House of Representatives
8 July 1909

3rd Parliament · 4th Session

Mr. Speaker took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.


Mr. THOMAS (Barrier) [2.31].- I wish to make a personal explanation. Yesterday I referred to certain conduct of the right honorable member for Swan in the following terms. I quote from the Han sard report - .

Well, do I remember the occasion when the honorable member for Hindmarsh in the course of the debate on the Address-in-Reply, in 1907, attacked the right honorable gentleman who was then Treasurer in the Deakin Government, and who, turning to him, said, “ Why do you not pitch into the Prime Minister? He has said more unkind things about your party than I have.” I was sitting close to the right honorable member at the time, and I asked, “What, do you want Hutchinson to pitch into a sick colleague?”

Sir John Forrest. - I do not remember the incident.

Mr. THOMAS. - Then I am glad that I looked up Hansard to-day.

Sir John Forrest. - The Labour party have always been pitching into me, and have been afraid to attack the Prime Minister.

Mr. THOMAS. - I find, on turning to Hansard, of 5th July, 1907, that the right honorable member for Swan, who was then Treasurer in the Deakin Government, said to the honorable member for Hindmarsh, “ Why does not the honorable member turn his attention to the Prime Minister?”

Sir John Forrest. - The Prime Minister’s health had not broken down at that time. He was in the House when the debate on the AddressinReply was opened.

Mr. THOMAS. - But not when the honorable member for Hindmarsh was speaking.

Sir John Forrest. - The honorable member is wrong, and is trying to take a mean advantage of me.

Mr. THOMAS.- Not at all.

Sir John Forrest. - The honorable member is; he is absolutely misrepresenting me.

Mr. THOMAS.- I know that I am right.

I have since had opportunity to refresh my memory as to dates. The occurrence alluded to above took place on Friday, 5th July, 1907, and on the following Tuesday, 9th July, the honorable member for Hume informed the House that the Prime Minister - to our great regret - was unable to attend his place in Parliament, and that he would act for him. The right honorable member for East Sydney, who was then leading the Opposition, followed that announcement by saying -

On behalf of those honorable members sitting behind me I desire to express our very great sorrow at the illness which has overtaken the Prime Minister, and our best wishes for his speedy recovery.

The Age newspaper, in its account of what took place in this Chamber on Friday, 5th July, the day on which the right honorable member for Swan made the interjection to which I referred yesterday, said -

In resuming the debate, Mr. Frazer (Western Australia) [10.40], ran amock, politically speaking. He first of all attacked the Prime Minister for not addressing the House after attending such an important Conference as that which was recently held in London, but discontinued his remarks when informed that Mr. Deakin had gone home ill.

Several honorable members interjecting,

Mr. SPEAKER.- Twice, I think, yesterday, and on other occasions recently, I have had to draw the attention of honorable members to the rule that while personal explanations are being made, interruptions are not permissible. This is due to those who are making such’ explanations, and to the dignity of the House. I hope honorable members will keep this rule in mind.

Mr. THOMAS.- The honorable member for Hindmarsh did not rise to speak on Friday, 5th July, until 18 minutes past 2 p.m., whereas it was at 40 minutes past 10 a.m. that the honorable memberfor Kalgoorlie, then a bitter political opponent of the Prime Minister, refrained from attacking him, because informed that he had gone home ill, so that it was four hours later when the right honorable member for Swan, sitting where the honorable member for Illawarra is now sitting, tried to egg the honorable member for Hindmarsh on to attack a sick colleague.

Sir JOHN FORREST (Swan- Treasurer) [2.37]. - I am very sorry that the honorable member for Barrier persists in the conduct to which I took exception last night. The matter may be put into a. nutshell. Almost atthe moment when the honorable member for Kalgoorlie was directing his attention to me, on the morning, of 5th July, 1907, I was summoned by the Prime Minister to his room, and remained there, I believe, during the rest of the time that the honorable member was speaking. Had I been present he would no doubt have devoted much more attention to. me. I had a long, conversation with the Prime Minister, and some friendly controversy, chiefly in regard to naval proposals, and then returned to the chamber. Subsequently I learnt that the Prime Minister had gone home, though I do not remember exactly when that information was conveyed to me. I certainly could not have received it when I made the interjection to which objection has been taken.

**Mr.** Thomas. - The honorable member for Kalgoorlie seems to have known of the Prime Minister's absence four hours before the right honorable member for Swan interjected. **Sir JOHN** FORREST.- I do not know how long the honorable member for Kalgoorlie was speaking, but I am sure that he occupied a considerable time. He had been on his feet for some time when he commenced criticising me; my conduct being then a favorite topic with him. I was summoned by the Prime Minister to his room, and had not the pleasure of knowing the tenor of his subsequent remarks until I read them in *Hansard..* The honorable, member for Barrier should accept my statement, and not persist in attributing to me conduct so mean and contemptible that it would be considered' improper and insulting if applied to a dog. **Mr. FRAZER.** - I desire to make a personal explanation. Since my name has been imported into a certain debate, as well as into certain explanation's made by the honorable member for Barrier and the Treasurer, I propose now to state what appear to me to be the actual facts. It is shown by *Hansard* that on 5th July, 1907, I rose at 10.40 a.m. to speak on the AddressinReply. I had not been speaking for more than a couple of minutes when I addressed some remarks to the Prime Minister, who had just returned from London, and the honorable member for Parramatta then interjected, " He sent me word yesterday that he was unwell." In other words, the present Minister of Defence said that the Prime Minister had sent him word on 4th July that he was unwell. I then stated that I would say nothing further about him, and concluded my speech at 11.32 a.m. The honorable member for Hindmarsh commenced his speech at 2.18 p.m. The honorable member c".d been speaking for some time when the present Treasurer interjected, " Why does the honorable member turn his attention to the Prime Minister ?' ' I think that it cannot be denied that it was generally recognised by the House that the Prime Minister at the time was ill. **Mr. SPEAKER.-** Order ! The honorable member is not now making a personal explanation, but is simply seeking to adduce evidence in favour of a. statement made by another honorable member. It is not permissible to do that under cover of a personal explanation. **Mr. FRAZER.** - I *bow,* sir. to your ruling, but since my naMe has been mentioned in connexion with this matter, I think you will recognise that I am perfectly justified in expressing my view as to the facts. **Mr. SPEAKER.-** The honorable mem ber is not in order, under cover of a personal explanation, in expressing his opinion of any particular fact. He is only in order in making clear any matter concerning which he considers that he has been misunderstood or misrepresented. **Mr. FRAZER.** - I have nothing more to say. **Mr. ATKINSON.-** In the *Age* of today, under the heading of " Federal Politics," there appears the following: - **Mr. Palmer's** speech on Tuesday and **Mr. Atkinson's** yesterday showed that their political education has not yet advanced to the understanding of a Liberal policy. No Government would be bold enough or foolish enough to father their sentiments. **Mr. Palmer** virtually advocated a sycophantish demeanor towards the States; **Mr. Atkinson,** the Tasmanian Ministerialist, who spoke yesterday, had thoughts of Australian self abasement in another quarter. His remarks were replete with such patriotic remarks as " a mere Australian navy," " what chance would an Australian navy have of protecting the great trade routes'?" " How is the Australian navy, &c. ?" **Mr. Atkinson** would find protection for his country in an increased subsidy, to the British Navy and in sending Australians to man - not Australian, but British, ships. With him an Australian national ideal does not exist. The powerful young Commonwealth must humbly and tremblingly hide behind the Motherland's capacious petticoats. These are comments by some writer on yesterday's proceedings in the House; and, in my opinion, he cannot have heard what I said or he would not place such a construction on my remarks. **Mr. Palmer.** - They are vindictive enough for anything'! **Mr. ATKINSON.-** I am' not here to charge the journal with any feeling of that sort towards me, but merely say that the writer cannot have heard what I said. The effect of what I did say was that Australia should have effective defence both land and coastal ; and my remarks with reference to an Imperial navy, as opposed to an Australian navy - that is,, an Australian navy of battleships and first-class vessels of that sort - were intended to convey the idea of all the Empire coming together to provide one navy for deep sea purposes only. I never suggested anything so contemptuous as a " mere Australian navy " ; if I did use the phrase, it was not used in the sense implied, but in contradistinction to an Imperial navy. I never said anything to justify the words - **Mr. Atkinson** would find protection for his country in an increased subsidy to the British Navy and in sending Australians to man - not Australian, but British, ships. The ships I had in view were not British] ships merely, but also Australian ships - ships belonging to the whole Empire, in the manning of which the whole Empire would have a right to share. I am quite sure that the journal in question will do me the justice to publish this explanation. {: .page-start } page 983 {:#debate-0} ### PRINTING COMMITTEE Report (No. 1) presented by **Mr. Henry** Willis, and read by the. Clerk. Motion (by **Mr. Henry** Willis) proposed - >That the report be adopted. {: #debate-0-s0 .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr BAMFORD:
Herbert -- I notice that no mention is made in the report of a petition which I presented from 58,000 electors of the Commonwealth. Even if their wishes are not to be complied with, at any rate we might extend them the courtesy of printing their petition. Mr.SPEAKER.- I shall see that the report of the Committee is looked through carefully, and if there has been an omission I shall make a statement to the House later on. {: #debate-0-s1 .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr HENRY WILLIS:
Robertson -- The matter referred to by the honorablemember for Herbert has been dealt with. The decision arrived at by the Committee was not to print the petition. {: #debate-0-s2 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- A number of papers were submitted to the Committee, in addition to those to which reference is made in the report. In all cases other than those mentioned, the decision of the Committee was that no recommendation be made. That method has been adopted so as not to debar any honorable member from moving later on, if he desires to do so, that a particular document be printed. The honorable member for Herbert will be able to take that step later if he wishes. {: #debate-0-s3 .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD:
Kennedy .- In a matter of this kind, whether we approve of the purport of the petition or not, more consideration should be given by the Printing Committee. This petition was signed by 58,000 electors- {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- On a point of order, I submit that, as the honorable member for Robertson has spoken in reply, the debate is closed. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I was not aware that the honorable member for Robertson had replied. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- He did reply. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- In that case the discussion must cease. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- I submit that the honorable member for Robertson rose simply to make an explanation. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- It was with that object. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- The only condition upon which I should have allowed the honorable member to go on was that he should make an explanation, and not a speech closing the discussion. I believe the honorable member's intention was simply to make an explanation. I submit that it is a gross violation of the privileges of the House if an explanation is to be allowed, and then taken as a speech in reply. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I have no discretion in the matter. Honorable members are allowed in certain cases to speak but once in moving a motion, and in certain other cases they are allowed to speak twice, once in moving the motion and once in reply. There is, however, no provision in the Standing Orders allowing honorable members to speak after the speech which closes the debate. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDonald: -- May I make an explanation ? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I shall put the question first, and then the honorable member may do so. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDonald: -- It will not be worth while then. Question put. The House divided. AYES: 32 NOES: 27 Majority ... ... 5 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Report adopted. {: .page-start } page 984 {:#debate-1} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-1-0} #### POSTAL NOTES- BANKING CHARGE {: #subdebate-1-0-s0 .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr O'MALLEY:
DARWIN, TASMANIA -- I - I desire to ask the Postmaster-General a question without notice. According to the *Argus* of this morning, the private banking corporations have decided to tax postal notes to the extent of £15,000 or £20,000 per annum. Postal notes are the poor man's currency, and the proposal of the banks, if carried into effect, will destroy the utility of them as a medium of exchange.In view of the fact that this would deplete or decrease Commonwealth revenue, and the further fact that postal notes are based on metallic redemption, will the Postmaster-General ask the Government to make them a legal tender for the payment of all debts and claims throughout the Commonwealth? {: #subdebate-1-0-s1 .speaker-KYJ} ##### Sir JOHN QUICK:
Postmaster-General · BENDIGO, VICTORIA · Protectionist -- This is a matter of great importance, and I ask the honorable member to give notice of the question. {: .page-start } page 984 {:#debate-2} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-2-0} #### CORRECTION OF HANSARD PROOFS {: #subdebate-2-0-s0 .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr FRAZER:
KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA -- I should like to address a question to you, **Mr. Speaker.** In the *Hansard* number issued to-day there is published what purports to be an accurate report of a personal explanation made by a member of this House. My own impression is that the report is not strictly in accordance with that member's statements; and I desire to know from you whether it is possible for me to have an opportunity to see the original proof as it emerged from the *Hansard* staff. {: #subdebate-2-0-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -I shall have in my hands in a moment or two the red slip which is always attached to proofs, and which sets out what amendments may be made by members and what may not. I have no doubt that the *Hansard* staff have followed the usual course in this case, and have permitted only such emendations by the honorable member concerned as do not alter the force or effect of the remarks uttered. The red slip is as follows : - >Honorable members are respectfully requested to note that emendations which alter the sense of words used in debate or introduce new matter are not admissible. If anything of the kind suggested has been done it must have escaped the notice of the staff, because it is quite irregular. As to the second question, whether the honorable member for Kalgoorlie may see a proof of another honorable member's speech, I point out that it is not the custom to allow an honorable member to see any proofs other than his own. It will be seen that, if the general rule were conceded that an honorable member might see the proofs of other honorable members' speeches as a right, an undesirable state of things might arise. I have no doubt, however, that in some way or other I can arrange to meet the honorable member's wishes if he can show sufficient reason for my so doing. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- Am I to understand that it is not my right to get possession of, or have an opportunity to peruse, the original proof of the honorable member's speech ? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I must rule that under what has been our past practice there is no such right. An honorable member has no right to see the proof of a speech made by another honorable member. If the honorable member can show sufficient reason for a departure from the ordinary practice, it is possible that his wishes may be met. If the honorable member will see me later, I will learn what the necessities are. {: .page-start } page 984 {:#debate-3} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-3-0} #### FOSTER RIFLE RANGE {: #subdebate-3-0-s0 .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE:
GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA -- I wish to ask the Minister of Defence a question without notice. I am well aware that it is not usual for Ministers to answer questions whilst a motion of no confidence is pending, but since that which I desire to put does not involve any matter of policy, the honorable gentleman may possibly reply. An extract from a letter that I have received will serve to explain the matter to which I desire to direct attention. My correspondent, writing in regard to the Foster Rifle Club's range, says - >On completion of the new rifle range it was passed and approved by the authorities. After a few weeks use the range was condemned, owing to complaints lodged by the Railway Department. After a further delay of about nine months the range was again inspected by the Railway Department and military officials, and certain improvements suggested to make the range safe, which were carried out by this club immediately. On completion of same, Lieutenant Robson was sent to inspect the works, and expressed himself as satisfied, and stated that his report would be sent in next morning. > >This inspection took place on 2nd June,1909. We hurried on with the improvements, in order to get in our musketry before the specified time, to make ourselves efficient. > >Having heard nothing further from the Department, our captain applied for an extension of time in which to complete musketry. In an unsigned letter from the Department, bearing date 1st July, 1909, the following reply was made - >With reference to your communication of the 28th ult., requesting an extension of time until the 17th August, for the completion of the musketry course, I am directed to point out that no authority has been given by this office for the opening of your rifle range for rifle practice. > >The Department of the Staff Officer for Works has been requested to expedite the report of the officer who inspected the range. > >It is regretted that, under no circumstances, can approval be given for extension of time beyond the 30th June to fire the musketry course. Will the Minister of Defence be good enough to inquire into the whole matter, with a view to having the range passed, and to ascertain whether it is not possible in the circumstances to allow the club an extension of time to complete its musketry course ? {: #subdebate-3-0-s1 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Yes. {: .page-start } page 985 {:#debate-4} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-4-0} #### MOTION OF WANT OF CONFIDENCE Debate resumed from. 7th July *(vide* page 955), on motion by **Mr. Fisher** - >That the Government does not possess the confidence of this House. {: #subdebate-4-0-s0 .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS:
Dalley .- Last evening, I had a fifteen-minutes' sprint on this question, and endeavoured then to reply to stateme'nts made by the exPostmasterGeneral, the honorable member for Barrier. There still remain, however, one or two observations made by the honorable member to which I desire to allude. I have listened very carefully to the speeches made during this debate by the members of the Opposition. Day after day, and night after night, they have presented their case, and, in doing so, have made numerous quotations from *Hansard* and various newspapers. I certainly must say that the quotations from *Hansard* sounded very well, and that I was astonished to. learn that the honorable members from whose addresses these quotations were made could make such good speeches. I have certainly never heard them. This, howe/er, is only another testimony to the fact that we have a splendid *Hansard* staff. Fine feathers make fine birds, and fine reporters make fine speeches. I admit that I occasionally read the *Hansard* proofs of my own speeches, but I never correct them.' The reports are turned out so well that to attempt to alter them would be to spoil the literary efforts of the staff. We have been told by the honorable member for Melbourne Ports that the object of the Opposition in quoting from *Hansard* is to produce material, not for the home market, but for consumption by their electors. You, **Mr. Speaker,** are a busy man, but if you had time to traverse the corridors of this building, you would find that the making of speeches intended for transmission to the electors is a growing industry which does not require any protection. I do not know whether the Opposition think that their constituents will read them. If the electors do read them, they will certainly say that those who made them have improved a good deal since they last heard them on the public platform. " The Melbourne air," they will say, " must have agreed with them, and must have tended to improve their oratorical powers." It is because of the frank admission made by the honorable member for Melbourne Ports that I shall endeavour to reply to some statements made by the Opposition. They say that they are going to distribute the reports of their speeches in the electorates in order to show the people the class of men who are supporting the Government of the day. It is necessary, therefore, to traverse their arguments, but, in doing so, I do not intend to rely upon newspaper quotations, since I have no desire to make an explanation later on. Personal explanations are just as well left alone. I find that it takes me all my time to explain my position in the whirligig of Federal politics. The only member of the House who is at all happy in his position is yourself, **Mr. Speaker,** because you are not committed to any political party. The changes in the constitution of this Parliament have been so many that it will be difficult for any honorable member to make his position clear to his electors. The honorable member for Barrier finely appealed to us yesterday to be true to the principles to which we pledged ourselves on the platform. No one would have an honorable member be anything else. Pie says that he likes men to carry out their promises to their electors. So do I. But the fewer the promises, the better the chance of fulfilling them. I have lived up to all my promises ; hut I am very chary about making any. The honorable member for Barrier spoke as though the Labour party alone has at heart the interests, and represents the opinions, of the lowly and distressed, and those on this side stand for the rich and well housed. I took objection to that suggestion. The mere fact that a mart is poor does not .make him a. Radical or a Liberal in politics' nor does the fact that a man in comfortably off prevent him from holding just views. Such a man is not necessarily a ' Conservative. The Labour party, indeed, appeals less to reason, and more to prejudice and passion. Its methods are rather those which have prevailed at times of political disturbance in France. We all know of the historical rise of the stable boy who became King. His postillion's whip was always alongside the sceptre, so that he might not forget the teachings of his early days. It is not the views to which he gives utterance, but the principles in which he believes, and on which he acts, that make a man a Democrat or a Conservative. Political principles are not to be used merely for outside show. Liberal ideas and advanced progressive thought are not so much haberdashery or tailor's work, to be worn like garments. The man who mouths a Democratic policy for the sake of personal advancement is not truly a Democrat. I hold Radical views from conviction, association, and instinct. But one need not part with his individuality because he is a politician. It seems to me that the great charm in life is to have a strong personality. To be cast in a common mould and directed by exterior forces is a fate which has no attraction for me. Members on this side have been quite as true to their hustings' pledges as have the members of the Labour party. There are Radicals amongst us as there are in the Labour party. But we, on this side, have not been called upon to surrender our individuality and personal liberty. The members of the Labour party, on the contrary, glory in being delegates. The Political Labour Leagues determine the policy of the party, and those returned to this House are sent, not as representatives of the people, but as the party's delegates. When I sought election, I put certain views before my constituents, and asked to be returned as their .representative, not as their delegate. If I betray their confidence, they will be able to show their disapproval at the next election. To substitute, delegates for representatives in this Parliament would increase the difficulties and troubles which have marked our Federal history, especially during this Parliament. At the present time, the Labour party is availing itself of the usual parliamentary machinery to get into power again. But before it can take charge of public affairs, 5t must receive the fuller support of the electors. The Ministerial party has framed a programme for the advancement of the people's interests, and should the details of that programme justify it, it will deserve well of the constituencies. The fusion is an experiment. I am watching it as carefully as is any member of the House, not excepting the Labour members. It is composed of men who, not long since, were politically as far as the poles asunder. The Labour party asks us to affirm that we have no confidence in the Government. When, a few weeks ago, I was invited to consider proposals for a fusion, which I admit is merely an agreement among politicians, upon which the electors have not spoken, I fell in with the arrangement tentatively. To be successful, it must be supported by the men and women outside Parliament. If the Government programme is not acceptable to them, and does not receive their support, the- fusion will prove abortive. Labour members claim that they personify purity of Government, and I would therefore refresh their memories as to some of the occurrences of last session. The right honorable member for East Sydney then moved a motion censuring the Government of the. day for the unsatisfactory state of the Commonwealth finances. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- The honorable member is now supporting members of that Government. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- I shall deal with the matter fully, but in my own way. The charge of the right honorable member was a serious one, and I, believing it to be true, voted with him. Labour members, however, voted against the motion. But subsequent events proved that, although they voted against the motion, they believed in their hearts that the financial proposals of the Deakin Government were altogether unsatisfactory. Was their action in voting against the motion evidence of political singleness of purpose ? The Fisher Govern ment, when it came into power, had to admit that the finances were in an unhealthy condition, there not being enough money in the Treasury to carry out the legislation which had been agreed to by Parliament. When the Deakin Government was defeated, I told the outgoing Treasurer, the honorable member for Hume, that he was a lucky person, who knew the time to disappear, inasmuch1 as he was leaving an empty Treasury to his successors. To no matter does it behove the representatives of the people to give closer attention than to the state of the finances, because it is only when the financial position is sound that legislation can be properly carried out. Labour members, notwithstanding that their voted against the motion of the right honorable member for East Sydney, now admit that they knew at the time that the state of the finances was unsound. Yet they claim in their speeches and pamphlets to be the Puritans of our public life. As a matter of fact, they are as open to attack as are the members of any other political party. I voted for the fusion on the strength of a statement written apparently with Liberal ink. But I am not such a child in political affairs that I shall give this Government my unreserved support until I know exactly what measures are to be introduced. I have sufficient confidence in the wisdom of the present arrangement to vote against the motion of the honorable member for Wide Bay ; but I shall not promise the Ministry full support until its Bills have been presented to Parliament. Members may not care a " continental " about my opinions, but that is my position. I regret that the fiscal issue has been allowed to divide the Radicals of the House. The Labour forces of Australia are well organized, and prepared for every emergency. On almost every matter that comes up for discussion they are well-equipped with the results of secretarial research, ready with material for debate straight away. We had evidence of this this afternoon in the case of the explanationmade by the honorable member for Barrier. No one on this side seems to take the same trouble. Each man has to delve for himself, to devil for himself, and to take care of himself, and that is an attitude in life which I much prefer to take. Some honorable members on thisside appear, for reasons of their own, to be more ardent Ministerialists than fusionists, while others are more ardent fusionists than Ministerialists. The Prime Minister has been for a number of years the responsible mouth-piece of Radical legislation in the Federal Parliament, and it has been my lot on many occasions to leave the members with whom I was sitting in Opposition, and vote in support of measures introduced by him, although I was returned, not as representing his views, but as representing distinct ideas and theories of my own. I have always voted as I desived to vote. I bring my own personality into the matter, and any legislation introduced by a Radical will always attract my attention and my vote ; but the mere fact that the Labour party support that legislation is not sufficient reason for me to surrender my individuality to a Labour caucus. That *rôle* of mine is not always a pleasant one to play, but it has to be played. If I were called upon to be a mere puppet of either a Deakin or a Fisher I would prefer to go out of public life. The Prime Minister said that the statement which he submitted was the statement of policy of a Ministry that came in to establish representative and responsible government, and that honorable members on this side had perfect freedom in regard to the interpretation of the statement. Whether he gave me that kind of permission or not, I took it. If the disciplinary forces now exercised in certain sections of politics are to be applied to this side it will not make the Labour system less objectionable, or a position on these benches any better. I find from a copy of the *Labour Call,* handed to me a little while ago, that a Deakinite pledge is extracted from candidates - that is, according to a letter signed by the honorable member for Bourke, the whip of this party, in reply to a **Mr. Hodges,** to this effect - >It is my duty to inform you that before any. candidate can secure official support he must agree - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. To give an unqualified assent to the fiscal proposals of the Government ; 1. To given general support to all other Ministerial measures; 2. To withdraw his candidature if not selected ; 3. If prepared to accept these conditions, to advise me at once. Yours in truth, James Hume Cook. I am glad that a politician is occasionally " in truth." This paper bears date 8th July, 1909. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- That candidature was either three or six years ago. {: #subdebate-4-0-s1 .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- I hope that sort of thing will not be repeated, because I am not prepared to sign any pledge of that character. The only pledge which I will make is that which I have always made in the past upon the hustings to the electors who have for so many years returned me. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr Carty Salmon: -- Is it not made clear that that letter is a thing of years ago? {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- I see that it is dated 24th May, 1906. I thought it was issued in 1909. *Several honorable members interjecting,* {: #subdebate-4-0-s2 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I have again to call attention to the fact that honorable members are persisting in conversing aloud across the chamber while the honorable member is speaking. That must not continue. **Mr. WILKS.** - I am pleased that that error has been so quickly corrected, but the incident shows that the *Labour Call,* which is supposed to be the organ of those Puritans opposite, has taken advantage of a deliberate lie, or has made it appear that what occurred some years ago is applicable to present conditions. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- That is not so; the date is on the letter. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- That is true, but I regarded the paper as a current paper dealing with current events. I am pleased that the matter has been cleared up.If it had been intended to apply to this side the same stringent discipline as exists on the other side there would be no freedom here at all . No man can fight for freedom unless he is himself free. No man can work in the cause of liberty unless he himself has liberty. I belong to the wrong school of thought to subscribe to tyranny of that character. *Several honorable members interjecting,* {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The disturbance to which I have already referred is continuing, and I shall be driven, much against my will, to take action to prevent it unless honorable members are willing to support me. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- Honorable members who have spoken from the other side have implied generally that every member sitting on this side is a. myrmidon of capital and an emissary of vested interests. I am neither. I am just as studious of the improvement of the condition of the people as is any member on that side. I am just as anxious in the ordinary political sense, representing the electorate that I do, even if I had no other reason, that the improved conditions of mankind should be extended to my constituents. There is any amount of room for them. I belong to the school of thought which recognises that government can and does perform paternal functions, and has done so in Australia. There is no room in this continent for a Conservative of any kind. I amnot of the school of Herbert Spencer. If I wereI should be distinctly opposed toany attempt at paternal legislation ; but foryears, both in the State and Federal Parliaments, I have voted for measures that are distinctly paternal. The Labour party have progressed very well, not because of the inherent strength of their own leagues, but by means of the sympathetic vote of a large number of electors, who desired that the Government of Australia should by legislation improve their conditions, and who thought that the Labour candidates offered them something better than did their opponents. That sympathetic vote came largely from members of the Liberal forces having a Radical inclination. The Radical on the Liberal side is like the Socialist in the Labour ranks. The honorable member for Barrier frankly admits that he is a Socialist, and that his way of improving the conditions of the people would be the immediate application of Socialistic doctrines. But it is not every honorable member on that side that will take up that position. I have no right, however, to say that they are Socialists in disguise any more than they have to accuse me of being a capitalist in disguise. I am willing to believe that they cannot subscribe to the advanced ideas of Socialism any more than I can to Conservative views. The Labour ranks have their sections and their different ideas. The honorable member for Barrier shows in all his actions that he is a Socialist, and his views are shared by a great number of the advance guard of the Labour movement. I cannot accept Socialism, and so I do not pose as advocating the application of Socialistic ideas. If the Labour party desire to do well for the people they represent, it will not be as a ruling or governing class associated with others, but they will remain for many years in Opposition, where they will be able to force the Liberal and Radical Government of the day to go a step further every time. The honorable member for Gwydir seems to doubt the fitness of the term " Liberal and Radical " as applied to the Government, but there are men on this side who, by instinct and admission, are both Liberal and Radical. The present is the most interesting experiment that I have yet seen in political life. If the so-called Conservatives, or, as I would name them, the more tardy Liberals, of the community, will keep step with the Radicals, then the Radicals have made a great gain, and if the Prime Minister has been able to bring that about he has done good for the Radical cause and the Liberal forces. The trouble we have had has been that a Liberal in New South Wales was not the same as a Liberal in Victoria. They differed in their fiscal views.' For many years in New South Wales the name " Free Trader ' ' was synonymous with the advocacy of Liberal legislation, while the term "Protectionist" was synonymous with the advocacy of Conservative views. It was only in the last few years before Federation that a few Protectionists in that State took up the advanced side of political thought. In the first Federal elections the only federalized force was the Labour party, but I hope that we shall now see the Liberals and Radicals appealing as a united force for the suffrages of the people. The Government have much to be thankful for in this debate. It has given them about a fortnight's respite, with no questions answered, and no work done except essential departmental business. They are having a very easy life, and a splendid opportunity to get their measures together. I do not think the Labour party have the slightest expectation of carrying the motion, which has been tabled, as they admit, with the express intention of smudging, for political purposes, honorable members on this side. If they start the smudging racket, they must not expect those attacked to sit quiet. There is nothing I like better than a fight, and I suppose that in the coming election the contest will be pretty well mixed for me. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- The honorable member will not have a three-cornered fight. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- I have never had one. My opponents cannot mix it for me any more vigorously than they have done in the past. At the time of the last election,' if I may say so without being rude, I considered the right honorable member for East Sydney, and I still consider him, the ablest mind in the public life of Australia. But, at the same time, I did not indorse all he did or said from Alpha to Omega. I pointed out that when I disagreed with the right lion'orable gentleman in Parliament I should go against him; and in fiscal matters I saw the absolute folly of continuing the view I had held for years. I told my electors that I must be a free man, and that if, after fifteen years, they could not trust me, they ought not to select me as their representative. There are worse disasters than to be defeated at the poll ; if a man loses his manhood and self-respect, he is paying too dear a price for a seat in this Chamber or any other exalted office of life. The right honorable gentleman is, perhaps, as well known, and has as many _ friends in my electorate as he has in any electorate around Sydney ; but I took the stand I did openly on every occasion ; and if this did not please ardent Free Traders, I cannot help it. And I say that I am not going on to the platform as an out-and-out supporter of the present Prime Minister. If the honorable gentleman introduces radical and progressive measures which, in my judgment, are in the interests of the community and in keeping with my promises to the electors, I shall support the measures, and not the individual. I am not in Parliament for social purposes, or for the sake of political friendship ; I am here as part, of the machinery of government to try to my utmost to express the desires of those who return me. I should now like to say a few words on the statement of policy which has been placed before us. In the first place, the submission of such a statement is novel, but that does not make the procedure bad. It may have been presented with the idea of getting over certain difficulties, but it is apparently a carefullyworded document, though one, I admit, which can be read many ways, according to the way we feel. As I have already said, the statement appears to be written in Liberal ink, and has a Liberal direction; and, as such, I can support it. Under the heading of "Industrial" wc are promised an Inter-State Commission, which is, apparently, the fusion way of spelling new Protection. The desire appears to be to go to the States, and arrange for certain powers to be given to carry out the policy. Personally, I prefer a straight-out amendment of the Constitution.; I do not- believe in waiting cap in hand on **Mr. Wade** or any other Premier, and asking him to be good enough to place no obstacles in our way. Under the Constitution an Inter- State Commission is the only way of surmounting the difficulty; but I am afraid I must agree with the Labourites that it will not be effective. I do not cure about creating an authority like an Inter-State Commission with so many drastic powers. {: .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr King O'Malley: -- I - It is an expensive Board ! {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- It is not the expense so much -as the powers proposed that I object to. Then there is to be a Labour Bureau for the purpose of supplying information on certain matters. .Altogether the proposal appears to ;ne to lie to a great extent a surrender of Parliamentary and Government control. It is placing in the hands of three or four men. no matter how able or well-intentioned they may be, powers that Parliament is not wise in relegating to any one. I prefer the old-fashioned way of acting in a direct manner, : and asking the electors to amend the Constitution, following their decision with the necessary legislation. If we this session can provide for the Inter-State Commission, the appointment of the High Commissioner, and pass the Estimates, the shutters had better be put up. I should have liked to see electoral reform, which is not mentioned in the statement issued by the Government, but which I regard as most important, if we are to have a fair trial of strength before the electors. The Labour party, who are in favour of majority rule, cannot oppose electoral reform; indeed, they must support any proposal to permit the electors to record their votes in the most effective manner. We hear people talk much about vested interests, but, so far as I can see, those who are least caref ul of electoral matters are those of the professional and commercial classes ; and if legislation is passed which they deem to be injurious, they have themselves to thank for it to a large ex-i tent. The average commercial or professional man treats Parliament either with indifference or with studied snobbery ; he is often too snobbish to take the trouble to record his vote, and, so far as supporting other men who espouse causes is concerned, it is the last thing they think of, although . they are the first to cry out when hurt. There are thousands of electors who could well take a lesson from the Labour party and their supporters. These work more with religious fervour than obstinacy, whereas the commercial and professional classes are more obstinate than fervent. We hear complaints about the character of Parliament, but if people are given the full rights of citizenship, they ought to be compelled to exercise them. In view of a struggle on the platform and at the ba I let-box, the sooner we have effective electoral ma'chinery the better it will be in the interests of a fair trial of strength. If the majority of the electors approve of delegation and the Labour party's policy, that party will be returned with a majority, whereas if the desire be for freedom and liberty, the electors will have to arouse themselves as citizens. If electors are not satisfied witH candidates that are nominated, let those electors offer their own services, instead of allowing a few ardent spirits to be the selecting body ; let us so order matters that the people shall have untrammelled power to select whom they like. Whether the engineering be by the Prime Minister or by the honorable member for Wide Bay, if men are to come forward as candidates simply at the behest of one organization or another, political life and liberty are getting to a low ebb. The way to get over the difficulty in regard to the number of candidates would be to so amend the Electoral Act that the candidate returned will have the majority of votes cast; then the press organs of the parties could thunder, advise, and direct as they liked, but the people would be free to record their votes with effect. An old friend of mine is now Minister of Defence, and I hope he will do well in administrative work ; but if he is prepared to go along the beaten lines made by military caste, he will not do better than his predecessors. He has a gigantic task before him, because if there is a Department which requires strong administrative power, it is the Defence Department ; indeed, it is quite beyond my powers of description to show the immense difficulties in the way of putting the defences in proper working order. But the people are more fed on the blood and marrow of the lion than are their representatives. I cannot understand how it is that honorable members do not represent more strongly the spirit of the people they represent; if they have a love of country and of race, I cannot understand how it is that they have not more fervently expressed themselves in this connexion. Both as an elector and a representative, I am convinced that the most important duty before us is preparation for proper and effective defence. While I appreciate the desire of Socialists who are cosmopolitan, and have a love of the world, I am not of those who love the world better than my own race or nation ; and I know, as a practical man, that other nations are not prepared to bring about the dream which Socialists would realize in Australia. The question of defence has been simply played with in the past ; we have considered and debated the expenditure, but, after all, very little information as to the defences ever trickles into the House; and so it will be in other Parliaments. While we continue to control, as it were, the civil side by voting the money, we should place our defences in the strongest possible hands, because we are not prepared to criticise effectively the organization, or say definitely what defences are required. As part of the British Empire, we should realize our real danger, and ask the Mother Country which has been engaged in warfare, to send us her best to organize our land forces. We can mould the policy, but to those who are sent should be given absolute control. Militarism is not a matter we can debate or carry amendments in connexion with, but is a matter for a strong man in charge of strong forces. In the past the Military Forces of Australia have not had the benefit of the organizing power of a controlling genius; and, while we do not desire war, we ought to feel confident that the defences are in competent hands. Coming to the naval question, I may say at once that I favour a coastal navy and a contribution to the maintenance of the Imperial Navy. Both are absolutely requisite. In years gone by I have endeavoured to induce honorable members to give more attention to the naval side, and less to the land forces side, of the defence question. Having regard to its position, Australia must be destined to become a great maritime power. It will have to play the part of a powerful maritime force in the southern seas, and must develop a foreign policy in regard to the control of islands in the South Pacific. It will be met there by foreign Powers, who are extending their positions in that quarter, and the whole of our surroundings show that we must give more attention to the naval side than to the military side of our defences. The adult portion of our land defence system has been very well attended to, but more, and more attention must be devoted to the naval side of the problem. Residents of seaport towns in the Commonwealth are anxious to have the opportunity to secure naval training, and many of them would be glad to join a Naval Brigade. I agree with those who say that we should set about the work of creating a Navy of our own. That means that we should provide for coastal defence,, by constructing torpedo-boat destroyers and other vessels of a smaller class. Having regard to our population we ought not to be too ambitious in the matter of the possession of a fleet of our own ; but I think we may well make a start in this direction. I am a strong Imperialist, in that I desire that the Empire shall remain solid, and -that Australia shall play her part as a member of it. She can play that part well, and will be compelled to play it in a less niggardly way than she has done. As to the naval subsidy, I find that not only have the rank and file of our politicians altered their views, but that even leaders have done so. The Prime Minister, for instance, has changed his views on this question, and has indicated that he has taken a step in the right direction. Only a few years ago he recommended to the House the cessation of the naval subsidy. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- -Its transformation. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- Quite so. The honorable member now believes that we should not only provide for coastal defences, but grant additional assistance to the Imperial Navy. I am not here to cast a slur at the honorable gentleman for having thus expanded his views on this question. We are all creatures of development, and men, as they pass along the. walk of life, must have the courage to modify or to extend their views when circumstances demand that they should do so. My views in regard to Australia building a Navy of her own have been considerably extended. In my younger days I thought such a project absolutely impracticable. I do not think so now. It is, after all, a matter of degree. Australia must "strengthen the naval side of her defences, and construct vessels of her own. The fiscal policy of the Commonwealth has developed in the direction of the new Protection, and if we are to have a small coastal navy, the next logical step is to provide for its construction in Australia. We have many skilled artisans, who could construct the class of vessels that we require. I know of scores of men in Australia who have worked in the dockyards of the Old World, and who have assisted in constructing vessels of the type that we require. Then, again, in Port Jackson we have facilities under Government control for building war vessels. The Labour Government placed an order with a British firm for the construction of three torpedoboat destroyers, and their intention was that the remaining vessels of the proposed fleet should be constructed here. There was no necessity, however, for them to let a tender for the construction of any of those vessels at Home. They had only, to obtain the necessary plans from the Admiralty, and to secure some leading hands, in order to permit of their construction in Australia. Our iron-workers require only the assistance of leading hands to plot out the work, in order to be able to build vessels of the type in question. I hope that the Prime Minister will hurry on the introduction of a Bill to provide for a bounty for the encouragement of ship-building. We have granted bounties to encourage industries of much less importance, and I think that we might well take this further step. A bounty on ship-building would encourage immigrants of the class that we desire, with the result that we should have iri Australia at all times plenty of skilled men to do this work for us.. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- Who first mooted that policy ? {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- It has been advocated for years in this House, and I have urged it on the attention of honorable members whenever I have had an opportunity to do so. I admit that the Leader of the Opposition has also taken up the same stand. I do not cavil at the Labour Government for having expended the special naval vote. The money was voted for the purpose of naval defence, and even if it is thought that steps were taken to expend it a fortnight or so before they ought to have been taken, the matter is not worth fighting over. The Labour Government, however, should have gone further. They should not only have provided for the construction of vessels for coastal defence purposes, but have intimated to the British authorities our willingness to assist them. There is a good deal in the argument of some honorable members that, had we been able to present a *Dreadnought* to the British Government, instead of offering them the money to construct one, our gift would have partaken more of the character of a national one. The British Government do not require money from us for such a purpose, and the only value of the offer is the moral effect that it will have. It is a live testimony to the desire of Australia to help the Mother Country. There is an alternative offer, and we shall have to depend upon experts to determine the direction it should take. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- What is the alternative? {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- I do not know. I have availed myself of this opportunity to state that I have sufficient confidence in the Government to vote with them on this motion. That does not mean that I am committed to support them for all time. My support must, of course, depend upon the measures they submit, and I do not think that the Government expect anything more. I am pleased that Radicals are on top, and hope that the Bills presented by the Ministry will show that they intend to legislate on liberal lines. I desire now to refer to the question of a land tax. It must be admitted that the Commonwealth is getting short of funds, and that, if we are to carry out all the duties intrusted to us by the Constitution, we must seek new channels of revenue. I am with those who urge that we should not wait upon the State Premiers for permission to carry out the works that await our attention, or in regard to the use of public funds. The electors of the States are identical with the electors of the Commonwealth, and the Commonwealth Parliament will be admired by them only while it stands firmly by its rights. If the representatives of the people in this Parliament surrender to the States any of their powers, they must fall in the estimation of the people according to the extent of that surrender. If, on the other hand, they stand bv their guns and say that we must have sufficient funds to carry on Commonwealth undertakings, without having to go cap in hand to the State Premiers, they will continue to enjoy the confidence of the electors. Candidates at the next general election will have to say distinctly whether or not they favour direct taxation. I am one of those who believe in direct taxation, and think that the wealthy should contribute their portion to the cost of defence. The working classes will give of their blood and their sinews when they are required to do so, and it is unreasonable to expect an expensive defence policy to be maintained by Customs and Excise taxation. The workers cannot afford, and should, not be called upon through the Customs and Excise Departments to provide for the defence bill of the near future. The bill will be 'a large one. Whilst not advocating extravagance of any kind, I think we must be prepared to vote larger sums for defence purposes than we have done. In . the circumstances, therefore, it is the right of the electors to be told who are to be called upon to foot the defence bill. I shall tell them that the wealthy must carry their burden, not because they are wealthy, but because they offer the best channel from which the revenue necessary for defence purposes may be obtained. The income tax in Great Britain is levied primarily for defence purposes, the authorities there rightly holding that the cost of naval construction should not be paid out of loan money. In 'that respect Great Britain offers us an example that we ought to follow. It would be a suicidal policy to provide out of loan moneys for naval construction. Let the current revenue supply what we need for that purpose, and let the money come ' from the wealthy, whose commerce and business and lands we have to protect. The Labour partyhave hit upon a land tax as the form of direct taxation best calculated to provide more revenue. I prefer an income tax. A land values tax with a big exemption will never give us the revenue we require, and is not likely to have the effect of leading to the subdivision of large estates. If an estate is a fertile one 'the owner will pay the tax, rather than cut it up; and if we are to have an exemption, in respect of all estates the unimproved value of which does not exceed ;£5i00o, many landowners will escape. I do not believe in more than the ordinary common-sense exemption - an exemption in respect of estates so small that the cost of collecting the tax would be more than the tax itself. I held the opinion until recently that the Commonwealth should not impose a land values tax, but if we are to encourage immigration, if our lands are to be unlocked and people are to be settled upon them, and the States refuse to do what they ought to do in this regard, then it is just as well that we should take the bull by the horns and say distinctly that we favour the imposition of such a tax. The States will hang back in the traces, so far as the imposition of a land tax is concerned. It would be difficult to pass a Land Tax Bill through the Legislative Council in some of the States, and, if we are to have a distinctly Federal policy of immigration, the States must provide for the settlement of the people whom we desire to attract to our shores. I do not believe in adding to- our already overcrowded cities. I believe rather in settling the people on the land. I agree with those who say thatthe millions of acres still available in Australia are not near a market or a railway. The class of land that we desire to unlock is that which is close to a railway and a market. It is only on land so situated that we ' could hope to induce the people to settle. Those who hold such lands merely for speculative purposes should be compelled to unlock them. In my opinion, the best way to unlock such lands is to impose a land tax. The Prime Minister has admitted that in principle he is in favour of land taxation, as he wishes the people of the Old Country to come here and to be absorbed in our population. He has stated that he is in favour of the imposition of a land tax by the Commonwealth Parliament, but he has not said when he thinks such a tax should be imposed. I understand his difficulty. He. like every other politician, has to look for support. As a Radical and Liberal, I am prepared to declare at the next election that, in pursuance of an immigration policy, and for the purposes, of defence, 'the Commonwealth should impose a tax on land values. In my opinion, the sooner we face the position the better. Of course, there are other honorable members on this side who think otherwise. I am prepared to advocate a land tax at the next election. I am pleased .that this motion of want of confidence has been 'moved, .because it has given us an opportunity to put our views clearly and frankly before the country. Labour members have openly admitted that they are making speeches to be recorded and published through the constituencies, and honorable members on this side will act wisely if they take a similar course. That is what I am doing. Labour members say that they have to do what they are told. I have to do what I am told ; not what I am told bv the Ministry .or by anybody outside this House, but by what I feel to be the common sense interpretation of the wishes of my electors. Although I have to fight the political battle in a Democratic constituency, I am sure that no candidate likes his chances better than I like mine. In Australia there are thousands of men who will fight for freedom, who are as much Democrats as are the members of the Labour Leagues and Conferences. Every man who is worth his salt will try to improve his position. If he has the money-making faculty he will become' wealthy, and if he has the faculty for improving his position in other ways, he will improve it. The members of the Labour party have improved their positions. _ {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- How does the honorable member know that? {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- By the outward and visible signs. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- The honorable member is out of his reckoning. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- If Labour members have improved their positions, there is nothing disgraceful in the fact, nor would it be disgraceful if they had not improved their positions. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- It has simply nothing to do with the case. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- It has this to do with the case, that the honorable member for Barrier spoke of those on this side of the House as representing only the well-to-do. I represent, and have done so for seventeen years, as ardently Democratic a constituency as there is in the Commonwealth. In it are men whose condition is as unsatisfactory as that of any in the community. They desire to be uplifted, and as a believer in paternal government, and the value of beneficial legislation, I shall vote for measures which I think will improve their position. But am I to be anathema because I do not wear the Labour uniform ? I shall not allow Labour members to misrepresent me or my views. I shall vote against the motion, and hope that the Prime Minister will keep to the Radical path, and introduce measures even more strongly Radical than his programme promises. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- "Radical" is good. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- Cannot members on this side have their watchword ? Honorable members opposite make a lot of capital out of the word "Labour." But while they live by appealing to sentiment, they will not allow others to do the same. I shall not permit a Labour man to define my political beliefs, any more than I would permit him to choose the cut of my clothes. The Labour party has been well organized and equipped from the beginning. Its members know their politics, and have to deal with constituents like themselves. If the business classes gave one-tenth of the attention to politics which the working classes give, we should have a different Parliament. Those employed in factories and workshops make politics their daily discussion. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- I wish that it were true. They take more interest in a football match or a horse, race, unfortunately. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- Nothing of the sort. If one addresses a meeting in an industrial electorate, he is met with keener questioning and criticism than elsewhere. The honorable member for Ballarat has no more attentive and critical audiences than those composed of industrials. I am surprised that the honorable member for Yarra should say that the workers take no concern in politics. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- They do not take as much interest in politics as they should. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS: -- They take as much interest in politics as they can. The honorable member and hig friends are everlastingly teaching them, .and those who support their cause do so with almost religious fervour. They do not desire Socialism tinged with Liberalism. They want pure Socialism. I admire the Labour member who calls himself a Socialist. If I believed in Socialism, I should not require an invitation to join the Labour party. It would then be my bounden duty to join it. r am afraid that the electors are becoming tired of politics, and are turning their attention to sport, because the multiplicity of issues has confused them. I hope that the fusion agreement will be properly put before the public. If a progressive programme is set before the people, the party will do well, but if the Prime Minister falters, tinging his policy with the views of his Conservative friends, I shall wish well to the Labour party. I hope that he will put forward a fighting, progressive policy which Australia will indorse. {: #subdebate-4-0-s3 .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE:
Gippsland .- While it is quite within the rights of an Opposition to challenge at any time the existence of the Government by motion of want of confidence, I have never been able to see the wisdom of that course, unless there was a reasonable probability of the motion being carried. It is apparent that the Ministerialists are by no means a united family. The words of some, and the countenances of others, make that plain. Some, no doubt, are disappointed at not having received portfolios. Others do not like the political company which they are constrained to keep. There are quite as many dissatisfied members of the old direct Opposition as of the old Liberal party, though they have not had the courage to cut themselves adrift from their leaders. They are waiting the opportunity to slaughter the measures of the Government, supposing those measures do not satisfy them. We must remember, however, that they have but recently combined to put the Government in office, and we can hardly expect them to turn it out again after so short an interval. I agree with the honorable member for Robertson., who is one of the dissatisfied Ministerialists, in considering the motion ill-timed. It should have been field back until the Government had committed itself in regard to its measures. It is too early to expect disunion. In my opinion, it would have been wiser, not only not to have moved the motion of want of confidence, but also not to discuss the AddressinReply and the Ministerial statement. We should have insisted on the Government bringing forward measures. When its measures are brought down, disunion will appear in the ranks of the Ministerialists: But the motion having been moved, I must vote for or against it, or refrain from voting. I cannot vote against it, and thus express confidence in the Ministry. I thought of expressing my views and refraining from voting; but, on reflection, I could see no reason why, having declared that I had no confidence in the Government, I should refrain from voting accordingly. Therefore, I shall vote for the motion. Politically, I have no confidence in the Government. I say " politically because the references which I am going to make to honorable members opposite have solely a political bearing. Let us consider the *personnel* of the Ministry and its followers. Seven out of ten of the Ministers - six out of eight in this House - and thirty-two out of forty-two Ministerialists in this Chamber, have opposed every measure which the Prime Minister has in the past asked us to pass. The more eager he was to get a measure passed, the more pronounced were they in their opposition to it. That fact does not encourage me to express confidence in the Ministry. Speaking on the 27th May, 1 referred to the certainty of one or other of the sections of the Coalition having to sacrifice its principles, and I expressed pleasure at the statement in the press that the Liberal section would rot do so. At the same time, I said that I had very great doubts on the subject, because I did not think that the other section would abandon its principles. Referring to the question of numbers, I said on that occasion - >T venture to say that the result will be that my colleagues will endeavour to carry out the principles that they have always adhered to and which they believe in, but will find themselves restrained. I regret to say that the doubts I expressed then have been more than confirmed. When speaking that evening, I said I had heard that the new Government was to be composed of Liberals and Opposition members in equal numbers; but it is not an equally balanced Government. It has been proportionately formed. It is certainly true that the leader used to belong to my old party, but seven out of the ten Ministers are against him. What does it matter what sort of a horse you have leading a team, or what direction he wants to go in, if seven out of the ten horses are pulling in the Other direction ; "and what hope has he if, in addition to that, twenty-six out of the thirty-two drivers are driving the other seven horses in that opposite direction? In such a case the leader can have no chance. There is the overpowering influence of numbers, and the effect of it has been seen from the very start. Take the case of Australian defence. In the Deakin party, we always had the Prime Minister's pronounced Australian defence policy. I might remind the House that when that policy was announced during the last night of our sittings in 1907, not one of those -in the Opposition corner, the Melbourne representatives who are now his allies, paid him the courtesy of attending and listening to him* and he delivered that speech to a House containing less than a quorum. He had a pronounced Australian defence policy, but the carrying of it out has now been handed over to its bitterest opponent, the present Minister of Defence. They have also sent, to represent the Australian defence policy to the Old Country, another bitter opponent of it. In every move we find the influence of numbers. The sending of the honorable member for Brisbane was most significant. Defence is not supposed to be a party question, and the *Times,* according to a cablegram published at that time, said - >It would be regrettable if the Australasian delegates to the Imperial Defence Conference in July next were not representatives of a united Parliament. It is indeed most regrettable that our representative does not represent a united Parliament. The *Age* at that time rose to the occasion, for, after all its condemnation of the Labour party, it urged the Government to send **Senator Pearce** to England also. I believe that if the Liberal section of the Cabinet had had their way, they also would have risen to the occasion, for reasons that I will give later, and. sent **Senator Pearce.** Then, at all events, we might have been able to say that the views of both- sides would be put before the Conference, and that our delegates, taking the Parliament as a whole, were representative of a united Parliament. Having referred to the *personnel* of the Ministry, and the want of any prospect of confidence in them, so far as I am concerned, let me see what their policy is. During the recess, the Prime Minister underwent a great deal of physical and mental fatigue in going through Tasmania, New South Wales, and Queensland, propounding the Liberal policy. The best report of his meetings which came to me was that of the. speech he delivered at Toowoomba. He there took the trouble of specifying the various heads of his policy, and pointing out clearly in nearly every case the position of the Labour party and of the then Opposition with regard to them. He said - >First of all, it is our duty to uphold the Federal Union of Australia, to develop national character In Australia, and to fulfil the Imperial responsibilities of Australia. That might be described as an introduction containing general sentiments which everybody might be prepared to indorse - >Another article in our policy is assistance to Protection, not in proposing a new revision of the Tariff, for we have just passed a Tariff which, with all its faults, is a better expression of our Protectionist principles than has ever been put before the people. No doubt anomalies could be discovered in the working of the Tariff, but during its passage through the House, with the cross-firing of parties, it suffered in the process. Those anomalies require to be remedied..... We believe that it is our duty, as a party, to uphold the Protectionist system in the interests of the producers of Australia. We added to that Protectionist Tariff the new Protection, which secured to the employes fair wages. He then compared the action of the two other parties - >In this particular, the Prime Minister **(Mr. Fisher)** proposes to go a great deal further than that. I am not prepared, until we see il definitely set out, to say how far he is prepared to go, but **Mr. Fisher** appears to aim at assuming something like the regulation of the whole of the industrial operations of the Commonwealth. . . . The Opposition, on the other hand, in the matter of the new Protection, appear to offer us nothing, but to promise inquiry and persuasion to be exercised by the Commonwealth upon the States. Judging by the results of persuasion in the past in that direction the prospects were not extremely hopeful. As another essential corollary to Protection, there is the question of preferential trade. . . On that . . . the Labour party . . . has not made any pronouncement, and, as far as I know, is divided in its opinion. As for the Opposition, it is equally uncertain. He referred to the question of the Northern Territory agreement, and. added - >The agreement is already before Parliament. Why not indorse it, and at once? In respect to immigration, as far as my memory serves me, he **(Mr. Fisher)** was actually or practically silent. It is understood, at all events, that the proposals are not viewed with enthusiasm, and, so far as the Opposition is concerned, it seems to be at the opposite pole ; it appears to be in favour of the indiscriminate bringing of immigrants to the country without provision for land or employment. On the question of the establishment of the Federal Agricultural Bureau, he remarked that- >The Opposition look with a good deal of suspicion on the establishment of the Bureau, because it will supplement the existing Agricultural Departments. He then came to the question of defence - and this is the point to which I referred when I spoke about **Senator Pearce** - in these words - >The question of the day ... is Defence. . . . We had before we left office already obtained the sanction of the House to steps ... to establish a cordite factory ... an ammunition factory . . . and a rifle factory in' Australia. . . . Although there was some opposition from the Opposition ... I think there is none now. As I said before, everything that he proposed was opposed by the Opposition- >The Opposition has pledged itself to universal training so far as it pertains to schools, and they would stop short at the cadets ; beyond that it trusts to the volunteer movement. We, on the other hand, have proposed . . . a Bill providing for the training of the whole of the schoolboys as cadets, but carrying on that training afterwards among our young men to the threshold of manhood. Honorable members will see in the Ministerial statement that the significant words, " towards manhood," are used. That is a drop down to the old Opposition policy. The honorable gentleman continued - >To that (the Deakin) policy the Prime Minister **(Mr. Fisher)** and his colleagues have given their 'cordial indorsement, and there are certain improvements in extension which I hope we shall be able to carry. So that on this question, and in that particular direction, we are, I hope, advancing towards the realization of our particular ideal. I wonder what he hopes for now? He has thrown over the party which agreed with him on that question, and relies now upon the party which was then opposed to him. {: .speaker-L6Z} ##### Mr Hall: -- Perhaps they are all converted. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- There has been no conversion. He said, with regard to coastal defence - >It was my privilege when in London, now nearly two years ago, to arrive at the basis of an agreement, with the British Admiralty by means of which they were to advise and give" any assistance they could put at our disposal. And we were to be empowered to establish a coastal defence of our own in small vessels, with a flotilla of our own, manned by men who should be maintained at the high standard of efficiency of the British Navy. For that coastal defence, which was part and is part of our programme, the Labour party has not only given its indorsement, but has even exaggerated its necessity to the verge of maintaining that there our sea defence should end. On the other hand, the Opposition, by every means in their power, have belittled the proposals for Australia's coastal defence. Those are the men who are to carry out that policy now. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Who said that? {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- The honorable member's present chief said it of the honorable member and his party. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I do not care. He ought to apologize. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- Do not start apologizing, because there will be no time for anything else. The Prime Minister went on - >These two parties are on the opposite extremes in regard to this. . . It has always been a part of our policy to remember that the safety of Australia is bound up with the safety of the other Dominions of the Empire, and with that of the Mother Country. . . This line of defence the Prime Minister puts aside as unnecessary or, at all events, as outside out scope or duty. On the other hand, the Opposition have gone to the other extreme, and would pour the whole of our resources into the defence of the high seas, to the neglect of our coastal and harbor defence. So our policy with regard to this matter . . . lies in between these two. Heaven only knows where it lies now. He refers to the financial issue - >It is impossible for us to put aside the question of extra defence until1911. . . . We require to hasten with our coastal defence, and we shall require to show our sense of our own heritage, our sense of impending danger, by contributing something to the defence of the Empire on the high seas. In his peroration, he went back to the question of defence - >We cannot afford to neglect the proposals for defence. I indorse all the Government's proposals for land defence. I approve of the spirit - though not yet speaking of the form - of their coastal and harbor defence. Our proposals were precisely the same in character and intent, different only slightly in form. I approve of them even more cordially than I did those of our own Government. And yet, if the Labour Government had been left in office, if they had been allowed to bring down their defence policy, as they ought to have been - a policy which, if they were patriots, they would have submitted at the very first meeting of the House - we should by this time, instead of wasting three or four weeks in this discussion, probably have put into law the policy which both the Liberals and the Labour party approved of. To show the regard the Prime Minister had for his policy when he spoke at Brisbane, he said - >Genuine parties must be rooted in policy - And he pointed to the success of his party with the assistance, generally, of the Labour party. In fact, ever since I entered the House I have not known any measure passed by the Liberal party without the help of the Labour party. More than that, just about the beginning of this session, a very interesting pamphlet was issued by the Minister of External Affairs, in which he set out the whole of the work that had been accomplished by the Deakin Administration; and it appeared that every measure mentioned had been passed with the help of the Labour party. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- And in spite of the others ! {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- And in spite of the others. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Absolute nonsense ! {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- The Prime Minister, at Brisbane, went on to say - >So far as the policy of the party with which I am associated is concerned, I desire that it may be clearly understood from the outset that it represents no casual collection of proposals, but a considered and vertebrate policy, and that most of the items are inseparable. To that policy we have committed ourselves, by that policy we stand, and with that policy if we fall, we fall. There was great cheering in which, Had I been there, I should have joined ; but I am sorry to say that the Prime Minister is not falling by that policy - >You will see that we regard the relations of parties to policies as fundamental and permanent. I might say, by the way, that if this fusion was in the air I never could understand why the Prime Minister should exhaust himself physically and mentally by going through the States delivering addresses, seeing at the very time, or almost at the same time, the Minister of Defence wastouring Queensland expressing disapproval of everything said by the Prime Minister. The whole of this labour might, I think, have been saved ; but, at any rate, the facts point conclusively to the conclusion that at that time the Prime Minister had no idea of fusion. Having seen what the policy was - and it was a policy I thoroughly indorse - let us inquire what happened to the policy when it was fused. To begin with, the right honorable member forEast Sydney, when interviewed in Sydney, said he approved of the lines of the fusion, and that, perhaps, he had more to forget than anybody else in order to bring it about. I do not know whether there is to be any price for that forgetfulness. I have already shown that the Prime Minister regarded the whole of his policy as a connected policy, and, with the exception of one or two items, inseparable. The right honorable member for East Sydney, in a newspaper interview said - >I am absolutely convinced of the wisdom and patriotism of the step. The basis of the alliance is limited to a few great questions. > >Even on these we haven't much more than a skeleton. I think the negotiations were wise, and I think the basis is one on which the members of the old direct Opposition can congratulate themselves. > >I agree with him in that - > >Every Free Trader in the fusion is left at liberty to fight for his convictions, if any proposal is brought forward which he thinks will raise the fiscal controversy. This is a great climb down for those who talked of admitting us into the ranks of the Liberal party. > >Let us see what the skeleton is. It is rather peculiar that, although the fusion was effected on the Wednesday, the bones of the skeleton were not knocked into shape until the following Friday. The *Age* and the *Argus* published particulars, and I shall read that published in the *Age.* There was a mistake in the *Argus* account, though it was corrected the following day. The *Age* report was - > >The policy basis of the union of three wings of the newly created Parliamentary Liberal party was yesterday made available for publication by **Mr. Alfred** Deakin and **Mr. Joseph** Cook. It is confined to the four planks, which had to be adjusted by the recent conferences between the three leaders and the discussions in the separate group meetings. > >I do not know when they were discussed in separate group meetings; but it must have been after the fusion was effected, because I never heard them discussed. > >The following is the text : - The Tariff. {: type="1" start="1"} 0. No interference with the Protectionist policy of the present Customs Tariff, or in rectifying anomalies. The New Protection. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. An amendment of the Constitution to enable a State Wages Board or Arbitration Court to refer to the Inter-State Commission for adjustment any unfair competitive rates or conditions existing in another State, whether arising from the absence of such Boards and Courts, or from their decisions. In federalizing unfairly competitive rates and conditions, the Inter-State Commission shall take account of the value of wages and of surrounding conditions. No amendment of the Constitution will be sought should all the States authorize the Commonwealth to legislate to this extent under the Constitution, Section 51, sub-section 37. The States to be invited to take this course without delay. Australian Defence. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. To develop the Australian Naval and Military Forces, with the advice and assistance of the Admiralty and War Office, by means of universal training, commenced in the schools - There is nothing even about manhood here - and a Commonwealth coastal defence, and also to recognise our Imperial responsibilities. Federal and State Finance. {: type="1" start="4"} 0. Pending the preparation of a complete scheme adjusting the future financial relations of the Commonwealth and the States, an interim arrangement to be proposed, under which the Customs and Excise revenue of the Common wealth shall be dealt with. That was the skeleton ; and it is certainly a skeleton of bones which are very dry, and some of which there is no attempt made to cover with flesh. For instance, there is no attempt to put any flesh on the first - the new Protection. Here is what the right honorable member for East Sydney said - Before the fusion the Free Traders in the direct Opposition requested **Mr. Joseph** Cook to make our position under the clause perfectly clear to **Mr. Deakin.** We pointed out that if an alteration in the Tariff was proposed which raised the fiscal issue as between Free Traders and Protectionists, that we Free Traders held ourselves perfectly free to vote according to our convictions. To make assurance doubly sure, when the united party met, I then defined our position again before the whole of the members of the new party. I pointed out to them that it would be most undesirable to leave any room for future recriminations as to the observance or non-observance of the basis of fusion. I told them that it must be understood distinctly that in becoming members of the new party we have agreed to a fiscal truce, and if the Tariff question is re-opened to rectify any alleged anomalies - " Alleged "- we have reserved our right to vote in accordance with our own convictions and those of our constituents. Now listen to the words concerning the fiscal truce - The fiscal truce is not to last only during the present Parliament, but during the next one. We come now to some of the bones which are to be partly covered with flesh, though it will be flesh into which the Government will never breathe the breath of life. We Liberals were flattered at the otuset by being told that the Deakin policy had been accepted by the Cook party. Personally, I expressed my doubts as to this when I first spoke ; and I shall read here the opinion of a gentleman, who, independent and attached to no party, is intrusted with the responsible duty of cabling to the Old Country what he believes to be the general effect of events here. A telegram from the *Times* correspondent here, appeared in that publication of 28th May as follows : - **Mr. Cook** has accepted the Deakin policy "on condition of the postponement, on one excuse or another, of all the principal planks." That is borne out right through - it is exactly the position. That is the great Conservative trump card at all times. If the Conservatives can not carry out their own policy they will block the other party from carrying out theirs, because, while there is delay, there is always a chance of something happening. An illustration of this was found in connexion with the selection of Dalgety as the Federal Capital site. If we had gone to a vote on that famous day of the postal crisis, Dalgety would have been the selected site to this day ; indeed, it would have been had we gone to the ballot forty-eight hours before we did. But there was delay ; and the expected did happen - the opponents of - the site won the day. On the question of hew Protection in 1907, the Deakin Government laid a memorandum on the table expressing their views. I think I am right in regarding this as a well-thought-out memorandum, embodying the views of the whole of the Government of the day. It contained the following: - These proposals, to some extent, cover the ground that is already occupied by legislation in some of the States. Every exercise of power by the Commonwealth, in matters in which Commonwealth and States have concurrent authority, must be subject to this condition. The co-operation of the States Governments is most desirable in every aspect ; but the Commonwealth cannot ignore its obligations, so far as the Constitution allows, to secure equitable and uniform industrial conditions in all the industries which come within the range of its fiscal legislation. The proposals for requiring the maintenance of fair and reasonable conditions in protected industries are simply a corollary to the power of imposing protective duties. To restrict the powers of the Commonwealth to the mere imposition of these duties, while the conditions under which the manufacture of protected articles is carried on differs so widely in the different States, would be to permit inequality, discrimination, and discord. The ideal of the Constitution is equality and uniformity in all national matters. With that end, it prohibits the imposition of taxation in such a way as to discriminate between States or parts of States. The ideal can hardly be realized if uniformity of Protection is coupled with wide diversity in the conditions of manufacture. Effective and useful as States industrial laws have in many cases proved, their operation is circumscribed by State boundaries, and it can hardly be claimed for them that they either do or can secure uniformity in the conditions of manufacture throughout Australia. No authority but the Commonwealth Parliament can do this, and the attempt to do it, in the way that has been outlined, is in fullest harmony with the Federal aims and character of the Constitution. After the matter had been thought over for twelve months, another memorandum was laid before the House, in which the following occurred : - As the power to protect the manufacturer is national. it follows that unless the Parliament of the Commonwealth also acquiries power to secure fair and reasonable conditions of employment to wage-earners, the policy of Protection must remain incomplete. The object of the proposed amendment of the Constitution will be to endow the Parliament of the Commonwealth with a grant of power to do economic justice in protected industries, with due regard to the unity of the Commonwealth and the diversity of local circumstances. And then followed the two clauses which it was proposed should be added to section 51 of the Constitution : - The employment and remuneration of labour in any industry which, in the opinion of the Inter-State Commission, is protected by duties of Customs. The grant to the Inter-State Commission, and its members of such powers of regulation, adjudication, and administration as the Parliament deems necessary for giving effect to any laws made in pursuance of the last preceding paragraph subject to such review, if an)', as the Parliament prescribes. What does the Prime Minister now propose to do? He proposes to wait on the States, although when speaking at Toowoomba he said that - Judging by the results of "persuasion" in the past in that direction the prospects were not extremely hopeful. He had then so little hope of obtaining anything from the States in this regard that he did not propose to attempt to try ; but he now goes back upon the contemplated amendment of the Constitution, and proposes to wait on the States. The honorable gentleman, speaking at Toowoomba, said - The Opposition, on the other hand, in the matter of the new Protection appear to offer us nothing but to promise inquiry and persuasion to be exercised by the Commonwealth upon the States. The *Age,* which in past years went unmistakably, on every occasion, for the outandout Liberal policy with all the vigour that it could bring to bear, did, with like vigour, its utmost, in season and out of season, to denounce the projected Coalition. It is now giving it its lukewarm support, and does not fail to point out the extent to which the policy of the fusion is falling short of the old Liberal proposals. Dealing with this particular question, it says - The Inter-State Commission is also designed to take the place of Parliament in safeguarding the wage rate of the various States. Ministers are endeavouring to arrange with the States to get their consent to the operation of this Commission. This is the modified form of the new Protection arrived at by the Coalition Government. The object is to avoid an amendment of the Constitution Act giving the Commonwealth the necessary powers. At the best it is a makeshift. Then again we have it stating in regard to the Government's scheme for dealing with industrial questions - >It may be readily admitted that this method is inferior to a direct appeal to the people to amend the Constitution. That is the most that the *Age* can say at present for the Government scheme. The most serious drawback to the proposal to consult the States - the very poison in it - is the delay that it necessarily involves. What does it assume? It assumes that six State Ministries and twelve State Houses of Parliament will have to consider the subject. They must certainly have time to consider it judiciously, and we cannot expect them, at the request of the Commonwealth, to lay aside other important business, and to pass the necessary enabling Bills without any serious discussion. If we are to allow them a reasonable time to do this, is it too much to say that at least six months must elapse before these six Ministries and twelve Houses of Parliament can deal with the question? {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- Six years. {: #subdebate-4-0-s4 .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I think that we should say that they had dealt with the matter very quickly if, at the end of six months, we obtained their answer to the Government proposal. If we do not obtain it before the end of the year this Parliament will have been dissolved, and we shall lose the chance of taking a referendum on the proposed amendment of the Constitution at the forthcoming general election. In other words, the great policy of delay will have conquered, and new Protection will be shelved for at least three years. That, to my mind, is the sting in the whole of this part of the Government's programme. Then we come to the question of defence. 'I have already quoted some remarks made by the Prime Minister at Toowoomba as showing, the importance that he attached to the subject. We 'must all be seized of its importance. But how long is Australia going to tolerate what I may describe as the criminal neglect of the Federal Legislature ;n putting off from year to year the settlement of the question? We are told over and. over again that even had Ave started in 1901 we should not have had too much time to complete our defences before the enemy may be at our gates. Yet here we are in 1909 practically no further forward than we were in 1901. We have had one or two defence policies submitted to the Parliament; we have had submitted to us a policy upon which both the Liberal and the Labour parties were united, and which, had they chosen, they could have adopted. But the whole question is once more hung up, and we can expect practically no definite defence policy during the present session. What I expect is that the defence policy will still be " under consideration " when our treaties with Eastern countries are determined and the enemy is at our gates. I come now to the question of our financial relations with the States, concerning which the *Age* writes of the Ministerial policy - >We" are told that a "temporary arrange- > ment " is to be made with the States for a modified scheme of distributing the Customs revenue. But that, of course, really means nothing, because it depends on the States, which have so far refused all arrangement. Referring to the Labour party's statement that they had grave misgivings as to what would be the adjustment of the finances effected by the Coalition, the *Age* says " There are reasons for those misgivings." Here again we are confronted with the great policy of delay. As showing how this question of delay comes in, let me quote what the Prime Minister said in this House a few days ago as to the proposed temporary arrangement - >As the suggestion to attempt in the short time at our disposal this session to prepare an amendment of the Constitution, if that were necessary, or even to pass a measure embodying a final and permanent settlement of the financial relations of the Commonwealth and the States, would be beyond our powers, even if we had nothing else except an Appropriation Bill, an interim arrangement must be made. We need the most careful and thorough investigation oi» all sides of this problem, especially when it is taken in connexion with the existing loan obligations of the States and the financial future of the Commonwealth. In order to meet this difficulty and to allow an advance towards a final settlement, a scheme is being prepared by the present Treasurer that will enable us to make an interim arrangement for a period as long as will be necessary to permit the vaster financial problem to be studied. . . It will be for Parliament to determine how long it shall prevail. I have mentioned five years from the present time, to allow the whole problem to be fully discussed', and remitted finally- to the people at a general election. That will a'low a margin of time to put the scheme into form. A little later on the honorable gentleman said that the scheme had yet to be shaped by the Treasurer. It is, to say the least, extraordinary that a delay of five years should be necessary to enable the subject to be considered in all its details. I was under the impression that every Federal Ministry that we have had had considered it. Did not **Sir George** Turner, with the consent of the present Prime Minister, submit a scheme to this Parliament? He asked for no further time to consider the matter. He brought down a scheme, and was prepared to give effect to it, if it -were approved. Did not the present Treasurer, as a member of the late Deakin Government, also submit a scheme? The right honorable member did not ask for five years more in which to consider it. He was ready with a scheme which he believed to be a good and sufficient one. Then, again, the honorable member for Hume, as Treasurer in the Deakin Government, brought down last year another scheme, in which we had the following statement - >Whatever arrangements are finally made, I think that we may lay this down as a fixed principle that these two operations, the taking over of the debts and the distribution of future surpluses to the States, must be taken together. . . In the year 191 1 the whole of the Customs and Excise revenue will be at the absolute disposal of the Commonwealth, and I feel strongly- This was the voice of the Ministry - that the greatest effort of which we are possible must be made to have this matter satisfactorily settled before that time arrives. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- I was speaking with the concurrence of the Prime Minister. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- Of course, the honorable member must have been speaking with the concurrence of the whole Government. There was no request then for further time for consideration. The Deakin Government were then prepared to urge the adoption of their scheme before 19 n. The honorable member for Hume criticised the scheme previously submitted by the right honorable- member for Swan, saying - >It appears to me that this scheme **(Sir John Forrest's)** had the same fatal objection as that proposed by **Sir George** Turner. It was merely temporary. It provided that the finances of the Commonwealth and the States, as regarded the payment of surpluses and the payment of interest and redemption of debts, would be inextricably connected for a very long period of time. ... I have been able to find what I consider is essential in this regard in one paper only, that contributed by the Hon. Robert Harper, M.P. I have therefore adopted his main principle in order to effect an early and complete severance between the Commonwealth and State finances. I feel confident that unless this is done there will be unending trouble in the future. The present Prime Minister expected me, as one of his party last year, to assist in carrying into effect the scheme then submitted, and if the opportunity had offered I was prepared to do so. He now tells us that it was wholly a temporary arrangement ; that, so far from being able to settle the problem now, another five years is required for its consideration. The proposal for delay, I am satisfied, comes from the Cook section of the Cabinet. The financial relation c-f the States and the Com-» monwealth is the most important of all the questions that engage our attention. Until we have settled it we can never hope to have done with friction as to the rights, of the States, and until we have done with the question of State rights the Federation will never progress. It is the pivot on which every other Federal question turns. So long as the States can hamper and tie up the Commonwealth, so long will theyendeavour to do so. The change that has taken place in the views of the people on the question of Federation is, to say the least, singular. During the Federal campaign in the several States the Conservatives were the strongest supporters of Federation, whilst its strongest opponents were the Labour party. To-day, however, the strongest supporters of the States are the Conservative party, and the staunchest supporters of the Commonwealth are the Labour party. What was responsible for the change? {: .speaker-JYR} ##### Mr Fairbairn: -- We wish to maintain an honorable bargain. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- The reason is that when Federation was advocated the Conservatives thought that in the Commonwealth Parliament they would be the " top dog," and when they found that they were not, they proceeded to favour the States. We now hear them constantly decrying the Federation, and bolstering up the States. I see no reason - save the disunion in the Government ranks : the fact that the State Rights people have the upper hand - why we should not be asked now to carry into effect the scheme submitted last year by the Deakin Government. We could carry it, and it would be carried in this House if it were put forward by the present Government, since the' support of the Liberals on this side of the House and of the Labour party is assured. {: .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY:
DARWIN, TASMANIA · ALP -- - It piles millions on to Victoria. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- Victoria, like the rest of Australia, has to give up something for the benefit of Federation. Above all things, we have to be Nationalists and Federalists. With me, Australia comes first in this House, and the States second. {: .speaker-JYR} ##### Mr Fairbairn: -- Would the honorable member give away the Capital site ? {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I have given away nothing in that matter. I have stood by the Constitution. I have said on all platforms that it was Fart of the Federal bargain 4that the Capital should be in New South Wales, and that it should be established at an early date. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr Poynton: -- It was the fusion that gave it away. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- Quite so. I shall not discuss that matter further, although I must say that I have very grave misgivings when I recall the answer made by way of interjection, by the Minister of Home Affairs, to the statement made in this House a few days ago by the honorable member for New England that the Government were now making the Seat of Government Bill a Government measure. The honorable gentleman made the doubtful reply, " We are going to carry out the will of the House." r hope that it is not going to be made a Government measure. If it is, it will meet with opposition as bitter as has ever been seen in this Chamber. The late Deakin Government did not make it a Government measure. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr Coon: -- But the Labour Government did. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- The Labour Government had not an opportunity to do so. We ought to object as strongly as possible to delay in the settlement, of the financial relations of the States and the Commonwealth. Let us remove as soon as we can all causes of friction between them. In America it took many years, the expenditure of millions of money, and the loss of tens of thousands of lives, to settle the relative positions of the States and the Federation. Every citizen of .Australia has a duty to his State and a duty to the nation, but the State Rights people will not realize what the civil war in America was heeded to demonstrate, that the paramount duty of the citizen is to his nation, and his subordinate duty to his State. If we bring . pressure to bear to secure the settlement of the financial question, we shall get rid of the chief cause of friction. In this we should have the support of the honorable member for Mernda, who pointed out, when explaining it, that his scheme was as fair a one as the States can expect to get. I remember hearing some one say at the time that those representing the States were fools not to accept it, because they would never get a better offer. Every offer made since has been worse than its predecessor, because the demands on the Commonwealth revenue are increasing. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr Poynton: -- The *Age* says now that £5,000,000 per annum should be the maximum sum returned to the States. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I am very anxious to learn what interim arrangement is to be proposed. Is the Commonwealth going to insist upon retaining more than one-fourth of the Customs and Excise revenue, or is it, notwithstanding that it has been starving: its Departments to. such an extent that it now needs ,£2,000,000 to put the Post Office alone in a proper position, going to return to the States more than it can afford to part with, and borrow, money to meet its own proper expenditure? I hope that it will not do the latter. If any proposed interim arrangement will not be better than that which now exists, the Braddon provision should be left alone. It does not expire, as some persons seem to think; it has force until Parliament chooses to amend it. I hope that in any arrangement with the States, care will be taken to provide that the Commonwealth shall retain sufficient revenue for the legitimate needs of its Departments. In the past we have paid to the States millions more that they were entitled to. It becomes a question whether the Cook section of the Coalition has gained the victory. I think that, as the *Times* correspondent has pointed out, it has accepted the policy of the Liberals on condition' of. the postponement, for one reason and another, of all the prominent planks in that policy. That is the price paid for the fusion. The Liberal policy which I have supported in this Parliament has been abandoned. The Liberals have been knocked on the head, or drugged, by the Conservatives, into a political sleep from which their enemies hope they will never awaken. Why has this happened? The reason given for the fusion is that it was needed to defeat the Labour party, whose defeat, as the *Age* points out, involves the partial defeat of the cause of progress. I would not mind it so much if I thought that it meant only the partial defeat of that cause. I am afraid that it is a much more serious matter. The Liberal party has practically been wiped out of existence. The Liberals have handed themselves over, body and soul, to their enemies, and must go to the next election seeking the return, not of. Liberals, but of fusionists, of whom the majority will be opposed to Liberalism. I come now to a subject about which there may be great difference of opinion. Having been a Liberal and Progressive from my boyhood, nothing has caused me greater regret than the division of the Liberal party. I remember that in the sixties and seventies it was united, and, as the result, Victoria was then far ahead of the rest of Australia in progressive legislation. {: .speaker-JYR} ##### Mr Fairbairn: -- Naturally. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- While I remember that time, I doubt if the honorable member does. Certainly those with whom he associates were bitterly opposed to the legislation of which I speak. That period was followed by the Coalition period, when the ship of State got into the doldrums, and stagnation followed. Subsequently the Labour party started, and from that day to this we have had colourless legislation in Victoria, and, I believe, in some of the other States. I wonder that the Labour party insists upon perpetuating the division in the Liberal ranks. {: .speaker-JYR} ##### Mr Fairbairn: -- Is the legislation which brought the Wages Boards into existence colourless ? {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- No. But the institution of Wages Boards was bitterly opposed by some who now extol it, in the fear that if they did not they might get something worse. **Sir Alexander** Peacock, in fighting for the establishment of Wages Boards, had to meet the opposition of all the forces of Conservatism. Years ago we were told by the *Argus* that the adoption of an eight-hour day would ruin Australia. Now that journal supports the eight-hour cause. Similarly, we were told that the White Australia doctrine would ruin this country. Now the *Argus* tells us that White Australia is not a doctrine of local politics, but rather the local expression of an ineradicable instinct possessed by the whole of Europe. We were told that the deportation of the kanakas would result in cruelty, murder, and bloodshed in the islands ; but nothing of that sort has taken place. We were told that the Wage Boards would cause ruin; now they are extolled by those who opposed their institution. It is nonsense to talk of dividing the people into Labourites and antiLabourites. The proper division of human minds is into Liberal and Conservative. A Liberal is always seeking to improve the condition of his fellow-beings. He is eager for change, in order that something better than the present may come about. The Conservative, on the other hand, dreads change, and can never be persuaded that good will come from it. Time and again he has to confess that he was wrong in the past, but he learns nothing from experience. The Conservative has nothing to do but to sit down and block all proposals for reform. There is no cause for a split in the Conservative ranks. But as the Liberals and Progressives include men of all shades of opinion, from the moderates to the red-hot Socialists, there is eternal dissension in their ranks. Thus Conservatism repeatedly triumphs. I regret that Liberalism has, on this occasion, struck its flag to Conservatism. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- It has not done so. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -The Liberal flag is at least only at half-mast. Since becoming a member of this Parliament, I have firmly held the belief that, had it been left to the Labour members themselves, there would have been no great difficulty in arranging for a working alliance with the Liberals on the planks common to both. Unfortunately, outside bodies have controlled the situation. The Labour party has been accused of sacrificing the success of its principles to secure its own success, and, seeing that it will not coalesce with men holding common views, it appears that it is prepared to keep back the triumph of its principles until the party itself can triumph with them. {: .speaker-JYR} ##### Mr Fairbairn: -- It will not accept the "Good as a Labour man" excuse. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- There were nine planks in the platform put forward by the Labour party at the last election. Asone of them - that requiring a Tariff referendum - is not worth consideration, there remain only eight to deal with. On six of these every member of the Liberal party would work loyally with the Labourites. Why, then could not the two parties work hand in hand until the six planks had been achieved? Had there been such an alliance, the Conservatives would have been wiped out. It is a great pity that we should be divided. But who are those who say that the Labour party is sacrificing the success of its principles to secure its own success as a party? Have not the Liberals who are now sitting on the Ministerial side of the Chamber sacrificed their principles? For what have they sacrificed them ? {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- Far office. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- No. To secure their reelection. I confess that their position is difficult, and calculated to try the grit and strength of any man. It is a very difficult thing for a man to fight an election when opposed, not merely by his natural political enemies, but also by those who formerly had been his allies in Parliament. To put a man in such a position tests his principles to the utmost. But if the demand is not to be answered, if we are to put our seats before our principles, there must be an end to all good government. I know no excuse for the action of honorable members opposite. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr Carty Salmon: -- What would happen to the policy of a party if the party disappeared ? {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I would sooner see the policy disappear with the party than the party remain and the policy be swamped. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- There is no gain in either case. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- There is this gain, that if you believe in, and fight for, and go to your political death for, your principles, others who believe in them will arise to carry on the fight afterwards. Nothing stirs men so much as to see another man going to his death for the sake of his principles. They say, " That man's principles must have been worth fighting for, worth risking his life for " ; and they study them, and are induced to take them up. But if they find that principles are put .down or delayed by those who hold them, in order that they may be saved from opposition at the elections, and that they may coalesce with the former opponents of those principles, you will get no one outside to take them up and fight for them. Men will say : " Those principles are not worth fighting for." It is a matter of intense regret that the Liberal party of Australia should be divided. I did hope that we, at all events, in the Federal Parliament, would be able to remain united. I had been so sickened with the state of coalition politics in Victoria that I hoped the coalition business would never enter the Commonwealth Parliament. But now we have exactly the same state of affairs as we have had to put up with in the States. The Prime Minister at Brisbane said of the alliance or fusion - >There are various kinds of combinations, from alliances based on principles to fusions of temporary unions and understandings. I won't say which will be the outcome of the present situation. He was in doubt then as to what would become of it. The correspondent of the London *Times* expressed his opinion of the outcome of the fusion as follows - >It is a mere ephemeral alliance between sections which are still at variance on the most important points of Ministerial policy, but which were determined to oust the Government before a definite appointment of a High Commissioner or a delegate to the Imperial Conference could be made. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr Carty Salmon: -- Is he not an avowed sympathizer with the Labour party ? {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I never knew it, and should not think so. He also says - > **Mr. Deakin** seems to hope that the temporary association of the three sections will eventually cause an approximation of views and a consolidation into one party, but it is more probable that whenever a dissolution comes the whole of the present arrangement will be shattered at the polls. That prediction already appears" very likely to be fulfilled. The fusion in the House has not produced a fusion in the country. Let us examine the position in the country. There is a Commonwealth Liberal party,' but the Conservative section do not trust it. On one particular day, the *Argus* published under the cross headings, " United Party Action," " Hearty Co-operation," the following - >Members from both wings of the Federal party heartily recognise the necessity for a thoroughly-organized campaign in the constituencies, and action is already being taken to commence work on a common basis. Singularly enough, on that very "date, the *Age* published an article headed ' ' Conservative Plot; Secret Organization." Let us see what this was. This is the letter published in that article as having been sent out to members of the Employers' Federation. It is headed " strictly private." I commend this to my late Liberal colleagues as an indication of the support that they are likely to get - >Dear **Sir. -** I am requested to bring the following private matter under the consideration of your Executive with a view of your appointing delegates to be present at an important meeting to be held on Tuesday, 22nd June, in the Council Chamber of this Federation at 8 p.m. The object of the meeting is to prepare for the coming Commonwealth elections, and to arrange a policy - I thought the Commonwealth Liberal partyhad arranged .the policy, and that the Prime Minister had launched it at an enthusiastic meeting in the Melbourne Town Hall, but here on the 10th June, it was proposed to hold a meeting to arrange a policy - and funds to insure the return of men in support of the present fused parties. . . I am further directed to ask you, pending the holding of this meeting, to arrange that no funds be subscribed or promised to any political organization - That is rough on the Commonwealth Liberal party - and further, to request that this private matter be strictly con fined to the members of your own association. -By order,Robt.S,Walpole, Secty. The right honorable member for East Sydney once described that man as a perfect ass, and in view of that letter, I am not prepared to dispute the wisdom of his remark. Let us see how the fusionists are to be supported. This is from the *Argus* ofyesterday or the day before - There are at the present time three propaganda bodies associated with the Fusion party - the Farmers' League, the Women's National League, and the Commonwealth Liberal League. By the way, it is a singular thing that the men who most bitterly opposed the introduction of women's suffrage should be the very men who, without the women's leagues, would neverhave a platform in Victoria from which to address a meeting, or an audience to listen to them. We do not find those gentlemen addressing meetings of men. It may be because the women are less likely to contradict them than the men would be. When I read the names of some of the speakers, I do not know why they should inflict awful nights of torture upon their lady friends. To sit and listen to some of those speeches must be dreadful. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable member is getting all the cheering from his own side. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I did not expect one of the speakers at those meetings to cheerme. He gets his cheers from those meetings -the quiet, soft little cheers that the women give. The *Argus* says - The two organizations first mentioned have been in existence for many years, and have fought at each election against the Labour policy. The Commonwealth Liberal League has just been formed, and is not yet in close touch with the electors. Note this as the *Argus'* opinion of it - It was called into existence in the first instance to help **Mr. Deakin** to fight a three-cornered election, that is to say, it was intended to assist candidates put into the field against members in the Victorian Corner as well as against Labour members. We can understand why they will not have the Commonwealth Liberal party at any price. One reason why I rejoiced in the formation of that party was that I thought it would put men in the field to fight those Victorian corner men - Now that a fusion of the Federal parties has been achieved, it is assumed that it will employ all its energies in helping the members of the former Deakin party to retain their seats against Labour nominees and also to swell the vote of the other members of the Fusion party. The three organizations areto retain their separate identity...... The Farmers' League and the Women's National League. . . will devote themselves to securing the return of the sitting members, and will not make any effort to become the sole or dominating organizations in the constituencies of the members of the old Deakin party. That is very cheering to those members who have joined that party in the expectation of getting assistance from it - Before this arrangement was arrived at some branches of the Liberal League had been formed in the constituencies of one or two members of the old Victorian Corner party, but it is understood that in the altered circumstances the work of organization in those electorates will now be left to the Farmers' and Women's Leagues. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Why this sneer at the farmers ? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- Because the other side only use the farmer's name. {: .speaker-JYR} ##### Mr Fairbairn: -- One of your own men said,To hell with the farmers." {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- That is not true. {: #subdebate-4-0-s5 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I did not catch the remark of the honorable member for Fawkner, but I heard the honorable member for Hume declare that it was not true. I ask the honorable member for Hume to withdraw that statement. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- I will apologize if I am wrong, but the honorable member for Fawkner said a member of the Labour party had said, " To hell with the farmers." I say that that is not true, or, at any rate, it is not true so far as I know. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- There is so much noise that I am unable to hear whether the, Honorable member for Hume has, or has not, withdrawn that remark. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- If you, sir, saythat I have to withdraw, I will withdraw. I was simply denying what seemed to be an inaccurate statement. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- The *Argus* further says - In other words, the Farmers' League and the Women's League, which are the organizations associated with the members of the former Victorian Corner, will practically confine their attentions to the electorates represented by those members, while the Liberal League will apply itself to helping **Mr. Deakin** and his former followers. So that they will all have to go "on their own." They have not fused in the country, and are not likely to fuse. Can you imagine the Conservatives in the district of Corio, who have spent their time and breath at every election since Federation in bitterly denouncing and opposing their present member, turning round and working for him at the next election, and swallowing all that they have said against him, just because he has joined with some of their party ? Go through the electorates, " and hear the expressions of opinion. Some of them, as the honorable member for Barrier said last night, will always vote against Labour candidates, but many of those who will vote will, to a great extent, cease to work, whilst scores will refrain from voting at all. Picture the state of the electorate of Flinders. Can we imagine the Liberals there, who bitterly opposed the honorable member for Flinders at the last election, turning round and supporting him now ? At the last general election the Prime Minister went to Warragul, and, although it was a wet night, he had, I was told by the Melbourne pressmen, a splendid audience of something like 800 people, and he had never been heard to speak better. He worked up great enthusiasm; and in what cause? Against the present honorable member for Flinders. Is the Prime Minister going down at the next general election to speak in favour of the honorable member for Flinders? If he does, what will be the result? The Liberals there will either not vote at all, or,' as a. protest, will vote for any Labour candidate that comes forward. And the same thing will take place at Laanecoorie. Bourke, and other electorates. Men are human, and we cannot expect them to feel or do otherwise. We were told by the *Argus* of Tuesday - >A most notable and serious fact in connexion with Commonwealth elections is that half the electors do not record their vote. . . What is really desirable is that the people should somehow be roused to take more interest in Federal affairs. . . Clearly one of the most obvious methods of effecting this purpose is to support the associations which fake upon themselves the duty of arousing and organizing the electors. Amongst the organizations which have in the past done the best service in combating the aims of the revolutionary Socialists- I might say that they combatted the aims of the Liberal party at the same time - the Farmers' League and the Women's National League stand out as specially worthy of recognition and support. T agree most heartily with the observation that the great blot in electoral matters is that only half the electors go to the poll. But is the present state of political affairs going to encourage, more to go to the poll ? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Yes. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I say, no. At the last general election we heard of men going to meetings, declaring certain principles, and denouncing certain other men. We believed those men to be telling the truth : but what do we find now ? The denouncers and the denounced are sitting cheek by. jowl. If the people read *Hansard* and the newspapers they will find there recorded most bitter attacks on the Prime Minister and his party by those who are now sitting by his side. There is the stirring speech of the Prime Minister, already quoted in the House - a speech which I cheered to the echo because I believed in and felt the truth of every word of it - in which he talked about those opposed to him having the wreckage of all parties behind them. Could I think that, before ten months were over, the whole of the wreckage, together with the wreckage of the Liberal party, would be found sitting behind the Prime Minister ? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Did the honorable member think the Labour party would put him out after that ? {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- We knew long ago that the Labour party would put him out; and I have already expressed my regret in this connexion. I never shall cease to regret the division in the Liberal ranks, because it only enables our enemies to conquer. But what will the outside public, of whom it is complained that they will not go to the poll, think when they read of these matters? I know how I feel myself. As I said before, I have ever, since a youth, been a keen follower of the Progressive party in this State. I never cared a rap for any personal defeat, though I always grieved if the party were defeated. I came into this House believing there was a future for the party to which I had always belonged, and that we should . increase in numbers at the next election. But what do I see now? I am left stranded. I have had to sever myself from a leader for whom I had the very highest opinion ever since the day he stood against **Mr. Harper** for West Bourke for the State Parliament. What did the present Prime Minister then think? He did not place value on his seat, or anybody else's seat ; and his first act in political life was one that raised him high in the opinion of the public, though it brought him the contempt of old politicians. I remember the late **Mr. James** Munro saying at the time, " Oh, it was very great, and very noble; but if he had been long in politics he would not do silly things like that." At a polling booth in West Bourke, in the election to which I am now referring, the voting papers ran short. If there had been sufficient to supply everybody who came, there would have been no difference in the result; but some insinuation was- made. It was the present Prime Minister's first entry into politics, and he said, " Dearly as the seat has been fought and won, I am not going to hold it, with any question of whether or not I represent the electors ' ' ; and he handed in his resignation. {: .speaker-JMG} ##### Mr Atkinson: -- The Prime Minister holds the same opinion to-day. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I suppose he does; but, in any case, the honorable member for Wilmot knows nothing at all about the case, which occurred, probably, before he was born, or, at any rate, before he could think of politics. The present Prime Minister sought re-election, and went through another stiff fight, but he did not get the reward of his chivalrous conduct, because he was defeated. From that moment to the present, I have been the honorable gentleman's great admirer; and I came into this Parliament with the greatest satisfaction, feeling that I could pledge my political life in his hands, and follow him. I am glad I did not do so; and I say that with the greatest feeling of regret. For the honorable gentleman personally I have, and always will have, the very greatest amount of respect; but recent events have made me - and. it is a sad position when a man gets to this stage - lose faith in my fellow-man. It has been said by one newspaper that the only man of whom it was safe to speak well or predict anything during his life was the late George Higinbotham. I used to think that I could speak in the same way of the present Prime Minister.. Now I desire to say that I do not share the opinion or join in the charges that have been made in the House against the honorable gentleman of having sold this one or that one for any personal gain ; I do not believe that for a moment. I believe, rather, that the honorable member has done, what he has often done - sacrificed himself and his better judgment to the demands and appeals of his supporters who are afraid for their seats - has sacrificed himself to the impetuous urging of outside men - I could name two, but I shall not - who were eager for Ministerial office again. We have only to read the history of the fusion to see that what I say. is true. We know that on one occasion the Prime Minister distinctly said that he would not take office in any combination of parties that was formed, but would stand aside. His followers, however, would not allow him to do so; they would not go into this fusion unless he was made leader. We were told by the newspapers that the leadership was conceded to the Prime Minister ; but that is not so. The leadership, we have learned since, was not settled until the day after the fusion vote was carried by the various parties. Did they not all, at 2 o'clock on the Wednesday, go into the Opposition room - to do what ? To elect a leader ; and if the leadership had been conceded an election was not necessary. What was proposed there? It was proposed to go to a ballot. No wonder that Liberals said that the meeting was no place for them, seeing that they were asked to go to a ballot, wherein thirty-two men would vote against ten. They wrangled until z.30 o'clock, but did not settle the question ; and they went back again at 5 . What did we read in the newspaper ? That the right honorable member for East Sydney desired to propose the honorable member for Parramatta. But the honorable member for Parramatta, having heard in the meantime that the Liberals would not join the Coalition unless the present Prime Minister was made leader, did what I have known other men do under similar circumstances, made a virtue of necessity, and proposed the Prime Minister himself. Office is no seeking of the present Prime Minister - leadership is no seeking of his. He has been forced into the. position, and he has yielded and sacrificed himself to the demands of other people. I have infinitely more sympathy with, than any desire to use terms of denunciation against the honorable member in his present position. Nothing has pained me more during this discussion, or during the discussion that took place on the defeat of the Fisher Government, than the hard and bitter words used against the Prime Minister. If. anything could pain me more it was to see sitting behind the Prime Minister members of the Opposition, including the right honorable member for East Sydney, chuckling to themselves as every stab was made, as much as to say - " Give it to him - shove it in." {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Who put the stabs in? {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I do not care who put the stabs in. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The stabs were by those now sitting alongside the honorable member for Gippsland. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- The allies who- laughed at the Prime Minister were infinitely worse than the stabbers. On the Friday I said to some of my old colleagues, in reference to this incident, " I wish you had been sitting with me here, in order to witness what I witnessed." On Friday, when the honorable member for West Sydney made the bitter remark about Judas, the honorable member for Moreton, and two other honorable members of the then Opposition, greeted it with a loud guffaw. ' This is the sort of ally and friend to which the Prime Minister has sacrificed himself. It is not the first time that the honorable gentleman has sacrificed himself, believing himself to be right, and, therefore, I have no sympathy at all with the bitter remarks made in reference to him. At the same time, I say that it has been a matter of the intensest regret and soreness to me that I have had to withdraw myself from the Prime Minister, and that I could practically see now no outlet - no future for the Liberal party in Australia. What is going to happen? The policy of delay will be carried on until the Prime Minister will be driven to break through it. He will be driven by his own consciousness, as he has been in the past, to take a stand. What will be the result? The honorable gentleman is in the Ministry, and here I might say that by this fusion he has not made one solitary friend amongst his allies, while he has lost the friendship of thousands throughout Australia. <A gentleman from Sydney told me the other day that a member of what he called the Cook party said : " What do you think of your friend **Mr. Deakin** now?". And the gentleman replied : " Well it does not lie in your mouth to denounce him seeing you have coalesced with him." To that the member of the Cook party replied : "Yes, we have killed him politically." {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Some silly twaddle ! {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- These are the sort of bitter remarks which we feeL {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- By whom made? {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- One of the personal friends of the Minister of Defence? {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- T did not say so. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Why not say so? The honorable member has said several unfair things in the last few moments. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I do not say so, because I do not know it to be a fact. Of course, such remarks do not cause any pain or sorrow amongst those who have always denounced the Prime Minister, or amongst those who have given him the lie direct on the floor of the House, and have had to withdraw the charge. But it does cause sorrow to me, and to all who, like me, believe in him and have had faith in him. We regret what he has done, but believe that he considers that in so sacrificing himself he has done what is best for the country. When the time comes for him to be driven out of the Ministry - as he will be driven out of it - what will happen? The deluge "of charges of treachery which was turned upon him by the right honorable member for East Sydney, some time ago, will be as nothing compared with the torrent of abuse that will be showered upon him by the majority of the supporters of the present Government. I look forward with dread to that time. Honorable members can well understand why I feel so bitterly regarding the position that the honorable gentleman now occupies. Indeed, I feel so sore, and so hopeless do I think the outlook from the Liberal point of view, that if I did not feel under a personal obligation to those who returned me at the last election to again go before them and seek reelection, I should not hesitate to retire from public life. Why did I fight the last election? Why did I defeat **Mr. Allan** McLean? Why is that gentleman not here to-day to participate in the success of his former colleagues, who are now sitting with the Prime Minister? What reason had the Liberal party for opposing him at the last general election ? Every one knows what that reason was, and I repeat, that if it were not that I feel under an obligation to those who fought for me and returned me, to again go before them, I should have no hesitation in retiring from "public life. As it is, 1 shall seek reelection, but without any heart in the fight. ' I had a great heart in entering into the contest at the last election, but at the next I shall have none. Having- regard to the opinions that I hold, can any one imagine, for one moment, that I am likely to do anything else on this occasion than to vote that I have no confidence in the present Ministry? There is only one other matter to which I desire to allude, and it has no bearing upon party politics. I refer to the fact that the Prime Minister, in being an (honorary member of the Cabinet, occupies a position unique in the political history of Australia. Honorable members, perhaps, do not realize his extraordinary position under the Constitution. Perhaps no member of a Ministry has more important executive acts to perform than the Prime Minister himself, and yet, so far as I can gather from the best authorities, the honorable member for Ballarat, with the exception of the honorable member for Brisbane, is the one member of the present Government who is unable to perform any of them. Section 62 of the Constitution provides - There shall be a Federal Executive Council to advise the Governor-General in the government of the Commonwealth........ while in section 64, we have the provision - The Governor-General may appoint officers to administer such Departments of State of the Commonwealth as the Governor-General in Council may establish. Such officers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor-General. They shall be members of the Federal Executive Council, and shall be the Queen's Ministers of State for the Commonwealth. In other words, the Constitution provides that only those who are appointed to administer the Departments of State - such departments as the Governor -in-Council may establish - shall be the Queen's Ministers of State. It also declares that until the Parliament otherwise provides there shall be only seven Ministers. The words "Queen's Ministers of State," did not appear in the draft clause, and the whole question was threshed out at the Federal Convention of. 1891, which drew up the first Federal Constitution. It was raised by **Mr. -** now **Sir Henry** - Wrixon, who was led to bring it forward because of a ruling given by the Supreme Court of Victoria in the famous case of *Ah Toy* v. *Musgrave.* **Mr. Wrixon** said - There is one point with regard to this clause to which I wish to call the attention of the honorable member in charge of the Bill, and with regard to which I propose to add a few words at the end of the clause. This clause may be said toconstitute responsible government in the Dominion.It provides that the Governor-General may appoint officers to administer Departments of State and it declares that such officers shall be members of the Federal Executive Council. I have no doubt that the effect and operation of that will be to constitute a system of responsible government in the Dominion; but the question which I think requires some consideration, and some slight addition to the clause, is whether it will clothe them with all the vast constitutional powers, which, under the system of the English Government, belong to responsible Ministers of the Crown. I myself do not believe that it will. The greatness of these powers, and how vast is the authority which any responsible Minister of the Crown exercises in binding the Crown and the Sovereign, is well known, of course, to all my legal friends, and was well illustrated in the old case which I mentioned to the Convention before, namely, the case of Buron and Denman. The Supreme Court of Victoria has held that similar words in our Constitution Act do not carry with them any such implied authority to the Minister who ho'ds any such office, on the ground that the Statute that created the office, and defined his duties, is not held to carry with it the larger powers to which I have adverted. Impressing upon the Convention the desirableness ofhaving these matters cleared up, **Mr. Wrixon** said - It is highly important that the Ministers of the Crown here should in regard to all Australian matters, be invested with exactly the same presumptions of authority, and ratification from the Crown, as apply to the English Ministers with regard to all English matters. ... I point out this difficulty, and to meet it would propose to add to the end of the clause the words " and responsible Ministers of the Crown." **Sir Samuel** Griffith strongly opposed that proposition, saying that he did not think it necessary. He expressed the opinion that the wording of the clause, as it stood, was sufficient, but **Mr. Wrixon** was supported by the late **Mr. C.** C. Kingston, and the present Prime Minister, the latter saying - There are two points to be considered in that connexion. First of all in Victoria, a man remains an Executive Councillor after he has ceased to be a Minister, after he has ceased to be the head of a department of state. There is no distinction here between those who are Executive Councillors and not Ministers and those who are Executive Councillors and Ministers. And then in the second place, it might be contended that the authority here given to the Federal Executive Councillors is an authority which is vested in them as a whole, sitting in Council. It is a body which advises the Governor, and on whose advice the Governor acts ; but it does not clothe the Ministers individually with that power and authority which Ministers in Great Britain possess as responsible Ministers of the Crown. After a lengthy argument the present Prime Minister also said - In fact, I do not know any point in the Bill which is more vital than this point as to whether the members whom the Governor calls to his councils to undertake the administration of the State are really responsible Ministers of the Crown in both senses of the term, because in the first instance, the power of the Crown itself is nowhere defined, and cannot be defined under thisConstitution.Itisvastandvague;butall the power which the Crown exercises Ministers must be able to exercise when the need arises, and it can scarcely be possible, even in this Constitution, excellent as it is in most respects, to embody all possible contingencies, or all possible affairs. It is quite open for Ministers of the Commonwealth in the discharge of their duties to undertake actions which it would be impossible to define within the four corners of the Bill - to undertake actions which it may be were not departmental actions, which were outside any Department which had been constituted up to that time ; and which, therefore, they had received no authority from the Governor-General to deal with, and we should have Ministers referred to this limited and rigid Constitution for the title deeds of their authority. In conclusion, he asked - >Why should we not put in the clause any phrase the honorable member prefers, so long as it conveys without a scintilla of doubt to the Ministers of the Commonwealth all the powers which are possessed by Ministers of the Crown in Great Britain? **Sir Samuel** Griffith still remained unconvinced, but the honorable member for Ballarat stood by his guns, and, replying to him, said - >I would say, briefly, in answer to the honorable gentleman, that in the very case to which he has referred, the Supreme Court of Victoria held that the words " responsible Minister of the Crown " appeared in certain Statutes passed by the Victorian Parliament since the passing of the Constitution ; but that they did not appear in the Constitution Act, and a majorityof the Bench declared that if they had they would have made a very great difference in the way in which they would have to regard Ministerial authority in the Colony. > > **Sir Samuel** Griffith. But the Privy Council said that was wrong ! {: #subdebate-4-0-s6 .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist -- As far as I am acquainted with their judgment, the Privy Council did not enter upon that particular issue at all. They have not even considered the point, to say nothing of giving an opinion upon it. The judgment, therefore, remains for what it is worth as a judgment of the Supreme Court, and if the words my honorable colleague desires to introduce had been inserted in the Victorian Constitution Act, the Ministers of Victoria would have had greater power than they now possess. Later in the debate, the present Prime Minister said - >Complete as is the skeleton which the honorable member, **Sir Samuel** Griffith, has given us in these clauses of constitutional government, I maintain that it is, after all, only a skeleton, and that that life which is implied by its being administered by responsible Ministers has yet to be imparted to it. We do not desire to introduce words which might seem to claim for Australia vast Royal prerogatives; but we do wish to introduce words claiming all the prerogatives of the Crown relating to Australia. After further discussion, **Sir Samuel** Griffith said - >I have been all along trying to meet my honorable friends for the purpose of removing any doubt. A form of words has occurred to me since I spoke last, which I believe would relieve the minds of honorable members, and does not appear open to any objection. I would propose to add to the clause the words " and shall be the Queen's Ministers of State for the Commonwealth." That amendment was accepted, and the clause as amended was embodied in the Constitution as ultimately accepted by the people. In his present position, the Prime Minister is only a member of the Federal Executive Council; he is merely an honorary member - one of those who are called in to advise the Crown. He is not a Minister of State. That, to my mind, is a very anomalous position. I feel satisfied that this question must have been entirely overlooked by the Cabinet. The Prime Minister is now in the position described in 1891 by **Sir Henry** Wrixon ; he is not clothed with those vast constitutional powers which, under the system of English government, belong to responsible Ministers of the Crown. I have raised the question because I consider it an important one, and one which the Prime Minister and the other legal members of the Cabinet should seriously consider. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- It has been considered. It was considered before the step was taken. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- Then I can only say that the honorable gentleman has changed the opinion which he so strongly voiced at the Federal Convention of 1891. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- No. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I have only to say, in conclusion, that, having considered the point, and having read the report of the debates at the Convention of 1891, I was so impressed with the view that the Prime Minister is not one of the King's Ministers of State, that I thought it my public duty to mention it. {: #subdebate-4-0-s7 .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Hume .- I should have much preferred some other honorable member to follow the honorable member who has just resumed his seat, since we occupy the same room and entertain opinionsthat are much alike. It seems, however, that there is a conspiracy of silence on the part of honorable members opposite, who, in my opinion, should before this have offered a full explanation of their conduct. We are faced with an extraordinary situation, and I cannot allow this debate to close without offering a few observations. The honorable member for Gippsland, who has just concluded an eloquent speech - one of the best to which we have listened in this House - has not been "through the mill" with the Prime Minister as I have been, and he is, therefore, able to use salving words in referring to him. When I feel strongly,I speak strongly, and most people know my meaning. I do not whittle it away by suave talk to those in whom I cannot believe. Having been a Minister almost ever since this Parliament first met, and an active member of the Conventions which framed the Constitution, the duty devolves upon me at the present time to say a few words in regard to the history of our Federal politics. I shall not do this in reply to, but in consequence of , some of the remarks of the last speaker. I do not agree with him as to the reason why the Prime Minister joined the fusion. Asusual, the latter has left the Chamber. I presume that he has done so that he may not have to listen to what I am about to say. I intend to deal with this matter in some detail, and it ill becomes him, seeing how he has behaved to me, to leave the Chamber when I am about to give him a little chastisement. I shall not withdraw from my position in any way. If what the honorable member for Gippsland said were true, what a nice sort of man the honorable member for Ballarat is to be Prime Minister of the Commonwealth. ! According to the honorable member for Gippsland, he threw over his party for the sake of three or four colleagues who thought their seats in danger. He should have had the courage and the determination to stick to his own opinion as to what was the right course to pursue in the interests of the Commonwealth. The honorable member for Bourke, the morning of the day when I knew about the fusion having been brought about, said in my chamber that he would not join it. {: .speaker-K4I} ##### Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT -- That is absolutely incorrect. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- When the honorable member came down to the . room which I generally use on my return from Sydney, he said that he would not follow the honorable member for Ballarat into the proposed fusion. The honorable member for Batman went to Sydney, and remained there for three weeks, to get out of the way, as he said. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr Coon: -- For change of air. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -He then told me that he had no intention of joining the fusion if it took place, and that he was doing his best to prevent the honorable member for Ballarat from joining it. The honorable member for Bourke told me that he was doing the same. The honorable member for Batman returned to Melbourne on the Friday or Saturday. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- On the Monday. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- At any rate, he was back again in Sydney within two or three days, and came into my bedroom there to consult me about the situation, leading me to suppose that he was still of the opinion he had previously expressed, and would not join any fusion. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- The honorable member is not the only one to whom he said that. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- At all events, the two honorable members whom I have named - and I think there were others - could not have done what the honorable member for Gippsland said was done to induce the honorable member for Ballarat to join the fusion. They both told me that they were doingtheir best to prevent him from joining it, and that they would1 not follow him if he did join it. {: .speaker-K4I} ##### Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT -- So far as I am concerned, that statement is absolutely incorrect. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- How can the honorable member for Gippsland think that the Prime Minister abandoned his own convictions in the interests of those two honorable gentlemen? I do not believe that he did. I do not say that the honorable member for Ballarat took office for the sake of the pay attached to the position. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- No one suggests that. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I do not think that any one has done so. At any rate, I wish to make it clear that I do not think it. But, in another place, there is a member who did a lot of things in his own interests, and who, I think, was one of the prime movers in causing the honorable member for Ballarat to ruin himself politically. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- He did his best. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I understand the allusion. In giving an outline of what has taken place in our political history, let me say that, in view of the present state of affairs, it is very hard for me to approach these subjects calmly. When I am seriously hurt I cannot conceal my feelings. I think that speech was given to us to enable us to express our thoughts, not to help us to hide them. There are some honorable members who speak in order to cover up their views and opinions. I can understand the grinning of some of those who aresitting opposite to me, but there is not a pleasant expression onthe faces of my late colleagues, or of the Prime Minister. I could not resort to the subterfuge* in which he has taken refuge. While attacks have been made on him, he has sat like a dumb dog. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The honorable member may not make a remark like that. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Say a sphinx. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- That might be a better word to employ. Were I attacked, as the Prime Minister has been attacked, it would not be possible for me tosit silent. The statements which have been made have been true, and the Prime Minister will not escape his deserts by remaining silent. The honorable member, on the memorable occasion of the last day that we met told me that I should not speak as I did, or give expression so strongly to the opinions that I held, and that I would think differently next week. I replied : " You and I have been a long time together, but you evidently do not know me yet, for I will follow you to your political grave." And I will. I will never follow to any other place, or in any other way, a man who treats me as I have been treated. When Federation began, the first Prime Minister was **Sir Edmund** Barton. We passed some useful legislation, with which I shall deal in more detail presently. It comprised some of the very difficult initiatory legislation necessary for the Commonwealth. But with whose assistance did we pass it ? Not with that of the right honorable member for East Sydney, the honorable member for Parramatta or the honorable member for North Sydney, but with that of the much maligned Labour party. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Sometimes with my assistance. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Nothing progressive was ever supported by the honorable member. I am not going to attack him, because I think he showed great judgment in keeping aloof from the present " confusion." When **Sir Edmund** Barton went on to the Bench, the honorable member for Ballarat took his place, but before that we suffered the unfortunate loss of the services of that great man, the Honorable C. C. Kingston, and the right honorable member for Swan was the cause of it. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I absolutely deny it. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I do not care what the right honorable member denies. [ shall not go into the details of Cabinet secrets, but the right honorable member was the cause of **Mr. Kingston's** resignation. **Sir Edmund** Barton wired to me in Sydney to come and soften **Mr. Kingston,** and keep him with us, and but for the death of my late wife, which occurred at that time, I should have been there. That was blow No. 1, which the right honorable member for Swan dealt to a Ministry of which he was a member. When **Sir Edmund** Barton went to the Bench, and **Mr. Deakin** took his place, a little episode occurred that perhaps I should not refer to. It was a very important event, and some day, if I am goaded, I may describe it. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Out with it. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The right honorable member said that I ought not to reveal these things. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- If the honorable member insinuates them, he might as well tell. them. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The right honorable member knows what it is. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I do not, nor do I care. I give the honorable member leave to tell all that he knows about me. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I shall tell a lot of things. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Tell-tale. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- If I am a "tell-tale" the honorable member is the " tit." {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- N.B., that is a joke. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I shall rouse the honorable member before I have done with him. The honorable member for Ballarat's first Ministry was defeated by a combination between the Opposition, and, I think, some of the Labour party. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- The whole of the Labour party. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I believe that was so. The honorable member for Ballarat recommended that the honorable member for South Sydney should be sent for. The right honorable member for East Sydney was very sore because he was not sent for. The honorable member for South Sydney formed his Government, and a good Government it was. It never did one action which could cause a stain on its record. I told the honorable member for South Sydney when he was tripped up by the right honorable member for East Sydney over the clause in the Arbitration Bill, not to bind himself, because the right honorable member was laying a trap for him, but the honorable member for South Sydney was then young as a political leader, and he did not know the right honorable member as well as I did. That gentleman was working the thing up beautifully all the time until he caught the honorable member for South Sydney, and then he took up the Bill and passed the very clause on which he put the honorable member out. When the right honorable member for East Sydney got into power the caucus of the Protectionists met. I use the word " caucus " advisedly. We had three of the most vituperative meetings that I ever saw, and all the trouble was created by the right honorable member for Swan, because he, assisted by **Mr. Beale,** was advising the honorable member for Ballarat himself to join, and to induce certain members of our party to join, the right honorable member for East Sydney in forming a Government. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I did not know **Mr. Beale** in those days. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- **Mr. Beale** had a conference with the honorable member for Ballarat at the time. I did not say that the right honorable member for Swan did this in company with **Mr. Beale.** I know that letters were written at that time by the same combination as has brought about the present fusion. As I say, we had three of the most troublesome meetings that I ever attended, and at the third it was arranged that no steps should be taken without calling the party together. After that the honorable member for Ballarat advised **Mr. McLean, Sir George** Turner and **Mr. McCay** to join the Reid Government. We have never had a meeting of that party from that day to this, and what the honorable member for Ballarat did was done behind the back of the party. I mention this to show what the Prime Minister has done during his political life in the Commonwealth Parliament. He acted in that instance absolutely without the concurrence of the party that he was then leading. Before long he made at Ballarat the memorable speech which one of the newspapers said was the right honorable member for East Sydney's notice to quit. He very soon made the right honorable member quit and the right honorable member was very sore and angry, and delivered some warm speeches. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable member gladly joined the honorable member for Ballarat immediately afterwards, when the Reid Government went out. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I did join him afterwards, but I never said I did it gladly. *Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 7.45 p.m.* {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -I have dealt with the fact that the right honorable member for Swan was the cause of three or four disturbances which took place in the Cabinet of which he and I were both members. He wasthe cause of the late **Mr. Kingston** leaving the Government. He was also the cause of subsequent trouble. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Does the honorable member say that I was the causeof **Mr. Kingston** leaving? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Yes, I do. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I deny it. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Any one can deny a thing. **Sir Edmund** Barton telegraphed to me to come from Sydney and try to prevent **Mr. Kingston** from leaving the Government. The right honorable member cannot deny this also - that he opposed everything that was of a. progressive nature, and everything that was not Conservative. That was the main trouble that I had with him. He talks of being a Liberal, but he is a Conservative, and always has been in every Government of which he was a member. After the Prime Minister and I went to London, the right honorable member for Swan was Acting Prime Minister. He said last night, when questioned by the honorable member for Barrier, regarding his attitude towards the Prime Minister when he took the opportunity of leaving the Government, that there was a kind of severance. This is the kind of severance that occurred. The elections were held on 16th December. The right honorable member remained in the Cabinet and was Acting Prime Minister while the present Prime Minister and I were in London. If he intended to resign in consequence of his true convictions, or his hatred of the Labour party, he should have resigned at once. He should not have consented to hold the position of Acting Prime Minister. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- That is what the honorable member ought to have done, when he did not support the policy of the Prime Minister at the election. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Never mind. what I ought to have done; I am telling the right honorable member what he ought to have done. I will answer for all my sins, but they are very few. I' do not pretend to be immaculate, as the right honorable member does. He made a statement last night which I take it is not accurate. He said that he resigned from the Government from conscientious motives. In spite of those conscientious motives, however, he held the Acting Prime Ministership for about six or seven months. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Not so long as that. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- From February until June. I went to London on the 21st February and returned on about the 22nd June. The Prime Minister went away a week after I did. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I held the position for about four months. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- During all this time the right honorable member's convictions did not trouble him. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- No, not at all. The honorable member was away then. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDonald: -- Is that when he said he was eating dirt? {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I never said that. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- He did say he was eating dirt. I am telling the bare facts. Last night the right honorable member tried to wriggle round the true reason for his retirement from the Government. During the voyage out on Our return from London and afterwards the Prime Minister was not well. When we got back he very kindly asked me to act for him. .He did not ask the right honorable member for Swan ; and it was very early after that was done that the right honorable member intimated his intention to retire from the Government. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I do not think that is an accurate statement. * {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- It is accurate enough. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- No, it is not; and the Prime Minister knows it, too. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Never mind what the Prime Minister knows. I know that that is what happened; and in these times, when we have no written pledges from the members of parties opposite, it is just as well to tell the exact story. We all know the very nice letters that the right honorable member can write. He writes them easily and well ; and there are many of them, too. Almost immediately after we came back from London I became Acting Prime Minister. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable member never was. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I was acting for the Prime Minister, to make myself perfectly accurate. After that the right honorable member commenced to think that he should have been acting for the Prime Minister. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I never said so. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- But the right honorable member thought it right enough. That was the main matter that caused him to take the action that he did. Though he was remonstrated with, and the Prime Minister was ill at the time, the right honorable member insisted on resigning. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- He has had a very good innings. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- If, however, the right honorable member was so conscientious, and it was against his principles for him to remain in the Ministryafter the speech which he made in Western Australia, as he has stated, his resignation should have taken place immediately after the elections. It should' not have taken place after he had been Acting Prime Minister for four or five months. **Sir, the** right honorable member, in the letters which he writes, is very glib in putting different constructions on events. It did not suit him to say he resigned because I was appointed to act for the Prime Minister after our return from London. But he seemed to me not to care a "tuppenny dump" for the Prime Minister, or for the awkward position in which he placed that gentleman and the Government. Though remonstrated with by the Prime Minister and others of his colleagues, he persisted in his resignation. At that time he ought to have had his Estimates prepared. The Government were just on the point of meeting Parliament. He ought to have been preparing his Budget, and placing everything ready for the financial statement to be made. But he did nothing of the kind. I believe that he deliberately resigned, leaving the Prime Minister ill, and in a very awkward position. The Prime Minister can tell the House, if he chooses to do so, that it was against my wish, very strongly expressed, that I left the Department of Trade and Customs, and took the position which the right honorable member for Swan had vacated. Although the Estimates were unprepared, I got. them ready, and submitted the Budget to Parliament in eight days after I took office. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- It is all personal pronoun with the honorable member. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Does the right honorable member say that he allows anyone else to do his Treasurer's work for him ? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- Why does not the honorable gentleman take a lesson from the modesty of the right honorable gentleman who is in charge of the Treasury now? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I have always been an extremely modest man, and I hope I may say for myself without egotism that in all ordinary circumstances I am a kindhearted man. It is only when extraordinary occurrences arise, which deeply affect a man's political honour and principles, that I am perhaps more severe than are some other men. After a long life in politics, I am satisfied that the honorable course is always the best course to follow. That is the course I have always tried to follow. I do not know whether the right honorable member for East Sydney is present; I think he left the chamber. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- No; I was just mentally exclaiming, "Good old Bill." {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The right honorable member for East Sydney has, I am sorry to say, wobbled backwards and forwards in his principles a great many times in his political life. He was against Federation, and for it. He has been against a great many things, and for them; but on one occasion he did me the credit to say to me that I was inconsistent only in my consistency. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- But does the honorable gentleman know what I meant by consistency ? It was Number One all the time. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- If I had not put the right honorable gentleman down a great many times, he would never have been Number Two - that is, if he could help it. He has been playing for Number One all the time, whilst I hope that I have been playing straight all the time. I wish to say a little more about the right honorable member for Swan. When he says that he did not desert the Prime Minister, and that I had no right to say from the public platform in Sydney that he had acted the traitor to that honorable gentleman, I wish again to remind honorable members that although he held his position for so many months, as I have described, his conscience did not prick him. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable gentleman was away, and there was therefore no trouble. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- So that is the secret? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I can tell the honorable member for Kalgoorlie that in most things Conservative I never agreed with the right honorable member for Swan. That was sometimes the cause of trouble. So long as the honorable gentleman is a member of a Government, no progressive legislation will ever be passed by that Government. That is my experience of the honorable gentleman. He has quoted statements regarding his retirement which I made here when acting for the Prime Minister. In making those statements, I spoke for the Prime Minister. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable gentleman did not mean what be said ? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: **- Mr. Deakin** might have meant it. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- But did he tell the honorable gentleman exactly what to say ? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I am not going to be questioned at the present time, but I can tell the honorable gentleman what occurred. I was asked, I forget now whether it was by **Mr. Deakin,** not to be too rough on the right honorable member for Swan, because it was believed that he was going to support us. I put what I had to say as pleasantly as I could, but if 1 had had my way, I would have ripped it into the right honorable member from the start. I had, at the time, to do what I conceived the good-natured Prime Minister would have done in dealing with the right honorable gentleman ; but the fact is emblazoned in the pages of *Hansard* that the right honorable member deserted his chief at a time when he might have been in serious trouble if he had not had good and strong colleagues to help him. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable gentleman did not say so, nor did the Prime Minister. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Never mind, I say it now, and the right honorable gentleman knew it all the time. He cannot gloss things over. I have stated the bald facts. As I have already said, from the early history of the Federation the right honorable gentleman has been in every Government of which he has been a member the one who has created dissension amongst his colleagues by his fixed Conservative principles and his hatred of the Labour party. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr Poynton: -- Who caused the disturbance with the late Charles Cameron Kingston ? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I did not. I was telegraphed to at Sydney and asked to come down and smooth things over. Except upon only one occasion the late right honorable C. C. Kingston and I always got on well together; perhaps we got on better together than any other two members of the Cabinet. I do not wish to have to repeat these things oyer and over again, but I am not going to allow the honorable member to shelter himself in the way he attempted to do last night. I have seen his speech in connexion with what was said by the honorable member for Barrier. I wish to deal with the facts categorically and as quietly as I can. The right honorable member for Swan raised a question as to what he did as Acting Prime Minister when at the Brisbane Conference. He disputed the accuracy of my statement of what the Prime Minister told me. The Prime Minister supported me, but the right honorable gentleman went out of his way to do something that he was never authorized to do. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST:
Treasurer · SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · PROT; WAP from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I - I deny that. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Of what use is it for the right honorable gentleman to deny it? It is all in *Hansard.* {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN Forrest: -- No, it is not. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- So far as the financial position was concerned, the right honorable gentleman wanted to give away the Commonwealth Parliament to the States. lt is not pleasant for me to have to refer ito these matters. {: .speaker-L1R} ##### Mr Agar Wynne: -- - The honorable gentleman seems to like it. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I like to make crooked people straight and to keep them straight. I speak, of course, in a political sense. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- What does the honorable gentleman mean by ' ' crooked people ' ' ? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Crooked in politics ; and some are as crooked as a ram's "horn. I referred before dinner to the few words used by the honorable member for Gippsland regarding the Prime Minister, when there was not such a good attendance of honorable members as there is now. The honorable member said that he believed that it was owing to the pressure of about three or four of his supporters, and not of "his own free will, that the Prime Minister was compelled to sink himself and to place himself in the humiliating position in which he is to-day. But we find that when the Watson Ministry were displaced, the honorable member for Ballarat went behind the back of his party and recommended three of that party to join the right honorable member for East Sydney, and, as I have said, at the instigation of the right honorable member for Swan. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- What? Does the honorable gentleman say that I recommended it? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The right honorable gentleman fought and caused nearly all the trouble in our own caucus to get certain men - whether the same three or not, I do not say - to join the right honorable member for East Sydney. I think that the right honorable gentleman wished the Prime Minister to join him also. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I did ; I have never denied that. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The right honorable gentleman cannot deny the other statement either. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I do deny the other statement. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- It is an absolute fact. Without the consent of his party the present Prime Minister at the time to which I refer recommended three gentleman to join the right honorable member for East Sydney. Where are those men now? {: .speaker-KLM} ##### Dr Maloney: -- They are dead and gone. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- They are dead and gone politically. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- They are three of the best men in Australia, and it was an honour to be associated with them. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I do not say anything about the men but that they were misguided. Great, strong men like **Sir George** Turner, **Mr. McLean,** and **Mr. McCay** were all persuaded. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- They are all good men. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I am not suggesting anything against the men, but putting on record the fact that the language used in a friendly sense by the honorable member for Gippsland cannot be a correct definition of what is taking place now. This is not the first time that the right honorable member for Swan has twitted me. Before the adjournment for dinner he twitted me with joining the Prime Minister after he made that speech at. Ballarat. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I said that the honorable member gladly joined him ; that is all I said. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The honorable member twitted me with doing it. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I did not. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- There is no man for whom I had a higher respect than I had for the Prime Minister. There is no man whom I have served more loyally and truly than I have served him. There is no man for whose sake I have sunk my feelings on so many occasions as I have done for that honorable member. He knows these things, because I told him, and I think that he believed me at the time. This affair is going to live in history. When I find not one or ' two such cases, but also several cases prior to .Federation, what am I to think? I must think one of two things - either that the honorable member acted deliberately, or that he is not strong enough to withstand the influence of- {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable member. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Do not make me laugh, please ! {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable member has been trying it for a long time ; he has had his innings. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Has the honorable member been in the confidence of the honorable member for Ballarat all the time, too? {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I know enough. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Never, when I have been a colleague of the Prime Minister, have I tried to unduly influence him. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- the honorable member's influence is no good ; it is always against the Prime Minister and in favour of himself. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The honorable member ought to be playing in a toy shop, because he is only a schoolboy. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- What I say of the honorable member is perfectly true. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- See how angry the honorable member is ! {: #subdebate-4-0-s8 .speaker-10000} ##### The SPEAKER: -- Order ! Will the honorable member proceed with his speech? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: **- Mr. Speaker.** I humbly apologize for being diverted bv the right honorable member for Swan, but he looks so nice and pleasant when he wears that stern look that I cannot help it. He it was who exercised a baneful influence over the Prime Minister. He did so after the Watson Government were put out, again he did it in getting the Prime Minister to recommend some honorable members - whether the ones mentioned or not I do not know - to join the right honorable member for East Sydney. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I was never consulted, and gave no advice. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Let me have a bit of a show ! Then came the time when the Prime Minister slipped up the right honorable member for East Sydney, the latter was very angry. I do not propose to dwell upon the speeches which he made, but he delivered some very able and very strenuous denunciations of the Prime Minister at that time. After having acted for him, the Prime Minister led me1- to believe for six months that I was his principal adviser. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I expect that the honorable member worried him with his advice. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Now, be quiet ! I did not worry the Prime Minister, but the honorable member did. When the former knew my feeling in the matter, expressed to him in no unmeasured terms, and I was kept absolutely in the dark, as I find now, according to the statements made to me, for four or five months, what am I to think?. This intriguing, I understand now, commenced when a member of the Government with a seat in the other Chamber first went to consult the honorable member for Swan in Perth. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Oh, that was the time ii commenced ! {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- That was the time, so I am informed, when it commenced. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I met him there? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The intriguing was continued from that time. It was religiously kept from me by my chief, who, I thought, was open and square with me, until after he had agreed to the right honorable gentleman going to Sydney to try and form a Government with the honorable member for Parramatta. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- This intriguing is shocking. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- If the honorable member had been intrigued against as I was he would feel it. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- But my honorable friend did a bit, I expect. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I have not been intriguing at all. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable member expects too much consideration, I think. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I was not intriguing on the other side. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- T - That is what tha honorable member was doing. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Never once. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Let the honorable member say whether I intrigued in any shape or form on the other side. I do not go intriguing in that way, nor did0 I think that I was going to be intrigued against. The honorable member for Swan came here about a month or six weeks before the meeting of Parliament. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- No, about fifteen days. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I took it to be a month. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- No, it was on the i 11th May, and Parliament met on the 26th. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The honorable member had a meeting with the Prime Minister almost immediately after he arrived as the result of negotiations and correspondence whicH had taken place between them. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Oh. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The honorable member j:an laugh. I did not know of it at the time, but I have found it all out. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- From whom? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Never mind, I have found it all out, and the honorable member cannot deny it either. When a man is treated in this way it is natural to expect that extreme statements, extreme feelings, and extreme views should take the uppermost hand. I am speaking on this question I hope for the last time. I have already spoken twice under great depression, and it is not a pleasant subject to discuss. But never before in the history of politics was such a position brought about between the direct Oppositionists and the Government, whose leader had shortly before denounced them as rag tag and bob tail. I remember the speech, which I admired at the time because it was true. It is hard to believe that an honorable member Holding the high position which the honorable member for Ballarat did could descend from the words which he used on that occasion to the cuffing which lie is receiving on this occasion. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable member nearly joined the Reid Government at that time. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I never did. The honorable member has no right to make that statement. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Well, the Coalition then. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Nothing on earth would induce me to coalesce with that crowd {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable member would. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I have never done so, and never will. The right honorable member for Swan shows how little he regards actual fact. At any rate, he cannot accuse me of having, on any occasion, said that I would join the right honorable member for East Sydney. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- I do not think that the hon- orable member was ever asked to do so. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- But' the right honorable member for Swan accuses me of being ready to do so. I am not saying anything against the right honorable member for East Sydney, and I have very little indeed to say to-night about the Free Traders who predominate in the present Cabinet - those Free Traders who have won all the way. But the Prime Minister, as leader of the Government in the last session, refused to go on with the Labour party, although they were at that time in a peculiarly strong position ; and, by so doing, scattered the Liberal party, with the exception of four of us. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- We are not lost ! {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- We are not. The Prime Minister, by his action, gave up a powerful position, in which no party in the House could take any step without the approval and consent of his party; and all to placate the honorable member for Batman, the honorable member for Maribyrnong, the honorable member for Corio, and the honorable member for Laanecoorie. If four or five men are to dominate a Prime Minister when great issues are at stake, that Prime Minister has no right to his position. One night, when I was speaking, the Prime Minister said that he never had any arrangement with the Labour party ; but I give that an absolutely flat denial ; and there are men listening to me now who know what took place. {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- Hear, hear; we will bring in the records and read them. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Moreover, the Prime Minister tried to put me in the position of one, and the only one, who had negotiated with the Labour party. I do not object to that; but the Prime Minister has told me fifty times that the natural alliance was between our party and the Labour party. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Then the honorable member is all right now - he is allied to the Labour party ! {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I would five thousand times rather be allied to the Labour party than to the right honorable member for Swan and his party. I have never been allied to such a confused and kaleidoscopic mass as that represented by, honorable members opposite. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- What is the honorable member growling about? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I am not growling, but hitting at the right honorable member, who, apparently, cannot keep his mouth shut. The Prime Minister said the other day that he was proud to have the support of the Conservatives; and I leave him with his tribe. But it is strange that we should hear this from a man who has been denouncing the Conservatives ever since he had political breath. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- It is a misprint - he meant preservatives. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I have been in public life a long time, and I do not require notes to remind rae of every event of importance in the past; but I have no desire to be drawn into a retrospect, because it might prove awkward to others. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Does the honorable member remember anything good? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Everything I did- was good, and everything I ever thought in politics is good. The honorable member for Dalley laughs, but if he could get under the shelter of the Labour party to-day, he would be there like a shot. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr Wilks: -- I have been invited often enough. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Let the honorable member ask the Labour party to invite him now. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- When is the honorable member going to take the Labour pledge? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- We have a great Town Hall in Sydney, in which I was never able to make my voice fully heard; the only man who can do so is the honorable member who has just interjected, and, in a small room like this, his voice is very harassing. A man holding the high position of Prime Minister should be exceedingly careful before he destroys party and principles; and the destruction in the present case has been, for what? To destroy humanity. For we know only too well that there is a desire to this end on the part .of the Conservatives, with whom the Prime Minister is' now associated, and who will never leave him as long as he lives. The honorable gentleman may try to return to the right path with the help of the *Age* by-and-by, but, depend upon it, he will never be trusted again. I am not, myself, a member of the Labour party. {: .speaker-KJC} ##### Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910 -- The honorable member soon will be ! {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- On such points the Labour party are the best judges; at any rate, they trust me, while they would not trust the honorable member. All my, life I have been fighting to raise our common humanity ; and I can say that more has been done in this direction since the advent of the Labour party in New South Wales and the other States, and also in the Commonwealth, than was ever done before in the history of Australia. The aim of the Labour party is to improve the conditions of life, so that, unlike Great Britain, Australia may not be cursed with slum residents. **Mr. Ward,** the editor of the Sydney *Daily Telegraph,* who has been a writer on the Free Trade side for years in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, said, in a speech the other day .in England, that his ideas had changed since visiting the slums of the Old Country. Honorable members opposite are leagued now to reduce our own people to similar straits ; and, in support of this, I refer honorable members to an extraordinary statement made by **Mr. W.** E. Abbott, of the Pastoralists' Union, to the effect that, as the Arbitration Acts had failed, it was only necessary now to bring the labourers to their bearings by starvation. He made that statement recently, and on the Government benches we see the representatives of those who .make such "declarations. **Mr. Abbott** is the President of the Pastoralists' Union of New South Wales. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- And . a member of the new Liberal League. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- He is. Let honorable members opposite take that statement to their hearts, and see what the people of the Commonwealth will say to them. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- He is a supporter of this Government. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Yes; a great supporter of it. The representatives of the capitalists on the Government side of the House are aiming at the present time to bring the necks of the labouring classes of Australia once more under the heel of capital and tyranny, and to deprive them of the power won for them by the Liberals and Labourites. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- Will the honorable member read the words actually uttered by **Mr. Abbott?** Re has misquoted him. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I could not place my hand upon the quotation at the moment, but I have it now. The report reads - > **Mr. Abbott** said it must be clear to all that it had broken down - He was referring to compulsory arbitration - and the cause of the break-down was the impossibility of equally enforcing the acceptance of the law by both parties to any dispute. . . . It seemed that there was no way out of the trouble, and that they must of necessity', and by the will of the workmen, revert to the old . methods of " settlement by starvation." Those were the words used by **Mr. Abbott,** and I was not far wrong when a few moments ago I gave what I believed to be the effect of his statement. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- Honorable members opposite cannot get out pf that. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The honorable member for Boothby ought to be ashamed of himself for making such infamous insinuations. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The Government and their supporters are to a very large extent under the domination of the Employers' Federation, the President of which is the honorable member for Fawkner. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- Does the Minister of Defence repudiate his Joss ? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order. There have been more interjections than ought to have been made during this debate, and they are now being added to by exchanges across the chamber. I hope honorable members, and especially leaders of the House, will refrain from such conduct. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I rise to make a personal explanation. I wish, sir, to call your attention to the fact that my reply across the table to the honorable member for Boothby had reference to remarks repeatedly addressed by him to honorable members on this side of the House - " You have done this," and " You have done that." I simply replied to a .running fire of interjections bv that honorable member. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The honorable member for Parramatta will recognise when he gives the matter a moment's consideration that that is not a point of order. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I rose not to a point of order, but to make a personal explanation. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -The honorable member has no right to interrupt the speech of another honorable member in order to make a personal explanation. The honorable member for Boothby and he exchanged interjections three or four times across the chamber, speaking so loudly as to entirely disconcert the honorable member for Hume, who is addressing the Chair. This should not be done, especially by Ministers and ex-Ministers. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The Ministry are now dominated by those who have selected as their President a man who is prepared to use the language that I have just read, and who issue a circular such as that sent out by the Employers' Federation, to which the honorable member for Gippsland has already alluded. That circular was signed on behalf of the Employers' Federation by **Mr. Walpole,** who said that working men must not expect employers to give- them sufficient wages to enable them to drink beer, to go to theatres, or to marry. What, am I to think of the action of my late leader in joining such a Coalition? I do not believe for one moment that he joined it for the purpose of personal gain. He joined it, perhaps, because he thought that by doing so he might save some of his colleagues. It would have been far better, even from their point of view, had he refrained from worrying about them, for their position would have been better than it is now. By his action he has introduced into the House elements of discord and strife, and has folded in his arms the Conservatives who, when in Opposition, week after week and month after month stone-walled nearly every good measure that the Deakin Government submitted. They stone-walled the Federal Tariff submitted by the late **Mr. C.** C. Kingston, and stone- walled as far as they dared the Tariff which was passed by the last Deakin Government. The honorable gentleman has, T repeat, folded such men in his arms, and has gone with a minority into a Cabinet, the majority of the members of which will over-ride him and place his neck under their heels on every possible occasion. The honorary Minister, 'the honorable member for Brisbane, has been sent to England to take part in the Imperial Defence Conference, although the Prime Minister when I worked with him did not think of such a selection being made. He had another man in view if any one was to be sent. I am also informed that until the last moment the honorable gentleman desired to send another honorable member to London, but was over-ridden by the Cabinet. The Government have sent as our representative to the Imperial Defence Conference an honorable member who can no more be compared with the ex-Minister of Defence than night can be compared with day. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- He was the last man in the Chamber who ought to have been sent. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- And the last man who would have been selected by this Chamber. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- It was a scandalous thing to send him. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The Prime Minister, however, has been over-ridden by the majority of the Cabinet. He is reaping the fruits of his entering a Cabinet consisting of only three or four members of his own party as against five or six Ministers belonging to the other section of the Coalition. We have not yet ascertained what is the arrangement made between the two parties. I read in two newspapers before the Coalition took place different statements of what the arrangement was to be ; but subsequent versions published in the press were not so much at variance. I also read the report of the speech which the Prime Minister delivered in the Melbourne Town Hall a. few weeks ago:--a speech which was made for the purpose of setting before the people the policy of the new Government. I find, however, that the policy as disclosed in the Ministerial statement differs materially from that which he then announced. Time after time, as Treasurer in the Deakin Government, I was urged by the honorable member for Ballarat to stand firmly by the question of Naval Defence and to do my best to make adequate provision for it. Yet he has now appointed as Minister of Defence the greatest enemy of Australian naval power that could be found. What did the Minister of Defence say on one memorable occasion - >It will be generally conceded that the member for Canterbury, **Mr. Carruthers,** has made a very strong speech in favour of the position which those take up who are opposed to the interference by the *Katoomba* at Samoa. One peculiar feature of the debate has been the making much of the question of loyalty. It has been asserted to-night that those who dare say one word concerning the operations of a fleet are disloyal to the Mother Country. I repudiate any such assertion. The honorable member who made so much of loyalty to-night was mistaking loyalty for servility- Those who rebel against all servility cannot therefore be called disloyal. Another kind of loyalty I suppose is binding ourselves to the New Hebrides for thirty years, to the tune of £2,000 per annum, also, while the people of this country are starving. I want to say this : > >The limit of the loyalty of any people must always be determined by a sense of obligation to one's own people. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- The honorable member said that when he was a Republican. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Yes. He continued - >We admit that there should be a fleet, but what we are contending for is that if we are to pay a substantial sum in support of it, we should have some voice in its direction, especially since it was established for the preservation of Australian trade within Australian waters ; therefore, I move that - . . . 11 It is unwise to have this country committed to any expenditure of money or to any naval or military enterprise not subject to the instant, and complete control and direction of this Parliament." My quotation is from the New South Wales *Hansard* debates of 1893. I am glad to say that the original motion was carried by 45 votes to 15 {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- All this took place sixteen years ago ! {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Honorable members are not going to whittle away the force of our statements. We shall be able to hammer them into the heads of honorable members opposite if there is no other way of getting them there. The Minister of Defence also delivered an extreme Republican speech in which he took exception to the position of the States in regard to the Mother Country, saying a number of most extraordinary things. Only quite recently, when sitting on the Opposition benches, he was opposed to the construction of a fleet here. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That is absolutely incorrect. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I cannot at the moment quote the honorable member's remarks, but my memory is pretty good, and I shall, later on, try to produce the report of a speech in which the honorable member, when engaged in attacking the honorable member for Ballarat, his present chief, spoke against an Australian Navy, and in favour of an increase in the subsidy paid to Great Britain. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That is a different statement. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I was not allowed to complete my original statement. Will the honorable member again turn himself upside .down and inside out, as he has done so many times in the past few years ? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- And as the honorable member has done. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Never. I have never deviated from my political course. The honorable member stated that I reduced the wages of the New South Wales railway employes. That is absolutely incorrect. Let me tell the House what happened. When Minister for Railways in New South Wales, I visited Orange in connexion with the arrangements for a water supply, and the financial position being acute, stated there that one of two things must happen if the railways were to be made to pay ; that fares must be raised or wages must be reduced. A then colleague of the honorable member - **Mr. Abigail** - put the first part of my statement, apart from its connexion, into a circular, and distributed 10,000 copies of it to the railway men, to make it appear that I was in favour of reducing their wages. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- The honorable member stated that he was not in favour of the latter course. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Yes. That shows what misrepresentation took place. I did not reduce the wages of the railway servants, but the party to which the honorable member for Parramatta belonged did so afterwards. That can be proved from the records. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr Wilks: -- The honorable ^ member tried to sell the Sydney tramways. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I was in favour of selling the tramways. In the early days, when not many lines were open, I did not think that the system would ever become the gigantic concern that it is now. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Has this anything to do with the question? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I am merely replying to an interjection. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- Would the honorable member sell them now? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Certainly not. The honorable member for West Sydney deserves great thanks for unearthing the political career of the honorable member for Parramatta. He says - >Consider his position. He has espoused at different periods in his astounding career every principle and enlisted under the banner of every party. He has been a Protectionist and a Free Trader- {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- The honorable member was once a Free Trader. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Never. I was one of the first three Protectionists in the Parliament of New South Wales. I had not thought the question out before I entered Parliament, but directly it was raised by, I think, **Mr. Ninian** Melville and **Mr. David** Buchanan, I joined myself to them. I never departed from that policy. To continue my quotation - >He has been a Protectionist and a Free Trader, the Leader of the Labour party, and the Leader of the anti-Labour party. He has been a Republican, shrieking against monarchs and against the Governor's right of veto, and against lip slobbering loyalty, and is now a lip slobbering loyalist himself. {: .speaker-KNI} ##### Mr Harper: -- From what is the honorable member quoting? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- From records put together by the honorable member for West- Sydney, which I examined to see if they were correct. The honorable member cannot deny these statements - >He denounced the payment of the Naval subsidy to Great Britain save upon impossible conditions - that we should have a voice in the expenditure of the money, and that the squadron should never leave these waters. Nothing now will suit him but that there should be a North Sea Fleet, and no Australian squadron, while any local control of the Navy is rank disloyalty. He was a land value taxer. He came in to get a land tax. He now is the chosen, but surely not trusted, banner-bearer of the great landlords of Australia. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr Wilks: -- The honorable member for Parramatta is not big enough to do all that. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- He is roundabout enough, and he can turn corners quickly, as he has done lately. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- But he was never fool enough to have anything to do with the honorable member. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The honorable member tried hard to once. Whom ' has the honorable member for Ballarat as his colleagues? He has the honorable member - and I regret to call him an honorable member of the present Ministry - for Darling Downs, who has linked himself with men who boycotted his father all his life. I knew his father well, I know the men who boycotted him, and I am ashamed to think that his son should be sitting shoulder to shoulder with them. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- Does not the honorable member wish that he was there himself? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I do not. I would not deliver up my honour for all ihe Ministerial positions in the world. {: .speaker-L1R} ##### Mr Agar Wynne: -- The honorable member's luck was out. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- That is a veryunfair statement, and I wish the honorable member would take it back, because I tell him that it is utterly untrue. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Will the honorable member for Hume kindly withdraw that remark? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I withdraw it. When I can take office honorably I shall never shirk my responsibilities, and will' fight for my position, and for the position of the Ministry, but I shall never take office with dishonour. I am referring now to members of the present Ministry as having taken office with dishonour, as will be shown to the country before long. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Surely that is not parliamentary ? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I should think it was, and it is true. Who are the supporters of the honorable member for Ballarat ? Amongst them are Conservatives in the persons of the honorable member for Capricornia, the honorable member for Nepean, the honorable member for Indi, <he honorable member for Parramatta, the honorable member for Oxley, who has always voted against us, and that arch Conservative, the honorable member for Fawkner, whom I regard as the most dangerous man in this Parliament, with the nice, supercilious way in which he walks round amongst the members, and takes the ladies up to tea. He is the president of the Employers' Federation of Victoria, and this is a Ministry representing Employers' Federations, banks, mortgage companies, and capital right through, and not representing one individual working man in the community. Amongst other Conservative Supporters of the Government are the honorable member for Brisbane, who is a black labour man, and a few other black labour advocates. I am not sure that the honorable member for Fawkner and the right honorable member for Swan do not advocate black labour. I speak from experience, for I remember having a great argument with the latter as to whether or not certain industries should be carried on in the North-west of Western Australia by black labour. The honorable member advocated it. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I deny that absolutely. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- If I am wrong, I am sorry. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I never had an argument with the honorable member in my life on the subject. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- After that I can say no more. Other supporters of the Government are the honorable member for Fremantle - an extraordinary man, who says extraordinary things, and who, I believe, is a very good railway contractor, although he is not a good member - the honorable member for Flinders - I am not sure that I should not call him the arch Conservative, but, at any rate, they are all in the box now - the honorable member for Grampians, who is a great Conservative, although they all say that they are great Liberals, and the honorable member for Lang, who is not so bad as most of them. Then there is the honorable member for Wentworth, who is sitting on thorns, and wants an opportunity to get into a comfortable seat somewhere else. I do not think he will support the honorable member for Ballarat very long. There is the honorable member for Franklin, who was always against his present leader, and that great man, the honorable member for Echuca. I suppose, but I am not quite sure, that the honorable member for Ballarat has also among his supporters the right honorable member for East Sydney. I was never so surprised in my life as to find that right honorable gentleman, who generally takes an active part in debate, sitting like a lamb' behind the present Government. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- I have been fighting for twenty-eight years. I think it is time I took a rest, and let the other fellows do the fighting. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I should like to hear the pleasant tones of the honorable member's voice upon this motion, telling us what he really thinks of the position. There is the honorable member for Wimmera, who helped others to destroy the Tariff, and that great Liberal, the honorable member for Parkes. {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- He believes in black labour. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- All the black labour advocates sit on that side. I read this list simply to show what a heterogeneous mass Ministers are, and what a heterogeneous mass their supporters are. I must now say a word about the new combination that has been formed in Sydney. I met two or three gentlemen on Tuesday morning, after the list of members of the new Liberal league, or whatever it is called, had been published. Honorable members know the league I mean. It is Joshua's league, and Beale's league. If ever a party delivered itself into the hands of the friends of Democracy in Sydney, this league has done so by its election of officers and by its list of supporters. T will quote their names. I do not take any exception to the name of the honorable member for North Sydney. He is his own kind of Conservative. He is a very nice man. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Thanks ! {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Then there follow the names of J. G. Farleigh, M.L.C, who was never a true Protectionist, but always a wobbler; J. H. Wise, who never was a Protectionist; F. W. Bacon, who is a squatter and was always a Free Trader ; Alderman G. T. ' Clarke, who was secretary to the manufacturers and never took the slightest interest in the Tariff when it was going through this Parliament. These are the principal men who are supporting the Prime Minister in Sydney. Than they have **Mr. Beale, Mr. Kethel,** M.L.C, **Mr. Archdale** Parkhill, who was' secretary to the Free Trade Union of New South Wales, **Sir Joseph** Carruthers, **Sir William** McMillan, **Dr. W.** P. Cullen, M.L.C.,; Messrs. Sydney Smith, H. E. Farmer, F. G. Sargood, H. A. Browne, J. F. Flockhart, James Burns, R. Smith, J. T. Tillock, G. B. Edwards, H. C. ' McFie, A. W. Gillies, W. E. Hawkins, E. F. Leichner, A. W. Meeks, J. S. Brunton, and **Dr. Hardman.** {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- What Burns is that? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I do not know, but I know that he never belonged to our Protectionist Association. I have read those names with an object, and that is to show that the new Reform League in Sydney has not one sound Protectionist belonging to it. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- **Mr. Beale?** {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- He never was a sound Protectionist. He was a Protectionist for one thing only - pianos. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- He was a great friend of the honorable member. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- He never was. I never trusted Beale. After I had fought in this House, not for him, but for the principle of a duty on pianos, he met me outside and put his nose in the air, and said, "I never wanted a duty." I said, "Why did you not tell me that before? But the duty was not put on for you, but for a principle." {: .speaker-K4I} ##### Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT -- Can the honorable member give us the names of any sound Protectionists who are supporting him? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Yes, I can. There is **Mr. Hughes,** of Botany, **Mr. Scott** - the vice-president of the Chamber of Manufactures - **Dr. Nash,** M.L.C, and I could run off the names of fifty others who are not false Protectionists, as is the honorable member. In the same newspaper from which I quote there is a report concerning a manifesto issued by the Free Trade League of New South Wales, who declared that their object is to raise again the old Free Trade flag which has been so shamefully, betrayed. The fighting platform consists of five planks, which are given in this newspaper. There is no necessity for me to read them. This is the old Free Trade organization revived. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Is there one man in that Association whom any Free Trader in New South Wales would trust? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- There is not one whom any Protection Est would trust. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- No one trusts them. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- What I am going to mention now is somewhat funny. The Minister of Defence gave these names to the press. Pie says that his supporters must stick to the old name Liberal. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Hear, hear. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I shouldn't have thought it ! 1 will give the names of those who use this word Liberal. The honorable gentleman must have had in his ingenious mind the idea that unless heemphasized the fact that this was a Liberal association there was not a man or a woman in New South Wales who would have dreamt of such a thing. There are the names of a large number of ladies here: Mesdames Edwards, Bowman, Wise, Falconer, R.- Sly, Sargood, Spencer, Fell, F. W. Bacon, H. C. McFie and Burgess. They are society ladies. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- The honorable member is entirely wrong. I know some of them personally not to be anything of the kind.. They are some of the most charitable women in Sydney, and are not so-called society ladies at all. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I do not say that they are not charitable. I say that the names that I have read are those of society ladies. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- Absolutely wrong. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I know that this Conservative association is not backed up by women belonging to ordinary humanity, but by society women only. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- I say that there is not one of those ladies who is a society lady, and *1* think the honorable member might draw the lighting-line somewhere else. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- They may be charitable or they may not be. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I am very sorry to have to call attention to the fact that the right honorable member for East Sydney, after I had two or three times called " Order," paid- no attention to my call. The right honorable member must know that long interjections, such as he has made, are not in order. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- The first offence this session, **Mr. Speaker.** {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I believe that the ladies to whom I have referred are constituents of the right honorable member for East Sydney. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- I do not think so, though one might be. I would leave the ladies out of this fight. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- But they put their names in the newspapers, and they cannot be left out of it. I have to deal yet with Miss Grace Watson I have dealt before with that lady, who has told fibs bv the dozen, and is kept by the society people to look after and help them. It is a disgraceful thing for the society people to do. The right honorable member for Swan took her to organize for him in Western Australia. That was a nice thing to do. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- Perhaps she is the author of the fusion. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I. do not know ; she would be author of anything. I am told that she has had a writ given to her once or twice- {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- The honorable gentleman might leave her alone. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Why should I leave alone a woman who maligns me, and gives me no reply ? I have challenged her in every way to reply to me ; she has told deliberate untruths about me. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- The honorable gentleman made his defence at the time. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- 1 will make ray defence if it hits her, and I will rub it into those who are employing her, too. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable gentleman has his hand against every one. He is a regular Ishmaelite. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- This extraordin:1 ry combination, without a programme - {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr Bowden: -- No. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I say without n. programme, or, if they have one, they are not game to produce it. {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr Bowden: -- It has been laid on the table. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Call, that a programme? It is a placard, not a programme, that has been laid on the table. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- It is very comprehensive. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Yes, it will last from now till Doomsday. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- When is Doomsday? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I want to know what this extraordinary party is going- to attempt to do with the legislation that has already been passed, and nearly all of which they opposed ? They have said that it is a disgrace to the statute-book. If they are true men, and have a vestige of consistency in them, they will remove, or attempt to remove, from the statute-book all those Statutes which they say should never have been placed there. But they will not attempt it, because they are too great cowards. They will jog along where they are like . an old cart horse, and do nothing. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- The honorable gentleman fought my land tax, and did not take it off when he got into power. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- It was not worth calling a land tax. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The honorable gentleman fought everything Democratic in those days. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Did I ? The honorable member for Parramatta charges me with fighting against Democracy. What did I do about, early closing, old-age pensions, and the Railway Appeal Board? I could not have done what I did in connexion with those matters but for the help of the State Labour party. The right honorable member for East Sydney fought oldage pensions from the commencement to the end. Did not the right honorable gentleman get up night after night with a flourish of trumpets, and with his twirly tongue talk about the poor shopkeepers and the old women, who should be allowed to sit up late at night, when he was opposing the Early Closing Bill? {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr Wilks: -- The present honorable members for Parramatta and Dalley fought for it. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Thank goodness I could have passed the measure without the assistance of the honorable members for Parramatta and Dalley. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The honorable gentleman made a lightning change to get office. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- When the honorable member for Parramatta, who never passed a single Democratic measure in his life, accuses me of not voting for Democratic measures, I cannot allow such a statement to go unchallenged. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The only thing they ever passed was the land tax, which they now denounce. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- And it was partly whittled away. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Of course it was whittled awa v. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I have here a list of Acts which have been passed by this Parliament, and I wish to know whether honorable members opposite, after all their outbursts against the provisions of the Immigration Restriction Act, are going to remove that Act from the statute-book? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- They will remove nothing: {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- They will not remove themselves until they are kicked out. {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr Bowden: -- The honorable gentleman will not be here at the time. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I shall be here long after the honorable member for Nepean. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The man who applied the first education test is on this side. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Then he did it by accident, I suppose. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That was in the days when the honorable gentleman was opposing everything Democratic in New South Wales. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I deny that, and I ask that the honorable member for Parramatta should be compelled to with-' draw that statement, which is a libel on me. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I certainly shall not. It is the simple truth. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable member for Hume has been libelling every one to-night. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I -have been telling the truth. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable member has not. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Will the honorable member take his seat? A number of interjections made in the last few moments have drawn the honorable member entirely off hi, subject. Most of his speech for the last quarter of an hour or twenty minutes has been due to interjections which were quite beside the mark. I ask honorable members to refrain from interjections which can be of no possible service to the debate, and which simply put the honorable member for Hume off the track. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I was saying that I have here a' list of Acts which have been passed by this Parliament since it first met, and I would like one of these carping honorable gentlemen we are opposed by, and by whom we have been sold - because the Protectionists were sold, as Metz was sold by Bazaine - to say what Acts of the Federal Parliament they wish to repeal. It would take some time to go through the list, and as I have other matters to refer to, perhaps I should not detain honorable members with it now. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- Let the honorable gentleman refer to the principal measures. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Are they going to amend the Arbitration Act now that they have a majority ? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- Hear, hear; to keep Labour lawyers out of the Arbitration Court. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- They might do something to keep lawyers out of the Ministry. Are honorable members opposite going to repeal the Commonwealth Franchise Act which would mean denying votes to women? A great many of them were opposed to that measure. {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr Bowden: -- What rubbish ! {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The honorable member is a bit of rubbish himself. Honorable members opposite are not game to do that. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I gave the franchise to women in Western Australia, before I came here. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The right honorable gentleman was led to it like a bullock to the pen. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Are honorable members opposite going to repeal the Immigration Restriction Act? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- They said they would do so. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- They said so many a time. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- What about the White Ocean policy ? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Yes ; are they going to repeal that, and the Sea Carriage of Goods Act? Do they intend to repeal the Anti-Trusts Acts? Will they give in to the big monopolists and repeal all the legislation which those people wish to have repealed ? I think that they will very shortly avail themselves of an opportunity to do that. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Sea Carriage of Goods Act was passed by the right honorable member for East Sydney. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- What about the Australian Industries Preservation Act and the Bounties Act? Air. Hughes. - What about the Surplus Revenue Act ? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- They ought to repeal that, too. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- They were all against it to a man. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr Wilks: -- Not all. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- All but one or two. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The honorable member will kindly take his seat. I am very sorry to have to call attention to the fact that the honorable member for Dalley and the honorable member for West Sydney have both transgressed the direction I gave. If my direction is transgressed again I must name the honorable member who is guilty. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I have referred to a few of the more important measures which have been passed in this Parliament. There are many more to which I might refer, but there are other matters which I wish to deal with. I should like to ask the present Government what they intend to do about the Customs duties? Are they going to allow the Customs and Excise Tariffs to remain as they are? I hold in my hand two lists of the anomalies which were prepared by the Department, one containing fifty-one items, and the . other twenty -nine items. A great many of them are very serious anomalies. Are we not going to do anything with the Tariff for five years? I can hardly believe that the Prime Minister has agreed to such an outrageous proposal. Take the Commonwealth Oil Corporation, in New South Wales, which has spent nearly ^800,000 in developing one of the finest industries to be found in Australia, and which is being crushed out by the Standard Oil Company.. They have constructed a railway, and got everything at work. At the present moment they are raising a further capital of ,£400,000 to develop what will be one of the greatest industries in the Commonwealth, and will employ from 3,000 to 4,000 or 5,000 men. This will be crushed out of existence if the Tariff is not altered. The honorable member for Yarra was very much impressed with the extent of the works which he recently visited, though he was opposed at one time to the imposition of the duty on oil. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- Is he now in favour of a duty on kerosene oil ? **S"ir WILLIAM** LYNE.- I am not going to speak for the honorable member. {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- What did the honorable member for Nepean say about that? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- This industry is situated in the electorate of that honorable member. Is he going to sit quietly all the time and allow it to be squeezed out? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- He is not going to interject. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- He will not sit there for long. At Ipswich, in Queensland, we have a cotton industry which is staggering at the present time, because it is not protected. When the Tariff was under consideration, the representatives of Queensland tried their best, and I tried to help them, to secure some Protection for the industry. It is in a languishing state, and every one knows that all the cotton required in Australia could -be grown and manufactured at Ipswich with the aid of a little protection to keep out the cheap article. Are we going to leave our iron industries as they are now? Are we not going to give them a different class of bounty in place of the present very unsatisfactory one, or a duty ? Are we going to leave these anomalies unredressed? At the present moment a gentleman from Tasmania is preparing a petition for a satisfactory duty on timber. He has called a convention, and the petition will be presented to the Ministry in the course of a few days. The absence of a proper duty is destroying the whole of the timber industry in Tasmania. I think I am right in saying that 500 men have been discharged within the last week or two. {: .speaker-KVJ} ##### Mr Storrer: -- And 500 more are to be discharged in twelve months. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Are we to sit twiddling our thumbs for five years, with an unknown arrangement between two bodies diametrically opposed in principles and policy, because three or four honorable members who are represented by the Prime Minister are afraid of losing their seats? Is that the way in which the Government of this country is to be carried on ? Shame upon any Protectionists in the Ministry, or out of it, who will vote for any candidate who is prepared to sit down quietly for five years and allow all these industries, not only to remain as they are, but to gradually sink and to be destroyed? I think that the feeling of this country has begun-, to find expression. I have attended two or three meetings, and, though the press attempt to suppress what takes place, never have I, as a politician, felt the power of the people rising in its might, as it is rising now, against those who have betrayed them. It is not to be supposed that this House will consent to sit down quietly and submit to an arrangement which was arrived at behind the back of Parliament, and under which our industries are going to languish, and some of them to die. It is impossible to conceive that such a state of things can be suffered to occur. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- In Queensland they want an increased duty on bananas. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Yes. Let me turn, for a moment, to another subject. Probably, I have skipped two or three things which I had intended to say. Things too hard cannot be said against honorable members who are parties to this terrible thing which is going to besmirch the escutcheon of Australia for all time, and who will each be branded by a name which I gave to them some nights ago. Let me turn, for a few moments, to the *Dreadnought* offer. What is the Government going to do in this matter? It was the most reckless and stupid thing which was ever proposed. I can say that, without fear of being successfully accused of disloyalty, for when there was some reason for sending troops to South Africa - on one occasion when the British troops had suffered a rebuff - I was the first man in Australiato send troops to help the British Government, and I sent more than all the other States did. My opponents can say what they like of me, but no one will believe their statements. The Prime Minister knows that he and I were present at more than one Conference in which it was urged upon us to build a navy of small ships, such as torpedo destroyers and submarines. Before I went to Great Britain I was against such a proposition, though for some years one of the powerful newspapers here had advocated the formation of an Australian navy. But I listened to the representations made by the Admiralty, and I was convinced - against my will, I might almost say - that the proper course for us to take was to build a navy at their request. After our return, the question of an additional subsidy was discussed. That was not asked for, nor was it required, but the Home authorities did want us to build such a navy of small ships as would protect us against a marauding fleet whenever Great Britain was engaged in a heavy naval war in either the North Sea or in the China Sea. Suppose, I said to the Lord of the Admiralty, an enemy sent down battle-ships. He snapped his fingers. " Oh, " he replied, "You need not worry about battle-ships. If we are at war with any nation, they will want all their battle-ships where we are. They could not afford to send any elsewhere. What we want you to do" - and the Prime Minister knows all this - "is to protect your cities from marauding squadrons and to protect your coal-fields, until such time as we either win or are defeated, and the latter is not to be thought of. When we win, we can give you attention; but we fear that, if we have to call all our ships away to one particular place you might be in trouble with small vessels sent by the enemy." It was that which convinced me, and the Prime Minister asked me, as Treasurer, to place this money in a reserve fund, for the purpose of commencing to build ships. I was attacked by the States for doing- so, because they wished to have the money ; indeed, if they had their own way they would take possession not only of all the money, but of this Parliament, too. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDonald: -- Did the States not test the matter in the High Court? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Yes; I had forgotten that fact. The Prime Minister decided to build six torpedo boat destroyers, whereas the ex- Prime Minister proposed to build twenty-three, the work to extend over three years and to cost £2,000,000. Why, then, should any objections have been raised to the action of the ex-Prime Minister? {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Where was he going to get the money? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- He would use the money that the States get now. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- All of it? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- An expenditure of ,£2,000,000 extending over three years is only about ,£700,000 a year. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- No money could be taken until 1910. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- There is enough money to go on with until 1910; and the ships are being built now. The ex- Prime Minister did not talk, but acted. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- He violated a pledge to Parliament. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- It was better to do that than to spend ,£2,000,000 on a *Dreadnought* which will be old iron in a few years. These constant attacks on the loyalty of Australians are enough to create disloyalty; and, besides, they create a feeling that we in Australia are not true to the Empire. I unhesitatingly say, however, that, to a man, Australians are loyal, though they do not wear their hearts on their sleeve all the time. Coming from Tasmania the other day in the *Loongana,* I met a gentleman:, who evidently had a grievance and was talking against everything - against loyalty and other feelings and emotions of that kind. He did not know me at the time, and, on my asking him if he was expressing his honest convictions, he said he was. Some one then told him who T was, and I asked him, "What Constitution or nation would you like to live under, instead of the British?" and he replied, " I would not live under any other - the British people and Constitution for me!" And then I told him that he ought not to talk a lot of nonsense which he did not mean. We hear many people talking in a similar strain, but we always find that on no account would they change the British Crown and Constitution for any other. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- What about the utterances at Broken Hill? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Too much is made of what is said at Broken Hill by men who are grieved and goaded by., in mam cases, starvation, to strong language. {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr Bowden: -- What about the Sydney *Bulletin ?* {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- That is the most powerful journal in Australia,, and it would no more think of "cutting 'the painter" than would the honorable member or myself. The loyalty of my forefathers has descended to me and mine, and I contend that there are no disloyal people in Australia. Let us do as **Sir Wilfrid** Laurier proposes. He was too sensible to offer a *Dreadnought.* Whatever arrangement is made between the Dominions and the British Government will be adhered to by that statesman, as I know it will be adhered to by us. If there were any dread of invasion every man here would give his last shilling to assist in the defence of our shores. {: .speaker-JMG} ##### Mr Atkinson: -- It might be too late then. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Nonsense ! We are all willing to help in the defence of the Empire as far as possible; but we ought to get the advice of those who know better than' we do before we plunge into an expenditure of ,£2,000,000 on a *Dreadnought* that may soon be rotten. Do honorable members know that the price of a *Dreadnought* represents £2 per head of every family in Australia? That, it will be admitted, is a pretty heavy tax. {: .speaker-JMG} ##### Mr Atkinson: -- It need not necessarily be a *Dreadnought.* It may be an equivalent. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- There is the cloven hoof ! The late Government were attacked because they did not propose to present a *Dreadnought;* but, when it was thought that the public feeling on the point was getting weaker, the suggestion was a *Dreadnought* or an equivalent. If the present Prime Minister could have ousted the late Government on a direct motion in regard to the *Dreadnought,* he would have done so; but he dare not and could not take that step. The present Prime Minister put out the Watson Government, and" at the time the Labour party, led by the honorable member for Wide Bay, took action against the Deakin Government, he 'knew that he could not expect their support any longer. The Labour Government came down to the House, with a better programme than we had, more especially in regard to the question of naval defence, but the honorable member for Ballarat did not give them an opportunity to explain their programme. ' {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- They did not give him much of a chance. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- We knew what they intended to do, and 'the Prime Minister ought not to have been disappointed when they took action to bring about our retirement from office. The honorable gentleman knew what was coming, and when the history of Australia is written all this will be told. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- Let us have it now. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The Prime Minister himself should give the story to the House. The honorable gentleman attacked the late Ministry, gagged them, did not allow them to say a word, and in that way committed one of the most diabolical acts ever heard of. That was the way he treated a party that had supported* Governments of which he was a member from the inception of Federation. That was the way he treated a party that had supported him longer than it had supported any other Prime Minister. After promising to support the Labour Government when they met Parliament, after the recess, he put them out by means of the extraordinary motion which we all remember. It is said by the press that the debate on this motion is long, and that " stone-walling " is being indulged in. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Hear, hear ! {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Does the honorable member think, having regard to the way in which the present Prime Minister prevented the Labour Government from giving expression to their views and their policy, that the Opposition are going to remain silent? But for that action on the part of the Prime Minister, we should not have had this long discussion. In going before the electors an honorable member has a duty to perform to his constituents and to himself. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- But you are not going to the country. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- You are going sooner than you think. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Trie honorable member must address the Chair. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The Prime Minister is greatly mistaken if he imagines that honorable members are not going to let their constituents know what is taking place here, despite the refusal of the press to publish a report of the debates. Every elector will be informed of the iniquities of the Prime Minister, and those connected with him, before the next general election takes place. I have asked more than once what is the arrangement between the two parties to the Coalition, but the Prime Minister sits in his place as silent as the grave. He has broken up his party ; he has sold it, and has joined the Conservatives by whom he is now being driven. What are they going to do? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- How many more times is the honorable member going to say that? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- It cannot be said too often. The Conservatives are in a majority in the Cabinet, and they will apply the lash when the time comes. I come now to the question of a land tax. I cannot say that I am in favour of both a Federal and a State land tax, but I notice that some of the State Governments now give indications of their intention to' impose one. That will be another amiable action on their Dart. The Sydney newspapers are urging the Government of New South Wales to impose, such a tax, and I understand that a similar tax has been proposed by the Victorian State Government. Why are the States taking this step? Is it not to prevent the Commonwealth doing so ? I hold that we should have a uniform progressive land tax applying all over the Commonwealth. We should not have a high land tax in one State and a low one in another j we should have a uniform tax, based upon value, and not upon acreage. In order to secure such a tax action must be taken by the Commonwealth rather than by the States. {: .speaker-JMG} ##### Mr Atkinson: -- The honorable member does not favour a Commonwealth land tax as well as a State land tax? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- No. I believe that we. should have only one progressive land tax, and that it should be imposed by the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- Is the honorable member in favour of any exemption? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I am in favour of the exemption of all estates of the unimproved value of .£5,000, or of, perhaps, an even larger exemption. {: .speaker-JMG} ##### Mr Atkinson: -- Such a tax would not yield enough revenue. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- We are pre- . pared to trust to its yielding the revenue we require. I desire now to refer briefly to the question of navigation. A Navigation Bill has been before Parliament for some time. It was in existence long before the honorable member for West Sydney and I went to England to take part in the Navigation Conference. At that Conference we secured great concessions, and it was understood when we left that the Commonwealth Government would be entitled to embody those concessions in the Bill then before the Parliament. Nothing, however, has since been done in the direction of making the necessary amendments, but a lot of twaddle has been written in despatches passing between the Commonwealth Parliament and the British Board of Trade. Every recommendation made by the Board of Trade means a whittling away of the concessions we gained at the Conference. It is absolutely necessary that the whole question of navigation should be dealt with at the earliest possible date, and dealt with on the lines that were agreed upon at the Conference. I come now to the question of finance, to which I should not have referred had you not ruled me out of order, **Mr. Speaker,** when I attempted, a few nights ago, to deal with it. I wish to have placed on record in *Hansard* what was the proposal that I submitted to the Conference of State Premiers. I must commend the present Prime Minister for the attitude that he took at that Conference, and for the way in which he assisted me to submit my proposals. The scheme was based largely on that prepared by the honorable member for Mernda. It provided that the Commonwealth should take over the whole of the debts of the States, which amounted at the time to some£246,000,000, but which amount now, 1 understand, to £252,000,000. Each State was to pay, for a period of five years, annually to the Commonwealth the difference between its share of the£6,000,000 of Customs and Excise which we proposed to divide between them and the interest and expenses due on its transferred debt. At the end of the five years those annual payments were to be continued, but were to be reduced by a sliding scale, operating annually for thirty years. At the end of that period the States were to be absolutely free of indebtedness as regards the transferred loans. That scheme was supported in the most energetic way by the Prime Minister at the Conference, and the honorable gentleman also gave me great assistance in preparing it. It is the best offer that has ever been made to the States, and the easiest that they are ever likely to obtain. Until the finances of the Commonwealth and those of the States are separated, so that there may be no juggling with them, we cannot hope for harmony between the Federation and the States. The operation of the Braddon section in the ordinary course of events will terminate at the end of 1910, and I can only describe as unjustifiable the proposal topostpone for live years the consideration of the whole financial question, which is now ready to be dealt with. The Commonwealth has power to deal with it if it thinks fit, without consulting the States. It may exercise that power if the States will not come to any agreement with us in the matter. Every one recognises that the Commonwealth must have more revenue. Our works are growing apace. We have a proposal to construct a railway from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie, and there is also a prospective line to Port Darwin. We have also to deal with the finances of the Post Office. I shall resist to the utmost the borrowing of money for any of these purposes, though I do not know whether railways can be built without borrowing money. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- A non-borrowing policy for the Commonwealth ! {: #subdebate-4-0-s9 .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES · PROT; IND from 1910 -- Yes. Once borrowing commences it is an easy thing to continue, because the imposing of taxation is unpleasant. When large projects are entered upon, and money has to be found for them, politicians are prone to say, "Let us borrow it," to spare themselves the unpleasantness of having to increase the taxes. {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr Bowden: -- The honorable member is an authority upon borrowing. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- When at the head of a Government in New South Wales I did not borrow as much as the last State Government borrowed. If spent between £20,000,000 and£22,000,000 of borrowed money in addition to£19,000,000 received from the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- Besides, the honorable member borrowed for resumption purposes. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Yes. I do not wish to weary the House. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- It is wearied. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- No doubt my speech has been wearisome to "Protraders" and " Freetectionists " like the honorable member. If I had turned and twisted about, and jumped Tim Crow, as he has done, I should feel that I had dishonoured, my career, and should leave Parliament. The honorable member, when on this side of the Chamber, had a face as long as a fiddle ; but now both he and the right honorable member for Swan are covered with smiles. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Minister for Defence · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The way in which the honorable member goes on would make any one smile. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I havedone what I conceive to be my duty. The Commonwealth has been disgraced by thisunholy combination. No matter what the newspapers may say, their masters, the people, will resent it when honorable members go before them. Last nightI heard **Senator Sir Josiah** Symon deliver a speech in the otherChamber which, for scathing language-- {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The honorable member may not refer to what occurred in another place. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I shallsay merely that I heard a speech which still makes my ears tingle. Never before have I heard such scathing words. Honorable members will feel the effect of it. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- Thank God, we have a Senate {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Honorable members opposite do not say that. They wish there was not a Senate. To-night the Government could not keep a House in that Chamber, so that there was a count-out. I feel strongly on these matters, and so do the people. They are uplifted with horror at this combination. ' We used to have a journal in Melbourne which stood for Liberalism and Protection. Now the Protectionist cause here, at any rate, is practically lost for the time. The Protectionist party will not be brought together again for many years. But I am glad that in Sydney we have a newspaper which, last month,doubled its circulation, and will this month quadruple it, the *Australian Star,* a Protectionist organ, which will ultimately take the place of the other newspapers which have gone back on their principles. {: #subdebate-4-0-s10 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth .- I congratulate honorable members of the Opposition upon the cheery optimism with which they repeat again and again the same old arguments, believing that they are adding thereby to the sum-total of human knowledge. In all that was said by the honorable member for Hume, there was much that was unpleasant, little that was to the point, and nothing that was new. Yet the honorable gentleman has delivered himself of his wonderful oration as if ho, of all political mariners, were The first that ever burst Into this silent sea. He has delivered the speech which we were led to anticipate, which has been so carefully advertised for weeks past. Bombshell after bombshell has been hurled at the Ministerial citadel, and I ask you, **Mr. Speaker** to gaze at the carnage which has resulted. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- There is one carnage on his feet. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Yes, the honorable member is the carnage forIbelieve in truth, he is the only person who will be found to be damagedby the reckless statements which he has made to-night. Like a Chinese mandarin of the first rank, he has, for the last two and three-quarter hours, been hurling stink-pot after stink-pot at these who have succeeded him on the Treasury bench, and the result of his Herculean labours is merely an unpleasant smell.I regret that he should have again taxed the patience of the House by bickering - I can use no other word - with the right honorable member for Swan. I suggest that these two honorable gentlemen might leave each other alone. The time was when we had our right honorable knight exploding in opposition against their honorable knight in office. Now we have their honorable knight out in the cold, and at the same time very heated, attacking with the greatest vehemence a right honorable gentleman whose head is so deep in the nose-bag that he does not mind what is being said. Whatever the disqualifications of the Treasurer for his position, no man in the Chamber has less right to criticise him than has the honorable member for Hume. It seems to me that these honorable gentlemen are very much alike. Both smile when in office, and both are so angry when out of it that they can hardly articulate. The House recognises this, and it could well be spared their mutual recrimination. I appeal to that deep sentiment of Christian forgiveness, which is the noblest trait in the grand nature of the honorable member for Hume. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- He forgot his halo tonight. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- As he left the Chamber he referred to himself as carnage, so that it seems to me that the result preceded the cause. I suggest to him that, if he has such a contempt for the position of the right honorable member for Swan that he would scorn to be in his place, he should scorn to be in his shoes. If he adopts that sort of attitude, he will soon attain that sweet reasonableness of mind that is generally the chief adornment of advancing years. The honorable member for Hume has not been behaving himself very well lately. He has actually had the temerity to accuse me of a number of most grievous political faults. He finds fault with me on the score of an attenuated frame and the fewness of my years. The honorable member is ill-advised in attacking me for the two things which I am sure he envies me most. Youth is a blank cheque upon the bank of life, and I would remind the honorable member that even an unpresented cheque is better than one that has been dishonoured. I respect age as much as the honorable member envies youth, but I most respect. the age that can respect itself. The honorable member told the House a great deal about his absolutely immaculate political virtue. He claimed that he had never done wrong in his life. I should be sorry to enter the lists on a question of accuracy with the honorable member upon a subject about which he has infinitely greater knowledge than I have, but I should like to produce undeniable evidence that the honorable member is wrong. I. would put into the witness-box no less a person than Todhunter, the writer of the mathematical text-book. He has laid it down that - >There is no power, however great, > >Can stretch a cord, however fine, > >Into a horizontal *line,* > >Which shall be absolutely straight. That is true also of the honorable member for Hume, for I know of no power that can stretch him until he is absolutely straight. Only to-night he denounced the honorable member for Parramatta, or some one else, for telling the House that on one occasion he either cut down, or threatened to cut down wages. He characterized that statement as wildly inaccurate. I hold in my hand an extract from the *Labour Call* of June, 1909, which refers to the honorable member for Hume in this way - >He did not support Labour, but. only opposed Cook and Free Trade. Anybody who saw thehonorable member's attitude to-night must recognise how true that is - >Let us not suppose that our enemy's enemy is necessarily our friend. I recommend that very sensible statement to my honorable friends on the Opposition benches - >Arthur Rae, ex-Labour member, New South Wales, thus described Lyne in the *Wagga Hummer:* - " W.J. Lyne, Minister for Works, held office before, and tried to smash the railwaymen's union. He pulled wages down on the railways sixpence per day." I quote from the Queensland *Worker,* 14 November, 1891. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr Mahon: -- I happen to know that that is not correct. The honorable member for Hume was Secretary for Public Works when the railway union was recognised. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I am quoting a gentleman whose sincerity is sufficiently accepted by the political unions of New South Wales to lead them to indorse his candidature for the Senate for the next elections. I hope the honorable member for Coolgardie will write to **Mr. Rae,** in justice to the honorable member for Hume, and let him know how the matter stands. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr Mahon: -- It is twenty-two years since the honorable member for Hume recognised the railway union. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: **- Mr. Rae,** who ought to know what he is doing, wrote that in one of the Labour papers. If the Labour party are not satisfied withit, I hope they will take immediate steps to contradict that base slander by one of their candidates for the Senate upon their friend and helpmate in this Chamber. The honorable member for Hume told us of certain private Ministerial conversations, which were subject to Cabinet secrecy, and which he had had with certain honorable gentlemen now occupying the Treasury bench. It is impossible for them to 'answer his statements, because if they attempted to do so they would be just as foresworn as he is in giving utterance to them. The honorable member did not stop at what was said by his ex-colleagues. He said he had conversations, which I presume were confidential, with Cabinet Ministers in theOld Land, and that they told him that what the Labour party now propose in naval defence was absolutely the right thing to do. I shall read what the first Lord of the Admiralty in England really did say at the Conference, and honorable members will find it very different from the honorable member for Hume's version. He told us that what the Imperial Government were anxious for was this Ultramontane idea of a separate Australian navy, absolutely apart from the organization of the Imperial Navy, with which we must stand or fall. {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- That is not correct. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Is not the Labour party's idea of an Australian navy something that must be absolutely under Australian control? {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- Quite incorrect. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Then are the Labour party prepared to join in the Imperial naval organization in regard to what Australia is prepared to do ? I hear no answer to that question. Every man in the House knows that my statement of the Labour position is absolutely correct. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- The late Prime Minister offered all the resources of the Commonwealth to assist England. {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- It was the labouring men that went to fight in South Africa, and not men of the honorable member's class. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- The honorable member for Newcastle's insinuation reflects no credit upon him. The Labour Prime Minister, who said that the whole of the resources of Australia would be at the back of the Mother Country in her hour of need, also 'told us that we were suffering from hysteria, when we wanted to make proper preparations to assist her. It seems to me that we were both suffering from a sort of hysteria. Ours was the sort of hysteria that makes* a prudent man insure his house when he sees a fanatic around with a fire stick. Theirs, when the time comes, will be the hysteria of a caged rat when it finds itself in a trap, and when, too late, it seeks to put forth its efforts to free itself from the danger that has long been coming. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- A " ratty " illustration. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- That remark reminds me of something which the honorable member for West Sydney was guilty of in my electorate. He went out and told the people there that the naval policy of his partywas "of the earth, earthy." Personally, I said at once, I was very sorry to hear it. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- He was alluding to the land policy. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I am not talking of the honorable member's or his friends' capacity to acquire land, while advocating land nationalization ! The honorable member was talking of the Labour party, and said that its naval policy was "of the earth, earthy. v I was sorry to hear that, because we all know the type of animal that lives under the earth. Rats live under the earth, and the rat that deserts a ship that is not sinking, and will not sink if it is stood by, is not only a lat but " ratty." I commend that to my honorable friend who interjects. I was dealing with the question of Australian defence. Honorable members opposite talk as if all that was required for Australian defence was for us to look after our own coastline, and let other people do our business for us in other parts of the world. But do these honorable members know - they who pretend to represent the working community of Australia - that there is hardly a man in this country who would not lose his occupation and his livelihood if the command of the seas were taken from Great Britain? If they doubt my statement, let them look to the markets that absorb the products of the labour of the labourers whom they pretend to represent in this House. They will find that 98J per cent, of the wool which Australia grows is consumed elsewhere. They will find- that about *86* per cent, of the chief minerals that Australia produces are consumed elsewhere. They will find that 40 per cent, odd of our butter, and 56 per cent, of our wheat are consumed elsewhere. That means, if it means anything, that if Australian trade is interfered with on its course to its markets - and where so easy to interfere with it as when it converges on the coasts of our enemies near its markets? - 98 * per cent, of our shearers, and our men engaged in pastoral pursuits, will lose their livelihood, that 56 per cent, of our wheat growers, 40 per cent, of our butter producers, 86 per cent, of our miners in our principal mining industries, will lose absolutely the occupations upon which they depend to-day, and that the commerce of these great cities which handle their goods for them, and the livelihood of the people of these cities, will be entirely destroyed. That being so, surely we have to have regard to the great question of the command of the seas and the security of our trade on its way from Australia to its markets throughout the world, and we must not deal with this question in an Ultramontane spirit, refusing to have anything to do with the great Imperial organization to which we belong, standing out se fishly and alone, paddling our own canoe, and hoping that no storm will come to swamp us. The Labour party claim not to be bound by any question outside their own caucus pledge. Is that a fair statement of the Labour position? I interpret the silence of the Opposition as assent. Inside the platform of the party these honorable members say they are bound to vote solidly, but that they are free on other questions. But I remind you, Mr. Speaker,* of divisions which we have had in this House when these honorable members have voted solidly, although the question at issue has not affected the platform of their party. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- That does not prove anything. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- The honorable member will find it difficult to discover any set of divisions, outside its platform, in which his party have voted solidly on other than Imperial questions. Of course, we understand tha,t on questions affecting the fate of a Government, or on questions affecting their party programme, they are expected to vote solidly. {: .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY:
DARWIN, TASMANIA · ALP -- - We are not bound to vote as a whole even on questions affecting the fate of a Government. We are free ; honorable members opposite are bound. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- That makes my position the stronger. The first division to which I will call your attention, **Mr. Speaker,** took place when the Government, then led by **Sir Edmund** Barton, brought down the Naval Agreement. The Naval Agreement aimed at the training of Australian seamen in the Imperial Navy. If these honorable members wished to support an Australian Navy, then, having regard to the fact that it takes about four times as long to train a man as it does to build a ship, they ought to have jumped at that opportunity which was afforded for the training of men in the Imperial Navy while getting ready to build ships for the Australian Navy they advocate. But did they do any such thing? No. When it was a question of Imperial co-operation these honorable members voted solidly against the Naval Agreement, which ha3 no relation to anything in their party platform. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- We were not bound to do it, all the same. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- They were not bound? Why, then, did they vote solidly against this Imperial project? {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- Because the Admiralty did not want it. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- How ridiculous. We had just made an agreement with the Admiralty ; we sought to obtain the sanction of Parliament to that agreement, under which, I understand, the Admiralty asked for a larger amount than we gave. {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- They did not. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The Admiralty were very anxious to have that agreement ratified. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- We made an agreement with them, and the Prime Minister of the day asked for its ratification. But honorable members opposite, as a party, voted solidly against that Naval Agreement. I come to another question that had never been submitted to the electors of Australia ; a question upon which men might easily be found differing, without in any way being necessarily said to have their Imperial loyalty affected. They brought before this House the question of Home Rule for Ireland. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- Did they vote together then? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Here we have interjecting an honorable member who was formerly an Orangeman, and he commends his party for not voting against Home Rule. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- The honorable member is misrepresenting me deliberately. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- The del'iberateness of any action of mine is a matter about which the honorable member can know nothing. In that respect his remark is like many of his statements in this House. If I have misrepresented him, I withdraw the observation ; but does he say he would vote against Home Rule on a similar occasion? He does not like to give a reply. He is, as usual, on the fence. I am not going to "enter into the merits of Home Rule. {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- Will the honorable member say in what way he voted on that question ? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I voted against the Home Rule resolution. {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- Exactly; the honorable member is always against everything democratic. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I am inviting the attention of honorable members to a chain of motions. I know that some people might vote for Home Rule, and at the same time be the keenest Imperialists. There are some people who might be against an Imperial Naval Agreement, and yet be Imperialists. But we have here two instances in which the members of this party, in matters which have nothing to do with their pledges, voted solidly against the side of the subject on which the majority of Imperialists were ranged. I take honorable members along to another stage. I would like to remind them of a motion introduced by the present Prime Minister, in which it was proposed that the Australian Commonwealth should contribute the small amount of ,£25,000 to a project intended to honour the memory of ohe of England's greatest Queens. Certainly that matter was not dealt with in the Labour platform, and yet with one exception honorable members opposite voted against it. There was only one man in the Labour party who had the manliness to get up and say that the opposition to the proposal was too mean, too contemptible, and that he would vote with the Government. {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- That does not prove the honorable member's point. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I have referred to the action of the party in connexion with three motions dealing with subjects outside their platform. {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- It was due in the last case to the simple reason that the Labour party wished to do something more creditable than was proposed. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Honorable members opposite can always find some excuse for the action they take. I come now to another stage. When, in answer to the statements of public men of all shades of opinion in England, the people of Australia were asked to show the people of England that they were willing to do for them what the forty odd millions of people in that country are prepared to do for us, although the question of giving *Dreadnoughts* to the Old Country is not upon the Labour platform^ honorable members opposite unanimously' told us that what was proposed was not what England wanted ! What did some gentlemen tell us when we were dealing with the Naval Agreement? Did not the ex-Minister of Defence, **Senator Pearce,** tell us some years ago that if we wished to help Great Britain we ought not to propose to help her with men and money, but by giving her a battleship? That was another occasion when they sought to interfere with our plan of Imperial co-operation by proposing something other than that which we had proposed, in order to split our forces. I say that this recent development of the party which used to be the Australian Labour party is one which will be regarded with the utmost suspicion by other sections of this community. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- It is marvellous that we should still get back here. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I do not think that my honorable friend will get back here as soon as this tendency is thoroughly understood, because there is one thing which may be said of the Australian public, and that is that it is loyal to the core. I say that the Labour party, having, without any references to such matters in their platform, voted solidly in all these cases against Imperial projects, is not a party which will commend itself to the intelligence of a loyal Australian people. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- The honorable member says that the party is disloyal? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I say that they exhibit a tendency to disloyalty ; not that they are disloyal. What honorable member on the other side would be such a fool as to wish to come out from under the protection of the Empire to which we belong? {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- It is they who will have to fight for the Empire. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Here is a warrior ! {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- Yes; I have been a warrior all my life, and I am prepared to war with the honorable member. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- There is a powder monkey. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- T - There are some things which one has to tolerate in a House of Parliament, and the honorable member for Gwydir is one of them. {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr Watkins: -- The honorable member need not tolerate it. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- These honorable gentlemen fire off insults, but as soon as they are touched up they want to take off their coats. Heaven forbid that they should' take off their coats ! My honorable friends have sought to take me off the track. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- Why does not the honorable member tell us how solid the Labour party were on the Postal Commission? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- They have been verysolid on a number of Commissions. I remember that honorable members of the party who were members of one Commission completely misrepresented a letter of one of the witnesses who appeared before the Commission. The question put by the honorable member for Kalgoorlie has reminded me of a report from the Tobacco Commission, of which, I think, the honorable member was a member? {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- No. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I should like to ask my honorable friends a few more questions about their caucus pledge. We are told that their platform is perfectly clear and definite, and that they are bound to vote as one only on questions affecting their platform. I believe I am right in saying that the second plank in the Labour platform is the nationalization of monopolies. What are "monopolies," according to my Labour friends? The Labour Commission which inquired into the tobacco monopoly, which was described as the greatest of them all, reported that it was only a "partial monopoly." So that, if the Labour plank about the nationalization of monopolies means anything, it means that power should be taken ,to nationalize "partial monopolies." The question of what monopolies are to be nationalized when the time arrives will be one affecting the platform of the party, and, as such, honorable members opposite must vote upon it as one. Now, the honorable member for Darwin, we will say for the sake of argument, may be very strongly in favour of nationalizing mines, and equally strongly opposed to the nationalization of other industries in which his constituency is not concerned, unless to pay for the process: I will suppose that the honorable member makes a. certain promise to his constituents against the nationalization of certain industries. He then comes into a free community of some twenty-seven honest, upright, stalwart warriors, and he is told that his views must be subordinated to the views of the majority. The verdict of the electors surely must be as important upon a question of finance as upon any other question that could arise. The question of the nationalization of monopolies is bound up with the question of finance, and honorable members opposite must admit, when they are squarely tackled, that on the most important of all their planks they must vote as a solid whole, in spite of any pledges they may have given individually to their constituents. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- They do not make pledges to their constituents which they do not keep here. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I propose now to read exactly what the responsible Minister in England said, and which was grossly misrepresented by the honorable member for Hume to-night. The first quotation is from Lord Tweedmouth, who was at the time First Lord of the Admiralty. These quotations all go to show that the one thing that England really wanted was that there should be one control over all the fleets of the different parts of the Empire, whatever they might each decide to do. The first quotation I have reads as follows : - Well, gentlemen, that being the case, what I have in the first place to ask is, that you should place confidence in the Board of Admiralty, and in the present Government, for the future safety of the country. We welcome you, and we ask you to take some leading part in making more complete than it is at present the Naval defence of the Empire. I wish to recognise all that our cousins over the sea have done in consequence of decisions of former Conferences. I know that you gave to the Government and to the Admiralty, with a free and unstinting hand, the help that you thought you could manage to give. Gentlemen, I have only one reservation to make, and in making it I ask that, as we have proved ourselves successful in the past, you should put your trust in us now. The only reservation that the Admiralty desire to make is, that they claim to have the charge of the strategical questions which are necessarily involved in Naval defence, to hold the command of the Naval Forces of the country, and to arrange the distribution of ships in the best possible manner to resist attacks and to defend the Empire at large, whether it be our own islands or the Dominions beyond the seas. I ask the House : Could this fused party have any better guarantee of the soundness of our defence plank than this proposition placed before us by Lord Tweedmouth, that there is to be one guiding authority governing strategical questions, arranging for the distribution of ships, and generally responsible for the discipline of the whole? That is just the one thing which Lord Tweedmouth as First Lord of the Admiralty asked, but which those honorable gentlemen on the other side with such strange Ultramontane tendencies would be the last to allow him to have. The honorable member for Hume, in trying to make the House and the country believe that private interviews he had with Ministers in England had convinced him of their belief in the soundness of Australia's views on naval defence, took a step which I think reflected little credit on himself, and did little justice to the intelligence or industry of honorable members who have access to parliamentary papers. I feel that I need not quote any more on that subject, for I realize that a Government supporter has necessarily to be as brief as possible. On a well-known advertisement the other night I saw a motto which struck me as an excellent one for honorable members on this side to live up to. It was " *Bien faire et rien dire,"* which might be interpreted, "Do well, and let others do the talking." I think that, generally speaking, that is the motto of honorable members on this side. Before I resume my seat I wish to say that the statement made by the honorable member for Hume this afternoon with reference to myself was made entirely without authority or justification. Pointing at me he said that I was sitting on thorns and was only seeking a suitable opportunity of getting a seat in another part of the chamber. That statement is entirely without authority or justification. It is true that I sit in this extreme corner among Government supporters, and it is true that in the past I have been most bitterly opposed to a large section of the Ministerial party. But I regard honorable members on this side as the one element of hope in the present political situation. I sit in this corner in order to be free to criticise if I believe that the honest spirit underlying our agreement is departed from by those at the head of affairs at present. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- Hulloa ! {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I believe and hope that the Prime Minister and the Ministry will loyally adhere to the spirit of that agreement. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- This is another stiletto. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- The honorable member has only just left the paradise of office, and his first thought is of an instrument of murder ! I was sorry to hear his remark, because I had thought that there was more forgiveness amongst my honorable friends. My honorable friends on the Treasury bench know well my position. I make it perfectly clear now because I do not wish my place here to be misunderstood in the future. My attitude to the Government is entirely friendly. None knows better than the Government that during the past few days I have been here to Ho my duty in any situation which honorable gentlemen on the other side might suddenly evolve. I hope that every honorable member on the Government side of the Chamber will be equally keen' to honour the honest spirit of this arrangement. I believe that that will be done. I feel that no such scrutiny is necessary, but being young I am somewhat suspicious. Several Honorable Members. - Oh ! {: #subdebate-4-0-s11 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I gave honorable members that laugh. I am here to help, with all the powers at my' disposal, the Government to carry on the affairs of the country on the lines laid down for our fusion. Another statement has been made which, in justice to honorable members on the Treasury bench, I want to clear up. It has been stated pretty frequently by the honorable member for Hume, and, I think, by the Leader of the Opposition, that I was by some mysterious process intrigued into moving the motion of adjournment on which the late Government was defeated. I take the full responsibility for the action I then took. I do not wish to be regarded as a man who was induced by anything but my own judgment to take "that step. I will give the House the benefit of the reasons which influenced me. **Senator Pearce,** the late Minister of Defence, was about to go to England to represent the Commonwealth at the Imperial Conference on Defence. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- He would have been a better representative than the man sent. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- The question of the man we send is not so important as the question of why we send him. I take it that this side of the House has sent a man to that Conference to acquire information of the Empire's needs and of Australia's duty to herself and to the Empire. Honorable members on the other side would have sent a man, not with an open mind, not to discuss as a free agent Australia's Imperial necessities, but bound before he left our shores to a certain set of naval principles which were obsolete twenty years before the Labour party adopted them, and which, were it not for the tendency to which I have referred this evening, would be absolutely inexplicable. We know that at the last Labour Conference a resolution was passed that all Australian delegates to future Imperial or Colonial Conferences be given definite instructions on specific subjects by the Federal Parliament. Parliament would have had no opportunity to give specific instructions, and so the Government would have had to act. **Senator Pearce** was to be bound to what the party was bound to, whatever Imperial necessities might be. I knew - we could see it in the daily prints - that unless the Labour Government left office before the following Wednesday, **Senator Pearce** was to sail for England, even though this House had lost confidence in them. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- Has the honorable member for Brisbane a free hand? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Not being a (member of the Government, I have nothing to do with these things, but I believe that he has been sent to England to gain all the information he can for the assistance of our people. Who is **Senator Pearce?** I believe that so far as land administration of the Defence Department is concerned he carried out the office intrusted to him with credit to himself. I believe that **Senator Pearce** was a good Minister, so far as the actual administration of the land part of his scheme was concerned. But how on earth was **Senator Pearce** to go Home to dictate strategy to a body of experts, representing the best opinions on defence questions in the whole world ? The honorable member for Brisbane goes Home as a student, whereas **Senator Pearce** would have gone Home as a dictator. The honorable member for Brisbane goes Home to acquire information, while **Senator Pearce** would have gone .to tell that humble institution called the Admiralty what a number of great fellows out here thought of its proposal. I realized that if the opportunity this Conference offers were missed, a great loss would be suffered by the Empire to which we all belong. I believe that before many years are passed this land, along with other sections of the Empire, will be engaged in the greatest struggle our race has ever been subjected to. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr Mahon: -- The honorable member will not be in it! {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- The honorable member fires usually from behind a hedge. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr Mahon: -- I do not see a hedge here. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- No ; but the honorable member did before he came here. I felt that the prime necessity of Australia was to have this country represented at that Conference. The Mother Country is shouldering the whole burden of defence without a single supporter in reality throughout the world. Canada, seduced by the Monroe doctrine, is almost indifferent as to the maintenance of sea command; and South Africa, only recently emerged from a racial struggle, is also as yet indifferent' on the subject. We findonly the loyal Dominion of New Zealand - which is none the less democratic because it is loyal - determined to stand or fall with the great country from which she sprang. Had the opinion of the majority of the Australian people not been represented at the Imperial Conference, we might have lost our last chance to get ready for the great crisis which awaits us ; and that would have been the most serious wrong that Parliament could do to the Democracy of Australia. I took the action I did-- {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- The Prime Minister took responsibility for it at the time. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I do not think I am betraying any confidence if I say I myself drew attention to this serious danger, and suggested that the honorable member for Parramatta, as Leader of the Opposition, should take the step which eventuallyI took myself. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- Why did the Leader of the Opposition not take the step ? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Because, I presume, he wanted to be free from the sort of accusation which would have been immediately made against him, and most unjustly. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- He left thehonorable member to do the dirty work! {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I did not regard it as dirty work, but as absolutely , necessary work. I am reminded of what honorable members opposite said in regard to the closure resolution. I remember sitting here from the Tuesday until midnight on Saturday. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- The honorable member talked for the best part of a week. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- We put up a defence against the closure resolutions that were introduced to stifle criticism of the Union Label proposal which was introduced after the Appropriation Bill had been passed. Honorable members opposite, who now go about the country crying out " the gag," might well study their own speeches on that occasion. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- The honorable member did all the speaking on that occasion. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- But honorable members have spoken outside ; and they ought to remember that "the gag" was proposed to pass a measure which had never been before the country, and which was placed before us after the Appropriation Bill had been passed, when the House no longer had control through the public purse over public policy. I regret I have had to detain honorable members so long ; but I had to make a statement in fairness to my friends on this side, and to reply to certain remarks made by the honorable member for Hume in the course of the eloquent, able, and moderate address we listened to this evening. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Webster)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 1039 {:#debate-5} ### PAPER **Mr. DEAKIN** laid upon the table the following paper : - Prickly pear - Report on the plant - by Sena tor McColl. Ordered to be printed. {: .page-start } page 1039 {:#debate-6} ### ADJOURNMENT Old-age Pensions. {: #debate-6-s0 .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN:
Prime Minister · Ballarat · Protectionist -- I move - That the House do now adjourn. In submitting this motion, I repeat my invitation to honorable members to compress their remarks on. the want of confidence motion, in order, if possible, to close the debate to-morrow. {: #debate-6-s1 .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR:
Yarra .- I desire to call the attention of the Treasurer to one or two matters in connexion with the transfer of certificates from the State to the Commonwealth for the payment of old-age pensions. In the first place, I point out that, owing to a mistake of the news papers, a number of applicants were induced to go to the Court House at Richmond for the purpose of being examined by a magistrate, andwere thus putto some inconvenience. Then, I suggestthat some arrangement should be made so that the old people may not be compelled tostand out in the cold, in weather such as we are now experiencing. To-day applicants who attended at North Richmond Town Hall were told that they would have to go back over the hill to South Richmond ; and if they are compelled to go there, there ought to be some arrangement made for the use of the balls, so that they may not be left exposed to the weather. It is true that the halls are not artificially heated, but some such arrangements as I suggest would be welcome. I desire to render my meed of praise to the officials who administer the Act, and also to the sergeant of police who has the ordering of the crowd. More courtesy or kindness could not have been shown to the old people ; but the room provided, which will hold thirty or forty, is altogether insufficient for the numbers who attend. {: #debate-6-s2 .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST:
Treasurer · Swan · Protectionist . -Ishall be glad to see what can be done. If there are halls close by, and those in charge will place them at our disposal, it will be a great convenience. At any rate, I shall consult the Commissioner to-morrow morning. Question resolved in the affirmative. House adjourned at 10.46 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 8 July 1909, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.