8th Parliament · 1st Session
Mr. Speaker (Hon. Sir Elliot Johnson) took the chair at 11 a.m., and read prayers.
ADMINISTRATION OF WHEAT POOL.
Mr. MAKIN.-Is the Acting Prime Minister able now to answer the questions which I addressed to the Prime Minister nearly a fortnight ago about the administration of the Wheat Pool ?
Sir JOSEPH COOK. - I am sorry that I have not replies to those questions. I shall ascertain the cause of the delay in furnishing them.
Sir JOSEPH COOK. - Iam informed that replies have not been furnished because, until the return of the members of the Wheat Board from Sydney, the necessary information cannot be obtained. As soon as I get that information, I will give it to the honorable member.
Mr. CHARLTON. - Will the Acting
Prime Minister lay on the table of the Library the report of Mr. Knibbs to the Prime Minister on the effect of the Piddington basic wage if put into operation?
Sir JOSEPH COOK. -I suppose there issuch a report in theDepartment, though I do not remember it. I shall have it looked. for, and I do not see at present that there can be any objection to layinga copy of it on the Library table.
TRADE WITH GERMANY.
Mr. JAMES PAGE.- Now that the
Bawra wool scheme is out of the. way, I ask what is the policy of the Government in regard to trading with Germany ?
Mr. SPEAKER. - The question is not in order. Questions about Government policy may not ‘be asked.
Mr. James Page. - The people of Australia wish to know what is proposed.
Sir JOSEPH COOK. - I should like to answer the question.
Mr. SPEAKER.- The question not being in order, an answer cannot be given to it.
Mr. JAMES PAGE. - I ask the Minis,ter for Trade and Customs if exportation to and importation from Germany are permitted ?
Mr. GREENE.- For a considerable time past there has been no restriction upon exportation to any country, including Germany.
Mr. Mathews. - And Russia?
Mr. GREENE. - Yes. Goods may be exported from Australia to-day to any part of the world. There is no discrimination in this matter between countries. Of course, there are conditions to be complied with, as to standards and so on, but no restrictions on exportation itself. As to importation, goods may not be imported from Germany except such as are needed for the carrying on of industries in this country. For instance, parts of plants or machinery that originally came from Germany, which cannot be got elsewhere, may be imported ; but outside these limits, importations from Germany are not permitted at the present time.
– I desire to say, by way of personal explanation, lest’ misrepresentation occur because comparatively few members voted against the Government’s resolutions last night for the disposal of the wool clip, that, owing to the determination to push matters to a conclusion by means of a late sitting, and the consequent inability of many members - I among them - to address themselves to the subject, I did not wait for the division. I wish it to be understood, however, that I was opposed to the Government scheme, and made arrangements, to which no doubt effect was duly given, for recording my opposition in the form of a pair.
Motion (by Sir Joseph Cook) agreed to-
That leave of absence for one month be given to the honorable member for Flinders (Mr. Bruce) on the ground of urgent private business. ‘
Motion (by Mr. Charlton) agreed to -
That leave of absence for one month be given to the honorable member for Kennedy (Mr. McDonald) on the ground of ill-health.
– Will the Acting Prime Minister lay on the table of the House Mr. H. S. Gullett’s report on the Burnett lands, and will he let us know whether the Government has come to a decision about the request of the Queensland Government for a loan of £2,000,000 for the construction of railways in the Burnett district with a view to the settlement of soldiers and immigrants there ? I ask the question because there is a great deal of unemployment in Queensland, and a favorable reply may help to relieve distress.
– I have not seen Mr. Gullett’s report, but I shall get it and look at it. I see no reason why it should not be laid on the table of the Library. No Cabinet decision has been arrived at about a loan to Queensland, but I say, clearly and frankly, that I have not at the moment £2,000,000 to lend to the Queensland Government for any purpose whatever.
– Has the attention of the Acting Prime Minister been drawn to the statement by Mr. Justice Higgins, the President of the Arbitration Court, that he intends to. resign as soon as the cases which are part heard before him have been decided, and that there is nothing to prevent the Government from appointing the necessary deputies to deal with applications for the reduction of hours of labour? As many Federal organizations of employees have before the Court claims for the reduction of hours, will the Government immediately appoint the deputies necessary under the Act to deal with them?
– All I can do now is to promise that the matter will be considered. In reply to Mr. Justice Higgins’ statement yesterday I should like to make my own position clear. Three or four reporters came to me the other night. They told me, I think, that Mr. Justice Higgins had announced his intention of resigning, and I replied that I was not aware that any information on the subject had reached the Government, which is the fact. I went on to say that I had observed from the newspapers that Mr. Justice Higgins had, quite a number of times, threatened to resign; but I immediately and deliberately withdrew the word “threatened” in order to avoid saying anything which might give the slightest offence to His Honour, substituting the word “proposed.” Unfortunately the reporters let the word “threatened” appear in their reports. I regret that the word has appeared, but it is not my fault. I wish to add that I share the opinion that it is unfortunate that thereshould be a controversy in public between a Judge on the bench and any member of Parliament.
-Will the Assistant Minister for Repatriation lay on the table of the House all the correspondence which has passed between the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and Messrs. J. Woolf, of Melbourne, and J. S. Caldwell, of Sydney, regarding the inquiry about the War Service Homes administration ?
– I am not in possession of that correspondence; it was directed to the Committee, and is in the Committee’s custody. The Government has not made any specific request to the Committee, nor placed any restriction on its inquiry. It has freedom to conduct its business as it thinks fit.
– The Committee’s correspondence is available for any honorable member who wishes to see it.
– I draw attention to the fact that the High Court Procedure Bill, which stands second on the notice-paper, could be disposed of very quickly, whereas the discussion of the Tariff, which precedes it, will take a very long while. I suggest, therefore, that the Government might well get the High Court Procedure Bill out of the way before the Tariff is proceeded with. That will give the Senate something to do, and would enable many persons who wish to get to the Court to do so. Wisely or unwisely, Parliament adopted a certain procedure.
– The honorable member is now making a speech.
– My information is that the Bill is not an urgent measure, and therefore I cannot promise to proceed with it immediately.
-I ask the Minister for Trade and Customs if the Quarantine Branch has considered the advisability of establishing a quarantine station for Northern Tasmania. If so, what islikely to be done?
– The matter has been considered, but it is thought that no station would be capable of providing for the traffic between the mainland and North Tasmania which did not cost less than £60,000 or £70,000, and in view of the fact that there is a quarantine station at Portsea, in Victoria, and another at the southern end of Tasmania, which can be made to serve, the Government does not feel justified at the present time in incurring that expense.
– Is the Acting Prime Minister in a position to make the statement which the Prime Minister promised would be made as a result of the inquiries that were to be made into the sale of B grade flour to South Africa?
– If the honorable member will place a question on the notice-paper for Wednesday next, I shall be pleased to make inquiries in the meantime, and furnish him with an answer.
asked the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow : -
Appraisement and Shipment - Local Sales
askedthe Acting Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow: -
asked the Acting Prime Minister, upon notice -
– There will be no restrictions of any kind in dealing in wool within Australia. The only condition is that if wool be submitted for export not being for resale overseas, the ultimate purchaser of the wool in Australia must show that he has paid a sum for the wool not less than the Bawra reserves fixed for the particular class of wool being shipped.
Book Postage - Kalgoorlie Inspector
asked the Postmaster-General, upon notice -
Are books which are written by more than one writer now forbidden to be sent by book post; if so, why?
– No; books by joint authors are not prohibited from transmission at book rate.
asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow : -
Expenditure at Flinders.
asked the Minister for the Navy, upon notice -
– A great deal of work is entailed in preparing the information which the honorable member requires, but I hope to be able to furnish an answer on Wednesday next.
Oath of Allegiance
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice -
Whether military officers may enter the Defence Department without taking the oath of allegiance which all privates are compelled to take; if so, will the Minister insist upon the same oath being taken by all officers and men?
– There is no oath of allegiance required from an officer; the oath of allegiance forms part of the oath of enlistment to serve for a definite period, while an officer is not required to enlist and holds the King’s Commission. The suggestion of the honorable member will receive further consideration.
asked the Acting Prime Minister, upon notice -
Whatis the total cost of the Royal Commission upon Public Expenditure of the Commonwealth with a view to Effecting Economies?
-The total cost of the Royal Commission appointed to report upon the public expenditure of the Commonwealth with a view to effecting economies was£6,232 12s. 2d.
– The honorable member for Hume (Mr. Parker Moloney) asked a question on the 4th May in regard to an article in the Age newspaper dealing with the erection of mobilization stores at Seymour. The following information has been supplied in answer to the honorable member’s question: -
The first letter was despatched to the Works andRailways Department on 17th March, 1920, asking for estimates of cost.
The Works and Railways Department supplied estimates of cost on 10th April, 1920, and the matter was referred to the Public Works Committee on 29th April, 1920. The report of the Public Works Committee came to hand on 3rd July, 1920.
The recommendations of the Committee were agreed to by the Defence Department, with the following exceptions: -
Recommendation V., that the height of the walls of the vehicle shed be reduced to 9 feet6 inches. This was not agreed to, for the reason that some of the vehicles to be housed in these sheds are 9 feet 6 inches high, and consequently the walls should be sufficiently high to permit of doors of 10 feet in height.
Recommendation VII., that double doors be provided for the vehicle stores, framed ledge 8 feet high and 9 feet wide. This was agreed to, with the exception that one door in each end of shed should be 10 feet in height, to permit ingress of vehicles 9 feet 6 inches in height.
Recommendation IX., that the two equipment stores be erected parallel to one another and one on each side of the proposed railway line. From experience in handling the equipment at the Liverpool Stores, it was considered that the two stores should be on the same side of the siding to facilitate the transfer of stores from one building to the other. The extra cost of the railway line would be offset by the saving in the construction of roads.
On the 21st July, 1920, parliamentary approval was given to carry out the project as submitted by the Public Works Committee, except in the above items.
Funds . were made available on the 4th August, 1920, and the Works Director for Victoria was notified on the same day and instructed to make preparations for the execution of the work.
At the present time none of the buildings has been completed.. Difficulty has been experienced in obtaining supply of material; shortage of cement, timber, and bolts at various times delayed progress, and for the first six months the supply of labour was also unsatisfactory.
The Works and Railways Department anticipates that the first equipment shed will be completed next month, and the second equipment shed is sufficiently advanced to permit of its completion before the first shed is fully occupied.
All of the stores which have so far arrived in Melbourne have been provided with cover, the equipment being housed either in the store at Spotswood or in the camp buildings at Seymour.
The vehicles are packed in the open at Seymour Camp, and protected by tent floors.
As regards the roof principals, these were originally intended to be constructed of Victorian hardwood, and quotations were invited and a contract was let for the manufacture of the whole of the principals accordingly. Timber from Apollo Bay was used.
On inspection of the material after being cut into lengths, it was found to be so unseasoned as to be considered unsuitable for the purpose so far as the larger members of the several trusses were concerned. It was not considered possible to obtain sufficiently seasoned Victorian hardwood to insure a good job, and consequently arrangements were made with the contractor to substitute Oregon pine for the larger members and blocking pieces in the trusses throughout the buildings. Many of the trusses have been erected in the work, and are quite substantial and sound.
One of the trusses was left lying in the sun for some considerable time before being put into the work, with the result that the tie beam became considerably sun-cracked, and the foreman in charge of the job considered it wise to bind this tie beam with hoop iron, and so guard against any further defect occurring therein.
No principal has failed or shown any signs of undue stressing.
The statement that the stability of the buildings is affected by the principals is not understood, as they are quite substantial in every way.
As regards the cost of the buildings, it is not anticipated that the estimated amount will be exceeded, and to date the actual cost is within the amount of the estimate.
In regard to Broadmeadows, the Defence Department propose to ask for authority on next year’s estimates to commence the removal of buildings from Broadmeadows to Seymour, but it is anticipated that the Broadmeadows Camp will be in use during some portion of the year to allow for the removal of stores now at Seymour Camp into the mobilization store..
In Committee of Ways and Means:
Consideration resumed from 28th April (vide page 7897), on motion by Mr. Greene -
That duties of Customs and duties of Excise (vide page 726), first item, be imposed.
.- It is not my intention to make this contribution to the general debate on the Tariff a prelude to a series of speeches upon the various items. Rather dp I desire to outline the main principles which will govern my votes upon those items. Neither Free Trade nor Protection can be regarded as a panacea for the nation’s political ills. The economic emancipation of the working classes cannot be secured through either medium. Under the existing commercialistic system the adoption of either policy would afford but a temporary expedient. But we must deal with things as they are, and not with what we would desire them to be; we must face the problems of the living present, and when I take into consideration the merits of Free Trade and Protection, I realize that there are degrees of advantage to be obtained by supporting a policy of Protection. Two cardinal principles appear to me as being the redeeming features of that policy as compared with the policy of Free Trade. Protection will provide a medium for constituting Australia as a self-contained nation by the development of its own industries. Furthermore, it will serve to provide adequate employment for our people. If principles of an equitable character, industrially, were prevailing throughout the world, there might be justification for instituting a policy of Free Trade; but when we find certain degrees of standards’ of living applying throughout, the various, nations of this earth, we must realize that it would be decidedly to the disadvantage of that nation which afforded the higher standard of living if it should attempt to subject its industries to open competition from countries in which a lower standard of livingwas prevailing. The policy of the Labour party is to adopt that form of protection known as new Protection, which, while affording to the manufacturers of commodities made locally ample protection, also gives security to the local consumers of those commodities, and to the persons employed in making them. Already this Commonwealth Parliament has endeavoured by the passage of legislation to establish that new Protection; but, unfortunately, because of the limitations of our Constitution, it proved to be ultra vires’ by the decision of the High Court in the case of Barger versus the Crown, reported in the Commonwealth Law Reports, vol. VI., 1908. However, although I am a layman, and have no claim to legal knowledge on such matters, I am under the impression that the decision given by the High Court last year upon the powers of the Commonwealth, which decision, to a certain extent, reversed previous decisions in relation to the same powers, indicates that this Parliament really is empowered to enact some form of new Protection. It is very desirable that this should be done, because there are some persons associated with the local manufacture of goods - they are only a small percentage, certainly - who are prepared to take undue advantage of the protection afforded to them by extorting from the public exorbitant prices for the goods in which they have been enabled to create almost a monopoly. That is not a circumstance that generally governs the industries of Australia. Those who favour Free Trade contend that free imports mean lower prices for many of the commodities used by us, and therefore a reduction in the cost of living. I doubt the accuracy of that assertion, and my doubt is founded upon substantial facts set out in reports of the Inter -State Commission, which some time ago investigated Tariff matters. Prices are not based upon a competitive system, but rather upon the capacity of the people to pay them, and at times the prices fixed are altogether beyond the means of the people. This circumstance changes the whole phase of many contentions on the merits of Free Trade and Protection which would have been received logically and with some justification in 1791, when the principle of Protection was first recommended to the United States. The relationship of commerce has considerably changed. Mr. Piddington, Chairman of the Inter-State Commission, in a recently-published volume entitled The Next Step, clearly . indicates that wages are just 12 months behind the cost of living. It would seem that competition plays an insignificant part in the determination of our economic conditions. For this the manufacturers of Australia, in my opinion, are not responsible. There are, as I have said, isolated instances where local manufacturers unfortunately have taken undue advantage of the protection afforded them. But generally speaking it is the wholesale warehouses which extract from the people exhorbitant dues and adopt a system under which competition, is absolutely reduced to a minimum. It would appear that there is a desire on the part of some of those associated with the wholesale undertakings of this country to camouflage their actual operations and to make it appear tha-t they have no arrangement for fixing prices. The President of the Melbourne Warehousemen’s Association, giving evidence before the Inter-State Commission regarding the question of clothing, said : -
The association does nothing in the way of fixing prices. It never even discusses prices. It never takes any joint action to secure trade prices from manufacturers or suppliers. We fix terms, but not prices. When I say “ terms,” I mean terms of payment for our distribution.
If that is not a direct attempt to fix prices then it is difficult to know what the witness did intend to convey. He went on to say that -
We never attempt to arrange any terms for ourselves from the manufacturers or suppliers.
The Commission in their report point to the inconsistencies of the evidence submitted on this occasion by stating that the minutes of the Warehousemen’s Association show that -
Shortly after the outbreak of war, correspondence passed between similar associations in the various States with regard to increase of prices owing to war conditions, but it was finally resolved that action in that direction be left to the discretion of individual members. Another instance which showed a desire to fix prices occurred in the latter part of 1014,, when the Melbourne Association requested the Adelaide Association to join in fixing the price of calico, owing to the competition of nonassociated houses. It does not appear that any combined prices were actually adopted by the associations, and the president of the Victorian Association,’ when asked to explain the account in the minutes said: - “On the face of it that would seem to show that we aimed at fixing prices, but I say that there was no suggestion as to fixing the price, though I cannot explain exactly what it means.”
At page 44 of the same report the Commission, writing of the controlling influence of wholesale distributors states - Speaking generally, the price of clothing is affected more by the wholesale distributing houses than by any other section of the trade. The immense bulk of imports, the large proportion of Australian-made goods which is only procurable through warehouses, the great and increasing amount of manufacturing carried out by wholesale merchants, and their financial connexion with many retailers’ businesses, all combine - to suggest that no control of prices can be effectual which does not include that section of the trade which occupies the stage between production and the retail house.
The position is further explained at page 45 of the same report -
Prices are now fixed by wholesalers, not by adding the same uniform percentage to landed cost, but by directing ‘the head of each department, e.g., manchester goods, ready-made clothing, silks, &c, to produce at the end of each half-year a defined gross profit on the sales. The departmental head knows what his goods have cost into warehouse, and so adjusts the additions to that cost of the various articles handled, as to bring out an aggregate amount in turnover which will yield the stipulated gross profit over aggregate landed cost.
Articles imported at a low price are not sold at low rates, but are used as a sort of balancing medium. The same course is followed with respect to local manufactures, and the warehouses so adjust the circumstances <of their businesses as to obtain from the general’ public the fullest contribution of profit that it is possible to secure from them. It is stated by the Commission that-
When supplies are ample, either of imports or of Australian manufactures, the warehouseman balances prices so as to insure himself against possible losses on certain classes of goods. Bisks of this sort do not now exist, as the unanimous testimony of the trade is ‘that everything iB readily sold which can be got into the warehouse.
I desire to make very clear the point that Australian consumers do not secure any direct advantage ‘from cheap importations. The warehouses are the controlling factor. My view is that we should make it necessary for the warehouses to purchase locally-manufactured goods, rather than those manufactured abroad, so that we may in that way insure more employment for those engaged in industry in- Australia. I object to the system at present operating under which warehousemen exercise a most effective control over the affairs of our country and the requirements of our people. I do not agree with the contention that the Commonwealth Parliament has not power to deal with such a system, but if it be correct that we do lack the power, there could be no graver reflection on the framers of the Constitution. We have, however, to meet the circumstances as best we can, and I feel it is far better that we should adopt a policy which will keep our workmen fully engaged rather than carry on under a policy which leads to frequent periods of depression and to the swelling of the great army of the unemployed. It is stated in the report of the Inter-State Commission in regard to groceries that -
The wholesale merchants are a very important factor in the conduct of the .grocery trade, not only in the control of prices, but also in the control and distribution of both local and imported goods.
Here, again, in respect of lines which profoundly affect the cost of living, these’ wholesale warehousemen make their presence felt in the meet marked’ manner, and have a directly controlling influence over the . powers of. the , people. Greater power is possessed by . the big warehouses of Australia in regard’ to the determination of the economic conditions of the people than is enjoyed, according to honorable members opposite, by the Parliament itself. I agree, however, with the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Ryan), that under section 51 of the Constitution we have ample power to deal effectively with the trade combinations that of recent years have become so marked a feature of the commercial world. I desire now to refer to the Brisbane Merchants’ Association. I find that the. association of retailers exertno undue influence over prices^ but the operations .of the Merchants’ Association evidences a decided mastery over both transactions and prices,’ as the following extract from the report of the Inter-State Commission shows:- -
According to the secretary, the wholesale lists issued from time to time is compiled in the following manner: - There was no regular time for issuing those lists, but it was generally found necessary to take some action in that direction when an increase took place in the import price.
In. Sydney there is a retail house, which has been registered under the name of Merchants Limited. That firm has endeavoured to purchase direct from the manufacturers with a view to benefiting the public by the exclusion of what is known as the wholesale middleman; but the warehouses have instituted a form of - boycott and have endeavoured by all the means ‘ in their power to prevent direct supplies. One line of commodity alone affords proof of the intimidation, which the wholesale warehouses endeavour to exercise over manufacturers. I refer to the Dr. Morse Indian Root Pills, which are manufactured by W. H. Comstock, Sydney. The Brisbane Merchants’ Association wrote to the proprietors of these pills, asking them to confine their sale to members of their, association. This request the pill proprietors refused, whereupon the association threatened to -adopt a plan that would prove extremely detrimental to future sales of the article. There was, however, a second refusal, and the Merchants’ Association then raised the price of the pills ‘by 25 per cant. There can be’ no doubt that that was a deliberate attempt at intimidation. The facts I obtained from the report of the Inter-State : Commission, and they afford ample corroboration of the statements regarding the powers exercised by warehousemen. The Inter-State Commission also reports as follows : -
General lj’ speaking, it may be said that the wholesale merchants are in the best position of any of those .’engaged in the grocery trade. They are, as a rule, able to make larger profits than . most of the .manufacturers, and are in a very much better position as to profits than the retail grocer.
I hear repeated complaints from retail grocers that they are subject’ to undue pressure by the wholesalers concerning certain - lines that they supply for public use.’ Many of the retail storekeepers are held responsible for the. increase in the cost of living, but, as matter of fact, that sin does not -lie at their door, sp much as at the door ‘of the. wholesale men. It is my hope that we may be able to institute a form of protection which will secure the people against imposition, guarantee the worker a congenial standard of living, and protect those engaged in manufactures and industries generally against any. unfair advantageon the part of those engaged in similar work in other parts of the world.
In the Age, early in 1920, there was reprinted a circular, which had been sent out on the 16th December, 1919, to retail dealers in men’s wear, by the Australian agents of awell-known English firm of felt-hat makers. This circular certainly affords proof that the warehousemen actually endeavour to fix the retail prices of certain commodities. The circular was as follows: -
Dear Sirs, - As you must appreciate, we find it necessary to again rearrange the wholesale and retail prices of- hats, which will now be:-
These revised prices will come into operation on 15th December, and the new retail prices will apply to all stock on hand. We shall, therefore, be glad if you will arrange to remark all your present stock in accordance with the new retail selling prices.
The attached retail price list we would ask you to place in a prominent position in your store for reference. -Yours faithfully,
It will be seen that the wholesale men do not confine themselves to goods actually passing at the time to the retailers, but dictate the retail prices of goods already stocked in the retail houses. Only during the last fortnight there appeared in one of the Melbourne newspapers an advertisement, inserted by a man named Henderson, who carries on business at High-street, Northcote, and who, I understand, has been subject to interference by the wholesale people. They have endeavoured to intimidate and boycott him, in their desire to control his business. We have been able to successfully establishin Australia the tweed industry, and it is one which should be fostered and encouraged. The fact is, however, that the wholesale people of Flinders-lane have secured an almost governing influence over the output of the mills. The Mayor of Geelong, Alderman Hitchcock, spoke at a civic luncheon at Ballarat, tendered to Geelong municipal visitors, and he is thus reported : -
Alderman Hitchcock congratulated Ballarat on its woollen mills. Geelong, he said, had Ave such mills, but, nevertheless, in that city they could not buy their own tweeds. That fact placed them in a ridiculous position. They had to go to Flinders-lane, where from 20 to 25 per cent. profit was made. He considered that the people in centres where mills had been established should be able to get their material at reasonable prices. It was possible that new woollen mills would be established with the special object of supplying goods direct to retailers, and so give the advantage to the public.
I submit not only that the people who live in the localities referred to should have the advantage of cheaper cloth, but that the advantage should be extended to the people of Australia generally, and I know positively that according to the price at the point of production, this can be done; I say that with emphasis. This is but another proof that the manufacturers are not directly responsible for the great increase’ in prices; the responsibility is that of the great distributing warehouses which are able to secure more than a fair return for the services they render to the public. The arrogance and indifference of these wholesale people certainly show a lack of morale and of appreciation of the duty they owe to the community. Mr. Daniel- Solomon, manager for J. and B. Sniders, of Flinders-lane, gave evidence before the Fair Profits Commission in March, 1920, and the following is an extract from his evidence: -
He stated that in the whole of his thirty-four years’ experience there had never been such a scarcity of suitable materials.
– Is there any hope that for therest of this year there will be any mitigation in prices for tweeds and serges? - I do not thinkthere isthe slightest hope. Prices may go still higher.
Is not your department making a bigger gross money profit than it was six years ago? - Yes, a little more.
How did you account for that? - That is the ethics of business. It is like the old song, “ Everybody’s doing it.”
It isthe people of Australia who are made to dance to that tune; and discredit is thus brought down on our manufacturers,’ because Australian-made goods are not procurable at a fair margin of profit. There is no doubt that this discredit is shared by many others who are endeavouring, legitimately, to foster Australian industries and render this country selfcontained, and whose efforts are frustrated by those who do not understand their duty to the public. Mr. J. H. Martin, manager of the dress and silk department of Richard Allen and Son, Flinders-lane, also gave evidence before the Fair Profits Commission, as follows: -
-Your firm instead of taking a normal profit on these tweeds has taken a much larger rate of profit than it did on imported ones.
The Witness. - We have to counter-balance the small profit on imported tweed. You never can tell when the market will break.
– You bought Marrickville tweed at 6s. 6d., and sold it at 13s. 6d., a profit of more than 100 per cent. We think that quite unreasonable. The Commission proposes to bring the principal of your firm before it under the Necessary Commodities Act. We shall declare your prices to be unreasonable, and will consider what action should be taken.
Those are the circumstances that govern the position of Australia to-day, and as it is proved that the warehouses are a dominant factor in the control of prices and the regulation of trade, We should do something to compel them to purchase the locally-manufactured article in preference to the imported. Many will doubt whether by the exclusion of imports we shall in any way improve the situation. If tho imported article were to cost only onefourth of the price of the locally-produced article the consumer would not secure it a.t a cheaper price, because the warehouses are out to make the maximum of profit. That was instanced by disclosures in regard to shaving’ brushes imported from Japan at a very low cost, and sold at the maximum price. The regulation of prices is out of the question, because the great commercial institutions have honorable, or, as I think, dishonorable understandings among themselves to fix, not only the wholesale price, but also the minimum retail price. The disadvantage experienced by the local manufacturers iri not being able to’ deal directly with the retailer, but being compelled to sell their goods through the medium of Flinderslane establishments, can be readily understood. It is with a desire that such trade shall not be availed of by the warehouses to further enhance their profits that I am prepared to give such Protection to the industries of Australia as will enable them to further extend their operations, and provide means of employment, not only for the workers already in Australia, but for others who may desire to come from the United Kingdom and other parts of the Empire to engage in industries that will be profitable to the community.- Therefore, I shall afford my support to the proposed measures oi Protection for the local manufacturers. T desire it to he understood, however, that
I am not a revenue Protectionist ; my desire is to make Australia self-contained, so that it may be secured against the fluctuations of markets and trade depressions on the other side of the world, and afford the maximum avenues of employment to Australian workmen. . In framing a Tariff it is well to have regard to the industrial and economic conditions obtaining in those countries which are likely to be the most formidable competitors in the Australian market. They seem to be the Asiatic countries, particularly Japan. Japan is only 5,000 miles from Australia, less than half the distance from the Commonwealth to the nearest European country. Having regard to the conditions of labour in Japan, it must be recognised that Free Trade would work to the decided detriment of the people engaged in Australian industries. It is very desirable that our public men should interest themselves in this problem, for we on this side, at any rate, do not desire to see the social and industrial standards of the Australian workers lowered in fact, it is our determination to see that every standard of comfort is provided, the minimum being the standard set by the Basic Wage Royal Commission. Although our standard of living and conditions of labour are amongst the most advanced in the world, they are still far from being perfect. As an indication of the conditions against which we have to compete, I submit the following table of wages in Japan and Australia in the year 1917, that being the latest year for which I could get returns, for Japan: -
No. doubt the members of the Country party, or “ foreign Country party,” would like to see the Japanese agricultural wage ruling in Australia. “ The views of those members, however; are not typical of those of the Australian farmers, who, generally speaking, are fairly broadminded. Honorable members in the Corner do not faithfully represent the views of the men upon the land. I find that in not one industry is the Japanese wage sufficient to pay for the ordinary cost of living. According to Professor Iwana, of Tokio University, the’ cost of living, -on the data available to him, wa3 87.46 yen, or £3 15s. a month. The industry in Japan which most nearly ap- “* preaches that standard, is the brickmaking industry, the labour employed in which receives about £3 lis., or £3 12s. per month. In that country not only does the hush and go to work, but the wife and members of the family generally supplement the income of the .home with their exertions. The nation employs a larger number of females than of males, and a big percentage of the labour in factories is child .labour. ! In 1917 the operatives in Japan numbered 458,638 male3 and 636,669 females. In Aus* tralia, I am glad to say, there are more male workers than female workers, our operatives numbering 233,959 males and 87,711 females. An article in the Transpacific, for May, 1920,” contains an able exposition on tie subject of the employment of female labour in Japan; and much information concerning it is to be obtained from the Japanese Year-Booh. The rates of wages that I have quoted are from that source, and the information is, therefore, as authentic as it is possible to secure. Many of the conditions of employment in Japan, especially those connected with the employment of girls in the textile industries, are revolting. The conditions of labour are not such as we regard as desirable, nor even in accordance with our average .standard of public morality. Under these circumstances, I shall “not vote to give .a .nation which pays insignificant wages to its people, and employs them under industrial conditions which are below the average standard of the world, an advantage over our Austraiian industrialists. Japanese manufacturers have not been faithful to the decisions adopted at the World’s Labour Congress, which was to set world standards of industrial conditions.- In order to adequately protect our employees, and to allow thiem to maintain and even to improve their industrial status, because I am convinced that it can, and must, be improved to at least provide for the finding of the Basic Wage Royal Commission, I shall support” the Tariff Schedule generally, reserving to myself the right to consider the special circumstances of certain industries dependent upon importations. I find that in Japan, in the raw silk factories, the hours of labour are from thirteen to fourteen a day, and in the weaving mills from fourteen’ to sixteen hours, and that the .general national working day of .Japan is from ten to twelve hours. Japan has competed successfully against the western nations because of her cheap methods of production due to her low wages, inferior industrial conditions, and long hours of labour. It is said that the labour of an eastern woman is equivalent in value to one-third that of a woman in Western countries, but, even if that be so, the instalment of up-to-date machinery, and the adoption of scientific methods, will keep Japan in a position of great advantage, so .that if we do not give ample protection to our industries, our workers may be required to lower their standard of living. I trust that that will never happen, and no one will fight harder than I shall to prevent it. “Women are largely employed in mining in Japan, both underground and on the surface. They even work in the coal mines. No fewer than 50,323 Japanese women work underground in the mines, and 41,235 are employed on surface operations. The average wage of Japanese miners varies from lOd. to 2s. 2$d. per day.
– Yet the honorable member proposes to handicap our mining industry by imposing duties on its requirements.
– I do not desire to handicap out mining industry. My view is that, instead of it being affected adversely by the fluctuations of the metal market’ abroad, we should manufacture our raw material into finished articles. May I remind the ‘ honorable member of the result of Asiatic intrusion upon the world’s metal, market regarding an Australian mineral product, tungsten? The importations and expectations df Japan show the influence that she is exerting upon international trade. In “1917 her exports were valued at 1,603,000,000 yen, or £160,300,000, and her imports at 1,038,000,000 yen, or £103,500,000. The value of her exports thus exceeded that of her imports by 568,000,000 yen,’ or £568,000. Without desiring to be offensive to the Japanese, I say that 90 per cent, of their manufactures are deceptive. Some of the dealers in precious gems in London are finding that out now) and we have discovered it in Australia in regard to things used in the home. The crockery that has come here from Japan of late is not in use very long before it cracks, the handles come off, and it becomes, useless and has to bo thrown into the rubbish-bin. . Instead of making our own requirements, we import them from Japan, and, paying the price of a good article, get only an inferior one. By confining our purchases as much as possible to the Australian product we have powers to determine standards of quality. The Japanese Government .have fostered and encouraged industry which might well give employment to the people’ of Australia. Not . only does Japan amply protect her industries with Customs duties, but she helps them also with preferential rates on the railways, goods of Japanese origin being at an advantage oyer those imported into the country. The report of the Inter-State Commission contains this pertinent passage -
Nothing in tho present inquiry has been more striking than the reiterated emphasis of Australia’s dependence upon importations. That the greatest wool-producing country in the world should occupy such a singular position in regard to woollen clothing is a continual challenge to the thought and interest of Its citizens. In times of war the capacity to provide from ite own resources an abundance of suitable clothing alike for the soldier and for the citizen is an object of capital importance, but it is in times of peace that the preparations must be made by which alone that’ object can be attained.
Although Australia is capable of producing practically every class, of raw material necessary for the purpose of clothing its people, it is dependent upon importation for the greater proportion of such material. for the purpose of manufacture. We depend upon importations wholly for our supplies of cotton, linen, and silk goods, and in respect to woollens it is questionable whether we are in a position to clothe one-third of our people, unaided by importations.
During the debate just concluded upon the wool question wo were informed that we are manufacturing- locally not more than one-tenth of the woollen goods required by the people of Australia. Yet X find that during the three months ending; tie 30th September, 1920, Australia imported from Japan apparel, textiles, and manufactured fibrous goods valued at £1,282;280. We have large stacks of wool hero, in fact we have a depression of prices owing to a surplus of carry-over wool which is jeopardizing the pastoral industry; yet the people are not being supplied with cheaper, woollen goods. It would be much more desirable if local manufacturers could absorb more of tho raw material and turn it into the finished article’, thus providing employment for many people who are now walking tho streets of our cities looking for work. That instance alone affords me strong ground for supporting the industries of Australia against those of countries overseas.
If the honorable member for Barrier; (Mr .Considine) had endeavoured to employ his efforts towards the establishment of industries in Australia which would absorb the raw material produced by the ‘ mines of Broken Hill, he would have) adopted the best course for stabilizing the metal mining industry, in which so many . of his ‘constituents are vitally concerned. Prior to the war, the best customer for Australia’s metals was Germany, but the raw material we supplied to that country was ultimately manufactured into munitions of war, to be used later on against us. Perhaps the same thing is occurring in respect of Japan. That country is ready to buy our metals. Owing to recent trading conditions, Japanese buyers have nob lately been able to make large purchases of our raw products, but past experience indicates that, when the opportunity offers,’ they will be prepared to resume their purchases of our metals, which it is just possible they will apply to the very same purpose to which they were applied by the manufacturers of Germany - ultimately to be used against us, as has hap> pened in the past.
– ls it not better to worry more about getting the mines going than about the destination of the output of the mines’? ‘
– It is more desirable to establish, industries in Australia which will absorb the output of our mines, and thus deprive any aggressive nation of the opportunity of securing a raw material so essential in the manufacture of munitions of war. By doing this we would be more secure against aggressive action on the part of any other nation. At any rate, the miners of Broken Hill would appreciate the fact that the establishment of local industries which would absorb tha product of their mines would secure for them that continuity of employment which they desire and prevent that market-rigging which is indulged in by speculators in other parts of the world.
– Evidently some of the men there do not desire that continuity of employment.
– The honorable member does the miners of Broken Hill; and elsewhere, & great injustice when he suggests that those who express feelings of extreme dissatisfaction, though they are really only a unit of the great body of the workers, are -to be accepted as speaking with an authoritative voice for the great “number of mon who are desirous of being employed in the mining industry.
– Unfortunately they are the men who are guiding the movement at the present time.
– I do not agree with a greet many of the opinions expressed by those whom I regard as holding irresponsible views on industrial matters. But we cannot doubt the sacrifices made by many of those who go through the experience of industrial turmoil in order to improve the conditions of their fellows. They might bc regarded as lacking in correct judgment as to matters of industrial relationship, but surely the hardships they suffer indicate- their sincerity.
– Those who are leading the men are not suffering much hardship.
– If that is the case the remedy lies with the Australian workers. Those who are anxious to engage in industry, under congenial conditions and at acceptable, rates of pay comprise the great bulk of the workers. If there is anything wrong with their leadership the responsibility rests with themselves, because whenever they choose to do so they can secure fresh leadership or any position which thm -collectively desire.
We all desire to see the establishment of - an idealistic form of society. I am anxious that the true brotherhood of men should prevail on this earth and that equity and justice should be the heritage of- all people, but the world is in’ such a complicated and perplexed .condition industrially, socially, economically, and even politically, that we must meet the circumstances as we find them. Instead of remaining up in the clouds public men .should be practical. They should come down to mother earth and. endeavour to find solutions for the difficult problems confronting them. The secret of prosperity for any people lies with the people themselves, and in their determination to control and regulate matters for themselves instead of intrusting them to a coterie of individuals who fatten upon the efforts of. the producers. Australia has been the happy hunting ground of mercenary mendicants from abroad who have been encouraged as far as possible by our warehouses. Our importers, realizing that they can get, an extra margin of profit by importing from abroad, entertain no feelings whatever of loyalty to the locallymanufactured article. They are quite prepared to enhance their own positions at the expense of the credit of their country. It is necessary to stabilize our own industries and the market for our raw material. We must have protection for industries already established or for those that can prove a likelihood of successful establishment in the future, but I am not prepared to impose a duty on- any article which is not being manufactured in Aus- tralia to-day, or in respect of which there is no likelihood of it being manufactured here. However, the local manufacturer “must have the fullest protection against the inferior working conditions of other parts” of the world.
Australia must keep its own credit within Australia.. We have been and are at the present moment involved in financial commitments abroad, and are seriously embarrassed by reason of the rate of exchange in several countries being against us. Our credit does not occupy the position in which it ought to stand. By keeping the credit of the nation within the nation we should secure to our own production the greatest advantage. That is a form of protection that I desire to see extended to our industries..
An adequate population is the greatest security we can have against the aggressiveness of foreign nations. It is better than all the machinery of Defence Acts and other provision by way of defence, which involve the country in great expense, and help to build up for us a huge unproductive debt. Australia is capable of carrying an enormously larger population than she has. to-day. But the position of our industries at the present time will not allow ug” to extend to those who would co-operate with us in increasing the wealth of the nation and exploring its potentialities an invitation to come here. Many industries in Australia have been subjected to serious depression, and we have great armies of unemployed walking the streets of our capital cities. Industry needs to be encouraged. The security of Australia must rest upon the strength of her people. By making ourselves a self-contained people, by absorbing our raw materials in manufacturing various commodities which we now import, we shall keep our credit, within our own boundaries, be enabled to relieve our obligations abroad “by the export of manufactures, and provide not only more employment for the highest class of labour already here, but new avenues of industry for tens of thousands of that class of people most likely to co-operate . with us and prove desirable fellow .citizens.
– Does not the honorable member think that we want to sell some of our products to other countries?
– Our first duty is to our own people. We should see that those who produce reap some of the advantages of the production for which they are responsible. I am completely in accord with the view expressed by the Fair Prices Commission, that industries which are secured by a protective Tariff should be allowed to export only their surplus production, and that the people of Australia should have the first claim upon’ what we produce. My desire is that our people shall secure the advantages of the wealth for the production of which they are responsible. Are we prepared to go on doing the unskilled work of the world ? Should we not rather be anxious to give to our own people the highest forms of employment by opening up new indus.tries which will insure to them the best standards of life? In the production of raw materials our people are engaged, for the most part, in unskilled labour. Surely they are capable of carrying on the highest forms of industry. I am a competent judge of the young manhood of Australia. Pur young men are just as alert, capable, and ‘intelligent as - if not more so than- - are those of any other part of the world. Why should we give them no real opportunity for the us© of their undoubted talents by keeping them employed mainly in . unskilled labour? We must direct our attention more and more, not only to the development of our primary industries, but to the expansion of our secondary industries. By sending abroad so much of our raw material,’ instead of working it up here, we are simply providing the people of other nations with opportunities for the highest forms of employment. So far as the young womanhood of Australia is concerned, ‘statistics demonstrate a greater number of male operatives in’ local industries than that of females. That is- a very desirable provision, and while affording our- Australian women every opportunity for equality, it certainly must be regarded that home life is essentially the realm of our womenfolk,’ and that it should be encouraged by every form of comfort and congenial surrounding. While the conditions prevailing in Australia are not all that they ought to be, they do, at least, provide for a standard of living which allows of our womenfolk remaining at home instead of being re- quired, as in some Asiatic and European countries, to supplement the family income bv working in various industries. If we are to become worthy of a place in the councils of the nations we shall have to become absolutely self-contained. We must offer the very best inducement to our people to remain here, and we can best do that by building up our industries and improving the conditions of living.
Some consideration must be’ given to certain industries in Australia which are absolutely dependent upon imported materials in turning out their finished products. At the present time they are subsidiary industries. At this moment a number of men engaged in an industry in Adelaide are working only half time, because ‘ certain equipment necessary to that industry cannot be imported at anything like a reasonable price. I refer to the motor body making trade and the high price of chassis.
-The trouble is not due to the duty, but to the fact that the foreign manufacturer has raised the price by 50 per cent. An effort is being made to put the blame on the duty, when it really rests upon the manufacturers of chassis. .
– I shall be pleased to have the matter fully explained by the Minister. I am not prepared to give any person an undue advantage or to place the Australian workman at a disadvantage.
-I am referring to the manufacturer abroad.
-If chassis can be manufactured in Australia to advantage, I shall be prepared to support a protective duty upon them. But if the number of chassis required in Australia just now is not such as would justify the establishment of that industry, although I invite competent opinion, it has always been consideredby me that everything required by Australians could be made in Australia. Assurances, however, have been given to me by Union officials and manufacturers, that at present no such industry exists, and that there is certainly little prospect for the immediate future. This article, perhaps, could be placed on the deferred list. No doubt there may be many similar cases, especially in foodstuffs. It would be unreasonable to cause a depression in that trade by imposing an unreasonably high duty, and thus defeat the very purpose for which we are endeavouring, and in consequence penalize our own people.
I make no excuse for my support of the principle of Protection. The great body of unionists in Australia favour the application of the principle of Protection to all forms of industry. I desire that our workmen shall have an opportunity to engage fully in the development of our great resource, and shall enjoy full advantage of what can be manufactured and produced in Australia. Finally my hope is that -
New arts and trades shall bloom,
And humane conditions yet shall be,
Australia shall become a Nation
By fostering her industry.
Not this alone must be the goat,
For thepeople’s ideal should surely be
To own Australia’s wealth in formsof equity.
.- Personally, I believe in a Protective Tariff drawn up on scientific lines. It strikes me that, just asa fatheris prepared to pay a premium, and assist his son to become efficient in a trade, so this country should be prepared to assist its industries by putting them in a position to compete with those of other countries. Then, again, just as a father, after having assisted to establish his son, expects him to then rely on himself, so I feel that our industries,having been once firmly established, should be prepared to carry on without further Protection.
I should like to take this opportunity to quote from the latest Queensland statistics a few figures with regard to the position ofmanufacturers in that State. The figures will be comparative as between 19.10 and 1919.
the greatincreases, as shown by these figures, will probably impress many honorable members as they have impressed me. The honorable- member for Dampier (Mr Gregory), when speaking last week, remarked that several members on the Government side had changed their opinion in regard to Protection since the previous Tariff was discussed, and it is undoubtedly a fact that many have learnt the lesson which the war should teach us. LordJellicoe has remarked that Australia’s defence power lies in the development of industries that supply national wealth in times of peace, and means of warin times of strife, and in the growth of’ a self-reliant industrial population. Thereisno doubt whatever that we should do everything possible to become a selfcontained nation. The honorable member for “Wide Bay (Mr. Corser), speaking last week, made an eloquent appeal for protection for the cotton industry. Since then honorable members have .had an OP.portunity of hearing Mr. Jones, the Queensland cotton expert, and it must be admitted that he gave a most interesting account of the industry. He pointed out how, at the present day, in the northern State, there are only 2,500 to 3,000 acres under cotton, whereas fifty years ago there were 14,000 acres so employed. It is recognised that Queensland is the finest cotton-growing country in the worm; and I trust that the Government will be able to afford the industry adequate protection. I am also entirely in agreement with the honorable member for- Lilley (Mr. Mackay) in his appeal for higher protection for the banana industry, in which many of our returned soldiers are employed, and are at present having a very difficult time. What they ask for is shown in this extract from a pamphlet issued by the Southern Fruit-growers Association Limited, which states -
A protective Tariff giving, fair compensation for the difference in the cost of production between .black-labour conditions outside Australia as against white labour and fair living conditions in Australia.
The industry going ahead, fair prices being realized, happy and contented settlers, wives and families well cared for, empty spaces of this vast land being filled up by men on small holdings, returned men, feeling that the .promises of those who put them on the land are being fulfilled. Liabilities on holdings promptly met.
I trust that the request of these men, as expressed in the words I have read, and voiced by the honorable member for Lilley, will receive the consideration and support of all honorable members.
We have also to consider the present position of the timber industry. I hope that adequate Tariff protection will, be afforded during the present session qf Parliament against the dumping of timber into ‘the Commonwealth from the United States of America, the Baltic, Russia, J apan, and other places. The Director of - Forestry in Queensland recently said - . . the recent dumping, of timber was attributable largely to forced realizations on the part of a number of oversea concerns, some of which were selling sawn timber at less than the price of the unsawn logs; and, though a large percentage of the 45,000 saw-mills in the United Sta,tes of America and Canada had closed down during the universal depression, there still remained a proportion which Were, working upon timber concessions that cost nothing more than the obligation to open up new districts.
We have heard in- this House that Timber Combines have made it very difficult to carry on the construction of War Service Homes and other works; and no doubt this matter will have to be thoroughly investigated. During the war it became essential for the southern States to import Queensland timber, whereas in the past those States had used timber from foreign countries; and that fact, alone shows how important the industry is to Australia. I have already said that I believe thoroughly in a Protective Tariff drawn up on scientific lines, and I shall say nothing more now, reserving any further remarks until the items are under consideration.
– I wish to say, at the outset, that this is not the Tariff of the party to which I belong, and it is not the kind of Tariff that the party on this side would introduce if they were in power. I make that remark, because a good deal of criticism has been levelled at this side of the House by members of the Country party, who have been described by the honorable member for Hindmarsh as the foreign Country party, as if we were responsible for the Tariff.. Every one knows, or every one could know, that the fiscal policy for which we on this side stand is that of giving protection, not only to manufacturers, but. to consumers and .the workers, the latter of whom, are, of course, included amongst the consumers. That is what we call .our New Protection policy.
– Where do the producers come in?
– The producers would of course ,be included amongst those I have mentioned. Under the circumstances, if anything goes wrong with this Tariff, .from the -Corner party’s point of view, and -any injustice is done to any section by its means, then, not only the Government, but the Country party, which -keeps the Government in’ office, must take the .responsibility.
– Is the Tariff a party issue ?
– I am explaining that we on this side stand for a fiscal policy which will give protection to the whole community, producers and consumers alike, and such a policy we would endeavour to carry into effect if we were in power.
I stand in a position different from that of the honorable member for Wimmera (Mr. Stewart), who says that he believes in what we call New Protection, but that if he cannot get it, he - apparently - prefers Free Trade. My position is that if I cannot get the New Protection, I prefer the old Protection. I am not only a New Protectionist, but an. old Protectionist. This country can produce nine-tenths of what we require; it is a young country with immense possibilities, its whole destiny before it; and if any one who claims to be a true Australian takes up any other attitude than that I have indicated, . I am unable to follow him. The difficulty has been to follow some honorable members opposite who have spoken on this question. Without any desire to utter, a personal word, I must say that the Leader of the Country party (Dr. Earle Page), in the whole course of his speech, conveyed to me the impression that he was speaking with a desire to give effect to what he believed to be the majority opinion of his own party, and that that opinion was one with which he is not whole-heartedly in agreement. Several times in the course of his remarks he declaredthat this country must be a self-contained one, and must build up its own industries; and yet, as I say, his speech in other parts seemed designed to meet the wishes of the majority of his colleagues, whose ideas, if carried into effect, would make such a result impossible.
– Why ?
– If effect were given to the policy enunciated by the members of the Country party it would be impossible to make this country selfcontained. The country can be made self-contained only by building up our industries, and the only means of doing that is a policy which will truly protect the manufacturing and producing interests.
– Build up some industries at the expense of others.
-I speak of allour industries. It is time that somebody refuted the libel placed on the great majority of men upon the land whose opinions honorable members in the corner claim to voice when they say that this country should adopt what amounts to a Free Trade policy.
– We say no such thing. Why not speak the truth ?
– I am placing my interpretation upon the speeches delivered by honorable members in the corner, and I shall quote them in support of that interpretation,. The crux of the argument used by the honorable member for Wimmera (Mr. Stewart) was this -
Tools of trade for primary production should be purchased in the markets of the world free of duty . It is not right to compel the primary producers to pay Protectionist prices for their tools of trade and to sell their commodities at Free Trade prices.
The only construction that can be placed on that statement is that if the duties are removed from agricultural implements and other commodities we shall get a cheaper commodity. In fact, that is the consensus of opinion amongst members of the Corner party. I emphatically deny that contention. It is disproved by the whole of our statistics and the fiscal history of the Commonwealth.
– Is that why you are continually increasing the duties?
– I listenedto the speech delivered by the honorable member for Dampier (Mr. Gregory) and I would not have thought such an utterance possible in this second year after the war. I was depressed by the speech, but so sure was the honorable member that he was right that he even went so far as to threaten honorable members who disagreed from him bysaying that he would make known throughout the constituencies how they Voted on the Tariff.
– Oh, no!
-I hope the honorable member has since realized that he would be doing something which would endanger only himself. I know that a speech such as he made would not bo acceptable to my constituency, and I represent a country seat. The honorable member for Wimmera (Mr. Stewart) and the honorable member for Swan (Mr. Prowse) contended that if the duty were taken off agricultural implements the farmer would get a cheaper article. I shall quote pricelists to prove that the honorable member is entirely wrong ‘. I do not wish to misrepresent him, but I cannot help thinking that he was expressing the views which he thought would be favoured by the majority of the people in his electorate, because he said that ‘if he repre’sented a city constituency such, I presume, as. Melbourne Ports, he, too, would be all out for Protection. It is a sad state of affairs when honorable members regard a question of this kind from the point of view of their own constituents only.
– It is very human.
– It may be human, but the honorable member for Melbourne Ports is so staunch a Protectionist that if he were representing Wimmera he would still advocate Protection. I am a New Protectionist, but if I cannot get new Protection I shall take the old, in the hope that in the near future the party on this side of the House will be in office and convert the old Protection into the new. In the meantime, if we cannot get all we want, let. us take as much as we can. If the late war has. taught one lesson more emphatically than another, it is that we should embark on a policy that will make this country self contained, so that we may not be again left in the predicament in which we were during the five years of conflict. That lesson should have been taken to heart by even the rankest Free Trader in the country. No honorable member would be consciously opposed to the interests of his country, but I desire to point out to those honorable members who have advocated the lowering of our Tariff wall that their policy would lead us into certain disaster if wc were again in the circumstances which prevailed during the troublous years of war. One of the most pleasing features of this debate is the number of converts to the policy of Protection.
– There will be some deathbed repentances.
– One” cannot contemplate without amusement, the -fact of the Acting Prime Minister (Sir Joseph Cook), who was a pronounced believer in the Cobdenistic doctrines, which happily are now being deserted by the big majority of the people, being to-day an advocate of Protection. Yet, it is only what is. to be expected after our war experiences. For that reason- the attitude of the honorable member for Dampier (Mr. Gregory^, who does not seem to have moved with the times, is all the more deplorable. Whilst I contemplate with amusement .the change of front* by the Acting Prime. Minister and others I welcome it. So far from holding them up to ridicule, I congratulate them on having seen the light. It is gratifying indeed, to find, both inside and outside Parliament,’ that a number of the erstwhile believers in the superstition of Free Trade are now wholehearted Protectionists. I believe that the influence which, above all others, caused them to change their views was the experience we gained during the war, which taught the utter fallacy of not seeking to make ourselves a self-contained community. Personally, I have never held any other view, notwithstanding that I have never represented any but a country constituency. When I represented the electorate of Indi, now represented by a member of the Country party, I won the seat because my opponent had “ gone cold “ on the accepted fiscal policy of this country, and the present member for that electorate can find only very cold comfort from the attitude of the party with which he is associated. However, that is his concern and not mine. So far, the debate has been of a very “general character, and very few items, except agricultural implements, have been singled out for detailed discussion. For that reason I shall speak principally of those articles this afternoon. Certain members of the Country party concentrated their attention upon agricultural implements, and their sole argument was that the lowering of duties would make the articles cheaper to the user, whilst an increase in duty would make them dearer. I propose to show that that contention is quite erroneous. I refuse to. concede the claim of honorable members in the corner that they are voicing the views of the people living in the country.
– It is good for the honorable member that he is not representing a “Victorian country constituency. ‘ If he were, he would have difficulty in justifying his statements.
– I did represent a Victorian country constituency without changing my fiscal views.
– But the honorable member changed his constituency.
– The fiscal question had no bearing upon my loss of the seat. The issue was then an entirely different question, as is wellknown. When I won the constituency Protection was one of the strongest planks in my platform-, but the honorable member indicates- by his interjections that if he were representing a country constituency in some other State he would alter his views; But, knowing the views of many of the men on the land, I feel it incumbent on me to disprove the. contention of those who, posing as the spokesmen of the coun’try people, say that they stand for Free Trade. That is an exploded notion. The honorable member for Swan (Mr. Prowse) has told us that a binder which was quoted at £80 last year was quoted at £120 this year, and he said that the effect of the proposed Tariff had therefore been to increase the price by £40. That statement was absolutely misleading, as a reference to the printed price-lists of the importing company will show. According to its pricelists’ for September, 1920, this machine was quoted for delivery after- 1st January, 1921, at £125, but an Australian firm is now making a similar machine for £95, and the February quotation of the imported machine was £101, a reduction of £24, which was brought about by the competition of the Australian article. I challenge contradiction- in respect of these figures-, because I have made myself thoroughly conversant with, the facts, and know them to be correct. The- cost of the locally-made machine is therefore £6 less than that of the imported machine, thus, enabling the primary producer to save £30 on “the price charged for this machine before it was manufactured locally.
-That ] is absolutely correct.
– I am glad to have the corroboration of the honorable member, who . represents an important farming community. Some members think that if they repeat their statements often enough those statements, however fallacious, become true. I, as a Protectionist, could never agree with the honorable member for Swan, who is a’ Free Trader, on many things; but. neither of us can get away from the facts. When he and others who hold similar fiscal views declare that the imposition of a duty on agricultural implements, or on anything else, increases the price, they are making a statement which is not correct. It is in the interests of the primary producers that I advocate Protection, because I know that the- effect ‘is to decrease prices by the competition thus created. A Protective Tariff builds up our own industries, and frees us from the exploitation of foreign manufacturers’ combines.
– If a duty of 45 per cent, decreases prices to a certain extent, why not impose a duty of 90 per cent., and make prices still lower ?
– I would impose on articles that we .can produce locally, not revenue duties, but duties that, would effectively protect the Australian workmen engaged in their manufacture,, their employers, and the consumers and users of them.
– The honorable member would prohibit importation?
– No. But you cannot call, a Tariff Protective unless it really protects. The weight of evidence proves that Protection is in the best interests of the primary as well as of the secondary producer. The statement that Protection will crush the primary producers is a very old one. I am not sure whether the Minister went back to the 1906 figures to show that the Tariff of that year brought about the reduction of prices.
– I do not think so.
– Then I shall do so. In 1905, the price of the 5-feet harvester was £81. In 1906-7, the year in which a duty was put on, it was reduced to £76, arid next year to £70.
– Such a machine is out of date now, except for very small men.
– That may be so, but it does not. affect my argument. I am showing that the .imposition of a duty did not increase the price of the machine, but, on- the contrary, lowered it materially. Then grain drills cost £87 l”0s. in 1906-7 and. £78 in the following year.” Similar reductions were made after the passing of the 1906 Tariff in the prices of diamond harrows, disc ploughs, and chaffcutters. Let me now compare the prices of agricultural implements in a Free. Trade country with their prices in a protective country. If there were anything in the contention of the Free Traders, prices should be lower in the Free Trade country than in the protectedcountry. Now the headerthresher is sold in the Argentine, which is a Free Trade country, and in Australia, where there is a duty, by two American companies. I think this matter was referred to by the Minister when introducing the Tariff. He pointed out that these machines were dearer in the Argentine than in Australia. . Since then some writers in the press have declared him to be wrong. “ Fact, not Fiction “
Was the signature of one of these writers ; but the Minister’s reply must have convinced that person that there was more fiction than fact in what he wrote. At any rate, we heard very little from him afterwards. A cablegram was sent to the Argentine by the Minister, and the reply showed that for the header reaper or header thresher, without the engine, the retail price in that country was 1,900 gold dollars, equivalent to£380, and for either machine with an engine the price was 2,650 dollars, equal to £530. Thesame machines were being sold without engines in Australia at the same time for £250. If, as our friends in the corner claim, the admission of these implements into a country free of duty has the effect of reducing their price, the primary producers of the Argentine ought to be living in a paradise as compared with the farmers of Australia; but the facts are all the other way. At any rate, in respect to agricultural implements the primary producers of Australia derive a considerable advantage by a margin of protection. I respect the opinions of my friends who sit in the corner, but I am unable to follow the devious methods they employ for the purpose of convincing others that the adoption of a Free Trade policy would be in the best interests of the Australian farmers.
– Where were those reapers and threshers manufactured ?
-In America. One would think, to hear some honorable members talk, that the people in country districts were interested in nothing else but the duty on agricultural implements, whereas, as a matter of fact, they are interested in fully 70 per cent. of the items in this Tariff. For instance, they are interested in the very first item, the duty on ales and spirits. We must have barley for malting purposes. Would not the position of the manon the land with barley to sell be affected if we wiped out the duty on ales and spirits ? Some people talk about the duty on boots and shoes as if it were an item affecting only the. workers in factories ; but is not every man on the land interested in havinga substantial protection on boots and shoes? It affects the skins and hides he sells. The man on the land is not only interested in agricultural implements. He benefits, also, by the protection afforded to the industries engaged in the manufacture of nearly three-fourths of the commodities covered by the Tariff. There is ahoary-headed statement, well worth repeating, that the interests of the primary producers are more highly conserved by a local market than by leaving them entirely dependent on foreign buyers; but if we allow our secondary industries to be crushed by exposure to the competition of cheap, foreign labour, we cannot have a good home market for our farmers.
The honorable member for Grampians (Mr. Jowett) is interested in the progress of knitting mills at Clunes, as I am in getting woollen mills at Albury, Wagga, and elsewhere. . But how can those mills prosper if he supports the policy of his friends in the corner? We cannot have woollen mills, knitting mills, and factories spread all over the country, and at the sametime pursue a policy which makes Australia the dumping ground for products of other countries.
Mr.Jowett. - Does any one saythat we can do so?
– The speeches made by honorable members in the corner have indicated that they are prepared to adopt a policy of admitting almost free of duty the products ofother countries.
– I do not think they have indicated that.
– I would like to know where the honorable member stands. He has changed his ground somewhat in regard to the fiscal policy of this country.
– Most sensible men have done so.
– I would like to know where the honorable member stands to-day.
– I am strongly in favour of many of the duties in the schedule.
Mr.- PARKER MOLONEY.- I would like, to know how the honorable gentlemanwill vote in regard to the duty on agricultural implements.
– You will know in good time.
– This is what the honorable member for Grampians said when he was a candidate for the Maribyrnong seat -
Any country that hoped to maintain itself against enemies must/ not’ allow any important articles, which it was capable of manufacturing itself, to be brought in from abroad, but must establish within its own borders, on as large a scale as possible, every industry required for carrying on war and the ordinary avocations of life. Where would Australia have been, for instance, had she been dependent during the war on the importation of all the machinery necessary for harvesting our wheat crop ?
I interpret the honorable member’s speech to mean, that his vote in regard to the duty on agricultural’ implements will be consistent with his remarks on that occasion. The honorable member for Echuca (Mr. Hill) does not seem to agree with the statement which I have just read. Apparently we cannot expect very much cohesion , in the corner when the division is taken. However, I thoroughly indorse the words of the honorable member for Grampians: Where would Australia have been during the five years of war if she had been dependent on the importation of the machinery necessary for harvesting our wheat crops?
– Unquestionably we would have been short of many of the agricultural implements we require.
– Since making that speech in Maribyrnong the honorable member has become a representative of a Victorian country constituency, and the speech he has made upon this Tariff is not upon the lines of the speech he made when he was’ a candidate for a city constituency. I hope he has not adopted the attitude of the honorable member for Wimmera (Mr. Stewart), who says, in effect, that because he is the representative of the Wimmera, district, he is- a Free Trader, but he would be all out as a Protectionist if he were a representative of a city seat.
– The honorable member is unfair. The honorable member for Wimmera did not say that he was a Free Trader.
– I ‘ have only quoted Hansard in regard to certain articles, and I ‘only mention the honorable member for Wimmera because he is one of the few members of the Corner who have had the courage to let the House know just where they stand. If the honorable member for Grampians is to vote consistently with the speech I have quoted, he will vote tq give a full measure of protection to the agricultural implementmakers of the Commonwealth, but the speech of the honorable member for Wimmera indicates that on that particular item of the Tariff he will be found voting against the honorable member for Grampians.
I said a moment ‘ ago that the best market for the producers of this country is the local market. What the local market means to them is shown by the following figures relating to the local production and consumption for the years from 1914 to 1919 :-
Of wheat we consume nearly 40 per cent, locally, of butter over 73 per cent., of cheese over 80 per/ cent., of mutton and lamb over 90 per cent., and of beef 75 per cent. of our production. These figures go to show the importance of the local market to our primary producers. During the period to whichI have referred, we produced 55,000,000 bushels of cats, and actually consumed 58,000,000 bushels, so that we had to import to make good the shortage. We produced nearly 18,000,000 bushels of barley, and consumed 17,500,000 bushels. The percentage in respectof the production and local consumption of maize, hay, and potatoes is largely the same. I have taken these figures from the official statistics, and they go to show what the local market means to our primary producers. They go to show also what the local market maybemade to mean to them by a system which leads to the buildingup of our industries.
I have shown precisely where I stand in regard to the Tariff. . I am prepared to give a genuine measure of Protection to anything we can produce in this country, but anything that we cannot produce should be obtainable by us in the free markets of the world.
– The honorable member means that anything that we cannot produce here ata profit should be allowed to come in free.
-We can produce here eight out of every ten commodities that we consume or use.
-We can produce almost anything, but there are some things that we cannot produce profitably.
– I am not going to pass a vote of want of confidence in my fellow producers. The people of Australia are as capable as are those of any other country.
– But the honorable member will admit that there are certain tilings which it is not economically profitable to manufacture here at thepresent time.
-I admit that.
– And the honorable member holds that those things which can be economically manufactured here should be protected.
– It is our policy to protect anything that can be produced economically and on sound lines in Australia I am prepared to give to such lines a substantial measure of Protection against foreign importations. As to anything which cannot be produced here in a way that is in the best interests of the people, I think we should allow it to be obtained in the markets of the world to the best advantage.
– We have to go step by step. We cannot realize everything at once.
– I recognise that; but our objective should be to give every measure of Protection possible to the building up of industries in this country.
– Would the honorable member compel the manufacturer in a protected industry to disclose his profits - to open his books to the inspection of the proper authorities once every twelve months ?
-Yes.I have already indicated that the policy for which the Labour party stands is that of New Protection. That would enable us to do what the honorable member suggests. I would go even further, and exhaust every means of getting at the cost of production abroad, and finding out exactly whether or not the prices charged for imported goods were exorbitant. Under the policy of New Protection, it would be impossible for a local manufacturer to exploit the people of this or any other country. That is the policy for which I stand.
I was pleased to hear the Minister say that he proposed to appoint an Advisory Board to enable him to go into the manufacturing costs of various commodities, and thus to make it possible for him to protest the consumers. I am not alawyer, but I offer the opinion for what it is worth - that this Parliament has at the present time considerable power to give effect to our New Protection proposals. I do not stand for the policy of protecting only one section of the community: I accept such a policy only because nothing more is offered to me by the Government.
-The honorable member must agree with me that there are certain things which, from the point of view of national safety, we must have made in Australia, whether we like it or not.
– There are; but no matter how necessary they may be, we should see that the manufacturers of them do not exploit the people.
– That is so.
– That is exactly where I stand. in connexion with this matter. We have only a certain measure of Protection given to us by the Government’. As a believer in New Protection I have to ‘Choose -between the measure of Protection offered us and the policy of Free Trade. If I cannot get all I want, . I am going to take as much as is offered to me in the hope that the party in this House which stands for New Protection will be able to mould the Tariff into an effective instrument for the protection of producers and consumers alik«. Some of my honorable friends of the Country party have raised the objection . that by granting a higher measure of Protection we shall build up here combines that will be able to exploit the people. If I am to choose between two sets of combines - an importers’ combine and a combine which is built ,up under a system of Protection such as the Government is offering us, then I prefer the local combine, although both are highly objectionable to me. We have a chance of dealing with combines in our own country, whereas we cannot hope to control those operating overseas. The fallacious argument has been advanced by some honorable members of the Country party that Free Trade does not expose a people to the vicious principles of a combine. The very worst form of trade combinations with which any country could be afflicted is that- of combines overseas.
– And the, people represented by the Country party have paid more toll to the overseas- combines than have any other section of the community.
– That is because we have no chance .of dealing withsuch combines.- Under this half measure of Protection, which protects only the manufacturer, and not the; consumer, .we may have -combines, but we can deal with them . in many ways. Apart from the Advisory Board which the Minister proposes to, -create, we have ample power under section .51 of. the Constitution, dealing with imports .and exports, to ascertain the cost, of production. If the Government say that they are not going to do that, then that is their concern. . We are not in power,: and to that extent we disown this Tariff. It is not such a Tariff as we would have.
– It i6 a little better than the Tariff which the Labour party brought in.
– The honorable member will admit that circumstances have entirely changed since then, and that a Tariff which might have been entirely effective in 1906 would not be effective to-day. To vote against the.measure of Protection that is offered us at the present time by the -Government would be. to leave Australia at the mercy of foreign combines. We could not be exposed to a worse form of combination. I cannot conceive of the people adopting any policy save that which will make us selfcontained - a policy which will build up our industries. and by doing so will not only benefit our working men and the secondary producers of Australia, but provide the best form of market .we could have, a substantial home market, for our primary producers. ‘Such a policy is in the interests of not only the secondary, but also the primary, industries of the country.
.- The remarks made by me on a previous occasion in regard to the ‘ price charged for binders have been misunderstood. In September last while I was in Western Australia, a representative of those who sell binders told me. that he had sold a binder that week to a brother of mine for £-78 cash.- I said, “ That is remarkable. We used to get binders for £40 and £45 each for some years before the war.” “ That is nothing,” said the man, “ I have’ instructions from my principals ‘that, on and after 1st January, 1921, this machine’ is to-be sold at £120.” That was the precise statement made to> me by an agent who had his printed instructions at the back of bis note-took. Several honorable members have tried ‘ to show that because Mr. Hugh V. McKay started to make this machine at £i00-r-others say £05 - the price of imported machines was reduced, and we (thus saved because pf the Tariff. But does that give the farmer much consolation, since before there was a Tariff, and no local competition, the price was .£7 ? The tendency ought to be for prices .to fall, because it was due to lie war that it rose to .£78. Now we are told that because of the Tariff the price of this machine is to be £120. Competition may bring it- back to £100, but there will still be a difference of £22. When a man has to pay for these articles with his own money, it takes something more than the mere book information of the honorable member for Hume (Mr. Parker Moloney) to impress him.
– You cannot get away from the price-lists.
– I can assure the honorable member for Swan (Mr. Prowse) that subsequently to the period of which he speaks, and before the end of the year, :and before the Tariff, the same company raised their price to £98, at which they are selling in New Zealand now.
– The agent of whom I spoke was quoting the September schedule’,- which was dated forward. The details were similar, I suppose, to those in the schedule in the possession of the Minister. But that means nothing except that the Tariff has incited the, firm to raise the price.
I may say that I am not an absolute Free Trader. I am a Protectionist of the type of Mr. David Syme, the former proprietor and editor of the Age, in his earlier days, when he preached the doctrine that Protection should be given to industries during their infancy. Things have developed very much since ‘ those days, and Protection is now given to industries which, with advantage to the people, could be carried on in reasonable competition with other parts of the world, particularly industries which are naturally secondary to this country. The main point is- what protection is to be afforded to the primary producer in a White Australia, if the secondary industries are to be protected?
– I rise to a point of order. The honorable member for Swan has already spoken in the general debate on this first item. Is it your ruling, Mr. Charlton, that he may speak twice on the first item?
– The honorable member for Swan is perfectly in order. On the Tariff he may speak as often as he likes, and as long as he likes.
– I desire to make some reference to the remarks of the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Makin), who took considerable pains to point out the small pay and long hours for labour in Japan, and how difficult it was for a manufacturer in Australia, under the con- *ditions of this country, to compete. I thoroughly agree with the honorable member; but I wish him to take a broader vision than is implied in the view that that argument applies only to secondary industries. The argument applies to primary industries just as much as it does to secondary industries. Japan grows one-third as much wheat as does Australia. While Australia’s average per acre is 9.47 bushels, Japan’s average is 18.27, with cheap labour. I am in competition with that country and other parts of the world.
– Tell me how much wheat Japan exports.
– That is immaterial; Japan is a competitor in the world’s supply of wheat, even if she supplies only herself - her own supply is part of the world’s supply. In the United States of America the average yield, per acre is 15 bushels, with an average freight of Hid. per bushel, while the freightage on Australian wheat is 4s. These figures are supplied by Mr. Knibbs himself, and they show a tremendous handicap on the Australian growers. Russia has an average yield of 12 bushels per acre, with a freightage of only about one-third that of ours. France has an average yield of 21 bushels, with scarcely any freightage at. all to the world’s markets; and Germany has an average yield of 25 bushels, right in the centre of the world’s markets, with cheaper labour than in the Argentine and elsewhere. How can primary producers be expected to face the world’s competition in a Free Trade market, and buy their requirements in a Protectionist market? This business requires levelling up. The honorable member for Hindmarsh -made a reasonable statement when he said that he was against high duties on some items which would prove injurious to more important items and interests, but otherwise he was prepared to swallow the Tariff “holus bolus.” I agree with him in the contention that if a high duty on certain items will prejudice the production of more important items, the wise policy is to drop the burden on the smaller items. Now I ask honorable members whether wheat, in Australia, is a small or a large item? Are we not in competition with other parts of the world? Do not low wages elsewhere have as much to do with primary producers as with the secondary producers here in Australia? The argument applies all round, and some means should be devised to place the producers of Australia on a fair line of competition with other countries.
Then, again, there is the item of motors. What we need in this country are- railways, good roads and traction generally; but we are faced with duties on chassis so heavy as to make it almost impossible for us to secure cheap traction.
– We are making great progress all the samel
– The fact remains, and it can be shown in a hundred and one ways, that the primary producers, are ‘desperately handicapped. America is beginning to appreciate the fact that, with higher wages and shorter hours in the large cities, people are leaving the country districts. I emphasize that fact, because a precisely similar condition of affairs prevails in Australia, and has been observed for the last twenty years. Something is wrong- when this drift takes place to such a marked extent.
– I wish to call the honorable member’s attention to the fact that, while the Standing Orders impose no limitation of time, or as to the number of speeches an honorable member may make on a general Tariff discussion, we follow the usages of Parliament, and allow a member to speak only once in the general debate on the first item. If an honorable member speaks a second time he must confine himself strictly to that item. I am sorry that, in my temporary absence, that fact escaped the honorable member for Hunter (Mr. Charlton), who was acting as my deputy.
– -Permit me to say that in your absence, the honorable member for South Sydney (Mr. Riley), raised a point pf order, and I ruled that, seeing that the Standing Orders do not govern Tariff discussions, an honorable member is entitled to speak as often as he likes on the Tariff. I was not aware that there was an understanding or that it was the usage to speak only once.
– The honorable member is quite right as regards the Standing Orders; but outside those the practice has grown up, by general agreement, to give a facility which the Standing Orders do not provide. It is a matter of convenience, and the same course has been followed during the whole life of this Parliament.
– Does that mean that I have no right of reply on the general debate.
– There is no restriction on the Minister.
– You have asked me to conform to the rules, and my reply is that I never wish to do otherwise. I was speaking on a ruling, given- by your deputy; and now that ruling is disagreed with. I have no intention at the present moment to speak on the first item exclusively, and therefore will satisfy myself with the remarks I have already made. I may say that my desire was rather to make those remarks by way of explanation.
– I move -
That progress be reported.
If I say a few word’s now, will that close the debate?
– It will not close the debate.
– If I simply start to speak now, will the debate be closed, or will any other honorable member, who has not already spoken, be at liberty to rise and speak to the whole question ?
– Yes; any honorable member who has not already spoken on the general question can speak.
Motion agreed to; progress reported.
Message received from the Senate, that it had concurred in the resolution of the House of Representatives in regard to the temporary prohibition of the exportation of wool, except upon certain conditions.
The following papers were presented -
Arbitration (Public Service) Act; - RegulationsStatutory. Rules 1921, No. 71.
Quarantine Act - Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1921, Nos. 48, 76.
War Service Homes Act - Land acquired under, in New South Wales, at - Balgownie, Balmain, Glen Innes, Mayfield, Parramatta, Tempe, and Teralba.
House adjourned at 3.47 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 6 May 1921, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1921/19210506_reps_8_95/>.