House of Representatives
2 September 1942

16th Parliament · 1st Session

Mr. Speaker (Hon. W. M. Nairn) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.

page 15



Mr.CURTIN (Fremantle - Prime Minister). - I move -

That the following resolution be transmitted through His Excellency the Governor-General to His Majesty the King: - “We, the members of the House of Representatives in the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, record our sorrow at the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, and express our profound sympathy in the great loss which

Your Majesty, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent and her children, Her Majesty Queen. Mary, the other members of the Royal Family, and the people »f the United Kingdom have sustained.”

I submit this resolution with feelings of deep regret.

Honorable members will know that His Royal Highness was killed in an air accident in the north of Scotland on the 25th August, 1942, while on his way to Iceland on active service duty as Air Commodore attached to the staff of the Inspector-General of the Royal Air Force.

Australians, in common with the other peoples of the British Commonwealth of Nations, have followed the career of the Duke of Kent with marked interest; particularly has this been so since His Majesty’s choice of the Duke as GovernorGeneral designate of this country. We feel very deeply for Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent and her children, who have sustained such a great personal loss - a loss which is shared by Their Majesties the King and Queen, Her Majesty Queen Mary, and the other members of the Royal Family.

In the countries of the British Commonwealth and in the countries of our allies, there will be widespread sympathy for the members of the British Royal Family, whose ready acceptance of all the risks attendant upon war conditions has given us such an inspiring example in our war tasks.

I know that the terms of the resolution express the feelings of every member of this House.

Darling DownsLeader of the Opposition

– I second the motion. I share with the right honorable the Prime Minister feelings of profound regret at the untimely death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent - death in such tragic circumstances, that it came as a severe shock to the peoples of all the democratic nations of the world. It has caused a feeling of deep sorrow in Australia because, but for the outbreak of war, the Duke of Kent would now have been in this country as Governor-General of the Commonwealth. Australians, who looked forward to welcoming His Royal Highness to this country with the coming of peace, now mourn his passing. They also pay homage to a distinguished member of the Royal Family who lost his life in theservice of the Empire. They will cherish the memory of one who, like so many of their own countrymen, and the bravo airmen of the allied nations, met his death while on a war mission to which he had been assigned.

Like the other members of the Royal Family, the Duke of Kent shared the dangers of war. He gave his life, as others have given their lives, in order that liberty and freedom may prevail.

The Opposition expresses its sympathy with their Majesties the King and Queen, the Duchess of Kent and her children, Her Majesty Queen Mary, and the other members of the Royal Family, in the great loss that they have suffered.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable members standing in their places.

page 16


Motion (by Mr. Curtin) agreed to -

That the House, at its rising, adjourn to 7.30 p.m. this day.

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Prime Minister · Fremantle · ALP

– As a mark of respect to the memory of the Duke of Kent, I move -

That the House do now adjourn.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 3.7 p.m.

Wednesday2, September 1942

Second Sitting

Mr. Speaker (Hon. W. M. Bairn) took the chair at 7.30 p.m.

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Prime Minister · Fremantle · ALP

– It is with deep regret that I inform honorable members of the death of the Honorable Richard Beaumont Orchard, C.B.E., a former member of the House of Representatives, and - a Minister of the Crown, who passed away at Sydney on the 24th July. 1942. This sad event has removed from his family, and from a large circle of friends, a man who had for many years been associated with the public affairs of this country.

Mr. Orchard was elected to the House of Representatives for Nepean, New South Wales, at the general election in 1913 and was re-elected in 1914 and 1917. He was a member of the Federal Parliamentary Recruiting Committee in 1917-18, and in his capacity of an Assistant Minister from March, 1918, ho was specially in charge of recruiting. He visited England at the invitation of the United Kingdom branch of the Empire Parliamentary Association in 1916. He resigned ministerial office on the 31st January, 1919, and retired on the expiration of the seventh Parliament in 1919.

Apart from his notable work in connexion with the campaign for recruits for the Australian Imperial Force during the last war, into which he threw all his enthusiasm and organizing ability, he will be principally remembered for his work as a member of the Australian Broadcasting Commission from the 26th May, 1932, until the 31st December, 1939. He was specially fitted for the duties associated with the functions of the Broadcasting Commission by virtue of his special interest in, and knowledge of, music and drama.

His widow and family will find consolation in the knowledge that he rendered fine service to his country, and earned the highest respect of his fellow men. I move -

That this House records its sincere regret at the death of the Honorable Richard Beaumont Orchard, C.B.E., a former member of the House of Representatives for the Division of Nepean and a Minister of the Crown, places on record its appreciation of his meritorious public Bervice, and tenders its deep sympathy to his widow and family in their bereavement.

North SydneyLeader of the United Australia party

– I second the motion, and desire to associate myself and my colleagues of the Opposition with the Prime Minister’s expression of regret at the death of the Honorable R. B. Orchard and of deep sympathy with his widow and family in their bereavement. I knew the late Mr. Orchard well, and I entertained for him high esteem and warm regard. We were fellow members in this Parliament, and colleagues in the Government during the war of 1914-18 and in the post-war years. He was a man of fine character, upright and honorable. He was an excellent organizer and administrator, and as Minister in Charge of Recruiting rendered valuable service to the Commonwealth during a period of intense strain. It may be truly said of him that he was a man who loved his fellow men, for he devoted his life to their service, and was ever active in all movements designed to improve the conditions and promote the welfare of his fellow citizens. He met life with a smile. He went about cheering people up with friendly speech, with music and song, and he gave generously to those in need. He was a lovable man and thousands of people whose necessities he relieved, whose downcast spirits he cheered, will deeply mourn his loss. I sincerely regret his death, and extend my heartfelt sympathy to his widow and family in their bereavement.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable members standing in their places.

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Prime Minister · Fremantle · ALP

– With deep regret I inform honorable members of the death of the Honorable James Newton Haxton Hume-Cook, a former member of the Mouse of Representatives and a Minister of the Crown, who passed away at Melbourne on the 7th August, 1942. The late honorable gentleman also had the distinction of being a member of the first Commonwealth Parliament; of those who shared that honour, very few remain. He served his parliamentary apprenticeship as a member of the Legislative Assembly in Victoria, to which he was elected in September, 1894, to represent East Bourke Boroughs, which seat he held until November, 1900, when he was defeated. At the general election in 1901, he was elected to the House of Representatives for Bourke, Victoria, and he was reelected in 1 903 and 1906. He became whip to the first Deakin Ministry, and served as a member of the Select Committee on Decimal Coinage in 1901. He was appointed an honorary Minister from the 28th January, 1903, to the 12th November, 1906. He was chairman of the Royal Commission on Postal Services 1908-10 - until December, 1908, when he resigned his seat on the commission. He was defeated at the general election in 1910.

The late honorable gentlemanwas born in New Zealand, and as ayouth migrated to Victoria. At an early age he took an active interest in local government matters, and after a period of service in the Victorian State legislature, transferred his activities to the Commonwealth sphere on the establishment of federation.

Although it is more than 30 years since Mr. Hume-Cook sat in this Parliament, his name has stood out prominently during the intervening period in connexion with many public movements. He was closely associated with the Australian Natives Association, and the Australian Industries Protection League, through both of which organizations he worked with enthusiasm and energy towards the advancement of Australia, and the prosperity of its people. These labours made a material contribution to the development of Australian industries. The deceased gentleman also took an active part in the administration of a number of societies established for the health and social welfare of the people. He gave unsparingly of his time and labour over a long period in the service of his country. I move - flint this House records its sincere regret at the death of the Honorable James Newton Haxton Hume-Cook, a former member of the House of Representatives for the Division of Bourke, a member of the First Commonwealth Parliament and a Minister of the Crown, places on record its appreciation ofhis meritorious public service, and tenders its deep sympathy to his widow and family in their bereavement.

North SydneyLeader of the United Australia party

– I second the motion, and desire to associate myself and my colleagues with the Prime Minister in expressing regret at the death of Mr. Hume-Cook, and nf deep sympathy with his widow and family in their bereavement. The late Mr. Hume-Cook was my friend - and our friendship, extending over 40 years and ripening as the years went by, remained unbroken to the end. He was, like myself, a member of the first Commonwealth Parliament, and remained a member until 1910. He had sat in the State Parliament of Victoria, where he had made for himself a reputation as a first-class debater, with a wide knowledge of public affairs. In the Commonwealth Parliament he proved that this reputation was well deserved.

He spoke well and clearly, developed his arguments logically, and pressed his pointshome. As an organizer and administrator he took high rank. A master of detail, he had a range of outlook that enabled him to deal with matters in their broadest aspects. He believed in Australia, and was never tired of chanting its praises and advancing its interests. He was a life member of the Australian Natives Association, and until hia death was one of the leaders of its governing council. He was a fearless champion of Australian industries. From his earliest years in public life he devoted himself to their development. For many years he was the secretary of the Australian Industries Protection League - an organization established to promote the interests of Australian secondary industries. He was a prolific writer on all subjects relating to. the expansion of Australian industries, and their present proud position is in no small degree due to his untiring labours. During his term of parliamentary life, I learned to know and to esteem him, and in later years, when our relations became still more intimate, to look upon him as a dear friend. The news of his death was to me a severe blow, and leaves me to mourn a man for whom I had conceived a sincere affection. To his wife and family I extend my deep sympathy.

Question resolved in the affirmative. honorable members standing in their places.

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Prime Minister · Fremantle · ALP

by leave - Honorable members will. I am sure wish me to welcome back to the Parliament the Eight Honorable the Attorney-General (Dr. Evatt), who undertook a mission, on behalf of the Government, of the utmost importance to lbc Commonwealth. Dr. Evatt proceeded to the United States of America, and to the United Kingdom, in both of which countries he most capably represented Australian opinion on the conduct of the war. and worked indefatigably for the solution of our problems, and the filling of our requirements. During his stayin the United Kingdom, the was the accredited representative of the CommonwealthGovernment at meetings of the War Cabinet and the Pacific War Council.

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Prime Minister · Fremantle · ALP

by leave - Honorable members will, I am sure join with me in expressing our pleasure in the safe return to Australia and to the Parliament of the right honorable member for Cowper (Sir Earle Page), and in his restoration to health. In order that his knowledge and experience gained as a special representative of the Commonwealth on the British War Cabinet and the Pacific War Council in London may be available in dealing with the conduct of the war, Sir Earle Page will act as a co-opted member of the Australian Advisory War Council, and will attend meetings of the War Cabinet when it is considered that his advice will be of value.

Minister for Aircraft Production · BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP

– Will the Prime Minister move that this statement be printed, as there are certain things 1 should like to say regarding it ?


– I shall answer the honorable member’s question to-morrow.


– Then I propose to move that the statement of the Prime Minister be printed, and to ask leave to continue my remarks later.


– I did not table any paper.

Mr SPEAKER (Hon W M Nairn:

-No paper has been tabled.


– This matter is of the utmost importance to the House, and no matter what the supporters of the Government may think about it, there are certain things which I want to say on the subject. In view of the extraordinary circumstances, I ask the Prime Minister to be good enough to move that the statement which he has just read regarding the right honorable member for Cowper (Sir Earle Page) be printed.


– I told the honorable member that I would answerhis question to-morrow.


– I accept that assurance for the time being.

page 20


Messages reported transmitting Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and Estimates of Expenditure for Additions, New Works, Buildings, &c, for the year ending the 30th June, 1943, and recommending appropriations accordingly.

Ordered to be printed, and referred to Committee of Supply forthwith.

page 20

BUDGET 1942-43

In Committee of Supply:

Treasurer · Macquarie · ALP

– To-day completes the third year of the most momentous war in all history. It is not merely a conflict between peoples; it is a clash between principles. We fight to assert, the democratic life of personal liberty against the living death of a -totalitarian system which enslaves the individual to party dictators. We fight to prevent the vast spiritual, social, political, economic and industrial progress achieved in past centuries from being thrown back into the chaos of a new kind of barbarism.

Our effort is rising to new heights and is becoming worthy of the great cause. This budget epitomizes that effort in facts and figures. These are eloquent. But behind them is something vastly more- eloquent, vastly more precious - the spiritual zeal of our people, the readiness to sacrifice money, good*, labour and even life itself, as needed and when needed, to uphold the faith that is in us.

The year just ended brought t.o us a new and nearer menace. We responded with a new and mightier effort - crystallized in the expansion of war expenditure from £170,000,000 in 1940-41 to almost double that amount last year. For the current year a further enormous increase is inevitable. Security reasons prevent me from giving in detail exactly what that means in the number of fighting men to be paid, equipped, fed and transported. But T can say that our fighting forces now exceed anything that we ever thought possible, and that our army of war workers behind those fighting men has risen to heights which seemed impossible. In our direct war effort we have more than three times n* much man-power as we had at any time in the last war. We are still expanding and this huge budget provides for payment of the financial price of that expansion.

Financial Year 1941-42

The major factor in the accounts ot last year was the great increase of war expenditure which reached the record total of £319,511,000. This was £98,001.000 more than the budget estimate, and £149,273,000 greater than the expenditure in 1940-41. The great increase over the budget estimate was due to the unprovoked attack by Japan, which threatened our very existence. A sum of £272,933,000 was expended in Australia and £46,573,000 overseas. Expenditure on munitions and supplies for other governments amounted to £43.309.000, of which £33,807,000 was recovered during the year, thus leaving £9,502,000 only as a charge on the budget.

As can be well understood, the financing of nearly £320,000,000 was not easy. During the year, additional taxation was brought down by the Government on no fewer than three occasions.

The new taxation imposed in connexion with the October Financial Statement was estimated t.o produce £27,000.000 in a full year, and £20,600,000 in 1941-42. In December, following the entry of. Japan into the war, supplementary taxation comprising war tax on individuals and increased company tax was imposed to produce £25.000.000 in a full year and £12,000,000 in 1941-42. In May a further increase was made in sales tax which was primarily intended to give additional revenue of £6.370,000 in 1942-43 but was also expected to realize £600.000 in 1941-42.

As a result of these taxation increases, the revenue budget provided £108,635,000 for war purposes, £126,852,000 came from public loans and war savings certificates. £5,596.000 was financed by the temporary use of treasury balances, and the balance of £78,428,000 was provided by means of treasury-bills discounted with the Commonwealth Bank.

The estimated revenue for 1941-42, including the taxation imposed after the budget, was £195,827,000. The actual revenue amounted to £210,041,000, or an increase of £14,214,000 above this estimate.

The chief items accounting for this increase were: customs and excise, £6,881,000; income tax, including wartime company tax, £2,414,000; and business undertakings, £1,456,000. The total receipts from taxation were £179,435,000, which compares with a prewar taxation of £74,000,000 in .1938-39.

Expenditure for purposes other than war was estimated at £103,455,000. The actual expenditure proved to be £101,406,000, or £2,049,000 less than the estimate.

Details of the actual revenue and expenditure compared with the Estimates will be found in Table 1.

Loan Transactions and Public Debt

Three war loans were raised in Australia during the year, the total amount subscribed being £119.873,000. In addition, a conversion operation was undertaken to deal with a 4 per cent, loan of £72,610,000, which matured on the 15th November, 1941. Conversions reached the very satisfactory figure of £66,300,000, representing 91 per cent, of the amount outstanding. Non-converters holding £6,310,000 were paid off from the National Debt Sinking Fund. The interest on all these new loans was 2J per cent, for short-term and 3^ per cent, for long-term maturities.

The large amount subscribed to war loans marks an appreciation by the public of the enormously increased needs of war finance, particularly since Japan came into the field. In the previous year approximately £64.000,000 was raised by public loans, and that, with the help of the trading banks, whilst in 1941-4I2 without such help just on £150,000,000 was raised in addition to the conversion of over £66,000,000.

Sales of war savings certificates during the year fell below the total of the previous year. Certificates taken up amounted to a face value of £13,194,000. ‘ bringing the total since the inception of the scheme to £35,706,000. Sales of war savings stamps amounted to an additional £121,000. Interest-free loans of £540,000 and gifts of £397,000 also were received, bringing the totals to the end of Tune from these two sources to £6,055,000 and £1,374,000, respectively.

National savings bonds bearing interest at 3 per cent, were placed on continuous sale in April, 1942. Proceeds at £659.000 were somewhat disappointing.

The operations of the National Debt Sinking Fund for redemption of Commonwealth and States’ debts continued on a satisfactory and increasing scale. During the year £14,647,000 wa3 provided, and in the current year it is expected that £16,S00,000 will he available for this purpose.

The aggregate debt of the Commonwealth and the States at the 30th June. 1942, reached £1,629,000,000, being £718,000,000 for the Commonwealth, and £911,000,000 for the States. The increase of £203,000,000 for the year is due to the war. The States’ debt decreased during the year, due to the operations of the sinking fund and the fact that no public loans were raised for the States in 1941-42. State loan expenditure for the year was partly financed from the cash balances held by the States.

Estimated Revenue .1942-43

Revenue for 194)2-43, with present rates of taxation, is estimated at £235,881,000, an increase of £25,840,000 over the collections of last year.

The changes bringing about thi3 net increase are practically confined to four sources of revenue. Income tax, including war-time company tax, is estimated at £106,326,000, an increase of £28,762,000. This increase is mostly accounted for by the higher level of incomes and by the increased rates imposed last December operating over a full year. The uniform tax scheme passed in June will also contribute to the increase. Sales tax, which last year returned £26,830,000, would normally be expected to show a large increase because of the higher rates imposed last May. The volume of sales will, however, be greatly reduced by rationing and the yield for this year iestimated at £30,000,000, an increase of only £3,170,000. On the other hand, customs and excise, because of import restrictions and shipping difficulties, is expected to return £6,780,000 less than last year. Gold tax is also expected to decline by £580,000 because of manpower restrictions.

Taxation from all sources is estimated at £205,192,000, compared with £179,435,000 last year. The remainder of our revenue, which comes from business undertakings and miscellaneous services, is estimated at £30,689,000, which is about the same as last year. Detailed comparisons will be found in Table No. 2.

In order not to obscure the comparison with last year I have deliberately omitted reference to a new item which will now appear in our accounts for the first time. I refer to that portion of income tax collections which will be received under the uniform tax plan and paid to the States as compensation. This will add £27,174,000 to income tax revenue, but there will be a corresponding addition to the payments side of the ledger. In addition, we shall collect this year on behalf of the States, £6,315,000 of arrears of State income taxes which with £27,174,000 mentioned above will make up the statutory payments.

Uniform Income Tax Plan

This brings me to an event of outstanding importance in the financial history of Australia - the uniform tax plan. Although the legislation giving effect to the plan was only recently passed by this Parliament I consider it appropriate that it should be mentioned in the budget speech.

The uniform tax plan will replace the former multiple taxing systems of the Commonwealth and the States, and will operate for the duration of the war and one year thereafter. It was implemented by four acts, viz., Income Tax (War-time Arrangements) Act 1942, States Grants (Reimbursement) Act 1942, Income Tax Assessment Act 1942, and the Income Tax Act 1942.

The plan involves the imposition by the Commonwealth of a tax upon income to replace those taxes previously imposed by -the Commonwealth and each of the States. The Commonwealth will be the sole income taxing authority and will now collect income tax revenue formerly collected by the States in addition to it-= own taxes.

In consideration of the States vacating the field, the Commonwealth will pay yearly to each State compensation equivalent to the average of that State’s collections from income tax for the financial years 1939-40 and 1940-41. The grants are as follows: -

In the Income Tax Assessment Act 1942, it was provided that the Commonwealth should have priority over the States in the collection of income tax during the period of operation of the plan. The income tax law was also altered to preserve to the general body of taxpayers substantially the same concessions as they previously enjoyed under the income tax laws of the Commonwealth and the States.

It is perhaps not inappropriate to record here the challenge made by four of the States to the validity of the legisla tion. The Full High Court of Australia in July upheld the validity of th<> legislation.

All the States have since intimated to the Commonwealth their willingness to vacate the income tax field during the period of the operation of the plan, and the Government is now proceeding as speedily as possible towards the completion of the requisite arrangements with the States to enable the plan to operate effectively during the present financial year.

The operation of the plan will greatly simplify the work of both the public and the Taxation Department, it will save man-power, and it will preserve to the Commonwealth for war purposes the increase in the taxable field which follows the expansion of war expenditure.

Estimated Expenditure (Other than War) 1942-43.

It is anticipated that total expenditure for purposes other than war will amount to £109,492,000, an increase of £8,0S6,000 over the actual expenditure last year; of this amount, £5,546,000 is on account of social services to which I shall refer briefly in a moment; and £1,027,000 represents that portion of Post Office works which last year was provided from loan, but which has now been included in the Revenue Estimates. The balance of £1,513,000 is the net result of variations on all other items, details of which will be found in Table No. 3.

Invalid and Old-age Pensions.

In my financial statement of last October I outlined the Government’s proposals relating to invalid and old-age pensions.

The proposal to increase the maximum rate to 23s. Od. a week became effective in December. Further legislation was passed in May embodying the remainder of the proposals and also increasing the maximum rate of pension to 25s. a week. This rate is subject to variation in accordance with movements of the retail prices index, but it cannot be reduced below 25s. without parliamentary approval. In accordance with the recent rise in retail prices the rate will be increased to 25s. 6d. a week on the 1st October next.

Other important concessions appro%-ed in May relate to the increase of permissible income for a blind person, pensioners in hospital, extension of pension benefits to aborigines, and the liberalization of the provisions regarding maintenance by relatives.

The total cost of the new benefits provided by the act as amended will be £925,000 this year.

Allowing for a normal increase of the number of pensioners and the cost of living increase from the 1st October, 1942, the total cost of pensions in 1942-43 is estimated at £22,400,000. Last year the actual cost was £19,257,000.

Widows’ Pensions

The Widows’ Pensions Act which became law in June marks another step towards the fulfilment of the Government’s plans for social security. The act provides for the payment, subject to a means test, of pensions and allowances to widows over 50 years of age, widows with dependent children, and, for a limited period, to widows under 50 yea.-s of age and without dependent children, who find themselves in necessitous circumstances upon the death of their husbands.

About 30,000 widows will receive help under the scheme, and the cost for this year is estimated at £1,630,000.

Child Endowment

Child endowment in its first year of operation cost £11,303,000. Now that it is fully established, the cost for a complete year is estimated at £12,060,000, or £757,000 above the actual cost of last year.

Maternity Allowance

The Maternity Allowance Act has also been amended in two directions. The provisions regarding assessment ot income have been liberalized by disregarding any earnings of the mother prior to her marriage. Benefits have also been extended to aboriginal native.? of Australia.

The estimated cost of maternity allowances for 1942-43 is £375,000. Last year the actual cost was £359,000.

Grants to Stales

Special grants to certain States will be made in accordance with the ninth report of the Commonwealth Grants Commission, which has been tabled for the information of honorable members.

The payments recommended compare with those for the previous year as follows : -

In the opinion of the commission, the grants calculated in the usual manner on the basis of past budgetary results for South Australia and Western Australia, which would normally have been recommended, are in excess of current requirements by reason of the improved revenue position in those States. There is inevitably a time lag between the year upon which the calculations are based, and the year for which the grants are recommended. The amounts recommended by the commission for those States have therefore been arrived at by deducting from the normal grant £670,000 in the case of South Australia, and £170,000 in the case of Western Australia. The commission recommends that payment of these amounts be deferred until next year. On the other hand, the amount of £S00.000 recommended for South Australia, include? the sum of £250,000, which was deferred for similar reasons last year. The Government will shortly introduce legislation ti give effect to the recommendations of the Grants Commission.

Wheat Industry

After reviewing plans which had been implemented for the stabilization of the wheat industry, the Government decided that the principle of control of acreage through the existing machinery should b’ maintained. However, it was considered that certain amendments should be introduced to apply to the 1942-43 wheat crop. The plan for the 1942-43 crop provides that the wheat-grower shall receive 4s. net a bushel, bagged basis. at sidings on wheat produced by him up to the first 3.000 bushels.

The return to the small wheat-farmer will be substantially increased as the basis of payment for the 1942-43 crop represents an increase of approximately ls. a bushel for wheat produced within the quota of 3,000 bushels.

Wheat produced by a grower above the 3,000-bnshel quota will be placed in the pool in the normal way and the grower will receive a just price on realization. However, as the marketing of this wheat may be delayed the Government intends to make an advance against it at the rate of 2s. a bushel net at growers’ sidings.

This plan for the forthcoming harvest is to be regarded as a war-time measure suitable to the war-time needs of the industry, just as the wool purchase scheme, and other marketing plans for other commodities, meet the war-time needs of the industries concerned.

About £27,500,000 will be required to meet the guaranteed price for quota wheat and the 2s. advance on the balance. Tt is anticipated that approximately £9,500.000 will he received from local ales, leaving a deficiency of about £18,000.000 until export sales are made. Unfortunately, the prospects of substantial export sales in the near future are not good, and the Government may have to face a substantial loss in connexion with the scheme.

Loan Council Programme

At the meeting of the Loan Council held on the 11th August a borrowing pro- gramme of £7,328,000 for State works was approved. This provides for a gross spending programme of £11,416,000, about two-thirds of which is directly or indirectly related to the war effort. The only amount included for the Commonwealth is £150,000 to be raised on behalf of the States for Farmers’ Debt Adjustment. Actual expenditure for all governments in 1941-42 was £15,524,000, including £1,200,000 by the Commonwealth on Post Office works.

In addition to the governmental programme, £1,524,750 was approved for local and semi-government bodies.

Estimated Wak Expenditure 1942-43

I now come to the key item - war expenditure. The estimate for 1942-43 is £440,000,000- £390,000,000 in Australia and £50,000,000 overseas. This is an increase of £120,000,000 over actual expenditure last year.

The estimate is based on the current level of expenditure, with provision for known commitments. And in spite of its size, I must warn honorable members that the experience of last year may be repeated, and the figure exceeded as a result of the dire necessities of the grim struggle that lies ahead.

For security reasons the usual detailed “ Estimates of Expenditure “ for Service Departments are not being given this year. The amounts for the Departments of Navy, Army, Air, Munitions, and Aircraft Production have been grouped and shown in one amount only, namely, £415,000,000. The usual details of other items, which aggregate £25,000,000, have been shown.

The estimate does not include war equipment, &c, which will be received from the United States of America on lend-lease terms. On the other hand it does include a very substantial sum for the provision of supplies, services, &c, to American forces in Australia. This is known as reciprocal aid. Negotiations have been proceeding between the United States of America and Australia to place the provision of lend-lease by the United States of America and reciprocal aid by Australia on a formal basis, and it is expected that an announcement will be made shortly.

Pay of Members of the Forces.

The Government is very conscious of the obligations of the country to members of the fighting forces. In October last, provision was made for increases of the pay of members and their dependants. The active pay of all members on special force rates of pay and of the Royal Australian Naval (Sea-going) Forces was then raised by ls. a day. The allowance for a wife was increased by 6d. a day and for a second child by 6d. a day. In March, deferred pay w,as granted to members of the Royal Australian Air Force and the Australian Military Forces serving in Australia after six months’ service.

After careful consideration the Government has decided to grant further increases in the basic rates of pay and allowances. The new scale provides for an increase of 6d. a day in the active pay of male members on special force or naval (sea-going) rates of pay and 4’d. a day in the active pay of members of the women’s auxiliary services. The allowance for a wife is raised by ls. a day and for the first child by 6d. a day. These increases came into effect last month.

A private soldier without dependants will now receive active pay of 45s. 6d. a week compared with 35s. in October, 1941, before the present Governm’ent came into office. A married private, after deduction of the compulsory allotment of 3s. 6d. a day, will receive 21s. a week, compared with 14s. in October, 1941. The weekly amounts received by the dependants of a private or noncommissioned officer who has made the standard allotment compare as follows: -

Thus the total military income of a family consisting of a private soldier with a wife and two children has increased from 84s. to 112s. since October, 1941.

In addition, 14s. a week deferred pay accrues after six months’ service, and in common with other members of the com munity each soldier’s family receives child endowment of 5s. a week for each child after the first. In comparing the income of the family of a member of the forces with that of a civilian one should remember that food, clothing, accommodation and medical attention in the case of a married civilian have to be met from his pay, whereas these items are naturally provided to the married member of the forces.

The latest increases will involve additional expenditure at the rate of £10,500,000 a year.

Overseas War Expenditure

Our capacity to finance our overseas war expenditure depends upon the level of our London funds. In 1941-42 we financed £47,000,000 of overseas war expenditure, mainly out of current international receipts, but we had to draw on accumulated reserves to some extent. The Government’s policy is to meet each year as much of our overseas obligations as the level of our international reserves permits. Under an arrangement made with the Chancellor of the Exchequer by my colleague, the Attorney-General, obligations which we cannot currently meet will be postponed for consideration after the war. It is impossible to forecast our trade balance with any certainty, but there is a fair prospect that we shall be able to finance out of current receipts about £50,000,000 of overseas war expenditure for 1942-43.

Taxation Proposals

Before dealing with new taxation proposals it is necessary to keep in mind that in the last financial year the Government imposed additional taxation on no less than three occasions, viz., October. December and May. Some of these taxes could only operate for a part of last year, and 1942-43 is the first year in which their full effect could be realized. The additional amount estimated to be collected last year was £33,200,000, but the estimated additional collections for a full year were much greater, viz., £58,520,000. Details are given in the following table which shows the yields for 1941-42, and for a full year as estimated at the time the proposals were brought down : -

It will be clear that a substantial part of the taxation actually passed by the Parliament last year should be regarded as new taxation for the special purpose of this year’s budget. This has naturally been taken into consideration by the Government in connexion with the further proposals now submitted.

Concessions to Members of the Forces.

As has been already announced the Government proposes to grant further taxation concessions to members of the forces. All members whose civil and military income is less than £250 a year are to be exempt from income tax. This means that members with an income in 1941-42 equal to or less than that of an army sergeant will be exempt from income tax in 1942-43. Incomes below that of an army commissioned officerwill receive some tax concession compared with the civilian, because of the necessity for graduating the tax in order to avoid anomalies. These concessions will cost £1,000,000 in 1942-43.

Income from Gold-mining.

In view of the difficult positionin which the gold-mining industry has been placed the Government has decided not to impose the uniform income tax on income from gold-mining. The existing gold tax based on production will be continued.

Entertainments Tax

The Government proposes to re-enter the entertainments tax field, which was one of the sources from which revenue was obtained during the 1914-18 war. After the last war ended the Commonwealth progressively relinquished this method of obtaining revenue, finally vacating the field in 1933 and leaving it wholly to the States to assist them in their recovery from the depression.

At the present time all ‘State governments, except Queensland, impose tax upon admissions to entertainments, but they have agreed to suspend their legislation in this respect for the duration of the war and one year after. The Commonwealth has agreed to compensate the States so doing upon the basis of the revenue formerly derived by them.

The Commonwealth expects to obtain in a full year from its levy a gross return of about £3,250,000, out of which compensation will be paid to the States amounting to about £750,000, leaving a net revenue to the Commonwealth of about £2,500,000.

For the current year the yield is expected to approximate £2,400,000 gross, and the compensation to be paid to the States, if the tax commences on the 1st October, 1942, will amount to £600,000, leaving a net revenue to the Commonwealth for the year of £1,800,000.

The rates proposed commence at 3d. on admission charges of1s. and increase by 2d. for every sixpence by which the admission charge exceeds1s. up to 5s. Above 5s. the increase is 3d. for every 6d. by which the admission charge exceeds 5s. There will be a reduced scale of rates, approximating 25 per cent. below the general rate, which will apply to entertainments such as theatres, concerts, ballets, vaudevilles, &c, where the actors or performers are present in person.

Customs and Excise

Certain increases of customs and excise are proposed. Details will be givento the committee at a later stage. Pro posals will yield an additional revenueof £12,000,000 in1942-43, and £14,200,000 in a full year.

Taxation Summarized

These new taxes will bring the total additional taxation imposed by this

Government to an annual value of approximately £75,000,000.

Taxation has been trebled since the last pre-war year. It has grown from £74,000,000 to £221,000,000. The growth year by year shows some interesting figures which I now give, distinguishing between direct and indirect taxation -

This striking change in the relative importance of direct and indirect taxation is undoubtedly an improvement in fiscal policy. Direct taxation is to be preferred to indirect taxation, because the burden falls directly on the taxpayer, and the repercussions on costs and prices are far less than in the case of indirect taxation.

Budget Summary 1942-43

I have now dealt with the anticipated expenditure for the current year and the taxation proposals of the Government. In order to present a clear picture of our financial problem, I now summarize the Estimates ofRevenue and Expenditure, taking into account the proposed taxation increases -


– At least £200,000,000. To show the comparison of normal transactions more clearly, I have omitted from both revenue and expenditure of 1942-43 an amount of £27,174,000 which is to be collected and paid to the States under the uniform tax plan and, together with an estimated £6,315,000 of outstanding States’ taxes to be collected, will bring the payments to the ‘States under that plan to the statutory figure of approximately £33,489,000.

Review and Outlook

Thus honorable members will see that, in spite of the large increases of taxation imposed since this Government came into office, revenue in the current financial year, while providing £140,000,000 towards war expenditure, falls far short of the £440,000,000 required. The problem then is to find ways and means of providing the balance of £300,000,000.

To appreciate the significance of this gigantic task we must examine the degree to which the Government has had to draw upon the nation’s resources of manpower, factory capacity and raw materials and the methods which have been adopted.

For the first two years of the war we were able to avoid entrenching on civilian consumption to any great degree. It took time to lay the foundations of our war machine, and we were able to draw on our stocks and unemployed resources. But in the third year of the war, with no reserves to draw upon, we added to the war effort as much as was accomplished in the two preceding years. To-day, something like half of our man-power is engaged in full-time war work, both direct and indirect.

Within the past twelve months hundreds of thousands of men and thousands of women have entered our fighting services. They must be provided with food, clothing, equipment and accommodation, almost the whole of which must be supplied from Australian resources. In addition, the American forces in Australia must be provided with many of these services.

All this has necessitated a great transformation in our economic system. The production and use of non-essential goods and services have been prohibited; rigid control of the use of iron, steel, cotton, chemicals, and many other basic materials has been imposed; even many essential goods and services have been severely restricted, and rationing has been extended. Here are some striking illustrations of what has happened: Twelve months ago 25 per cent, of our manpower was engaged in the war effort ; to-day 50 per cent, is so engaged. Since the Production Executive of Cabinet was established last December more than 300,000 men and more than 50,000 women have been added to war activities. Before the war there were 540,000 factory workers in Australia, most of whom were meeting our ordinary peace-time needs. To-day there are 700,000 factory workers, of whom only 200,000 are engaged in civil production. Most of our iron, steel and engineering workers, half of our textile and clothing workers, almost all our building tradesmen, a large part of our transport workers, and thousands of workers in other trades, are now devoting their energies to war work of one kind or another. Civilian building has been reduced from about £50,000,000 a year to about £5,000,000; within the last twelve months production of civilian clothing has been reduced by about £40,000,000. Liquor, tobacco, pleasure motoring, and travel and other services - all these have been cut.

That is a brief outline of the position in terms of man-power and materials. It is by no means the final development of the war effort, and we must devote still more men, still more factories, and still more materials to war purposes. This explains our increase of war expenditure by £120,000,000 to the huge total of £440,000,000 in the current year.

As we add more and more men and women to the large numbers engaged in war work, wo subtract them from thi already reduced numbers engaged in producing goods for civilian consumption. But if our financial and economic system is to be kept in balance we must transfer the spending of incomes from civil consumption to war expenditure in approximately the same proportion as we have transferred man-power from pursuits of peace to pursuits of war.

Owing to the great increase of employment and economic activity, incomes have expanded and spending power in the hands of the people is now at a rate greatly in excess of the flow of goods and services that the nation can spare for it? civil needs. The Government cannot allow this excess spending power to compete against the nation for the additional man-power and materials that are vital to our defence, or to bid up for the limited goods that are available for civil use, or to operate in “ black “ markets and so menace price stability. The Government is determined on this and will take such measures as may be necessary to impose its will.

But whatever direct controls are established for this purpose, the excess spending power must be transferred to the Government in order to pay the fighting forces and for the labour and materials used in producing munitions and war supplies. This is the financial price which must be paid. Whilst relying to a large degree on the voluntary efforts of the people, the Government is resolved that its payment shall not be evaded. Effort and sacrifice of comfort by the civil population is the least part of the price. Many of those in the forces, many of the nation’s sons, pay the supreme price of all. No financial price compares with that.

In the current year, taxation will provide £140,000,000 towards our war expenditure of £440,000,000, leaving a balance of £300,000,000 to be financed by loans. Taxation and loans are the means by which the excess spending power in the hands of the people is transferred to the nation to meet war expenditure. There are some people who think that the war should be financed entirely by central bank credit. The Government is convinced that in that way lies grave danger.

I have shown that we have already drawn on practically all our reserves of labour and equipment, and that the recent expansion of the war effort has been achieved by subtraction from peacetime production. I have made it clear that the further expansion of war activity means further reductions of the things that will remain for civil use. Expansion of bank credit, therefore, without a corresponding capacity to expand production, would increase purchasing power without increasing the supply of goods and services. Increasing the volume of money without increasing the supply of goods for civil consumption not only creates the danger of inflation, but also sets up serious competition bs tween demands for civil goods and demands for war requirements. Clearly, then, as further physical resources are provided by the nation for war, so must further financial resources be similarly provided from the savings of the people. This can be done only if every individual saves and contributes to the utmost of his capacity.

The amount of loans required this year is large, but its provision is not impossible. Last year we doubled the receipts from public loans, and got £120,000,000. If we double them again we shall get £240,000,000, which will take us a long way on our journey. It will leave £60,000,000 to be provided from savings bonds and savings certificates. This is about the British rate of contributions to small savings, and with our higher wages should be capable of accomplishment.

At the same time, the Government will of necessity have to continue to carry out unflinchingly its policy of prohibitions and restrictions on civil services. This will inevitably reduce the avenues for spending by each individual, and will make it easier for every body to contribute to the loans. It will mean a year of real austerity for all of us; the spending of every shilling must be watched, and avoided whenever possible. We must apply a very severe standard in judging what is necessary. The Government will, of course, indicate the directions in which savings should be made. That is the purpose of the Government’s austerity campaign, which will be launched to-morrow.

The Government realizes that it i? placing a great responsibility on each individual. It is convinced, however, that given the opportunity the Australian community can realistically appreciate the necessities of the present emergency and make whatever financial sacrifices are necessary to ensure that the vigour of our financial efforts will be just as great as that of our fighting efforts.

Other Financial Measures

It is appropriate here to mention some other items of the Government’s policy for the current year.

Mortgage Bank

The establishment of a mortgage bank has been approved by the Government, and a bill will be brought down at an early date. It is proposed that the operations of the mortgage bank shall be carried out by a new department of the Commonwealth Bank. The Government hopes that the mortgage bank will influence other lending institutions and mortgagees to reduce rates of interest on mortgages to primary producers.

Banking Policy

In my financial statement in October last, I outlined the Government’s policy for war-time control of banking. This policy has been embodied in National Security (War-time Banking Control) Regulations, which came into operation on the 26th November, 1941, and National .Security (Economic Organization) Regulations issued on the 19th February, 1942.

Under the November regulations, the business of banking may not be carried on in Australia without the authority of the Treasurer. Trading banks, in making advances, are required to comply with the policy laid down by the Commonwealth Bank. They may not subscribe to public loans or purchase securities without the concurrence of the Commonwealth Bank. To prevent the increased deposits coming to the banks as the result of war expenditure being used as a basis for further credit expansion, each trading bank is required to lodge with the Commonwealth Bank such part of its surplus investible funds a3 directed by the bank in accordance with a plan approved by the Treasurer. At the 30th June, 1942, the total amount held by all banks in war-time deposit accounts with the Commonwealth Bank was £37,000,000, and the rate paid on these balances to cover administration expenses was less than 1 per cent.

It has been a part of the Government’s policy to prevent the trading profits of the banks from exceeding their pre-war trading profits, and I may add that banking profits last year were about 3 per cent, on shareholders’ funds after paying taxation, as compared with the pre-war figure of approximately 4 per cent.

The February regulations gave to the Commonwealth Bank, subject to any direction of the Treasurer, the power to fix maximum rates of interest in respect of certain classes of loans and deposits.

On the 13th March, the Commonwealth Bank fixed maximum rates of interest on bank fixed deposits and overdrafts, savings bank deposits, and some other types of transactions. In general, the rates fixed provided reductions of existing rates. I may add that the Government has recently issued a regulation fixing, except with the approval of the Treasurer, a maximum rate of interest for renewal of first mortgages at 5per cent., or the pre-existing rate, whichever is the lower.

Price Control

During the year, the field ofprice control was considerably extended. The blanket declaration made on the 15th April, 1942, by the Minister for Trade and Customs, brought many more goods and services under official price control. By an order of the 16th April, the Prices Commissioner pegged profit margins at the actual money amount ruling on the 15th April. Altogether, since the outbreak of war 158 traders have been prosecuted on 256 charges. Special action has been taken to “declare” 41 traders and to reduce their prices in conformity with the principles of price control.

Considerable difficulty is being experienced in tracing the activities of persons engaged in “ black market “ operations. Moreover, in respect of offences against the Prices Regulations it has been found that in a large number of cases magistrates have imposed penalties which are quite inadequate to meet the gravity of the offence. The Government proposes, therefore, to bring down a bill aimed at the suppression of “black marketing” by the imposition ofthe most severe penalties. At the same time, provision will be made for the better enforcement of the Prices Control Regulations by the imposition of minimum penalties.

Post-war Reconstruction.

The Government has been giving close consideration to the vitally important matter of post-war reconstruction. For some time past, research work in this connexion has been undertaken by the Reconstruction Division of the Department of Labour and National Service. This preparatory work promises to be of considerable assistance in formulating plans to cover the verydifficult period of transition from war-time to peace-time conditions.

A committee of Ministers, consisting of the Treasurer, the Attorney-General, the Minister for Labour and National Service, and the Minister for Social Services, has recently given special consideration to the whole problem of postwar reconstruction. The Government has accepted the committee’s recommendation that it is necessary to invest the Commonwealth Parliament with legal powers sufficiently wide to save the nation from the chaos which is likely to result unless the Commonwealth Parliament is able to deal with post-war reconstruction on a national basis. In time of peace, the constitutional limitations on Commonwealth powers, together with the divergent views of six State Parliaments, arc a serious impediment to the nationwide planning and the national undertakings which must be an integral portion of theperiod of reconstruction. Much of the organization for war would not be possible under peace-time powers. Nevertheless, similar organization and undertakings will be necessary for the work of reconstruction.

Broadly, our post-war aim must be the physical development of our country, linked with expanded production and increased population. By these means, employment will be assured to our people and security to the children of Australia. Power to control prices and production is an essential adjunct to any progressive policy of physical development. Such control is possible to-day only because of war powers. Present powers will disappear with the war. They must be continued by constitutional alterations.

Further, we shall have to deal with such matters as the re-establishment of members of the fighting services in civil life, the transfer of munition workers from special war-time occupationsto other suitable avocations, the development of primary and secondary industries, the provision of maximum employment, the prevention of profiteering and the control of prices, the maintenance and improvement of the standards of living of those engaged in rural as well as in industrial occupations, the carrying out of national works, the problem of housing the people, the question of national insurance, national health, and broadly, the general problem of social and national security in the difficult post-war world. All these projects demand national organization in peace-time as effective and comprehensive as that required by the exigencies of war. lt follows that the Commonwealth Parliament must be armed with full powers to carry out this programme of reconstruction.

Our Allied leaders have laid down in the broadest terms the nature of the four freedoms for which the United Nations are striving - freedom of expression, religious freedom, freedom from fear, freedom from want. This Government intends that the objectives shall not be a mere placard but shall be carried into effect. It will, therefore, ask the people of Australia to arm the Commonwealth Parliament with full power to ensure that the four freedoms shall be enjoyed throughout the Commonwealth and its territories.

For all these great purposes a special constitutional amendment will be required, and the Government proposes to bring down a bill with that object in view.


We must resolutely face the fact that we are engaged in an “ all in “ struggle for our very existence. In that struggle physical resources will be the deciding factor. Those resources must come from the people. They must be used to the fullest capacity, and whatever sacrifice is necessary must be accepted. No legerdemain can produce the needs for war. Neither can they be obtained by easy financial expedients. The plain fact is that we are fighting with all our resources for the very right to commence afresh life as a nation.

As this fourth year of war opens we are faced with the sternest struggle that has ever confronted our people. Never before have we been threatened with invasion and forced to meet a direct frontal assault upon the coasts that ring our liberties. Never before have we had need to achieve so much so soon. Never before has the nation sent out, such an urgent call to its people.

No selfish thought of personal comfort should divert us from the grim task that lies ahead. By vigorous self-denial, everyone can play a useful part in winning the war. The Government calls upon all Australians for a maximum contribution.

I move -

That the first item in the Estimates under division 1 - The Senate - namely, “ Salaries and Allowances - £ 8,660 be agreed to.

Progress reported.

page 33


The following paper was presented : -

The Budget 1942-43. - Papers presented by the Honorable J. B.Chifley, M.P., for the information of honorable members on the occasion of the Budget of 1942-43.

Ordered to be printed.

page 34


Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 8); Excise Tariff Amendment (No. 7)

In Committee of Ways and Means:

Minister for Supply and Development · West Sydney · ALP

– I move - [Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 8).]

That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1939, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the fifth day of March, One thousand nine hundred and forty-two, be further amended as hereinafter set out, and that on and after the third day of September, One thousand nine hundred and forty-two, at nine o'clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected in pursuance of the Customs Tariff 1933-1939 as so amended. Impost Duties - *continued.* [Excise Tariff Amendment (No. 7).] That theSchedule to the Excise Tariff 1921-1939, as proposed to be amended by Excise Tariff Proposals, be farther amended as hereinafter set out, and that on and after the third day of September, One thousand nine hundred and forty-two, atnine o'clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, duties of Excise be collected in pursuance of the Excise Tariff 1921-1939 as so amended. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. That, where any goods specified in Item 1 hereinafter - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. were manufactured or produced in Australia before that date ; and 1. were, on that date, subject to the control of the Customs or to Excise supervision, or in the stock, custody or possession of, or belonged to, any brewer thereof, and duties of Excise were paid thereon before that date, additional duties of Excise be collected thereon equal to the amount (if any) by which the duties of Excise so paid are less than the duties of Excise which would be payable thereon if the duties of Excise had not been so paid. 1. That in this Resolution " Excise Tariff Proposals " mean the Excise Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates, namely : - 5th March, 1942 ; and 25th March, 1942. Excise Duties - *continued.* The tariff proposals that I have just introduced *set out* the individual increases in customs and excise duties, which the Treasurer in his budget speech has indicated should yield a total increase of revenue of £12,000,000 in the remaining ten months of the current financial year, or an increase of £14,200,000 in a full financial year based on estimates of revenue previously submitted to the Treasury. The Treasurer has also stated the need for additional revenue. The resolutions provide for the following increases of customs and excise duties : - >Ale, beer, Ac. -1s. 7d. per gallon. > >Spirituous liquors - 15s. 6d. per gallon. > >Tobacco, manufactured - 2s. 8d. per lb. > >Cigarettes - 8s. per lb. > >Cigars -11s. 4d. per lb. > >Playing cards - 8s. per dozen packs. > >Matches - 4s. per gross boxes of 60 matches. The increases of duties have been so calculated that the whole of the amount paid by the public in increased prices as a result of the additional duties will be returned to the Commonwealth Treasury. The customs duties have been increased only to preserve the existing margin between customs and excise duties, and have little revenue significance, as importation of the goods on which higher duties have been imposed is restricted under the Customs (Import Licensing) Regulations. The increased revenue yield is therefore expected almost solely from excise duties. The only other item affected by the resolutions is customs item 370, wherein provision has now been made for goods, the property of the Commonwealth, irrespective of the manner in which they are used, to be admitted free of duty, when, in the opinion of the Minister for Trade and Customs, on declaration by the Comptroller-General, it is in the national interest to do so. Progress reported. {: .page-start } page 40 {:#debate-11} ### CUSTOMS TARIFF (CANADIAN PREFERENCE) VALIDATION BILL 1942 Motion (by **Mr. Beasley)** - *by leave* - agreed to - >That leave be given to bring in a bill for an act to provide for the validation of collections of duties of customs under Customs Tariff (Canadian Preference) Proposals. Bill presented, and read a first time. {:#subdebate-11-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-11-0-s0 .speaker-JOM} ##### Mr BEASLEY:
Minis ter for Supply and Development · West Sydney · ALP *. -by leave* - I move - >That the bill be now read a second time. This bill provides for the validation of the collection of the protective duty imposed on lifting jacks of Canadian origin by Customs Tariff (Canadian Preference) Proposals o£ the 5th March, 1942. The period of validation is the same as for the other tariff proposals, that is, until the 5th March, 1943. {: .speaker-KNX} ##### Mr Harrison: -- The Opposition has no objection to this bill being passed immediately. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time, and reported from committee without amendment or debate; report adopted. Bill - *by leave* - read a third time. {: .page-start } page 41 {:#debate-12} ### CUSTOMS TARIFF VALIDATION BILL 1942 Motion (by **Mr. Beasley)** - *by* leave - agreed to - >That leave be given to bring in a bill for an act to provide foi the validation of collections of duties of customs under Customs Tariff Proposals. Bill presented, and read a first time. {:#subdebate-12-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-12-0-s0 .speaker-JOM} ##### Mr BEASLEY:
Minister for Supply and Development · West Sydney · ALP *. - by leave* - I move - >That the bill be now read a second time. The purpose of this bill is to validate up to and including the 5th March, 1943, the collection of duties under Customs Tariff Proposals No. 7 of the 5th March, 1942. As honorable members will realize, time has not permitted the debating of these proposals, and unless they be validated by the 5th September, 1942, the authority to collect duty thereunder will lapse, and the revenue will be seriously affected. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time, and reported from committee without amendment or debate; report adopted. Bill - *by leave* - read a third time. {: .page-start } page 41 {:#debate-13} ### CUSTOMS TARIFF (EXCHANGE ADJUSTMENT) VALIDATION BILL 1942 Motion (by **Mr. Beasley)** - *by leave* - agreed to - >That leave be given to bring in a bill for an act to provide for the validation of adjustments in duties of customs under Customs Tariff (Exchange Adjustment) Proposals. Bill presented, and read a first time. {:#subdebate-13-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-13-0-s0 .speaker-JOM} ##### Mr BEASLEY:
Minister for Supply and Development · "West Sydney · ALP *. leave* - I move - >That the bill be now read a second time. This bill, which is incidental to the Customs Tariff Validation Bill, proposes to validate until the 5th March, 19413, the exchange adjustment alterations made by Customs Tariff (Exchange Adjustment) Proposals of the 5th March, 1942. {: #subdebate-13-0-s1 .speaker-KNX} ##### Mr HARRISON:
Wentworth -- The Opposition is agreeing to these bills without demur in order to assist the Government expeditiously to validate the imposition of these customs duties, but the Minister should give to the House an assurance that honorable members will be provided with an opportunity, at an early date, to discuss these proposals. Otherwise, the industrial fabric of the country will inevitably suffer. {: #subdebate-13-0-s2 .speaker-JOM} ##### Mr BEASLEY:
Minister for Supply and Development · West Sydney · ALP *. - in reply* - The request which has been submitted by the honorable member for Wentworth **(Mr. Harrison)** is very reasonable. Honorable members will understand that the present international crisis renders it difficult for the Government to provide an opportunity for them to discuss the proposals. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- When the Minister was a private member during the life of this Parliament, he protested against the practice that he is now following. {: .speaker-JOM} ##### Mr BEASLEY: -- Although considerable difficulty is encountered in discussing tariff proposals in war-time, I recognize that honorable members should not be deprived of their privilege to debate such matters. I am confident that when they discuss them, their own good judgment will impose such restraints as international considerations make advisable. I give to the House an assurance that an opportunity will be provided for honorable members to discuss these matters. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time, and reported from committee without amendment or debate; report adopted. Bill - *by leave* - read a third time. {: .page-start } page 42 {:#debate-14} ### CUSTOMS TARIFF (SPECIAL WAR DUTY) VALIDATION BILL 1942 Motion (by **Mr. Beasley)** - *by leave* - agreed to - >That leave be given to bring in a bill for an act to provide for the validation of collections of customsunder Customs Tariff ( Special War Duty) Proposals. Bill presented, and read a first time. {:#subdebate-14-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-14-0-s0 .speaker-JOM} ##### Mr BEASLEY:
Minister for Supply and Development · West Sydney · ALP *. - by leave* - I move - >That the bill be now read a second time. This bill is introduced for the purpose of validating until the 5th March, 1943, the collection of the special war duty imposed by proposals of the 5th March, 1942. The special war duty was imposed for war-time revenue purposes. Time does not permit the debating of the proposals at present, and the validation of the collections of duty thereunder is necessary in order to protect the revenue. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time, and reported from committee without amendment or debate; report adopted. Bill - *by leave* - read a third time. {: .page-start } page 42 {:#debate-15} ### CUSTOMS TARIFF (NEW ZEALAND PREFERENCE) VALIDATION BILL 1942 Motion (by **Mr. Beasley)** - *byleave* - agreed to - >That leave be given to bring in a bill for an act to provide for the validation of collections of customs under Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Proposals. Bill presented, and read a first time. {:#subdebate-15-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-15-0-s0 .speaker-JOM} ##### Mr BEASLEY:
Minister for Supply and Development · West Sydney · ALP *. - by leave* - I move - >That the bill be now read a second time. Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Proposals of the 5th March, 1942, provide for the imposition of a special duty on chewing gum confectionery of New Zealand origin, and this bill seeks to validate the collection of duty under the proposal until the 5th March, 1943. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time, and reported from the committee without amendment or debate; report adopted. Bill - *by leave* - read a third time. {: .page-start } page 42 {:#debate-16} ### ASSENT TO BILLS Assent to the following bills re ported : - Widows' Pensions Bill 1942. States Grants (Income Tax Reimbursement) Bill 1942. Income Tax (War-time Arrangements) Bill 1942. Income Tax Assessment Bill 1942. Income Tax Bill 1942. Dairy Produce Export Control Bill 1942. Rabbit Skins Export Charges Bill 1942. Loan Bill (No. 2) 1942. Invalid and Old-age Pensions Appropriation Bill 1942. War Pensions Appropriation Bill 1942. Supply Bill (No. 1) 1942-43. Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 1941-42. Supplementary Appropriation Bill 1940-41. Supplementary Appropriation (Works and Buildings) Bill 1940-41. Australian Broadcasting Bill 1942. Commercial Broadcasting Stations Licence Fees Bill 1942. Lighthouses Bill 1942. {: .page-start } page 42 {:#debate-17} ### NAVIGATION BILL 1942 Reservation of assent notified. {: .page-start } page 42 {:#debate-18} ### ADJOURNMENT {:#subdebate-18-0} #### Secret Meeting of Senators and Members - Days of Sitting - Order of Business -Australia First Movement {: #subdebate-18-0-s0 .speaker-009FQ} ##### Mr CURTIN:
Prime Minister · Fremantle · ALP -- I move - >That the House do now adjourn. I should like to inform honorable members that to-morrow, after questions have been dealt with and certain notices of motion relating to bills have been submitted, the Minister for External Affairs **(Dr. Evatt)** will make a statement to the House. It is proposed that the debate on the subject shall be adjourned and that the House shall then adjourn for the purpose of enabling honorable senators and honorable members to assemble in this chamber in order to hear such additional information as the Minister for External Affairs may have to impart to them, and to raise any matters upon which they may desire to seek enlightenment from Ministers, including myself. The Government has made this arrangement at the request of the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Fadden).** {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- Will the Prime Minister and the Minister for External Affairs make statements? {: .speaker-009FQ} ##### Mr CURTIN: -- .Yes, if it be so desired. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- Apart from being " so desired", is it intended to do so? {: .speaker-009FQ} ##### Mr CURTIN: -- I am willing to do so. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr Holt: -- We understood that the Prime Minister would make a statement. {: .speaker-009FQ} ##### Mr CURTIN: -- And I am ready to do Be But the Minister for External Affairs considers - and I am sure that honorable gentlemen will appreciate this - that certain matters which he has to impart should not be disclosed in public. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- The only point is, shall we make a request for the right honorable gentleman to speak or will he do it of his own accord? {: .speaker-009FQ} ##### Mr CURTIN: -- The request is being made now, and I shall follow the Minister for External Affairs at the private meeting of senators and members. I should be glad if the Opposition would give me some idea of what aspects I or any other Minister should deal with in detail. In any case, the purpose of the secret meeting is to enable members of both Houses freely to consider and to review such matters as are put before them or such matters as they may desire to have dealt with. The Opposition desires that that secret meeting should be continued on Friday. The Government has agreed to that. I have further agreed that, when the House meets next Wednesday, it shall continue the debate on the statement that the Minister for External Affairs will make in open sitting tomorrow. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- Will the statement of the Minister for External Affairs be printed ? {: .speaker-009FQ} ##### Mr CURTIN: -- The usual practice is for the House to review ministerial statements on motions that they be printed. It is proposed that on Thursday of next week we shall resume the debate on the Budget. The House will sit on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the next two weeks. Beyond that, I am not able to say what the sitting days will be, but we are anxious to concentrate on the business of the Parliament and in the third week from now I shall probably ask the House to sit four days a week until we conclude the business. {: #subdebate-18-0-s1 .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL:
Melbourne -- Some months ago several people in New South Wales were arrested and interned as members of the Australia First Movement. At the time of their arrest, statements were made that they had been guilty of high treason and had planned to assassinate Cabinet Ministers and other personages. Subsequent events proved that as far as these members of the Australia First Movement interned in New South Wales were concerned, there was no foundation for the assassination charge. Because I do not know all the facts, I am not in a position to comment on whether they were guilty in any way of subversive activity, but it would appear that the charges were levelled in a moment of hysteria and were based upon certain information which was disclosed by an *agent provocateur* in Western Australia who had been associated in that State with some people who claimed connexion with the Australia First Movement. {: .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr Archie Cameron: -- And who had been associated with the Communist party before that. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- Yes, but it may be that he joined the Communist party for the purpose of fomenting trouble in that organization. {: .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr Archie Cameron: -- How does one foment trouble in the infernal regions? It is already there. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- I have no time for the Communist philosophy, but I believe that that person joined the Communist party not because he believed in its philosophy, but in order to create trouble. At any rate, he was a rather disreputable individual socially, and it was upon his statements that the people in Western Australia were eventually arrested. There was no association, according to a recent press statement of the Attorney-General **(Dr. Evatt),** between the people in Western Australia and the people in New South Wales. Some of the people in New South Wales have been released. I have been advised that the tribunal presided over by **Mr. Justice** Pike, and including in its membership, **Mr. Watt,** Bt.C, stopped the proceedings half way through the appeal of one man, and told him that there was no case for him to answer. That man has since been released. The Attorney-General said that a statement would be made to Parliament outlining what the Government intended to do about those who had been interned and released and, presumably, about those who still remain in custody. I aus no more associated with the Australia First Movement than I am with the Communist party, but I have the conviction that justice has not been done to many, if not all, of those persons who have been arrested, and action should be taken speedily to satisfy the public mind that nobody is remaining in internment in New South "Wales, just because he happened to be wrongly interned in the first instance. The position cannot remain as it is. Those persons have to be either brought to trial on the charges levelled against them or released - honorably released - and, if they have been wrongfully arrested, recompensed for whatever legal expenses they have incurred in trying to establish their innocence. {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr Blackburn: -- In some cases the expenses have been enormous. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- Yes, and the greatest difficulties were placed in the way of their relatives interviewing them or even seeing them. They were held *incommunicado* for a very considerable period, and, if they have been wrongly dealt with, the Government ought to be prepared to pay compensation to them. At any rate, this method of arrest and internment is a procedure which can have very dangerous consequences. As one who knows something of what happened in the last war, I am particularly desirous that nothing like it shall happen in this war, but it is quite possible that in this waT things will be done even worse than were done then. I hope that at a very early sitting of this Parliament the Attorney-General will make a complete statement of the position, and say explicitly what the Government intends to do in this matter. These cases cannot be allowed to drag on interminably and, if there is no better evidence to justify the internment of the people in New South Wales than there was to secure the conviction of the people in Western Australia, I am satisfied that justice is not being done. {: #subdebate-18-0-s2 .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr SPENDER:
Warringah .- At this stage, the Opposition does not desire to debate fully the internment of members of the Australia First Movement, but we understood from a statement in the press that the Attorney-General **(Dr. Evatt)** intended to make a full statement in the House regarding the various cases which have been heard and the decisions made. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr Evatt: -- I do intend to make a statement on that matter. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr SPENDER: -- The Opposition is apprehensive. The Minister for the Army **(Mr.** Forde), some months ago, expressed in extravagant language views about members of the Australia First Movement who had been interned. British subjects, against whom there was little or no evidence to justify their internment, have been kept in prison for four or five months. We do not intend to canvass this matter until the Attorney-General has made his statement, but we ask for an undertaking that we shall have an express statement in respect of the appeals heard, the grounds upon which the internees were released, and what justification there was for the statement of the Minister for the Army which rather suggested a great conspiracy throughout Australia amongst members of the Australia First Movement against the security of this country, so that Parliament shall have before it the information upon which a .responsible Minister interned British subjects. It is very important, it seems to the Opposition, that, in considering the liberty of the subject, particularly the liberty of a natural born British subject in this country, the responsible Minister in point of fact should be responsible for the internment of people upon suspicion only. {: .speaker-F4U} ##### Mr Forde: -- Let me point out that the internments were made on a statement prepared by the Military Intelligence which had the approval of the Deputy Chief of the General Staff. He thought that it was in the interests of security to make the statement. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr SPENDER: -- As a Minister, I should not be prepared merely to repeat what was prepared for me. I should be more concerned as to whether as a responsible Minister, I had interned a person upon sufficient grounds. That is the gist of the matter. I do not debate this. I do not prejudge the Minister. It may be that there were ample grounds on which those people were interned, but there are two important things to consider, first, the grounds of internment and, secondly, the length of time which elapsed before they were released. {: #subdebate-18-0-s3 .speaker-KNX} ##### Mr HARRISON:
Wentworth -- I am in complete accord with what the honorable member for Warringah **(Mr. Spender)** has said on this matter, but I say further that, whilst the honorable member forWarringah stated that the Opposition wanted to know the grounds on which members of the Australia First Movement in New South Wales were interned, it is possible that a full disclosure may not be made in open Parliament. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- Why not? {: .speaker-KNX} ##### Mr HARRISON: -- I cannot see any reason why the grounds for the internment of these people should be revealed in open Parliament. If there is suspicion that any individual is likely to prejudice national security, there is no doubt that he should be interned. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- Even on suspicion. {: .speaker-KNX} ##### Mr HARRISON: -- Yes, even on suspicion, because the laws of this country have provided a tribunal to which an interned person may appeal to establish the fact that he has not been rightly interned. If there is the least breath of suspicion with regard to a person, considerations of national security dictate that no chances should be taken with him, but he should have the right to appeal to a tribunal, and, if a tribunal recommends, on the evidence placed before it, that he be released, he should be satisfied. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- Whose suspicion - any military officer's? {: .speaker-KNX} ##### Mr HARRISON: -- There is a duly constituted intelligence and national security organization on whose reports internments are made. The honorable member for Warringah, when Minister for the Army, used that organization to the full. The evidence that is made available to military intelligence and the national security organization is the evidence on which internments are made. What I am more concerned about, and what this House should be concerned about, is the statement that was made by the Minister for the Army **(Mr. Forde)** with regard to these internees. I cannot agree with the honorable member for Melbourne **(Mr. Calwell)** when hesays that these people should be released, and that they should then be given the right of an open trial. It is impossible, in time of war, to bring into open court every person interned because he thinks his internment is not justified. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- No one suggested that. {: .speaker-KNX} ##### Mr HARRISON: -- The honorable member for Melbourne suggested that these people should be either released or brought to trial in open court. They cannot be brought to trial in open court, because, if that were done, the whole of the ramifications of national security and military intelligence would be disclosed to those people who wanted to know our under-cover men and our espionage system. There is in existence a tribunal composed of eminent legal men capable of sifting evidence; and, if the evidence placed before the tribunal be such as to warrant the release of interned persons, they are released. For national security reasons, the evidenceis not given in public. It is unfortunate that the Minister for the Army should have made the statement that he did. From his place in this House, he should attempt to justify what he said on the occasion referred to. That is as far as I am prepared to go. I am not in accord with the suggestion that these men should be brought to open trial. In time of war, many innocent persons suffer; the sufferers are not confined to internees. That is the fortune of war. The Minister has caused suffering to certain persons who may be innocent, and therefore he should attempt to justify bis statement. {: .speaker-F4U} ##### Mr Forde: -- I did not mention one name. {: .speaker-KNX} ##### Mr HARRISON: -- I do not accuse the Minister of mentioning names, but his statement caused certain names to be mentioned in this House. Some honorable members on this side have mentioned names, which the press has published, and therefore the cases of such persons have been prejudiced. It is unfortunate that some persons were interned without sufficient evidence being available; but they can now he released only by a tribunal. The point at issue is the responsibility devolving upon the Minister to attempt to justify his statement. {: #subdebate-18-0-s4 .speaker-JSC} ##### Mr BRENNAN:
Batman .- There is only one aspect of this case to which I wish to refer. 1 associate myself in general with the remarks of the honorable member for Melbourne **(Mr. Calwell)** and I dissociate myself with the utmost alacrity and enthusiasm from the observation of the honorable member for Wentworth **(Mr. Harrison)** that in time of war the homes of decent citizens who are subjects of the Crown may be invaded or they themselves be thrown into prison, even though the place of detention be known by the more euphonious synonym of an internment camp, on the mere suspicion of some person. For my part, I should not be prepared to condemn a dog to his kennel, much less seize a respectable person and imprison him, on the mere suspicion of the honorable member for Wentwortb that some offence had been committed. I do not agree that any person should be so treated. When the honorable member for Wentworth says that there are tribunals available for those who are interned, I take this opportunity to say that I fear that the processes of the law in regard to these tribunals are most sluggish in their operation, and that the availability of these tribunals to interned persons is more theoretical than real. I have in mind the case of a person in the city of Melbourne who is well known to me. He is, indeed, a fellow practitioner. He has been seized and placed in an internment camp in another State, apparently on suspicion - there has certainly been no trial - that he has been guilty of some subversive activity. I take leave to have my own suspicions about the case, namely, that the action of the authorities is absurd and preposterous. I admit that my view is based on quite insufficient evidence, but I do know the attitude of the gentleman in question towards the charges made against him, and I am sufficiently well acquainted with him to know in a general way what his outlook on international affairs is. I know, also, that he was an accredited candidate at the recent federal elections in a constituency not far removed from my own, and I venture to suspect that he is a decent British subject and an honorable citizen. I take this opportunity publicly to ask the appropriate Minister - I suppose it is the Minister for the Army - that the hearing of such charges before the proper tribunal be expedited, so that men may not be punished in advance of proof by long periods of detention without trial. That is the charge which the honorable member for Melbourne has made, and which, I believe, expresses a view which is shared generally by members on both sides of the House. At least I hope that it is. It may be that the Minister, because of his multifarious duties, is not aware of the delays that occur. I intend to bring before him the case of the particular person of whom I am speaking. But what applies to him applies equally to others. I am confident that the Minister will not fall weakly into the habit of following the bad example set during the last war, when it was the regular practice of Ministers to quote as their authority the suspicions of certain highly placed military officers with regard to certain individuals, and upon those *ex parte* statements to deny to citizens, or indeed to aliens, the protection of the laws of this country. My principal object in speaking at this stage is to ask that those internees who hav applied for trial before a tribunal shall have their appeals heard with the greatest possible expedition. It is foreign to our conception of justice to keep men in prison for long periods without trial, either in war-time or at any other time, even when they are suspected of serious offences. I hope, therefore, that those persons who are entitled to trial by a tribunal established for the purpose will be given a speedy trial and not be detained unduly without having been heard in their own defence. {: #subdebate-18-0-s5 .speaker-JLL} ##### Mr ABBOTT:
New England -- There are some features of this case which have not yet been mentioned. On the Srd August, one of the internees in the Liverpool camp wrote to me, but the letter bore the postmark of the Sydney General Post Office, dated the 21 st August. Apparently it had been held up by the military censorship in the Liverpool Internment Camp for eighteen days before being sent to me. As a member of Parliament representing the electors, 1 regard that as a gross misuse of the censorship powers, particularly when not one word in the letter was censored. If the representatives of the people are to be treated in that way by the military censorship, I can only say that that censorship needs a thorough overhaul. I shall not say anything regarding what the Minister for the Army **(Mr. Forde)** said about these interned persons. He has explained that he was guided by reports received from certain intelligence officers. I remind him that because a gentleman is dubbed an " intelligence officer " he is not necessarily an intelligent officer. I believe that the Minister has been grossly misled by the reports, but his chief and greatest sin is that he has allowed these people to languish in internment for five months without any proper trial, or without taking any steps to inquire into their condition. {: .speaker-F4U} ##### Mr Forde: -- I issued an instruction that they should have the right to appeal to the tribunal and that any appeal should be heard expeditiously. In the absence of the Attorney-General **(Dr. Evatt),** the Solicitor-General, **Sir George** Knowles, promised to do everything possible to expedite the hearing. However, some of the people did not exercise their right of appeal. Of the seven of them who appealed two were recommended for continued internment and five were released. {: .speaker-JLL} ##### Mr ABBOTT: -- I shall have something to say about the manner in which the trial was conducted. I do not know how fast **Sir George** Knowles moves, but the fact remains that these men languished in internment for more than five months. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr Rankin: -- Some Australians have languished in internment in Japan for seven or eight months. {: .speaker-JLL} ##### Mr ABBOTT: -- I cannot support the view of the honorable member for Wentworth **(Mr. Harrison)** that innocent men may have to suffer in time of war. If men are innocent, and their innocence can be proved, they should be taken out nf internment as soon as possible. {: .speaker-KNX} ##### Mr Harrison: -- I agree with that. {: .speaker-JLL} ##### Mr ABBOTT: -- If the views of the gentleman who wrote to me about the procedure before these tribunals are correct, the whole procedure is an absolute travesty of justice. The man was never informed of the charge laid against him. Certain extracts from his writings were read to him. Some of the matter was written before we were at war with Japan, and some of it before we were at war with Germany. The man was cross-examined exhaustively and an attempt was made to force him to admit that certain things he had written were capable of a meaning which he did not intend them to have. He has pleaded that he be given a fair trial. I do not ask that the trial be in public, because, undoubtedly, certain disclosures might then be made which should not be published, because of the risk of smashing our security organization. But these men are entitled to a fair and proper trial. {: .speaker-009FQ} ##### Mr Curtin: -- The personnel of these tribunals was decided upon by the Government of which the honorable member for New England was a member. {: .speaker-JLL} ##### Mr ABBOTT: -- I do not care whether it was decided by a hierarchy of angels. I want these men to- have a fair and proper trial. I do not suggest that every tribunal appointed by the Government of which I was a member was perfect in personnel. Some of the tribunals may not have been at all perfect. According to the letter that I have received this man has not had a proper trial and he asks for one. Another person involved was a retired official over 70 years of age who had no personal association whatever with this organization. He had merely consented to be a trustee of certain funds of the newspaper which the organization published. This man was turned out of his bed at midnight and put into an internment camp, where he has remained ever since. Another had his business wrecked and he is in a bad way. When he requested that he be released he was asked to sign certain papers which contained an undertaking that he would not make any public comment on the matter Another man had been an official of the Commonwealth Government. When he was ultimately released as innocent he was told that he would not be required in his former position. The whole subject requires investigation. I feel sure that if the Minister can be convinced that these men are innocent he will override the decision of any of these tribunals. If the statements made by the men that they had not had a fair trial are correct, it is high time that they were given a fair trial. {: #subdebate-18-0-s6 .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr BLACKBURN:
Bourke .- I am disinclined to agree with the statement of some honorable members concerning the action of the Minister for the Army **(Mr. Forde)** in relation to this matter. I am satisfied that when the Minister made his statement to the House he had chapter and verse for everything that he said. His officials had made inquiries and they believed the things they reported to the Minister to be true. I cannot see how the present Minister for the Army, or any other Minister, could be expected to make a personal investigation of the accuracy of all reports submitted to him by trusted officers. "With due deference to the former Minister for the Army **(Mr. Spender),** I do not think that he would have made any further inquiry into the matter if similar reports had been placed in his hands. My complaint against the Government in relation to these men is that it did not bring them to trial. Persons in "Western Australia, who were charged with offences which, on the surface, were much more serious than those charged against the members of the organization in New South Wales, were brought to public trial. The Government could have applied, under the National Security Regulations, for the trial to be held *in camera,* but it did not do so. I complain, in the first place, that the persons interned in New South Wales were not brought to speedy trial. I do not think that this is the fault of the Minister for the Army, because, with certain representatives of the men who visited Canberra, I interviewed the Minister and he told us that he would do his best to provide an early trial. Unfortunately the tribunals have been very busy, but the work of tribunals of this kind should not be allowed to become congested. If necessary, additional tribunals should be appointed. I accepted the assurance which the Minister for the Army gave several times that everything possible would be done to expedite the hearing of the charges against these people. {: .speaker-JLL} ##### Mr Abbott: -- But eight weeks passed before anything was done. {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr BLACKBURN: -- If necessary, additional tribunals should have been appointed. My second, and more important, complaint is that some of the people who have appeared before these tribunals have been absolutely ruined. The prosecution made fierce and determined attempts to ensure that they should be kept in captivity without fair trial. One man who is involved is 73 years of age. He lost his wife not long before he was interned. She was an Italian lady whom he married during the last war, yet he was asked in a most brutal way by the prosecutor - 1 can call him nothing else - why he married an Italian woman. Her death a few weeks before he was interned prostrated him with grief. Later he had to be removed from the internment camp to hospital for treatment as the result of the mental shock he had suffered. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- He is still interned. {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr BLACKBURN: -- I do not know whether that is so or not, but it is quite likely that he is still interned because he refused to make an application in the terms prescribed. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr Rankin: -- Why worry about an organization like the Australia First Movement? {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr BLACKBURN: -- I am concerned about people who are interned although no charge has been laid against them. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr Rankin: -- Of course there is a charge against them. {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr BLACKBURN: -- I also complain that although persons charged with much more serious offences in Western Australia were granted an open trial the members of the movement in New South Wales who were interned at the same time have been denied any trial. I do not believe that people who go out into the open to make speeches are of the stuff of which spies and traitors are made. These persons should be given an opportunity to vindicate themselves before a proper tribunal. The Crown should bear the expense of providing legal assistance to such persons, *a.6* it does to persons charged with treason. The legal expenses of one man who appeared before one of these tribunals amounted to 200 guineas. I have been informed that another family was involved in expenses amounting to 400 guineas. One individual was advised by his solicitor that he would not have a chance of winning his case unless he engaged a leading barrister. The result was that **Mr. Windeyer,** K.C., was briefed. Some of these people have lost their life savings in expenses incurred in connexion with these tribunals. Not only should an immediate opportunity be given to these people to submit their cases to a tribunal, but also they should be provided with free legal assistance by the Commonwealth Government. I do not say that the. tribunals conduct their proceedings unfairly, but undoubtedly the representatives of the Commonwealth set out to keep these men in internment if possible. I urge that internees who appeal should either be brought to trial at once or be released. If the Government considers that in the interests of national security an open trial is not desirable it should provide a trial *in camera.* {: .speaker-KNC} ##### Mr Marwick: -- People who have been proved innocent in Western Australia are still interned. {: .speaker-009FQ} ##### Mr Curtin: -- I suppose the honorable member knows the reason for that? {: .speaker-KNC} ##### Mr Marwick: -- I do not ; I should like to be told it this evening. {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr BLACKBURN: -- These internees should be told the offence with which they are charged and they should be brought to trial before their peers. One of the men involved is a distinguished Australian man of letters who says that he is not connected in any way with the Australia First Movement. He was the original of Epstein's bust, "The Soul of Anzac ". At one time he contributed to the *Publicist,* but he strenuously protests that, he has never had any connexion with the movement, and that he does not approve of its opinions. I do not approve of the views of the Australia First Movement, but for that very reason I believe that its members should have the right to express their opinions as I have the right to express mine. The more I dislike the opinions of people the more anxious I am that they should not be denied an opportunity to express them. I do not think that a charge of unfair conduct can be levelled, with any justification, against the Minister for the Army. I believe that he made his statement on this subject with a full sense of responsibility on the basis of serious reports presented to him by trusted officers. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- Did he examine the evidence upon which the reports were based ''. {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr BLACKBURN: -- I do not think that a Minister is required to do that. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- Oh, yes. {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr BLACKBURN: -- I do not think that Ministers usually do it. I believe that the honorable gentleman who has interjected, would have accepted the reports. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- I would have looked at the evidence upon which the reports were based. {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr BLACKBURN: -- Those are my views on the matter. I urge the Government to provide speedy hearings, and also legal aid to internees. {: #subdebate-18-0-s7 .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT:
AttorneyGeneral · Barton · ALP -- The internment of British subjects nas recently come within my jurisdiction as Attorney-General. As I announced in the press, I intend to make a statement at the earliest moment after these cases have been dealt with. I should have preferred that course. However, this being the first occasion honorable members have had an opportunity to do so, they have thought fit to ventilate these matters in the House to-night. For that, I do not blame them. I wish to make my reply as clear, but as guarded as I can, because some of the cases are still under consideration, and honorable members, I am sure, want them determined satisfactorily. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- They have been under consideration for a long time. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- What are the facts? Only seven of the members of the Australia First Movement who were interned have appealed to the statutory committee. Five of those appeals have succeeded, and two have been dismissed. The committee's recommendations in the cases of the five successful appellants came before me on Saturday week, and the orders for the release of those internees were made on the same day. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- Very promptly. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- Yes. I also read the files and reports in the cases of the two men whose appeals failed. I do not want to say that in all cases the recommendations of the statutory committee must be adopted. That is too rigid a rule. There may be cases in which, after the statutory committee has made a recommendation, it may be the duty of security officers to put further matters before the Minister, in opposition to the tribunal's recommendation either in favour of release, or in favour of the continued detention of an internee. {: .speaker-JLL} ##### Mr Abbott: -- Would the Minister in his discretion release an internee against the recommendation of the statutory committee ? {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- I am looking at the matter broadly. When a statutory committee, composed of a barrister who has acted as a member of the Supreme Court Bench, and two other persons specially qualified to be members of such a tribunal, is set up, it is in the public interest, and a good general rule, having regard particularly to national security in time of war, to follow the committee's recommendation. I think that the honorable member for Warringah **(Mr. Spender)** will agree with that. Applying that principle to the interned members of the Australia First Movement, what do we find? The only persons who approached the statutory committee and pursued their appeals, and whose, release was recommended by the tribunal, have been released. Two persons did not pursue their appeals; and they complained of the procedure before the tribunal. Those cases are now being looked into. The honorable member for Bourke **(Mr. Blackburn)** mentioned a man of letters. I gather that that man does not want to be released. {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr Blackburn: -- 'He wants a trial. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- No. I understandsubject to correction - that he prefers to remain in internment rather than to appeal. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- Is it not a fact that those men demand a public trial? {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- The man to whom I have just referred was not one of those who demanded a public trial. At the same time, the fact that no appeal has been made should not necessarily result in continued detention. That case is now being further looked into. I was abroad at the time these persons were interned ; but at that time the position of the country from the point of view of security was very serious indeed. Four persons in Western Australia were arrested, and the evidence against them seemed to be cogent. Subsequently, they were charged with conspiracy to assist the Japanese in the event of an invasion of Australia. I am not saying that they were members of the Australia First organization which was formed in New South Wales. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- The right honorable member stated in the press that they were not members of the same body. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- Two of those persons were convicted, one being sentenced to three years' imprisonment, and the other to two years' imprisonment; and two were acquitted. One of the latter appealed to the statutory committee in Western Australia, which is presided over by a justice of the Supreme Court; and that tribunal's recommendation was against the appellant's release because of serious facts which came out against him at the trial, but fell short of implication in the particular conspiracy charged. As the honorable member for Warringah **(Mr. Spender)** will recognize, the fact of acquittal on a particular charge does not necessarily mean that the accused is notlikely to endanger national security. The honorable member for Bourke **(Mr. Blackburn)** speaks of this matter as though we should, as a general rule, lay a specific charge against internees. {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr Blackburn: -- On the Minister's statement, they should have been charged with a criminal offence. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- What criminal offence? {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr Blackburn: -- Sedition. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- I am certain that the Minister for the Army **(Mr. Forde),** at the time he made his statement, referred in the main to the very serious revelations in Western Australia: I assure honorable members that their arguments with respect to providing the speediest possible trial will receive careful consideration. All of us agree that that is essential. I shall also give very careful consideration to the representations made by the honorable member for New England **(Mr. Abbott)** with respect to the holding up of letters sent from camps to honorable members. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr Rankin: -- It would be very serious for a Minister to override the recommendation of a tribunal presided over by a judge. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- I have already said that. Where the matter is doubtful, the Minister's proper course is to refer it further to some independent authority before he takes action on his own responsibility. The principle of the regulations governing internees has nothing to do with criminal offences. It is this: If the Minister is satisfied that the actions of any person are likely to endanger public security, that person may be detained. With the threat of invasion hanging over the country, it is the primary duty of Army and Security officers to protect the country. In the case of British subjects, however, there is a balancing principle which wc must not forget, and that principle has been invoked by every honorable member who has spoken on this subject this evening - the Minister must look carefully at the evidence, and be sure that there is a real danger to public security. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- It does not mean that when the Minister has before him a report that some person should be interned and no real ground is revealed in the relevant dossier for such action, such person should be interned. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- The action which the Minister will take will depend upon various circumstances, including the trust he has in his officers and in the persons making the recommendation. Every honorable member agrees, but the application of the principle which must govern these matters is often different. {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr Blackburn: -- What about free legal aid? {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- That is important. Within the last 48 hours I have received complaints about the great expense to which some persons have been put. After all, internees in this country do not consist exclusively of members of the Australia First Movement. Our object is to speed up hearings, and to keep their cost as low as possible. The possibility of granting legal aid to appellants will be considered. However, that may be difficult to inaugurate. I assure honorable members that I appreciate their anxiety over these cases. At the same time, there is a supreme duty which the Government cannot surrender, and that is to protect the country. I do not propose to go into any particular case. Some of these people have been adjudged by the committee as not being dangerous to national security. However, the offence charged in the Western Australian oases was a plan or plot to assist the Japanese, if the opportunity offered. At the time the Minister for the Army made his statement, it was not known that there was no guilty association between the four persons who stood their trial in Western Australia and the Australia First organization in New South Wales. I have seen in the files letters to one or other of the four persons tried in Western Australia from two or three members of the Australia First organization in New South Wales. Again, I do not wish to overstate the position. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- Did the whole fifteen write ? {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- No, but a few of them did. {: .speaker-009FQ} ##### Mr Curtin: -- One man may write as the agent of others. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- Surely that is not suggested. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- On reading the files relating to those other cases in New South Wales my opinion was that the association between them and 'the men in Western Australia was not proved to be guilty, and, broadly speaking, that was the view of the statutory committee in the five cases in which it recommended release. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- I applaud the Minister's view. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- One may sum up by saying that, at the time the internments took place, there was undoubtedly in existence in Western Australia a conspiracy of a serious character. That was proved in open court. Further, in every case in which release was recommended, the person concerned was at once released. The Minister for the Army **(Mr. Forde)** and I have summoned a special conference on Saturday next to consider Security matters, some of which have been mentioned by honorable members to-day. They will be dealt with speedily, and afterwards I shall make a full statement. {: .speaker-JLL} ##### Mr Abbott: -- If the Minister is of opinion that any of these men are innocent will he arrange to have their cases reviewed by another tribunal? {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- I should not like to pin myself down to any particular suggestion. {: .speaker-JLL} ##### Mr Abbott: -- But the Minister would not rule it out altogether? {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- I do not think that the recommendation of a tribunal is necessarily binding on the Minister. If he is satisfied that a case merits reinvestigation, because he thinks either that an internee should be released or that he should not be released, it is the Minister's duty to require a further investigation of the whole matter. The Minister has the right, and it may be his duty, also. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr Anthony: -- How many interned men have not appealed? {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT: -- About ten or twelve. {: #subdebate-18-0-s8 .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr ARCHIE CAMERON:
Barker · ALP -- Honorable members will feel easier in their minds after hearing the statement of the Attorney-General regarding the intentions of the Government, but there are certain aspects of the Australia First Movement which leave a doubt regarding the propriety of the action that has been taken. I do not attribute anything wrong to the Minister for the Army **(Mr. Forde),** but I have not been able to understand why he came into this House and made what was obviously a prepared statement regarding the internment of these persons. Hundreds of persons have been interned since the outbreak of war, but Ministers have not seen fit to make statements about them. {: .speaker-F4U} ##### Mr Forde: -- I had been asked questions in Parliament about them. {: .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr ARCHIE CAMERON: -- Yes, but the Minister was not bound to answer them. That statement of the Minister was really the root of the whole trouble. Without it, public attention would not have been focused on the matter, and the Government would have been able to deal with the situation more effectively and more expeditiously. {: .speaker-F4U} ##### Mr Forde: -- The Deputy Chief of the General Staff was of the opinion that, in the interests of national security, a statement, should be made. {: .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr ARCHIE CAMERON: -I believe that the Minister acted in good faith, but I am still at a loss to understand why the statement was ever made. If further internments should take place, I trust that no statement will be made in this House while cases are *sub judice.* It is a wellestablished rule in Parliament that no reference should be made to a case while it is before a court of law. In these cases, unfortunately, action without precedent in the history of Parliament was taken by the Minister for the Army. I cannot understand why the Government handled these cases in one way in Western Australia and differently in N ew South Wales. In Western Australia, four persons were publicly tried, and nothing came out at the trial which was likely to prejudice the security of the Commonwealth.I cannot believe that there was any sound reason against the holding of similar trials in the criminal courts of New South Wales, if only the Commonwealth Attorney-General had felt so disposed. It is well to state afresh the fundamental difference between the rights and obligations of enemy aliens in Australian territory and of our own citizens in time of war. Enemy aliens, as a matter of fact, have no rights at all except what we choose to give them. A citizen, on the other hand, has both rights and obligations. If the citizen fails in his obligation - and one of them is loyalty to his country - there are laws enough on the Statute Book under which he may be tried and punished. I can understand, of course, that cases may arise in which the character of the person concerned is such that it is wise to keep him under restraint. I know something regarding the cases of some of the men who have been interned. One of them was an irregular correspondent of mine for years before the warthoughI have neverseen him. I think he is the man to whom the honorable member for Bourke **(Mr. Blackburn)** referred and he is a man well up in years. Another man had a very good record during the last war, yet he is still interned. There are certain aspects of this case which do not leave one in a very happy frame of mind. I believe in the rule of law in this country, but in this and certain other cases there is too great a tendency -to depart from the law and allow laxity to creep in. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- It should be civil law, and not military law. {: .speaker-JTY} ##### Mr ARCHIE CAMERON: -- Military law i3 much more expeditious and just than is civil law, and much less costly. The prosecutor before a military tribunal has to put the case for as well as against the accused. He has to say what he knows in his favour, which is not the rule in civil courts to-day. If every lawyer had to argue the case in the light of what he believed to be fair and truthful, very different decisions would often be given. This case will not be allowed to rest where it is. It is so extraordinary that if certain aspects be not cleared up in the speech which the Attorney-General will, I hope, make next week, other parliamentary methods of reaching a satisfactory conclusion will have to be used. I proposed also to deal with the point raised by the honorable member for New England **(Mr. Abbott).** My experience is not so bad as his, although it is somewhat similar. If a citizen of New South Wales has occasion to write to me or to the honorable member for New England, and there is nothing in the letter which should be struck out - and I have never had a word crossed out in any letter I have received - the censor has no right to hold it up. It is his business to pass such letters on at once to honorable members, who have certain responsibilities, not only to their electors, but also to the Commonwealth as a whole, responsibilities which we do not propose to surrender. On that point I agree for once with the honorable member for Warringah **(Mr. Spender).** As I say, certain aspects of this case must be carefully looked into by the Government, because if the explanation promised be not satisfactory the House will have to reach some understanding in regard to, not only this case, but also the future handling of similar cases. The Prime Minister **(Mr. Curtin)** knows that I have not agreed with many of the methods employed for a long time past, but I have allowed them to pass without publicly criticizing them. At this stage I leave the case in the bands of the AttorneyGeneral, and hope he will be able to produce next week something which will satisfy the House that the Government is alive to the situation and prepared to take it in hand. **Mr.** BERNARD CORSER (Wide Bay) 1 10.24]. - I .think that the AttorneyGeneral and the House generally will concede that there are some points affecting those interned in this case that are not at all common. In the first place, those who claim to be members of the Australia First Movement in Western Australia would not have the sympathy of any section of the community, and certainly would not. be supported by any member of the House, but it has been asserted by those in the movement in New South Wales that they have no association with, and do not know, the four people who made the foolish statements in Western Australia. I am not aware which of the internees in New South Wales has been released, but I know something of the president of the movement in that State. If he is still interned I say in the name of British justice that something should be done to assist him to a fair and open trial. I knew him long before he went away as a Rhodes scholar: 1 know what bis activities were on ihe other side, and since his return to Australia no one can say that he has not lived a successful and honorable life in the community. He claims that the public statements made in this chamber and published to the world really made him ;i criminal before he had an opportunity to say anything at all. He claims that he was one of seven among the sixteen internees of the movement who collectively signed a letter addressed to the Minister for the Army **(Mr. Forde)** in the following terms : - >We the undersigned internees are refraining from appearing before the Advisory Committee established under regulation 26 (2) of the National Security Act because it is a secret tribunal. Then he goes on - >Implying thereby that I, as one of the aforesaid seven internees who signed the said letter, desire to be publicly exonerated and exculpated from all suspicion of indictable offence or any offence, and I say further that the Minister for the Army exceeded the powers conferred upon him by the National Security Act in making public statements of his reasons for believing himself to be satisfied to have me interned and to keep me interned without affording me any opportunity of publicly denying or rebutting the said reasons, which were in any case fallacious and absurd, and for the reasons set out herein I say that I am wrongfully and illegally detained, interned and imprisoned. He claims that he is detained contrary to the intention of regulation 26 of the National Security Act, which requires that the Minister he properly, reasonably, and correctly satisfied in his mind that a person is guilty before making an order for his detention without trial. He complains that he appears in the records as a guilty person, and is so regarded by the public. He quotes in his letter, which has been sent to each of us, a report in the *Sydney Morning Herald* of a statement by the Minister for the Army to the following effect: - >That tile Solicitor-General had advised that no further action be taken against persons interned in New South Wales until they had taken the opportunity, if they wished, of lodging appeals against their internment. He says that the Minister meant thereby that no charge would be laid against him in a court of law - and he has not yet been charged - until after he had been first interrogated by the secret Advisory Committee constituted under regulation 26 (2) of the National Security Regulations, and that such interrogation in secret of a person suspected or accused of crimes or offences, for the purpose of endeavouring to secure evidence which would bc used against him in a prosecution or indictment, or to persuade him to incriminate himself, is contrary to the law and practice of the Australian and British constitutions and not in conformity with the intention of Parliament in enacting the National Security Act. He submits that to attempt to clear himself in the manner suggested by the Solicitor-General would be to act to his disadvantage, and to the detriment of those associated with him. He asks that he be given an opportunity, such as was conceded to others in another State, to clear himself publicly in the minds of those who have been told through the Minister's statement in Parliament that he is guilty. I urge the AttorneyGeneral, in view of the position that has been created, to give these people a chance to re-establish their names before Parliament and the public, and to clear themselves if they are not guilty. {: #subdebate-18-0-s9 .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN:
Bendigo .- This is a case of much ado about nothing. I believe that these few cranks - for I think they are cranks, who were not extremely dangerous to the community - are of no consequence compared with the safety of Australia. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- Would you put a man in prison just because he is a crank? {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- If a man is suspect in time of war, there is every reason to intern him. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- Suspected by whom? {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- Suspected by the properly constituted authorities. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- The "properly constituted authority " might be the honorable member, or for that matter, anybody. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- That is correct. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- That is pretty tough. {: .speaker-JLL} ##### Mr Abbott: -- Why not resort to the methods of Louis XXV.? {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- There are properly constituted authorities to judge whether a man is a danger to the community. I believe that accused persons should have the right of appeal to a tribunal. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- That is an amazing concession by the honorable member. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- Such a tribunal has already been provided. {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr Rosevear: -- The cases are heard in secret. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- Naturally they are heard in secret. Why should the rights of these twenty cranks be considered against the security of seven million persons? In war-time, we should not take any risks of that kind. In every nation that has been attacked and overthrown by the Nazis, there have been Quislings, traitors and fools who sought personal aggrandizement by making a pact with the enemy, or who hoped to save that section of the community which they represented. {: .speaker-KYC} ##### Mr Pollard: -- So does the Country parity. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- The Country party has some justification for thinking that it can achieve results for the country that the Labor party will never achieve. In my opinion, the Minister would be very unwise to interferewith the functioning of the properly constituted tribunal which was appointed to deal with these cases. The chairman, as the result of his legal training, is accustomed to sifting evidence, and has an unbiased mind. Mr.Calwell. - Look on this side of the House for such a man. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- The honorable member for Melbourne would not be my choice. It is essential that in war-time, the interests of a few individuals shall not be set against the safety of the nation. Some people are worrying about the internment of these few cranks, when they should be worrying about the welfare of Australians who have been interned in Japan and Germany, and of our troops who are enduring the rigours of prison camps or who are fighting for our right to exist as a nation. Why should we waste the time of the House in discussing the internment of a few cranks? {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- The honorable member himself is delaying the House. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr RANKIN: -- If I were as verbose as the honorable member for Warringah possibly he would be justified in making that interjection. As a tribunal has been created to hear the appeals of these people against their internment, I say without hesitation that it is absolute rot for us to waste the time of the country in discussing this matter. {: #subdebate-18-0-s10 .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr ANTHONY:
"Richmond -- - The remarks of the honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Rankin)** indicate that, in his mind, and doubtless in the minds of many other persons, certain individuals have already been prejudged, although no evidence of their guilt has been submitted other than the evidence of their arrest by Military Intelligence. The speech of the honorable member for Bendigo makes it necessary for the Attorney-General **(Dr. Evatt)** to have this matter determined with all possible despatch. I have no quarrel with the action of the Minister for the Army **(Mr. Forde),** in the first place, in ordering the detention of these men. That was his obvious duty, in view of the Japanese menace to Australia. What I do take exception to is the manner of the announcement of their arrest, because it prejudiced a fair trial of those citizens. I remind honorable members that any individual might possibly be arrested and imprisoned by the order of the government of the day, just as these men were, without trial, and merely on the advice ofMilitary Intelligence. I suggest to the Attorney-General that some distinction must be drawn between these cases, and the vast majority of internments. The Minister for the Army announced in this chamber that twenty members of the Australia First Movement had been arrested and that a conspiracy to assassinate certain prominent Australian citizens had been unearthed. Every member of the group who was arrested now carries the stigma of being associated with this assassination plot and with being a party to this conspiracy to overthrow the Commonwealth Government, regardless of whether he belonged to the Western Australian movement or to the New South Wales group. One of the things that seriously disturb those who value liberty and advocate a fair trial for an accused person is that an entirely different procedure was adopted in dealing with those who were arrested in Western Australia and those who were apprehended in New South Wales. One explanation for the differentiation was that more evidence had been collected against the accused in Western Australia. If that were so, it follows that less evidence was available against those who were arrested in New South Wales. Consequently, there was greater justification for taking prompt action to determine whether the members of the New South Wales group should be detained or released. {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr Rosevear: -- The Crown witness in Western Australia was a "great" character. He ought to have been in gaol himself. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr ANTHONY: -- Exactly. The evidence against the Western Australian group was pretty sketchy, in view of the record of the principal witness for the Crown. But no evidence has been presented against members of the New South Wales group to warrant a verdict that they were parties to the conspiracy. {: .speaker-K2A} ##### Mr Rankin: -- They may appeal to the properly constituted tribunal. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr ANTHONY: -- I understand that the tribunal was not constituted until the trial of members of the Western Australian group had concluded. {: .speaker-F4U} ##### Mr Forde: -- There was a tribunal. I explained to the House on the 27th March the nature of the tribunal and the 6teps that should he taken by those who desired to appeal to it. All, with the exception of three, applied to appear before the tribunal early in June, but some of them have since withdrawn their applications. {: .speaker-KUG} ##### Mr Spender: -- That was three months later. In the meantime, this charge hung over their heads. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr ANTHONY: -- Will the Minister for the Army inform me whether any citizen of the Commonwealth may be arrested bv military officers, and thrown into an internment camp when there is not a tittle of evidence against him? {: .speaker-JPN} ##### Mr Blackburn: -- That is the position. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr ANTHONY: -- Even when there is no evidence or reasonable suspicion against him ? {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr Rosevear: -- Yes. {: .speaker-JLZ} ##### Mr ANTHONY: -- He can be arrested on the order of the Minister, detained, and released later after a secret inquiry with a stigma that he is a traitor hanging over the heads of himself and his family. In such circumstances people would naturally wonder by what means he was released. Is that the position that exists? If it is it requires some clarification. I agree that there may be some cases where internment is warranted on the grounds of suspicion, but a person so interned should not be kept in camp for two, three or five months, as were the members of the Australia First Movement, and then released because the suspicions were unwarranted. I sincerely hope that the AttorneyGeneral in his statement next week will completely clarify the position for the future. To a degree, I sympathize with the Minister for the Army for having been led in the way he was. I believe that he acted in good faith, but whether he acted in good faith or bad faith, the fact remains that a grave injustice has been done to certain citizens of this Commonwealth. You and I and all our friends may be thrown into gaol tomorrow unless the protection of the Commonwealth is accorded to us. {: #subdebate-18-0-s11 .speaker-F4U} ##### Mr FORDE:
Minister for the Army · Capricornia · ALP -- I have listened with great interest to the discussion, and I thank a number of honorable members for the fair and impartial manner in which they have debated this question. I think that the Attorney-General **(Dr. Evatt)** has set out the position very fairly, and I shall endeavour not to touch upon the aspects to which he has referred, but I was asked why I made any statement in regard to these internments. I made the statement because several paragraphs had appeared in the newspapers that members of the Australia First Movement had been interned, and because the honorable member for Newcastle **(Mr. Watkins)** asked on the 26th March - >Will the Minister for the Army make a statement to the House upon the reported internment of members of the so-called Australia First Movement? In order to make it definite, I should like to know whether it is true that any members of that organization have been interned? After what had appeared in the newspapers, I considered it very likely that some question would be asked, and in addition to the report prepared for me by the Director of Military Intelligence for Australia, I telephoned to the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, in Melbourne, and discussed the whole matter with him. He was of opinion that in the national interest the statement should be made; but that it should not be broadcast or cabled overseas; and, consequently, the necessary censorship was applied to meet his wishes. I should like honorable members to bear in mind the atmosphere in Australia at that time, the middle of March, when every one considered that we were in imminent danger of invasion, when there was great apprehension everywhere, and when it was considered necessary to put the interests of the nation first. I should be one of the last members in this House knowingly to take any action that was unfair to any individual, or to deprive him of his freedom or of his rights as a British subject, but when we were in the throes of war, when there were definite statements that certain members of the Australia First Movement were engaged in subversive activities and definite recommendations to me as the responsible Minister that they should be interned, I felt that it was my duty to approve the recommendation. On the 27th March the honorable member for War- ringah **(Mr. Spender)** when speaking on this subject, said - >The entry of Japan into the struggle has made a substantial difference to the degree of proof required before an alien is interned. It seems to me that whereas previously some evidence was required before a person could be kept in internment, now the very least suspicion is sufficient justification for that action. The very least suspicion, he said, was sufficient justification for that action. He adopts a different attitude to-day. The Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Fadden)** moved the adjournment of the House on that date, no doubt with the full approval of the Opposition, and went a good deal further than the Government would go in regard to internments. The Government's attitude was selective internment after very searching inquiries, and not mass internment. On the 27th March, it was thought that Australia was going to be invaded. It is all very well to adopt a different attitude when there have been victories in the Coral Sea, at Midway Island and at Milne Bay. Then there is a suggestion of " to the winds with all these restrictions and precautionary measures ". But this is what the Leader of the Opposition said in this Parliament on the 27th March, 1942- >The position of enemy aliens should be considered in parallel with the activities of the Australia First Movement. My considered opinion is that - > >Immediate action should be taken by the Government to intern aliens in Australia, excluding nationals of our allies and friendly nations. > >Effective measures should be taken to investigate and restrict the activities of female enemy aliens. > >An independent commissioner should be appointed to inquire into and report upon all naturalization certificates granted during the last five years. > >4 ) In cases where the commissioner finds any circumstance which he considers suspicious, the person concerned should be interned. "Suspicious" is the word he used. There were no half measures. The right honorable gentleman was referring to British subjects when he said, " The fact that they are naturalized is not sufficient for me; I want to have all these cases reviewed for the last five years ". There was a general criticism that the Government was not going far enough in its internment policy. I admit that there was some division of opinion. The honorable member for Indi **(Mr. McEwen)** said - > >I endorse the action of the Government, and I am prepared to go so far as to say that no suspected person should be released from internment while there remain any grounds of suspicion against him. I was most careful in the course of my statement on the 26th March not to mention any names. The statement was worded in such a way as to indicate clearly that I did not imply that the subversive documents were found on all those who had been interned, but had been found in the possession of certain members of the Australia First Movement. The Military Intelligence decided as a precautionary measure, in view of certain evidence, to have all members of the Australia First Movement interned. The military authorities had been investigating this matter not for a day or a week, but for several months. The Deputy Chief of the General Staff considered that it was wise to make a statement to warn people that, before associating themselves with any movement, they should assure themselves of its bona fides, and it was not an organization which, under the cloak of a pleasing name, was engaging in subversive activities. At the time when these men were interned the position was very grave. They bad been detained because it was considered by Intelligence officers that that course was necessary in the interests of national security. We knew not when our country would be ravaged by the Japanese hordes. As I said at that time, I did not wishto prejudge the persons interned, but thought that they should be given an early hearing. All relevant papers were forwarded to the Solicitor-General who was asked to advise whether prosecutions should be launched against those believed to be involved, and the House was informed of that at the time. In my statement on the 27th March last I said - >For that reason it is unwise to prejudge cases. There are processes of law open to those who consider that they have been wrongly interned. They are entitled to appeal for release and have their cases heard by a tribunal which has already been constituted. That was the tribunal set up by the present member for Warringah when he was Minister for the Army. I believe that he was roundly criticized by the honorable member for Barker **(Mr. Archie Cameron)** in connexion with the setting up of some of these tribunals. Under the law as it stands to-day, any body who believes that he has been wrongly interned may apply to a tribunal which has already been constituted. There are two kinds of internment tribunals, one dealing with aliens and the other with British subjects. These are presided over by Supreme Court judges or ex-Supreme Court judges. I set out clearly what the procedure was as explained to me by the Solicitor-General, **Sir George** Knowles. All of the papers were referred to him, and upon his advice it was decided that the four persons who had been interned in Perth should be indicted. Voluminous documents had to be examined in Perth and in Sydney. Over 3,000 foolscap sheets of evidence had to be typed. Proceedings were instituted against the four persons in Western Australia and it was decided on the recommendation of the Solicitor-General that the others should not be prosecuted. The fact that a man has been interned does not mean that 'hp should be prosecuted under the Crimes Act; he should be permitted to appeal to the duly constituted tribunal. Two out of the four Western Australians were found guilty and imprisoned. The honorable member for Warringah knows that. He interned a large number of people when he was Minister for the Army, but he did not prosecute them. He set up a tribunal to hear their appeals *in camera.* At the time of the discussion in March he said that the slightest suspicion was sufficient to justify internment, but now he protests and suggests that something unfair has been done. I do not desire anything unfair to be done; I merely want justice done. It has been the policy of the present Government, and it was also the policy of the last Government, to intern suspected person's merely as a precautionary measure, to which recourse is had in order to prevent them from taking action prejudicial to the national interests. Many persons now interned have done nothing for which they could be charged in a court of law, but there were good grounds for deep suspicion. It is to prevent them from taking action that would be prejudicial, to public safety that they were interned. On the 26th March last I set out the procedure that would have to be adopted by these interned persons in order to have their cases heard by one of the tribunals. On the 2nd June only three of them had failed to appeal. Six of them lodged appeals and subsequently withdrew them. Then others, appealed and their cases were heard. The tribunal recommended that two of the internees be kept in custody and that five of them be discharged. The evidence on which the recommendations for internment were made was very bulky, and the preparation of the cases took some time. Instructions were given by me on several occasions that the work was to be completed without delay, even if additional staff had to be engaged. The appeals were heard late in June or early in July, and after due consideration the committee made its recommendations. Since then the Attorney-General has been made the Minister responsible for national security, following the appointment of the Director-General of Security, on my recommendation, in March last. A decision was made during the regime of the last Government that there should be a Director-General of Security under the Attorney-General, and that officer was appointed as the result of a recommendation made , by me to the Attorney-General. In addition to the compilation of dossiers in respect of each individual who had been interned, it was necessary to compile a general dossier on the movement which covered 3,000 pages. While this was being compiled work was continued night and day, and no obstacle was put in the way by mc as Minister. Nobody had greater regret than I that it was necessary to intern any member of the so-called Australia First. Movement who was known to be a British subject. I did not know any of them. My only concern was for the security of Australia. I therefore collaborated with the Solicitor-General and urged that the appeal cases be heard with the greatest possible expedition. For reasons that I have stated it was not possible to have the cases heard immediately. As the Attorney-General has said, there will be a Security conference on Saturday next. After my consultation with the Attorney-General that conference has been called. It will be attended not only by men at the head of Military Intelligence but also by those in charge of national security throughout Australia. We should have foremost in our minds the security of this country, but we wish to ensure that every man and woman shall have a fair deal. The Japanese were knocking at the door, as it were, at the time those internments were ordered. That was the atmosphere in March last when the honorable member for Warringah said that people should be placed in internment camps if the slightest suspicion rested on them. The Deputy Chief of the General Staff considered that there was ample evidence to justify the internments of these individuals at the time. I did not wish to prejudge them. As I have said, the machinery was available early in June to enable them to appeal. All but three of the internees appealed, and certain others withdrew their appeals. I am in favour of the others now appealing - something they should have done months ago. Any action taken by me was taken in the national interest on the recommendation of the highest military authority. {: #subdebate-18-0-s12 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order ! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-18-0-s13 .speaker-L08} ##### Mr ROSEVEAR:
Dalley .- Some time ago I interested myself in this matter with a view to obtaining some finality in regard to the internment of these people. I am not interested in them or in their movement, but I am concerned that a Labour government, which has always preached the doctrine of fair play, and has stood for British justice, should allow persons to remain in gaol for over six months without a proper trial. It is amazing to think that the Minister for the Army **(Mr. Forde)** should admit that what prompted him to make the charges he did make were, first, that statements had appeared in the press regarding these people and, secondly, Australia's imminent danger at the time. {: .speaker-F4U} ##### Mr Forde: -- I was asked definite questions in this House. {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr ROSEVEAR: -- Wot even statements in newspapers or the danger confronting this country should cause a Labour Minister to interfere with the freedom of the people. At the time when he made his statement to the House the Minister had only one alternative - he should not have allowed these people to languish in gaol without a trial, but he should have arranged for their speedy trial. If there was any justification for his statement on that occasion that was all the more reason why the persons concerned should have been brought to trial without delay. In reply to a question asked by the honorable member for Newcastle **(Mr. Watkins)** on the 26th March last, the Minister said - >Documents and papers which have been seized purport to show that certain people in Australia intended to make contact with the Japanese army at the moment of an invasion of Australia. The documents set out deliberate plans for sabotage at vulnerable points in this country, and described methods calculated to make resistance to the Japanese impossible. The graver the danger to the country the greater the reason why these people should have been brought to trial immediately, in order that justice should be done. The Minister's statement on that occasion continued - >Plans for the assassination of prominent people are set out. That statement prejudiced the possibility of a fair trial. It is true, as the Minister has said, that two courses are open to these internees : they may be tried before a specially constituted tribunal, or they may be tried under the Crimes Act. On the 27th March, the Minister said - >Some British subjects were interned quite recently, and their cases are now under the consideration of the Commonwealth SolicitorGeneral, who will advise the Government as to what action should be taken. We hope to have a report from that gentleman in the near future, and, under the Crimes Act, those persons against whom it is believed that we have sufficient evidence, will be arraigned before a Supreme Court judge and jury for trial. Now we are told, in effect, that work in the Attorney-General's Department proceeds so slowly that after six months the department is not in a position to proceed with the trial. I suggest now, as I suggested some time ago, that the real reason is that no charge which may be laid against these persons could succeed before an ordinary criminal tribunal. Certain persons in Western Australia have been tried and sentenced. Is there any reason why the persons in New South Wales who have been interned should not have been tried at the same time, more particularly if they had any real connexion with the persons tried in Western Australia? The Minister says that these persona have a tribunal open to them. I suppose that he knows that the methods adopted before that tribunal would not be tolerated in any ordinary court of law. Indeed, it was because some of the internees realized the futility of an appeal from Caesar to Caesar that they withdrew their appeals. This matter having been raised in the Parliament, I hope that the slur which has been cast on the Labour Government will be removed, and that these people will either be brought to trial speedily or released speedily. If we have to depend for their continued internment, on the evidence of men like the Crown witness in Western Australia, it is a sad lookout for justice in this country. Under cross-examination, that witness admitted that be was guilty of practically every crime in the calendar. In my opinion, nothing but a public trial of these persons will suffice, because should they be released by a tribunal, the stain on their character will not be erased, whilst should they be released as the result of agitation in this Parliament, it will be said that political pressure was brought to bear. The only proper course open to the Government is to have them tried publicly. If they then cannot clear their names, no penalty is too severe for them. If, however, they are innocent, they should be released and compensated for the injury that has been done to them. Moreover, should they be released because of their innocence, those who were responsible for misinforming the Minister concerning them should be dismissed from the Public Service. Question resolved in the affirmative. {: .page-start } page 60 {:#debate-19} ### PAPERS The following papers were pre sented : - Air Force Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, Nos. 254, 346. Arbitration (Public Service) Act - Determinations by the Arbitrator, &c. - 1942 - No. 24 - Commonwealth Legal Professional Officers' Association. No. 25 - Amalgamated Postal Workers' Union of Australia; and Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association. No. 26 - Non-official Postmasters' Association of Australia. No. 27 - Amalgamated Postal Workers' Union of Australia. No. 28 - Amalgamated Postal Workers' Union of Australia; Australian Third Division Telegraphists and Postal Clerks' Union; Fourth Division Postmasters, Postal Clerks and Telegraphists' Union; Line Inspectors' Association, Commonwealth of Australia; and Fourth Division Officers' Association of the Trade and Customs Department. No. 29 - Amalgamated Postal Workers' Unionof Australia. No. 30 - Fourth Division Officers' Association of the Trade and Customs Department ; and Commonwealth Public Service Artisans' Association. No. 31 - Commonwealth Public Service Artisans' Association. Australian Broadcasting Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, Nos. 297, 298. Australian Soldiers' Repatriation Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No. 214. War Pensions Entitlement Appeal Tribunal - Report for year 1941-42. Beer Excise Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No. 338. Cable and Wire Bounty Act - Return for year 1941-42. Commonwealth Grants Commission Act - Report of the Commonwealth Grants Commission on applications made by the States of South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania for Financial Assistance in 1942-43 from the Commonwealth under Section 96 of the Constitution. Commonwealth Public Service Act - Appointment of P. A. Tillyard, Department of Commerce. Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No 320. Contract Immigrants Act - Return for 1941. Customs Act - Proclamations prohibiting the Exportation (except under certain conditions) of - Boot polish; Silver; Certain organic fertilizers; Vegetable seeds (dated 8th July, 1942). Gum copal; Meat meal (dated 27th May, 1942). Postal exports exceeding a certain weight in any one calendar month (dated 3rd June, 1942). Printing ink powders and printing ink pastes; Derris root,derris powder and rotenone, and mixtures and compounds thereof; Cube root and cube powder; Gum damar; Kapok; Bristles; Vegetable oils; Duboisia myoporoides, eitheras leaves or as a concentrated extract (dated 6th August, 1942). Tea (dated 5th June, 1942). Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No. 323. Customs Act and Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, Nos. 286, 287. Defence Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, Nos. 289, 290, 333, 334, 347, 350. Defence Act and Naval Defence Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, Nos. 284, 336. Defence (Visiting Forces) Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942. No. 365. Estate Duty Assessment Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No. 292. Excise Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942. Nos. 291, 335. Immigration Act - Return for 1941. Income Tax Assessment Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No. 339. Income Tax (War-time Arrangements) Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No. 375. Jury Exemption Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No. 288. Lands Acquisition Act - Land acquiredFor Defence purposes - Adelaide, South Australia. Alexandria, New South Wales. Amberley, Queensland. Balmain, New SouthWales. Branxholm, Tasmania. Busseton, Western Australia. Cowra, New South Wales (2). Cressy. Victoria. Darwin, Northern Territory. Donnybrook, Victoria. Dubbo New South Wales. Elizabeth Bay, New South Wales (2). Essendon, Victoria (2). Evandale Tasmania. Gawler, South Australia (2). Geraldton, Western Australia. Goulburn, New South Wales. Highett, Victoria. Kangaroo Flat, Victoria. Largs, New South Wales. Laverton, Victoria. Lithgow. New South Wales. Lorn, New South Wales. Maffra, Victoria. Mallala, South Australia. Marrickville, New South Wales. Mount Gambier, South Australia (2). Normanton, Queensland. Petersham, New South Wales (2). Port Melbourne, Victoria. Pucka punyal, Victoria (2). Rocklea, Queensland. Sheffield, Tasmania. South Grafton, New South Wales. St. Mary's, New South Wales. Townsville, Queensland. Victor Harbour, South Australia. Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. Whorouly East, Victoria. Williamtown, New South Wales. Woolloomooloo, New South Wales. Zetland, New South Wales. For Postal purposes - Box Hill, Victoria. Caboolture, Queensland. Charleville, Queensland. Melbourne, Victoria. Mitchelton, Queensland. Morgan, South Australia. Penrith, New South Wales. Roma, Queensland. Seymour, Victoria. Spring Hill, Brisbane, Queensland. For Postal, telegraphic, telephonic and other like services- Brisbane, Queensland. Newcastle, New South Wales. Motor Industry Bounty Act - Return for year 1941-42. Motor Vehicle Engine Bounty Act - Return for year 1941-42. National Security Act - National Security (Economic Organization) Regulations - Order by Premier of Western Australia. National Security (Emergency Control) Regulations - Orders - District boundaries. Industries control. Military powers during emergency. Territories laws repeal and adopting. National Security (Emergency Supplies) Regulations - Rules - Queensland ( 2 ) , Victoria. National Security (Fertilizer Control) Regulations - Orders - Fertilizer mixture (Restriction of manufacture) . Fertilizer (Restriction of sales). Fertilizer (Returns of stocks of superphosphate ) . National Security (General) Regulations - Orders - Clothing materials investigation. Control of - Cane-Rattan. Cycle tyres and cycle tubes. French beans. Hand tools (2). Highways (3). Kapok. Leather. Lights (2). Rubber. Navigation (Recognition procedure) . Navigation (Small craft). Prohibited places (11). Prohibiting work on land (45). Requisitioning of binoculars. Taking possession of land, &c. (820). Use of land (99). Vegetable seeds ( 2 ) . Orders by State Premiers - New South Wales (2), Queensland (13), South Australia, Victoria (3), Western Australia (2). National Security (Internment Camps) Regulations - Rules - Camp ( 2 ) . National Security (Land Transport) Regulations - Direction by Land Transport Board to Victorian Railways Commissioners. National Security (Land Transport) Regulations - Orders - >Nos. 1-4. New South Wales (Nos. 1-3), Queensland (Nos. 1-3), South Australia (Nos. 1-4), Victoria (Nos. 1-7), Western Australia (Nos. 1, 2). National Security (Man Power) Regulations - Orders - Protected undertakings (155). Regulation of engagement of employees - Exemptions (2). National Security (Medical Co-ordination and Equipment) Regulations - Order - Control of medical equipment. National Security (Potatoes) Regulations - Orders Nos. 1-6. National Security (Prices) Regulations - Declarations Nos. 93-107. National Security (Prices) Regulations - Orders Nos. 651-768, 770-790. National Security (Prisoners of War) Regulations - Order - Prisoners of war (Pay arrangements ) . Rules- Camp (9). Trial of prisoners of war. National Security ( Supplementary ) Regulations - Orders by State Premiers - New South Wales (2), Queensland (4), Victoria, Western Australia (2). National Security (Timber Control) Regulations - Orders - Control of Timber (2). National Security (Vegetable Seeds) Regulations - Notices - Returns of vegetable seeds (2). National Security (Vegetable Seeds) Regulations - Order - Declaration of prescribed vegetables. National Security (War Damage to Property) Regulations - Orders - Declaration of indestructible goods. Local Government authorities. Rates of contributions. National Security (War-time Banking Control ) Regulations - Order - Exemption. Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, Nos. 77 (substitute copy), 251, 252, 253, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272. 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 293, 294, 295, 296, 299. 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318. 319, 321, 322. 325, 326, 327. 328, 330, 331, 332, 340, 341, 342, 343. 344, 345, 349, 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357. 358, 359, 360, 361, 362. Naval Defence Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No. 250. Navigation Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, Nos. 337, 364. Norfolk Island Act - Ordinance - 1942 - No. 1 - Church of England Land. Northern Territory Acceptance Act and Northern Territory (Administration) Act- Ordinances - 1942 - No. 4 - Income Tax Suspension. No. 5 - Medical Benefits Tax Suspension. No. 6 - Mining. Regulations - 1941- No. 12 (Motor Vehicles Ordinance ) . 1942 - No. 1 (Military Roads Ordinance). Rules under Local Courts Ordinance. Papua and New Guinea Bounties Act - Return for year 1941-42. Post and Telegraph Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No. 313. Rabbit Skins Export Charges Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No. 285. Raw Cotton Bounty Act - Return for 1941. Seat of Government Acceptance Act and Seat of Government (Administration) Act- Ordinances - 1942 - No. 12 - Crimes. No. 13 - Rationing Control (No. 2). No. 14 - Motor Traffic. No. 15 - Real Property. No. 16 - Building and Services (No. 2). No. 17 - Hospital Tax Suspension. Regulations - 1942 - No. 6 (Building and Services Ordinance) . No. 7 (Education Ordinance). Ship Bounty Act - Return for year 1941-42. Sulphur Bounty Act - Return foryear 1941-42. Superannuation Act - Nineteenth Annual Report of the Superannuation Board, for year 1940-41. Supply and Development Acts - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No. 306. Tractor Bounty Act - Return foryear 1941-42. War-time (Company) Tax Assessment Act - Regulations- Statutory Rules 1942, Nos. 264, 324. Widows' Pensions Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No. 329. Wine Export Bounty Act - Return for year 1941-42. Wine Grapes Charges Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No. 305. Wireless Telegraphy Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1942, No. 348. Wire Netting Bounty Act - Return for year 1941-42. House adjourned at 11.7 p.m. {: .page-start } page 62 {:#debate-20} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-20-0} #### ANSWER TO QUESTION *The following answer to a question was circulated: -* Shale Oil Production : Workers at Glen Davis. I now desire to inform the honorable member .that **Mr. Morrison,** Conciliation Commissioner, was instructed by Judge O'Mara to proceed to Glen Davis to deal with the matter under regulation 15 of the National Security (Industrial Peace) Regulations. On the 27th July, 1942, a conference between representatives of National Oil Proprietary Limited and of fourteen unions was presided over by the Conciliation Commissioner and an agreement was arrived at. The effect of the agreement is that the ls. 6d. a day or 10s. 6d. a week granted by Judge O'Mara on the 4th May, 1942, to metal trades workers camping at Glen Davis is to be extended to all employees except shale-miners, whether or not they live in cubicles, tents or houses, to be known in future as a " locality " allowance. The company, on a suggestion by the Conciliation Commissioner, agreed not to make any further deductions of ls. 6d. a man a week for cleaning camp. The shale-miners will still receive the " special disability allowance " of 3s. 6d. a day or 17s. 6d. a week awarded to them by Judge Drake-Brockman as chairman of the Central Coal Reference Board.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 2 September 1942, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.