House of Representatives
26 November 1909

3rd Parliament · 4th Session

Mr. Speaker took the chair at 10.30 a.m., and read prayers.

page 6460



.- On the11th November, when speaking upon an amendment of the Electoral Bill, I referred to the Worker as having a circulation of 20,000. There is a newspaper of that name in each of the States, and I did not particularize that to which I referred. To remove any false impression that may have been created, I desire to say that the New South Wales Worker has a circulation of 50,000.

page 6460



Kitchener Camps - Clerical Staff Appointments


– In reference to the proposed Kitchener camp in Victoria, which is to be held between the 10th and 17th January next, I draw attention to the fact that, while a great many men are ready to take part, it has been ascertained that out of 220 in one regiment which was paraded, only forty can obtain leave of absence from their employers, while out of a company of sixty-eight, only four can go. I ask the Minister of Defence if he can circularize the employers, . with a view to obtaining their consent to their men attending the camp. I would point out, too, that many of these men live from’ hand to mouth, and would suffer serious loss were their payment for attendance at camp to be deferred until the end of thehalf-year. They should receive their pay for their eight days in camp immediately before leaving the camp.


– The honorable member is arguing that a certain course be followed; ‘he is not asking a question.


– I ask the Minister of Defence whether he will see that the men are paid on the last day of the camp, instead of at the end of the half-year. If they are not, it will cause many of them great distress, because they will not receive wages while absent from their employments.

PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I hope for the reputation of theemployers themselves that the honorable member is mistaken regarding their reluctance to permit their men to attend camp. That is all I care to say on the subject just now. I shall take all steps necessary to insure a full camp, and the militia-men attending will be paid as promptly and expeditiously as possible.


– When dealing with the Defence Bill, the honorable member for Maranoa moved that -

In appointments to the Ordnance, DistrictPay, and Clerical Staffs, except in the Ministerial Office, preference shall be given in the case of equality of qualifications to members of the Defence Force who have served for not less than five years in the Permanent Forces.

I wish to know what step the Minister proposes to take in this matter. I ask the question on behalf of the honorable member for Maranoa, who, I know, desires an answer to it.

PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I regret that the honorable member for Maranoa is not in his place to ask this question, as he intended to do. I have found the subject somewhat troublesome, but, after a very careful consideration of all the circumstances, have decided to cause to be inserted in the Defence Bill in another place a provision which willcarry out what the honorable member for Maranoa desires.

page 6460




– I desire to direct the attention of the Prime Minister to the reports appearing in to-day’s newspapers regarding the development of the industrial dispute in New South Wales, and to found upon them a question. The two Melbourne metropolitan newspapers contain the same information. These are some of the headlines in the Age -

The Coal Strike. A New Development. The Union Collieries. The Scheme Destroyed.’ Railway Department will not Haul the Coal. Little* Prospect of Settlement. Federal Intervention Urged. Efforts to Secure Arbitration. Action by Gippsland Miners.

Has the honorable gentleman seen the report that the Railways Commissioners of New South Wales have issued the instruction that, until further notice, no coal is to be hauled except for railway purposes ? According to the statements in the press, the employes of the State of New

South Wales are forbidden to use State machinery to haul coal from a mine where miners are quite prepared to go to work in order to earn by their labour the remuneration to which they are entitled. It is added that the Government of the State is behind its Railways Commissioners. I wish to ask the Prime Minister whether he does not think that this is a. direct interference with the liberty and freedom of the subject?

Mr Crouch:

– What has the Prime Minister got to do with the matter?


– I am addressing myself to the Prime Minister.

Mr Crouch:

– The object of the honorable member is to advertise himself.


– I shall take another opportunity to reply to the honorable member for Corio. I. ask the Prime Minister whether he does not think that the action of the Railways Commissioners of New South Wales is an interference with the liberty of Australian subjects, and a direct attempt to take sides with the employers in this dispute?

Prime Minister · BALLAARAT, VICTORIA · Protectionist

– The Railways Commissioners of a State are in no official relation to the Commonwealth, and comment on their action, however interesting, is hardly fit matter for a public declaration, assuming that they are acting independently. The remark applies more strongly if, as is suggested, the authority of a State Government is behind them. Our relations with the Governments of the States are fairly, though not completely, defined by the Constitution, and I hesitate to enter upon a consideration of the particular point at which any action would involve action on our part. Had I a well-considered opinion on this subject, I would not care to express it now, because to do so would not at all help matters. Only action on the part of the Commonwealth can be of value in this grave contingency. I am extremely sorry that the dispute is intensified, and that the. hopes of the last few days are apparently dwindling. As the Attorney-General said yesterday, the Government is watching every incident which can be officially verified, and, at the first opportunity when the Constitution permits our intervention for the purpose of arbitration and settlement, we shall be prepared to take action.

Mr Fisher:

– I have been acting day by day with a view to securing a settlement.


– I accept the honorable member’s statement. When the time comes, the Government will be ready. In the meanwhile, we shall arouse less feeling, if. like the Judge of a Court, we preserve a strictly judicial attitude, reserving our opinions until some questions in dispute are officially before us.


– I wish to know whether the action of the Railways Commissioners is not in distinct violation of the Constitution, inasmuch as it tends to the restraint of trade, and discriminates between individuals.


– That is not a question which I would venture to answer off-hand, or without prolonged consultation with the Attorney-General and the Cabinet. The honorable member’s view is that the action of the Railways Commissioners of NewSouth Wales is a breach of the Constitution, because in restraint of trade. Assuming, for the purposes of the argument, that it is so, nothing would be gained by my saying it. The expression of an individual opinion would carry no weight. It may be, that, within a few hours or days, the Government will require to adopt a judicial attitude in this matter, and it will then be better if we have not personally expressed even mature opinions upon the points at issue.


– There is a possibility of mines, being started to permit of the coal miners who are on strike at Newcastle, and in other districts, obtaining employment. If a sufficient number of mines are opened, the strike will end, and the general public will be supplied with coal. Has the Prime Minister considered whether it is not a direct restraint of trade for any authority, either of the Commonwealth or the State/ to prevent the employment of persons who desire to go to work, and have made legal arrangements for their employment in the production of coal ?


– The honorable member states the case very broadly. I do not know that the Commonwealth would have jurisdiction, for instance, were the restraint of trade only in the immediate neighbourhood of the mines. I could imagine a case of another complexion, in which another set of circumstances might arise, when redress would be through Federal Courts.


– I wish to ask the Prime Minister whether the strike has not become a Federal matter, having regard to the fact that the honorable member for West Sydney, who held office as Attorney-

General in the Labour Government, is chairman of the Strike Committee?


– It is a matter in which all Federal politicians are deeply interested.

Mr.WEBSTER.- Do I understand the Prime Minister to say that he does not consider an action which practically prevents manufacturers in all the States obtaining the necessary fuel to keep their factories going is in restraint of trade? Does he not think that it is a restraint of trade in the broadest sense, and, if so, will the Government take such action under the law as will bring the dispute under Federal jurisdiction, with a view to its settlement?


– Unfortunately, I do not seem to have made my statement clear to the honorable member. I pointed out that restraint of trade in itself did not imply Commonwealth jurisdiction, but that circumstances might arise at any time when that jurisdiction would be created. Within the Commonwealth jurisdiction, if either party to a dispute takes action in conflict with the Commonwealth Constitution, or with which it becomes the duty of the Commonwealth Government to deal, it will be dealt with without delay.

page 6462




asked the Minister of Home Affairs, upon notice -

Whether, in view of the fact that common courtesy impels private persons to acknowledge receipt of letters, he will order his Department to acknowledge the receipt when a citizen sends in his written claim for a Commonwealth vote, so that the applicant may be sure that his application has not miscarried?

Minister for Home Affairs · ILLAWARRA, NEW SOUTH WALES · Free Trade

– The answer to the honorable member’s question is -

The law does not provide for the acknowledgment of a claim for enrolment. On the receipt of a claim it is the duty of an Electoral Registrar to at once enter on the roll the name of the claimant if satisfied that he is entitled to enrolment, or, if not satisfied that he is entitled to enrolment, to transmit the claim to the Divisional Returning Officer with such observations relating to it as he thinks proper. If the Divisional Returning Officer decides not to enrol the claimant he is required to notify him of the fact, and if the claimant is not satisfied with the decision of the Divisional Returning Officer he may then appeal to a Court of summary jurisdiction.

This procedure appears to meet all reasonable requirements.

page 6462



Cases of Mrs. Martha Groves and Mr. Angus Nicholson - Supplyof Pension Papers at General Post Office.


asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

With reference to old-age pensioner, Mrs. Martha Groves, of Spencer-street, West Melbourne -

What is her age?

What was the date of the police report re her unfortunate condition?

Will he state what the police report was?

What is the cause of the delay in her being attended to?

Treasurer · SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · Protectionist

– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are -

  1. Seventy-three years.
  2. Eighteenth September,1909.
  3. No. It was confidential.
  4. The authorities of the Benevolent Asylum have not seen fit yet to admit her.

asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

Re Mr. Angus Nicholson, of the Royal Park Homes -

What is the date of his application for old-age pension?

Is this man, through a leg broken in two places, unable to earn his living?

What is the meaning of the Departmental answer of 19th November, viz., “ You are not considered eligible for an oldage pension “ ?


– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are -

  1. Twenty-second September, 1909.
  2. Yes, according to medical certificate.
  3. The meaning of the answer was that the application was rejected. The reasons for not allowing the pension were -

    1. That the referees declined to give applicant a character.
    2. That the Superintendent of the Royal Park Home reported that the applicant had been absent through drink on several occasions.
    3. That the Deputy Commissioner considered that the applicant would be better off if he remained in the Home.

asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -

If he will arrange for old-age pension papers to be obtainable at the General Post Office?

Postmaster-General · BENDIGO, VICTORIA · Protectionist

– I am informed that arrangements have already been made to enable a stock of old-age pension papers to be kept at the General Post Office, Melbourne, for distribution on application.

*Seat of Government* [26 Nov., 1909.] *Acceptance Bill.* 6463 {: .page-start } page 6463 {:#debate-5} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-5-0} #### EXPORT DUTY ON HIDES {: #subdebate-5-0-s0 .speaker-KLM} ##### Dr MALONEY: asked the Prime Minister, *upon notice -* >In view of the letter in the *Herald,* wherein the President of the Master Tanners and Leather Manufacturers Association states : - " I would like the people of Australia to know, through your medium, that the Victorian Master Tanners' Association is wide awake to the undeniable fact that the tanning industry, and the welfare of those of our people who are dependent upon it, is being quickly and surely undermined by the foreigner, who has found that, with cheaper labour and longer hours our hides can be profitably purchased at a price that leaves no margin for the Australian tanner. > >Unfortunately this is not a case that, left alone, would cure itself, but one that demands immediate action on the part of Parliament if the industry is to be kept alive. > >My association has, with others in the neighbouring States, petitioned the Minister to take into consideration the facts, and send us speedy relief. I also understand the Trades Hall have made a similar request, entirely independent of our action " - > >Will the Government, if necessary, introduce a short measure to give effect to the wish of the Master Tanners and Leather Manufacturers' Association and of the Trades Hall? > >If not, in view of our hides when exported being adulterated with barium, sugar, sodium, and magnesium, will he undertake, on behalf of the Government, during the next session of Parliament, to take the necessary steps to bring about an export duty on hides, and so enable Australian leather to hold its own as honest leather against the outer world? {: #subdebate-5-0-s1 .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist -- The Minister of Trade and Customs informs me that a very special set of problems is involved in the imposition of any export duty, and that they need to be handled with extreme caution. He has taken a special note of this matter, and will deal with it in connexion with other Tariff questions that he has now in hand. {: .page-start } page 6463 {:#debate-6} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-6-0} #### CUSTOMS DUTIES: PAPUA Amending Ordinance of 1909 {: #subdebate-6-0-s0 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister for External Affairs · DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND · Protectionist -- Yesterday the honorable member for Robertson asked what was the effect of a Papuan ordinance relating to the local Tariff. I promised that if he would repeat the question to-day I would be prepared with the necessary information. The effect of the ordinance is to increase the duties as follows : - {: .page-start } page 6463 {:#debate-7} ### SEAT OF GOVERNMENT ACCEPTANCE BILL *In Committee* (Consideration resumed from 25th November, *vide* page 6424) : Clause 2 - >This Act shall commence on a day to be fixed by Proclamation, after the Parliament of the State has passed an Act ratifying and confirming the said agreement, and surrendering the Territory to the Commonwealth. Upon which **Mr. Mathews** had moved by way of amendment - >That the words " and confirming the said agreement " be left out. {: #debate-7-s0 .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE:
Gippsland .- Last night the honorable member for Grampians made some extraordinary statements with reference to the construction of a railway on the Victorian side of Dalgety, and also with regard to the construction of a line connecting Cooma with Dalgety. I do not know where he obtained his information. Last year reports by surveyors of the Railway Department were placed before the Victorian Railways Standing Committee, recommending the route going through Orbost, and thence following the Little River, crossing the watershed of the Cann, and reaching the border near Bondi. The line would be 142 miles in length, and its estimated cost was *£5,750* per mile. That estimate shows that the country to be traversed is not very difficult. Another route was suggested, the highest elevation on which was only 1,600 feet, and it was said that it would permit of a broad-gauge line, with fairly steep grades and round curves. That which the surveyors recommended, however, is the easier one. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- What would be the speed of travelling over such a line? {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- The usual speed of railway trains in Victoria. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- And the gradients? {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I have no information on that point, but the route is easier than that through Murrungowar. Another proposal was made for a direct route passing through Buchan, by which a saving of 30 miles would be effected, but the Railways Standing Committee would not take any evidence with regard to that route, holding that they were concerned with the question not of what would be the shortest and best route to Dalgety, but of what would be the best route for a railway to Orbost. There is no difficulty in the way of connecting the Victorian system with Dalgety. and the cost of construction would not be high. As to the connexion on the other side, the 6464 *Seat of Government* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Acceptance Bill.* honorable member for Grampians probably knows that since the selection of Dalgety was set aside, the reason for the display of parochial feeling in New South Wales in regard to railway construction in that part of the State has disappeared, and that the Parliament of New South Wales has passed a Bill permitting the construction of a line from Cooma to the Bombala district. Before very long Bombala will be connected by rail with Sydney, and the distance between Bombala and Dalgety is not great. Question - That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause - put. The Committee divided. AYES: 30 NOES: 7 Majority ... ... 23 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Amendment negatived. Clause agreed to. Clause 3 - >The Agreement made between the Commonwealth and the State and set out in the First Schedule to this Act is hereby ratified and confirmed. {: #debate-7-s1 .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr SAMPSON:
Wimmera .- I move - >That the following words be added : - " With the proviso that the following words be added at end of paragraph 10 : - such rights as regards the Snowy River shall be paramount to those of the State. " In the first instance, we had a ballot, and the decision was in favour of Canberra. Subsequently a Bill was introduced by the late Government, and that decision was unanimously confirmed; and I take it that the second reading of the present Bill is a further confirmation, with the difference that the measure now before us gives us an opportunity to study in detail, and approve or disapprove, of the agreement between the New South Wales Government and the Commonwealth Government, as set out in the schedule. There is a very vital part of that agreement which, in my opinion, should be amended. I do not wish to vote for the agreement while it contains the important defect which I seek to remedy by my amendment.' The question of water supply is all-important. I do not intend to traverse the arguments in regard to the advantages or otherwise of the Yass-Canberra site. I have read carefully the reports as to the water supply of both Canberra and Dalgety; and, from this point of view, Dalgety, in my opinion, completely out-distances every other site placed before us. But the water supply conditions of Canberra have considerably improved on investigation; and from the reports of the various engineers, I think the supply would be sufficient for domestic purposes. In regard to the area reserved, the watershed, access to the sea, and the port at Jervis Bay, the State of New South Wales has been by no means parsimonious ; but there is a very important defect in the Capital site, inasmuch as there is not a sufficient water supply for the generation of electrical power. At this stage, we know little of the requirements of the Capital ; but we ought to provide for sufficient electricity, not only to light the city, but to run trams, and, if necessary, the railway to the sea. In the future there may be certain manufacturing industries established at the Capital; and it may be found desirable to build ships of war at the port. {: .speaker-L6Z} ##### Mr Hall: -- Does the honorable member propose to convey electrical power from the Snowy River to the Federal port? {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr SAMPSON: -- In the United States electrical power is being carried over 40 miles at a loss of only 10 per cent. on the *Seat of Government* [26 Nov., 1909.] *Acceptance Bill.* 6465 wires, and every year experts are economizing in transit. The distance from Dalgety to Canberra is about 80 miles, by no means a long distance. Mr.Fuller. - But the distance is about 200 miles to the port. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr SAMPSON: -- Electricity has already been conveyed 70 miles, and radiated over long distances with a maximum loss of 20 per cent. All the leading engineering authorities show conclusively that, while the Snowy River is sufficient in quantity and velocity to generate unlimited electrical power, the supply of water within the Yass-Canberra area is limited. The Minister of Home Affairs has been good enough to show me a report by the Chief Electrical Engineer of New South Wales, who states that, by the construction of certain works within the reserved area at Yass-Canberra, a large quantity of electrical power can be generated. We know that under the Barren Jack scheme, it is estimated that 5,000 horse-power can be generated, but when we reckon the whole of the possible water supply for power purposes, it is not nearly sufficient for the utilities I have mentioned. In fact, the whole of the water capacity under the Barren Jack scheme, and within the reserved area at Yass-Canberra, would not suffice to raise electrical power to run suburban trams. This shows how necessary it is to have a reserve power in hand, especially in view of the fact that the Capital site is the only area that we can regard as our own territory. I do not think that it is necessary to go into an elaborate citation of authorities to show the difference in the water supply of the two places. Honorable members all agree that the supply from the Snowy River is unlimited, whereas it is limited at Yass-Canberra, and must be supplemented by the construction of expensive works. Had the selection of Dalgety been confirmed, the Snowy River would have been our own property, andit is admitted that that is the best river in Australia for the generation of electrical power. The only means by which we can be placed in the same position, in regard to water supply, that we would have been in had we selected Dalgety, is to give the Commonwealth priority of rights over the Snowy River; and this might make the selection of the Canberra site more tolerable. In one of the first reports submitted by **Mr. Bloomfield,** Resident Engineer of the Department of Public Works of New South Wales, he contrasted the supply at Queanbeyan with that at Buckley's Crossing, and I presume he had made reasonable investigation. **Mr. Bloomfield** states - >Buckley's Crossing is decidedly the best. The supply is unlimited, the distance the water will have to be brought is small, and provision could easily be made for generating electricity at the place where the water supply would be taken off, as the fall in the river is very rapid. In a further report, published in **Mr. Oliver's** contribution, **Mr. Bloomfield** made a similar statement. {: .speaker-KVJ} ##### Mr Storrer: -- Did he say that it was a short distance from Canberra to the Snowy River ? {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr SAMPSON: **- Mr. Bloomfield** then supposed that we should select a site close to the water supply. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr Coon: -- Is the honorable member going to vote for Dalgety this morning? {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr SAMPSON: -- I am going to vote for the amendment I have proposed. **Mr. Wade,** Chief Engineer of New South Wales, in his report in 1906, stated that, under the Barren Jack scheme, there would be available only something like 5,000 horse-power. The present Treasurer, who has been quoted before, said - >For water power the Cotter and Gudgenby Rivers are almost worthless for this purpose, and, compared with the Snowy River, may be dismissed as incomparable and not worth considering. Here I might read paragraph 10 of the agreement - >The State shall grant to the Commonwealth without payment therefor the right to use the waters of the Snowy River, and such other rivers as may be agreed upon or in default of agreement may be determined by arbitration, for the generation of electricity for the purposes of the territory, and to construct the whole necessary for that purpose, and to conduct the electricity so generated to the territory. That, no doubt, gives sufficient rights to the Commonwealth, and confers power on it to erect works on the Snowy River and convey electricity to the Territory, but there is no priority of right provided for. As power will probably not be required from the Snowy River for the Capital for the next fifty years, the State may in the meantime step in and erect works on the river, which will give it priority of right over the Commonwealth. To show the necessity of placing the matter altogether beyond doubt, let me quote clause 2 of the agreement, which deals in a very different fashion with the area reserved by the State for the use of the Commonwealth for water supply purposes. It reads - {: type="1" start="2"} 0. The right of the State or of the residents therein to the use and control of the waters of the Queanbeyan and Molonglo Rivers and their tributaries which lie to the east of the Goulburn to Cooma Railway shall be subject and secondary to the use and requirements of the Commonwealth (which are hereby declared to be paramount) for all the purposes of the Territory, and the State shall consent to the construction by the Commonwealth in the State of such works as are necessary for those purposes. If it is necessary to give the Commonwealth paramount rights over the area reserved for ordinary water supply purposes, it is equally necessary to give it paramount rights for electrical power purposes over the Snowy River, which is the only stream within reach that will give the necessary amount of electricity. The question of electric power and abundant water supply for the Capital is of such vital importance that I hope the Committee, viewing the matter from the stand-point, not of the present, but of the future, will accept my amendment. ' {: #debate-7-s2 .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr FULLER:
Minister of Home Affairs · Illawarra · Free Trade -- I trust the Committee will reject the amendment. I was glad to hear the honorable member for Wimmera acknowledge that on further investigation, he is satisfied that the water supply of the Yass-Canberra district is something like what we have always represented it to be. The honorable member desires that the Commonwealth should be given paramount rights over the Snowy River in regard to electrical power purposes, but I would point out that that is a matter entirely outside what was asked for under the Constitution. It is one of the provisions which were added during the negotiations between the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth and the Premier of New South Wales. Paragraph 10 provides that we shall have full rights over the Snowy River for this purpose, and that if we want other rivers in addition, the cession of rights may be agreed upon, or, in default of agreement, may be determined by arbitration. The Commonwealth is given power to construct whatever works are necessary on the Snowy, and the right to conduct the electricity generated from the Snowy to the Seat of Government. I would draw the attention of the honorable member for Wimmera to the report of **Mr. Corin,** Electrical Engineer of New South Wales, who was sent up specially to report on the possibilities of electrical power within the proposed area. *In* an exhaustive report he shows that, even after allowing 100 gallons per head per day for the domestic supply of a population of 50,000, there is ample force in the Cotter River itself to generate at least 7,000 horse-power of electricity. He also furnishes an appendix showing that in a number of English towns, with populations between 40,000 and 60,000, having municipal combined electric lighting and traction plants, with tramways running up to 17 miles in length, the capacity of horse-power used is nothing like that amount. He also points out - On comparing with Sydney, where the maximum lighting load has not yet reached 8,400 horse-power, nor the maximum traction load 24,000 horse-power, on the basis of population ratio, say, 50,000 to 600,000, or 1 : 12, at the capital, 700 horse-power might be expected to be required for lighting and power, and 2,000 for trams, or 2,700 in all, as against the 7,000 that I suggested. Consequently nearly three times as much horse-power as would be required could be generated from the Cotter. The State of New South Wales, after giving us everything that we have asked for, grants us this further right over the Snowy River and over any other stream that may be required for the purpose in the future. Why, then, after this agreement has been deliberately made, should we ask for still more? So far as the generation of electricity is concerned, 1,V ho can say that that will be the power of the future? In hundreds of places to-day suction gas has taken the place of the power previously used, and in the course- of years that may be displaced by something better and cheaper. While I look into the future and am prepared to consider the probable developments of the Capital I am not going to say what the motive power of the future will be. But even if electricity is to be the power that the Federal city will depend upon, we have within the territory itself the means of developing more than ample, and, in addition, we have under the agreement the full right to use the Snowy River for the purpose, and any other stream in the Commonwealth as determined upon by agreement or arbitration. {: #debate-7-s3 .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON:
Batman .- I regret that the honorable member for Wimmera did not make yesterday the speech that he made this morning. He tells us that the first consideration for the Federal Capital site is its water supply, and yet he voted against a site which has a plentiful supply, and now wants to go back to that site to bring from it the water required for an inferior site. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- When did I vote against Dalgety? {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- Yesterday. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- I did nothing of the kind. I voted against the honorable member's amendment for a referendum. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- Is the honorable member in favour of Dalgety? {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- I voted for Dalgety when the question was before the House. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- Is the honorable member in favour of it to-day? {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- I think it is a mistake that Dalgety was not selected, but the House has decided otherwise. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- The honorable member now informs us that Dalgety should have been selected, and that the best site has not been chosen. He also says that the Yass-Canberra site has not a sufficient water supply. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- Not sufficient for electrical power. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- The honorable member says that the city to be erected on that site will be without an adequate water supply for future needs. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- The honorable member did not say that. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- The honorable member said that there will not be sufficient water supply there to meet the requirements of the city, and he is, therefore, desirous that the Commonwealth should have control of another source of water supply at the site which he thinks is the best, but which has not been selected. I am surprised to learn that he thinks Dalgety is superior to YassCanberra. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- I voted for Dalgety. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- Does the honorable member sink his individual opinion on every question, and vote as the majority of the House decides? Does he always meekly and mildly follow the leaders of the House ? {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- The House adopted Yass-Canberra unanimously last session. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- The House declared in favour of Dalgety, and the honorable member had an opportunity yesterday to give the people of Australia the right to vote in favour of it, while he himself believes in it. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- I voted only against the honorable member's wild-cat scheme. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- If the honorable member thinks the referendum a wild-cat scheme, he is entitled to his opinion. The honorable member's attitude is, " Dalgety is the best site, and if I had an opportunity I should vote for it, but I will not give the people of Australia an opportunity of doing so." When he faces his electors in March next, he will be able to tell them that although Dalgety is the best site, it has not been chosen, and that the site which has been chosen cannot furnish a water supply sufficient for the great centre of population which the Attorney-General predicts will be established at the seat of Government. The honorable member has stated that, in his opinion, Dalgety should have been chosen, but that, as a majority is now in favour of another site, he will follow it. He has already voted for the agreement. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- No. I voted for the second reading of the Bill, in order that we might have an. opportunity to consider the. agreement. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- In voting for the second reading, the honorable member voted for the agreement. No word was said by him yesterday regarding water supply. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- The subject had not then come up. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- It was referred to on more than one occasion. The Minister of Home Affairs stated that Canberra has a good water supply. The honorable member for Wimmera now tells us that, in his opinion, the water supply will not meet the requirements of the future Capital, and that steps should be taken to improve it. He has made the startling statement that the best site has not been selected, and that, if he had another opportunity, he would vote for Dalgety. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- I did not say anything of the kind. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- The honorable member voted once for Dalgety, and therefore must have thought it the best site. I conclude that, had he another opportunity, he would again support that site in preference to Canberra. Yesterday, when he had a chance to point out the deficiencies of the Yass-Canberra district in regard to water supply, he was silent. I am therefore at a loss to understand why he opened up the question to-day. However, I shall support his proposal, with a view to obtaining a better water supply for this waterless area. {: #debate-7-s4 .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr SAMPSON:
Wimmera .- In reply to the Minister of Home Affairs, I desire to read a report appearing in the *Age* last week, wherein the Premier of New South Wales, referring in the Legislative Assembly to the Capital Site Surrender Bill - explained that he proposed to take the secondreading of the measure to endorse the principle, but not to go beyond that stage until it was- 6468 *Seat of Government* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Acceptance Bill* made clear that the Commonwealth Parliament required no modification of the proposal now before it. If the House of Representatives,in its wisdom, thought the schedule should be modified it could be referred back to the State, and be dealt with before it had passed through Committee. If the House of Representatives decided to pass the Bill and endorse the agreement without alteration then the course of the States was perfectly simple. He evidently anticipates that this Parliament may alter the agreement, and has therefore not yet submitted it to the Parliament of his State. {: .speaker-JSM} ##### Mr THOMAS BROWN:
CALARE, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- There have been negotiations in regard to this matter between the Commonwealth and the State. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr SAMPSON: -- Yes; but we should express our opinions on the subject. . I have no wish to traverse the statements of the honorable member for Batman. Parliament chose the Yass-Canberra district, and affirmed its choice by unanimously passing the second reading of a Bill introduced by the Fisher Government to give effect to it. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr Wise: -- The motion was not passed unanimously, although no division was called for. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr SAMPSON: -- It was passed on the voices. That was an indorsement of the original decision regarding Yass-Canberra. The passing of the motion for the second reading of this Bill was the reaffirmation of previous decisions. Having agreed to the second reading, it is our duty now to consider the details of the agreement with New South Wales. ' If any honorable member thinks that any clause of the agreement should be altered, he may propose an amendment of it, and should his views not be met in regard to what he considers a matter of vital consequence, he will be at liberty to vote against the third reading. The report read by the Minister of Home Affairs estimated that a horsepower of 7,000 could be obtained within the territory, and, in addition, a horse-power of 5,000 from the Barren Jack scheme ; but a total horse-power of 12,000 would not be sufficient to run the suburban railways of Victoria by means of electricity, so that clearly we need a still greater water supply. {: .speaker-L6Z} ##### Mr Hall: -- We shall not be called upon to run the suburban railways of Victoria by means of electricity supplied by the water power in the Federal territory. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr SAMPSON: -- We hope that the Federal Capital will not remain a small village, but will develop into a large city. While I do not complain of the deficiency of the water supply for domestic purposes, I think it the duty of Parliament to secure for the Commonwealth paramount rights over a supply from the Snowy River which will give an unlimited electrical service, so that in choosing Yass-Canberra we shall not be in a worse position regarding water supply than had we kept to Dalgety. {: #debate-7-s5 .speaker-KVJ} ##### Mr STORRER:
Bass .- I am surprised that the honorable member for Wimmera has not accepted the statement of the honorable member for Gippsland that the second reading of the Bill introduced by the Fisher Government was not passed' unanimously. I am one of those who was opposed to it, and when the question was put. called "No"; I did not demand a division, because I saw that a majority was against me, and I am always opposed to any obstruction of business, or waste of time. If misrepresentations like those of the honorable member for Wimmera become common, I shall feel obliged to call" for a division on every question when I am against the proposal under consideration. The honorable member for Wimmera has repeated three times a statement which is a misrepresentation of the facts. I hope that the Minister of Home Affairs will make clear the position of the Commonwealth in regard to the control of the proposed Federal port, and will read very carefully the legal decisions on Tasmanianand English cases dealing with high watermark. {: .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr Fuller: -- The Attorney-General is fully seized of the importance of the matter. {: .speaker-KVJ} ##### Mr STORRER: -- No doubt, he has read the cases to which I refer. I shall support the amendment, because of the need of obtaining water from the Snowy River, in view of the scarcity within the YassCanberra district. Question - That the words proposed to be added be so added (Mr. Sampson'samendment) - put. The Committee divided. AYES: 14 NOES: 27 Majority ... ... 13 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Amendment negatived. Clause agreed to. Clauses 4 and 5 agreed to. Clause 6 (Continuance of laws). {: #debate-7-s6 .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE:
Gippsland .- The honorable member for Maribyrnong has given notice of his intention to move the insertion of a new clause relating to the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors within the territory. The honorable member is not in the chamber at present, but it appears to me that his proposition, instead of being moved as a newclause, should be submitted by way of amendment to the clause now under consideration. {: #debate-7-s7 .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr FULLER:
Minister of Home Affairs · Illawarra · Free Trade -- Perhaps the honorable member will permit me to explain. The honorable member for Maribyrnong, who is temporarily absent from the chamber, spoke to me in regard to this clause. I pointed out to him that a Constitution would have to be framed to provide for the good order and government of the territory, and that he would have an opportunity to endeavour to place in that Constitution the provision that he proposed to insert in this Bill. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- Then, what is the necessity for this clause. {: .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr FULLER: -- It is designed only to allow the operation of the State laws within the territory until such time as a Constitution relating to it shall have been framed and enacted. The honorable mem ber for Maribrynong, having had . the matter explained to him as I have just explained it to the Committee, was perfectly satisfied to allow the position to remain as at present. {: #debate-7-s8 .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE:
Gippsland .- If. the honorable, member for Maribyrnong is satisfied,. I am. not. This clause distinctly provides for the government of the territory from the date on. which w.e accept it until this-- Parliament chooses to alter the laws now relating tq it. Before we make amy departure from the State, which, under clause 6, will operate in the territory pending the enactment of a Constitution by this Parliament, many licensed houses may be established there, and we may not have an. opportunity to abolish them, except by compensating the owners. In order that we may have full control over the whole matter until a Constitution providing for the. government of the territory has been enacted, I move - >That the following words be added to the clause : - " From the day of the commencement of the Act no licence to manufacture, sell, or supply intoxicating or spirituous liquors shall be issued in or for the territory, except upon a direct vote of a majority of the people resident therein." {: #debate-7-s9 .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H CATTS:
Cook .- Will the honorable member for Gippsland be prepared to add to his amendment the words " initiated by petition in such manner as may be prescribed "? {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr Wise: -- I have no objection to the addition of those words. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H CATTS: -- If the amendment be amended in that way, and agreed to, it will afford the people an opportunity to initiate proceedings to obtain a- direct vote on the question. {: .speaker-L6Z} ##### Mr Hall: -- I rise to a point of order. I submit, **Mr. Chairman,** that the amendment is not in order. This Bill provides for the taking over, and not for the government, of the territory. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr Wise: -- Clause 6 provides for the government of the territory. {: .speaker-L6Z} ##### Mr Hall: -- I submit that it does not. It merely provides that the State laws now in operation there shall continue until this Parliament determines how the territory shall be governed. We have, first of all, to take over the territory, and, that having been done, to decide how it shall be governed. If this amendment be accepted, there will be no limit to the amendments that may be submitted in respect to the agreement itself. We may even have a party in the Parliament of New South Wales coming forward with proposals in regard to the administration of the territory. The amendment, I contend, is beyond the scope of the Bill. {: #debate-7-s10 .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- I was of opinion that the amendment would not be in order, but I had not then carefully examined this clause. Honorable members will observe that it provides that certain laws shall be continued, and that it is quite possible for the Committee to agree to take over the territory with certain modifications or additions. Having regard to the scope of the clause, I cannot refuse to accept the amendment. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H CATTS: -- I regret that the honorable member for Werriwa should have seen fit to interrupt me with a point of order which he must have known would not be upheld. The amendment proposed by the honorable member for Gippsland provides that a licence for the manufacture or sale of intoxicating or spirituous liquors shall not be issued in respect of the territory except upon a direct vote of a majority of the people resident therein, but it does not enable the initiative to be taken by the people. It was for that reason that I asked the honorable member to consent to the addition of the words ' ' initiated by petition in such manner as may be prescribed." The honorable member has consented to that addition, and the amendment so amended will enable the Government to prescribe regulations permitting the people to take what action they think fit. It has been said that this condition would have to be accepted by the Parliament of New South Wales. That is not so. It is not for the State Parliament to determine what laws shall operate in the territory after we have taken it over. Although it has gone to certain lengths in interfering with Federal matters, I do not think it would be prepared to go so far as to say what laws should operate in the territory once it is taken over by the Commonwealth. This is a reasonable amendment. It simply declares that the manufacture and sale of spirituous liquors shall not be forced upon the residents of the territory against their will. {: .speaker-L6Z} ##### Mr Hall: -- Would the honorable member close the hotels now existing there? {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H CATTS: -- Would the honorable member do so? {: .speaker-L6Z} ##### Mr Hall: -- I would in due time. I ask only to ascertain whether the honorable member would grant compensation. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H CATTS: -- The honorable member is putting these catch questions to me, although he himself is opposed to hotels being allowed to remain open in the territory, and is opposed to compensation. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- He does not say so. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H CATTS: -- I know 'what his views are in this respect, and he knows what mine are. There is nothing in this amendment that can be objectionable either to those who desire or to those who object to the manufacture or supply of intoxicating liquor within the territory. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr Coon: -- It simply provides for local option. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H CATTS: -- Quite so. There is in the States . a growing consensus of opinion against the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors. That being so, this Parliament will be compelled to legislate on the question, and I think that we ought to take time by the forelock by making provision for the settlement of this vexed question from the very beginning. The manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors should not be imposed on the people against their will, and they should have the power, on petition, to initiate a referendum, and give expression to their views. {: #debate-7-s11 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Attorney-General · Angas · Free Trade -- Like the Northern Territory Acceptance Bill, this measure has been pared down to only that which is necessary to the surrender of the site. There is no clause providing for what I may call specific Commonwealth legislation for the management of the area, the existing laws being reserved until we shall have made the necessary provision. There is not even a clause dealing with electoral rights. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr Mahon: -- Does the amendment not limit the force of sub-clause 2 ? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I do not think so. It is necessary that the Governor-General should exercise the powers previously exercised by the Governor of the State. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr Mahon: -- But the amendment will limit his prerogative. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- Although the amendment may -be strictly in order, it is very inexpedient to introduce legislation for the government of the territory in the absence of any machinery for carrying it out. In the Licensing Acts of trie States there are whole pages setting )forth how a local option poll is to be taken ; and the amendment would be inoperative owing to the absence of any provisions of the kind. To some extent the amendment is *ultra vires,* in that it proposes that it shall come into operation " from the commencement of this Act." The territory is not accepted from the commencement of the Act, but only when the acceptance proclamation is issued. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr Wise: -- Is that not when the Act commences ? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- No ; clause 2 provides that the Act shall commence on a day to be fixed by proclamation, but the territory is not accepted on the issue of that proclamation. By clause 5, the Governor-General is authorized to declare by proclamation that, " on and from a day to be fixed by the proclamation," the territory surrendered is accepted. The Bill first comes into force under clause 2, but the acceptance, which gives us jurisdiction and brings our laws into operation, only takes place when a proclamation is issued accepting the territory. As a matter of fact" the amendment declares that local option is to come into operation at a time when we have no jurisdiction over the territory. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- An alteration in the wording of the amendment would put that right. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- No doubt; I am merely pointing out that the amendment, as submitted, will be utterly inoperative. However, the main objection I have is that we are not now, as in the case of Papua, providing a complete Constitution, and that, if we accept this amendment, there is no machinery by which it can be brought into operation. If the amendment is anything, it is simply a bann on the issue of licences by the State. {: #debate-7-s12 .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr BOWDEN:
Nepean .- Under the State ' laws, local option is in operation in the territory at the present time ; and, if we accept this amendment, we shall find ourselves absolutely without any machinery by which we could register the will of the inhabitants. The very object aimed at may be defeated, owing to the fact that, by this amendment, we wipe out the law of the State. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- This is a qualification of the State law. {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr BOWDEN: -- But, if we pass the amendment, it will be impossible to carry out the State law. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- Machinery is prescribed at the end of the amendment. {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr BOWDEN: -- I see no provision for any machinery. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr Coon: -- Is the honorable member opposed to the amendment? {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr BOWDEN: -- At the present time, yes. It seems paltry and absurd to pass a law of this kind now, when we shall have to pass general laws for the government of the territory. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- After all the damage has been done ! {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr BOWDEN: -- There can be no more damage than is done now under the State law which provides for local option. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- Under the State law. eight years' notice must be given, and there must bea three-fifths majority. {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr BOWDEN: -- I admit that the State law is not as complete as it might be, and that I am in favour of an absolute majority prevailing. If, at the proper time, the honorable member for Cook will move an amendment in favour of the change I have indicated I shall support him, or, if he takes no action, I will move it myself. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- In ten years' time, after all the damage has been done! {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr BOWDEN: -- Such a suggestion would be absurd from anybody but the honorable member for Cook. Does he think for one moment that we shall allow ten years to elapse without passing any Act for the government of the territory ? The amendment is premature, and is proposed in the wrong Bill. Moreover, if the amendment be carried, it will prejudice and endanger the measure, and I believe that that is one of 'the principal reasons of the honorable member for Gippsland in submitting it. I point out that if this amendment be made, the Bill will have to be sent back to another place, and will, probably, not be passed this session. {: #debate-7-s13 .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON:
Coolgardie .- There is one point that seems to have been overlooked. It must be presumed that there are some hotels at the present time within the selected area, and that the licensees possess certain rights conferred on them by State law. If we pass this amendment, we shall immediately deprive those people of rights for which some of them may have paid considerable sums of money. That, it seems to me, would be grossly unjust ; and, for this reason alone, we ought to reject the amendment. No reason has been given why Parliament should destroy existing rights, created under State law, without some provision for compensation. As I interjected when the Attorney-General was speaking, the amendment appears to me to limit the powers conferred by subclause 2 of clause 6, by which the existing authority is continued in the GovernorGeneral, or whoever may represent the Commonwealth. On this and on other 6472 *Seat of Government* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Acceptance Bill.* grounds I object to a proposal of this kind being embodied in the Bill. It will be time enough, when we get possession of the territory, to initiate what is called domestic legislation. If the amendment is carried, some honorable member may be tempted to make the provision more ridiculous by moving that all public-housesshall be closed at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr Coon: -- That would be all right ! {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- The honorable member, because he does not use intoxicating liquor, thinks that no one else should be permitted to do so. He has no moral right to dictate to others what they shall eat or drink. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr Coon: -- I am not attempting to do so. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- But he is attempting to dictate to the people of the territory what they shall drink. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr Coon: -- I have not spoken as yet. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- The honorable member, by his continued interjections, has shown his intention to vote for this amendment, and for even a more extreme proposal. I do not think for a moment that the honorable member for Gippsland has submitted the amendment with a view of imperilling the passage of the Bill. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- It is really the amendment of the honorable member for Maribyrnong. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- The object of the honorable member for Maribyrnong is unknown to me, but I feel sure that there is no desire on the part of the honorable member for Gippsland to destroy the Bill or delay the settlement of the question. I hope the amendment will be rejected. Mr.CROUCH (Gorio) [12.13].- I was surprised to hear the honorable member for Nepean say that the acceptance of an amendment of this sort will mean the rejection of the Bill. {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr Bowden: -- I did not say that, but merely that the Bill would have to be returned to the Senate. {: #debate-7-s14 .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr CROUCH: -- That would appear to be the idea, however, if we may judge from the cheers of the Minister of Defence and the Government Whip. It is to the credit of the Minister of Defence, however, that the Bill has reached its present stage. This Bill has been sent to us from another place, and evidently we are to accept it holus-bolus - to make this Chamber merely a registering body of the decisions of another place. We are told that if the slightest amendment is made in the Bill, and it has to go back to another place, it will be lost, because there will be no time to deal with it. That is not a fair position to put us in. If the Minister says that no amendment, however reasonable, is to be accepted, had we not better decide that this discussion should not continue? I want to point out to the AttorneyGeneral a necessary amendment. The Bill now provides for two proclamations. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- I can cure that in two words. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr CROUCH: -- But look at the terrible danger, that if a few extra words are put into the Bill, the Senate, according to the honorable member for Nepean, will not have time to consider it ! Apparently we cannot even meet an obvious technical difficulty.. Clause 2 necessitates one proclamation ratifying and confirming the agreement, and clause 5 another accepting the territory, while clause 6 refers us to the proclamation day, without stating whether it is the proclamation under clause 2 or clause 5. It has remained for the AttorneyGeneral in the course of the debate to discover that two proclamations are necessary. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- Both clauses 2 and 5 were put in deliberately. There must be two distinct proclamations, because the State has not passed its Act. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr CROUCH: -- But it will be necessary to specify in clause 6 which proclamation day is meant. Another argument of the honorable member for Coolgardie is that the amendment will mean immediate prohibition, and he does not want the hotels to be closed. I understand that the honorable members for Maribyrnong and Nepean do want hotels to be closed, but the honorable member for Nepean, with his knowledge of New South Wales law, admits that the hotels cannot be closed for a period of abouteight years. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- All they have to do is to get a lease, and they are protected for eight years. {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr Bowden: -- That is not so. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr CROUCH: -- In the dispute between those two New South Wales temperance advocates, I am left in uncertainty as to what the New South Wales law really is. {: .speaker-L6Z} ##### Mr Hall: -- There is no doubt about it. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr CROUCH: -- The honorable member for Werriwa, who is also sometimes a temperance advocate- {: .speaker-L6Z} ##### Mr Hall: -- Always a temperance advocate, and always wanting the people to have theright toclose hotels. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr CROUCH: -- Then I am glad that, in spite of the fear that another place may throw out the Bill if any amendment is made, the honorable member will on this occasion live up tohis principles and reputation. {: .speaker-L6Z} ##### Mr Hall: -- Do I look quite so simple asthat? {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr CROUCH: -- It is a simple thing to live up to principles and convictions. I am told that there are eight hotels in the district. {: .speaker-L6Z} ##### Mr Hall: -- In the new territory there are only one or two. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr CROUCH: -- I understood that there were six hotels and two wine bars. That might be a very proper reason why we should not select that district at all. We might wish to choose another part of New South Wales, where the' awful injustice pointed out by the honorable member for Cool gar die of being able to close hotels without compensation might be avoided. The amendment as amended gives the Government power by regulation to put into force the machinery about which the honorable member for Nepean is so anxious. The honorable member for Nepean and the honorable member for Werriwa will have something to answer for if they refuse to vote for an amendment which would insure the Federal territory being a temper- ance district, and give its inhabitants the right to decide whether it should contain any hotels. The honorable member for Calare will also be undoubtedly on the side of temperance. I hope that all those honorable members will show that their temperance principles are not only for the platform, but are also occasionally to be put into legislation. {: #debate-7-s15 .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr FULLER:
Minister of Home Affairs · Illawarra · Free Trade -- In the beginning of next session the Ministry will introduce a Constitution for the proper government of the Federal territory. Every honorable member will then have a full opportunity to seek to embody in that law any provision that he thinks it necessary to bring forward. {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr McWilliams: -- Can any new licences be granted in the meantime? {: .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr FULLER: -- The New South Wales laws will be in force in the territory until the Constitution is passed, and any application for a licence in the district will have tobe granted under the local option provisions of the New South Wales law. I understand from the honorable member for Werriwa that there is only one hotel at present in the territory, and it has passed through the local option system. In the circumstances, seeing that no new licences can be granted except by a local option vote, and that the Government will next session introduce a Constitution for the territory, the Committee might fairly reject the amendment. {: #debate-7-s16 .speaker-L6Z} ##### Mr HALL:
Werriwa .- There are many provisions which I should like to see embodied in any law for the government of the Federal territory. It is important, for example, that no public lands in the territory should be sold. If I had to choose between the two, I would as soon choose land nationalization as prohibition, although I favour both, but if, before we undertake to frame a Constitution for the territory, we are going to lay down every principle that we think ought to be embodied in it, it will be impossible to pass this Bill during the life of this Parliament. As a temperance man, I have not sufficient confidence in the honorable member who moved this amendment to constitute him my leader upon the temperance question. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- The honorable member for Gippsland is a Son of Temperance. {: .speaker-L6Z} ##### Mr HALL: -- I believe he would be a son of anything that would block what he thinks is a very bad measure for the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- Surely the honorable member thinks the question of temperance is more important than the selection of the site? {: .speaker-L6Z} ##### Mr HALL: -- It is essential to settle the site first. We can very soon afterwards settle the question of temperance. The honorable member for Cook was not quite correct with regard to the rights that a hotelkeeper gets under the New South Wales local option law. Those who wanted to secure a period of eight years before their hotels could be closed had to obtain a lease before a certain day, which expired two years ago. No licensee could get an eight-years' right by obtaining a lease now. I think every honorable member who is opposed to the liquor traffic would be satisfied to accept an assurance from the Minister that, pending the passing of a Constitution for the territory, the Government will oppose the granting of any further licences there. {: #debate-7-s17 .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr FULLER:
Minister of Home Affairs · Illawarra · Free Trade -- I am quite prepared to say that, as far as lies in their power, the Government will do all that they possibly can to prevent any further licences being granted in the meantime in the territory. {: #debate-7-s18 .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE:
Gippsland .- It is a piece of gratuitous impertinence on the part of the Minister of Defence to suggest that I moved this amendment for the express purpose of destroying the Bill. Since the Fusion came about, we have not had many such exhibitions of his temper, but it was characteristic of him, and he was as usual absolutely incorrect. I had no thought of the effect of the amendment on the Bill. When the amendments were circulated, I decided that I would support this one. It was discovered to-day that the proper place to move it was clause 6, and, as the honorable member for Maribyrnong was not in the chamber, I took the liberty of moving it for him. If it were my intention to destroy the Bill, I should not have the faintest hesitation about saying so; but the fact that the moving of the amendment may delay the passing of the measure will not deter me from trying to insert a provision which I think should be in the agreement. Parliament will not be in a position to make laws respecting the Federal territory between the end of the year and next July, and I wish to prevent the creation within that time of vested interests which it will cost something to buy out. With the permission of the Committee, I shall alter my amendment so as to provide for the insertion of the word " new " between the word " no " and the word " licence." Amendment amended accordingly. {: #debate-7-s19 .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY:
Darwin -- The Federal territory is going to be national property. The nation will hold it in fee simple. We therefore should be careful to prevent the creation of vested interests there before we take possession, especially vested interests in " stagger juice." {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- The New South Wales law will not permit it. {: .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY: -- The various States at the present time are spending a good deal of money in reducing the number of licensed houses. The licensing of an hotel creates a vested interest, not for the benefit of the person who makes the business, but for the benefit of the owner of the property. {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr McWILLIAMS:
FRANKLIN, TASMANIA · REV TAR; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917; CP from 1920; IND from 1928 -- The highest authorities have held that there is no interest in an annual licence. {: .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY: -- I desire that no person shall be allowed to sell " stagger juice" in the Commonwealth territory unless by Commonwealth licence. No doubt the Minister means well, but I remember a case in Augusta, Maine, in which a man proceeded to sell ' ' stagger juice " in bulk, in defiance of the State prohibition law. The Supreme Court decided that he could not be prevented from doing this if he did not put up the liquor within the State. The reason why prohibition has failed in many of the States of America is that vested interests have constantly interfered. The liquor traffic is one of the most profitable businesses in the world. We reformers believe in so regulating it that its profits may go towards the reduction of taxation, and that the business may be made respectable, and cease to create drunkards. My fear in this instance is that the opportunity to make boodle may induce the issuing of new licences in the Federal territory before we can take charge of it. {: .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr Fuller: -- That is impossible. In New South Wales, the local option poll has to be taken before any new licences can be granted. {: #debate-7-s20 .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON:
Batman .- I promised yesterday that, so far as I was concerned, the measure would be disposed of by 1 o'clock to-day, but, when making that promise, I was under the impression that the clauses of the agreement could not be discussed. *I* have since learned that they can be discussed. {: .speaker-K4I} ##### Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT -- Who told the honorable member so? An agreement ought to be honorably kept. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- I shall not submit to be cross-examined by the honorable member. The information did not come from him. In dealing with the proposal before the Committee we must ask ourselves - first, is it a good one; and, next, can we give effect to it? I believe that it is a good one, and that a majority is in favour of it. {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr Mauger: -- The question is whether this is the time and place for moving such an amendment. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- I know of no time when we should not be ready to do what we can to prevent the growth of the liquor traffic. We recently decided, without division, that intoxicating drink should not be sold in militarycamps, and, to be consistent, we must prevent the sale of intoxicating drink in Federal territory. {: .speaker-KJC} ##### Mr HANS IRVINE:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910 -- Notwithstanding that, according to the honorable member, it has a poor water supply ! {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- It certainly has a poor water supply. I am surprised at the opposition to this proposal. The honorable member for Coolgardie was one of those who have spoken against the amendment. I do not know that I have any power to prevent him from getting a glass of whisky or beer if he wishes for it, but I think that drinking to excess is a bad thing. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr Mahon: -- Does the honorable member suggest that I drink to excess? {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- I should be the last to reflect on the honorable member. A great deal of drinking goes on in Australia, and we should nip in the bud attempts' to push the liquor traffic in the Federal territory. The honorable member for Nepean is a great temperance advocate, and I appeal to him to give effect to his principles by preventing the sale of drink there. Whatever may be the State law, we should deal with this matter by means of a Commonwealth law. Apparently, the honorable member for Nepean thinks that this is not the proper time to do so. He appears to be under the impression that the carrying of the amendment would endanger the Bill, because if there were delay there would not be time to secure its due consideration by the Senate before prorogation. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- That is the best reason for pressing the amendment. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- I do not take that view. When we are dealing with a vast area- {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr Bowden: -- There are only 4,000 people there. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- Will not the population of the district increase when the Capital is established there? We are legislating for the future, when the population may be very large. The honorable member for Maribyrnong is really responsible for this amendment, and I am sure that the honorable member for Nepean will not say that he has brought it forward with the object of causing delay. {: .speaker-JRH} ##### Mr Bowden: -- He had the good sense to withdraw his proposal. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- The honorable member for Maribyrnong originally proposed to insert this amendment in the Bill by way of a new clause, and in his absence it was moved by way of amendment to clause 6 by the honorable member for Gippsland. I have not heard the honorable member for Maribyrnong say, however, that he desires that it shall be withdrawn. If the proposal is a bad one, honorable members should take the responsibility of voting against it; if it is a good one, they ought to vote for it. Surely it ought not to be said that we should not discuss this question, inasmuch as to do so may mean delay in passing the Bill. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- There is a compact to dispose of this Bill by 1 o'clock, and we have only fifteen minutes to go. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- I have no desire to break that compact. I am prepared to resume my seat at once if the Minister will accept the amendment. {: .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr Fuller: -- I cannot do that. {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- Then I must state my reasons for supporting the amendment. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr Thomas: -- If the Minister wishes to expedite the passing of the Bill it is open to him to apply the "gag." {: .speaker-K5J} ##### Mr COON: -- I am surprised that the honorable member for Barrier, a Labour man, and a temperance advocate, should suggest the application of the " gag" to prevent the discussion of a temperance question. This question has an important bearing on the rising generation- {: .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr FULLER: -- I move- >That the question be now put. Question - That the question be now put - put. The Committee divided. AYES: 28 NOES: 17 Majority ... ... 11 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Question- That the words proposed to be added be so added (Mr. Wise's amendmentput. The Committee divided. AYES: 15 NOES: 31 Majority...... 16 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Amendment negatived. {: #debate-7-s21 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Wide Bay .- I wish to make a personal explanation. Whilst the division on the motion " that the question be now put " was being taken, the Minister of Defence accused me of bad faith in the matter of an agreement which he said had been made last night to dispose of this Bill by 1 o'clock to-day. I refer the honorable member to the honorable member for Wentworth, who was acting for the Government Whip last night, in support of my statement that I made no such arrangement. All that I said was that I should do my utmost to restrict debate on this matter. *Sitting suspended from 1 to 2.15p.m.* {: #debate-7-s22 .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr FULLER:
Minister of Home Affairs · Illawarra · Free Trade -- I now claim my right to ask that the question that the clause be agreed to be now put. Clause agreed to. Clause 7 (Continuance of interests in land). . {: #debate-7-s23 .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr MAUGER:
Maribyrnong .- I desire to explain that I placed the new clause, in my name, on the notice-paper, after consultation with a number of temperance members, and with the Prime Min ister, who has been associated with me in Alliance work for many years. I found that the State laws were quite effective until such time as the Constitution was applied, and also that the clause as I proposed it was not nearly so comprehensive as I desired it should be. I mentioned that fact to a number of temperance members, and they offered no objection to my withdrawing the motion. I did not speak to the honorable member for Gippsland, because he has not been associated with me in temperance work ; otherwise, I should have gladly done so. Clause agreed to. Clauses 8 to 10 agreed to. First Schedule. Amendment (by **Mr. Fuller)** proposed - >That the following words be added : - > >In witness whereof the Honorable Alfred Deakin (Prime Minister of the Commonwealth) for and on behalf of the Commonwealth, and the Honorable Charles Gregory Wade (Premier of the State) for and on behalf of the State, have hereunto set their hands and seal the day and year first above written. > >ALFRED DEAKIN. (L.S.) > >Signed, sealed, and delivered by the abovenamed Alfred Deakin in the presence of- R. R. Garran. > >G. WADE. (L.S.) > >Signed, sealed, and delivered by the abovenamed Charles Gregory Wade - J. L. Williams. {: #debate-7-s24 .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE:
Gippsland .- We have been told again and again that any amendment would jeopardize the passing of the Bill. Does the Minister propose to jeopardize the Bill by necessitating its return to another place with an amendment? This proposal only shows the hypocrisy of what was said this morning. {: #debate-7-s25 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Is there any necessity for this amendment? The Bill was passed in another place, and no exception was taken to the present form of the agreement. If there be no necessity for it, the amendment would be a mistake. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr Wise: -- The amendment appears tome to be material, and I do not know how the words came to be left out. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Of course I accept the opinion of legal members in preference to my own. I see grave danger in any amendment ; and unless the Bill would otherwise be absolutely ineffective, I should prefer to see it returned unamended to the Senate. {: #debate-7-s26 .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr FULLER:
Minister of Home Affairs · Illawarra · Free Trade -- I may say that I submitted this amendment on the Attorney- General's advice. The honorable member pointed out to me that it was absolutely necessary to have the words added. {: #debate-7-s27 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Attorney-General · Angas · Free Trade -- The Minister of Home Affairs has done perfectly right in submitting this amendment. For the sake of expedition, the Bill was introduced in another place with the schedule in blank, as the agreement at that time had not been finally settled. We telephoned **Mr. Wade** about the matter one night, and it was understood that to avoid delay the signatures would not be witnessed. Afterwards it was thought better in Sydney that the agreement should be witnessed ; and in the Bill before the New South Wales Parliament, the signatures and witnesses appear. For the sake of conformity, I said it would be better to have the witnessing clause in the Bill now before us, though I do not think they are essential, if the body of the agreement is adopted by Parliament. I think that if I communicated with **Mr. Wade** the result would be that the words would be struck out of the Bill before the New South Wales Parliament. {: .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr Fuller: -- In view of the statement of the Attorney-General, I beg to withdraw the amendment. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr Wise: -- I object. Question - That the words proposed to be. added be so added - put. The Committee divided. AYES: 12 NOES: 32 Majority ... ... 20 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Amendment negatived. {: #debate-7-s28 .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr CROUCH:
CORIO, VICTORIA · PROT -- I should like to understand from the Minister of Home Affairs, or the AttorneyGeneral, what this extraordinary reversal of form will lead to. The preamble of the Bill contains the words - >Whereas the Commonwealth and the State of New South Wales . . . have entered into an. agreement set forth in the first schedule to this Act. ... . . . In clause 2 it is provided that the Act shall commence on a day to be fixed by proclamation, after the Parliament of the State has passed an Act ratifying and confirming the agreement. The AttorneyGeneral will admitthat the signatures are a part of the agreement, so that if the words are left out, we shall ratify an agreement different from that ratified by the New South Wales Parliament. Will' the effect not be that, under no circumstances can a proclamation under clause 2 be issued, seeing that the two agreements are differently worded. {: #debate-7-s29 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Attorney-General · Angas · Free Trade -- The agreement has not yet been passed by the New South Wales Parliament, and, even if we do ratify the agreement without these words, it would not be invalidated. However, it would be better to have the non-essential terms of the two agreements the same if opportunity afforded. As I have already pointed out, the agreement had not been signed when the Bill was before the Senate, but it was understood that the testimonium was not essential. If the signatures do appear in the New South Wales Bill they can be omitted. I point out that the agreement in the schedule is only a record of the terms, and that it is not essential to include the signatures. There might be no agreement in the schedule, and reference might be made to an agreement orally entered into. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- But the Bill speaks of the "said agreement." {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- The agreement stops at the signatures, and, being ratified by Act, the latter are not really essential. Schedule agreed to. Second Schedule. {: #debate-7-s30 .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr MATHEWS:
Melbourne Ports -- I should like to know from the Minister in what place in the schedule I could insert a provision that the Federal territory shall be for ever under the law of the State of New South Wales. Second schedule, preamble, and title agreed to. Bill reported without amendment; report adopted. Motion (by **Mr. Deakin)** agreed to - >That the Standing Orders be suspended to enable the remaining stage of the Bill to be passed without delay. Motion (by **Mr. Fuller)** proposed - >That this Bill be now read a third time. {: #debate-7-s31 .speaker-KVJ} ##### Mr STORRER:
Bass .- Through the action of the Ministry just before lunch, I was deprived of an opportunity to speak on a question then before the Chair. Although I am in favour of the closure being used in a proper manner upon any honorable member who is considered to be abusing the time of the House, I do not think it should be used upon every member when an important measure of this kind is under discussion. I shall not oppose the third reading, but at the same time I hope the Ministry, when using the closure, will in future consider all the members of the House. I was not consulted by either of the whips in regard to an agreement to close the debate at 1 o'clock, but I suppose the whips consider themselves the masters of the House, although in a division each of them, like other members, has only one vote. Personally, I never make an agreement of that kind. If honorable members want to vote, they should be here when the division is taken, and that should be when the House has debated the question and concluded its business in a business-like way. It is not right for members to go away on pleasure or business and come back to vote at a time fixed upon by the whips. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- On a point of order, can you, **Mr. Speaker,** accept the motion for the third reading of the Bill to-day ? A motion for the suspension of any standing order, if it appears on the notice-paper, can be carried by a simple majority of voices, but if it is moved without notice it must be carried by an absolute majority. When the motion of the Prime Minister was put just now, the honorable member for Melbourne Ports cried "No." and, there fore, as no division was taken, it cannot be said that the motion was carried by an absolute majority. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- Then I withdraw my objection. {: #debate-7-s32 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- There appears on the notice-paper a contingent notice, by the Prime Minister, of his intention to move for the suspension of the Standing Orders whenever a report from a Committee on a Bill is either presentedor adopted. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a third time. {: .page-start } page 6478 {:#debate-8} ### OFFICERS COMPENSATION BILL **Mr. SPEAKER** announced the receipt of a message from the Governor-General recommending an appropriation of revenue for the purposes of a Bill to provide for compensation to be paid on the retirement or decease of certain officers of the Commonwealth. {: .page-start } page 6478 {:#debate-9} ### PUBLIC SERVICE (COMMISSIONER'S SALARY, ETC.) BILL *In Committee* (Consideration of GovernorGeneral's message) : Motion (by **Mr. Fuller)** agreed to - >That it is expedient that an appropriation of revenue be made for the purposes of a Bill for an Act relating to the salary of the Public Service Commissioner, Long-Service Increments in the Fifth Class of the Clerical Division, and the Employment of Telegraph Messengers. Resolution reported and adopted. Ordered - >That **Mr. Fuller** and Mr.Glynn do prepare and bring in a Bill to carry out the foregoing resolution. Bill presented (by **Mr. Fuller),** and read a first time. {: .page-start } page 6478 {:#debate-10} ### REFERENDUM (CONSTITUTION ALTERATION) BILL *In Committee* (Consideration resumed from 27th October, *vide* page 5094) : Clause 5 (Arrangements where referendum and election are held on the same clay; answers and declarations for elections to be accepted for referendum). {: #debate-10-s0 .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr BAMFORD:
Herbert .- A great deal of confusion will be caused at the next elections in Queensland, at any rate, seeing that there are to be no less than three referenda put to the people in that State. There are the two referenda on the Finance and State Debts Bills to be put before the people by this Parliament, and, as the Minister of Home Affairs knows, it has been arranged by the Queensland Government to take at the Federal elections a referendum on a State question. How are the electors to distinguish between the three? Have the Government consented to the State referendum being taken at that time? The electors will not know what they are doing, for they will be asked to vote for candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives, and also on three referenda. {: #debate-10-s1 .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr FULLER:
Minister of Home Affairs · Illawarra · Free Trade -- This Bill does not touch the point referred to by the honorable member for Herbert. It is merely a measure to apply to the taking of referenda the new provisions with regard to postal voting, and other matters provided for in the Electoral Bill passed yesterday. Communications have been sent by the Prime Minister to the Queensland Premier regarding the State referendum in Queensland, but a reply has not yet been received. {: #debate-10-s2 .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr CROUCH:
Corio -- A promise was made some time ago by the present Minister of External Affairs, the honorable member for Darling Downs, when Minister of Home Affairs in the last Deakin Administration, and, I believe, assented to by the Prime Minister, that no State referendum should be allowed to take place at a Federal election. A referendum on such a question as Bible reading in State schools would bring a very bitter sectarian issue into a Federal election, and that should certainly not be allowed. If I had time to look it up, I think I could find in *Hansard* a distinct promise on the subject by the honorable member for Darling Downs. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- No. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr CROUCH: -- If the Minister denies it, I accept his denial, but I shall try to refresh his memory. {: #debate-10-s3 .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN:
Prime Minister · Ballarat · Protectionist -- I deprecate the discussion of this question at this moment ; but it will probably meet the situation if I explain the position of affairs. I am informed that the honorable member for Corio is incorrect in attributing such a statement to the Minister of External Affairs. The statement was made, I understand, by the Treasurer of the previous Administration - the honorable member for Hume. It was made spontaneously, and expressed his views at the time. We have called attention on more than one occasion to the difficulties inevitably associated with the taking of a vote on a State question at a Federal election by Federal officials. Some little time ago, we received a reply minimizing the objections, and, after consultation with the Minister of Home Affairs and his officials, replied to the effect that the taking of a State referendum by Federal officials in voting places dedicated to Federal purposes would lead to confusion, especially when as in the present instance, probably two other referenda will be submitted. A State referendum should be taken under the State law by State officials, in State polling places, separate from ours. If this is done, our responsibility in the matter will be nil. So long as Federal officers are not employed, and Federal polling booths are not used, we can have nothing to say. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- I asked the Queensland Government if it would allow us to use its machinery, and received no reply. {: .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr Fuller: -- The Commonwealth has now provided itself with ballot-boxes for the Queensland election. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- We have pointed out that a State referendum should be taken by State officials in State polling places, and are now awaiting a reply. {: #debate-10-s4 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Wide Bay .- There is rather a long history attached to this matter, and it is as well that honorable members should know it. An Act was passed by the Queensland Parliament to provide for the taking of a referendum at the next Federal election. {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr McWilliams: -- Has a State election been held since then? {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- Yes. {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr McWilliams: -- That settles it. **Mr. FISHER.** - The language used in the State Parliament when the matter was being discussed shows that the deliberate intention was to embarrass the Commonwealth representatives by referring to the electors at the time of the Commonwealth elections a complicated issue in no way relating to Commonwealth politics. {: .speaker-K4I} ##### Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT -- Was any reason given ? {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- None, but the desire that the referendum vote should not be taken during a State election. Any one reading the Act carelessly would think that the intention was to take a referendum at the next election, but reference to the interpretation clause shows that the term "next election " is defined as the next election for the election of members of the House of Representatives of the Federal Parliament. {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr McWILLIAMS:
FRANKLIN, TASMANIA · REV TAR; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917; CP from 1920; IND from 1928 -- They will not complicate their own elections, but do not mind complicating ours. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The original Bill provided an alternative {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- The original Bill provided that the referendum should be taken at the first election, whether for the State or the Commonwealth Parliament, but the Government had the reference to State elections omitted. Two State elections have been held since the measure was passed. Colonel Foxton. - Only one. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- I think that there have been two. I made a communication to the Queensland Government on the subject, but up to the time I left office received no reply, and presume that my predecessor in office was treated in the same way. Various phases of the question were discussed, and there was a changing of ground. A third party intervened, a gentleman representing the Bible in State Schools League. He called on me casually, and afterwards sent along a memorandum with all the statements of which I did not agree, and I told. him so. The interview was not official in the strict sense of the term. I am entirely with the Prime Minister in this matter. It is most undesirable that State issues should be raised to complicate Federal elections, especially when Federal referenda will make matters very perplexing to the ordinary elector. {: #debate-10-s5 .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr CROUCH:
Corio .- I find that what the Prime Minister has said is correct, and that I have done an injustice to the honorable member for Darling Downs. On the 3rd September, 1907, I asked the honorable member for Hume this question - >It has been announced by the Premier of Queensland, that he proposes at the time of the next Federal elections, to take a referendum of the State on the subject of Scripture education, and that the Premier of Victoria, if a referendum Bill is passed through the State Parliament, will propose a similar referendum. Does the Acting Prime Minister think it right that sectarian issues should be permitted to enter into Federal politics, as they necessarily must if, at the time of the Federal elections, a referendum is taken in regard to the teaching of Scripture by the State? To that, he replied - >The matter has recently been brought under my notice, though not by the Premier of Queensland, and, in regard to it, I have had occasion to refer to previous correspondence of a confidential character. While tie Government does not wish to refuse any reasonable request by the State of Queensland, Ministers feel that as the Queensland State elections will take place before the Commonwealth elections- {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- Or about the same time. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- That' is not so with the Victorian elections. {: #debate-10-s6 .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES -- The State elections are likely to take place shortly after the Commonwealth elections, and, therefore, the Government does not intend to agree to the proposal. In my opinion, it would not be wise to allow any matter savouring of sectarianism to be mixed up with Federal politics. The Queensland Government were informed by that announcement of the views of the Commonwealth Government, and I hope that the present Ministry will stand by the position then taken up. If necessary, we should put into the Bill words which will prohibit the taking of the State referendum in connexion with the Commonwealth elections. It will be very dangerous to allow State and Federal politics to become mixed. The Premier of Victoria wished to save State members from embarrassment by providing for a referendum on a State question to be taken at a Federal election. If we permit the Queensland referendum to be taken during the next election, we shall on future occasions have all kinds of State questions submitted to the electors at Commonwealth elections, and it will be impossible for them to decide between the Commonwealth and State functions. If during my candidature I am asked if I believe in permitting the Bible to be read in State schools, and reply that the question is not of Commonwealth concern, I shall be thought by many to be sitting on a fence, while if I define my position I shall have to spoil a speech dealing with Commonwealth politics by an expedition into the field of State politics. I take it from what the Prime Minister has stated that no part of the Federal electoral machinery will be used for the Queensland referendum. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- Neither Federal polling booths nor the officers acting for the Federation will be used. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr CROUCH: -- I pity the Queensland candidates who try to gain seats in this House at the coming election, because the State question will be made a burning one, and will cause them trouble, whatever their views may be. We should insist upon the State referendum being taken in different buildings from those used for the Commonwealth referendum and voting, even though that may necessitate a large additional expense. The introduction of this question will interfere with the proper expression of the views of the Queensland people on Commonwealth issues. {: #debate-10-s7 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Wide Bay .-I shall be glad to know from the Prime Minister whether he has received from the Government of Queensland a reply to a communication which I sent when in office, asking them if they would allow their electoral machinery - schools and other buildings, and ballot-boxes - to be used in the Commonwealth election. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- I do not think that any reply was made. We are still expecting one. {: #debate-10-s8 .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY:
Darwin. .- I wish to know definitely whether the Queensland referendum relating to the reading of the Bible in State schools is to be taken at the coming Commonwealth elections. I urge the Government to see that the Commonwealth elections are absolutely separated from the Queensland referendum on this subject. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- We cannot do more than control our own officers, and the use of our polling booths and ballot-boxes, which will not be available for State purposes. {: .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY: -- Even after nine years of Federation, some persons know so little about the distinction between Commonwealth and State functions that I myself have been called a senator, and I have heard the Prime Minister referred to in the same way. If we allow this Queensland issue to be mixed up with the Commonwealth election, we shall have a lot of miserable sectarian bigotry. Every bigot will try to run his little knife under one's ribs ; and, instead of a vote on national affairs, the electors will be concerned about little tin-pot issues: We could not allow that. Clause agreed to. Clauses 6 to 8 and title agreed to. Bill reported without amendment; report adopted. Motion (by **Mr. Deakin)** agreed to - >That the Standing Orders be suspended to enable the remaining stage of the Bill to be passed without delay. Motion (by **Mr. Fuller)** proposed - >That this Bill be now read a third time. {: #debate-10-s9 .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY:
Darwin -- I wish to enter a final protest against a Commonwealth election being associated with purely local tin-pot issues, which will lead to national questions being superseded by local rooster-pluckings. If such a thing is allowed we shall have sectarian savages and local bigots running the whole show. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a third time. {: .page-start } page 6481 {:#debate-11} ### HIGH COMMISSIONER BILL *In Committee* (Consideration of Senate'samendments) : Clause 5 - >Subject to the consent of the GovernorGeneral, the High Commissioner, for the purpose of more economically and effectively advancing the material interests and welfare of every part of Australia, shall also, at the request of the Governments of the several States, perform for the States functions and duties similar to those hereinbefore described and similar to those now discharged by the Agents-General of the States, and shall perform the same without discrimination or preference, or to the advantage or disadvantage of any State as regards another State. > > *Senate's Amendments.* - Leave out " Subject to the consent ofthe Governor-General " ; leave out " at the request of the Governments of the several States," and insert " if the GovernorGeneral so directs " ; leave out " and shall perform the same without discriminationor preference or to the advantage or disadvantage of any State as regards another State." {: #debate-11-s0 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister of External Affairs · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- I intend to ask the Committee to agree, with one exception, to all the amendments made by the Senate, and in the case of the exception referredto, I propose only to ask the Committee to disagree to the amendment with a view of making a further amendment calculated to better carry out the intention of another place. I move - >That the amendments in clause 5 be agreed to. Objection was raised that the clause as it left this House seemed to suggest that a request to perform State functions would have to be made, in the first place, to the High Commissioner in England, and that it would then have to be referred to the Executive in Australia. That was not the intention or the desire of the Government, and in order in make the matter perfectly clear, amendments have been made so as to provide that when a State desires the High Commissioner to act on its behalf a request shall be made direct to the GovernorGeneral, whereupon a direction will be sent to London. Motion agreed to. Clause 7 - >A person appointed to be the High Commissioner shall not during his tenure of office, except as prescribed or allowed by the Minister, be or act. as director or agent of or hold any office in any company *ox* syndicate whether incorporated or unincorporated or hold any other office or employment, whether within or without the Commonwealth. > > *Senate's Amendment.* - Leave out " except as prescribed or allowed by the Minister." Motion (by **Mr. Groom),** proposed- >That the amendment be agreed to. {: #debate-11-s1 .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr FRAZER:
Kalgoorlie .- It is rather interesting to find that although the Government fought so vigorously for the retention of these words when the Bill was before us on a previous occasion, they are now prepared to accept an amendment made by another place which practically covers the amendment which the Opposition desired the Minister of External Affairs to make. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- Better late than never. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr FRAZER: -- Quite so; but I cannot help recalling the fact that the Minister, when this Bill was previously before us, took a very strong stand againstthe clause being amended in this way. He suggested that the High Commissioner might desire to accept the office of President of the Royal Colonial Institute, or an honorary position in an organization having for its object the strengthening of the Empire. Indeed, he grew quite eloquent in his support of the clause as it stood. We now find him, without explaining his change of attitude, inviting the Committee to agree to an amendment which completely blots out the speech that he then made. He seems to have accepted the statement made recently by the right honorable member for East Sydney that the advantage of turning a complete somersault is that when one does so, one lands on one's feet. If my honorable friend has somersaulted in this case the Opposition have no cause to complain, but I thought it well to bring the fact before the Committee. Motion agreed to. *Senate's Amendment.* - After " hold," line 6, insert "or exercise." {: #debate-11-s2 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister of External Affairs · Darling, Downs · Protectionist -- The clause as it left this House provided that the High Commissioner should not, except as prescribed, " hold any other office or employment whether within or without the Commonwealth." The Senate has inserted after the word " hold " the words " or exercise," and has struck out the words' " office or " so that the clause now provides that the High Commissioner shall not hold or exercise " any other employment." In order to remove any doubt it is necessary to put the amendment in proper legal form. It has been submitted to the law officers, who desire that it shall be placed in strict legal phraseology. I therefore move - >That the amendment be disagreed with, but that the clause be amended by inserting after the word "employment," line 7, the words " or engage in any business." I shall then ask the Committee to agree to the next amendment striking out the words " office or." {: #debate-11-s3 .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS:
Barrier .- I think the Committee might well accept the amendment made by the Senate. It seems to me to express clearly enough the intention of another place. It is rumoured that,' although the Government applied the " gag " during the second reading of this Bill, they are not so anxious to have it finally dealt with as they would have led us to believe at that time. The motion submitted by the Minister suggests that they desire to waste a little more time. If it is agreed to, the Bill will have to be returned to the Senate, and there will be another discussion upon it there. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- I do not think so. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- Can the honorable gentleman speakf or the Senate in this instance ? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- I think so. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- Why not accept the Senate's amendment? The Minister, who is a lawyer, wishes to have it framed in legal phraseology. The less we have of legal phraseology in our Acts of Parliament, the better. If more conventional English were used there would be less litigation. The length of time that has been allowed to elapse between the passing of the Bill by another place and the presentation of its amendments for our. consideration does not suggest that the Government are in such a hurry to dispose of it as they would have us believe. I shall object to the Minister's proposal. {: #debate-11-s4 .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr HENRY WILLIS:
Robertson -- This clause was discussed at length when the Bill was originally before us, and the Minister was then very certain of his position. Indeed, he is always so certain in regard to every matter that he brings forward that I am beginning to have doubts as to his confidence. On the occasion in question, he would not accept even the most trivial amendment. It was quite out of the question to suggest the dotting of an " i " or the crossing of a " t." The Senate has made a common-place amendment, and the honorable gentleman now says, "No, that will not suit me, I wish to put the amendment in other words." If we agree to his proposal, the Senate may make a further amendment. This is mere pettifogging business. The clause, as certain course was advised by the Attorney) General as absolutelv necessary. {: #debate-11-s5 .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- I ask the honorable member not to discuss that matter. {: #debate-11-s6 .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I only mention it by way of illustration. We were told that, on the advice of the Attorney-General, it was absolutely necessary to have a testimonium clause in the agreement as to the Federal Capital site and the signatures. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- I did not say that. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- When a layman pointed out that the amendment would endanger the Bill, the Attorney-General altered his opinion, and said the signatures were not necessary. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- I did not say one or the other. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- The Minister of Home Affairs said that he moved the amendment on the advice of the Attorney-General ; and I now feel perfectly justified in having last night said that I would not accept the Attorney-General's opinion. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- The Attorney - General is the soundest man we have had "in the office. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- And so I thought until today. The proposed amendment of the "Senate can do no possible harm ; and yet, for the mere purpose of delaying the measure, we have the Government taking their present stand. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The honorable member is quite wrong. ' {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I do not think that the Minister of External Affairs will solemnly state that the words he proposes are absolutely necessary. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I say that the amendment has been submitted to the law officers, who say that it is advisable to put the "words in. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- I did not ask about the law officers. The Minister of External Affairs is a lawyer himself, and, having some little faith in him yet, I do not think he will say that the words are absolutely necessary. If he gives it as his solemn opinion that the words are necessary, I have nothing further to say ; but if he does not, I am convinced the Government are simply finding an excuse to delay the passage of the Bill. I challenge the Minister of External Affairs to say those words are necessary. {: #debate-11-s7 .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY:
Darwin .- Do I understand that if the Labour party are returned to power, and there is created a national postal banking system, we shall not be able to ask the High Commissioner to take charge of the business in London? {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- I must ask the honorable member not to deal with that matter. {: .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY: -- Under this clause would the High Commissioner have power to refuse to act in that capacity by pleading that he was engaged under a specific contract as laid down in the Act ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Under an earlier clause the High Commissioner has to carry out such instructions as he receives from the Minister respecting the commercial, financial, and general interests of the Commonwealth and States. {: .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY: -- If that is so, I am satisfied that he would have to take charge of the London office of the Australian National Postal Bank. {: #debate-11-s8 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Wide Bay .- This is an extraordinary .procedure on the part of the Government. It might be well to point out the history of the measure. The Prime Minister had an intimation from me that it was regarded as a non-party measure, and that we should help to get it through at the earliest moment. He closured the second-reading debate before I spoke on it; the Bill was put through, and sent to the Senate. It came back from the Senate, with a few technical amendments, on the 15th October. We are "now at the 26th November. Again and again in the meantime' I have asked the Minister in charge of the measure why it was not brought on. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- Order ! The honorable member must not go into that question. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- I will leave it at that. The Senate has sent back an amendment to make the latter part of clause 7 read in this way, " or hold or exercise any other employment, whether within or without the Commonwealth." The Government decline to take the Senate's wording, and propose to strike out the words " or exercise," with a view to insert after the word "employment " the words "or engage in any business," so making the paragraph read: "or hold any other employment or engage in anybusiness..... " What is the difference between " exercise any other employment ' ' and " hold any other employment or engage in any business"? The latter is simply a roundabout way of saying the same thing, and all this is the result of six weeks' cogitation on the part of the Government, the law officers, and all the machinery of the Department. There is not an honorable member in the Committee who seriously believes in .the good intentions of the Government in .this matter. I make that charge in the plainest possible language. The action of the Government is a mere device to palter with a great question. It is- being shuffled backwards and forwards by a Government who seem to have a greater wish to delay the measure, which they declare to be urgent, than to act on those straightforward lines which one would expect a Government with any grit at all to follow. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable member should not impute motives. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- The Treasurer, of course, seems to think that everything is all right. I do not attribute motives. I simply say straightforwardly that the Government have not ah honest argument behind their proposition. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr Wise: -- The Treasurer does not "know what the proposition is. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- I venture to say that he does not, and, further than that, as the honorable member for -Gippsland says, the Prime Minister will not get up and attempt to defend it. It is an obvious shuffle for delay, in order to keep the measure on the business-paper until the last day of the session. It could be just as easily passed now as then. Speaking as a layman, I think the words proposed by the Senate are far more definite and distinct than those proposed by the Ministry. To shuffle about the mere wording of a clause for the sake of a little delay is not worthy of the governing body of this Parliament. {: #debate-11-s9 .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr SPENCE:
Darling Downs -- It is a great pity that, after we have waited so many years for the passage of this very important measure, it should be hung up for a paltry quibble as to the difference between, the meaning of one or two words. The Cabinet is full of legal minds, and surely they ought to be able to show us the difference, in this c!ase, between tweedledum and tweedledee. If they wanted a different wording to be used, they should have had it inserted in another place. At this late stage of the session the Government might well accept the Senate's amendment. It is unimportant, because whoever is appointed will be a gentleman of such high standing that he would never he on the look-out for a loophole or .pretext to evade the plain intention of the Act. We do not require to hedge him. round so .carefully. It would be sufficient for the Government .to fell him that they expected him not to engage in other occupations, or, in other words, become a guinea-pig. Any of those whose names have been suggested privately for the position could be safely trusted. The Government must have some other motive for their action to-day. The English language is so copious that a number of words with practically the same meaning can be found. There must be an untold reason why the Government are asking the Federal Parliament to argue as to which of two or three words with practically the same meaning shall be selected. The Opposition cannot be charged with delaying business in this case, for we are eager to help the Government through- with the Bill and finish up the business of the session. Why this quibbling over words, instead of passing the measure into law? It is important that it should be passed, so that the appointment can be made before the' prorogation, but this is a way of preventing that being done. {: #debate-11-s10 .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr WEBSTER:
Gwydir .- This is the first opportunity I have had of saying a word on this important measure. I was not previously permitted .to express my opinion as a representative of the people, for it was on that notable occasion that the Prime Minister decided to put a stop to the discussion. The Government objected then to *my* exercising my right, and they are objecting now to the insertion of the word "exercise." Why? The object of the amendment of the Senate is to insure that whoever takes this high position will not accept commissions and undertake all kinds of business outside his office. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The object of my amendment is to make that intention clearer. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr WEBSTER: -- Does not the word " exercise" do all that is necessary? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- It does not state the intention of the Senate fully. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr WEBSTER: -- It is not worthy of the Government to cause friction on the question of the definition of the word "exercise." The Senate have passed the Bill, and this House is ready to agree to their amendments and make it law. The Opposition are trying to help the Government to expedite business at this late stage of the session, but the Government are throwing obstacles in the way. The Minister of Home Affairs appealed recently to honorable members not to amend the Electoral Bill or the Seat of Government Acceptance Bill, because there would be no time for the Senate to deal with the amendments. If that argument was a good one in those cases, surely it is good in this. The Government are straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. Is the Prime Minister prepared to risk the loss of this measure by the action he has taken? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- No; it will not be lost. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr WEBSTER: -- If there is no danger in this case, where was the danger in the case of the other Bills? {: #debate-11-s11 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister of External Affairs · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- Will the honorable member allow me to make the matter clear? The intention of the Senate was to prevent the High Commissioner engaging in any business outside his office. The amendment now before us was made, and it was understood at the time that if it did not carry out the Senate's intention the Government would put it in proper legal form. As it now reads, it says, " or exercise any other employment." The word " employment " suggests that a man is employed by somebody, and the prohibition was intended to apply, not merely to employment by somebody- {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr Thomas: -- Does the Minister thin'k that the High Commissioner would quibble in that way? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- The clause should be in proper form. The idea was to make a general prohibition against his engaging in any business whatever. The intention of the amendment which I have now proposed is *to* carry out the object of both Houses. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- Will it cover " employment "? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- We want it to cover Both "employment" and "business," but as the Committee does not appear willing to dispose of it at this stage, I shall move to report progress. Progress reported. {: .page-start } page 6486 {:#debate-12} ### NAVAL LOAN BILL **Mr. SPEAKER** reported the receipt of a message from His Excellency the GovernorGeneral recommending an appropriation for the purposes of this Bill. {: .page-start } page 6486 {:#debate-13} ### ADJOURNMENT Additional Sittings - Close of Session - National Postal Banking SystemCoal Miners' Strike - Newcastle Coal Vend - Northern Territory Acceptance Bill - Inspection of Inter-state Produce Shipments - **Mr. W.** M. Hughes, M.P. **Mr. DEAKIN** (Ballarat- Prime Minister) [3.46]. - In moving - >That the House do now adjourn, I shall probably consult the convenience of honorable members by now inviting them to be good enough to make such arrangements as will enable them to remain in Melbourne at the end of next week, should the state of business require additional sittings to bring the session to a close during the following week. It is clearly impossible to terminate the session next week; but, with great assiduity, we may accomplish what remains to be done by the week after, lt may be some consolation to those who may have to remain here to know that there is a possibility that the existing railway conveniences may be limited by then. The business remaining on our notice-paper consists mostly of measures which have been received from another place, in which party considerations are not involved. They are practical business measures, and there is no reason to suppose that they cannot be disposed of during a few days of, perhaps, long and steady sitting. In addition, there will be the Bill for which the Governor-General recommends appropriation in the message just read. Time must be allowed for whatever debate may be found necessarv in connexion with it. I do not despair of being able, with the assistance of honorable members, to satisfactorily complete the business of the session within about a fortnight. {: #debate-13-s0 .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY:
Darwin -- Before alluding to the principal matter which I wish to bring before the House, I ask the Prime Minister if he can give me a day to introduce my postal banking system ? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- I doubt if the honorable member could do it in a. daw {: .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY: -- I shall require a dav for myself. I wish to call the attention of the Attorney-General to today's *Agc.* There the following headlines are used : - >A New Development. The Union Collieries. The Scheme Destroyed. Railway Department will not haul the Coal. ' 4 I ask him if this action by the New South Wales Railways Commissioners is not in restraint of trade, and a violation of the Constitution? I wish also to bring under his notice another statement in this newspaper, headed - - >Charges against the Vend. Colliery Owners' Accusation. Alleged Restraint of Trade. According to a telegram sent from Sydney yesterday - > **Mr. H.** H. Moore, Sydney manager of Messrs. A. Kethel and Co., whose mines are to be worked by the Miners' Federation, stated to-day that his company was in no way connected with the Newcastle vend or Defence Association. Further, he added, "We have no grievance with our miners, or they with us. We maintain that we have every right to work our collieries should we think fit. I might mention that the Sydney coal merchants, who all handle the vend coal, and the InteT-State shipping and coal companies have during the past twelve months lent every effort to crush our firm out of the trade. We can quote instances, if necessary, where the vend refused to load cargoes if our Wallsend coal formed part of such cargo. Another instance of the tactics adopted by the vend was when it refused to load its coal as cargo because our coat formed part of the bunkers of steamers, hot a ton being despatched as cargo. The predicament caused by such selfish action can well be imagined. Should the Commonwealth Government ever desire to inquire into the methods of the vend and certain steam-ship companies in regard to the restriction placed upon InteTState and oversea tTade by their combined action - and .such inquiry certainly should be made - we shall be most happy to support our statements by instancing cases in which our trade has been hampered by the methods I have mentioned." **Mr. Moore** is one of Australia's most reputable business men, and **Mr. Kethel** is another. In the face of the fact that those who constitute the vend are refusing to meet the miners in open conference; and that their interference with Inter- State trade and commerce is increasing the cost of living, closing up factories, throwing men and women out of employment, and depreciating property everywhere; will the AttorneyGeneral read carefully what appears in Australia's national organ, and. having made sure of his facts, ask **Mr. Moore** to help him to bring these men within the pale of the Commonwealth law? {: #debate-13-s1 .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS:
Adelaide .- The Prime Minister, in moving the adjournment of the House, referred to the business on our notice-paper, but made no statement about the Northern Territory Acceptance Bill. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- I sooke only of the business in this House which has come to us from the Senate, and which, when we have dealt with it, will be concluded. I did not allude to any measures before the Senate. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- I express the hope that time will be given to the Senate to deal with the important measure which 1 have named. It is not suggested that the measure may be dropped ? **Mr. Deakin.** - Not at all. {: #debate-13-s2 .speaker-JMG} ##### Mr ATKINSON:
Wilmot .- I wish to say a few words regarding a veryimportant subject, the inspection of produce passing from State to State. It is high time that the Federation took this matter into its hands, by appointing inspectors who could do the work impartially, and give general satisfaction. I should have liked to bring this matter before the House in a form which would have enabled honorable members to vote on a definite proposal, and have been urged by many public bodies to do so ; but, as there is no opportunity for that, I am forced to take this action. I hope that the Government will look very closely into the matter, and see whether it cannot, provide for Commonwealth inspection in the immediate future. The past season has been so unsatisfactory to producers that the Commonwealth should begin to create machinery for dealing with the business of next season. A most peculiar position has been created. In practically all the States, the same diseases are attacking vegetable produce, and yet, one State will not accept sound produce from another, alleging that it must prevent the introduction of disease. By this action, not only are the producers affected, but the consumers, and those who handle produce, are also injured, great monetary loss being entailed. A most un-Federal feeling is also being produced. When men send sound .produce from their State to another and have it rejected, and are convinced that there is being consumed within that State inferior locally-grown produce, they cannot help thinking that they have gained nothing by Federation. Did time permit, I could quote a number of instances in which injustice has been done; but I dc not wish to detain honorable members unduly. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- Is the honorable member referring to the fruit industry ? {: .speaker-JMG} ##### Mr ATKINSON: -- To the action of the State Governments in regard to imported produce generally. I think that the people would be glad to have Federal substituted for State inspection, and that the State Governments would like to be relieved of their present task. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- Will not the establishment of a Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau meet the difficulty ? {: .speaker-JMG} ##### Mr ATKINSON: -- Something must b; done at once. The establishment of the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau is far in the future, and we must deal with this *matter* before next sseason-. It is true that New South Wales has just removed her embargo on produce coming from Victoria and the other States ; but as she has no potatoes of her own at the present time, her inspectors may now pass potatoes which, in April next, when there is a local crop, may be condemned. The action of the State Governments this season has been disastrous so far as many producers are concerned, and should teach us a lesson. Having read the opinion of the Attorney-General, I am afraid that the Quarantine Act does not empower the Commonwealth Government to deal with this matter by proclamation. Therefore, it is the duty of Ministers to propose an amendment of the law which will enable us to provide, at the first opportunity, for proper inspection. {: #debate-13-s3 .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr BAMFORD:
Herbert .- I wish to refer to a newspaper statement concerning the honorable member for West Sydney, who is not here to defend himself. In a sub-leader in this morning's *Argus,* these words occur - the subject under discussion is the Newcastle strike - >The legal adviser and general director of the men in revolt against die law is **Mr. W.** M. Hughes, M.P., ex-Attorney-General of the Commonwealth, who, so far from acting in a manner conformable to the high position he has held and persuading the unions to submit to the tribunals they were principally instrumental in creating, encourages them in their contumacy. That such statements have an effect upon the minds, not only of the outside public, but of honorable members themselves, is evidenced by an interjection made a. few moments ago by the honorable member foi Corio. The statement that the honorable member for West Sydney is encouraging the men in their contumacy is a deliberate and absolute lie. The honorable member for West Sydney, and I, are interested in the same organization. He is the President and I am the Vice-President of it. and as one who is behind the scenes I have no hesitation in saying that there is absolutely no foundation in fact for the statement concerning him of which I complain. I give it an unqualified denial. Were it nor- for the efforts of the honorable member for West Sydney the industrial fire,, which is confined at present to a small area of the Commonwealth, would develop into a huge conflagration and extend throughout the Continent. {: .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr KING O'MALLEY:
DARWIN, TASMANIA · ALP -- And the *Argus* knows that that is so. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr BAMFORD: -- It does. This is a cowardly and contemptible attack made behind the cover of an unsigned article. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- And in the absence of the honorable member concerned. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr BAMFORD: -- That is immaterial to those who make these unprincipled misrepresentations as to the action of the honorable member. By' cowardly inferences and innuendoes they endeavour to throw mud at him and others who at present occupy the Opposition benches. I take this opportunity to resent such statements in. the strongest possible way. {: #debate-13-s4 .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr WEBSTER:
Gwydir .- The Prime Minister has appealed to the House to assist him in- bringing the session to. a close at the end of next week. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- A fortnight hence. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr WEBSTER: -- I am prepared to assist him in expediting public business, but I should like to clearly understand whether or not the Government, in dealing with important questions, and more especially the Naval Loan Bill, are going to display that impartiality which ought to dominate their control of the House. If I receive fair play 1 shall not avail myself of the forms of the House to prevent any honorable member from expressing his opinions. But in justification of a certainaction that I took in the House early this week, I desire to explain that I was led to do so because of the belief that the "gag" had been used unfairly, not only to curtail discussion, but to penalize certain honorable members in the discharge of what they conceive to be their public duties. So long as the. Government deal fairly with honorable members generally I shall take no action; but if they continue the conduct of which I complain, I shall have to persevere and show that this weapon of the "gag" is used- for the persecution of some honorable members.. I know of no Legislature within the British realm where there exists such a closure resolution as we have in operation in this Parliament. {: .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr King O'Malley: -- We passed it. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr WEBSTER: -- I did not support it. I was not present when it was passed ; had I been I should have opposed it. I have never supported the "gag," and do not believe in it. I think that honorable mem- bers have a full sense of the responsibility of their position and recognise the reasonableness of the desire of a Government to push on with public business. In the New South Wales Legislative Assembly the closure cannot be applied to an individual member unless a .majority of those present approve of its application, and a still larger majority is necessary to permit of the application of the " gag " to the general question. In this way honorable members are safeguarded against the unreasonable use of a weapon which, I admit, is necessary, although not to the extent to which it has been employed by the Government in this House. If the debate on the Naval Loan Bill is not going to be one-sided 1 shall be satisfied ; but I shall certainly protest if we have a repetition of the action of the Government in connexion with the consideration of a measure recently before us. On the occasion to which I refei, three honorable members on the Government side of the House, having practically voted against their expressed convictions, desired naturally to put their position before the country. The Government connived at securing for them an opportunity to make a statement, but as soon as they had done so, and the Leader of the Opposition rose to speak, the " gag" was at once applied.' That was palpably an act of persecution. When the weapon- is so used resentment must be expected. If the Government are prepared to play the game fairly, I am. But if they attempt to use the " gag," as they have done, as an instrument of oppression, I shall resist their efforts as far as possible, and shall not hesitate to repeat what I have done in this connexion. I sound .this note of warning, because I am determined to secure fair play. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable member receives his .fair share. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr WEBSTER: -- The right honorable member has been misled, and has got off his usual track. In that he has my sympathy. As for the statement made bv the honorable member for Herbert, I think it cruel that an honorable member who is doing his best to bring about a peaceful settlement of a dispute that threatens the whole of the commerce of Australia - who is endeavouring to have it dealt with by legitimate methods according to the laws of the country, and to frustrate extremists who might take steps that would be disastrous to the country - should be assailed as the honorable member for West Sydney has been. The honorable member is trying to settle a great difficulty, and in dealing with it has displayed ability and capacity such as no other honorable member could show. Every encouragement should be given him in his endeavour to bring the dispute to a satisfactory issue without resort to violence, such as would probably have occurred had he not been called to the position that he now holds, and acted as a mediator. As a member of the Labour party, as a man having some interest in the welfare of the masses, and of the commerce of Australia generally, I resent these insults hurled at a man who is deserving of credit for the stupendous efforts he is making, notwithstanding that he is hot in the best of health, to combata grave public difficulty. {: #debate-13-s5 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Attorney-General · Angas · Free Trade -- In reference to the remarks of the honorable member for Darwin, I do not think it necessary to add to what the Prime Minister said this morning. If a carrier engaged in Inter-State business is interfering with trade and commerce between the States by failing to give fair and reasonable facilities for traffic, his being a State authority does not exempt him -from the application of the Trade and Commerce section. As to the other matter to which reference has been made, I may say that I saw **Mr. H.** H. Moore's statement, as published in the press this morning. I read all these matters, and after perusing the paragraph in question I gave instructions to the Crown Solicitor to communicate with that gentleman. The honorable member for Wilmot has raised the question as to whether we should not either bring into force the provisions of the Quarantine Act or pass legislation extending them. I do not think that the whole field in relation to this matter is covered by section 13 of the Quarantine Act; but it is rather late now to consider the advisableness of amending that statute. It would require a great deal of .care and an ample staff of supervisors to supersede the State jurisdiction. {: .speaker-JMG} ##### Mr Atkinson: -- I think that the States would be willing. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- Some of them would. **Mr. GLYNN.** - We should not propose such an amendment of the law without deliberation. The States are not without their remedy. There is open to them the remedy that is open to every ordinary citizen. {: #debate-13-s6 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I desire, before putting the motion for the adjournment of the House, to draw the attention of honorable members to the fact that the vote on the motion known as the closure is on exactly the same footing as any other vote, in that it cannot be discussed subsequently in the House. The honorable member for Gwydir made some remarks concerning the application of the closure a ' day or two ago, but as his observations were largely in the nature of a personal explanation, I did not think it well at the time to draw attention to the fact I have mentioned. I do so now in order that honorable members may understand that the fact that the honorable member was allowed to refer to the matter in the way he did is not to be taken as constituting a precedent. Question resolved in the affirmative. House adjourned at 4.12 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 26 November 1909, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.