27th Parliament · 2nd Session
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Alister McMullin) took the chair at 3 p.m.. and read prayers.
– by leave -I wish to inform the Senate that the Minister for Defence (Mr Gorton) left on 12th April to represent Australia at the Five Power Ministerial Conference in London on 15th and 16th April and to hold talks with Ministers and defence officials in the United Kingdom. He will then go to Washington for talks with defence officials, returning to Australia on 30th April. During his absence the Postmaster-General (Sir Alan Hulme) is acting Minister for Defence.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Bury) left Australia for London on 11th April to attend the Five Power Ministerial Conference on 15th and 16th April and a South East Asia Treaty Organisation council meeting on 27th and 28th April. While overseas Mr Bury will attend a meeting on 23rd April in Washington of countries contributing troops to Vietnam and will go to Geneva to chair a meeting of heads of Australian diplomatic missions. Mr Bury is expected back in Australia on 8th May. During his absence the Minister for National Development (Mr Swartz) is acting Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Sinclair) left Australia yesterday for Manila to lead the Australian delegation to the twenty-seventh annual session of the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East beginning today. Mr Sinclair is expected to be back in Australia on 27th April. During his absence the Minister for Air (Senator Drake-Brockman) is Acting Minister for Primary Industry. The Minister for Repatriation (Mr Holten) will represent the Acting Minister in the House of Representatives.
– I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move:
That the Legal Practitioners Ordinance (No. 2) 1970 be disallowed; and
That the Legal Practitioners Ordinance (No. 3) 1970 be disallowed.
For the information of the Senate I wish to say that it may not necessarily be intended to proceed with those motions - questions have arisen as to their effect - and I give notice because this is the last day for the giving of notices.
-I give notice that tomorrow I intend to move:
That in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1969 the following proposed work be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for investigation and report:
Construction of a tactical trainer building at HMAS ‘Watson’, South Head. Sydney. New South Wales.
– I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move:
That there be referred to the Standing Committee on Social Environment the following matter:
The content, form and presentation of the information section of telephone directories with a view to (a) an improved selection and dissection of postal, telephone and telegraphic material; and (b) a more modern and more functional layout to facilitate easier reference to the information desired.
– My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate and the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
– 1 no longer represent the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
– ThenI direct my question to either or both Ministers.I hope that both Ministers will wish to answer it. I ask: Could the Leader of the Government in the Senate or the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs explain whether the Australian Government still asserts internationally that the lawful government of Mainland China is still the Government of the Republic of China, which is situated on Taiwan? Will the Government inform the Senate how long this nonsense is going to continue of Australia pretending that the lawful government of Mainland China is not the Government of the People’s Republic of China, particularly as it has been recognised as such by even Conservative governments in Britain for over 20 years?
– I think that even the Leader of the Opposition will recognise thathehas posed as a question a matter which would justify quite a lengthy debate ranging over a whole number of issues. I think it is recognised as a fact that the Taiwan Government, as he chose to call it,has a seat in the United Nations and that this is basic in terms of recognition.
– A seat representing China!
– That is right. It also has a seat in the Security Council. 1 do not want to be critical of the Leader of the Opposition, but it would seem to me that he is posing his question in a political sense. The fact is that in the world in which we live at present the Taiwan Government has recognition in the United Nations. It is true that the United Nations will meet in plenary session towards the end of the year and I have no doubt that this matter will be again raised then. The Leader of the Opposition has asked me to express the Government’s policy on this matter. I decline to do so. All 1 shall do is remind him of the actual situation at present.
– I have no knowledge of the matter referred to by the honourable senator. I shall take the earliest opportunity to refer his question for further information.
– I ask the Minister for Health: As the Commonwealth Government recently attacked the 6 per cent increase granted in the national wage case as an inflationary and irresponsible action, will the Minister give an assurance that any increase in doctors’ fees will be less than the 6 per cent level awarded in the national wage case? Further, will he assure the Senate that any increase in doctors’ fees will be only as a result of searching independent arbitration?
– I am not able to give the honourable senator the assurance he seeks. I should indicate to him that the 6 per cent increase which was awarded in the national wage case is an increase which has in fact already been granted but, as far as the question of the projected increase in doctors’ fees is concerned, the Australian Medical Association has only made an announcement - which, of course, it is within its rights to make - as to what the fees of doctors should be throughout Australia. The Commonwealth Government is interested because it has a national health scheme and the contributions which contributors to hospital and medical benefit funds make and the contributions which the Commonwealth Government makes by way of Commonwealth benefits are tied to the fees which doctors charge. Accordingly, the Commonwealth Government’s interest is a very real one. I will be consulting with the executive of the Australian Medical Association at the earliest possible opportunity. I shall certainly bear in mind the purport and intent of the honourable senator’s question.
– I direct my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service, or to whomsoever is the appropriate. Minister. Is the Minister in a position to say whether any action has been taken to move for penal clause action in respect of the strike of members of the Stewards’ and Pantrymen’s Association and the consequent laying up of ships which threatens to cause widespread disruption and unemployment, particularly in Tasmania?
– Give them a decent wage.
– Rubbish. Has the Government considered ways and means of combating this threat to the employment and livelihood of the thousands of victims of this industrial anarchy?
– I believe that the question, in the terms in which the honourable senatorhas asked it, is very timely. I remind him that late last week Mr Justice Franki made an order for the insertion in the relevant award of a no strike clause. That will enable the operation of the socalled penal provisions of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act to be invoked.I remind him also that the Ministers directly responsible for this matter - the AttorneyGeneral and the Minister for Labour and National Service - are, it would be true to say, hourly keeping in touch with the situation. It is developing to proportions which are quite serious.
– Is the Minister representing the Treasurer aware that at present local government authorities in Australia are paying about$8m annually in payroll tax into Federal revenue? Does he appreciate that this commitment adds to the already heavy financial burden on an area of public responsibility which is already suffering from a serious shortage of finance? Since the imposition of payroll tax requires a direct increase in the level of municipal rating which must be demanded from ratepayers, and since provision is already made in the taxation legislation for exemptions in specified instances, will the Minister take up with his colleague the Federal Treasurer the question of exempting municipal councils from payment of this lax and thereby afford to those bodies a measure of relief which is desperately needed if they are to continue to discharge their functions?
Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSONIt is true that local Government authorities pay payroll tax. It is equally true that local government authorities have made representations, to my knowledge, for some time for relief from payroll tax. The matter has been raised in the Senate. The questions of the incidence and application of the tax involve policy. As the honourable senator knows, such matters of policy are traditionally dealt with at Budget time each year. I will therefore refer the honourable senator’s question to the Treasurer but I feel bound to say that governments have recourse to revenue raising and budgets are shaped in relation to the revenue to be raised. If a government as a matter of policy decides to abate a tax, whether payroll tax paid by local government authorities or some other tax. as a consequence it must do one of two things. It must raise revenue from another source or it must reduce its expenditures accordingly.
It is not simply a matter of pressing a button and saying: ‘We will absolve local government from paying payroll tax.’ If a Government does that it must make up its mind as to where else it will raise the revenue necessary for all the things that it must do in the fields of social service and defence and every other known field of government activity. The interest of the honourable senator in local government matters is known here and I will refer his question to the Treasurer.
– - My question to the Minister for Health is on the lines of the question asked by Senator Willesee and refers to the decision of the Australian Medical Association to increase substantially fees for certain services. In view of the effect of the proposed increases on contributions by individuals to hospital and medical benefits funds, and upon the taxpayer by virtue of the increased payments which will have to be made by the Treasury, has the Government abandoned its decision that this matter should go to arbitration? If so, will the Minister explain why?
-I should point out to the honourable senator the history of this matter so that it can be placed in perspective. In February of this year the AMA made an announcement in which it recommended an increase in certain fees by approximately 15 per cent across the board. In other words, fees which were charged by a specialist, fees which were charged by general practitioners for home visits and surgery consultations, and all other medical fees were to be increased across the board by 15 per cent. At that time, because of its very real interest, the Commonwealth Government indicated that that increase was unacceptable because it was unjustifiable and because the Government believed that it could not be justified. Following upon that decision representatives of the AMA sought an interview with the Prime Minister.
At the interview which took place, at which I was present, representatives of the Australian Medical Association sought to know whether they could come up with another proposal. The Australian Medical Association has come up with another proposal in which it recommends a fee increase of the order of 15 per cent to apply only to general practitioner surgery consultations and home visits. The decision also involves that for the time being there will be no increase in the fees charged for other services. In these circumstances, as I have stated, 1 will be approaching the Australian Medical Association to find out precisely the impact, in dollars and cents, of its announcement on the level of fees and also what is involved in the statement that for the time being there will be no increase in the cost of other services.
The Government has maintained a consistent line. It indicated in February of this year that if the doctors were not prepared to abandon the claim they were then making the matter should go to arbitration. The doctors did come up with a different proposal and, as a result of the Government’s action, what would have been a charge to the Commonwealth of approximately $32m for the provision of services has now been reduced to approximately $10m That represents a decided advantage for the Australian taxpayer. I believe that the way in which the Government has acted has brought about desirable results. The details of the proposed change, of course, have yet to be resolved. How this will affect the taxpayer, the contributor to the funds and the individual patient are, of course matters which can only be determined as administrative matters after the clarification which I am seeking has been obtained.
– Would the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs consider it a good portent for proposals for Australian recognition of Communist China that Great Britain recognised Communist China in 1949 and in all the period since then Communist China has refused to receive a British Ambassador? Would it be a good portent that when an Australian diplomatic representative chal lenged Chou En-lai on this point at the last internation! conference - he attended, Chou En-lai said: ‘Well, we do have a minor British official.’ When asked the name of the minor British official he said: I do not know because I -have never even met him.’ In addition, will the Government consider asking Mao Tsc-tung, in view of his invitation to ping-pong teams to enter China, his views on the entry into Australia of a South African cricket team because Communist China so obviously does not believe in mixing politics and sport?
– I hardly think it will be necessary for us to consult with Mao Tse-tung on the question that he honourable senator referred to. I have taken note, not for the first time, of the facts that he referred to in the first part of his question.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport. Is it a fact that the Minister for Shipping and Transport has submitted to the South Australian Government a plan relating to the standardisation of the rail link between Adelaide and Port Pirie? If so, can the Minister give the Senate details of the plans together with any information concerning a timetable on the plans or the construction of this line?
– I understand that the Minister for Shipping and Transport has not submitted any firm plan to the South Australian Government, but in order to try to resolve differences between the 2 governments he has had a meeting with Mr Virgo, the South Australian Minister for Roads and Transport, and at that meeting it was agreed that certain proposals relating to the linking .of Adelaide to the standard gauge line would be submitted to the respective governments for consideration. My understanding is that the Minister for Shipping and Transport will bring this matter before the Government before very long but at this stage he is unable to provide details of the proposals. Therefore it is not possible at the present time to supply any possible date for agreement.
– My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Industry. Is the Minister for Trade and Industry aware that the price of Queensland coal exported to Japan is lower than the price for similar coal bought by Japan from its other suppliers in 10 countries? Does the Minister regard this price as fair? If not, will he consider taking action similar to that of his predecessor in the case of the give away prices proposed for the export of iron ore to Japan from Western Australia?
– I recall putting down in the Senate - I think it was on behalf of the Minister for National Development - an answer which indicated the price of coal bought by Japan from Australian sources and the comparable range of prices for coal bought from other sources. I understand that it had something to do with the grade of coal and with the transport link between this country and Japan and between the other sources of supply and Japan. I cannot go beyond that without some further information from the Minister for Trade and Industry, which I shall seek for the honourable senator.
– I ask the Minister repre senting the Prime Minister: What is the current situation with regard to the establishment of a Federal pollution control department, departmental section or adviser? If the proposals outlined by the former Prime Minister have been delayed by current financial stringency or for some other reason, will the Minister indicate when this most important project may proceed?
Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSONAs we know, certain activities formerly dealt with by the Prime Minister’s Department are being dealt with by the VicePresident of the Executive Council. It is envisaged that, subject to the passage of legislation in the other place and here, there will be a more defined ministerial control of a number of matters, including the one to which the honourable senator referred. I would need to seek some information as to the precise position in relation to the setting up of the special authority to which the honourable senator referred, and I will get that as soon as I can. At the present time these matters are being dealt with ministerially by the VicePresident of the Executive Council in the other place, and by myself in the Senate.
– I direct a question to you, Mr President. Have the attendants on the front door of Parliament House been instructed not to admit visitors to the House between the hours of 12.30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on days on which the Parliament is sitting? As Parliament House is one of the prime tourist attractions in Canberra will the President take steps to advise the Senate of the reason for the instruction? Unless the instruction has some security motive will the President take steps to have it countermanded?
– I have no knowledge of what the honourable senator has said about the admission of visitors to Parliament House. I shall make inquiries and let him know in due course. I will be very surprised if the instruction has any association with security.
– I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether he has seen reports that leading South African unionists including the President of the South African Council of Mining Unions, the Secretary of the South African Confederation of Labour and the Secretary of South Africa’s trade union council have severely criticised those Australian trade unionists who are threatening to disrupt and boycott the proposed South African cricket tour, stating that trade unions should not meddle in things like this at all? I also ask the Minister whether he has seen reports of an alliance between the Australian Labor Party and trade unions to prevent the proposed tour? If this is so, does it not show clearly that the policy of the Australian Labor Party and some. Australian trade unions is to force politics into those Australian ways of life which we, as Australians^ have always proudly boasted are completely divorced from politics?
– I rise to order. Surely this is a question inviting nothing less than an opinion by the Minister, contrary to the Standing Orders which require that a question should ask for some kind of fact or press for some policy. This is simply asking for an opinion by the Minister on this matter.
– Mr President, insofar as the objection of the Leader of the Opposition is concerned, it will be a sad day for this House of Parliament when a Minister is precluded from expressing his opinions, sometimes in response to questions. No legal opinion has been sought in this question. The objection is simply tendentious rubbish. I submit I should be entitled to answer the question according to my conception of responsibility.
– I propose to let the question go through to the Minister.
– I have seen reports that trade union leaders and Labor leaders in South Africa have strongly deprecated the intervention of the Australian Labor Party combined with trade unions . in a proposed international visit by a team of cricketers to Australia. I say to Senator Young that trade unions are afforded privileges in the law of this country for purposes of industrial advancement and for no other reason. It has been made completely clear on behalf of this Government that as much as we regret any control of the constituent elements of the South African team and as much as we object to the policy of apartheid we are quite firm in making this country available for the free exchange of international sporting bodies, as far as we can, so long as the visits are confined to sporting purposes.
– I am sure that the Leader of the Government in the Senate shares with other honourable senators deep sympathy for the victims of the tragedy of genocidal civil war in East Pakistan and the enormous human suffering involved in wars of this nature. I ask: Has the Government any plans to give aid to the hundreds of thousands of East Pakistani refugees crossing the border into India to escape the fighting in their own country? In view of the fact that India is doing her best to feed these distressed people but has called for outside aid in this great humanitarian task will the Government give urgent con sideration to giving extensive aid to India in the way of food, clothing and other things for this purpose.
Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSONI share the concern of Senator O’Byrne, and indeed all other honourable senators, at the tragedy in terms of human life that is taking place in Pakistan at present. I am not informed as to whether there has been any intervention on the . lines suggested by the honourable senator. I will seek some information and will make it available to him.
– Has the Minister for
Health seen an article in’ the Press of yesterday’s date stating that piranha fish from the Amazon area of South America were being offered for sale in Sydney at $25 each? As it is most undesirable for this fish to be introduced into Australian waterways, will precautions be taken to check that it is not allowed to be imported and will any known fish of this species in Australia be destroyed?
-I regret that I have not seen the article and therefore I am unable to make any comment as to whether or not the assertions in it are true and correct. I can say that the question as to whether or not fish are imported into Australia is strictly a matter for the Department of Customs and Excise. Providing fish are healthy there is no prohibition under our quarantine regulations against the importation of such fish. I understand that the procedure followed when fish are sought to be introduced into Australia is that the quarantine officer at the point of entry prevents the importation pending a referral of the matter to the Department of Primary Industry, which is the initiating body for the State and Commonwealth Standing, Committee on Fisheries. This body has a list of those fishes which can be imported into this country. Therefore I would suggest to the honourable senator that his inquiry could be directed to the Department of Customs and Excise.
– I direct a ques tion to the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration. By way of preface I refer to the recent statement by the
Malaysian High Commissioner that all Malaysian students in Australia would be expected to return home as soon as they obtained their degrees, diplomas or certificates. Is the Minister aware of the strong fears expressed by many Malaysian graduates of Chinese origin resident in Australia that due to racial discrimination practised by the Malaysian Government in favour of citizens of Malayan origin as against those of Chinese origin, the latter have little chance of job placement in Malaysia commensurate with the professional qualifications acquired in Australia? Can he appreciate the fact that in following a rather rigid adherence to the. policy espoused by the Malaysian High Commissioner, Australia gets the worst of the two worlds by-
– Order! The honourable senator’s . question is . too long. I suggest that he should conclude it.
-! will move’ for an extension of lime.
– The question asked by Senator McManus was -worse than this. The final point of my question is this: Is it not true that such people arc condemned to a system of job discrimination in their own country in the face of Australian employers and the local community seeking their retention in Australia? Senator GREENWOOD- I have seen reports of a recent speech by . the educational adviser to the Malaysian High Commissioner. That report was on the lines mentioned by the honourable senator. Malaysian students of Chinese descent seeking to stay in Australia have at times made the claim that they do not have prospects of employment in Malaysia because of racial discrimination. This is a matter about which there have been careful inquiries in a number of cases and it has been found that there has been no substance in the suggestion. There have also been discussions with the Malaysian authorities who have said quite positively that they wish the students to return home as Malaysia is short of qualified people in many fields.
Occasionally inquiries made by the Department of Immigration have shown that there has been no demand in Malaysia for particular qualifications which have been obtained by students in Australia, and favourable consideration has then been given to a grant of resident status. If it were true that Malaysians of Chinese descent could not expect to make good use in Malaysia of the qualifications which they obtained in Australia, clearly it would not be possible to go on admitting them under the private overseas student programme, the aim of which is to help the home countries by increasing their numbers of qualified people in areas of particular need. But I understand from the Department of Immigration that this is not the case. On the contrary, most Malaysian students who- return home on completion of their studies are making a substantial contribution to the future of their homeland.
– Will the : Minister for Health give an” assurance that before the Government accepts the increases -in fees for certain medical services as proposed by the Australian Medical Association a full statement will be made to the Parliament so Parliament can assess the justice of the AMA claims?
– The honourable senator used the prefatory words: ‘Before the Government accepts the fees which are proposed by the doctors’. I think I should point out that the Australian Medical Association and the doctors who accept the advice of that Association have a legal and constitutional right if they choose to exercise it to assert whatever their fees will be. The Government has a real interest because of the contributions it makes under the national health scheme and because of its concern that Australians should have available to them reasonably adequate medical services as and when they are required. In those circumstances, the Government is concerned to consult with the Australian Medical Association and to use such influence and persuasion as it is at its disposal with a view to ensuring that responsibility is exercised by the Australian Medical Association in regard to the fees which it recommends to its members. In terms of any assurance which I am able to give to the honourable senator and to the Senate, I shall be bearing that in mind when 1 consult with the Association. As to whether a general statement along the lines which the honourable senator seeks can be made, I think that this must depend upon the outcome of the inquiries and the circumstances as they then appear to the Government.
-I ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate:
In view of the financial difficulties at present facing farmers and graziers throughout Australia will the Government arrange for the Commonwealth Banking Corporation or the Reserve Bank of Australia to direct or request all trading banks to extend the terms of the present loans to graziers at just and reasonable interest rates to 25 years instead of the present 8 years maximum? I also ask the Minister: Why wait until the man on the land is finished financially before making long term finance available to farmers and graziers?
Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSONIt is a fact that in the primary industry sector there is a concessional rate of interest that is fixed in certain categories. The honourable senator is putting a proposition in thefield of Government policy. AllI can do is refer his proposals to the Government through ‘ the avenue of the Treasurer.
– My question is directed to the Minister for Civil Aviation as the representative in this chamber of the Minister for National Development and the Minister for Shipping and Transport.I ask the Minister whether he is aware that solid effluent from the production of certain acids at the North West Acid Pty Ltd plant near Burnie in Tasmania is being dumped daily at sea in an area which is outside the Tasmanian State territorial waters and indisputably under Commonwealth control? If this is happening, is this being done with the approval of the Commonwealth Government and has the question whether such material is harmful to marine life or to persons been investigated?
– All that I can do in these circumstances is to check whether or not what the honourable senator has alleged is happening in all of the aspects that he mentioned. I shall check, first of all, whether it is happening. If it is I shall then inquire what quantity is involved, bow far out it is being dumped, what is the acid concerned, whether it is dumped in Commonwealth territory or State territory and whether what is being dumped is harmful. He will understand, I am sure, as my colleagues will, that this must be referred to the people concerned for precise information as to what is happening and what is being done about it.
– I address a question to the Minister for Health and refer to his answer to a question asked earlier by Senator Sim and also to reported statements in this morning’s Press wherein Senator Greenwood is reported as having described the 15 per cent increase in doctors’ fees as roughly within bounds. Does the Minister accept, prima facie, that there should be some increase, roughly 15 per cent, or is his position, as has been stated by Senator Sim, that he intends somehow to negotiate or arbitrate with the Australian Medical Association in respect of this matter? In doing so will he have regard to the statements of the former Minister for Health and also of the occupant of the position of Prime Minister who have warned against the impact on the economy of this reported increase in doctors’ fees? Is the Minister for Health in conflict with the proposals and policy of the Government to stop inflationary trends and also the Government’s criticism of trade union claims for increased wages? Can he explain the Government’s position in respect of the 15 per cent increase?
– The honourable senator has raised a number of matters. It is an accepted and acknowledged fact that the last 2 years has been a period of rising costs and rising incomes. Indeed, many salaries and wages have increased to a considerable extent. In terms of percentages it will be found, for example, that certain sections of the Public Service have had their salaries raised by 28 per cent. I mention these matters in response to what the honourable senator has said just to emphasise that this has been a period in which there have been rising costs and rising incomes. The Government does not deny that the Australian Medical Association can present a case for certain fee increases because there have been no increases since early 1969. It is in those circumstances that the Government was concerned, after the across the board proposals were made in February this year, to endeavour to have the Australian Medical Association limit any suggestion of increases in fees to general practitioner consultations, whether in the surgery or at home, and leave all other questions of increases aside. That having occurred, it is now a question of determining with the AMA precisely what the dollars and cents fees will be in the light of its announced recommendation of a15 per cent increase. In terms of whether this is roughly within bounds, which is an expression I agreeI used, it is a matter of discussing what one can do by way of keeping these fees as low as can be consistent with what is reasonable to the doctors and consistent with what is reasonable in the light of contributors to funds and the Commonwealth’s obligation.
– Is the Leader of the
Government in the Senate aware that a statement made on behalf of the Government a few days ago indicated that the amount of overseas aid exceeded 1 per cent of the gross national product for the first time in any given year? Is the Minister aware also that the percentage quoted included overseas commercial profitmaking investments, thus creating a false figure? Will the Minister make available to the Parliament a table setting out the percentage of Government aid to overseas countries, such figure being properly related to the gross national product by stating only the amount of Government funds so used and excluding privatelyowned funds which are used, in the main, for the exploitation of people in under-developed countries?
– I do recall that a statement was made about the percentage quota of Australia’s overseas aid in recent times. I do not concede, as Senator Keeffe suggested by way of question, that the presentation of that statement in any way distorts the position. I will have his question referred to the appropriate Minister. The honourable sena tor is asking for a statement in some depth and he has nominated his own conditions on which that statement should be made. I want to be satisfied, as will the relevant Minister, in preparing the statement for which Senator Keeffe has asked, that it does not distort the figures in some other way in his mind.
– I address a question to the Minister for Air. Did the Air Board fly the Royal Australian Air Force Central Band with its instruments from Laverton, Victoria, at very great expense, to play at a function given for the Duke of Edinburgh at the Hotel Canberra recently? Did the Hotel Canberra dining room take on the character of an officers’ mess and was it staffed by Air Force stewards, many of whom were flown from Sydney or Laverton? Are there perfectly good Service bands in Canberra for this purpose? Is this regarded as an austerity measure?
– The Royal Australian Air Force Band was present at most functions during the jubilee celebrations and on most occasions the band travelled in the Hercules aircraft that was used to take equipment to the various bases where aerial displays were held. On those occasions the band went along as part of the cargo. It is true that a dinner was held at the Hotel Canberra as part of the celebrations. I believe that most of the stewards who staffed the dining room came from Fairbairn. RAAF stewards were present, but I shall have to check to find out where they came from. I shall look into the other matters raised by the honourable senator and, if further information is available, I shall supply it to him. I remind the Senate that at that time we were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the RAAF and that provision for. these expenses was revealed in the Estimates at Budget time.
– Is the Minister for
Health aware that the average income of general practitioners in Australia is $19,000 per annum? Is he aware that he average income of marine stewards is $6,100 per annum? In view of the Governmen’s obvious concern at an increase in the stewards’ wages, will he assure the
Senate that he will keep his fact firmly in. mind in his deliberations with the Australian Medical Association?
– I have listened to the honourable senator’s question but I fail to see its relevance. I think the honourable senator has sought to make a point which cannot be made.. It is unreasonable to equate the work that doctors do with work performed by other sections of the community. Equally it- is unreasonable to equate the work that one section of the community does with what is done by another section without giving any real relevance or depth to it but just looking at the renumeration and seeking to make a point in this way. I think the honourable senator can do better in the way of making a reasonable contribution to .what is a very serious problem.
– My question which is directed to the Minister representing the Attorney-General i refers to a question that I asked concerning the possibility of accommodating the High Court in Adelaide in the historic and architecturally outstanding building occupied by Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd in King William Street. On that occasion the Minister - undertook to refer the matter to his colleague. Can he now advise the Senate of the outcome of those conversations?
– My colleague Senator Greenwood, who now represents the Attorney-General, has indicated his wish that 1 should answer this question as I represented the Attorney-General when Senator Davidson and senator-elect Jessop referred this question to me. It was suggested that the ANZ Bank building in Adelaide would, if available, form suitable accommodation for the High Court in Adelaide. I referred that matter to the Attorney-General who has advised me that the Government has announced that the High Court will at some future time be transferred to Canberra for its permanent accommodation and that he does not consider it appropriate to contemplate the Adelaide building as accommodation for the High Court.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Has the Minister seen a Press report to the effect that when the South African Minister for Sports entered the arena to present trophies to Australian tennis players Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong he was booed by the segregated coloured spectators and a substantial number of the white spectators in the exclusive white section? Does he agree that the adverse reception received by the Minister was justified because of the. South African Government’s political interference in the selection of sporting teams?
– I regret that I did not hear clearly the trend of the honourable senator’s question. The honourable senator referred to a disagreeable reception to a Minister in South Africa in respect to some sporting event. Any comment from me without fuller knowledge of the. circumstances would be unhelpful. I shall be glad to look at the honourable senator’s question in Hansard and, if further information would appear to me to assist the honourable senator, I shall give him an answer of a fuller nature tomorrow.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Is it a fact that in 1968 the South African Government refused to accept in South Africa a visiting team of cricketers representing the United Kingdom? Was the reason for the rejection of the British team the fact that it contained a South African coloured cricketer, namely, Basil D’Oliveira?
– My recollection accords with the sense of what has been spoken by the honourable senator, but this matter is not on the official files of the Department of Foreign Affairs or within my official responsibilities and therefore I must not be tied to it here.
– I direct a question to the Minister for Health. I ask: What- role does the Minister propose to take in any demarcation dispute that could arise between the brass hats of the Australian Medical Association and Medicheck? Will the creation of Medicheck give the Commonwealth Government an opportunity to probe the extent of profits involved in the present system of pathology testing?
– I am not aware of any demarcation dispute which currently exists between those who provide automated pathology tests and the Australian Medical Association. In the absence of any knowledge of such a dispute, I do not think it is advisable for me to express any attitude. Any problems which should arise would be a matter strictly between the AMA and Medicheck, which is, I understand, a body in New South Wales that is seeking to provide these services. The .level of fees and benefits for automated pathology tests is a matter which the Commonwealth Government will take into consideration, in regard to the amounts of fees shown in the schedules to the National Health Act, when more is known about the services which are provided and when information is provided by Medicheck to the Government.
– My question is directed to the Minister for Health. I ask: What, attention has been paid by the Department of Health to cutting down the cost of medical treatment, the prevention of disease and the preservation of health? That question is apart altogether from the question of the recoupment of the costs of medical practitioners. In particular, will he have an investigation made of the treatment which has been proposed by Dr Skyrme Rees of the intervertebral disc syndrome? This treatment has been undertaken by well over 1,000 people in New South Wales. If it is as successful as it would appear to be it might enable the avoidance of a tremendous amount of suffering to individual patients and the avoidance of a great deal of social cost?
– The honourable senator’s question was in 2 parts. In the first part, as he stated, he asked a general question and I can reply only generally. I know from my short experience of the Department of Health that its officers are of first class quality and are conscious of the obligation not only to maintain the highest standards of public health in the areas for which they have a responsibility but also to ensure that services are provided with due regard to economy and the necessity to keep down public expenditure. This is a matter under constant attention and review. Necessarily many public health facilities which are provided throughout Australia are provided by State governments. It is only in limited areas that the Commonwealth has a responsibility.
As to the second part of the honourable senator’s question, I shall certainly have an investigation made of ‘ the intervertebral disc syndrome to which he has referred. I think the honourable senator is aware that the National Health and Medical Research Council has had a very distinguished existence for about the last’ 30 years’ and has had under constant attention procedures of the type he has mentioned. As I indicated, I will undertake to see what the position is with regard to the syndrome and I will let the honourable senator know in due course.
– My question, which is addressed to the Minister in Charge of Tourist Activities, follows questions addressed to him earlier this afternoon in relation, to the proposed tour of certain South Africa sportsmen. Has he seen a report in today’s ‘Age’ referring to an editorial in the very outspoken ‘Rand Daily Mail’ of Johannesburg, which is certainly regarded as being very much opposed to the Nationalist Government of South Africa? Is he aware whether it is correct that that editorial was headed ‘An Appeal to Mr Hawke’, that it said that the appeal was to the Australian Labor Party and trade union movement to reconsider their decision to boycott the Springbok cricket tour, and that it added: We must tell them that by their actions they are harming the antiracialist cause in South Africa’? The article also said that the Labor: Party and the trade unions in Australia were rewarding South African cricketers-: - , : .
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Bull) - Order! The honourable senator will ask his question.
– Yes, Mr Deputy President, I will come to the question. It stated that the trade unions are rewarding South African cricketers for their courage in speaking out against racialism by threatening to wreck the tour. I. ask the Minister whether that has been drawn to his attention? If so, does he agree .with the sentiments expressed?
– 1 want to raise a point of order, Mr Deputy President. To be quite candid, I was amazed at the ruling given on the last point of order. Standing order 99 provides that questions shall not ask for an expression of opinion. As the Standing Order is so precise, 1 would say with great respect that any question asking for an. opinion, as Senator Rae’s question does, must be ruled out of order.
– I wish to speak to the point of order. Standing order 99 which Senator Kennelly has read is not unknown to us. In fact it was the basis of a previous ruling. However, we must have regard to usage in this place. If there is to be a strict interpretation of that standing order it will be delightful for the Minister to whom a question has been directed but it will deny a certain degree of tolerance which this Senate has given traditionally in relation to the matter of opinion, i would think that there is hardly a question posed to me in which I am not asked, in some form or other, to express an opinion. If I and other Ministers are to sit back and observe standing order 99 a lot of character will be taken out of question time. Therefore, 1 think the ruling should allow a degree of tolerance at the will of the Presiding Officer.
– Speaking to the point of order, I thank Senator Kennelly for raising this matter again. It is true, as the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson) has said, that sometimes questions are asked in this chamber which seek an opinion. Sometimes questions ask for a statement of government policy, and sometimes that is stated and sometimes it is not. There are various contraventions of standing order 99. The opinions which are stated are essentially factual statements - responses to requests for action or something of that nature.
That has. al ways been accepted as being in conformity with the spirit of the standing order.
If this matter is to be determined - now that it has been raised it should be determined - I suggest that the ruling should be that the question clearly goes against not only the terms but also the spirit of standing order 99. Senator Rae, who asked the question, recited a great deal from a newspaper or from another document from which he obtained the information, and he concluded by asking the Minister whether he agreed with it. There could not be a more blatant breach, not only of the terms but also of the spirit of standing order 99. If that is permissible, there is nothing left of standing order 99.
– The honourable senator wants it all his own way..
– 1 suggest for your consideration, Mr Deputy President, that this question should be ruled out of order and that such tolerance as is permitted should be applied only when an opinion is sought on. for example, what the Government will do in regard to a certain matter.
– The honourable senator wants it all his own way. When the next occasion arises and he transgresses I will raise a point of order.
– I wish Senator Gair would cease his prattle. If he has reached his second childhood he should not be demonstrating it in this place.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Bull)- Order!
– I am trying to deal with the point of order that is before the Chair. I suggest that a proper and fair ruling would be that this question certainly has exceeded the limits of tolerance which have been permitted under standing order 99. The terms and the spirit of the standing order should be observed. The question does not seek information. The honourable senator merely has said: ‘This is something which appeared in a newspaper editorial. Does the Minister agree with it?’
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Bull) - Order! I do not uphold the point of order but I would direct the attention of honourable senators to the fact that they are tending to go beyond the terms and the spirit of the standing order. I request honourable senators, when asking questions, to conform more to the standing order and to be conscious of their obligations in this regard. It will then be in the hands of the Minister to deal with the question in the manner in which he has been asked to deal with it, bearing in mind that he is expressing an opinion.
– I have seen the report to which the honourable senator referred. It certainly, so far as I would feel at liberty to comment and be helpful in making any comment, brings a point to bear upon the inadvisability of mixing sport with politics. This is a case in which we are dealing with a proposed visit from an international team of sportsmen, and the newspapers that we have read over the last 7 days have teemed with instances of sporting bodies visiting countries irrespective of their agreement with or their rejection of political philosophies. I again express the view that I expressed earlier today in question time and also 2 weeks ago, that is, that it would be very much better for the external relations of this country, not only with South Africa but also elsewhere, if trade unions did not assert the right to veto visits by international sporting teams on the ground of their politics.
– My question is directed to the Minister for Air. I again refer to reports that the Government is likely to announce a $72m purchase order for 6 Boeing 707-320 military tanker type aircraft. I ask: Has the Royal Australian Air Force recommended the purchase of this type of aircraft? Will these aircraft be used for in-flight refuelling? Has a decision been made to purchase these aircraft? If so, is it related to the possible use in Australia of Fill aircraft which, according to the Chief of the Air Staff, would need extra refuelling capabilities?
– This is a question I have been asked continuously over a long period. As the honourable senator is aware, the Hercules 130A aircraft are drawing towards the time when they will become a liability and the Royal
Australian Air Force is looking for a replacement. The Boeing 707-320 is one of the aircraft that the RAAF is looking at. We are looking also at the proposition that the replacement for the Hercules could do the job of a transport and a tanker aircraft. The Boeing 707-320 is one of the aircraft that can do that job.
The Department of Air has made a submission to the Department of Defence, which is examining the situation. As to whether the Air Force will need a tanker for refuelling the Fill, my view is that the range of the Fill meets the requirements of the RAAF at the present time but its capability could) of course, be enhanced considerably with in-flight refuelling. It may be necessary for us to look at this proposition from the point of view of our Phantom force should we ever decide to increase it, but at the present time no decision has been made. I have seen the report the honourable senator referred to and I can state categorically that at this stage no report has been put before the Government.
– My question, which is directed to the Minister for Health, concerns the reported proposal to increase medical fees in certain directions about which a number of questions have been addressed to him today. Has there been or is there any likelihood of any reduction in the level or range of services available to pensioners in Australia as a consequence of this proposal or any other action which has been or is proposed to be taken? ls the Minister in a position to give any assurance that adequate steps will be taken bv the Government to ensure that the range and level of services available to pensioners in Australia will not be jeopardised, reduced or withdrawn as a consequence of any increase in the level of fees and any disinclination on the part of the Government to meet the requirements of the members of the medical profession involved?
– 1 do not believe there is any effect likely to operate upon the level of services available to pensioners as a result of the proposals to increase fees which have been recently announced. However, in regard to the major part of the honourable senators question the Government certainly will be concerned to ensure that the range of medical services available to pensioners is in no way diminished.
– I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry why regulations have not been gazetted in accordance with the amendment made in 1966 to section 12 of the Poultry Industry Levy Collection Act compelling the registration of chickens or hens kept for commercial purposes? Is the Minister aware that lack of such regulations permits poultry owners to avoid liabilities in accordance with the Act?
– I am not aware of the situation which the honourable senator has drawn to the attention of’ the Senate. B cannot give him details of it. I ..shall approach the Department of Primary Industry, find the answer, to his question and give it to him as soon as I can.
(Question No. 874)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:
How many immigrants came to Australia from Northern Ireland in each of the years 1968. 1969 and 1970?
– The Minister for Immigration has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
Because settlers On arrival in Australia from Northern Ireland or Ireland state their country of last residence (for 12 months or more) as Northern Ireland or Ireland Republic respectively or Ireland undefined it is not possible to state with accuracy the number of settler arrivals from Northern Ireland.
The number of settlers arriving in Australia who stated on arrival the country of last residence (for 12 months or more) as being Northern Ireland, Ireland Republic and Ireland Undefined, was as follows:
(Question No. 89fi)
asked the Minister representing the Minister-in-Charge of Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice:
– The MinisterinCharge of Aboriginal Affairs . has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
The Life Offices’ Association for Australia has provided me wilh the following information regarding’ the practice of Member Offices of the LOA
Most Member Offices of the Life Offices’ Association accept proposals on the lives of Aboriginals at standard rates of premium if, just as for proponents of European extraction, medical examination and medical history showed no untoward features and the general circumstances of the proponents were satisfactory. A few of the Offices may charge a slightly higher premium rate than would apply to European lives. These Offices ‘eel that this is justified as their premium rates are based on the mortality experience of lives of predominantly European extraction and there is evidence that the mortality experience of a number of non-European races is less favourable than that of Europeans.
The situation is not dissimilar from that under which, in general, male lives pay a higher premium rate for Life Assurance than female lives. This does nol of course reflect any discrimination against the male but results solely from the fact that male lives experience higher mortality rates than female lives.
It is known that there are a number of cases on the books of Member Offices where Aboriginals have been accepted for Life Assurance V standard rates of premium.
DC3 AIRCRAFT (Question No. 926)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:
– The Minister for Foreign Affairs has furnished the following reply to the honourable senator’s question:
(Question No. 937)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:
Did the initial negotiating discussions regarding the purchase of DC3 aircraft from Jetair Australia Limited take place between the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mr Alexander Barton of Jetair Australia Limited. If not, who were involved in such preliminary discussions?
– The Minister for Foreign Affairs has furnished the following reply to the honourable senator’s question:
There have been no negotiating discussions between the former Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mr Alexander Barton of Jetair Australia Limited. Following advertisements in the Press by Jetair Australia Limited inviting offers for their DC3 fleet, initial negotiating discussions were held between representatives of Jetair Australia Limited and senior officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs with an officer of the Aircraft, Guided Weapons and Electronics Supply Division of the Department of Supply present as technical adviser.
(Question No. 969)
asked the Minister-in-
Charge of Tourist Activities, upon notice:
– The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:
Philip Shrapnel & Co. Pty Ltd of Sydney
Cameron, McNamara and Partners of Brisbane
Belt, Collins and Associates of Honolulu
The consultants’ fees have not been finally determined but will be between$60,000 and $70,000.
(Question No. 970)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:
– The Minister for Education and Science has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question: (]) Yes, the former Minister for Education and Science, the Honourable Nigel Bowen, made such a statement.
(Question No. 980)
asked the Minister for
Air, upon notice:
– The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:
(Question No. 1038)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:
Is political censorship carried out, at the Minister’s direction, in respect of school student newspapers such as the Tweed River High School publication, which, during a recent election campaign, published an article by the Australian Labor Party candidate that was subsequently censored? If not, will the Minister ensure that such censorship is abolished in view of the fact that all finance for the Australian education system is derived from the Commonwealth Government?
– The Minister for Education and Science has provided the following answer to’ the honourable senators question:
The Minister for Education and Science exercises no form of political or other censorship. What happens in a high school in a State is entirely a matter for the State authorities concerned.
(Question No. 1042)
asked the Minister for
Civil Aviation, upon notice:
– The answers to the honourable senator’s questions are as follows:
(Question No. 815)
asked the Minister representing the Minister in charge of Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice:
– The Minister in charge of Aboriginal Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
Answers to the honourable senator’s question were sought from Comalco. The Company has been most co-operative but found a difficulty providing precise information as it does not keep records of the racial origin of employees. The following figures have been supplied by Comalco for the year ending 30 June 1970, concerning the number of employees who could be consideredto be Aborigines within the meaning of the honourable senator’s question, i.e. not directly of Caucasian or Asiatic descent, were born in Australia and have dark skin pigmentation. The contractors of Comalco have not been able to supply precise information.
The approximate maximum number of Aborigines employed at any one time during the year ending 30th June 1970:
by Comalco and its contractors - about 109
by Comalco alone - about 55
The approximate minimum number of Aborgines employed at any one time during the year ending 30th June 1970:
by Comalco and its contractors - about 50
by Comalco alone - about 38
The hourly rate of pay, both award and overaward is identical for all employees at Weipa for any given award classification of work, regardless of racial origin. The lowest basic rate of pay for a 40 hour week is for a labourer:
The actual gross earnings of an employee depends upon his award classification, his period of employment and the hours he works each week. During the financial year ending 30 June 1970, employment statistics of Comalco were (Contractor’s figures not being available) -
It should be noted that the above gross earnings do not include an increase of $14 per week, which became effective during July 1970.
In addition it is estimated that Comalco’s contractors would have paid out about $85,000 in gross earnings to Aborigines employed by them.
(Question No. 834)
asked the Minister representing the VicePresident of the Executive Council, upon notice:
Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSONThe Vice President of the Executive Council has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
The Australian Council for the Artshas advised that:
For the purposes of this question, the term professional theatre organisations’ has been defined as those continually operating companies employing a considerable proportion of their administrative, technical and artistic personnel on a professional basis.
and (b) The following professional theatre organisations have received financial assistance from the Australian Council for the Arts:
The Australian Council for the Arts consults each year with the New South Wales Government’s Advisory Committee on Cultural Grants before its major grants are announced for the following year. There is in addition considerable contact of a less formal kind with members of the Committee throughout the year.
The Professional Drama Council provides advice to both the New South Wales Government’s Advisory Committee and to the Australian Council for the Arts. A special panel nominated by. the Professional Drama Council has made recommendations to the Australian Council for the Arts for the past 2 years on the grants to the regional professional drama companies in Sydney.
(Question No. 928)
asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice:
Are overseas passengers arriving at the Bris bane, Sydney, Perth and Darwin Airports obliged to participate in an unseemly scramble for taxis and hire cars when they clear Customs, because no bus service is provided for them at these airports: If so, will steps be taken to end this unfortunate situation.
– The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:
The Department has received no serious complaints about ground transportation difficulties at the airports mentioned except at the international terminal at Sydney Airport.
Generally speaking, State authorities are responsible for the regulation of public ground transport facilities into and out of airports. The airlines accept responsibility for arranging transport for their passengers wishing to travel between an airport and city terminals or, at Sydney, between airport terminals. This varies of course according to whether passengers are terminating at an airport or transmitting to another airport. The airlines have gradually dispensed with their bus fleets because the generally poor patronage did not justify the cost of operating and maintaining this type of transport. The airlines now prefer to arrange for hire cars in lieu of buses as the former provide greater flexibility in meeting high or low demands.
The absence of domestic airline traffic at or near the Sydney international terminal, compared with the other places mentioned, makes this terminal unpopular with taxi or hire car drivers. In order to help overcome this problem, direct line telephones have been installed direct to local taxi ranks and to a neighbouring hire car depot. This arrangement, to some extent, assists travellers when peak demand exhausts the available supply of cars at the terminal.
Notwithstanding, the . Department is itself dissatisfied with existing ground transport arrangements at Sydney international terminal and is currently discussing with the airlines, State transport authorities and the ground transport industry ways and means of achieving some improvement.
(Question No. 957)
asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice:
Has the Public Service Board been directed to ensure that all Commonwealth Public Service Departments substantially reduced staff by 30th June 1971; if so, what percentage reduction in staff is contemplated?
– The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:
Therehas been no direction to the Public Service Board to ensure that all Commonwealth Public Service Departments substantially reduce staff by 30th June 1971; the Government accepted the Board’s recommendation that departmental increases in employment should be kept to the minimum and, in any case, should not exceed, as at 30th June 1971, an overall increase in the Service of 3.4 per cent, as compared with numbers employed under the Public Service Act on 30th June 1970.
(Question No. 974)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:
– The Minister for Shipping and Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
(Question No. 975)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice: (1)Has the Pacific Australia Direct Line withdrawn from the Australia/New Zealand and South Sea Islands Pacific Coast conference.
– -The Minister for Shipping and Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question.
(Question No. 976)
asked the Minister, representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice: (1)Is the Government satisfied with the manner in which shipping conferences are operating into and out of Australia.
-The Minister for Shipping and Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
(Question No. 991)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:
– The Minister for Education and Science has provided the following information in answer to the honourable senator’s questions:
Details of the number of applicants for Later Year Commonwealth University Scholarships and of awards offered this year are available for each State but not for each university.
The following number of persons applied for 1971 Later Year Commonwealth University Scholarships:
(Question No. 992)
asked the Minister in Charge of Tourist
Activities, upon notice:
– The answers to the honourable senator’s questions are as follows:
This part of the question falls within the primary responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Civil Aviation. However ( am aware that, as a result of proposals supported by Qantas at the International Air Transport (IATA) Traffic Conference in Honolulu in September last year, useful concessions were’ achieved which should stimulate the flow of United States tourists to Australia. For example:
The Government strongly supports such moves by Qantas within IATA to lower the cost of travel, as a means of increasing the flow of international tourist traffic to Australia.
An application by a United States charter operator to undertake charter flights to Australia is under consideration.
(Question No. 993)
asked the following question of the Minister in Charge of Tourist Activities, upon notice:
Was the Minister correctly reported in’The Australian’ of 14th October as saying that he sees the main hope of immediate Government assistance to tourism in some form of financial aid for tie bulding of tourist facilities, and that he hoped to announce some specific proposals within six weeks from that date; if so, havethe proposals been announced, and what are they?
– The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:
The answer to the first part of the question is yes, although the report appeared in “The Australian’ on that 13th October not the 14th. The answer to the second part of the question is that the proposals have been prepared, in consultation with the Australian Tourist Commission, but have not yet been submitted to the Government.
(Question No. 999)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:
Is any subsidy paid by the Australian Government to any foreign owned shipping company; if so to what company and in what amount.
– The Minister for Shipping and Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
A subsidy is paid to the Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha to maintain a shipping service between Australia, South America and the Caribbean.
Provision under the current option to the agreement between the Commonwealth and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is for a series of 8 voyages, of which the lust is expected to be completed about the middle of this year. The amount of subsidy is determined by the losses sustained by the company for each voyage, but does not exceed a maximum of $12,500 per voyage.
(Question No. 1000)
asked the Minister representing the Minis ter for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:
– The Minister for Shipping and Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question: (1), (2) and (3) The shipping companies offering services to South America together with ports visited by each company’s vessels are:
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha
Service to Callao, Guayaquil, Buenaventura, Christobal, Kingston, La Guaria, Port of Spain, Bridgetown, Georgetown then return to Australia via Japan, or via United States of America and Japan.
Oregon Steamship Company
Service to Valparaiso, San Antonio and Iquique, with other West Coast South American ports on inducement or transshipment basis, then direct return to Australia.
Royal Interocean Lines
Service has recently been to Buenos Aires, Santos and Rio de Janeiro, with Montevideo on inducement, then direct return to Australia or return via West Africa depending on cargo availability.
MRS IAN MacDOUGALL : (Question No. 1013)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:
– the Minister for Education and Science has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
(Question No. 1030)
asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice:
– The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:
(Question No. 1033)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:
– The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:
– I have from the
Minister for Labour and National Service a supplementary answer to a question asked by Senator Keeffe. The answer to the original question appears in Hansard of 30th September 1970. Senator Keeffe asked:
The Minister for Labour and National Service has provided the following informa tion to supplement the answer given to the honourable senator:
Assent to the following Bills reported:
Criminology Research Bill 1971.
Social Services Bill 1971.
Repatriation Bill 1971.
Seamen’s War Pensions and Allowances Bill 1971.
– For the information of honourable senators, I present the Annual Report of the Australian Capital Territory Police for the year ended 30th June 1970.
SenatorDITTMER (Queensland)- In accordance with the provision’s of the Public Works Committee Act 1969, I present the reports of the Public Works Committee relating to the following proposed works:
Community College, Darwin.
Domestic Accommodation, No. 2 Stores Depot, RAAF Chester Hill, New South Wales.
Mr Deputy President, I seek leave to make a short statement about the report relating to the Community College; Darwin.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT- Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.
- Mr Deputy President, the Committee’s report on the Community College, Darwin, is an interim report only and is tabled in this form at this stage for one reason only. It is that the Committee is currently carrying out an examination of the costs and standards of residential accommodation at a number of different types of Commonwealth built institutions including the Community College at Darwin and would therefore not otherwise be able to report on this reference until that inquiry is completed. In this
Interim report, the Committee is endorsing all of the work in the proposal except the residential accommodation so that the Government can go ahead now and seek Parliament’s approval for that part of the work approved by the Committee without having to await the result of the inquiry into the residential accommodation. The Committee expects to be able to report on the residential accommodation section of the work early in the Budget session.
Motion (by Senator Sir Kenneth
Anderson) - by leave - agreed to:
That the sitting ofthe Senate he suspended from 5.45 p.m. till. 10.15 p.m. this day, unless otherwise ordered inorder to enable Senate Estimates Committee B and Senate Estimates Committee C to meet.
– by leave - Mr Deputy President, will the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson) give the Senate some idea of what the days of meeting will be between now and the end of the current session? This is a personal matter as far as. I am concerned, but I think that all honourable senators should be told. We do not know when, we will be meeting or whether the Senate will sit on Friday. If the Minister cannot give us this information now, will he in the near future tell us what is expected of us?
– by leave - Mr Deputy President, the situation as 1 see’ it at the moment - and you will appreciate that I am trying to anticipate coming events - is that it is hoped that the present session will conclude in the first week in May. It is the hope of the executive House that the session will conclude at the end of the first week in May. Problems are posed for the Senate because, of necessity, we must wait until we receive legislation from the other place. At the moment only one Bill - that is, the Salaries Bill 1971 - is before the Senate and we will’ deal with that Bill this afternoon. It is difficult to be precise in these matters. This week we will sit normal sitting times. We will sit today, tomorrow and Thursday. General Business will take precedence after 8 o’clock on Thursday night. Next week, Monday is a holiday - at least, it is a holiday in New South Wales.
– It is not a holiday in Victoria.
– Nor in Tasmania.
– It is not a holiday in Queensland.
Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSONIt is a holiday in New South Wales. In any event, the Senate will not be sitting next Monday. If the Senate were to sit next Monday, some of us would have hard decisions to make. The normal procedure would be to sit on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week. If at the beginning of next week I can see some prospects that we could come close to concluding our business at the same time as the other House rises, I would ask the Senate to give consideration to sitting oh Friday of next week. In the following week when the House of Representatives hopes to conclude its business we would have to make a collective judgment as to whether we could complete our functions in that third week of sitting or whether we would need to sit an additional week. If we needed to sit an additional week, obviously we would not wish to be sitting on Friday of that week. The logic of the situation is that we do our best work when we are not under the extreme pressures that, unfortunately, I as Leader of the) Government in the Senate have had to impose on honourable senators from time to time.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator
Bull) - Order! Is it desired to rearrange the business of the Senate?
Motion (by Senator Devitt) agreed to:
That notice of motion No. 2, Business of the Senate, be postponed until Tuesday, 27th April 1971.
Motion (by Senator Murphy) agreed to:
That notice of motion No. 1, Business of the Senate, be postponed until the next day of sitting.
Debate resumed from 30 March (vide page 624), on motion by Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson:
That the Bill be now read a second time.
Deputy President, the Salaries Bil] deals with the salaries of a number of high officers of the Commonwealth. They are persons who hold the offices of the Commissioner constituting the Export Payments Insurance Corporation, the Acting Commissioner of the Export Payments insurance Corporation, the Executive Member of the Metric Conversion Board, the Second Parliamentary Counsel, the Assistant Director of the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation and the Director constituting the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority. The purpose of the Bill is to increase the salaries of those officers in order to pass on to them the 6 per cent increase which was made to the total wage last year by the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission.
The adjustment to the salaries of only these officers may appear to be unusual. Why is it that these few officers alone out of all of those occupying positions in such statutory bodies or holding such high offices under the Commonwealth should be selected to be dealt with by this Bill? The reason is that other officers in similar positions have had the 6 per cent increase given to them without any parliamentary Bill of this nature. This focuses attention on an extremely important principle of parliamentary democracy and of representative government, the genesis of which, so far as this Parliament is concerned, occurred in the Senate last year during consideration of the Parliamentary Counsel Bill. 1 think it arose out of discussions on the Defence Bill and was connected with the proceedings of the Senate Regulations and Ordinances Committee. Tn substance what has happened is that the Senate first of all and then the Parliament have taken the view that in order to maintain proper parliamentary supervision over not only the executive government but also over the statutory corporations and to maintain the principle of parliamentary supremacy, as carrying out the supremacy of the people as expressed through their representatives, it is necessary that the salaries of all these persons should be fixed directly by the Parliament and that any allowances that they should have should be fixed by regulation, such regulation being subject to the supervision and control of each House of the Parliament.
It was quite astonishing to find last year that when members of the Senate wanted to know what salary and allowances were being received by certain high officers in the statutory corporations it was not possible to discover this information. I recall that in one instance I asked the Legislative Research Service of the Parliamentary Library to ascertain the information. I think it was to its astonishment also that it found that not only was the information not in the Act of Parliament, which senators knew, and nor was it in any regulation, but also it was not in the annual report of the body. Nor did it appear in the estimates for Parliament, nor did it appear in any public record at all. I understand that it was not possible for the Legislative Research Service to ascertain the information at all. This meant that members of the Parliament could not find out what salary was being paid to an officer of a public body which was dealing with public moneys and acting as an instrumentality of the Commonwealth, lt meant further that the determination of these salaries was not coming under the consideration of the Parliament.
The procedure which had grown up and been incorporated into the various enactments was that the salary and allowances should be determined by the GovernorGeneral or by the Minister. Both methods meant that this was determined by a Minister or by some means outside of the Parliament and it seemed to us that this was not consistent with parliamentary control of public moneys. It was not consistent with the proper relationship between the Parliament and the executive government. It was not consistent with the proper relationship between the Parliament and the corporations which have been set up as public instrumentalities to carry on the management of various industrial undertakings such as Qantas Airways and TransAustralia Airlines, and various other activities in the marketing field and other important spheres of governmental activity. It became necessary, therefore, to correct the position. It was done, I think somewhat spontaneously, in the Senate by the concurrence of the views of the Opposition and some members of the Government and an amendment was made to the first measure. This was to the effect that the words ‘as the Minister determines’ in the
Bill should be taken out and replaced by the words ‘as the Parliament provides’. This meant that the salary should be as the Parliament provided and the allowances, if any, as were prescribed. This would have created a difficulty because those controlling the particular department were not in a position to determine the salary then and there in the case of the Bill which was being passed. The Senate met the position by, in effect, suspending the operation of that clause until the beginning of this year - 1st January 1971. That meant that as from then the salary was to be as fixed by the Parliament but until then it could be done in the way it had been done previously or as had been anticipated in the Bill. That proposal was accepted in the House of Representatives and passed into law.
Following that, a number of enactments came through andI list all that have been affected. The Acts are the Export Payments Insurance Corporation Act, the Metric Conversion Act, the Parliamentary Counsel Act, the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation Acts and the Stevedoring Industry (Temporary Provisions) Act. In the case of each of those we amended either the Bill which was providing for the officers in question or we used a Bill which was amending the principal Act to insert a clause which would affect the principal Act and provide, asI have described, that in future salaries and annual allowances should be fixed by the Parliament and any other allowances should be prescribed by regulations.
– Special allowances?
– Yes.I think this is a very great advance in the relationships between the Parliament and the Executive. Perhaps its significance has not been fully realised, but the errors of many decades are in the process of being corrected. It is interesting to note that this principle has been accepted by, I think, everyone in this chamber and by all in the House of Representatives. I say that notwithstanding that as we were beginning to deal with the matter, for one reason or another there were divided votes in this chamber, but ultimately the principle was accepted. This is important, because I seek to suggest that the principle should be extended to apply to all offices of these corporations and not merely to the few that are included in this Bill.
IfI might refer to the House of Representatives for this purpose, in considering the Australian Film Development Corporation Bill 1970 the House of Representatives, in Committee, considered the amendments which had been made by the Senate. This is set out at page 3222 of volume 68 of the 1970 Hansard. On that occasion the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr Snedden) when dealing with the matter said:
When this Bill was before this chamber-
He was referring to the House of Representatives - it provided for the fixing of salaries and allowances by determination, but when it went before the Senate this provision was replaced by aprovision which required that salaries be fixed at such an amount as the Parliament provides. The way in which this will be done will be by including the salaries in the appropriations. Allowances are to be as prescribed, which means that they will be fixed by regulation.
This provision has been included in a couple of other Bills. It was included in the Defence Bill which was debated recently because a regulation concerning allowances paid to Chiefs of Staff had been disallowed. The Senate also included this provision in the Parliamentary Counsel Bill. The Government will accept the amendment in relation to the Australian Film Development Corporation Bill. If I can be irrelevant for a moment, Mr Chairman, I would like to point out that the Government will also do so in relation to 2 other pieces of legislation which have yet to come in. I refer to the Export Payments Insurance Corporation Bill and the Metric Conversion Bill. Another Bill which is before the chamber at present, the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation Bill, also has a provision similar to the one which has been amended in the other place.
He indicated that an amendment would be moved and also that the amendment would be accepted. He said:
When the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation Bill comes before the chamber the amendment . . . will be accepted.
A little later he said:
He referred then to part-time members and others. Then at page 3224 of the same volume of Hansard in dealing with the Export Payments Insurance Corporation Bill the Minister indicated that he accepted the principle in accordance with the same proposals. This principle was dealt with also by Mr Hughes, the then Attorney-General, in relation to the Parliamentary Counsel Bill. Mr Hughes indicated his concordance in this way:
The Senate has inserted certain amendments in the Parliamentary Counsel Bill. Those amendments, as I have indicated by moving this motion, are acceptable to the Government. They concern the mode of fixing the salaries and the annual allowances, if any, payable to the First Parliamentary Counsel and to the Second Parliamentary Counsel, lt is proposed to establish those offices by other clauses of the Bill when it becomes an Aci.
He referred to the amendments by the Senate and then referred to certain amendments which had been moved in the House of Representatives, in relation to which he said:
Those amendments did not find ‘ favour in ‘the Senate. The Senate has so amended the Bill as 10 provide that from and after 1st January 1971 the salaries and the annual allowances, if any, of the Parliamentary Counsel . . mus’ be fixed by an Act of Parliament. In the ordinary course that fixation would take place by means of a single line entry in an appropriation bill
However, the Senate - and 1 am glad to say that this was arrived at after discussions between myself, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Murphy) and Senator Greenwood - perceived a difficulty in which I would find myself if I bad to bring in another Bill following upon this one to fix the salaries and allowances of the statutory officers.
He referred then to his administrative difficulties which had been resolved quite satisfactorily. Obviously once the matter of salaries and allowances had been raised it merited a thorough investigation in orderto see what was happening, lt is extremely important that parliamentary control of salaries and allowances should not be allowed to go into abeyance by default. It is important that we do not abdicate the responsibility which has been imposed upon us. I remind the Senate that the growth of Parliament was initially for this very purpose of seeing to it that there was someone representative of the people to supervise the expenditure of public moneys. This has been the core of parliamentary responsibility. This is the initial reason for the existence of Parliament. Yet there has grown up this habit of completely forfeiting, abandoning, abdicating or not caring about what was being done in relation to these expenditures.
A considerable number of officers are in a similar position to those officers who are covered by this Bill. The Opposition believes that these officers should be also included in the provisions with which the Senate is dealing. There is no real reason why the five or six officers we are dealing with here should be the only ones covered in this legislation. We ought to be dealing at the one time with all of the salaries and allowances of this nature that are paid. The simple way to have done this would have been to amend the Acts in’ question by inserting in the appropriate places in the list in the Schedule to the Bill the actual salaries now received by the officers in” question and to make the amendments in the way that has been proposed, f do not know whether that .could be done now because it has not been very easy to find out what are the exact salaries. In fact, I understand that there has been a little bit of resistance to - certainly some consider-: able delay in - providing the necessary information as to the exact salaries and allowances which would have enabled an amendment to have been moved in a. very convenient form. We know the salaries which are received by these other officers. This information was provided not so long ago in an answer that was given to question No. 498, which was asked by Senator Keeffe.
On 16th October 1970.
– Yes. On that date Senator Keeffe asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister:
Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson, on behalf of the then Prime Minister supplied the necessary information as to the salaries and allowances of various statutory officers, including the chairmen of the Australian Apple and Pear Board, the Australian Atomic Energy Commission, the Australian Broadcasting Commission, the Australian Canned Fruits Board, the Australian Canned Fruits Sales Promotion Committee, the Australian Capital Territory Electricity Authority, the Australian Capital Territory Totalisator Agency
Board, the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission, the Australian Dairy Produce Board, the Australian Dried Fruits Control Board, the Australian Egg Board, the Australian Honey Board, the Australian Meat Board, the Australian National Airlines Commission, the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority, the Australian Tourist Commission, the Australian Wheat Board, the Australian Wool Board, the Australian Wool Testing Authority and the managing directors of the various branches of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation, the Commonwealth Trading Bank and so on. Also included were the Chairman of the Commonwealth Bureau of Roads, the Commissioner of Commonwealth Railways, the Chairman of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the Chairman of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Commission, the Director of War Service Homes, the Chairman of the Housing Loans Insurance Corporation, the Commissioner of the National Capital Development Commission, the Chairman of the Council of the National Library of Australia, the Chairman of the National Standards Commission, the Chairman of the Overseas Telecommunications Commission, the Chairman of the Repatriation Commission and some other officers. Other information has been supplied as a result of questions which have been asked by honourable senators. In question No. 473 I asked the Minister for Housing:
The then Minister for Housing gave an answer to the effect that the salary of the Director of War Service Homes was $14,253 per annum and no allowance was paid, the Chairman of the Housing Loans Insurance Corporation received $16,931 per annum and the Deputy Chairman received $12,554 per annum. The Chairman received an allowance of $1,000 per annum. In reply to that part of my question about where these salaries and allowances were made public the then Minister said that the salary of the office of Direc tor of War Service Homes was Level 3 in the Second Division salary structure prescribed in regulation 104 under the Public Service Act. The then Minister also said that the Housing Loan Insurance Act provides that a member of the Corporation shall be paid such remuneration and allowances as the Governor-General determines. The then Minister went on to say in her answer:
Details of the remuneration payable to members of the Corporation are not required to bc made public and have not previously been published.
That was an astonishing answer. However, it is not the only occasion on which such an answer has been given. For example, in question No. 479 I asked’ about the position in Qantas Airways Limited. I did not select any organisation in particular. I just wanted to get an idea of what was happening in the various ministries.
– When was that answer given? It seems to me that it was given a long while ago. .
– The ohe ‘about the Housing Loans Insurance Corporation?
– The answer was given in reply to question No”. 473. I do not know the date it was given. 1 could find out.
– 1 am sorry about having to interrupt the Leader of the Opposition. I will try to find out the date while he continues his remarks.
– In question No. 479 I asked the Minister for Civil Aviation (Senator Cotton):
The Minister for Civil Aviation replied that the Chairman receives a director’s fee of $8,350 per annum, the Vice-Chairman receives a director’s fee of $3,850 per annum and each of the Directors receives a director’s fee of $2,600 per annum. He also said that the General’ Manager receives a salary of $24,050 and an allowance of $2,000 per annum. Apparently certain travelling expenses are also paid. In reply to my question about where these salaries and allowances are made public the Minister said:
The salaries and allowances shown above arc not made public.
Honourable senators may think that it is not only not to be expected in public affairs but also quite astonishing that apparently in no way at all - not in any Act, regulation or annual report - are these salaries made public. That is quite extraordinary. I asked about the salary and travelling allowance payable to the Commissioner for Trade Practices, and where those details are published. The answer states that his salary is $19,500 a year, with an annual allowance of $1,000 and certain other allowances. It states also that the salary appeared in the appropriation, but that the allowances payable in respect of travelling and so on had not hitherto been made public.
– That is in the past tense because they made the details public in answer to your question.
– This was last year. The questions were asked because we found that we could not ascertain some of this information. It was necessary to nml how widespread is the position. It is sufficiently widespread to cause great concern. Similar questions were asked about the Chairman and members of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission. I think 1 also asked about the Commissioner and the Assistant Commissioner of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Commission and the Chairman and members of the Snowy Mountains Council, the Chairman of the National Coal Research Advisory Committee, and the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the National Coal Research Advisory Committee on Materials Handling. In addition to seeking details of their salaries and allowances I asked where they are publicised. The Minister for National Development at the time supplied the information through the Minister for Civil Aviation (Senator Cotton), his representative in the Senate. The answer to the second part of the question simply stated that none of the details is publicised.
The names of these officers of our great, corporations appear in the Commonwealth Directory and the enactments but their salaries are not publicised. Let us be quite clear about it. No-one here is suggestingcertainly I am not suggesting - that any thing is wrong with the salaries being paid, but 1 am a little surprised at the paucity of some of them. The responsibilities of some of these officers are very great indeed, i wonder how the Commonwealth can retain the services of some of them at the salaries and allowances provided, in view of the amounts offered in private industry in Australia and elsewhere. I do not think their salaries are too high. I am speaking certainly of officers of bodies such as the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Commission, the Commonwealth Banking Corporation and other great institutions such as Qantas Airways Ltd and the Australian National Airlines Commission
I am a little surprised that those salaries are not very much higher than they are because the conduct of these bodies obviously requires tremendous administrative ability and very great responsibilities. That question is not in issue now. Perhaps in respect of some of them it would be said that the salaries are certainly not too high but they ought to be known. The public should know what the salaries are. Parliament should not only know what they arc but should also have an opportunity to pass on the question of whether if believes they are appropriate for the positions.
It is right that we should have brought out of the darkness the question of salaries and allowances, especially when so much attention has been paid to the appropriateness of salaries paid and amounts of income received by various sections of the community. It is right that the Commonwealth Parliament should know what salaries are being paid to its highest officers. I do not know how this position persisted for so long. I do not know who started to insert the formula that the Minister or the Governor-General would determine the issue. It may have been this Government or one of its predecessors. We do not know.
– It is a long way back.
– It is. Certainly the political parties in general have fallen into and have carried on the bad habit. That habit has been corrected. The principle has been accepted. Not only should this Bill be passed, but also it should be extended. It ought to be done in much the same way as other changes were achieved.
If the Government were to supply a list of the salaries and allowances, it would be easy enough, although it would take a little time, to frame an amendment which would insert, as is done in this Bill, salaries appropriate for the officers in question outside of the list of the half dozen covered in this measure. If the Government has not that information readily to hand, it can be done by nominating the officers concerned and stating a certain date of operations, say, on and from 1st November. That also would apply to annual allowances, if any. It would further provide that they shall be paid such other allowances, if any, as are prescribed. It would then give the Minister an opportunity to introduce a Bill similar to the one we are debating, dealing with those persons at some time before 1st November. Then all would be brought into line and half a dozen officers would not be singled out. They could be dealt with in a simple Salaries Bill so that we could have a Bill to deal with the high officers of the Executive, the heads of departments.
We could have another Bill dealing with the beads or other high officers of statutory corporations, boards and so on, and other Bills which would from time to time deal with the Parliament. In this way the heads and high officers of corporations and other important boards and commissions would be brought directly under parliamentary supervision and control and into the light of day. I believe that would help to remove some of the obvious anomalies which were revealed by the answer to Senator Keeffe’s question. He asked not only about salaries and allowances but also about other facts. There are some extraordinary and apparently quite illogical - perhaps that word is too strong - disparities between the treatment of these officers. It does not appear to have any basis. Some of them receive furlough and some do not. Some have various other rights; others do not. Some have superannuation cover; some do not. Most do not have superannuation cover. Sitting fees are paid to some and not paid to others. It would give an opportunity to the Parliament perhaps to provide a more logical basis on which to treat these officers than exists at present.
I understand that because there are different bodies carrying out different activities there will be different treatment in regard to allowances. Of course, members of those bodies will not all be paid the same amount. There may need to be different treatment in relation to certain matters but 1 would think that in regard to, say, furlough and remuneration some guidelines or standards should be adopted. They do not exist at the present time. It would be very healthy if the principle which has been adopted and followed in this Bill were extended to apply to other officers. At the Committee stage I hope to move an amendment to achieve that purpose. I would be very grateful of the help of the departmental officers who might be able to ensure that the amendment is framed in the most appropriate form to produce the maximum result with the least inconvenience.
– f shall not occupy the time of the House for very long because 1 agree with the principles contained in the Bill, (n view of the fact that the national wage increase has been applied to Second, Third and Fourth Division officers of the Public Service, I see no reason why it should not be applied, not only to the officers mentioned in the First Schedule to the Bill but also to those to whom Senator Murphy has referred. I thought that his address was one of the most informative addresses on this matter that I have heard for a long time. I see no reason why certain individuals should be singled out to receive the national wage increase, whilst a great number of others who .are equally entitled to it do not receive that increase. A principle is at stake. I was interested to read that the increase will be backdated to 14th January. I am not opposed to that. I hope that when a Bill to increase the salaries of members of this and another place is introduced it too will be backdated to a reasonable date.
We have read a lot in recent times, by those people who seem to be able to get Press coverage, of the need for sending into the parliaments of this country, particularly the national Parliament, those whom they regard as the best men. Whom do they regard as the best men? If they think that they can get the class of person whom they consider to be the best for the job, having regard to what is paid to members of this Parliament, they have another think coming. I am at liberty now to talk of our salaries with .the greatest gusto because I leave here in a very short time. I have always believed in helping my fellow human beings. When everyone else in the community is prepared at least to ask for what he regards to be a just salary, it is out of all reason that we should sit here like meek mice who are frightened because the Press barons of this country will have something to say about us. I hope, although 1 will not be here, that during the Budget session consideration will be given to the salary of those who are here and that they will be placed on a decent footing.
When the last increase was granted - .1 think it was in 1968 - some of us tried to get our salary tied to the. Second Division of the Public Service but the Government would not have that. Our salary was increased to bring it to a little under the lowest rung’ of the Second- Division. However, 2 or 3 weeks after the Bill was passed - very shortly afterwards, anyway - Second Division salaries jumped by a fair percentage. I do not say that officers in the Second Division were not entitled to the increase, but if. ‘annoys me to think that because some people in the Parliament are frightened of what the Press may say members are treated in a way that at times makes one ashamed to think that one was ever a member of Parliament. It is nice to be able to help the other fellow but it is not a bad thing to look at your own position. 1 will not be affected but those who are still here will be. We should speak up to those people who tell us what we should do and what we should not do, and who say that they can run the country better than we can or better than those who preceded us ran it. They always seem to be able to get headlines if and when the Government of the day sees fit lo introduce a Bill to increase the salaries of members.
Although I agree with the Bill and believe that the remuneration and allowances in question should be increased. I agree with Senator Murphy that we should have regard to others in similar categories. Why handle it in a piecemeal fashion? I ask honourable senators to have regard in the future to their own position. You never gel anything unless you are prepared to ask for it, and you are not entitled to anything if you are frightened to ask for it. I and others who are retiring will not be affected unless, as has been done in this Bill, our increase is backdated to 14th January, but those who are left will be affected unless their remuneration and allowances are increased. That however was not my reason for rising to speak. I rose because I am annoyed at the people who claim that they can manage the country better- that we can. 1 do not claim that governments, irrespective of political colour, have not made mistakes along the road, but the fact remains that we are here because we have been chosen by the people to represent them. Let us not belittle ourselves by not doing the fair thing in the matter of remuneration for those who are prepared to give a great deal of their time in the interests, as they see it, of the nation. I trust that the Senate will give credence to the proposals of the Leader, of the Opposition. There can be no reason why we give the increase to some and not to others. If we gave it to all, as it seems now with the remuneration and allowances in the list read by the Leader of the Opposition, then it is more a matter of parliamentary decision than it was in the .past. IE that is done I believe we will be able to say that we have treated those people who we believe are entitled to the increase as they themselves believe they ought to be treated.
(5.26) - in reply - The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Murphy) has indicated that the Opposition is not opposed to the second reading of this Bill but that, in the light of what has been done with some other Bills, it wants to add something by way of an addendum. Senator Murphy has argued at two levels, one in relation to having information available to the Senate and the other on the basis that these matters should be put in legislative form as salaries and allowances fixed by Parliament, with a special provision for special allowances to be fixed by regulation. Senator Murphy tended to argue that this is the new pattern and is what has become accepted. I feel bound to point out to the Senate that that has not always been the circumstance. In fact, the Senate has on a couple of occasions allowed Bills to pass without this addendum. For instance, the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Bill contained the provisions to which he has objected. He argued that the Senate and the other place have now accepted the principle that in future salaries will be fixed by the Parliament and special allowances will be fixed by regulation which will be subject to disallowance.
The Australian Industry Development Corporation Bill contained the phrase ‘As the Governor-General determines’, which was the old method employed. So I do not accept Senator Murphy’s statement that the Senate has accepted that as a principle. We have debated it on occasions. The Senate has expressed itself on a number of occasions as to the concurrence-
– We did not tamper with the Australian Industry Development Corporation Bill because we were not giving any excuse for it to be delayed.
We will not finish this debate today and Senator Murphy may get a chance to respond at the Committee stage. But I want to draw a broad picture. The Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Bill was a more recent Bill which was passed after, as I recall it, we had dealt with some of the things Senator Murphy was talking about. I. say this merely to demonstrate that the Government has not accepted it as a principle which it is prepared to adopt completely. There are 2 other points that 1 wish to make. While Senator Murphy was speaking to this Bill Senator Keeffe asked a question and Senator Murphy responded to it, acknowledging that questions had been asked and that comprehensive information was available.
Senator Murphy referred to a lack of information. It is true that a fair while ago - I think it was August last year, which was before the crunch - in response to a question answers were given as to what the salaries and special allowances were. The answer went on to say, in effect: It has not been the practice to give this information.’ I suppose the answer should have been that it has never been the practice to give that information because nobody had ever asked for it. But when Senator Murphy, Senator Keeffe and other honourable senators asked for the information it was made available. I and the Government would be the first to concede, with hindsight, that the answers that were given have perhaps coloured the situation. There is no reason in the world why the information should not be made available. I would say, with the authority of my position, that in the future the information will be prepared and made available. So to the extent, that Senator Murphy has entered this debate to make that point I would concede that it is desirable to have the information and that the. Government is prepared in future to table annually a statement showing the salaries, fees and annual allowances of all the holders of statutory offices. So I think we can dispense with that part of Senator Murphy’s argument. It is true that in the past the information was not given and that when eventually it was given it was said that it was not normal to give that information. I suppose they were talking in terms of the past. The Government is quite prepared in future to table a document annually which will give the information required.
Senator Kennelly argued, on one level, about parliamentary salaries - a subject which I will by-pass. But he also had the impression, I thought, that some people would miss out on this provision. This Bill provides for the passing on of the 6 per cent national wage increase to the officers concerned. It does not necessarily follow that everybody should receive such an increase. For instance, parliamentary salaries are not subject to the 6 per cent increase and there are heads of other authorities who are on a fixed salary and therefore are not subject to the provision of the Bill. That will be made clear to the honourable senator when he reads in Hansard what has been said today.
I wish to reply to a couple of other points that were made by Senator Murphy and then I propose to read from a paper I have, because it has been prepared fairly carefully and will make for an economy of words. The Leader of the Opposition tended to argue - although he veered away from it - that the Parliament should be fixing these salaries. This Parliament is not a salary fixing authority. It is fair enough that there should be parliamentary supervision. That is what he has asked for and that is what I have said he will get, but it should never be thought that we will be here determining salaries. I think it would be very unwise if we set up a statutory authority and then decided the salaries of the people who work in it. Traditionally the Parliament has never done that. We do not do it in relation to the Commonwealth Public Service, and I believe we certainly should not start to do so. I do not think Senator Murphy would really argue with any force that that is a parliamentary function.
– We do it for the heads of departments, do we not?
Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSONWe do it for first division officers but we do not go beyond that, for very good and sufficient reasons. The main one is that the Parliament would get itself into awful bother if it started to determine salaries. It would be a disastrous situation if we were subject to the influence of every salary and wage earning group in the Public Service. The Leader of the Opposition started to make a case in relation to variations, and I thought when he dealt with that that he really made the case for the Government rather than a case for the Opposition’s point of view. That is the very crunch of the thing. This is a question of degree, a question as to whether a person in a statutory body is part time or full time, whether he is on an allowance of so much an hour or so much a day or whether he is on a fixed fee. lt would seem to me, after listening to the Leader of the Opposition, that all those variations provide the very reason why what he is asking us to do is most undesirable. Indeed, once we did it we would need to face up to the fact that every time we wanted to change it we would have to pass a pedestrian Bill to cover them by way of a schedule. It may very well be that some may need to be changed at the beginning of a session while the case for changing the others may not become apparent for some time. One has a whole series of variations which would seem to me and to the Government a complete justification for not in fact doing what Senator Murphy has advocated in his projected amendment. We will not come to the amendment today. Perhaps we will come to it late tomorrow evening or on Thursday. I do not know. I am perfectly willing that Senator Murphy should have some discussions with legal officers of the
Crown, and see what proposals he wants formed into a valid amendment. 1 give no promise that the Government will support the amendment but the system under which we work provides that the course proposed should be adopted.
I want to crystallise the situation in the few minutes left to me by saying that the Government is prepared in future to table annually a statement showing the salaries, fees and annual allowances of all the holders of statutory offices, perhaps during the Budget session. Action is now in hand for the preparation of a comprehensive schedule. As the Leader of the Opposition has said, this is a big job. A certain degree of research has to be done to obtain this information and when it is produced it has to be completely accurate. It is something which is under consideration for preparation. One of the main factors which have led the Government to see difficulties in adopting as a universal practice the determination of salaries and annual allowances by the Parliament is the diversity of the several hundred statutory offices for which remuneration must be determined and reviewed on a continuing .day to day basis. This requires machinery which has recognised and continuing responsibility for remuneration. Some flexibility is necessary in determining rates, for example, to preserve reasonable relativities between various offices. A change in One area needs to be made with full regard for the implications for other areas! New appointees must constantly be sought. Particularly with new positions, there may be a need to test the market and to match the existing salary of a proposed appointee. I think that was the classic argument in relation to the Australian Industry Development Corporation. The argument was that there was a need to get the person whom we were looking for into the field of Government activity and into a statutory body. We had to have flexibility to seek a person of the required quality on the market. For that reason this seems to me another justification for not taking as a blanket proposition that which has been put to us by the Opposition.
Given that the Parliament is not in continuous session increases in salaries which, for example are made necessary by such decisions as that in the recent national wage case will often be delayed. An example of this is the Salaries Bill. Delays also add to difficulties of recruitment. The bodies we are considering have all been established by the Parliament which has given them varying degrees of autonomy, including autonomy over the financing of current operations. The proper line of responsibility to Parliament is through the Minister who must be able to attract, or ensure that the authority can attract, senior executives of the right calibre. At this point of time I have said as much as I want to say because in the Committee stages we may have another short debate on this Bill. But I come back to the cardinal things as I see them in the short run in this debate today. It is true that the Senate has altered legislation - it has been accepted in another place - to provide that salaries and certain allowances shall be fixed by the Parliament and to allow by regulation disallowance. To give sufficient time we have done this on a 6-month basis ahead. In other cases we have not chosen to do that. I am drawing on my memory now but I have an idea that the Australian Democratic Labor Party representative spoke on this subject and used the argument that one could not be arbitrary and that it was wrong to try to be arbitrary because there were so many varying circumstances.
Senator Murphy made a point in relation to obtaining information. In the past it so happens - as I said with hindsight - that some of the answers left this situation open to misconstruction. The truth is that the information was never sought before. There is no good and sufficient reason why the information should not be supplied and I am prepared to say that the Government will provide the information on some sort of annual basis and will table it in the Parliament. The next point is that Parliament is not a salary fixing authority and should never be. Finally, the whole nature of the variations which exist between all the different statutory bodies - some relating to part time employment, some to fixed salaries, some to daily allowances, some to superannuation and some not - supports the case for the Government and not for the Opposition.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time, and committed pro forma; progress reported.
Sitting suspended front 5.42 to 10.20 p.m.
– I inform the Senate that 1 have received a letter from the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator Murphy, advising that he has appointed Senator James McClelland to be a member of Estimates Committee B instead of Senator Douglas McClelland.
Motion (by Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson) proposed:
That the Senate do now adjourn.
– I will not delay the Senate for very long but I invite the attention of honourable senators to the fact that on 7th May 1970 1 raised the interpretation of standing order No. 64. 1 interpreted that standing order to mean that the Senate could adjourn to an unusual time to debate a matter of urgent public interest and that the debate on that matter should take place when the Senate met at that unusual time. Following some debate you ruled, Mr President, that there was no substance in what I said. Your ruling is to be found at page 118 of Hansard of 7th May. On that occasion you said:
I see no reason why this matter should not be referred to the Standing Orders Committee. I think that there may be some value in having the matter considered by that committee. I do not propose to change a precedent which has been established with regard to the interpretation of standing order 64.
You did say at that stage Mr President, that you would refer the matter to the Standing Orders Committee.
Subsequently I moved, by way of written motion, disagreement with your ruling. Later in the day during the adjournment debate I questioned the accuracy of the Journals and I requested that they be corrected. This was not done. I thought that such a state of affairs would prejudice me in a debate on dissent from your ruling. The debate on your ruling should have taken place on the next sitting day of the Senate, which was 12th May. But it did not take place until 13th May. Your ruling was upheld by the Senate although Senator Gair stated that he thought the interpretation that I had placed upon the standing order was correct. However he said that, in view of the fact that you had stated you would forward the matter to the Standing Orders Committee for consideration, he did not propose to support the motion of dissent from your ruling.
I thought that when the matter was referred to the Standing Orders Committee the Committee would take into consideration the subject matter of the debate and if that Committee thought it was necessary it would amend the standing order or perhaps recommend to the Senate that another standing order be incorporated in the Standing Orders. Alternatively, the Committee could support the fact that the standing order was sufficient to deal with the business of the Senate. But since that time we have not heard anything from the Committee. We do not know whether the matter has been referred to the Committee or whether the Committee has considered the standing order. If it has, we do not know the conclusion of the Committee. Sir, I invite your attention to the fact that on several occasions quite recently when there have been debates in the Senate on matters that senators thought were urgent you, or whoever has been in the chair, have been requested to advise the Senate of the subject matter on which it was voting. It was made quite clear that all that honourable senators were voting upon was the adjournment of the Senate and that they were not voting upon the substance of the matter that was being debated. 1 believe this is a most unsatisfactory state of affairs.
I am sorry I have to bring this to your attention at this late hour in view of your imminent retirement. However, this is probably the last occasion on which I shall have to deal with this matter before the Senate rises. I think that the matter should be referred to the Standing Orders Committee and whoever is responsible for calling a meeting or meetings of the Standing Orders Committee should do sp as early as possible in order that the ambiguity of this standing order may be rectified.
– 1 will not detain the Senate for any great length of time. I want to raise some problems associated with the calling up of 20-year-olds for military service in Vietnam. Last Friday morning in Brisbane 3 young men - David Robert Franklin, David Martin and Bill Cochrane - appeared before Mr Smith, a magistrate, for failing to register for national service. Two of these young men - David Franklin and David Martin - are associated with an organisation known as the Revitalisation of Christianity. Both could have taken the easy way out and have claimed that they had a conscientious objection. In a moment 1 want to raise a subject bearing on this matter. I want to refer to section 117 of the Australian Constitution. I also want to discuss whether or not some young people are being wrongly called up and wrongly made to serve in Vietnam because of birth dates. I refer here to the time barrier between States in this country. I will make this point quite clear when I touch on it in a moment. I have written most of this material so that it will be possible to have it easily recorded.
In the case of Franklin and Martin, one is a full time Christian student and the other, is a Quaker. Both arc pacifists and both have a conscientious objection to all wars. When they appeared before the magistrate they endeavoured to make lengthy statements in favour of their cases. However, the magistrate would hear only the Quaker. He refused to listen to the submissions of the other two and he adjourned their cases, according to a Press report, to 12th May which was several weeks away. 1 think that when cases like this come before a magistrate his first job is to make sure, if a lad has a prepared case, that he listens to it. First of all there is doubt about the war in which they are likely to be involved. 1 want to read an extract-
– I hesitate ‘ to ‘ rise, but on a point of order I question the propriety of our entering upon any discussion of cases that are pending before any part of the judiciary. I think it is in accord with our practice that no debate should be entered upon as to a particular case that is being considered by a judicial personage at present.
– I was busily engaged when Senator Keeffe mentioned that point. Are these cases current for hearing?
– In deference to the point raised by the Minister I will refrain from mentioning those 2 cases and will relate my argument to the case of David Martin who has already been dealt with. I assume that would be in order.
– Yes. It would not be right to discuss other cases.
– 1 shall base the whole of my argument on 1 incident and still highlight the points that I want to raise. Let me quote from the American case as presented by President Eisenhower. As early as 1953, before the present scale of American aid was envisaged,’ President Eisenhower, speaking at a governors conference, gave a very- practical reason for American concern in the fate of IndoChina. These” are the then President’s words:
Now let us assume, that we lose Indo-China. If indo-China goes., several things happen right away. The peninsula, the last bit- of land hanging on down there, would bc scarcely defensible. The tin and tungsten that we so greatly value from that area would cease coming. . . . So, when the United States votes $400m to help that war, we are not voting a give away programme. We are voting for the cheapest way that we can prevent the occurrence of something . that would be of most terrible significance to the United States of America, our security our power and ability to get certain things we need from the riches of Indo-China and from South East Asia.
That statement was incorporated in a speech to a Governors’ conference held on 4th August 195-3 which was before the Geneva Accords on -Indo-China. So, all this aid went back to the French.
We are told by the Government that Australian troops are in South Vietnam to fight Communism. This statement by Eisenhower was backed further by the New York Times’ on 12th February 1950 which stated:
Indo-China is a prize worth a large gamble. In the North are exportable tin, tungsten, zinc, manganese, coal, lumber and rice, rubber, tea, pepper and hides. Even before World War II Indo-China yielded dividends estimated at S300m a year.
That further supports the statement made by former President Eisenhower.
I turn to the next submission that 1 wish to make on which I will be interested to hear the views of the Minister for Works (Senator Wright), who is an eminent lawyer. The procedure adopted under the National Service Act for selecting personnel for service in the armed forces is a ballot on the basis of dates of birth. It is contended that this method of selection contravenes section 117 of the Commonwealth Constitution. Such being the case, the National Service Act could be determined by a court to be invalid. This is the submission that I am putting to the Minister, and I will back the case.
First of all, 1 think that we ought to know what section 117 of the Commonwealth” Constitution provides. It is as follows:
A subject of the Queen, resident in any State, shall not be subject in any other State to any disability or discrimination which would not be equally .applicable to him if he were a. subject of the Queen resident in such other State.
To illustrate my argument on how discrimination can exist between States, I take the case of a lad who was born in Brisbane at 12.20 on the morning of 20th March” 1951 and compare it with the case of a child who was born at that same instant in South Australia or Western Australia, lt would not be unreasonable that a male child could have been born at the same time in those States. In these circumstances the date of birth of the child in South Australia or Western Australia would be 1 9th March 1 95 1 . This argument may be laughable in the view of some senators on the Government side, but, nevertheless, it is a very real thing. I am calling into doubt the validity of the National Service Act in relation to section 117 of the Commonwealth Constitution. These 2 boys would be required to register for national service. Although they were born at the same instant, the child born in South Australia or Western Australia would register his date of birth as 19th March 1951 whereas the child born in Queensland would register 20th March 1951 as his date of birth.
A recent ballot for national service conducted by drawing marbles bearing birth dates resulted in a marble bearing the date 20th March being drawn out. Although the boy born in Brisbane would be called up in that case, the lad born in South Australia or Western Australia at the same time as the boy born in Queensland would not be called up because he was fortunate enough to have been born on the previous day. Having regard to this illustration, which conversely could be favourable to boys born in the eastern States and unfavourable to boys born at the same instant in western States of the Commonwealth, it is felt that discrimination does exist between residents of the various States and that the Commonweath Constitution is contravened. In such an event, the National Service Act should be declared null and void. I am submitting that as a theory. I think that it has a certain amount of validity.
I turn to the other points that I have raised. I said, first of all, that a more flexible law ought to apply in respect of youngsters who qualify for exemption on the ground of conscientious objection, but who do not wish to take the easy way out and then are forbidden by magistrates to present their case in the proper manner. Because of the legal doubt raised by the Minister in respect of the cases under consideration, I confine my remarks to the case of the lad who has been fined $40. The charges and fines will escalate as time goes on. The second point on which I seek the view of the Government is in regard to whether President Eisenhower was right when he said that America had to become involved in Indo-China for the riches it would obtain and not because it wished to fight the Communists. My third point concerns the validity of section 1 17 of the Commonwealth Constitution.
– With regard to commenting on any statement by former President Eisenhower, T would take the course of seeing that statement in its context and of having some assistance from the advisers of the Department of Foreign Affairs, which I will undertake to do, and then give a considered comment to the honourable senator upon the matter. I do not wish to enter into any argument regarding the case in Brisbane. I know the views of Senator Keeffe on the application of the National Service Act. He is in strong difference with the views of the Government in that respect.
I turn to his argument on section 117 of the Commonwealth Constitution. It is notorious that any question of law is usually capable of some argument on either side and exposed to some doubt in its resolution. But, in this instance, I would be fairly strong in my submission that the question admits of no doubt whatever and that section 117 of the Commonwealth Constitution forbidding discrimination between residents of different States, would not be considered to have any application to the case where, by reason of differences in the time scale, birth days would be registered as different dates in Brisbane and Perth.
With regard to the comment by Senator Cant on standing order 64, I would like the honourable senator to know that the Standing Orders Committee met on 2nd June 1970. Standing order 64 was on the agenda, but at that meeting the Committee considered only the subject of speaking times allowed. Further consideration of the standing order was deferred. The Committee has not held a meeting subsequent to that date. But I have no doubt that, Senator Cant having revived the matter for our consideration, attention will be given to whether it would be more appropriate to convene the Standing Orders Committee before 30th June or whether we should wait until July. If it was decided that the outgoing Committee, so to speak, was not to meet, I have no doubt that as soon as possible after the constitution of the new Senate the Standing Orders Committee will take this matter into consideration and will make a report to the Senate.
Senator Sir MAGNUS CORMACK (Victoria) (10.39) - I rise not with the preparatory remark, which is common to the Senate, that at this late hour I will not detain the Senate very long. What I intend to say arises from the remarks made by the Minister for Works (Senator Wright) in the context of the discussion of the speech made by Senator Keeffe in which he quoted what were alleged to be the remarks of President Eisenhower before the Governors of the United States of America. This, one of the most’ famously distorted canards, has spread around the world. When the original quotation came out it had three or four mysterious little, dots which indicated that something bad been eliminated from the report. We have now reached the stage where the three or four little dots have been eliminated and the statement reads as though President
Eisenhower said what Senator Keeffe has ascribed tohim. I advise the Senate, so that this canard can be nailed, that on the adjournment tomorrow night I shall read the correct record of what was said, for the benefit of Senator Keeffe.
– I rise briefly to refer to 2 questions which have been raised tonight. Senator Cant raised a pertinent question in regard to standing order 64. The Minister for Works (Senator Wright) has informed the Senate that the Standing Orders Committee met on 2nd June 1970 but has not considered the question raised by the honourable senator. Senator Cant said that he hoped the matter would be considered by the Committee before the retirement of the President of the Senate.
– I thought he left that question open for the Committee to consider.
– I do not see how the Commitee can justify the fact that although the matter was raised on 12th or 13th May last year, the question has not been decided by the Committee. I can see no reason why the Standing Orders Committee cannot meet before the end of this session and raise this question which Senator Cant believes is deserving of consideration. In view of the Minister’s remarks I look forward to an early meeting of the Committee to consider the question.
The other matter to which I refer is one raised by Senator Keeffe in relation to the National Service Act and the possibility that a case which is before the court in Brisbane may limit the action which may be taken in other cases. During the last session I spoke of the case of Charles Martin in South Australia. I likened his philosophy and occupation to that of the redeemer of the Christian faith, Christ, at the beginning of recorded dates. As a result of what I said it was suggested in another place by the honourable member for Boothby (Mr McLeay) that the meeting concerned with the release of Charles
Martin had been addressed by the wellknown right winger from South Australia, Senator Cavanagh. Until now I have endeavoured to keep secret the fact that I was in collusion with Mr McLeay and I have not wanted it to be known that I was a wellknown right winger from South Australia.
Following upon my address Senator Hannan got up in this place and quoted St Luke’s gospel. I thought I knew St Luke’s gospel because I was named after him. My parents had great hopes for me and named me after 2 apostles, James and Luke. Senator Hannan said that St Luke’s gospel stated that Christ said: ‘If you do not have a sword sell your cloak and buy one.’ Apparently Senator Hannan’s address was broadcast because a Mr Moriarty wrote to me. Mr Moriarty has some commendation from St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney where, at the time of his university studies, he was Secretary of the Newman Society. In fact his efforts on behalf of the Society were such that a special rosary was said for him in St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. So it can be seen that Mr Moriarty is not a man to be ignored. He wrote to me and forwarded a copy for Senator Byrne, who supported me in my remarks, a copy for Senator Turnbull who supported me in my remarks, and a copy for Senator Hannan who quoted from St Luke. Mr Moriarty quoted in detail the gospel according to St Luke to indicate that Senator Hannan knew very little about St Luke. Although the letter from Mr Moriarty consists of 2 foolscap pages, I think it is worth reading to the Senate. However, in view of the hour and to avoid doing that I ask for leave to have the document incorporated in Hansard. If leave is not given I shall read it.
– Is leave granted?
– Leave is not granted.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 10.46 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 20 April 1971, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1971/19710420_senate_27_s47/>.