House of Representatives
24 September 1943

17th Parliament · 1st Session

Mr. SPEAKER (Hon. I. S. Rosevear) took the chair at 10.30 a.m., and read prayers.

page 41




– Can the Minister representing the Postmaster-General say upon whose authority the honorable member for Darwin (Dame Enid Lyons) was permitted to make a broadcast over the national broadcasting network last Sunday evening? Can the honorable gentleman say further whether or not this departure from the traditional policy of the Australian Broadcasting Commission is to be applied generally to all members’ of the Commonwealth Parliament? Will he make inquiries, ‘and then state what the future policy of the Australian Broadcasting Commission is to be in this connexion ?

Minister for Information · MELBOURNE, VICTORIA · ALP

– I shall bring the matter to the attention of the PostmasterGeneral, and shall furnish a reply to the honorable member as speedily as possible.

page 42




– Has the Treasurer seen the cabled report, published in the Sydney Morning Herald of the 20th September, regarding the currency conference attended by representatives of Great Britain and the United States of America, at which, it was reported, sufficient agreement in respect of an international currency plan was reached to justify the holding of a conference of Empire, American and Allied representatives at an early date? If so, was Australia represented at the conference, either as a participant or as an observer? Is the honorable gentleman able to state what agreement was reached, and whether or not Australia is committed to any degree ?


– I have not seen the report referred to, but I am familiar with the discussions in regard to currency problems that have taken place overseas. The Australian Government was represented at some prior discussions in relation to this matter. The Government has been closely watching the situation, and has been kept fully informed of what has been done, but it has not so far committed Australia in any way.

page 42




-I ask the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture why the definite undertaking given by the Government, that a wool appraisement centre would be established at Geraldton, has not been given effect?

Minister for Commerce and Agriculture · GWYDIR, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– I am aware that the Government gave a definite undertaking that a wool appraisement centre would be established at Geraldton. Only recently, to my great surprise, was I apprised of the delay that had occurred in the. establishment of this centre. I assure the honorable member that I am as anxious as he is to have the establishment completed, and that I shall take every step that is open to me in that connexion.

page 42


Supplies for Victoria


-Can the Minister for

Commerce and Agriculture explain why differential rates of 30s. a case and 22s. a case have been fixed in respect of tomatoes marketed in New South Wales and Victoria, respectively? Are tomatoes, as the result of this differentiation in price, now being sent from South Australia to New South Wales, avoiding the Melbourne market? If so, what action is proposed by the Government to ensure that Victoria will receive adequate supplies of tomatoes, or at least its quota of those that are grown in other States?


– I am not fully aware of the details of movements of tomatoes, or of differential price rates, but I shall institute inquiries and, when informed of the facts, shall acquaint the honorable gentleman of them. If these inquiries disclose anomalies, I shall have them rectified immediately.

page 42



Release of Man-power.


– Can the Deputy Prime Minister state what action is proposed for the release of man-power, with a view to giving effect to the food programme laid down by the Government ?

Minister for the Army · CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND · ALP

– For some time, the whole subject of man-power has been receiving the attention of the Government, and for several weeks the War Commitments Committee has been considering it very carefully in consultation with the Chiefs of Staff and the DirectorGeneral of Man Power. A report has been prepared and submitted to the Prime Minister, and a decision will be made as soon as the Government has bad an opportunity to consider it carefully. The policy of the Government is to assist, as far as possible, in alleviating the great shortage of man-power that exists in primary industries to-day. It is hoped that, with the improvement of the strategic position, some relief may be given in this regard ; but the Government must keep in mind the security of Australia, and the need for maintaining a flow of reinforcements to our troops who are fighting so wonderfully in the islands to the north of Australia, as well as of providing sufficient additional strength to the Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Australian Navy. Any discharges from the Army must be contingent upon the maintenance of Australia’s fighting forces at the strength recommended to be necessary by the military advisers to the Government and approved by the War Cabinet. I assure the honorable member that his representations and those of other honorable members, on behalf of primary producers, will be taken into consideration. I point out, however, that it is impossible, while Australia is engaged in an all-in war effort, to guarantee to primary producers, or any other section of employers in this country, complete relief from the man-power difficulties which confront them to-day.


– Physically, many farmers are reaching breaking point due to the lack of labour, hut they continue to endeavour to work their farms because of promises which have been made by the Minister for the Army from time to time that “ steps are shortly to be taken to relieve the position in rural industries by releasing men from the Army “. When will the Minister actually reach a decision and make an announcement regarding the conditions of release, so that those engaged in the production of food may be ena bled to carry on their work?


– The Government appreciates the difficulties that confront the farming community in finding necessary labour. During the last twelve months up to 30,000 persons were temporarily released from the Army for seasonal work in primary industries, and a mobile force of 4,000 soldiers between the ages of eighteen and nineteen years was made available to provide labour to primary producers in various States. In addition, applications for the discharge of farmers’ sons have been given sympathetic consideration, having regard to the operational requirements of the Army.

Mr Fadden:

– All they have been given is consideration.


– From week to week, large numbers of discharges have been made on compassionate grounds. As I mentioned in reply to an earlier question, the War Commitments Committee and the Defence Committee have had this matter under consideration, and after consultation with the Chiefs of Staff and the Director-General of Man Power, have now submitted a report to the Government. War Cabinet will consider the report at an early date, and a definite announcement will then be made by the Prime Minister.


– Is the Minister for the Army aware that many sons of primary producers and agricultural workers, who are classified as unfit for active military service, are still being held in depot camps and their release for the purpose of engaging in the production of food is being refused by Army authorities? Will the Minister take steps immediately to rectify this anomaly?


– If the honorable member will submit to me a list of the names; and numbers of men concerned, I shall take immediate action.

Mr Abbott:

– I have already submitted that list.

page 43




– Will the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture make special efforts, by the setting up of a special organization or by other means, to have provided for primary producers in Queensland supplies of barbed wire, wire netting, galvanized iron and other similar materials, for which they have been asking for many months and of which there is an acute shortage, and thus assist in the maintenance of food production ?


– I have already had a conference on this subject with the Minister for Munitions, whose department, he has informed me, and I know, is doing everything possible to release the materials mentioned by the honorable member. Realizing asI do the importance of food production, I am making every effort to expedite relief in this matter.

Mr Francis:

– Will the honorable gentleman see that rail transport is provided ?


– I shall discuss that matter with the transport authorities, with a view to avoiding delay in that respect.

page 43



Effect on Tyre Mileage.


– Can the Minister for

Supply and Shipping furnish information concerning the mileage given by a. rubber tyre on a motor vehicle fitted with a charcoal gas unit compared with that of a tyre on a vehicle that is not fitted with such a unit? If his department has not the information, will he endeavour to obtain it from another government department, either Federal or State, which has compiled the data?

Minister for Supply and Shipping · WEST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– An actual test of the character mentioned has not yet been made. Much criticism has lately reached the department in regard to the effect which producer-gas Units have upontyres. In view of this criticism, my department is now making an investigation of the matter.

page 44



Pig Meats - Black Market Beef - Distribution - Stock Vans


– Can the Minister forCommerce and Agriculture reply to a letter which I sent to him and to the Controller of Meat two or three weeks ago, asking for the release of a quota of small pigs of from50 lb. to 75 lb. in the north coast district ofNew South Wales, in order to prevent their being starved to death, and, in addition, increase the supply of pig meats?


– I referred the communication direct to the Controller of Meat, who promisedto furnish a reply. This has not yet reached me. I shall endeavour to, because I realize the seriousness of the matter.


– Has the Minister for Commerce seen a report in to-day’s Sydney newspapers that butchers are unable to obtain supplies of beef because of operations on a black market? Will the Minister have immediate inquiries made in order to see whether the matter warrants the launching of prosecutions ?


– I have discussed this matter with the Controller of Meat and drastic action has already been taken. I have given instructions that the investigation shall be pursued, and that no black marketeer is to be spared.


– Has the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture . given consideration to the statement made by Sir William Angliss to the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria in which he claimed that Victoria was being victim ized in the distribution of meat for the benefit of other States? Is it a fact, as claimed by Sir William Angliss, that in no other State is the restriction on the distribution of mutton and lamb so severe as in Victoria ? Is it also a fact that in New South Wales the distribution of beef has been curtailed by only 331/3 per cent, as against 662/3 per cent, in Victoria? If those are facts, what action does the Minister propose to take in order to achieve a fairer distribution of meat throughout the Commonwealth?


– I do not know the details of Sir William Angliss’s remarks. This is the first time I have heard anything about them. But I do know that there is no differentiation and that there is no rationing of mutton in any State of the Commonwealth.

Mr Holt:

– No restriction?


– No restriction. The only restriction in regard to beef is that a certain proportion is diverted to the services and to buildup a reserve. I shall have an investigation made. The difficulty in Victoria is accentuated by lack of transport. We are trying to overcome that as much as possible. If there are anomalies, the Government will do all it can to remove them.


– I ask the Minister for Transport whether it is a fact that the Victorian Government has reduced the number of stock vans available for bringing stock to the markets in Victoria, although the coal necessary to run these trains is available? If so, will he take action to ensure that additional vans shall be made available in order to ensure that there shall be no shortage of meat supplies in Victoria?

Minister for External Territories · EAST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– I have no knowledge of the details of the matter, but I shall make immediate inquiries and take prompt action if it be required.

page 44



Supplies of Australian Wheat


– Has the attention of the Deputy Prime Minister been directed to resolutions passed by the executive of the Victorian Country party, relating to the acute famine conditions in India, because of which many of our British compatriots are dying? Will the honorable gentleman take steps to see that a portion of the Australian surplus of wheat is made available as quickly as possible to the starving people in that portion of the British Empire?


– Already, 50,000 tons of wheat has been shipped to India, in order to provide relief for those who are in need of it. The supplies that can be sent are governed by the transport that is available; because of the existing acute shortage of shipping, it is not possible for us to be as generous as the honorable member would wish us to be. I assure him that the matter will be fully considered by the appropriate Ministers and discussed by the Government. A further reply will be given to him later.

page 45




– Has the Government received protests from local authorities and organizations in country districts against the reintroduction of daylight saving, and, if so, what consideration was given to those protests before ‘the Government reached its decision? Did the Government obtain expert advice as to the effect of daylight saving on primary industries? If so, will the Deputy Prime Minister table the reports of the experts?


– Full consideration was given to all the factors involved, including the representations of government instrumentalities throughout Australia. The Commonwealth Government communicated with all the State governments, and obtained expressions of opinion from them.

Mr McEwen:

– Are the State governments in favour of daylight saving?


– Most of them are in favour of it, though some are opposed. The most important factors which moved the Government to come to its decision were the necessity for saving coal and electric power, and the possibility of increased primary production. Daylight saving doubtless involves certain disabilities, but it is thought that most of them are capable of adjustment. The period fixed for the operation of the scheme on this occasion, namely, the 3rd October,- 1943, to the 26th March, 1944, was selected with a view to obtaining the maximum advantage during the summer months from the economies to be derived. I assure honorable members that the decision of the Government was reached only after exhaustive inquiries had been made in all States from persons in a position to advise .the Government regarding the merits and demerits of the scheme.

Mr Fadden:

– Which States were in favour of it?


– The report is a long one and I shall supply a copy to the honorable member.

page 45




– In view of the recent; announcement that the immediate danger of invasion hae passed, and in view of .the general improvement of the war situation, will the Minister for War Organization of Industry lift the restrictions on homebuilding, having regard to the fact that in many industrial areas workers and their families are living in bag shacks, and in other instances two and even three families are occupying one house?

Minister in charge of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research · CORIO, VICTORIA · ALP

– It will be realized that the resources available for civilian building are governed by military requirements. The Deputy Prime Minister has just -indicated that the whole subject of man-power is under review by the Government, and until a decision has been reached as to the most effective use of man-power over the whole field of industry, it is not possible for me to promise any relaxation of the existing building control.

page 45



Exhibition of Films


– I understand that a series of films entitled Why we Fight has been received in this country, and I should like to know why they have not been exhibited to the public? Will the Minister for Information take steps to ensure that the public shall be allowed to see the films and so learn something of the causes of the war, and something of the magnificent effort which the people of Great Britain have made in the war?


– These films have been held up for various reasons. In one instance, exhibition was delayed at the request of the British producers until a sound recording of a speech by Mr. Churchill could reach this country, so that it might be incorporated in the film, thus making it a better production. There is no sinister reason for the delay in exhibiting the films, an<? every opportunity will be taken by the Department of Information, and by the commercial interests involved, to place the films before the public.

page 46



Legal Aid .fob Pension Claimants.


– (Will the AttorneyGeneral take steps to ensure that returned soldiers in South Australia shall enjoy the same legal facilities when making pensions claims as are now enjoyed by applicants in New South Wales?

Attorney-General · BARTON, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– It is the intention of the Government to make the same service available in South Australia as. elsewhere. If the honorable member will supply me with particulars of cases he has in mind, I shall look into them immediately.

page 46




– Has the Minister for Supply and Shipping any information to give regarding the establishment of the aluminium industry, and when does .he expect to introduce legislation to give effect to the Government’s pre-election promise that the industry would be established in Tasmania?


– The department has collected a considerable amount of information on this subject. Some of it was compiled during the term of office of the previous Government. We are now preparing a bill dealing with the matter and hope to bring the bill before Parliament in due course.

Mr Guy:

– A promise was given that the industry would be established in Tasmania.


– That will be attended to.

page 46




– Can the Minister for the Army say whether there is any truth in the report published in this morning’s press that the Government contemplates taking nation to prevent members of Par liament from holding active appointments in the armed forces? If so, will he explain the motive behind this contemplated action?


– I have not yet read this morning’s newspapers, but I can assure the honorable member that no statement has been made on behalf of the Government in regard to the matter referred to. Moreover, it is not the practice of Ministers to announce Government policy in reply to questions.

page 46




– In view of the substantial reserves already accumulated in the War Damage Insurance Fund, and having regard to the increased security of Australia, is it proposed to relieve property owners of the obligation to pay further premiums?


– I propose to make certain recommendations to Cabinet regarding the premiums payable in respect of war damage insurance, but I am not now in a position to give a more definite reply to the honorable member’s question.

page 46


Deputy Prime Minister · Capricornia · ALP

– I move -

That the House, at its rising, adjourn to Tuesday ‘next, at 3 p.m.

Mr Menzies:

– Will the Deputy Prime Minister inform honorable members upon what days the House will meet next week ?


– It is proposed that this House shall sit on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week. A Supply Bill covering two months will be introduced on Tuesday, and must be passed by Thursday, because existing Supply runs out on that day. The Senate will sit on Wednesday and Thursday, and Parliament will adjourn on Thursday so as to give honorable members an opportunity to visit their electorates during the long week-end. The Government has urgent matters to consider in Cabinet.

INDI, VICTORIA · CP; LCL from 1940; CP from 1943

– Is it proposed that Parliament shall sit during the following, week ?


– Yes.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

page 47





– Recently, the Minister for’ Air announced in a press statemeat that “ Aircrew sergeants will be promoted to Flight Sergeant after six months, and to Warrant Officer after another twelve months “. Will the Minister assure the Parliament that the past omissions in this regard of aircrews in Britain, the Middle East, and elsewhere overseas, will be made good by backdating promotion and pay, and that this shall apply also in regard to casualties and prisoners of war? Will he also give an assurance that members of aircrew, some of whom have had hundreds of hours of operational flying, will be considered retrospectively for commissions?


– I made a statement on this subject in this House on the 30th June last, in the course of which I announced details of the new agreement under the Empire Air Training Scheme regarding the basis upon which promotions would be made. I assure the honorable member that whatever was agreed upon will be done, and if there is any need, to take retrospective action in regard to the granting of commissions that will, if possible, be done. The men who have served in outlying ‘areas will be included in any recommendations which may be made.

page 47



Reduction of Interest Rate


– Having regard to the downward trend, of interest rates during the last few years, will the Minister for ^Repatriation confer with the Treasurer with a view to having interest rates reduced on money owing on war service homes?

Minister for Repatriation · FRANKLIN, TASMANIA · ALP

– This is really a matter of Government policy,, but I shall have an investigation made and supply, an answer to the honorable member later.

page 47




– In view of the desperate shortage of doctors and .nurses for civilian requirements, will the Minister for the Army have a review made of the position in regard to Army doctors and nurses - seeing that the Army medical organization has been built up to battle casualty strength - with a view to providing some relief for the civilian medical services ?


– Realizing the importance of having a proper balance as between the requirements of the civil population and those of the fighting services, the Government decided some time ago to discharge from the Army those medical men who had passed their fortieth birthday if they made application for discharge. Under that arrangement, nearly 200 medical men have already been discharged from the Army. The number of doctors in the Army to-day is only 60 per cent, of the war .establishment, so there is still a shortage. I have discussed this matter with the Director-General of Medical Services. The Government will have the matter further considered in the near future in order that some further relief might be given to the civilian services; but, at all times, we must ensure that the troops, particularly those in the fighting areas, shall be amply served by medical men of the highest qualifications. I know that the right honorable gentleman is quite in agreement with that.

page 47




– -Can the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture say how many flour mills will supply flour for the 500,000 tons contract at present being filled for his department? In view of the present great demand for rail transport, will the Minister consider a proposal to take delivery and pay for flour at the country mill, thus making it possible for idle country mills to share in the flour trade?


– All the flour mills in Australia will be needed to cope with the orders ahead. We are now consulting with the man-power authorities in order to obtain the “release of the men needed to man the mills. The orders are so great that all the mills will be working at full capacity. With regard to railway freights, I understand that, under the export orders, all mills will be on an equal footing regardless of locality. However, if there is any differentiation, I shall see that it is removed.

page 48




– In view of the serious transport position in Victoria and the disastrous position of Victorian and Southern Riverina stock-owners, owing to the shortage of coal, I ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps the Government proposes to take to end the present industrial disturbances in the coal-‘mining industry of New South “Wales?


– There have been some industrial stoppages here and there in the coal-mining industry, but, as the result of definite action taken by the Government, the production of coal increased from 11,000,000 tons in 1940 to 15,000,000 tons, an all time record, last year. That record production was reached with fewer men in the coalmining industry than in 1940. The Government, by improving industrial machinery, and by the appointment of reference boards and by the indefatigable work of the Minister for Labour and National Service, has minimized stoppages in the coal-mining industry.


– Can the Minister for Supply and Shipping tell me whether the Government has yet given consideration to the report of the commission that was presided over by His Honour Judge Drake-Brockman in which certain recommendations were made to obviate the troubles in the coal-mining industry? If the Government has not given that consideration, will he explain why not?


– The report mentioned by the honorable member was submitted to the Government. I understand that the honorable gentleman is a member of the commission. As to the recommendations made, the important one, I think, is for an extension of the powers of the Coal Commission and for adding to its members. This is a matter which involves a departure from the original policy agreed to between the Government and the Miners Federation regarding the powers of the Coal Commission. It is true that the report has not been fully considered but, as the new Government has been sworn in, I shall arrange to have it brought forward at an early date.


– Will the Deputy Prime Minister reconcile his expressed satisfaction with the current coal pro.duction with the statement made a few days ago in Sydney by Mr. Orr, who is, I understand, the miners’ representative on the Coal Commission, and who for six years has been general secretary of the Miners Federation? According to a report, Mr. Orr stated that the coal position to-day is more acute than it has been at any period of the war. How does the Deputy Prime Minister reconcile his expressed satisfaction


– Order ! The honorable member knows that he is not framing his question properly. He is not entitled to debate the subject.


– My question relates to the statistics quoted by Mr. Orr when expressing his opinion regarding the decline of coal production. Mr. Onstated that, in 1942, the consumption of coal was 14,864,000 tons.

Mr Forde:

– Is the honorable member giving information to me, or does he want me to give information to him ?


– I am asking a question, and the Minister’s reply must be based upon certain facts. Mr. Orr declared that the production of coal in 1942 was 14,855,000 tons, and the consumption for the same period was 14,864,000 tons. Mr. Orr added that in 1943, fewer man-hours had been worked in the industry than in 1942, and production had declined. I ask the Deputy Prime Minister to explain what steps are being taken by the Government, in pursuance of the series of regulations which it has promulgated, to meet this declared position, namely, that coal production is actually declining?


– I did not express satisfaction with the present coal production. In 1940, our production was 11,000,000 tons. Last year, the figure was approximately 15,000,000 tons. I also stated that fewer man-hours a week had been lo.«t last year. Indeed, the total was only one-third of the number lost in 1940. But we should be deceiving ourselves if we thought that, by some wave of a magician’s wand, stoppages of work in the coal-mining industry could’ be eliminated in this country, the United States of America, or Great Britain.


– Order ! The mining situation in the United States of America and Great Britain is not involved in this question.


– The Government is taking all possible steps to increase the production of coal, and its efforts have been largely successful. That the Government does not condone stoppages in the industry is shown by its administrative and legislative acts.


– Is the Government satisfied with the coal position in Australia, having regard to the disparity between production and consumption? If the Government is not satisfied, what definite steps does Cabinet propose to take in order to remedy the position?


– The Government is not satisfied with the position, and for that reason it has been doing everything possible to increase production. The matter will receive further consideration at the earliest opportunity.

page 49



Minister for Commerce and Agriculture come to an early decision in regard to the matter of releasing to farmers, who were obliged to surrender wheat to the Government at 2s. a bushel last year, that wheat which they may require for stock feeding purposes this year, particularly in South Australia and Western Australia, on account of the drought conditions prevailing?


– That would be rather difficult, but we have made arrangements, as I expect the honorable member is aware, to supply to stock feeders that wheat at a substantially reduced price.

Mr Archie Cameron:

– I am not aware.


– The Government is subsidizing that wheat and the reduction of price is not being made at the expense of the wheat-growers. That wheat is still the property of the wheat-growers of Australia. Whatever price it realizes will be returned to them. They will receive the full market value and that will be considerably in advance of 2s. a bushel. We expect at an early date to make a further advance on the residue of the wheat referred to by the honorable member.

page 49




– I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services is it te intention of the Minister to ask Parliament to amend the Invalid and Old-age Pensions Act at an early date with” a view to increasing the invalid and old-age pensions in accordance with the increased cost of living?

Minister for Labour and National Service · MELBOURNE, VICTORIA · ALP

– Amendment of the Invalid and Old-age Pensions Act is a matter of Government policy and it will be considered by Cabinet in due course: Provision for adjustment of the invalid and old-age pension in accordance with the cost-of-living figures is already in operation.

page 49


Voting by Servicemen.


– I am reliably informed that some complete units-


– Order ! The honorable member knows how to ask a question.


– Will the Deputy Prime Minister say whether all members of the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Imperial Force were allowed to vote at the recent general elections? Will he obtain a statement from the Chief Electoral Officer in order to find out whether complete- units did not vote?


– The decision of the Government was that all the men of the fighting services should be given the opportunity to vote, and no report that they did not vote has been received by the Government. Judging by the results, the men of the fighting services showed appreciation of the facilities that were provided.


– Will the Deputy Prime Minister ask the Chief Electoral Officer whether any unit or any ship’s crew did not, in fact, vote at the recent election, and will he report the result of his inquiry to the House?


– Yes, I shall inquire into the matter. I visualize certain conditions under which, probably, it was impossible for a certain unit of the Navy or units of the Australian Army in forward operational areas to vote, but no report has been received by the Government to indicate that they did not vote. When I have made inquiries, I shall advise honorable members of the result.

page 50




– Will the Minister for Transport examine the position resulting from the decision of the Victorian railway authorities to discontinue booking seats? Having regard to the inconvenience and unnecessary discomfort caused will he endeavour to have the matter adjusted more satisfactorily.


– I shall give the matter my immediate attention and supply an early reply.

page 50




– Can the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture say whether the fact that the vegetable production goal of 400,000 acres is short by 60,000 acres, as disclosed in this morning’s press, is owing to lack of manpower, lack of equipment, lack of seed or lack of a satisfactory price? What is She Government going to do about it?


– 1 am not quite aware what the “ lacks “ are, but I do know that the Government is doing everything possible to meet the situation. The reports that I have received as the Minister responsible are most encouraging. Our home gardening programme is meeting with a ready response. I have been informed by the vegetable seed merchants that twice as much seed has been distributed this season as last season. Everywhere in Australia the home gardening programme is receiving impetus and encouragement, and we are getting practical results.

Sir Earle Page:

– Why the shortage?


– Perhaps certain goals have not been achieved ; if so, manpower is the responsible factor. However, the whole matter is well organized, and I do not fear any unsatisfactory results.

page 50



– I present the report of the Broadcasting Committee for the period the 3rd September, 1942, to the 7th July, 1943.

page 50



Accommodation for Lumpers


– In view of the scarcity of labour for harvesting, will the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture discuss with the silo authorities the advisability of having silos emptied at stations where there is no accommodation for wheat-lumpers ? Men will not go to places where lack of accommodation, and scarcity of water, impose a real hardship upon them.


– I shall discuss the matter with the manager of the Australian Wheat Board, Mr. Thomson. Everything possible is being done to give effect to the opinion expressed by the honorable member.

page 50




– Will the Deputy Prime Minister inform me whether he announced yesterday that the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) had been appointed Minister for Transport and External Territories, or Minister for Transport to External Territories? Will the Government send the Minister on an immediate visit to all external territories which are under his administration ?

Question not answered.

page 50




-Will the Department of Air and Civil Aviation take steps to ensure that, in the post-war period at least, Australia will be in a position to participate to a proper degree in air transport between this and other countries? I ask that question because certain other allied powers are “getting in on the ground floor “ to arrange for air transport in tike post-war era, and it will be necessary for Australia to take certain steps if we desire to provide suitable employment for many of our trained airmen who to-clay are serving overseas.


– I assure the honorable member that the situation is being carefully watched at the present time. At an early date, this Government will be represented at a conference at which preliminary matters will be discussed.

page 51



Broadcasting of Debates


– As we now have in this Parliament a Labour Government that’ will shortly bring down most important legislation, will the Minister representing the Postmaster-General consider the advisability of broadcasting debates at specified hours?


– I am sure that the Postmaster-General will give every consideration to the honorable member’s suggestion. If he sees the position in the same way as does the honorable member, he will make necessary arrangements.

page 51



Mortgage Bank Department


– Will the Treasurer inform mu whether the Mortgage Bank Department of the Commonwealth Bank is yet transacting business? If” it is not, when will the branch commence operations ?


– I believe that it will commence operations on the 27th September.

page 51



Leave for Soldiers


– Some time ago, a promise was made that all soldiers would be granted leave after twelve months’ service in New Guinea. I have information from a number of soldiers that, although they have served for the requisite period, they have not been granted leave. Will the Minister for the Army ensure that troops who have that period of service in New Guinea will be given leave?


– Yes. War Cabinet decided that men stationed at base establishments in New Guinea for a period of twelve months shall be granted leave. Of course, leave was given to members of those divisions which were in action in New Guinea. After -a few months’ service, they were withdrawn, and given a respite. General Sir Thomas Blarney has advised me that he is doing everything possible to give effect to the decision of War Cabinet, but lack of shipping facilities and air transport hinders him in carrying out as expeditiously as he intended the granting of leave to troops serving in New Guinea. I assure the honorable member that the matter is constantly before us, and will not be overlooked.

page 51


Mr SPEAKER (Hon J S Rosevear:

– I have received from His Excellency the Governor-General a commission authorizing me to administer to members of the House the oath, or affirmation, of allegiance. I now lay the commission on the table.

page 51



– I move-

That the honorable member for Kennedy (Mr. Riordan) be appointed Chairman of

Committees of this House.


– I have pleasure in seconding the motion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Deputy Prime Minister · Capricornia · ALP

– I extend to the honor-, able member for Kennedy the hearty congratulations of the Government, and, I believe, of all honorable members of the House, on his election as Chairman of Committees, an office which carries with it the Deputy Speakership. From my association with the honorable member over a number of years, I believe that he possesses the character, judgment and ability necessary to enable him to carry out the important duties of his new office with complete impartiality and with satisfaction to all honorable members. Therefore, I have special pleasure in congratulating him.

Leader of the . Opposition · Kooyong

– On behalf of the Opposition I also extend congratulations to the honorable member for Kennedy. We are quite sure that he will discharge his duties with impartiality and that he will treat us on our merits, which is the best and the worst for which we can hope. We trust that he will have a successful term of office.

Leader of the Australian Country party · Darling Downs

– As the Leader of the Australian Country party and also as a fellow Queenslander I congratulate the honorable member for

Kennedy upon his elevation to the very important and honorable post of Chairman of Committees of this House. Having known him for a considerable period, and also having known his father and uncles for many years, I am quite satisfied that the honorable gentleman will discharge his duties to the entire satisfaction of the House and with great credit to himself.

Mr.RIORDAN (Kennedy). - I thank honorable members for the honour that they have conferred upon me by electing me to this high office. I also thank the Deputy Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the Country party for the sentiments they have expressed and for the confidence that they repose in me. I trust that I shall be able to justify this confidence.

page 52



Mr. Chambers, for the committee appointed to prepare an Address-in-Reply to His Excellency the Governor-General’s Speech (vide page 19), presented the proposed address, which was read by the Clerk.


.- I move -

That the following Address-in-Reply to His Excellency the Governor-General’s Speech be agreed to: -

We, the House ofRepresentatives of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, in Parliament assembled, desire to express our loyalty to our Most Gracious Sovereign, and to thank Your Excellency for the speech which you have been pleased to address to Parliament.

I desire, first, to express my sincere thanks to the Prime Minister . (Mr. Curtin) for the great honour which he has conferred upon me in asking me to make this motion. Three years ago, when the Sixteenth Parliament of the Commonwealth assembled, reference was made to the serious state ofwar which was occupying the attention of many countries and particularly to the position of the Allied Nations, including Australia, at that time. Before long the war had been brought much nearer to this country, and, early in 1941, Australia for the first timein its history knew what it was to have its territory violated by an enemy. Since then the war outlook has brightened considerably; the Allies have now changed from the defensive to the offensive, a fact which gives to all of us deep satisfaction and a sense of much greater safety. Many must share in the credit for the magnificent war effort that has been made in the Pacific. To the allied nations we must express our most sincere thanks for this result. In our hours of peril, the gallant men ofthe American forces have served Australia well on sea and land and in the air, and our own Australian servicemen and women have also rallied to our cause magnificently and have covered themselves with glory. To the Curtin Labour Government, which took office in our darkest hour, the people of Australia owe a deep debt of gratitude.

Honorable members assembled yesterday at the opening of one of the most important Parliaments in the history of this country. I believe that during the life of this Parliament hostilities will cease, and that this Government will have to discharge important responsibilities in relation to post-war reconstruction. Immediately after the first Curtin Government assumed office, it set out to put Australia on a100 per cent, war strength, and that it accomplished that task magnificently was shown by the appreciation of the electors at the recent general elections. The Curtin Government appealed to the people of Australia to support it because of its war record, and the people emphatically showed their confidence in the Government by returning 49 Labour members to this House. During its period of office the Curtin Government had to impose many restrictions which it did not desire to impose, but it displayed firmness in the face of danger, and the people have now indicated their appreciation of this attitude and have also shown their willingness to accept necessary restrictions. There were grumbles and complaints, of course, and these were magnified by the anti-Labour press throughout the country, but the people have demonstrated that they are satisfied with Labour’s administration and have given the Curtin Government a strong mandate to carry on its good work.

After the last war the members of the Labour party in this House had to accept decisions by the government of the day which sowed the seeds of the worst depression in Australian history. This Government is determined that nothing of that kind shall occur again. It will not repeat the folly of those days, and it is determined that it will do everything in its power to ensure that ex-service men and women shall be provided with employment upon their return to civil life. The Government realizes that the fundamental problem is not the finding of money but the proper use of our manpower and resources. “We have the sorry spectacle, during the depression years, of parents begging employers to retain their sons in employment, after the boys had reached the age of 21 years, at the miserable wage of 20s. a week. Moreover, many thousands of people in this country were put on the dole. Many of the fairest of Australia’s girlhood ‘unsuccessfully sought employment as domestics in those days for a wage of 5s. and keep. This Government has determined that such conditions shall not operate after this war.

A new order is to be born, and it will be the responsibility of the Government to ensure that the people of Australia shall be provided with social services which will assure a good standard of living. To the greatest degree possible, these social services will be provided even before the end of the war. There is a crying need for additional housing accommodation in this country. The Curtin Government will endeavour, through the Commonwealth Housing Commission, to provide adequately, and as quickly as possible, for all the people who need homes. The Government is determined that after the war a housing scheme shall be put into operation which will meet fully the requirements of the people.

It will be impossible to solve many of the problems that will confront the Government in the next three years unless important alterations be made to the Commonwealth Constitution. It is my personal desire, and I believe that it is the desire of all supporters of the Government, that the people of Australia shall be given an opportunity in the near future to approve of necessary alterations of the Constitution. The decision of the people on the 21st August last indicates to me that they will favour such alterations of the Constitution as will enable this Government to put into operation an effective post-war policy. It is the desire of the people that this Government shall be known as the Labor Victory Government in the present fight against aggression and also during the ensuing period of peace.


– In seconding the motion, I am conscious of the high honour conferred upon me by the Prime Minister (Mr. Curtin) and the great responsibility imposed upon me by the electors of Robertson in electing me to the Seventeenth Parliament.

The Government has been elected with a large majority in this House and in the Senate, and has a great opportunity as well as a duty to do a splendid job for the welfare of Australia. The electors have spoken ; they have said to the Curtin Government, in effect, “During the twenty months you have been in office you have done a good job; you have conducted the affairs of state in such a manner as to meet with our full approval, and we want you to carry on for a further term “. The Government regards the war as the paramount issue. In this view it has the full appreciation and entire agreement of the people of Australia. They have been pleased to find that there has not been a shortage of money for the conduct of our defence operations, but experience difficulty in understanding why in the days of peace many of our citizens were allowed to starve in this land which is so full of all the necessaries of life and so rich in natural resources. Never again will the people of Australia accept from anybody the statement that money cannot be found for peace-time projects. The war, however, must first be won. With the honorable member for Adelaide (Mr. Chambers), I believe that it will end during the term of this Parliament. The Government, having assisted to achieve victory, will then have the great responsibility of winning the peace in this country. Those who voted it back into office will expect to- have assured to them for all time security of employment, proper housing conditions, and freedom from want. They will also expect that when their children leave school to go into the world they, in their turn, will have security of employment and appropriate assistance in the commencement of their careers. There is great satisfaction abroad because of the knowledge that the Government is planning for post-war reconstruction and is making ready to switch the great war growth of agriculture and industry from a war economy to a peace economy immediately the war ends. The responsibility that rests upon Ministers is a heavy one; but the Government will act fearlessly and with determination in order to ensure that the people of this great country shall never again suffer’ the agonies of depression. The promises that have been made to the fighting services must be fulfilled in their entirety. Indeed, that applies to all the promises which the Government made to the people as a whole. We must not be unmindful of that Article of the Atlantic Charter which relates to the improvement of labor standards, economic advancement, and social security.

The States are, in some degree, in conflict with the Commonwealth in regard to the respective powers which each should exercise. The statement has been made by a very high authority, and repeated many times, that the Commonwealth Parliament is allpowerful in times of war but is helpless in respect of many matters in times of peace. That is a frightening statement. It is hoped that without undue delay the Government will take the necessary steps to have the Commonwealth Constitution altered. I regard this matter as one of national emergency, and consider that it should be approached in a national, not in a party spirit. It is urgent, and must be tackled before the termination of the war. After the war, the people, especially the men who return from the Army to peace-time occupations, will be in no mood to listen to technical legal arguments in explanation of why the Commonwealth has not discharged its responsibility to them. All plans for post-war reconstruction will be futile unless wider powers be obtained for the Commonwealth Parliament. There is grave disappointment throughout Aus- tralia at the failure to implement the agreement that was arrived at by the Constitution Convention that assembled in Canberra in November of last year. It is a matter for regret that certain reactionary State Parliaments have not seen fit to assist the Commonwealth by referring to it powers that it urgently needs in order to deal with post-war reconstruction. There is national impatience and resentment at the holding up of these necessary and urgent matters by the recalcitrant State Parliaments, and this feeling will be intensified if it be found, as it may be, that thoseresponsible for the hold-up are a few reactionary gentlemen in the upper Houses of some of the States. Paragraph 31 of the Speech of His Excellency the Governor-General is doubtless intended to mean that the Government will take prompt steps to attend to such matters as the alteration of the Constitution, and that the people of the Commonwealth will be- invited in due course to signify their approval of changes that are so urgently required. I have not the slightest doubt that they will readily give that approval.

I thank honorable members for the attentive hearing they have given to me, and express the hope that when the Governor-General makes his next Speech, we shall have crushed our enemies, this great country of ours will have passed again into the sunny days of peace and general prosperity will have been established.

Leader of the Opposition · Kooyong

– In the first place, I express regret at the absence of the Prime Minister (Mr. Curtin), who, after a strenuous period of office and a strenuous election campaign, is indisposed. After all, the last election, whatever odd feelings it might have brought to some of us, must have brought to the right honorable gentleman a feeling of great personal satisfaction. I could wish that he might have been here at the opening of this Parliament, so that he .might see his well-stocked government benches and, looking at his recruits, have, I should hope, the same feeling about them as the Duke of Wellington had on a certain notable occasion. It has been said of Wellington that once, when recruits were paraded before him, he looked at, them and said : “ Gentlemen, I do not ‘know what effect you will have on the enemy, but you terrify me.”

The second thing that I want to do before addressing myself .to the Speech of His Excellency the Governor-General is to congratulate the two honorable gentlemen who have proposed and seconded the motion for the adoption of the Addressin.Reply. Each of them, I believe, made an immediate impression on all honorable members of sincerity arid of taking serious problems seriously. I am quite sure that they will be a welcome addition to the debating strength of the House. They have also set a new standard. I do not know how far the rest of us will be able to live up to it, but I am quite certain that they were the two briefest opening speakers to whom we have listened. I hope that they will not be corrupted in course of time. In the meantime, I and all other members on my side of the House welcome them and their colleagues. . That welcome is nonetheless sincere when I say that we hope that the experience of all of them will be confined to one Parliament.

I turn from that to say something about the Governor-General’s Speech, a Speech to which, I am sure, all honorable members listened with great interest yesterday. It will be no expression of disrespect to His Excellency if I add that honorable members listened to it with some disappointment, because it was one which contained hints rather than statements ; it contained a rehearsal of a series of events which are now quite well known, but in relation to the future it did not say very much.

Mr Conelan:

– That will come in due course.


– Of course, the obvious supplement to my statement is that of my friend from Griffith (Mr. Conelan) - that will come in due course. I suppose that “ due course “ will be due course when the Government has a majority of 24 in the House of Representatives. But, sir, it is because -the Government has a majority of 24 in this House that I .want to begin my comments on the Speech by saying a few words about the position of the Opposition. The Opposition at the’ recent election suffered a complete, unqualified, uncompromising defeat, and I am the last person in the world to stand here and endeavour to explain away that defeat in terms comforting to myself or my colleagues. There can be no doubt whatever that this Government comes into office with an overwhelming mandate from the people of Australia. We do not regard our function, therefore, as that of historians. We do not regard our function - if I may adapt one of the medical metaphors of my colleague, the right honorable member for Cowper (Sir Earle Page) - as that of pathologists who are to conduct a post-mortem on the recent election. We regard our part in this Parliament as belonging to the present and future, not to the past. We do not propose to resurrect issues which are dead as the result of the recent vote. There can be no doubt that, on certain questions which were much canvassed during the life of the last Parliament, the people have spoken, and it would be mere tiresome reiteration for the Opposition to pursue debate on those matters. I do not propose to do so. I propose to treat them as having been settled by the ultimate jury of this country, the people. However, on the problems which will come before the Parliament, there must inevitably be two points of view. I refer to such matters as constitutional changes, problems associated with the post-war reconstruction, and the method of obtaining social security. In regard to all these there will almost inevitably be differences of opinion. The Opposition proposes to express its opinions on these matters with such vigour and skill as we possess, because it is of the first importance for Australia that the people should get to understand that this Parliament not only makes the laws - which are determined by a majority - but- is also the supreme debating society of the country. The function of an Opposition in this Parliament, as the Prime Minister said many times when he was in my present position, is to see that the opinions of all sections of the people are put clearly and resolutely. We propose to put them clearly and resolutely. We propose in that sense to be a fighting Opposition, even though we are, numerically speaking, a small Opposition.

Mr James:

– So long as you do not fight among yourselves!


– If any honorable member opposite is entertaining an optimistic feeling in that regard, I ask him to disabuse his mind. I expect that my fighting in this House during the next three years will be across the table - unless, of course, precedent is followed, and the Government goes out of- office in less than three years. And when I look around the chamber I am not sure that that is so improbable.

In paragraph 15 of His Excellency’s Speech, the following words occur: -

We acknowledge with deep thankfulness that the threat of invasion has now been removed, though we are still open to marauding attacks.

I accept that statement. I am in no position to discuss whether it is right or ‘ wrong, but it was made by the responsible advisers of the Crown, advisers who have before them all the relevant facts. I wish to direct attention to the consequence of the truth of that statement, because it means that the whole character of Australia’s defence problem has once more been changed. Before this war broke out, it was the settled policy in relation to Australian defence that all provision should- be based on the assumption that Australia would not be invaded, but might be subject to raids or, as expressed in the Speech of His Excellency, marauding attacks. That was the view which obtained at every Imperial defence discussion for many years before the war. The result was that Australia developed such military, naval and air forces as it had, not on the hypothesis that it would have to defend itself against a full-scale invasion by some nation - Japan, for example - but on the hypothesis that it might be subject to hitandrun attacks, or marauding inroads of a temporary kind. When Japan came into the war, and swept down through the Netherlands East Indies, the whole conception of defence, so far as it touched Australia locally, was of necessity violently changed because, for the first time, the danger of invasion entered the realms of practical war. Now this statement in His Excellency’s Speech, which must be taken as a responsible and fully authorized statement, indicates that the period of possible invasion has passed, while the period of possible marauding attacks continues. That has resulted in two things which are very material to Australia’s war effort. The first is that expeditionary forces can once more be made available for the defeat of Japan. The Militia Forces of Australia have been assigned, with the approval of the people of Australia, a role which is primarily defensive. The Militia Forces are adequate in strength to defend Australia against marauding attacks, as distinct from an invasion. Therefore, a situation has again arisen in which an expeditionary force, consisting of the various units of the Australian Imperial Force, may be made available for service outside Australia in compliance with the plan of the High Command for the ultimate defeat of Japan. I refer to that point because it is an interesting and, I believe, a supremely important consequence of the state of affairs referred to in His Excellency’s Speech.”

The second consequence is that local man-power needs can now be reconsidered. The Government has been subjected to much criticism on this point, and I acknowledge at once that most of the criticism may be regarded as answered, for the time being, by the vote of the people; but there remains one criticism which I have always regarded as of great force, namely, that manpower has not been considered in a sufficiently well-balanced manner. I do not say that in a captious spirit. I recognize that, of all problems arising out of the war in a country like Australia, the problem of man-power control is by far the most difficult. As I admitted frankly on more than one occasion during the election campaign, I acknowledge that the Government made a wholehearted attack on this difficult problem, but I say that one can never handle adequately the problem of man-power in a country with a population of 7,000,000 merely by taking the normal demands of the services and munitions industries, adding them up and subtracting them, haphazardly, from the total man-power resources. Australia, has not an unlimited population. We must make a balanced effort in order to provide at the same time for the war front and for the home front. Very few nations throughout the history of the world have been confronted with just the same sort of problem as confronts Australia with its population of 7,000,000 people. That being so, it is necessary that we should take all the needs of the country, civil and military, add them together, and relate the. whole to the available supply of men and women. That would result in the man-power demands of the food-producing industries being given a high order of priority. Those demands should be placed at least side by side with demands for additional drafts to the Militia. Military and civil needs must be seen in perspective and in due proportion. Now that, the threat of invasion has, so far as we can tell, passed away, I believe that the Government should be prepared to take a new look at the man-power problem, and in this it will have the full assistance of the Opposition. The new treatment of the manpower problem must be particularly related to the production of food.

Mr Beasley:

– The right honorable member is not overlooking the need to garrison the islands in the north?


– I am not professing to supply the ultimate answer to these questions. I am not putting the military needs of Australia in second place. Those needs must necessarily be given priority, but we must see the picture as a whole. We must not think that the exhaustion of Australia’s man-power for purely and obviously military purposes is a good thing in the long run if it results in a serious decline of food production.

Dr Evatt:

– The right honorable member is re-stating the problem, not supplying a solution.


– That is so. The answers to these questions cannot be given offhand.

Mr Scullin:

– It is obvious that an army cannot fight without food.


– Yes, and food production is significant in other ways also. I entirely agree with the mover and seconder of the motion when they say that we ought to plan on the assumption that the war will end during the life of this Parliament. That being so, I remind honorable members that one of the greatest and most immediate problems which will confront the world will be that of feeding the people of Europe. It will be a problem of preventing famine from stalking across the world at the heels of war, and Australia, as a foodproducing country, a country of maximum potentiality for the production of foodstuffs of all kinds, will have a great part, and, I hope, an honorable part to play in the period immediately after this war ends. That again introduces new considerations. I do not want to trespass upon the ground which has been made the subject of some searching speeches in this House by my friends in the corner; but I direct attention to this: in planning the food production of a country you cannot merely plan it from month to month. You cannot in certain circumstances allow dairy herds to be depleted and then expect that within a fortnight you will rebuild them and rebuild the supply of dairy products for the world.

Mr Beasley:

– The war is not static.


– I hope the Minister for Supply and Shipping will not misunderstand anything that I am saying. It does not mean that you must simply say, “Very well, what we should like to do for the food producing industries is what we shall do, irrespective of all other considerations “. What I am arguingand it may not be arguing, for perhaps everybody agrees - is that I cannot accept any view which merely finds out the demands of the fighting services and ignores the available supply of manpower for them and the producing services of Australia.

Mr Rankin:

– That is what is being done.


– One of my criticisms is that I think that to a substantial degree that has been done in the past. I do not profess to say what the answer is. I am not so foolish as to come along and say that that means that you can have so many hundreds of thousands of people engaged in primary industries and in civil production and factories. I do not know the answers to those questions, but I do know that the winning of this war involves two things. It involves military action which, of course, is of paramount importance, and it involves a background of civilian production, particularly food production, not only for the purpose of war, but also for very serious purposes in the two or three years that will follow the peace.

The next matter I want to refer to - and I shall not endeavour to cover all the ground of the Speech before us - hinges on paragraph 26 of the GovernorGeneral’s Speech. It says -

My advisers, confident in the ultimate victory of the Allies, are preparing plans for the organization and development of the resources of Australia in peace. Already preliminary surveys have been made upon which those plans may ‘be brought to fruition.

That is followed by a reference to social services and the restoration to civil life of members of the fighting services. To all those aims we all shall give support. The issues that will divide the House during the life of this Parliament will not be issues of whether we should organize and develop) Australian resources or whether we should have the highest of social services that this country can provide, or whether we shall do justice and more t! justice to the men who have fought for Australia. Those will not be the issues, because on all thos? objectives every member of this House will stand with every other member. Our real disagreements, if they come, will be disagreements on methods. But, before we reach disagreement on methods, I draw the attention of honorable members to this: there are certain preconditions to the restoration of prosperity in Australia. I say “ restoration of prosperity “, because there is a lot of false prosperity which may be purely misleading, and, therefore, dangerous. But one of the great preconditions for the restoration of prosperity and happiness and financing an improved standard for Australia is that world problems shall be attacked and overcome. Australia has no hope whatever of making itself a quite prosperous country in a ruined world or a world living in a. state pf turmoil. My right honorable friend the Minister for External Affairs (Dr. Evatt) will agree with me that we in Australia must take a more active interest in international problems than we ever have before. We ourselves must realize that the first problem that will arise when the war ends will be not how we can divide certain things amongst ourselves, but how to prevent war from breaking out again in five, ten or twenty years.

That means that the first problem after the war will be the problem of keeping world peace, and that is a problem to which Australia must make a contribution and to which we must more and more direct our minds in the next two or three years. It is a problem on which I should like to see a sub-committee of this House do some real work right away.

How are we to keep the world peace? It is not a “ hifalutin “ question, but a question upon the answer to which will depend whether the next generation shall go down into the valley of the shadow or not. How shall we keep world peace? We shall not keep world peace merely by pious gestures and coining slogans. We shall need machinery. We in Australia, for example, shall need to make up our minds whether we propose a league of peace all over the world with universal membership, a scheme which broke down of its own weight after the last war, or whether we propose to go step by step so that we shall create bigger and bigger pools of peace in the world’s turmoil. If by strengthening all the bonds of the British Empire and by strengthening the ties which exist between the people of the British Empire and the people of the United States of America at this time, we can immediately begin this great work of regeneration by creating an AngloAmerican pool of peace in the world, I believe we shall do far better for the world’s peace than if we endeavour to have universality in a league of nations from a standing start. Some one may ask, “Why exclude any of the countries that are fighting with us? Why exclude the great Russian people who are fighting ? “ -I speak in no terms of exclusion ; all I say is that in organizing world peace it is a good thing to proceed by one firm step at a time and, if there are peoples who. by instinct understand each other and have by instinct and practice the same desire for peace and hatred of aggression, they are the people in the British Empire and the people of the United States of America. And we shall do well, I am sure, to keep constantly before our minds the desirability of attacking that, vital problem of the machinery for the world’s peace in realistic terms, terms of understanding and terms that admit that we can have peace only by banding together those peoples of the world who by instinct love peace .and bate war.

There is another precondition of this work of reconstruction that we all look forward to in our various ways inside our own country, and that is that there should be some restoration of normal economic relations between the world’s countriesrestoration of world trade and a restoration of the ordinary and orderly flow of business between the- countries of the world. That is going to be a problem.

Mr Scullin:

– That must be preconditioned by raising the standards of lowwage countries.


– I do not deny the significance of that. The right honorable member for Yarra merely emphasizes, as I am sure he intends to do, the point that I am making - that is, that we must look outside, not merely inside, our own country for our own salvation. We must begin to think on the big scale, on the international scale; we must begin to realize that the problem of the standard of living of the Chinese peasant may have a great deal of bearing on the standard of living of the Australian farmer. This precondition to a restoration of world trade presents problems which will call for the greatest practical statesmanship of this country. These are not simple problems. When I bear people talking rather easily about these matters being solved by the Atlantic Charter, great document as it is, or the Lend-Lease Agreement, historic document as it is, I say to myself “Do they realize that these great documents never did profess to solve problems?” What they did profess to do was to state the problems as far as possible in terms of common understanding, terms of friendship between great peoples. In short, both documents set out what we should like to do to achieve a certain end, and say, “ Let us endeavour to work together to achieve that end “. But if we look at the documents themselves, how can we say that they solve the problems? I should be the last to suggest that these documents were drawn up by men of inadequate mentality; on the contrary they represent a coalescence of great minds and spirits. But, when we look at the documents and see some reference to access to raw materials, we say, “ Yes, that is splendid. All countries should have equal access on equal terms to raw materials “ - until we begin to apply the principle to our own raw materials. We should love all countries to have equal access to our wheat and wool, but what about our iron ore resources in Yampi Sound?

Mr Beasley:

– Depending on the will of the .party.


– It will depend on many circumstances - amongst others, particularly, the particular conception we have of our own needs and our own future development. No slogan will solve these problems. These are practical and hard problems -which will have to be confronted very quickly when this war ends.

There are references in these great documents to tariffs. It is easy enough to say, “ Very well ; one great method of restoring world trade is to write down the tariff barriers of the world “. Are honorable gentlemen satisfied that that is an easy or a safe solution of the problem here? I believe you must approach this tariff problem, not by using a sweeping gesture of that kind, but by taking industry by industry on its own merits, by deciding’ what industries we propose to develop and ascertaining what tariff will be needed to protect them, and what industries we are prepared to concede to the other man. This problem cannot be solved on a basis of blind selfishness. We cannot go to a world trade conference and say, “We are all in favour of restoring world trade, in favour of allowing people to develop exports and get back into business; but you must understand that we in Australia can make no contribution, because we have determined that everything we need. we shall make in Australia, whatever tariff protection may be necessary “. We cannot do that unless we are going to walk out on the world’s problems and the world’s distress.

Mr Beasley:

– We must not forget that if we had not important secondary industries established in Australia when the war came upon us–


– I hope I shall not be told that I am unaware of the importance of the secondary industries of Australia. I hope I have lived in politics long enough not to be told that I am unaware that this country owes its salvation in this war to the fact that it was wise enough in its generation to build up secondary production behind a tariff wall.

Mr Fadden:

– The rural industries also have played a part.


– I am talking about the production of materials for war. I have already made reference to the rural industries, and I am not in any way under-valuing them. That is why I dealt with them very early in my remarks.

The time has passed, and I do not believe that this is untrue of any party in this House, for discussing whether we ought or ought not to have secondary industries in Australia. They are here to stay, and my friends of the Country party will he as prompt as anybody in this House to admit that. What I ask is this : Are we to treat that problem just as something which may arise in the future, or are we to be ready, when this war ends, to make a constructive contribution to a discussion on world trade. [Extension of time granted.] I put this matter to the Deputy Prime Minister” (Mr. Forde), who has had a long association with our tariff problems. I do not believe that Australia can .properly go to a peace conference or a post-war trade conference without having formulated a carefully workedOUt set of constructive ideas on the problem of world trade. In other words, we must be prepared to go to a con:ference, not with a lot of vague generalities, but able to say t!h:at in respect of this industry or that industry we desire to protect ourselves by suitable and adequate tariffs and that in relation to certain commodities “we are prepared to become buyers from great industrial countries such as the United States of America and Great Britain. The export industries of the latter will need great consideration when this war ends. If we are to do that, some preliminary work will need to be under taken. Perhaps this matter has already received a great deal of attention, but I consider that bodies like the 1Chamber of Manufactures and the Chamber of Commerce, which have frequently been thought to have competing interests, should be brought together in this country so that we shall be able to see whether, within our own boundaries, we can iron out our differences of opinion. Unless the manufacturer, the importer and the primary producer of Australia are able to adjust their own differences and come to some common conclusion about the future development of Australia, how can we expect to come to common conclusions when we deal with one hundred foreign countries in postwar trade settlements? Long before the time when these matters will be discussed internationally, we should have endeavoured to put our own house in order, making up our minds, as the result of a very close study, what our industrial development programme, our importing programme and our primary production programme shall be. Unless we have all those things ordered in our own minds, we can never hope to make an effective contribution to a world conference or world settlement.

These matters are among a host of subjects that might be discussed, and I have selected them, because they seem to me to be of outstanding importance. I had hoped, if time had permitted, to say something about a subject not touched on in. the Governor-General’s Speech but contained in a recent speech by the Prime Minister. I refer to the subject of post-war Empire relations, and to the machinery of Empire consultation. However, it is undesirable that I should make a few scrappy remarks on such a great subject; and certainly it is undesirable that any discussion on this matter should take place in the absence of the Prime Minister. I suggest to the Deputy Prime Minister (Mir. Forde) that the Government would do well in this session to set aside adequate time for full dress debates in this House on that problem, and on other matters such as post-war international relations, food production and man-power. We of the Opposition . can no longer hope to influence the legislation and policy of this country by direct motion or direct amendment, because we lack the requisite numbers; but we can hope and expect, by debate, to influence policy, legislation and administration. We shall make our debate honest, constructive and real, and I hope that the Government will at all times receive it as such.

Sitting suspended from 18.87 to 2.15 p.m.


.Unfortunately, I have been v whipped into the position of following the Colossus of the Opposition. Presumably my political Via Dolorosa has begun. Having listened intently to previous speakers, I am glad to know that this House offers excellent opportunities to present political philosophies, even if, occasionally, we apply ourselves to realities. I am not much concerned with the philosophy, or niceties, of political behaviour, but I am vitally concerned with the realities which surround us. I concur with the Leader of the Opposition that the problems now confronting us contain headaches for all members of Parliament and -for the Australian people. I do not propose to indulge in the platitudes that are usually voiced in Parliament, be it a State Parliament or the National Parliament. My remarks will be confined to some of the problems whose solution I regard as vital to the interests of Australia. Upon one of those problems, that of population, a member of the Opposition now present in this chamber has pronounced on more than one occasion. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Menzies) spoke of our 7,000,000 people. I ask honorable members to consider whether, in view of the scientific’ changes which have occurred during the past few years, we can maintain our present standards or hold this vast land on whose northern frontier live 1,300,000,000 people. Any one who investigates this .problem will find a. great deal of evidence that the western world is on the decline. It may take two years to rectify our economic position after the war, but it may take two centuries to rectify our population problem if we do not apply ourselves to it immediately in an intelligent manner. This problem is not only linked with the provision of social services, but is also involved in our political approach to all our major problems. In order to give the House some idea of it, I shall mention a few figures, although I am aware that such statistics are generally distasteful. In 1891, 10 per cent, of the population of Great Britain Was under five years of age. To-day that figure has decreased to 4 per cent. In the same year 21.2 per cent, of the population of Great Britain was of school age, whereas to-day that figure is under 11 per cent. Further, in 1891, the excess of births over deaths per 1,000. of the population in Great Britain was twelve, whereas to-day deaths exceed births. Regardless of the devastations of war, if the present trend in vital statistics continues Great Britain will soon find itself in serious difficulties. Despite the efforts made by Germany and Italy to stimulate the birth-rate in those countries, very little difference exists between conditions in those countries and those in Great Britain. Should the .present trend in vital statistics continue the population of Great Britain will, in 35 years, be 3,750,000 less than it is to-day, to say nothing of the changes in the various age groups. In Australia, in 1871, the mean age at death for females was 55 years, and for males 52 years, whereas to-day the mean age of death for males is 65 and for females 68. That shows that longevity of life has increased on the average by thirteen years. Sir Walter Kinnear, when he made his actuarial investigations for a previous government on matters relating to national insurance, reported that within 30 years, 40 per cent, of the Australian people will be in the old-age group. The significance of these figures is alarming. The figures for Tasmania also are illuminating. In 1891, when the population of Tasmania was 150,000, births totalled 5,000 annually, whereas to-day, with a population of nearly 250,000, the number of births annually in that State remains at about 5,000. From these figures it will be seen that the problem of increasing our population is vital to our national security. I invite honorable members to give it earnest consideration.

Previous speakers have discussed other post-war problems. I am not prepared to approach those problems in any speculative way. They are real problems, and must be faced realistically. I regret that under the Constitution the Commonwealth Parliament lacks sufficient powers to apply itself to some of the more important of those problems. With the passing of time, it may acquire the necessary powers. However, so long as it lacks them I refuse to believe that we have real democracy at work in this country. Whilst the Commonwealth possesses certain powers, many vital powers reside in the totalitarian forms of government existing in the States, with the exception of Queensland, and so long as that condition of affairs obtains we cannot say we have full democratic government in this country. Further, the abnormal conditions due to war have given rise to a bureaucracy which has been denounced on all sides. That bureaucracy prevents us from making this Parliament a 100 per cent, democratic institution. Whilst the States have transferred certain legislative powers to this Parliament, they have retained many others that are vita! to the solution of post-war problems. I am pleased to learn that the Government is now devoting its attention to this subject, but I do not know whether we shall achieve much at the present juncture by negotiation with the States. We may be obliged to resort to other methods in order to obtain wider powers for this Parliament. I hope that any effort in that direction will not be prejudiced by any tinge of party politics. All of us are aware that the political pendulum must some day swing the other way. Whilst we of the Labour party are the “ ins “ to-day, it is conceivable that we may be the “ outs “ in the remote future. Some people seem to think that our postwar problems will be easy of solution. Some time ago I was talking to a wellknown newspaper proprietor, and I was endeavouring to interest him and his paper, which is supposed to be an organ cf information for the Australian people, in our population problem. The solution he offered was “ increase the basic wage and the people will breed faster “. I was bewildered by the fact that such a man thought that the problem could be solved so easily. When the war is won, and the representatives of the democracies assemble at the peace table, they will be confronted with tremendous problems. I ask honorable members to survey the position of Europe to-day compared with that of the United States of America and Australia. If they do so they will realize the difficult problems which will confront the democracies after the war. When peace comes, a large portion of Europe will be devastated. Millions of buildings and dwellings in Great Britain have been damaged, or destroyed, in bombing raids. The same is true of all European countries, including Russia, into whose territory the enemy had advanced 400 miles. Consequently, the countries of Europe will not be confronted with the problem of unemployment. They will be able to utilize all available labour to restore their communities to their 1939 levels, and they will be occupied for a couple of decades in that work. In the United States of America, however, the contrary is the case. Five years before the outbreak of war there were 12,000,000 persons unemployed in that country. Yet to-day, in consequence of the war and the fillip it has given to industry, the productive capacity of the United States of America is from five to ten times greater than it was when war broke out. In Australia also the development of industry under war conditions has greatly increased secondary production. Thus, whilst the first post-war problem of Europe will be reconstruction, the big problem that will confront the United States of America and Australia will be construction. I do not know how we shall be able to gear the two problems into each other, and this difficulty causes me very great concern indeed. I urge the Government to approach our post-war problems with realism. For instance, I have read of the Four Freedoms set out in the Atlantic Charter, but I confess that I do not yet comprehend their meaning. If the Atlantic Charter means that we shall have to do all the giving and none of the taking, I wonder how my capitalistic friends opposite will adjust themselves to a policy by which they will have to do all the giving, particularly giving for nothing. That will be for them an entirely new psychological condition. I again emphasize our industrial development since the war broke out. If, as the Leader of the Opposition suggested, we shall have to select the industries we want to keep and determine those which we must abandon in the interests of international trade, I -am content to leave that task to him. For instance, should some big motor firm want to retain a certain industry, and the government of the day take the opposite view, I can imagine some very unpleasant altercations taking place. Historically, man is a fighting animal. I have no very great faith in leagues of nations; they are hot new to mankind. The city States of Greece, when it was necessary to repel an enemy, caine together; and they resumed their internecine squabbles immediately the danger had passed. In 1S04, Napoleon, when asked why he made so many wars in Europe, said, “ After the rise and fall of my system “ - he knew that it was going to fall - “ equilibrium can be maintained in Europe only by a League of Nations “. A great American, President Woodrow Wilson, came to Europe on a similar mission 117 years later, and was dragooned in his own country for having dared to do so. So I have no faith in’ such things. I have faith only in the strength of one’s red right arm. ‘ I believe that if the other fellow carries one gun, you must carry two guns. Unfortunately, the two-gun men have not always been members of the party that now sits on this side of the House. In 1935 and 1937, I went abroad in order to view the problems at first hand. I well remember landing in the city of Launceston upon my return, and being rushed by a young pressman. Earlier his appendix had been removed by me, and I suppose he considered that on that account’ he owed me some affection. However, his unusual display of affection resulted in his reminding me that the good people of my own little town were waiting for me open-mouthed, in order to breathe fire and brimstone on me if I dared to say anything about Russia. I wonder what they would say to-day ! Nothing hurts so much as the truth. Every nation that deviates from the truth sets itself on the road to damnation. Why have all the nations of antiquity vanished from the picture? The reasons are beyond any question or doubt. That, is why I first touched on the problem of population.

We have to ascertain why, whenever an attempt is made to civilize man and turn his mind to the practices of peace, he seals his own doom. That has consistently happened in history; therefore it is time that we adopted a belligerent attitude to everything around us. Twice in a period of 25 years the great British Empire has been caught napping. We shall be caught again; because the conditions which predispose to our damnation vitally affect our economic structure. In my short journey through this world, I have not come across anybody who is prepared to give away anything unless he gets a quid pro quo. For this reason, I consider that the four freedoms are very nice, pious expressions which have an aura of spirituality, but are inimical to the nature of the beast. I have not given anything away, because I have never obtained anything except by struggling for it. I do not expect to get anything in this chamber, except by struggling, however kindly disposed towards me members of the Opposition may be; if it were otherwise, it would not have any value for mp, because I would be suspicious of it. Perhaps the most outstanding aspect of the recent elections was, not nearly so much the awful havoc and destruction that were wrought among our political enemies opposite, as the demonstration that democracy may still thrive in the Australian people if we give it a chance to bourgeon. We shall survive, because on this side of the House there is an essentially democratic spirit, which we shall foster at every opportunity, irrespective of what may be designed under the constitutions of the parliaments of the States. We believe in democratic government and in the rights of the people.

I should not have spoken immediately after an intellectual Colossus like the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Menzies) had I not been plunged into that position. I regret that the right honorable gentleman is not in the chamber, so that I might talk to him about his policy. As he is not present, charity forbids my making any further comment upon the nebulous contents of that somewhat wordy, though nicely intoned, speech to which we listened this morning.

I am primarily concerned with the problems of health and am glad to know that understanding has at last come to the people. As a group, we have so recently emerged from the jungle that little is needed to drag us back. In all of us there is inherent the instinct to do insane things. Should it be the misfortune of an honorable member to fall ill and consult me, I would say to him. “ You are nervous, and need fresh air and sunshine “. But our social system has ordained that, as soon as the sun comes out, we go inside, and as soon as it goes down, we go outside. How that can be reconciled with one’s conscience, I do not know. If it is not a’ manifestation of social insanity, then I cannot describe it. Another thing which has always struck me as peculiar and as illustrating man’s hopelessness to deal with the social problems that surround him is that if a man has the good fortune to marry in his early twenties - I am still hoping - and bring forth of his kind with great profusion, he may receive what in this country is described as the basic wage, which is regarded as sufficient to maintain a family of two, four, six, eight, or ten persons. When he reaches the age of 55 years, and his responsibilities as a great citizen have been discharged according to the family he has reared, he and his wife have become experienced people and are worth twice the basic wage. The time when he needed the large amount of money was when he had a big family and great responsibilities. The spending power of the individual ought to have a direct relationship to the responsibility that he accepts. Unfortunately, however, the arrangement under our system is for the payment, in normal times, of a magnificent basic wage of about £4 a week, the belief being that 25s. a week is required for rent and a further £2 15s. a week to dress three or four children and keep the father and mother in the high standard of comfort that is always being lauded from the floor of this and other legislative chambers. The situation is an impossible one. The truth is, that the purchasing power of the basic wage is not so great to-day as it was 30 years ago; and the reaction of the working class and, indeed, of every other class in the community, is to restrict their responsibilities in ratio to their spending power, with the result that the Australian population . is stepped down accordingly. But there is another aspect of the problem ; and in dealing with it, I hope that I shall not depart from the niceties of the occasion. I should not care to appear to be vulgar on an occasion like this. Nevertheless, the medical man who sits opposite to me, and I, are charged- with the responsibility of bringing to the notice of the Australian people problems that vitally affect the interests and the welfare of the nation, and we have to make the matter plain, however unpleasant the task might be. I remind the House that the alteration that has taken place in connexion with the problem of population has some relationship to the inherent difficulties of our present social system. For 100,000 years, man was a jungle animal. He fought for his food, and lived in the open. He obtained all the necessaries of life in a hard, rude way. But in the last 150 or 200 years, he has departed from his erstwhile practices and has increasingly denied himself fresh food, sunshine, and other things which tend to make a nation prolific and fertile. Al] of those things are denied him by the social system, with the result that there is a vast decrease of the fertility rate of the people. A second point is that, by virtue of the social system, there is vast employment of female labour. Whereas mothers who had married at the age of eighteen years had twenty . fertile years in which to bear children, the mean age of marriage having risen to 28 years, they have lost the first ten fertile years and now have only ten fertile years, compared with twenty years previously. Not one of these problems is important in itself, but in the aggregate they are responsible for the fallingoff of the birth-rate in this country. In considering these matters, one should ask oneself why a military nation like France,- which for half a century or a century held a place upon the stage of military history in Europe, suddenly became effete and- weak. The evidence is clear. There were villages in France with not a child in them. I know that this, coming from a bachelor, sounds incongruous; but the bachelor is the only man who is game to put his feet on the mantelpiece and ponder these problems. The whole of our social life has to be directed to a clear understanding of the matter. I hope that I shall one day be sitting in one of the galleries, not on the floor of the House, when a government will be courageous enough to face up to the proposition of dealing with female labour on a -sane basis. Should I happen to be a representative of the people at that time, I shall become very ill; or, alternatively, I shall provoke some one else to do all the talking. These problems must be faced up to in an intellectual way, because they are closely related to the welfare of Australia and its good government. I respectfully submit that it is going to be a matter not of whether we can grow food two years after the war, but of whether we can hold this country against the extra-territorial races, of whom there are 1,300,000,000 people to the north of us. Only 30 years ago Australia was an island continent in the south Pacific, away from everybody. If the war lasts for another three years, and space is annihilated at the rate of its annihilation during the last three years, those people who live to the north of Australia will be only a matter of hours, instead of days, away from us. Prior to this war, we held the view that everything that came out of Japan was shoddy. If we are conscientious we shall confess that on the first occasion on which we met Japan in combat, we and not the Japanese were the shoddy ones; we pitted Wirraways against Zeros, with results that are well known. We must get down to realities. Every member of this chamber knows the history of Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, and all the other great conquerors. For some years I have mentioned publicly what I call the periodicity of population. Every nation in antiquity, with the exception of the Roman Empire - which rose three times, only to be annihilated on each occasion - passed from the picture, and’ if Ave do not apply ourselves to these propositions, we may meet a similar fate. Nations that have suffered decline can rise again. They can learn Western ideas. There are such nations right on our frontiers. With a high fertility rate and an enormous capacity, they look with land-hungry gaze at our vast undeveloped spaces. Does one blame them? Inevitably, we shall have to devote ourselves to a migration policy, because we cannot breed our own population at a rate that

W11 be sufficient for the good government and the adequate defence of this country. Do we propose to open the door wide and. admit everybody indiscriminately, irrespective of age or physical condition ? If Ave do Ave are likely to bring upon ourselves the racial troubles which the United States of America had, and probably still have for all I know. This is a problem which Ave must ponder carefully. As I have shown, it takes from 25 to 40 years to build up a population, so now is the time for us to start. Although I am a bachelor, this population question is a “baby” of mine, which is one reason why I draw special attention to it at this my earliest opportunity.

There are many aspects of this Australian proposition which require very deep consideration on our part. Short cuts, even if devised, will be found to be useless. We must have an historical concept of all that has gone before, if Ave propose to apply ourselves seriously to holding 3,000,000 square miles with 7,000,000 people. I have very little time for those who say that this country is not capable of expansion. Almost anything is capable of at least scientific investigation, with a view to ascertaining what the country is capable of.

Returning to the matter of Australia’s productivity, how is it proposed to trade in the post-Avar period ? By what methods do the peoples of the world propose to trade? With whom are Ave going to trade? I understand that Great Britain has developed its producing power enormously, particularly in reference to primary commodities. What then are we going to do with our surplus? Are we to give it away,

Mr Lemmon:

– We have been doing so for years.


– I am glad to discover a humanist on the Government side of the chamber. If we did give our surplus away, we should, of course, earn the approbation of the rest of the world, but I should like to hear what the farmers of Australia would have to say.

We shall have ample opportunity on the budget to discuss in detail many of the subjects to be dealt with by this Parliament. In the meantime I invite honorable members to apply themselves to the extremely acute problemwhich Australia faces in regard to population, and the great danger in which our lack of it involves us; they must disregard all the contumely and ridicule which can be levelled at the subject. This problem has not originated with me. There is an honorable member on the benches opposite who has been responsible for drawing public attention to it, but his wise words have not been hearkened to. I trust that the Government will take cognizance now of the post-war problems of housing and reconstruction, instead of waiting till the post-war period. Later, we shall have to face all the difficulties of rehabilitating over 1,000,000 of our people. The period between now and the cessation of hostilities will be the time to take many other important problems into our serious consideration, and amongthem, I submit, the vital one is population.

Debate (on motion by Sir Earle Page) adjourned.

page 66


The following papers were presented : -

National Debt Sinking Fund Act - National Debt Commission - Twentieth Annual Report, for year 1942-43.

Ordered to be printed.

Air Force Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1943, No. 198.

Arbitration (Public Service) Act - Determinations by the Arbitrator, &c. - 1943 -

No. 18 - Amalgamated Postal Workers’ Union of Australia.

No. 19 - Amalgamated Postal Workers’ Union of Australia; Postal Telecommunication Technicians’ Association (Australia); and Federated Public Service Assistants’ Association of Australia.

No. 20 - Commonwealth Telegraph Traffic and Supervisory Officers’ Association.

No. 21 - Commonwealth Public Service Artisans’ Association.

No. 22 - Amalgamated Postal Workers’ Union of Australia.

No. 23 - Commonwealth Telephone Officers’ Association.

No. 24 - Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association and others.

No. 25 - Commonwealth Public Service Artisans’ Association.

No. 26 - Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association and others.

No. 27 - Blacksmiths’ Society of Australasia and Electrical Trades Union of Australia.

Australian Soldiers’ Repatriation Act - War PensionsEntitlement Appeal Tribunal - Report for 1942-43.

Beer Excise Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1943, No. 228.

Canberra University College - Report for 1942.

Commonwealth Electoral (War-time) Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1943, No. 175.

Contract Immigrants Act- Return for 1942.

Control of Naval Waters Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1943, No. 216.

Customs Act- Proclamations prohibiting the Exportation (except under certain conditions) of -

Macaroni; Spaghetti; Vermicelli (dated 1st September, 1943).

Margarine; Neatsfoot oil (dated 27th July, 1943).

Quartz crystals (dated 29th June, 1943).

Ti-tree oil (dated 1st September, 1943).

Customs Act and Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1943, No. 192.

Dairying Industry Assistance Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1943, No. 171.

Defence Act - -Regulations - Statutory Rules 1943, Nos. 174, 199, 200, 218, 219, 227.

Defence Act and Naval Defence Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules . 1943, No. 217.

Immigration Act - Return for 1942.

Lands Acquisition Act - Land acquired for Commonwealth purposes -

Alexandria, New South Wales.

Amberley, Queensland.

Broadmeadows, Victoria.

Brooklyn, Victoria.

Bullsbrook (Pearce) , Western Australia.

Charleville, Queensland.

Cootamundra, New South Wales.

Crystal Brook, South Australia.

Dandenong, Victoria.

Dubbo, New South Wales.

Eagle Farm, Queensland.

East Oakleigh, Victoria.

Forrest, Western Australia.

Gladstone, South Australia.

Goulburn, New South Wales.

Kilburn, South Australia.

Kingaroy, Queensland.

Lake Boga, Victoria.

Largs, New South Wales.

Lidcombe, New South Wales.

Lismore, Victoria.

Lithgow, New South Wales (2).

Mudgee, New South Wales.

Murray Bridge, SouthAustralia.

Newport, Victoria.

Parafield, South Australia.

Portland, New South Wales.

Port Melbourne, Victoria.

Port Pirie, South Australia (2).

Putney, New South Wales.

Redgate, Tasmania.

Rosebud, Victoria.

Salisbury, South Australia (2).

Singleton, New South Wales.

Tamworth, New South Wales.

Townsville, Queensland .

Violet Town, Victoria.

Warrnacknabeal, Victoria.

Yarrawonga, Victoria.

Motor Vehicle Engine Bounty Act - Return for year 1942-43.

National Security Act -

National Security (Agricultural Aids) Regulations - Order - Nicotine sulphate (Restriction of sale).

National Security (Allied Forces) Regulations - Orders -

Allied Forces (Application of the Defence (Visiting Forces) Act 1939) (No. 5).

Allied Forces (Civilian witnesses).

Allied Forces (Penal arrangements) (No. 4).

Allied Forces (Relations with Civil authorities) (No. 2).

National Security (Civil Defence Workers’ Compensation ) Regulations -Order by Premier of Victoria (dated8th July, 1943).

National Security (Egg Industry) Regulations - Orders - Egg Industry (Nos. 5-7).

National Security (Food Control) Regulations - Order - Cream (Restriction of use).

National Security (General) Regulations -

Orders -

Cocoa, chocolate and confectionery.

Control of -

Automotive spare parts (No. 2).

Building materials.

Edible oils and edible oil constituents.

Electric dry battery manufacture (No. 2).

Electronic vibrators.

Essential materials (No. 4).

Grapefruit (Western Australia).

Knitted goods (No. 2).

Leather (No. 3).

Radio service (Nos. 1-2).

Trailer manufacture (No. 2).

Woven woollen materials (Civil needs) (No. 2).

Heating and cooking appliances (Control of manufacture).

Heating and cooking appliances (Retail sales) (No. 2).

Ice industry (New South Wales).

Prohibited places (2 ) .

Prohibiting work on land (2).

Prohibition of non-essential production (No. 13).

Returns relating to artificial silk yarn.

Taking possession of land, &c. (731).

Telephonic communications control.

Use of land (51).

Vegetable seeds (No. 3).

Order by Chief Warden - Victoria (dated 21st June, 1943).

Orders by State Premiers -

Queensland (dated 30th June, 1943).

Victoria (Nos. 48-50).

Western Australia (2 - dated5th

July, 1943).

National Security (General) Regulations and National Security (Supplementary) Regulations - Order by Premier of New South Wales (No. 39).

National Security (Industrial Property) Regul ation s - Orders - I n vention sand designs (248).

National Security (Land Transport) Regulations - Order - South Australia (No. 11).

National Security (Man Power) Regulations - Orders -

Man Power (Local Appeal Boards).

Pharmaceutical chemists (Supplementary information ) .

Protected undertakings (221).

Registration of -



Pharmaceutical chemists.


Regulation of engagement of em ployees - Exemption.

National Security (Maritime Industry) Regulations - Orders - Nos. 38-40.

National Security (Meat Industry Control ) Regulations- Orders -

Meat (Nos. 6, 8-14, 16-28).

Meat (Returns) (Nos. 1-6).

Stock (Nos. 1-5, 7-10).

National Security (Munitions) Regula tions-Order - Agricultural machinery and plant for processing food products.

National Security (Prices) Regulations - Declarations - Nos. 117-125.

Orders- Nos. 1054-1209.

National Security (Stevedoring Industry)

Regulations - Orders - Nos. 15a, 20-25.

National Security (Supplementary) Regulations -

Balance-sheets of the Commonwealth Bank, Commonwealth Savings Bank and Note Issue Department, as at 30th June, 1943; together with Auditor-General’s reports thereon.

Statement of Australian Banking Statistics for the five quarters ended 30th June, 1943.

Orders by State Premiers -

New South Wales (Nos. 37, 38).

Queensland (2 - dated 7th July, 1943, and 13th August, 1943).

South Australia (No. 4 of 1943).

National Security (War Damage to Pro perty) Regulations - Orders - Public authorities (3).

Regulations - Statutory Rules 1943, Nos. 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 172, 173, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 229, 230, 231.

Naval Defence Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1943, Nos. 201, 202.

Northern Territory Acceptance Act and Northern Territory (Administration) Act - Regulations - 1 943-

No. 2 (Motor Vehicles Ordinance).

No. 3 (Marine Ordinance).

Northern Territory Representation Act and Commonwealth Electoral Act - RegulationsStatutory Rules 1943, No. 176.

Papua and New Guinea Bounties Act - Return for year 1942-43.

Post and Telegraph Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1943, No. 215.

Raw Cotton Bounty Act - Return for 1942.

Sales Tax (Exemptions and Classifications) Act - Regulations-Statutory Rules 1943, No. 191.

Seat of Government (Administration) Act - Statement of Receipts and Expenditure for the Australian Capital Territory for year 1942-43.

Ship Bounty Act - Return for year 1942-43.

Sulphur Bounty Acts - Return for year 1942-43.

Supply and Development Acts- Regulations - Statutory Rules 1943, No. 164.

Tractor Bounty Acts - Return foryear 1942-43.

Wine Export Bounty Act - Return for year 1942-43.

Wire Netting Bounty Act - Return for year 1942-43.

The House adjourned at 2.50 p.m.

page 68


The following answers to questions were circulated: -

War Damage Insurance

Mr Guy:

y asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

Has the time arrived when the regulation made under the National Security Act, making it compulsory for property-ownersto pay war damage insurance, should be repealed?

Mr. Curtin (through Mr. Forde). - The Government has not yet determined its policy in regard to the continuance or otherwise of the war damage contributions on property after the end of the present contribution period which expires in December next. The matter will be considered before that date and an announcement will be made in due course.

Mr Holt:

asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

  1. What is the total amount collected to date from premiums paid to the war damage fund?
  2. What total amount has been distributed in payment of claims made under the war damage compensation scheme?
  3. What has been the total administrative expense incurred by the War Damage Commission since its creation?
  4. What is the total valuation of assets insured by the commission (a) under its compulsory scheme, and (b) under its voluntary scheme?
Mr Chifley:

y. - Inquiries are being made, and a reply will be furnished as soon as possible.

Department of Post-war Reconstruction.

Mr Fadden:

asked the Minister for Post-War Reconstruction, upon notice -

  1. How many members of the staff of the Department of Post-War Reconstruction are in receipt of £400 a year or more?
  2. What are their names and ages?
  3. What are the qualifications and previous experience of each of these officers?
Mr Chifley:

y. - The information is being obtained, and will be supplied as soon as possible.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 24 September 1943, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.