Determinations by the Arbitrator,. &c. -1950 -
Nos. 78 to 80 - Commonwealth Foremen’s Association.
No. 81 - Commonwealth Telephone Officers’ Association.
No. 82 - Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association and others.
No. 83 - Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association.
No. 84 - Australian Third Division Telegraphists and Postal Clerks’ Union.
No. 85 - Musicians’ Union of Australia.
No. 86 - Hospital Employees’ Federation of Australasia.
No. 87 - Amalgamated Postal Workers’ Union of Australia.
No. 88 - Commonwealth Postmasters’ Association.
No. 89 - Australian Broadcasting Commission Senior Officers’ Association.
No. 90 - Australian Broadcasting Commission Staff Association.
No. 91 - Amalgamated Engineering Union and others.
No: 92 - Hotel, Club, Restaurant and Caterers Employees’ Union of New South Wales; and Federated Liquor and Allied Trades Employees’ Union of Australasia.
No. 93 - Commonwealth Foremen’s Association and others.
No. 94 - Transport Workers’ Union of Australia.
No. 95 - Australian Workers’ Union and Amalgamated Postal Workers’ Union of Australia.
No. 96 - Commonwealth Works Supervisors’ Association.
No. 97 - Australian Workers’ Union.
No. 98 - Federated Ironworkers’ Asso ciation of Australia.
No. 99 - Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association.
No. 100 - Commonwealth Legal Professional Officers’ Association.
No. 101 - Amalgamated Engineering Union and others.
No. 102 - Association of Officers of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.
No. 103 - Professional Officers’ Association, Commonwealth Public Service.
Australian National Airlines Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1950, No 98.
Australian National University Act - Statutes -
No. 1. - Interpretation.
No. 2 - Elections (Members of Council).
No. 3 - Convocation.
No. 4. - Board of Graduate Studies. Australian Soldiers’ Repatriation Act -
Regulations - Statutory Rules 1950, No. 96.
Canned Fruits Export Control Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1950, No. 89.
Commonwealth Bank Act - Appointments - H. T. Banks, G. M. Macfarlane.
Commonwealth Employees’ Compensation Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1951, No. 2.
Commonwealth Public Service Act -
Appointments - Department -
Air - J. M. Tinney.
Civil Aviation- P. B. Blair, W. A. Brown, R. F. J. Caleo, T. L. M. Connell, J. H. Gerrand, J. Graham, C. R. Jacobson, W. S. Joyner, J. M. Mahar, W. Moir, N. C. Riddiford, E. C. J. Snell, J. J. Waters, S. Wilson.
Defence - J. G. Radford.
Interior - R. J. Slinn.
Labour and National Service - P. M. Gwillim, E. J. Tonkin.
National Development - R. Cornell, G. A. Joplin, W. S. Lowe, A. A. Robertson, J. E. Thompson.
Parliamentary Library - A.E. Turner.
Postmaster-General’s - S. W. Brooks, R. C. Cameron, R. A. Clark, J. A. De Jong, G. K. Howard, B. D. Livingstone, R. L. McGowan, A. E. S. Owen,C. W. Pike, H. J. E. Reed, J. F. Saunders, J. Swift, J. M. Warner.
Repatriation - P. A. D. Foote, T. Godlee, M. A. Hopkins.
Supply - R. S. Davie, R. H. Evans, J. S. Mappin, W. F. Miles, J. G. Prisk, S. J. Wookey.
Trade and Customs - O. E. Britten, B. D. Burrage, J. E. F. de Freitas, J. F. Hayes, P. B. Hough, R. C. Jones, W. A. Klose, L. Martin, E. A. Mawdsley, L. T. Poole, L. P. Ross.
Treasury - R. A. Ruttle.
Works and Housing - T. C. Brocking- ton, T. W. Morley, D. S. Murray.
Regulations - Statutory Rules 1950, Nos. 88, 99, 100.
Commonwealth Railways Act - Report on Commonwealth Railways operations for year 1949-50.
Customs Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1951, No. 1.
Defence (Transitional Provisions) Act - National Security (Industrial Property) Regulations - Orders - Inventions and Designs (7).
Income Tax and Social Services Contribution Assessment Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1950, No. 101.
Interim Forces Benefits Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1950, No. 97.
Lands Acquisition Act - Land acquired for - Defence purposes -
Bullsbrook (Pearce), Western Australia.
Department of Civil Aviation purposes - Archerfield, Queensland.
Carnarvon, Western Australia (2).
Flinders Island (Pats River), Tasmania.
Kempsey, New South Wales.
Onslow, Western Australia.
Department of Trade and Customs purposes - Griffith, New South Wales.
Immigration purposes - Launeeston, Tasmania.
Postal purposes -
Bolgart, Western Australia.
Brookfield, Queensland. .
Carlton South, Victoria.
Crystal Brook, South Australia.
Gawler East, South Australia.
Griffith, New South Wales.
Lakemba, New South Wales.
Lameroo, South Australia.
Long Jetty, New SouthWales.
Minnivale, Western Australia.
Mullumbimby, New South Wales.
Orroroo, South Australia.
Riverton, South Australia:
Rose Bay, New South Wales.
Tantanoola, South Australia.
Two Wells, South Australia.
Telephonic purposes - Longreach, Queensland.
Navigation Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1950, No. 90.
Norfolk Island Actr-Ordinance- 1960-No. 3 - Lunacy.
Northern Territory (Administration) Act - Ordinances 1950 -
No. 13 - Licensing Court -Proceedings Validating.
No. 14 - Crown Lands.
Papua and New Guinea Act - Ordinances - 1950-
No. 27 - Statutory Declarations.
No. 28- Motor Traffic.
No. 29- Insolvency (Papua).
No. 30- Insolvency (New Guinea).
No. 31 - Dangerous Drugs . (Papua).
No. 32 - Liquor (Papua).
No. 33 - Liquor (New Guinea).
No. 34 - Appropriation 1950-51.
No. 35 - Gaming (Papua).
No. 36 - Gaming (New Guinea).
No. 37 - Registration of Births, Deaths, and Marriages (Papua).
No. 38 - Registration of Births, Deaths, and Marriages (New Guinea).
No. 39 - Legitimation (New Guinea).
No. 40 - Public Service Ordinances Repeal.
No. 41 - Native Children.
No. 42- Part-Native Children.
No. 43 - Australian Lutheran Mission Property.
No. 44 - Explosives (New Guinea).
No. 45 - Supply Ordinance Operation.
No.46 - Sea-Carriage ofGoods (Papua).
No. 47 - Weights and. Measures (New Guinea).
No. 48 - Native Labour.
No. 49 - Ordinances Interpretation.
Pharmaceutical Benefits Act - Regulations -
Statutory Rules 1950, No. 94.
Post and Telegraph Act - RegulationsStatutory Rules 1950, Nos. 91-93.
Quarantine Act - Regulations - Statutory
Rules - 1960, No. 95. 1951, No: 3.
Seat of Government Acceptance Act and Seat of Government (Administration) Act -
No. 14 - Co-operative Trading Societies.
No. 15 - Companies (Unclaimed Assets and Moneys).
No. 16- Administration and Probate.
No. 17 - Apprenticeship.
No. 18 - City Area Leases. 1951-
No. 1 - Liquor (Renewal of Licences ).
Regulations - 1950 -
No. 7 (Machinery Ordinance).
No. 8 (Apprenticeship Ordinance).
No. 9 (Police Ordinance):
No. 10 (Police Superannuation Ordinance).
War Service Homes Act- Land acquired at Villawood, New South Wales.
Wool Sales Deduction (Administration) Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1950, No. 102.
Senate adjourned at 10.30 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 7 March 1951, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1951/19510307_senate_19_212/>.