6th Parliament · 1st Session
Mr. Speaker took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.
Liverpool Camp Inquiry: Camp Barbers : Australia’s Contribution op Soldiers: Training Camp Concessions.
– Can the Prime Minister inform the. House, generally and broadly, as to the lines of the inquiry that he proposes to institute in regard to tha ‘ Liverpool encampment *!
– I have not consulted the members of the Government on the matter, but I think that I speak for Ministers as a whole when I say that no lines will be laid down for the Commissioner to follow. The official report of the speech of the honorable member for Nepean will be handed to the Justice of the High Court who will act as Commissioner. He will be asked to investigate the charges made in that speech, and to report concerning it to the Governor-General.
– Will the Assistant Minister of Defence inquire into the rumour that eight union barbers who have been sent to a training camp in Victoria are charging more than the award rates for haircutting and shaving, and if so, will he take steps to prevent the soldiers from being exploited ?
– I shall make inquiries into the matter.
– In view of the statements of Professor Rentoul and others, which suggest that Australia is not doing her duty in contributing to the defence of the Empire, will the Prime Minister make a statement as to the number of Australian soldiers at the front, and the number who are doing their’ duty locally, and furnish the same information regarding the other parts of the Empire ?
– I shall be glad to do so, though I doubt the wisdom of making this information public. I merely put in a word for the Commonwealth, and apparently it is resented.
– Yesterday the Assistant Minister of Defence promise”d to obtain for me information regarding the conditions under which business concessions in the trading camps are granted. Is he in a position to make a statement on the subject ?
– Last night I promised to inquire concerning the method of selling goods in the training camps, and the conditions under which these sales were permitted, and I am now supplied with the following information: -
The method governing sale of goods at Liverpool Camp is as follows: -
The Regimental Institute at Liverpool Camp is conducted by Messrs. Doran and Tresssider under the following conditions: -
All goods sold at Sydney prices, plus the cost of freight to Liverpool; contractors to con tribute f 150 per month to regimental funds for every 1,000 men in camp. Price-lists of goods being approved by the District Commandant, and placed in the canteen for the information of the purchasers.
At Broadmeadows and Seymour Camps, troops are supplied by the Regimental Institute, which is governed by trustees, the Camp Commandant, and Honorable E. G. Wilson, appointed by special authority of the Minister. Tea, scones,” &c, are allowed to be sold by the Young Men’s Christian Association and other religious bodies. Certain hawkers and hairdressers are allowed to trade by special authority of the Minister.
At Enoggera Camp it is believed that similar conditions obtain. Inquiries are, however, being made by telegram.
– In the event of the Government of New South Wales finding it necessary to import butter to make good an ascertained shortage in the State, will the Commonwealth Government remit the duty on the butter so imported so that the price of this article may not be unduly increased to the people of New South Wales ?
– Only one answer can be given to questions like this. As they refer to Tariff matters, ‘our action in regard to them cannot be anticipated.
Report of the Public Works Committee concerning the extension of the Small Arms Factory and its machinery, together with minutes of evidence, appendices, and plans, presented by Mr. Riley. Ordered to be printed.
– In view of the statement of the Prime Minister yesterday that the Commonwealth intends to raise a loan at no distant date, will the Prime Minister make public, at the first opportunity, the terms and conditions of the loan ?
– That will be my duty. Honorable members know that after it has been indicated that a loan is to be raised, the least said about the matter the better, until the time is ripe for referring to it again. I think that that is a recognised principle.’ This Parliament will have full opportunity to discuss the proposal, because, before we can borrow, a measure must, be introduced to authorize” our action.
Motion (by Mr. Archibald) agreed to -
That the paper - “ Federal Capital - Correspondence re temporary transfer of Mr. A. J. Macdonald to assist Mr. Griffin “ - which was presented to the House on the 1st instant, be printed.
Additional Defence Minister - Committee op MILITARY Defence - REGISTRATION of Males - Mobilization of Wealth - Tariff : Adjournment of Parliament,
– I ask the Prime Minister whether a decision has yet been arrived at in regard to the appointment of another responsible Defence Minister in this House?
– Yes. It is proposed to ask Parliament to sanction the creation of an additional Minister, who may be termed the Minister for the Navy, or the Minister of Marine. This will free the Minister of Defence from a considerable amount of work.
We intend also to appoint a Committee to consist of an equal number of honorable members of each party in the Houses - eight members of the House of Representatives and four senators, on the basis of two representatives from each State, The duty of this Committee will be to consider ali questions relating to the war that may be referred to it by the Government, and a Minister will preside ex officio over its meetings.
– The Minister of Defence ?
– As the questions which will be referred to the Committee will be various, I think it better to say merely “a Minister.” A more definite arrangement can be made later.
– I think the Prime Minister should preside.
– It may not be possible for rae always to do so, but I think that some Minister should be in touch with the deliberations of the Committee, which will deal with all matters referred to it.
May I also say that the Government consider present circumstances indicate that we have arrived at a time when we ought to dp something more. I think that the Government should introduce and pass through this Parliament a Bill to enable us to make a register of all males between such ages as fit them to help the country. I also think we should ascertain from the people of the Commonwealth their condition as regards wealth, and as to all their possessions. It is reasonable, having regard to the present circumstances, that we should be in possession of all these facts, so that we may be able, organized and equipped, to face any situation, and be ready for effective action at any moment.
– Does the Prime Minister’s statement as regards the collection of information relating to the wealth of the people refer to females as well as males?
– Yes. I said some time ago that I thought that if we were to mobilize at all we should include the wealth of all our citizens.
– Before putting a question to the Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker, I should like to be permitted to make a brief statement relative to the announcement just made by the right honorable gentleman. I wish to say that the Opposition have heard of the decision of the Government with the greatest possible pleasure. It seems that at last we are really bending our backs to the very serious trouble that confronts us, and I want the right honorable gentleman to understand that anything the Opposition can do to help Kim to bear the tremendous responsibilities he has to carry will be cheerfully done. The Prime Minister can count on our full support in putting through any of the propositions to which he has referred, so far as we understand them. I do not quite understand his reference to the mobilization of the wealth of the country, but as to his other proposals - the numbering of the men of the community, the creation of an additional portfolio, and any other matter necessary to the prosecution of the war - he need not anticipate any serious criticism from this side of the House. I wish now to ask the right honorable gentleman whether he and his party are considering the wisdom of continuing the sitting of this Parliament, and particularly its continuance for the purpose of dealing with party business?
– Surely the Leader of the Opposition does not wish us to close up the Parliament?
– I tell the honorable member at once that I think the sooner the Government can obtain all that they want from Parliament, and close it up for the time being, the better, so that they may address themselves without let or hindrance to the task that is before them.
– Then your criticisms will cease.
– What criticisms we have to make we shall not hesitate to make directly to the Government, as we have already done. That is our duty in all circumstances.
– We should have some non-party meetings of the House.
– I do not know anything about non-party meetings of the House, but I take it that we are to have a non-party Council of the House, which should do good work.
– Of the two Houses.
– With such a Council, which will really be a Committee of Public Safety, there should be less need to continue our ordinary sittings of Parliament. Above all, I am anxious that we should, if possible, postpone any further party measures and address ourselves with all the power we have at our command to the great task in front of us. I now ask the Prime Minister whether he and his party have considered this point ?
– Does the right honorable gentleman refer to the Tariff?
– To the Tariff in particular, but also to any other contentious business.
– The Tariff is a nonparty matter on this side of the House.
– So it is on this side.
– There is, however, a feeling in the country that while the Tariff may not be a party matter on either side; the discussion of it may create an atmosphere that would have as bad an effect as bitter party strife. Furthermore, there are circumstances which would make a postponement of the discussion of the Tariff a most valuable consideration. I shall not attempt to dogmatize on the question of shutting up Parliament. At this time of crisis Parliament must be prepared to meet at any time. There may be periods when it need not sit, and I hope that there will be one such period very soon, but financial and other considera tions demand that it must meet from time to time, even if it be only for the purpose of affording to honorable members, apart from Ministers and the gentlemen who propose to assist them, an opportunity to give expression to the views they may hold. An arrangement may be made on the lines I have indicated, but when we meet next week we should be in a better position to deal with that aspect of the matter.
– I may be pardoned for saying that honorable members heard with the utmost gratification the statement which the Prime Minister made a few minutes ago, indicating that his Government propose to bring insteps for the compulsory statistical registration of the forces of the community in money and men, in order to prosecute the war. I wish to ask him whether the information to be supplied on the registration form will state whether the citizen is married or single, the number of children each man has, and each person’s occupation; also whether if the citizen is no longer of an age rendering him capable of taking part at the front, heis willing to devote himself to work in any capacity in which he may be called upon to serve, in order to further the cause we all have at heart?
– We shall require all that information, and probably more. While we possibly could proceed under the powers given in the War Precautions Act, we should have, I think, a separate Bill which would prescribe the exact information that we require each citizen to supply. By adopting this proceeding nothing will be uncertain, and the power will not be exercised beyond the direct authority of Parliament. ‘ The information to be supplied should include the citizen’s parentage and the place of birth of his parents, also every particular that any honest citizen would care to give to the counsels of the Nations at such a time as this. The information we shall require as to wealth possessed will not be more than can be obtained confidentially at any time, and will not be used for political purposes. Above all, this census will not be used for the purposes of conscription. That will not be its aim. Its aim will be to bring home to every person the fact that his or her services may be required, and that this information is needed in order that we may know what each man is capable of doing, and where we can find him. First of all, we wish to know what each citizen is desirous of doing, and, after that, we need the information in order that those in authority may be in a position to call upon our citizens to serve their country voluntarily or otherwise at the right time.
– I wish to know whether the Prime Minister will consider a further suggestion. As there will be an enormous amount of clerical work to be performed in connexion with the classification of returns, and as there are thousands of people in our capital cities and centres of population who will be prepared to volunteer- their efforts and overtime in aiding the Ministry in this work, will the Prime Minister take into consideration the desirability of organizing at once the necessary clerical assistance in the various cities to enable him to carry out this census?
– I asked the AttorneyGeneral this afternoon to draw up a draft of what information will be required if the Bill which I suggest is passed. The Government will lose no time, and will be prepared to consider suggestions of any kind for the purpose of facilitating this matter. I am sorry that the Bill cannot be dealt with this week, but I hope that it will be in the nature of early business for next week.
– Has the attention of the Minister of Trade and Customs been drawn to a paragraph appearing in yesterday’s Argus to the effect that the American Beef Trust, including the firms of Armour and Company, Swift and Company, Morris and Company, and Sulzberger and Company, of Chicago, have intimated to the British Government that if they continue to seize shipments of meat consigned to Scandinavia, and which the British Government believe to be intended for the enemy, it will refuse further supplies of meat to the British people ? Is the trust adopting the same attitude in Australia in regard to shipments of meat from the Commonwealth ?
– I have not seen the paragraph referred to, but I shall bring the matter under the notice of Cabinet with a view to preventing the trust, or any other firms, taking any such steps in regard to Australian meat.
Postal Facilities at Liverpool Camp : Personal Effects of Soldiers: Alleged Treachery: Provisions for Influx of Recruits.
– As there is a great deal of dissatisfaction amongst the troops regarding the postal facilities at Liverpool Camp, will the Postmaster-General send an officer to Liverpool to report with a view to improving the present arrangement?
– I will consult with the Defence Department, and insure that every facility is given. I have had no previous complaint from Liverpool.
– On the 2nd July, the honorable member for Echuca asked me a question. The reply is that the following action has been approved in regard to the disposal of the kits and personal effects of deceased and missing members and prisoners of war of the Australian Imperial Force: -
Officers. - Messrs. Cook and Sons will arrange for their personal effects to be despatched to the military district concerned, and delivered to the next-of-kin. A list showing the names, and number of packages belonging to each officer, and copy of inventory being sent to this Department and to the military commandants concerned.
Other Ranks. - Personal effects of sentimental value will be forwarded by Cook and Sons as above. The kit of the soldier and any personal property which is not desirable to send away will be sold or otherwise disposed of.
The effects of soldiers missing or prisoners of war will be dealt with as in the case of decensed soldiers.
In the event of kits being unsaleable, the Ordnance section at the base will take over the military articles of use at their unexpired value for re-issue when cleaned.
When the next-of-kin resides in the United . Kingdom or Europe, the foregoing procedure will be carried out through the High Commissioner’s Office, London.
– Is the Assistant Minister of Defence yet able to make to the House the statement which he promised to give in reference to the allegation contained in a cable message from Reuter’s correspondent at Cairo to the effect that a German member of the Australian Forces at the Dardanelles had been detected sniping his own officers ?
– In compliance with the promise that I gave to the honorable member when he brought this matter
UDder the notice of the House last week, a cablegram was despatched to ascertain whether or not the statement made by
Reuter’s correspondent was correct, but so far the Department has not received a reply.
– Will the Assistant Minister of Defence state whether additional provision is being made in the matter of clothing and accommodation at the various camps to meet the increased influx of recruits offering for the Expeditionary Forces ?
– We realize the position, and it is receiving the serious consideration of the Minister of Defence.
_ Mr. PATTEN.- I wish to ask the Assistant Minister of Defence whether his Department is prepared to accept the offer of private firms to assist in the manufacture of munitions? If so, will the Minister of Defence consider an offer that is made in a letter addressed to me by Messrs. Wenk and Johnston, ironfounders, of Wagga Wagga, who are prepared to place the whole of their plant at the disposal of the Department for that purpose ?
– The question of the manufacture of munitions is in the hands of the Munitions Committee, and the good sense of the members of that Committee, I think, will, lead them to accept every offer that they deem to be of value.
– Is the Minister of Home Affairs yet in a position to lay on the table the report which he promised to obtain regarding the progress and the cost to date of the Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta railway?
– I shall make inquiry, and acquaint the honorable member with the result.
– Can the Minister of Trade and Customs inform the House when we are likely to be asked to proceed with the consideration of the Bill to amend the Navigation Act?
– ‘We have received from the Home Government a cable message to the effect that it is not their intention, during the war, to proclaim the Imperial Amending Navigation Bill, which gives effect to the decision of what is known as the Maritime Convention. The Amending Bill which has been introduced in this Parliament is a similar one, and the Government consider it advisable to postpone its further consideration for the time being.
– In answer to the honorable member for Melbourne, who, on 2nd inst., inquired whether I would have prepared for” the information of the House a list showing all Commonwealth officers who are in receipt of regular payment from private employers, companies, or newspapers for work outside the Departments, I beg now to furnish the following reply, supplied from the Public Service Commissioner’s office: -
List is enclosed of officers of the Public Service who, during the last five years, have received permission to’ accept work as above. It cannot be stated whether the officers are still performing such work, and if this information is desired it will be necessary to have inquiry made through the Departments concerned.
asked the Assistant Minister, representing the Minister of Defence, upon notice -
How many resignations have been received from the Staff Sergeant-Majors of the Instructional Staff?
– The answer to the honorable member’s question is -
During the past two years the resignations of four permanent members of the Instructional Staff have been received at headquarters, and twelve have been discharged at their own request. Of the fifty-nine Imperial Army Reservists who at the outbreak of war elected to remain in Australia as temporary instruc- tors, seventeen have since rejoined the British Army. Three hundred and thirty-three instructors have been temporarily employed since the outbreak of war, ofwhom one has resigned and the appointments of nine others have been terminated for various reasons.
asked the Minister of Home Affairs, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are -
asked the Minister of Home Affairs, upon notice -
In order to complete the papers in connexion with Mr. Griffin and the Federal Capital, will the Minister cause Mr. Griffin’s applications for assistance and the answers thereto to be printed and added to the previous papers?
– Some days ago I tabled departmental correspondence relative to Mr. Griffin, which has been ordered to be printed. Subsequently I tabled correspondence relative to Mr. Macdonald, which I have no objection to being printed.
The following paper was presented : -
– I move -
That this Bill be now read a second time. I do not think there is any necessity to say very much in support of this motion. The measure is a very small one, and will, I think, receive the support of honorable members on both sides of the House. It has already received the approval of the Senate, and is drafted in conformity with the legislation passed by the Parliament of New South Wales. The subjectmatter of the Bill is familiar to honorable members who have been in this Parliament for a number of years, and to all persons who take a keen interest in public affairs. It is not surprising that, shortly after the creation of this Federal Parliament, there was a feeling amongst members, and amongst the community at large, that a Capital City should be created in Federal Territory, to be gradually built up by votes of Parliament from time to time. This is in no sense a party question; the establishment of the Federal Capital is the accepted policy of the King’s Government in Australia, and one Cabinet after another has dealt with the project. Contemporaneous with the discussion of the creation of a Federal Territory and a Capital City the opinion was expressed that the National Capital should be served by a national port. Obviously in carrying out the duties that were intrusted to us under the. Federal Constitution it was necessary that we should look at the proposed site of the Federal Capital from the point of view of the future possibilities’ of a port. As honorable members will understand, owing to the position of the Capital Territory itself, attention had to be turned in another direction, and after somewhat extended ‘ negotiations the Federal port of Jervis Bay was created. An Act which was assented to on the 20th February, 1915, was passed by the New South Wales Parliament, providing for the surrender to the Commonwealth of the Territory at Jervis Bay. It was provided that the agreement respecting the surrender of the land would not be binding until parliamentary action had been taken by both State and Commonwealth. The Bill which is now before this House provides in a corresponding way for the acceptance of the Territory referred to in the New South Wales Act. May I point out to honorable members that the Act which was passed by the New South Wales Parliament may be made immediately operative by proclamation ? What I am now asking the House to do is to pass this Bill giving the Federal Government power to accept this Territory from the Government of New South Wales unon the proclamation being issued. Similar action was taken when the land at the Federal Capital Territory was surrendered by the State, and accepted by the Commonwealth. The Royal Australian Naval College is situated within the area referred to in this Bill, and in due course other buildings, such as dockyards, &c, will be constructed within the Territory, which will come under the provisions of the Commonwealth laws, such as the Commonwealth Arbitration Act and other measures. The date upon which the acceptance of this ‘Territory will operate will be fixed by proclamation, which will be made at the earliest possible moment. In the concluding section of the Bill will be found a provision under the Lands Acquisition Act designed to prevent private individuals from obtaining any advantage in the way of unearned increment. I do not know that there is much more to be said on the subject. I have brought down a map showing the disposition of the Territory, and I may explain that on this map the area over which the State has agreed to grant to the Commonwealth sovereign rights is shown by pink border; the area transferred under the Seat of Government Acceptance Act 1909 is coloured blue; the area purchased from the State - about 5,000 acres - is coloured pink ; land acquired from private owners - Gazette No. 34. 1st May, 1915 - is coloured green; land excised from Mr. Beale’s inferior lease is coloured purple ; and land ‘ held by Mr. Octavius Charles Beale, under inferior land lease No. 155, is coloured brown. The total area of the Territory involved is about 15,000 acres. I would like to explain by way of anticipating any criticism that may come in this direction that, though I have seen references suggesting that Mr. Beale was a man engaged in speculation, and that he had obtained land at Jervis Bay in the hope of getting some benefit out of it, because Jervis Bay was likely to become Federal Territory, the fact is that this land was acquired by Mr. Beale long before the Commonwealth had any idea of acquiring laud at Jervis Bay.
– He has only a few acres there.
– That is so; his holding is not very great, but I think it is only fair that I should anticipate any criticism in this- direction by stating what is a well-known fact, so far as the Department is concerned, regarding Mr. Beale’s holding.
– What is the population of the Territory you intend to take overt
– I think most of the men there are employed building the Naval College. As far as I know there is nobody else.
– There are no farmers there ?
– I do not know that there are any original settlers there. There may be; but when I visited the Territory I did not come across any. Practically the whole population is engaged on work in connexion with the Naval College, and upon the other works that are being carried on there. I do not know that it is necessary for me to make any further remarks on the matter. The Bill is not one upon which honorable members can go very far wrong. It refers to purely a business deal. The Government and Parliament of New South Wales, after some negotiations, agreed to transfer this Territory to the Commonwealth, and the Territory may be transferred as soon as the Government of New South Wales issue the necessary proclamation. All we have to do is to pass this Bill enabling the Territory to be accepted. I have no doubt that the Bill will receive that cordial support that any measure of this character deserves.
– I hope the House will pass this measure without delay. It would have been submitted to Parliament by the late Government but for the fact that the Legislative Council of New South Wales defeated a similar proposition put before it by the New South Wales Government at that time. The Parliament of New South Wales is now united upon the subject of the transfer which it is essentially in our interests to accept. I hope that the Minister, now that he has the question before him, will not overlook the possibility of providing railway connexion between Nowra and the Naval College.
– The Government are considering that question now.
– It is only a matter of about 15 miles.
– I think it is more than that. The New South Wales Government are endeavouring to invite our promises for the future development of this Territory in a way that is, perhaps, not quite fair to us at the present time. We are not in a position to say what dockyard accommodation we are going to establish, at Jervis Bay. In the first place, we have to consider the enormous cost of defending such a place, because a dockyard is a very vital point, which must be defended with both fortifications, and a garrison to prevent ‘any landing expedition. With the Citizen Forces such as we have, and the isolated situation of this Territory, the maintenance of “a permanent garrison at Jervis Bay would entail an expense out of all proportion to the advantage likely to be gained by the erection of a dockyard there. Therefore, at the present time we are not in the position to bind ourselves as to what we shall do in regard to the naval development of the port. But, in the interests of the College, we should endeavour to obtain railway connexion, and I think that it might be got by the Commonwealth consenting to pay the ordinary running charges on the line, with reasonable deductions for the improvement of the value of the State land through which it would pass. I think that by some such arrangement as that we could get the line constructed, and a railway would be a great boon to the College.
– I question whether the Naval authorities wish for it.
– They now have a motor car, and in the future will probably have several motor cars, but, in my opinion, railway construction would materially assist the administration of the College. Commercially speaking, the railway would be of value to the State rather than to the Commonwealth.
– Would it be selfsustainin’g ?
– Not at the moment, and that is why the State asks us what we propose to do. We are not in a position to answer the question, but I have suggested a rough-and-ready way of arriving at an agreement. I hope that the Bill will be passed. It would have been introduced long ago had we not had to wait for the action of the Parliament of New South Wales.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
– Is it the pleasure of the House that the honorable member for Capricornia do take the chair as Temporary Chairman?
Honorable Members. - Hear, hear !
Clauses 1 to 3 agreed to.
Clause 4 (Acceptance of Territory - Application of Laws).
– I take it that the laws and Ordinances that now apply to the Federal Capital area will, on the coming into force of this measure, apply to the Territory to which it relates, and will be administered by the officers who are now administering the Federal Capital area.
Clause agreed to.
Clauses 5 and 6, schedule, preamble, and title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.
Standing Orders suspended, and Bill read a third time.
Sitting suspended from 3.56 to 4.40 p.m.
Mr. SPEAKER reported the receipt of a message from His Excellency the GovernorGeneral recommending that an appropriation of money be made for the purposes of this Bill.
That the message be considered forthwith.
Motion (by Mr. Fisher) proposed -
That it is expedient that an appropriation of money be made for the purposes of a Bill for an Act to increase the maximum number of Ministers of State from seven to eight, and to increase the amount appropriated for their salaries from £12,000 to £13,650 a year.
– I do not propose to offer any objection to this motion, but I am not yet quite clear as to the intention of the Government. If, for instance, they propose only to create a responsible Minister of Marine, we shall not be in a much better position than that which we now occupy. What we need most of all is to take such action as will enable us to have in this House a responsible Minister to tell us what is going on with regard to Defence matters. If we are to have in this House merely a Naval Minister, then I can only say that there is not very much just now for such a Minister to0 do. The whole Fl-set is away. What we are anxious to secure is that there shall be in this House a Minister who can speak in a responsible way for the Defence Department and from whom we can hear directly what is being done. I make that suggestion to the Prime Minister, but I do not know what is in his mind. In my judgment, we need, above all things, to have just now a Minister to keep an oversight on what is going on in all the States, and no Minister can do that unless he travels to the States.
– Will not the Committee to be appointed do something in that respect ?
– I do not know that it will. We want a Minister who will see that the camps are kept up to a proper standard of efficiency. We need to have a Minister who will take care that instructions in regard to the military camps are carried out. In order to be able to do that, he must see for himself that things are done. We may appeal in vain, I think, to officials, who are already overworked and overburdened in the training of troops, and in regard to all war preparations, for that detailed inspection that is so necessary just now. The Minister should have at his elbow responsible officers to see to this. I, therefore, put it that in some way or other the discharge of these functions should be associated with the portfolio which the Prime Minister proposes to create. I can only hop© that the proposal will be attended with all that is good.
– I think I can make a statement on the subject which will be of assistance to the Leader of the Opposition and to honorable members generally. An Acting or Assistant Minister is under disadvantages in some respects, because he does not wish to speak for the Minister unless he does so directly with the Minister’s knowledge. It is, therefore, proposed to create another Minister of Defence. For the sake of convenience we may call him the Minister of Marine or the Minister of the Navy.
– I think that he should be called the Minister of War. That title would be more appropriate to the duties that he would be given to do.
– What does it matter what he is called so long as he does the work?
– Call him the Minister of Munitions.
– We have had the two Ministers in the Defence Department working most amicably hand in hand, but a new portfolio is to be created now, and Mr. Jensen will be the new Minister-
Honorable Members. - Hear, hear!
– I can say that there has been the greatest harmony between him, as Assistant Minister, and the Minister of Defence, but he has felt - and it is to his credit to say it - that he did not care to usurp the functions of the Minister, who, heaven knows, has had difficulties enough with which to contend. In the circumstances, he, rightly, I think, has erred, in so far as he has erred at all, on the side of reserve. In future, both Ministers will work together.
– What one knows the other will know.
– And they will interchange.
– Does that mean that the Minister of Defence will come into this chamber at times?
– No; but they will interchange in their Departments, especially in these times of crisis, so that one will be entirely conversant with the actions of the other. That must be the case, because their business will interlock. No matter how much Defence may be divided, even if divided among four or five Ministers, it will still remain one unit; and though each Minister will be responsible for his own branch, the two must work together, otherwise the appointment of another Minister would be useless. -
– Do they not work together now ?
– Then what is to be gained by appointing another Minister? Will they work together any better?
– To act for another, and at the same time do justice to oneself, is a very difficult matter. I had the privilege of being an Acting Leader of the Labour party for some considerable time, and I can therefore sympathize with any mail who has to act for another in such a position.
– Hear, hear! I had a similar task for seven or eight years.
– Henceforth , I can sympathize with the right honorable gentleman more and more, because I know an acting position to be a very unsatisfactory one. There is a good old blunt expression, “ Be either on or off with it.” Apart from my own knowledge, I have the assurance of the Minister of Defence that this new appointment will be of great help to him, and will free both Ministers to a much greater extent than is possible under the present circumstances. In regard to the proposed Committee, I see no reason why it should not be constituted as soon as the Opposition can appoint its representatives. There will be eight members’ from the House of Representatives and four from the Senate, there, being two members from each State of the Commonwealth; and there will be an equal number from both political parties. There will thus be fair representation. Each State of the Commonwealth and each political party will be equally represented. We could have nothing better than that, and when we have tried this experiment, we shall discover very soon whether we have, or have not, arrived at something beneficial to the interests of the Commonwealth.
– I welcome the proposal for the creation of another Department. I am opposed to the system of having Honorary Ministers, because I believe that if there is work to be done by a Government it should be divided up in such a way as to give a Department to each Minister, «who should be held responsible for it. We cannot get efficiency unless we make a man responsible for the work of those under his control.
The Minister who is to control this new Department has, as far as we have come into touch with it, done his work well, and I hope our expectations of him will be fully realized. In dealing with questions he must have felt it his duty, in order that he and Senator Pearce might work together amicably, to try to anticipate the mind of the latter, instead of giving the results of his own independent judgment.
For a long time it has been ap-. parent that the work of the Defence Department is too much for one man, and the Government have been made aware of my views on this matter. To any careful observer, it has been quite evident that Senator Pearce, who is extremely painstaking in regard to details, has had too much to do. TEe work has been beyond him. What is needed in the Defence Department to-day is organization of work, and, as far as possible, the dis- tribution of responsibility. The work of the Department could, if necessary, be segregated into different Departments. First, the work of raising an army to send to the front, of maintaining it there, of raising reinforcements to keep it to its original strength, and, if possible, of securing recruits, in order to make up a much larger force, Second, in regard to munitions and equipment, it has been apparent for a long time that much more could be done than has been done in respect of obtaining munitions and equipment. Third, the administration of the Navy is a big undertaking. Though our Navy is not operating round the coast of Australia, our vessels have to return to the base at Sydney constantly. We see no reports’ in the newspapers as to their having to do this ; but I seldom go to Sydney at the weekend without seeing one of these vessels in the harbor close to Garden Island or Cockatoo Island. The question of the administration of the great naval establishments is a very important one. If Cockatoo Island has been able to assemble war vessels, it may be, and I hope it will be, that this great establishment will be able to build war vessels. There is also important work at Garden Island, and there are other works in different parts of the Commonwealth. All these matters will provide ample scope for the business acumen and ability of the Minister who is to take charge of the Navy. Fourth, the administration of our Citizen Forces under our compulsory training Statute also entails a tremendous amount of detailed work. Really, there are four divisions of Defence, which, if necessity arose, could be separated. I do not say that necessity has arisen for the creation of four Ministers of Defence, but it is certainly not because of any difficulty in the matter of segregation that we have not had another Minister of ‘Defence before.
A few days ago the Leader of the Opposition stated that he thought we should have a Minister to go round the training camps as a sort of travelling inspector. The Leader of the Opposition certainly misapprehends the functions of a Minister. A Minister should be an organizer, the man who sets forces in motion. Such a man could not be wandering all over- the country dealing with hosts of details and minor complaints. It would be a simple matter for a Minister to secure a competent man for that work, and if it desired that it should not be undertaken by, a military officer- if some one other than a military officer undertook these inspections, some one not under the authority of, military officials or dependent upon them for advancement, it would be a good thing - it should be pos sible toget half-a-dozen business men capable, of carrying it out very effectively. If a, Minister has to go round the country on travelling inspections, he cannot carry on his work of organizing and setting the great forces of the Department in motion. I hope that any Minister appointed would have much more important work to do than to travel through the country looking into a host of petty details, important as those details might be.
– I did not mean that a Minister should do so. I meant that he would require to be in touch with the men of whom the honorable member speaks in the various States, and that if he visited them, and considered propositions on the spot, he would have a better knowledge of them than he could gain in his office.
– I understood the Leader of the Opposition to suggest that a Minister ought to be on the spot where complaints are made, and investigate them. If a Minister is competent to organize a Department and set the machine in motion, he is too valuable a man to be doing that kind of work. I hope that the step announced by the Ministry will be followed by a further step, in which the services of the other Honorary Ministers will be utilized. There is plenty of work in the Postal Department. Surely that work could be divided, and part of it given to one of the other two Honorary Ministers..
– Does the honorable member suggest that the present PostmasterGeneral is overworked?
– The administration of the Post Office has not been satisfactory fpr the last ten years, whatever Minister may have been in office. Various Postmasters-General have indicated that the amount of work to be done has been top much for them. If the work of the Postmaster- General could be cut in half we could give one of the Honorary Ministers the opportunity to show what he can do. Whilst we are told that Ministers are overworked; we find that Senator Gardiner is without any Department to administer.
– He does the Electoral work.
– All the Ministers are busy.
- Senator Russell has charge of the ElectoralDepartment. I travel to and from Sydney every week, and invariably Senator Gardiner travels with me, and any one in touch with him personally knows that he can have no Department to administer, and no very great amount of responsibility. The Vice-President of the Executive, Council presides at the meetings of the Executive Council in the absence of the GovernorGeneral. No doubt, a very difficult duty to perform ! Probably he has to keep his colleagues in order when there is trouble across the table! Of course he has also to share the responsibility of introducing Bills in the Senate, but we all know that the departmental officers prepare matter for speeches in connexion with the introduction of Bills of all descriptions.
– That is news.
– I did not know that I was letting any secret out of the bag.
– Do you mean to say that the officers frame the speeches of the AttorneyGeneral ?
– I do not. I say that theofficers prepare all matter that is required for the making of speeches.
– That is what the officers are for.
– Of course it is; but Ministers, unlike private members, have not to deal with a, mass of Bills, wade through records, and prepare the information upon which to, found a speech. The Minister conceives a general outline of his speech, and instructs his officers what information he requires on certain points.
-You mean that the officers furnish the information.
– They furnish everything that is required in the nature of facts, figures, and returns.
– God pity the Minister who relied on that information alone!
– God pity the party that would have such a Minister. Surely it is not necessary to appoint a Minister for the mere purpose of introducing Bills. When it is found that there is too much work on the hands of Ministers, the Government should create new portfolios and place the Honorary Ministers in charge, so that we ma’y have an opportunity of Knowing their capabilities as administrators. A policy of that character would be more satisfactory than the present system. I certainly welcome the proposed creation of this additional Defence portfolio, and from the little experience that we have had of the gentleman who will be in charge of the new Department, let us look forward to expedition and energy in the administration of our Defence Department.
.- I should like the Prime Minister to inform the House how honorable members are to obtain information that may be sought regarding camps, and various other defence matters, if the new Minister is to be merely the Minister for the Navy? The same disability as now obtains will continue. I should like the new Minister to be able to speak with authority on military matters, such as the organization of the camps of training, the despatch of troops, and all the other conditions relating to our Forces, without being obliged to consult the Minister of Defence on every point. If the new Minister be merely Minister for the Navy, and questions are put to him upon military subjects, he will very likely reply that he will bring the matters before the Minister. Cannot the Prime Minister so arrange the portfolios that the Minister for the Navy may speak with authority on all defence matters without being obliged to wait for advice from the Minister of Defence ? I concurred in the creation of this additional portfolio. We are all anxious to assist the Government in every way possible; but I am afraid that, even when this portfolio is created, we shall be at the same disadvantage as at present in regard to -the obtaining of military information. Could, we not merely create an additional portfolio and leave the distribution of the Departments to the Government ?
– We shall not fix the title of the Minister by anything we may do in the House.
– That assurance puts a different complexion on the matter. I hope the war will not last long, and at its conclusion we may think it advisable, to appoint the new Minister to attend to Works and Railways.
.-I had better explain that we shall not fix the title of the additional Minister by anything we may do in the House now. I have stated that there is a Minister of Marine to deal with naval matters in nearly all the Dominions. At the present time, shipping matters come under the Navigation branch’ of the Ministry of Trade and Customs.. We cannot get over the difficulty mentioned by the honorable member for South Sydney so long as we have two Chambers,, and Ministers of State in both.
– Hear, hear! Abolish one House.
– The honorable member suggests a course a’kin to the actionof a man burning down his dwelling Because he was dissatisfied with some portion of it. I agree with the suggestion! that either of the Defence Ministers should be able to speak with authority in regard to all defence matters. If that is what the honorable member for South Sydney has in mind, we shall endeavour to so arrange it.
– I congratulate the Government on the step they have taken, and I am pleased that they propose to appoint the honorable member for Bass to the additional portfolio. He has been assiduous in his attention to duty as Assistant Minister of Defence, and he deserves congratulation on his prospective elevation to full Cabinet rank. The Prime Minister and hia colleagues have not yet settled the title and duties to be allotted to the new Minister, and I think it would be most improper at the present time to call him Minister of Marine. Possibly, at a later date, that title might be considered the best to cover the duties that will be assigned to his office, because, not only could he deal with naval matters, but the control df lighthouses and the administration of the Navigation Act could be transferred to him from the Customs Departm’ent. But what the House and the country desire to-day ?s the appointment of a man who will be directly responsible for the administration of war affairs. . I sympathize with the Minister of Defence . the enormous’ task which falls upon his shoulders at a time like the present, when the Defence Department has all the duties of war superimposed on all the ordinary duties of peace. To my mind, the proper title to be given to the new Minister for the time being would be Minister of War. That title could be altered at a subsequent date when other duties were allocated to him.
– Would you alter the title of the Minister of Defence?
– No; I should leave to the Minister of Defence all the duties he discharges in normal times. They are quite sufficient for one man to undertake, but 1 would allocate to the Minister of War the duties of supervising the camps of training, the organization of equipment and munitions, and the transport of troops to the seat of war. If those duties were placed upon the new Minister, we should know definitely whom we ‘should hold responsible. The Ministry of Defence has always been a busy portfolio, and the duties attached to it would be quite sufficient for one man to attend to, even if he were relieved of all war work such as I have referred to. Some honorable members may have the idea that the appointment of a Minister of War would derogate from the responsibility of the Minister of Defence.
– If you adopt that title at the present time, you subordinate the Minister of Defence in public opinion to the Minister of War.
– I do not think so. We could make it perfectly clear that there is no desire on the part of this House to in any way reduce the status of the Minister of Defence.
– You do not wish to supersede the Minister of Defence?
– Certainly not. I wish to so separate the duties . of the two Ministers that we should get effective responsibility from each individual in his own Department. I say, in all seriousness, that I do not think the scheme will work if two Ministers are made jointly responsible for the same duties. While the Minister of Defence and the Minister of War could, and no doubt would, consult together in the interests of the Government and the country, it would be unwise to have dual responsibility for defence matters and war matters. The easiest solution of the difficulty is to give to the new Minister those responsibilities which will naturally fall into a particular groove.
– You will give the new. man all the work?
– If that wise interjection be correct, what does the present Minister of Defence do in times of peace to earn his salary?
– In the Naval Department there are 8,000 men on land, working at the Naval Base and Cockatoo Island, and engaged in transport work.
– The Assistant Minister did not hear my opening remarks when I pointed out that, whilst it might be advisable in future to entitle his office Minister of Marine, it was advisable at the present juncture to create a Minister of War, who would relieve the Minister of Defence of much of the added responsibility which the war has placed upon his shoulders.
– You have not mentioned the duties which you would take from the Minister of Defence.
– I have already stated that, in making the appointment of a new Minister, we should give him the duties of a Minister of War. As Minister of War, it would’ be his immediate responsibility to take charge of recruiting, equipment, the supply of munitions, the control of camps, and of transports-
– What would the Minister of Defence have to do?
– Surely an interjection of that kind, if it means anything at all, implies that She Minister of Defence, in times of peace, has nothing to do.
– He has his hands full.
– The Minister of Defence would have to perform to a much greater extent all the duties that occupy his time in time of peace - apart altogether from the war. We see by the papers that during this month a large number of new recruits have come in. New battalions have to be created, and new equipment has to be provided for these troops. That work would be the work the Minister of Defence, would have to undertake in times of peace, and he will have plenty of work to do to carry out now the normal duties attached to his Department. I am quite satisfied that if joint control is established, the country will not get from this new appointment the same satisfaction that it would get if the special items which I have named were segregated from the other duties of the existing office, and placed under the direct control of the new
Minister. We should then have a Minister directly responsible for all matters connected with the war. It is immaterial to me who is appointed Minister of War - whether Senator Pearce is made Minister of War, and the honorable member for Bass appointed Minister of Defence. I am quite unconcerned about the personality of the appointment. If honorable members think that the dignity of the position held by Senator Pearce would be affected by the appointment of another honorable member as Minister of War, I am quite prepared to accept Senator Pearce as Minister of War, if honorable members think that would be the higher position of the two; but what I do urge is that the Government, in appointing the new Minister, should give him specific and definite duties to which he should devote his attention ,. wholly and solely, carrying the full responsibility for the conduct of the Department of which he has charge.
Mr. KING O’MALLEY (Darwin) (5.19]. - I desire to congratulate the new Minister, whether he is to be Minister of War or Minister of Defence, as a Tasmanian colleague, upon his appointment. I believe him to be an able business man. I have known him for a good number of years, and the position he holds to-day is one that he has gained by the force of his own character and determination. I am satisfied that the Government have made a good choice, but I quite agree with my friend, the honorable member for Henty, that we ought to have something definite about this new appointment. Either the honorable member ought to be the Minister for the Navy and Supply, or Minister of Munitions, or Minister of something that will enable him to exercise his power of organization. That is what we are lacking. We ought to have a man who will trot into a camp suddenly - a Minister who will unexpectedly go into a place like Seymour or Liverpool,” and see what is going on. I used to charge at a place quickly, without anybody knowing it. There is an old English proverb, “ Like master like man,” and if the man on top is not active and energetic, if he does not put all his energy and determination into his work, then the man below will go to sleep, and probably die of inanition. There is no question about that. What we want is ammunition. We are up against the greatest proposition on earth.
Not for forty-four years, but for 100 years, ever since Napoleon was sent to Saint Helena, has Prussia been organizing for this war. The whole nation is organized. I remember when in America, that the Germans used to take up land upon which even the Yankees could not make a living. Yet they became rich. Americans had different ideas. Now theGerman is a born organizer. He comes into the world through a system of organization. He meets life in organization. He is organized in the perambulator. His very squeal is organized. In Chicago, Swift, the great German fatpork packer, has got his organization so perfect that his firm gathers in everything from the pig except the squeal, and now they are getting that on the phonograph. How are we going to cope with a nation that is organized like that if we do not organize to meet it? The British nation, like the American nation, has always been an individualistic nation. It has rejoiced in its great individual-power and in the freedom of its citizens. An Englishman’s home is his castle. But today we are faced by this German nation organized. I see by an American paper that they threw into one place in Russia 200,000 shells an hour. I also see by this paper that the reason why Russia has had to retire - the reason why she could not stand up to the Germans - was through want of ammunition, the want of big guns, and the want of organization. Here in Australia I do not think there is much scope for procuring or manufacturing munitions, for the reason that, the British contracts that have been made in the United States and Canada extend over two years. If the war closes to-morrow, these contracts must be paid for, and the price will be something enormous. By experimenting at the work of manufacturing ammunition I do not think that we shall do much. Still, the position is here, and we have to face it. When the new Minister is appointed, whether he be Minister of War, Minister of Defence, or Minister of anything else, I hope he will be Minister of something that will give him power to slip into these various places and see what is going on. I believe that he will organize and mobilize the instruments that are essential to carrying on this work, because he had to organize himself before he could attain to his present position.
– I would also like to congratulate the honorable member for Bass upon his appointment. I feel sure that he .will fill his position, no matter- what it is, just as ably as he has filled the position he now holds. I would like also briefly to refer to one matter that seems to me to be of considerable importance. I refer to the overlapping that takes place in the carrying out of different works. Recently it has been my privilege to see a lot of the work that is being carried out on behalf of the Commonwealth. For instance, at the Naval Base at Westernport, one section of men are working under the direction of the Home Affairs Department, and another section under the Military, doing precisely the same class of work. In the construction of the wharf that is now going on excavations were necessary. That excavation could have been done very effectively by a steam navvy plant. I question whether it would be advisable for the Defence Department to incur the expenditure that the provision of an enormous plant of this description would necessitate, simply because the Department might not have sufficient work to keep it employed. If we ha’d one Works Department doing all that class of work, it would be possible to organize a great body of men, and so keen the plant in continuous use. The Minister of Defence or the Minister df the Navy ought not to be called upon to do this work at all. It might be suggested by them, and draughtsmen connected with their Departments could indicate to the Works Department what wa’s required, but after that the Works Department would take charge, and with the eminent engineers that the bigger scope of work a rearrangement of this character would permit them to engage, be able to carry out the work more cheaply and more effectively than it is being carried out under the present system. When I was connected with the Government railways we never constructed a railway. The Works Branch did this, and handed the railways over to the Traffic Department as a going concern. I am of the Opinion that it Would be a very great advantage indeed to the Defence Department if they could hand over all this particular class of work, that ‘must be carried on throughout Australia, to a separate Work’s Department. Another matter that I would like to bring before the notice of honorable members is the very remarkable work that has been done by the Defence ‘Department - and particularly, I understand, by the honorable member for Bass- in thetransport of troops. All the troops that have- left Australia have had to be carried over a very great distance, and I have yet to learn that a single ship put into Western Australia, the last port of call, not. fully equipped for the long journey it had to take. A paragraph which appeared in to-day’s paper showed the great responsibility that has rested upon the Minister in this respect. Reading between the lines of the paragraph to which I refer we can see the deplorable state of affairs that has occurred in Europe owing to the fact that certain transports were not properly prepared for their journey. As a matter of fact, <they could not reach their destination.
– Which transports?
– They were not our transports. I am quoting this to illustrate the great responsibility that has rested on the Minister of Defence and the Assistant Minister in regar’d to this work. I am informed that eighty ships have left these shores with troops and equipment,, and I think all Australia shoul’d know what has been done by the gentlemen who h’ave so ably carried out the arduous’ duties that have fallen upon them. I am delighted to have the opportunity of saying these few words, and I hope, when anything is done, that the present Assistant Minister of Defence will still be able to show to the people of Australia that we have left the responsibility for the defence of the Commonwealth in thoroughly competent hands. I do not think any honorable member of thisHouse, or any person of any political thought at all, could have anything but the utmost confidence in the Ministers of Defence for the manlier in which they have carried out the organization that has enabled Australia to do all that has been done. When we started’ our Defence system some years ago, Senator Pearce was chosen to» fill a position for which he seems naturally suited. As Minister of Defence, he at once undertook the organization of the Department, which has been so successful, and which I have studied in detail, because I felt it ‘ray duty to acquaint myself with what had been done in the past,, and with what is being done now in
Defence administration. I hope, that no change, will be made which will in any way take from the responsibility of the present Minister of Defence, because he is the man in whom Australia has confidence. The people feel sure that he, and his colleagues will leave nothing undone for the effective performance of this country’s share of the great task with which we are faced.
– I wish to add my congratulations to those that have already been offered to the Government for the step which is now proposed, and to the honorable member for Bass on the offer of the new portfolio that is to be made to him. Apparently the Government see the necessity of creating a, Minister to give special attention to the new conditions that have been brought about by the war - to matters such as the provision of munitions and the charge of recruiting. They are providing a channel whereby they may be brought into immediate touch with the Government of the States, and with private individuals, who wish to offer their services and their plants for the manufacture of munitions. As to the* title of the new Ministerial office, I hope that one will be chosen which will properly indicate the duties of that office. The Defence Department has at all time an immense amount of work to do, and we cannot expect military officers to suddenly adapt themselves to the new conditions that have been brought about by the war. Many of the problems which have arisen are such as have to be faced almost wholly from a business aspect rather than from a military one, and the creation of the new portfolio will enable this to be done more advantageously. It will allow the Government to give the people a lead as they could not do before, and I trust that we shall soon see the good results of the changes that are to be made..
.-I desire to add my congratulations to the many that the new Minister has received. I am sure, that he. possesses the confidence of every member on both sides. Having watched him closely as Assistant Minister, I am sure that he will fill his new position with credit. I hope, however, that the Government will not be influenced by the suggestion of the honorable member for Henty to term the new office that of Minister of War. Although we are taking part in this great crisis, and are doing our part well, I donot feel that we are engaged in a war in Australia. Apart from my objection to. the name “ Minister of War,” that is a reason why we should not apply the title to the new position.
– Does the honorable member seriously suggest that we are not engaged- in war in Australia ?
– Not in Australia.
– We in Australia are engaged in a war.
– We are lending our assistance.
– Lending our assistance! We are more vitally involved than even the Mother Land is.
– That may be the honorable member’s opinion, but I have a different one. We have a big responsibility, and I think that we are carrying it out very satisfactorily. I hope that our position will not become more serious than it is, and that, as time proceeds, our responsibilities will considerably lessen. I am sure that the appointment of the honorable member for Bass to the office that is about to be created will give satisfaction to the public at large. The responsibilities devolving on the Minister of Defence have been altogether too great. The people feel that he is hardly able to discharge the many duties imposed on him, and give the satisfaction which is needed. I am not in favour of appointing Assistant or Honorary Ministers. If new Ministers are needed, I think that new Departments should be created. The Leader of the Opposition suggested that the Minister of Defence should travel from one State to another, but the right honorable member can hardly have considered the matter.
– What is wrong in the suggestion ?
– How can the Minister attend to his Department if he is constantly travelling from one State to another?
– How are Ministers to become acquainted with local conditions unless they travel about ?
– Ministers do not travel enough. They have not done enough travelling in the past. It is, as hard to get them to leave . Melbourne as it is to draw a tooth from a camel. I am not referring to the Minister of Defence, but to all the Ministers.
– I hope that Ministers may find opportunities for occasionally visiting the various States. The Committee to which reference has been made will relieve the Government of much’ responsibility. Probably the charges made by the honorable member for Nepean would not have been brought before the House had such a Committee been already in existence, because in that case the honorable member would probably have referred them to the Committee for investigation, and we should have been spared the pain of the public disclosure of them. Many honorable members opposite have declared that the Minister of Defence should be a member of this House, but I hope that nothing that is said will influence the Government to remove the present occupant from his office. It would be difficult to find a man who would give greater satisfaction to Parliament and to the people than the present Minister is giving.
– That is very doubtful.
– To my mind it is not doubtful. The Minister of Defence possesses the confidence of the whole Commonwealth, and his administrative capacity and ability have given entire satisfaction. The presence of the Minister of Defence in this Chamber is desired, only because honorable members wish to have their questions answered more quickly. But if questions are put on the notice-paper, replies can be obtained from the Minister very speedily. No doubt the new Minister of Marine will give every satisfaction. I am in accord with what the Government propose, and I feel that it will be indorsed by the people of Australia.
.- I congratulate the Government on their proposal to appoint a new Defence Minister and a Committee, chosen from both parties, for the consideration of war matters and to advise the Cabinet. I also congratulate the honorable . member for Bass on the appointment that he is about to receive. He has always shown himself willing to give information to honorable members, and his devotion to. the work of the Defence Department while acting as Assistant Minister has been very marked. I hope that the Prime Minister will take into consideration the suggestion of the honorable member for Henty regarding . the definition of the duties of the new Minister. When a great De partment which has hitherto been managed by one Minister is to be managed in future by two Ministers working in conjunction, there should be a definition of the duties and responsibilities of those Ministers. I understand that as Assistant Minister of Defence the honorable member for Bass has had a great deal to do with transport work, and that in future he is to be at the head of the Naval branch of the Defence Department. Although our war vessels- are now absent from Australia, his new position will be a very important one. The Naval Branch of the Defence Department has a great deal to do in relation to organization, administration, and construction .
– Then there is the question of supplies for the Navy.
– I was about to mention that matter. Superimposed upon the duties I have mentionel, the Naval Branch of the service has to deal with the question of transport, which is of the highest importance. We are glad to know that our transport work, so far, has been successfully carried out. The transport of men to the front should carry with it the duty of equipping the troops and supplying the necessary munitions. All this work should be part of the functions allotted to the new Minister. The Government propose now to create a Committee representing both parties in this Parliament, who will be called upon to investigate and to report upon all questions relating to the war that may be submitted to it. One of its most important duties, I take it, will be to organize the commercial and industrial forces of Australia, so far as is necessary, to enable us to concentrate our efforts upon the manufacture of munitions, and to secure supplies of clothing and general equipment.for the troops that we are sending abroad. That Committee, I presume, will be presided over by the newlyappointed Minister. It would have been well if the Prime Minister could have seen his way to accept the office of President of the Committee.
– I neither take it nor refuse it. No one Minister will preside over the Committee; but I think that the present Minister of Defence knows more about Defence matters than the whole ofus put together. .
– Order ! The question of the Committee is not before the Chair.
– I made only an incidental reference to it. The Committee will come into direct touch with one of the Ministers presiding over the Defence Department, and I hope it will be the Minister representing the Department in this House. Whatever may be the work of organization imposed upon the new Minister, it seems to me that the transport of troops, and their equipment, should be dealt with by him. The whole of the work of organization which the Committee will have to undertake might also be closely associated with the Minister who will preside over its deliberations. The Minister of Marine should deal not only with the Navy and the transport of our troops, but with the provision of supplies for the troops and also with munitions. That would leave the Minister of Defence free to deal with the whole work of enrolment and registration of the adult males of the Commonwealth; and the Committee will then have an opportunity to make use of their services. We ought to have a clear division of the duties of the two Ministers, and I hope that the Prime Minister will enlighten us on the point. It is quite probable that the Naval Branch of the Department is overloaded at the present time by the volume of constructional work which it has to undertake. This work might well be transferred to the control of the Department of Home Affairs. In connexion with our various Naval Bases, according to Admiral Henderson’s scheme, there will be an expenditure of some millions of pounds, and I think that such work could be carried out by the Department of Home Affairs more expeditiously and economically than by the Department of Defence. That is one respect in which the Minister of Defence might be divorced from the duty of attending to many matters relating to the Naval Branch of the service. In this way, he would be given a good deal of relief, and would have more time to devote to other very important matters connected with his Department. I hope that at a later stage the Prime Minister will inform the Committee as to what will be the allocation of duties as between the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Marine, in order to insure the proper administration of the Department and the successful prosecution of the war.
.- I desire to add my congratulations to those which have already been tendered to the honorable member for Bass on his appointment to the responsible position of Minister of Marine. From the very inception of the war I have recognised the great and responsible duties that have to be discharged by the Minister of Defence and the Assistant Minister, ana have considered that I could best assist them in the discharge of those duties by refraining from asking in this House questions such as are often put to them, and which I think’ might well have been left unasked. A great deal has been said from time to time regarding the military camps, and their proper administration. I believe that if a census were taken It would be found that of those who have enlisted more have come ‘from in aud around my electorate ‘ than f rom any other part of Victoria, or, indeed, Australia. I have had the pleasure of coming into contact almost daily with a number of these young men. I have met them in camp, but have not yet come in contact with one worth his salt as a man who has a word of complaint to utter regarding the conditions operating at Broadmeadows Camp. I have found each and every one of them perfectly satisfied.
– I ask the honorable member not to discuss that question’, since it is not now before the Chair.
– So much has been said regarding the administration of the military camps that I thought I should take chis opportunity to give credit where credit is due. A few evenings ago I suggested that an Amending War Pensions Bill should be introduced, and the Prime Minister promised that my proposal would receive consideration. As the result of the appointment of a Minister of Marine the Minister of Defence no doubt will now have the necessary time to attend to the matter. I understand that pressure of work has rendered it impossible, up to the present, for him to do so.
– That Bill will be introduced next week.
– I am pleased to have that assurance. I received to-day from the secretary of one of the organizations of men engaged in seafaring occupations here a letter relating to the position of crews of transport vessels. In this letter my correspondent draws attention to the fact that the British Government, recognising the additional danger to which men are- exposed in manning vessels engaged in transport work, pay them not only a bonus over and above the ordinary rates-
– I regret to have to interrupt the honorable member, but he is now discussing a ‘ matter which is not before the Chair.
– The whole question of transport, I understand, will come directly under the control of the Minister for whose appointment the Bill provides.
– There is nothing in the motion to that effect. The honorable member will have an opportunity later on to discuss the particular question to which he has referred.
– The possibilities are that the control of transports will come directly under the new Minister. If it does, I hope that he will give this matter his sympathetic consideration.
.- I wish to congratulate the honorable member for Bass upon the high position to which he is to be appointed. In doing so, I would point out that the only object we had in view, in urging the appointment of an additional Minister, was to enable that Minister, when appointed, to concentrate his attention upon the war and our defence preparations in connexion with it. Up to the present the Minister of Defence and the Assistant Minister have been jointly controlling the whole of our ordinary defence organization, including the Navy and all the extra work which the war has involved; but it has seemed to me that an enormous amount of this additional work is due to the arrangement which has obtained to the present, because the honorable gentleman who represents the Minister of Defence in this Chamber has not been in a position to speak authoritatively except on very few of the subjects brought up from time to time until he referred to the Minister. It is this dual control that has placed on the two Ministers a great deal of additional work ; their duties were always overlapping, and the objection that I see in the proposal now put forward - to make the Minister in this House the Minister of the Navy, and leave the rest of the work of the Defence Department entirely to the Minister of Defence - is that it will not do away with this overlapping. Undoubtedly, at the present moment our principal concern is the war, all our interests centre in the war, and in these circumstances I think that it would be far better not to make any appointment of a permanent character. I quite agree that there should be an addition to the number of Ministers; but it would be infinitely better to leave the whole of the Defence routine, which is colossal work for any one man to undertake, to the Minister of Defence, and concentrate the administration in regard to all war matters in the new Minister that is being appointed. From what I say I wish to: divorce any idea that I am desirous of saying anything derogatory of the present Minister of Defence : that is not in my mind. What I feel is that if we carry out what has been suggested, we shall not take from the gentlemen who now control the Defence Department one scintilla of the work they are now doing; whereas by dividing the work in the way I have suggested a great deal of the overlapping that now exists would be avoided, and Ministers would be relieved of a considerable amount of’ work and responsibility. One Minister would be responsible for the one part, and the other would be responsible for the other part. I do not think that the control of the Navy by itself represents a great deal of work.
– What about Cockatoo Island, and the Naval Bases, and the transport work?
– I realize that there is a considerable amount of work involved in managing the various industrial enterprises on which the Naval branch has embarked; but, as the honorable member for Wimmera has said, much of the work of the Naval Department can be got rid of by placing the construction of our Naval Bases and similar work in the hands of the Department of Home Affairs. That step would relieve the work of the Minister of Defence considerably. I hope that later on - I do not suggest that it should be done now - we shall go further, and appoint another Minister as Minister of Works, creating a separate Department for the purpose of the construction of works now undertaken by the Department of Home Affairs. I believe that this will have to be done after the war, as at present we would not be justified in going to the additional expense which would he entailed. I do believe that we should be doing the right thing if the whole of .the administration in connexion with the war were taken bodily out of the Defence Department and put under a new .Minister or given to Senator Pearce, the ordinary administration of the Defence Department being left to a Minister in this Chamber. I would rather have the War Minister here, because this is the House which, in a democratic way, more fully represents the people of Australia than does the Senate. In fact, I should like to see both Defence portfolios in this Chamber, and I believe that this will come about; but in the meantime it would be infinitely better for the Ministry to divide the work of the Defence Department in the way I have suggested, and at .the same time relieve the Minister of Defence by placing the work of the construction of Naval Bases in the hands of the Department of Home Affairs. We should give to the Minister in this Chamber theabsolute control of all war matters. The arrangement that I have suggested would be much more satisfactory than that outlined by the Government, and would relieve both Ministers of Defence of a great deal of the work they are now doing in trotting backwards and forwards and iconsuiting one another, and the tension and anxiety that exist in the country in regard to the general administration of war matters in Australia would also be relieved.
.- I have only a few words to , say on this matter. First of all, I congratulate the honorable member for Bass on his appointment. The point touched on by the honorable member for Richmond is the only other question upon which I wish to speak. The honorable member has suggested that the new Minister should be called the Minister of War, and that he should deal only with all war matters. I do not think that I am very far wrong in saying that the Expeditionary Forces are now being trained by the Instructional Staff created for training our Citizen Forces, and I cannot see how we can set aside the organization of the Defence Department that is utilized in this way, and create a fresh organization entirely for oversea Forces. This fact is a vital flaw in the proposal put forward by the honorable member for Richmond. I know that honorable members are endeavouring to arrive at what is the best course to follow, and I am as .anxious as any honorable member that this House should have every opportunity of dealing with war matters; but I do not think that the difficulty can be overcome in the way the honorable member for Richmond has suggested. The original idea was to relieve the Minister of Defence of his overburden of work. Every man in Australia must admit that the Minister of Defence is overworked. I do not speak of the Minister in a personal way - I have a high’ regard for him - but any man occupying the. position would be overworked. My suggestion is that we should take away f rom the Minister of Defence the control of all Naval matters and Naval Bases, and add to those .duties the control of the transportation services, which, according to the recruiting that is now going on, will be rauch greater in the future, seeing that a large number of men will have to be sent away within the next few months; also, the work of generally supervising our Saddlery, Clothing, and Small Arms Factories, and matters of that kind. All these matters will provide sufficient work for the new Minister, and relieve the present Minister of a great deal of responsibility, while at the same time enabling him to devote his attention primarily to the war; and, in ‘the second place, to the ordinary organization of the Defence Department, on which the superstructure of the Expeditionary Forces is being built up. I believe that the action the Government propose to take is in the best interests of the Defence Department and of the country; and I believe that it will meet the wishes of individual members of this House. We will still need to submit our questions on notice in regard to the Defence Department, and members in another place, who are equally entitled to have their views considered, will need to .submit questions on notice in regard, to matters affecting the Navy, Naval Bases, transportation, and, if my personal view is accepted, Factories, and matters of that kind.
.- I congratulate the honorable member for Fremantle on the suggestion he has made, and I hope that it will be accepted. I also take the opportunity of congratulating the new Minister on his appointment. I believe that if the matter of the manufacture of munitions, clothing, and so forth, is transferred to his Department, the position will be more satisfactory than it has been hitherto. I believe that the suggestion for an additional Minister emanated from the Opposition some time ago. I am particularly pleased to hear that the Prime Minister is going to appoint a Committee from both sides of the House to offer suggestions and advice in regard to the proper prosecution of the war, and to act as a sort of Advisory Committee to the Government. I think that the trouble with the Government is that all honorable members are not kept occupied. I should like to see every honorable member on either side appointed to some Committee.
– Order ! That is not the question before the Chair. The honorable member will have another opportunity of discussing that matter.
.- I do not know whether the Government have made up their minds, or whether they will take notice of any suggestions that honorable members may make; though, from what the Prime Minister said in the earlier stages of this debate, it does not seem that Ministers’ minds are made up. Therefore, they may take some grains of goodness out of the ideas honorable members may give. I suggest, as the honorable member for Henty suggested, that the whole of the original duties of the Minister of Defence should be centred in one Minister, and that another Minister should take all the other duties. The Prime Minister has announced the intention of the Government to arrange for the registration of the male population between certain ages. The inauguration and organization of that huge body of men for home defence alone will take the whole time of more than one man. Home defence, with compulsory service in the Navy and Army, will require the whole time of one man, and the duties pertaining to the war may be given to another Minister. Together with manyhonorable members on the Opposition side, I consider that the Minister of the Defence Department should be in this House. There are other Departments, as, for instance, the Department of External Affairs, which are comparatively non-spending, and which could be managed by a Minister in the Senate. Both Ministers dealing with Defence ought to be members of this
House. I do not think the proposal before the Committee will lead to any improvement on the present system. The only information the honorable member for Bass will be able to give us will be in relation to the work of the Department that is handed over to him; outside the affairs of that Department, he will continue to be simply the mouthpiece of Senator Pearce. I do not think there is any other Minister in the Cabinet who has worked more assiduously to do the right thing than has the Assistant Minister of Defence, and he deserves promotion if any honorable member does. I congratulate the honorable member on his prospective appointment, and I feel sure that he will do much more effective work in the future than he has been able to. do in the past, because responsibility will henceforth rest on his shoulders. It would be an anomaly to call the new Minister “Minister of the Navy” when we have no Navy here. Our ships are serving -with the Imperial Navy in foreign waters. No matter how the new Minister is entitled, he will still be Assistant Minister of Defence, and, whatever title he bears, I am sure he will give effective attention to his Department. The honorable member for Henty made some very wise suggestions as to what the Government should do in regard to the allocation of Departments, and if that course is followed the House will be satisfied, and the country will have more confidence in the Government than it has at the present time.
.- I understand that the proposal before the Committee is to create another portfolio, but not necessarily another Minister.
– The honorable member is correct.
– I cannot see how that course can improve matters, or give the House the relief which is expected. The Assistant Minister of Defence has done his best; the only qualification he has lacked has been responsibility. Now it is proposed to appoint him Minister of Marine, and place under his control all matters relating to the Navy. How is that alteration to improve the position from the Defence point of view? His chief responsibility then will be the Navy, and there it will end. I do not see how we can dovetail the. duties of a Minister of the Navy with those of the Military Department. Does any honorable member say that either the Minister of Defence or the Assistant Minister of Defence has not done his duty to the best of his ability? No; we say that both men have done their best, and no man can do more. Oan we, by a mere alteration of the status of the Minister, improve the position that exists to-day?
– The Minister of Defence will be relieved of a big responsibility in regard to Cockatoo Island and the Naval Bases.
– The Public Works Committee has relieved the Minister of all that responsibility, and where that Committee has not completed the work the Finance Committee has followed with further inquiries. It seems that it is proposed to have the two standing Committees at work, a Minister of the Navy, general supervision by the Minister of Defence, criticism by honorable members of this Parliament, and the advice of a Joint War Committee. I desire to know what improvement we are likely to make? It seems to me that Ave are merely creating another portfolio without strengthening the Ministry. I should like to ask the Prime Minister if it is proposed to ask the House to vote the salary for a new portfolio?
– That is the motion before the Chair.
– Is it proposed that we shall vote the difference between the amount received by the Assistant Minister and that which he will receive as a full Cabinet Minister?
– An Honorary Minister has no salary.
– But we know that the Assistant Minister receives portion of the £12,000 allowed the Ministry for salaries. The result will be that we shall have one additional Minister with a portfolio, but not necessarily that we shall get any improvement of the present position. What the Government require is more assistance. It is no use saying that creating a new” portfolio and increasing the salary expenditure by £1,600 will give relief. The appointment of another Honorary Minister would represent a distinct addition to the present administrative power, and the Honorary Minister could still be raised to Cabinet rank.
– The Government have said they will not do that.
– Then what is all this hasty legislation about? If we feel that the affairs of the nation are not receiving attention because of lack of Ministerial supervision, we must recognise that we are not improving the position by agreeing to the proposal that is now before us. In reality, we are weakening our position, and sooner or later the Government will realize the necessity of appointing another man to be a medium of communication between the Minister of Defence and this House, and to take responsibility in regard to Defence matters. I regret very much that the Government are not strengthening their position or offering any relief to this House. At this important crisis in our history we require, not an extra portfolio, but an extra Minister. The appointment of a Committee from both sides of the House will be a step in the right direction; it ought to have been taken long ago. I hope that in this way we may be able to bring about a better condition of affairs in regard to Defence operations.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Resolution reported and adopted.
That Mr. Fisher and Mr. Hughes do prepare and bring in a Bill to carry out the foregoing resolution.
Bill presented by Mr. Fisher.
Motion (by Mr. Fisher) proposed -
That this Bill be now read a first time.
– All I desire to say is that the final allocation of the duties and responsibilities of the new Minister must be left to the Government. Honorable members have been speaking as if it were the responsibility of this House to fix the duties of the new Minister. As a matter of fact, that responsibility rests with the Executive, and, while it is well to express our mind to the Ministry as to what we expect to be done, there need be no idea that we are binding ourselves hand and foot by any action that may be taken now. The Ministry can always revise the duties of each Minister by Executive action. Therefore, I apprehend no trouble in that respect. An intimation has been given that the Assistant Minister of Defence is to succeed to thisportfolio. I offer him my congratulation on his promotion. I wish him health and strength in the discharge of his new duties, and I assure him that we shall look to him to do great things.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a first time.
Standing Orders .suspended, and Bill read a second time.
Clause 1 (Short title).
– The Bill seems to carry out absolutely the intention of the Government. It does not assign any duties to the new Minister; it simply creates an additional office, and leaves the duties to be assigned by Executive act, as is done at the present time.
Clause agreed to.
Clauses 2 and 3 agreed to.
Preamble and title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.
Bill read a third time.
– I move -
That the House, at its rising, adjourn until Wednesday next.
There will be a’ number of urgent .Bills to be considered, but the Government require a little time for their preparation. I hope we shall have them ready when we meet on Wednesday next.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Order of Business - Speeches bt Honorable Members for Batman and Balaclava.
Motion (by Mr. Fisher) proposed -
That the House do now adjourn.
– I rise for the purpose of further interrogating the Prime Minister. His statements this afternoon regarding the further transaction of business this session were rather nebulous in character, whether purposely or not ‘ I do not know. For instance, the right honorable gentleman said a number of things as to the advantages of postponement in the present circumstances, with which I thoroughly agree. My own impression is that the Tariff schedule should wait “until after the war is over, because it may then be necessary to readjust the Tariff, in order to meet a set of circumstances of which we now have no knowledge at all. But I should like to know just what the right honorable gentleman meant. Do I understand, for instance, that the party have agreed topostpone this matter for the time being, along with other important subjects of legislation? I should like to be clear about it.
.- I desire to address myself for a few moments to the subject referred to in the Argus of this morning as affecting myself and the honorable member for Balaclava. I have observed that the honorable member for Balaclava has not taken his place in this House during this week. He was* here for a moment or two to-day, and I intimated to him that I should have something to say regarding him at the adjournment of the House. He promised to be present. I express no surprise that the ‘honorable member has not put in an appearance. Before dealing with that matter, however, I desire to. again refer to misrepresentations of myself and my views as the outcome of the speech I made at -the Bijou Theatre om Sunday last. Referring to the persona? explanation that I made in this House yesterday, the Argus this morning says -
He does not challenge the accuracy of thereport on which our remarks were founded, but complains only that it was all that was reported out of a speech which occupied an hour and a half in delivery.
It is very clearly stated there that I did not complain of the accuracy of the re-, ports. What I said in this House yesterday was -
This report was of a speech .that occupied an hour and a half in delivery, and I have only, to say that, as a report, it is neither adequatenor accurate.
On that statement the newspaper has published another violently offensive articles against myself. I would have preferred to think that that statement was madethrough clumsy inadvertence, but I cannot believe, in the face of language soclear - which the writer of the .article must have read - that it was innocently or honestly made. .It is perfectly clear,, therefore, that the statement that I did not challenge the accuracy of the report: was a deliberate falsehood, ;and upon that: deliberate falsehood they have written a long article vilifying me -again, as; they did yesterday. I will leave that question now, and come to the honorable member for Balaclava. The honorable member for Balaclava, as most of the people in this city are aware, at a recent meeting also referred to my speech at the Bijou Theatre, ‘and referred to me as a “ pigeion-livered mau.” Ho referred to me also in other terms of opprobrium and contempt, and generally indulged in the oratorical flights of mere abuse which are characteristic of the honorable member. I see in this morning’s paper that the honorable member has told us what his intentions are in regard to going to the front as a soldier. His abuse of myself resulted from the fact that I had said I was not a fighting man. This honorable gentleman now tells us, and he tells us under the heading, “ Mr. Watt may fight” - may - what his views are. I quote from the newspaper report of the honorable member’s speech - “ I am sometimes asked at meetings why I - do not go myself,” he continued. “ It is not * question intended to embarrass rae, but it is « natural inquiry to understand bow it is that mcn who pretend’ to be leaders of public thought are not offering to do their share, but -are only advising other people to go. I fully -expect, at- the right time,, and before this war is over, to go with the men of my age and circumstances.
Is this the man who- has been asking every widow to surrender- her only son to- go to this war at eighteen years of age, who tells us now that,, at the right time, he will go to the front with men of his age and circumstances? Before the- war is over! Has the right time not yet come? Could there be anything more contemptible on the part of a public man who charged me with cowardice than the act of this man who draws a post-dated cheque on glory by saying to-day, “I do intend, at some remote time in the future, before the war ends, to go with men of my age and circumstances to fight for King and Empire.” I asked him to come to this House to-night, in order. to tell him that now iB the time. I challenge “him to meet me to-morrow morning at the recruiting office, and I will go with him -to Gallipoli. Now let him take that -chance, on this one condition: The condition is that he brings with him that traducer of public men who occupies a position in the gallery, and who has twice traduced me as a public man. Let them -come, and I will go with them. I am not a fighting man, but there is an abundance of work to be done at the front besides that of drawing a trigger. I am not a young man either, and, like him, I am a married man. Like the gentleman who wrote this article, I am a married man. Surely this is no time to trifle with talk about age and circumstances. “ When the time is ripe, when circumstances permit, when we have taken every widow’s son who will go to the front, then I, too, may fight.” I challenge these men, if they want to fight, to fight now. This is the accepted time. The poster at the Town Hall says, “ Enlist to-day.” It does not say, “ You may enlist,” or “ You ought to enlist,” or “ You must enlist before the war is over.” Its appeal is, “ Enlist now.” I am not a fighting man, but I can bear stretchers; I can build barbed-wire entanglements; I can carry my dead comrades off the field, the sons of the widows that the honorable member for Balaclava is driving to the fight to-day. I can do these things as well as he oan do them, and he can. have my gun and his own, too, if he will come to the recruiting office tomorrow, and.- discharge this duty that he says weighs heavily on him. He has referred to my Irish origin, and I am proud of the race to which I belong. If he wishes to- put his breed against my breed, let him go with me to-morrow to the recruiting office - to-morrow, not a week hence, or in a month’s- time. Now is the accepted hour. And he must bring with him this other man who has traduced me, who says that he feels sorry for me, because I can share neither in the duties nor in the honour of this great war. I am not a recruiting agent. I have said that I have conscientious objections to asking any man to sacrifice his life in this war. But to-night I make an exception, and I ask just two men to enlist. I ask them to go, not by themselves, but with me. The honorable member for Balaclava has said that I am a pigeion-livered man. I tell him, in offering to go with him to- the front, that I have never said that. I fear death, and I am prepared to prove it.It is not death that I fear. That is not the cause of my objection to war. I have said that what I fear, and cannot do, is to take life. If the honorable member for Balaclava wants a man to go into the danger zone, I offer, and I undertake now to go with him, on this condition: The
House ordinarily meets at half- past 10 a.m. on Fridays, and I fix that hour tomorrow for these two men to put into the hands of the Prime Minister their written expression of willingness to go to the front. If they are ready and willing to go, and to do what they have urged me and others to do, I shall be ready to accompany them. I have nothing more to say. I have given my answer. I have put this matter to the test in the only way possible. It is not a question of words; it is a question of deeds. If I am a pigeon-livered man, I am prepared to risk my liver and my heart, such as it is, along with this man with the bellowing voice of a bully and the heart of a protoplasm, on the hills of Gallipoli or elsewhere, with Australian comrades. In conclusion, I ask him to cease bellowing about loyalty from the safe sanctuary of the skirts of the Australian Women’s National League; to cease praying widows’ sons to go to the front to defend him. I ask him to do something himself, and to show what sort of a heart he has concealed under that skin of his.
– After the challenges that have been issued, I am beginning to think the hills of Gallipoli a safer place than this Chamber. I am of opinion that it would not be wise to proceed with the Tariff for some time. I do not think that there is anything more to be said now.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
House adjourned at 6.50 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 8 July 1915, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1915/19150708_reps_6_77/>.