House of Representatives
25 February 1969

26th Parliament · 2nd Session

Mr SPEAKER (Hon. W. J. Aston) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.

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– I inform the House of the deaths, since the House last met, of Mr George Ronald Cole, a former senator, and Mr John Smith Garden, Mr John Thomas Jennings and Mr Bruce McDonald Wight, former members of this House. Mr Cole, who died on 23rd January of this year, represented the State of Tasmania in the Senate from 1950 to 1965. Mr Garden died on 1st January of this year. He represented the Division of Cook in this House from 1 934 to 1937. Mr Jennings died on 20th December of last year. He represented the Division of South Sydney from 1931 to 1934 and the Division of Watson from 1934 to 1940. Mr Wight died on 2nd February of this year. He represented the Division of Lilley from 1949 to 1961. As a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased, I invite all honourable members to rise in their places. (Honourable members having stood in their places)


– I thank the House.

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– I have to announce that on10th February I received from the Right Honourable Sir Paul Hasluck a letter resigning his seat as member for the electoral Division of Curtin. It is my intention to issue a writ on Friday 14th March for the election of a member to serve for the electoral Division of Curtin in the State of Western Australia to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of the right honourable gentleman. The dates in connection with the election will be fixed as follows:

Date of nomination - Monday, 31st March 1969.

Dale of polling - Saturday, 19th April 1969.

Date of return of writ - on or before Friday. 23rd May1969.

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Prime Minister · Higgins · LP

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that Her Majesty the Queen has graciously approved the appointment of the Right Honourable Sir Paul Hasluck, G.C.M.G., to be her Governor-General of and representative in Australia. Sir Paul will take up the appointment when Lord Casey relinquishes his appointment and will be sworn in on Wednesday, 30th April 1969.

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Prime Minister · Higgins · LP

Mr Speaker, I desire to inform the House of certain ministerial changes and arrangements. Following the resignation of the Right Honourable Sir Paul Hasluck, G.C.M.G., the Honourable Gordon Freeth has been appointed Minister for External Affairs. The Minister for Civil Aviation, the Honourable R. W. C. Swartz, will assume Mr Freeth’s previous responsibilities as Minister assisting the Treasurer. The Honourable Dudley Erwin has been appointed Minister for Air and also will carry out the responsibilities of Leader of the House of Representatives. The honourable member for Henty, Mr Fox, has been appointed Government Whip. Senator Anderson will continue to represent the Minister for External Affairs in the Senate, and Senator McKellar will continue to represent the Minister for Air.

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Australian Capital Territory Ordinance

Mr J. R. FRASER presented a petition from certain citizens of Canberra showing that the proposal to levy a sewerage charge in Canberra is unjust in that the people of Canberra already pay dearly for the services provided to them, in premiums onland, in land rental re-assessed every 20 years, and in payment of general rates.

The petitioners therefore pray that the House will disallow Ordinance No. 30 of 1968 and refrain from imposing a sewerage charge unless and until it can be shown that such a charge is justifiable and that it will bear justly on all people, and that before any such charge is imposed it can be fully justified and supported by a complete and accurate detailed set of accounts and balance sheet relating to the finances of the Australian Capital Territory.

Petition received and read.


Mr BENSON presented a petition from certain residents of Victoria showing that because of uncontrolled shooting for commercial purposes during the past 10 years, the kangaroo populations in all States of Australia are now very low. Latest reports from the Wildlife Division of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation confirm this, and state that population sampling at the Mount Murchison station, which has been done regularly since 1959, has now been suspended. There is a grave danger that the red kangaroo, our emblem, will soon become extinct. Other kangaroos also are in great danger.

The petitioners therefore pray that the Commonwealth Government will place an immediate and total ban on the export of all kangaroo meat and fur products, and that the Commonwealth Government should set up immediately a body with the power to administer conservation of kangaroos in all States of Australia.

Petition received and read.

Mr FOX presented a petition from certain residents of Victoria showing that Australia’s largest marsupial, the kangaroo, is near extinction, because of shooting, for commercial purposes, throughout Australia; laws to protect the kangaroo are inadequate; and the number of men employed to enforce the laws is inadequate to patrol the vast areas.

The petitioners therefore pray that the exporting of all kangaroo meat be banned throughout Australia; the sale of all articles made of kangaroo hide, or fur, be banned throughout Australia; the number of men to enforce the laws on kangaroo shooting, be increased throughout Australia; the shooting of all kangaroos be banned throughout Australia; and the Government establish a Commonwealth department to preserve wildlife throughout Australia on a national basis.

Petition received and read.

Similar petitions were presented by Mr Peacock, Mr Jarman, Mr Lee and Mr Whittorn.

Petitions severally received.

Mr FOX presented a petition from certain residents of Australia, including some temporarily overseas, showing that because of uncontrolled shooting for commercial purposes, kangaroo populations throughout Australia are extremely low. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation reports reveal that population sampling which has been done at Mt Murchison Station since 1959 has had to be suspended. The possibility of the red kangaroo, our national emblem, becoming extinct in the near future, is very real. The kangaroo is worth far more to Australia as a tourist attraction and as a unique and beautiful piece of fauna, and so deserves to be saved.

The petitioners therefore pray that the Commonwealth Government set up a body with power to control the conservation of kangaroos, on a Commonwealth basis.

Disparities in the laws governing kangaroos in all States leads to confusion, and undermines the effectiveness of any existing controls. Thereare also far too few officers appointed to see that laws in existence are carried out.

Petition received.

Dr GIBBS presented a petition from certain residents of New South Wales showing that kangaroos, particularly the red kangaroo, largest marsupials on earth, have, through shooting for commerce, been reduced in numbers to the stage where they face extinction if the shooting is allowed to continue; this State and others have insufficient officers to effectively enforce legislation designed to protect native fauna in general and in the majority of cases permission to destroy kangaroos is left to the discretion of persons uneducated in kangaroo ecology and because of this ignorance, many of thesepersons are prejudicial to herbivorous native fauna in the Australian countryside; the kangaroo alive, in its natural habitat is a major tourist attraction and as such, offers Australia a lasting economic asset.

The petitioners therefore pray that the House will ban the shooting of kangaroos for commercial purposes; ban the export of products made from kangaroos; and establish a Commonwealth Government body to co-ordinate, establish and administer laws concerning the protection and when necessary, destruction of native fauna, by persons educated for that role, on a national basis.

Petition received and read.

King Island Television Service

Mr DAVIES presented a petition from all citizens of King Island showing that, except in infrequent favourable circumstances, television is not available on King Island; that children attending the high school and associated primary schools are unable to view programmes arranged by the Tasmania Education Department for school purposes; and that residents cannot view programmes of national and general interest.

The petitioners therefore pray that a television translator service be provided for the residents of King Island.

Petition received and read.

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– I ask the Prime Minister a question. Has the right honourable gentleman’s attention been drawn to a statement in a recent book that in Mr Holt’s briefcase after his death a letter was found from the Governor-General concerning an interview which His Excellency had had with the Treasurer about the Treasurer’s relations with the Deputy Prime Minister? I ask: What steps were taken to safeguard such confidential documents after the late Prime Minister disappeared and what ministers and officers have had access to them?


– Yes, my attention has been drawn to the statement and the book to which the Leader of the Opposition refers - that is to say a statement which is not accompanied by documentation or proof but a statement made in the book written by the individual who wrote the book. To the best of my knowledge - and I was not then, of course, in any way responsible for what occurred - the Press Secretary to the late Prime Minister took charge of such papers as were discovered in the effects of the late Prime Minister and took them into the custody of the then head of the Prime Minister’s Department. That is all I know of the matter; and that is according to the information that I have.

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– I ask the Minister for Health a question. It has been announced in medical bulletins that a single virus vaccine designed to protect children against measles, mumps and german measles has been successfully produced in the United States of America. Do the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories propose manufacturing this vaccine in Australia and when can available supplies be expected? In view of the announcement that a measles epidemic is anticipated in Australia during this winter, does the Minister for Health recommend that children should be immunised with this vaccine when it is available, in spite of what has been said to the contrary by a certain medico?

Minister for Health · BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP

– I have no knowledge of the triple vaccine, if it may be called that, referred to by the honourable member. However, I shall make inquiries and give him what information I can. In relation to the second part of his question, yes, I do advise that all children within the relevant age group of 1 to 9 years be inoculated for measles. I have seen a report from a doctor in Victoria which is not so much along the lines that the measles vaccine is not effective. As I understand it, what he said was that it should not be given at the same time as other live attenuated vaccines, in particular the Sabin polio vaccine.

I am advised in this regard that first of all this is unlikely to happen because Sabin is normally given to children up to age 12 months of age and as I said the measles vaccine is given to children from 1 to 9 years of age. Secondly health authorities do not usually conduct overlapping campaigns. Thirdly, Commonwealth and State health representatives met recently and came to the conclusion that they had no objection to concurrent campaigns, except that the measles vaccine should not be given close together with the triple antigen vaccine - that is diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus antigen. As I understand it this attitude has the endorsement of the Epidemiology (Standing) Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council.

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– I ask the Prime Minister a further question. Can he state whether the Governor-General as a public duty had occasion to discuss with the Treasurer the Treasurer’s relations with the Deputy Prime Minister? If so, can he inform the House of the nature of the discussion? Can he also say whether any Governor-General previously had occasion to act in this way?


– No, I cannot state whether in fact the conversation suggested by the Leader of the Opposition took place; nor can I state that it did not take place. I have no knowledge of it, and clearly, not being present, I would not have any knowledge of it. Neither would anybody else, if it took place, have any knowledge of it if he was not present. I .simply cannot state either way for the Leader.? of the Opposition; nor have I sufficient knowledge to state whether at any other stage since the beginning of the Australian federation any similar conversation took place.

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– My question is addressed to the Minister for Health. Is he aware that there have been many complaints from people who feel they should be entitled to the intensive care subsidy but who have not been granted it? Is he also aware that there have been many complaints about nursing homes which have increased their fees by the amount of the subsidy, with the result that patients have received no extra benefit?


– As to the first part of the honourable member’s question, which referred to complaints from people who have not received this benefit, all 1 can say is that in the relatively short time between 1st January, when the new benefit became payable, and 21st February, the benefit had been granted to 12,700 nursing home patients. Of all applications made for the benefit, 76% have been approved. This represents well over 30% of total nursing home patients in Australia. The Department of Health expects that before very long this proportion will rise very close to 40% of the total number of nursing home patients.

The matter of fees is a difficult and complex one. I first make the point that nursing homes vary widely in the facilities that they provide above the minimum standards laid down, and this is reflected to some extent in the fees they charge. The Government was concerned that there should be sufficient accommodation of an appropriate standard at fees which nursing home patients could afford, and before the Government decided to introduce this supplementary benefit in the form in which it was introduced, the Department of Health undertook an exhaustive cost survey of nursing homes throughout Australia. The most significant, thing that this survey disclosed related to nursing homes which charged fees at a level equivalent to the nursing home benefit plus the pension, and which also had a proportion of intensive care patients. When these nursing homes maintained their fees at that level - the level that the pensioner could afford without making any other contribution - they were losing money, and it was the cost of caring for intensive care cases that resulted in their losing money. Se the supplementary benefit was introduced, firstly to cushion the imminent fee increases which bad to come for people in that category; secondly to encourage the provision of further accommodation for people in this category; and, thirdly, to raise the standard - and this is a most important point - of intensive nursing home care. I believe that this objective has been achieved and that it can be described as helping nursing home patients who are in the greatest need.

Officers of my department have been making investigations which are not yet complete but which indicate a wide and varying pattern of fee increases. Many nursing homes have not increased their fees at all, an equally large number have increased their fees by less than the full amount of the benefit, and some have increased them by the full amount. In the widely differing circumstances to which I referred earlier the only answer that I can give to the honourable member is the general comment that it would be most reprehensible for any nursing home to impose on its patients charges for services which in fact had not been rendered to the patients. In addition, I give the honourable member the undertaking that I will keep this matter under careful review.

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– Has the attention of the Minister for the Army been drawn to an article by Brigadier Graham in the December edition of the ‘Army Journal’ which was critical of the equipment available to the Australian task force in Vietnam? Does the Brigadier’s criticism reflect official dissatisfaction in the Army with the equipment, of the task force and the Army generally? Has any action been taken to investigate the points made by the Brigadier on the SLR, or self loading rifle, and the need for heavy lift helicopters? If so, when can our task force in Vietnam expect the required improvements to be made? Has any disciplinary action been taken against Brigadier Graham?

Minister for the Army · FLINDERS, VICTORIA · LP

– The article in the ‘Army Journal’ to which the honourable member referred was a responsible commentary by a reputable, experienced and senior officer of the Australian Army whose purpose in contributing to the ‘Army Journal’ is to be encouraged and not regretted. There can be no suggestion whatsoever of any disciplinary action being taken. In fact the article quite clearly is not critical of the present equipment state of our forces in Vietnam. If I remember correctly, the article states in part that the Australian task force in Vietnam is extremely well equipped, in terms of both its own organic equipment and the superb support which it has received from United States forces.

Continuous consideration is given to the Army’s weaponry, equipment and techniques at all levels to ensure that we are progressing in this field and that our troops are supplied with the most up to date equipment appropriate for the circumstances in which they are involved. A number of the areas referred to in the article as being suitable for future research and development have already been subjected to examination both in Australia and overseas. The ‘Army Journal’ is in no way designed to present any official review on any Army matter. It is an in-Service professional journal designed to stimulate and encourage thought on matters of interest to Army personnel, and as such I believe it provides a very useful service.

As to the question relating to the selfloading rifle, opinions on the merits of weapons tend to be somewhat subjective and individual. My understanding of the self loading rifle is that it is a first class weapon and that in general terms it is preferred to its counterpart on issue to other armies. However, in some circumstances it would be more advantageous for an automatic weapon to be used. In this regard reference has been made to the Armalite weapon, which is automatic and very light. But my understanding is that the self-loading rifle is a harder hitting weapon than is the Armalite rifle, is certainly less prone to stoppage, and is easier to maintain. The Government’s policy is to ensure that our troops are supplied with weapons appropriate to the circumstances in which they are operating. So it will come as no surprise to honourable members to hear that a number of Armalite rifles are on issue to our troops. I think the ratio of Armalite rifles to self-loading rifles is of the order of one to two. As regards heavy and medium lift helicopters, these are at present effectively provided by United States forces.It is accepted that in certain contingencies we may need medium lift helicopters and for some time the Royal Australian Air Force has been involved in a study of suitable helicopters for this purpose. My Department is associated with that study. The question of heavy lift helicopters is in a different category and there is a division of opinion within the Army as to the essentiality and cost effectiveness of such aircraft. In broad terms I assure the House that no stone is left unturned in ensuring that our troops are provided with up to date equipment, having regard to the commitments which have been assigned to them by this Government.

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– Will the Minister for Primary Industry consider convening a special meeting of the Australian Agricultural Council for the purpose of formulating plans to cope with the storage and delivery crises which will confront the wheat industry if normal seasonal conditions are experienced throughout the wheat growing areas this year? Further, will the Minister request the Council to give the industry some indication of the Council’s attitude to this vital matter prior to growers planting this year’s crop?

Minister for Primary Industry · RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP

– I assure the honourable member that when the Australian Agricultural Council meets in Hobart in about 3 weeks time all matters relating to the wheat industry which are presently of concern to producers will be discussed. I will see that particular reference is made to the problems of storing and handling wheat.

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– Is the Minister for Labour and National Service paying any attention to public Press criticism levelled against what is now being referred to as the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission’s extraordinary 1968 decision? Is the Government taking any action to examine the whole field of conciliation and arbitration with a view to preparing a submission to the Commission in August next designed to seek the re-establishment of important historical wage relativities in the wages and salaries field? Does the Government have any plan to protect the living standards of those in the lower income bracket?Has it any plan to protect these people against the misery imposed upon them by the ever-increasing cost of living?

Minister for Labour and National Service · WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– Of course the Government is giving close and continuous attention, as well as a great deal of thought, to these matters. It is unlikely that our thoughts will run parallel to those of the honourable member for Blaxland but I assure him that we are very alive to all the issues. I am glad to see the honourable member back. I hope that the President of the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen will now be able togive more time to union affairs.

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– I ask the Minister for Labour and National Service a question. I refer to the serious disruption of community and commercial life being caused by stoppages in the railway services in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Is the Minister satisfied that the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission is doing all that it can to deal with this matter and to bring it to a speedy conclusion?


– This trouble, of course, started, because the two unions concerned, the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen and the Australian Railways Union, refused to accept the decision of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commissioner concerned and resorted to direct action. The AFULE, having defied the decision of the Commission, and the rules of court, took direct action and went out on strike. After this occurred and direct action was resorted to, the Australian Council of Trade Unions entered the picture and the union agreed to present the case to the Commission, which it should have done in the first place. This action is now being undertaken. The ARU today resorted to direct action and called a strike at the very time when the union was discussing issues with the Commissioner and the Railways. What is painfully obvious is that these resorts to direct action have been instigated and fomented by a number of people in Sydney who have no real interest in the industrial issues as such. They are leading an attack on both responsible trade unionism and the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. When the rank and file of these two unions understands what is behind this aspect of the disturbance, we may get a more responsible attitude and obviate something that is not only disrupting the whole community but also jeopardising the jobs of tens of thousands of other trade unionists.

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– My question is directed to the Minister for Defence. I refer the honourable gentleman to the 1967-68 report of the Defence Standards Laboratories. The report states on page 42 that the Department of Defence has continued studies of the physical processes occurring in aerosol clouds moving in foliage. I ask the honourable gentleman: What is the nature of the aerosol clouds used in these studies? Are these studies part of the assessment of the uses of chemical warfare? Were these experiments carried out at the Joint Tropical

Research Unit at Innisfail? If not. were they carried out at the Maribyrnong laboratories? If they were carried out at the Maribyrnong laboratories, what facilities are available there for the testing of moving aerosol clouds on foliage?

Minister for Defence · PATERSON, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– I have no precise, detailed knowledge of the information required by the honourable gentleman about these tests. I understand that the aerosol tests are associated with defoliants. Quite clearly there would be some relationship between the action of aerosol defoliants, or aerosol distribution of any kind, and what we would assume to be the methods of distributing liquid gas. However, 1 will satisfy the honourable gentleman’s curiosity: I will get full details for him.

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– I address my question to the Minister for National Development. Is it a fact that the Commonwealth Government has supported the request by the South Australian Premier to the River Murray Commission for an entitlement for the State of South Australia of 1.5 million acre-feet of water? Secondly, and rather unrelatedly, under what conditions could the Chowilla Dam be built in the future? Thirdly, is there any provision for the South Australian Government to request aid from the Commonwealth Government under the water resources fund? Finally, is there any legal or constitutional barrier to any future South Australian Government’s carrying out construction of this type outside the River Murray Commission, if it wished to do so?

Minister for National Development · FARRER, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– The deliberations of the River Murray Commission are confidential and, therefore, I am not in a position to inform the honourable member what attitude the Government adopted. All J can say is that I personally have been constantly appreciative of South Australia’s great need for the utmost amount of water, and I believe that the other Commissioners have held a similar view. It is because of this fact that we have succeeded in discovering a site which will undoubtedly make a considerable amount of additional water available in the River Murray. We are now undertaking deliberations to ascertain how this additional water can be divided. So far as any future building of the Chowilla

Dam is concerned, particularly by one individual State, as the honourable member has suggested, I would point out to him that under the River Murray Agreement, which has been in operation for more than 50 years, all the water in the River Murray is owned by the Commission. Therefore, it does not matter whether an individual State builds a dam. It still would not be entitled to the water. The water would be owned by the River Murray Commission.

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– My question is directed to the Minister for Health. In view of the possibility of the death toll from a Hong Kong influenza epidemic being heavy when it hits Australia this winter, will the Minister agree to the vaccine being supplied free to pensioners and to .others in poor circumstances and being made available to other people under the pharmaceutical benefits scheme?


– The appropriate committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Epidemiology Committee, at its meeting on 7th February, considered all aspects of the influenza situation. After the Committee met I issued a Press statement setting out the substance of what it had to say. The Committee believed that it was possible that influenza could be widespread in Australia this year, but so that there will be no alarm I will also make the point that the Committee made it clear that it was not a severe strain of influenza that was involved; that it would be widespread only in the sense that there would be a high incidence in the population. In any case, when I received the report of the Epidemiology (Standing) Committee I made it available to the members of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. I cannot make a benefit available without a positive recommendation from this Committee. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Commit’ tee will be meeting on Friday. After this meeting it will make a recommendation on this matter to me and I will then be in a position to say what we will do.

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– Has the Prime Minister been informed that the honourable member for Batman has been admitted as a Younger

Brother of the Corporation of Trinity House? Is the admission of an Australian to this ancient and honourable British corporation so infrequent that it is in fact a rare distinction that has been conferred on the honourable member?


– I have been informed that the honourable member for Batman has been admitted as a Younger Brother of Trinity House, which is a British corporation dating back to the 16th century. I think it received its charter in the year 1514 or thereabouts. The corporation is concerned both with the safety of navigation and with the care and welfare of seamen, and of their families. The admission of a brother from outside the United Kingdom is so rare that this indeed can be regarded as a great distinction. I believe that the distinction has been conferred upon the honourable member because of his standing in seamanship and because of his standing in this present community. I think that all members of the House and all members of the Parliament would wish to join me in congratulating the honourable member for Batman on receiving this distinction.

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– My question, which is addressed to the Minister for National development, refers to the proposal to use nuclear power to blast out a harbour at Cape Keraudren. Is it correct that studies carried out so far in America and elsewhere have failed to find a way of eliminating definitely the possibility of radio-activity occurring and remaining in any debris resulting from a nuclear explosion? Is it correct also that no means have been found whereby the presence and extent of any such radio-activity can be established or measured prior to the blast or contained after the blast? If so, will the feasibility study in relation to Cape Keraudren include a full and detailed examination of those particular aspects and also the possible effects that any such radio-activity could have on the future of human life or marine life at any time following the blast? Is the feasibility study being hurried due to the wish of the Sentinel Mining Co. to have the job in progress by June of next year? If not, why is it being hurried?

Finally, will the report of the study be presented to and debated by Parliament before any decision is made? Will the responsibility for the eventual decision rest with Parliament or only with the Government?


– It is true that with any nuclear device that is exploded there is radio-activity. But the latest forms of nuclear device do reduce very considerably the amount of radio-activity that is released. The Commonwealth Government and the Government of the United States of America have agreed that there should be a feasibility study. This feasibility study will look very closely into the aspects mentioned by the honourable member and, in particular, this matter will be referred to top level experts. We have one expert who is a world authority on radiation and he has been used by the United States Atomic Energy Commission on previous occasions. We will see, before any decision is made, that there is no danger of any sort from radio-activity. I do stress that at the present moment all that has been done is that a decision has been made that there should be a technical feasibility study. One of the things which will be uppermost in everyone’s mind is the health effect of such an explosion, if it does occur.

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– I direct my question to the Minister for Primary Industry. I refer to the proposal of the Commonwealth Government to make available $25m for the reconstruction of the Australian dairying industry. Can the Minister inform the House what further responses have been forthcoming from State governments since the announcement last year that the Prime Minister had communicated with State Premiers concerning this proposal?


– The honourable member for Cowper will recall that, some 14 months ago, the Commonwealth Government announced that it would provide $25m for the amalgamation of marginal dairy farms and that this money would be made available to those who wished to use it on very attractive conditions with regard to the term of the loan, the interest rate of the loan and the fact that an allowance would be made for writing off redundant improve ments. The proposition was put to the States. Because of administrative difficulties and because the States could see themselves being involved in certain expenses, we had to negotiate with the States an arrangement whereby this scheme would not involve them in any additional expenditure.

In the course of several months last year, we felt that we came to a conclusion that would be acceptable to all States. The Prime Minister, on 30th September 1968, wrote to the various Premiers. The main purport of his message was that 50% of the money made available would be in the form of a grant to the States so that they could administer the scheme. Also, it was to write off redundant improvements by way of grant to the farmers concerned. Since that time, I have received communications from two States only. These were Western Australia and Tasmania which raised additional queries.

I have read in the Press however a statement by the Premier of New South Wales, Mr Askin, in which he announced that certain State ministers for agriculture had met in Sydney on 26th January, to discuss the proposals. He also announced that he would be bringing forward certain propositions to the Prime Minister with the hope of implementing the scheme as soon as possible.

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Mr Speaker, are you aware of the attitude of a former Speaker of this House who refused to accept the hospitality of Sir William McKell when he was appointed Governor-General because of criticism of Mr Speaker by Sir William when he was the Labor Premier of New South Wales? If so, can you assure the House that it is not your intention to harbour a grudge for some utterance in a party room or the Parliament and follow the strange conduct of your famous predecessor?


-I think what happens in a party room is beyond my responsibilities as Speaker.

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– Has the Treasurer been alerted to a current programme within the Taxation Branch to visit clergymen to inspect the standard of their parsonage accommodation? It is apparent that the existing general charge for their accommodation is being substantially increased. As the stipends of clergymen in general still leave much to be desired, does the right honourable gentleman not agree that it would be more equitable to leave the parsonage allowance unaltered as a gesture of goodwill?


– My attention has not been drawn to the problem that has been mentioned by the honourable gentleman. If the practice does exist I am surprised that it has not been mentioned to me. In recent weeks I have had very close association with various members of the clergy - I am not referring to the fact that my younger child was christened on Sunday last - and I might well have expected them to raise it. Nonetheless I will make inquiries from the Commissioner of Taxation and I assure the honourable member that if I find that this matter requires my personal attention 1 shall give it that attention.

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– Is the Minister for Health aware that five leading drug firms in the United States of America have been compelled to pay back to fifty States and numerous cities in the United States $108m as a refund for drug price exploitation? Is the Minister aware that the drugs on which the overcharges were made are used extensively in Australia? Is it factual to say that drugs valued to retail at $9 were sold at $45.90? In view of this disclosure, will the Minister take immediate action to institute a public inquiry into the cost structure of drugs sold in Australia in order that the public may be protected from such wilful racketeering?


-I have had some information on the anti-trust suits in the United States and I understand that these related to tetracycline. Most of the tetracycline used in Australia is made in Melbourne. Some of it is exported. Since 1963, as the result of activities of my Department, tetracycline listed as a pharmaceutical benefit has been reduced in price from about $24 - 1 forget the appropriate quantity - to about $8. In other words the price has been reduced to one-third in that time. As I have said before in relation to the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, the activities of my Department in regard to price negotiations perform a function in protecting the Australian public in respect of the drugs that are listed as pharmaceutical benefits which is equally as effective as are the procedures in the United States.

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– I address a question to the Minister for National Development. In view of the fact that Australia needs to conserve all available water and in view of the now proven technical feasibility of the Chowilla Dam, will the Minister use his influence to see that a long term River Murray development plan is drawn up forthwith and an indication given as to when Chowilla will be proceeded with even though the Dartmouth project may be given priority?


– I will certainly look into the matter raised by the honourable member, but I believe it would be extremely difficult to draw up a long term plan for the development of the River Murray. The selection of dam sites varies quite considerably, depending on such factors as the needs of the States and the salinity problem. The honourable member will realise that the need to pass a greater flow of water down the River Murray affected quite considerably the benefit that would have been available out of Chowilla. If salinity could be brought under control, Chowilla would provide a greater benefit than it is seen to have at present. For this, and for a number of other reasons, it would be extremely difficult to draw up any long term plan. Nevertheless I will look into the matter.

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– I address my question to the Minister for Trade and Industry. Did the right honourable gentleman anticipate that such a meeting would take place between the Governor-General and the Treasurer as is now known to have taken place on Friday, 8th December 1967? Had the Minister prior to that date discussed with His Excellency his own strained relations with the Treasurer, the Treasurer’s alleged association with a journalist whom the Minister has described as the paid agent of a foreign power and the strain imposed by these matters on the coalition Government? (Question not answered.)

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– I direct a question to the Minister for Primary Industry. Will he institute an inquiry by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics into the effect the Commonwealth egg marketing authority is having upon the States? Will he ensure that such inquiry has regard to the interests of both the consumer and the producer of eggs? Will the interests of both large and small producers in all States be considered? Will approval be granted for the Bureau to recommend changes in the system should such an inquiry reveal a need for such changes to be made in the best interests of the industry?


– The basic concept of the constitution of the Council of Egg Marketing Authorities of Australia was that each State Egg Board should have autonomy and we should try to preserve it. CEMAA consists of members of all the State egg marketing authorities and the great bulk of the members of each State egg marketing authority are themselves producers. In fact, 26 of the 39 members of CEMAA are producers and are elected by producers. The type of inquiry that the honourable gentleman seeks could hardly be undertaken by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. However, if any State wants to withdraw from the scheme, or wants to amend the existing legislation, it should do so through CEMAA or through the Australian Agricultural Council.

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– I direct my question to the Prime Minister. Is he aware that President Nixon has ordered the United States Department of Defence to end the draft system and to establish an all-volunteer armed service? Is the Prime Minister aware that the President of the United States will be acting to keep his pledge made during last year’s election campaign that he would set up an all-volunteer armed service? If so, can the Prime Minister give me an assurance that he will follow in the footsteps of this great American President and end the Australian draft system and establish an all-volunteer armed service, which would be in the best traditions of the great Australian nation?


– I am not aware of any action that is at the moment being taken or has been ordered by the President of the United States of America.

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Motion (by Mr Nixon) - by leave - agreed to:

That the time for bringing up the report of the Joint Select Committee on the new and permanent Parliament House on the matter of the site alternatives of Capital Hill and the Camp Hill area be extended until the end of April.

That a message be sent to the Senate requesting its concurrence.

Minister for the Interior · Gippsland · CP

– by leave - I move:

  1. That the Leader of the Government in the Senate and the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate be added to the membership of the Joint Select Committee on the New and Permanent Parliament House when the Committee is considering the matter of the site for the new building.
  2. That a message be sent to the Senate requesting its concurrence.

Mr Speaker, it will be recalled that the House, on 17th October last year, agreed to a motion referring the matter of the site for the new and permanent Parliament House to the Joint Select Committee which, for some time now, has been inquiring into the accommodation needs of the new building. The resolution of the House relating to the site was agreed to by the Senate on 26th November. The House of Representatives is represented on the Joint Committee by 13 members and the Senate by 5. Since the Committee is primarily concerned with accommodation needs this membership takes into account the larger membership of the House in relation to the Senate. However, when the Committee is considering the question of the site, the Government agrees that Senate representation might be increased and that the Leader of the Government and the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate should be added to the membership to correspond with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition who have been members of the Committee since its original appointment.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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Minister for the Interior · Gippsland · CP

– by leave - I move:

  1. That paragraph (8) ofthe resolutionof appointment of the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory be omitted and that the following paragraph be inserted in place thereof:

    1. That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records, to more from place to place, and to sit during any recess or adjournment of the Parliament and during the sittings of either House of the Parliament.’
  2. That a message be sent to the Senate requesting its concurrence.

Mr Speaker, the purpose of the proposed amendment is to enable the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory to move from place to place should the necessity arise. At present when it is necessary for the Committee to hold meetings away from Canberra a resolution to that effect has to be agreed to by both Houses of the Parliament. The Committee has experienced embarrassing delays because of this requirement and by the amendment of the terms of appointment as this motion seeks to do, the Committee will have the necessary power to move from place to place without the passing of resolutions through both Houses.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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– In the unavoidable absence of my colleague the honourable member for Fremantle (Mr Beazley), in accordance with the provisions of paragraph10a of the resolution appointing the Joint Committee of Foreign Affairs, 1 inform the House, at the request of the then Minister for Externa) Affairs, that the Committee has reported to him upon the Middle East situation.

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The following Bills were returned from the Senate without amendment:

States Grants (Aboriginal Advancement) Bill 1968.

Aboriginal Enterprises (Assistance) Bill1968.

States Grants (Special Assistance) Bill 1968.

Continental Shelf (Living Natural Resources) Bill

Fisheries Bill 1968.

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Assent to the following Bills reported:

Parliamentary Allowances Bill 1968.

Ministers of State Bill 1968.

Parliamentary Retiring Allowances Bill 1968.

Customs Bill (No. 2) 1968.

Excise Bill (No. 2) 1968.

Distillation Bill (No. 2)1968.

Beer Excise Act Repeal Bill 1968.

Canned Fruit Excise Act Repeal Bill 1968.

Sales Tax Assessment Bill (No. 5) 1968.

Spirits Bill 1968.

Extradition (Commonwealth Countries) Bill 1968.

Extradition (Foreign States) Bill 1968.

Processed Milk Products Bounty Bill 1968.

Public Service Bill (No. 2)1968.

States Grants (Pre-school Teachers Colleges) Bill 1968.

Northern Territory Supreme Court Bill 1968.

Apple and Pear Export Charges Bill 1968.

Raw Cotton Bounty Bill 1968.

Gold-mining Industry Assistance Bill1968.

Salaries Bill1968.

Bankruptcy Bill 1968. Loan (Housing) Bill (No. 2) 1968.

Commonwealth Employees Compensation Bill 1968.

Seamen’s Compensation Bill 1968.

States Grants (Secondary Schools Libraries) Bill 1968.

Railway Agreement (New South Wales and South Australia) Bill 1968.

States Grants Bill 1968.

Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Bill (No. 3) 1968.

Australian Universities Commission Bill 1968.

International Monetary Agreements Bill 1968.

Airline Equipment (Loan Guarantee) Bill 1968.

Loan (Qantas Airways Ltd) Bill 1968.

Loan (Defence) Bill 1968.

Judiciary Bill1968.

Loan Bill (No. 2) 1968.

Lands Acquisition (Defence) Bill 1968.

Customs Tariff Validation Bill1968.

States Grants (Special Assistance) Bill1968.

Overseas Telecommunications Bill (No. 2) 1968.

Live-stock Slaughter Levy Bill 1968.

Live-stock Slaughter Levy Collection Bill 1968.

Meat Research Bill 1968.

Meat Legislation Repeal Bill 1968.

Commonwealth Banks Bill 1968.

Australian Coastal Shipping Commission Bill 1968.

Stevedoring Industry (Temporary Provisions) Bill 1968.

Service and Execution of Process Bill 1968.

Income Tax Assessment Bill (No. 5) 1968.

Continental Shelf (Living Natural Resources) Bill1968.

Fisheries Bill 1968.

Judges Pensions Bill 1968.

Law Officers Bill 1968.

Loans (Australian National Airlines Commission) Bill 1968.

Aboriginal Enterprises (Assistance) Bill 1968.

Slates Grants (Aboriginal Advancement) Bill 1968.

Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court Bill 1968.

Papua and New Guinea Bill (No. 2) 1968.

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Discussion of Matter of Public Importance


– I have received a letter from the honourable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr Crean) proposing that a matter of definite public importance be submitted to the House for discussion, namely:

The Government’s failure to identify and regulate overseas investment and control by overseas interests of industry in Australia and to encourage and marshal Australian investment in the development of Australian resources.

I call upon those members who approve of the proposed discussion to rise in their places. (More than the number of members required by the Standing Orders having risen in their places)

Melbourne Ports

– The Opposition regards this as a very significant occasion because the problems that are posed are ones which, unless grappled with, will bring serious consequences in a very short time. In London recently the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) rather picturesquely described the Australia of former days as a pet puppy to be tickled in the tummy. It would appear that if he had thoroughly examined the subject matter about which he was talking, a more fitting simile would have been expressed by stating that the Australian economy, so far as foreign investors are concerned, has been like a cow that is very systematically milked.

To put the matter in perspective, during the last 20 years the flow of foreign capital into Australiahas exceeded $7, 100m. Nearly a fifth of that was classified as portfolio investment and institutional loans. Over the same period we have had adverse trade balances of about the same magnitude - $7,200m in round figures. The capital inflow has permitted Australia to have a level of imports of goods and services in excess of what would have been available from current earnings. Undoubtedly this has been significant for the growth of the economy and our living standards. But what should be noted is that capital inflow has to be serviced. We have to pay interest, we have to pay dividends, profits are earned, and so on. Australia has had to pay out profits, dividends or interest charges, and in the period that I have been speaking of such items have exceeded $4,600m, of which about $l,600m was reinvested in the sense that the profits earned were not fully distributed. So that while the net capital inflow was over $7, 100m, after allowing for servicing and reinvestment of profits earned the apparent benefit to Australia’s foreign balances was reduced to $4, 100m.

I want to say categorically at the start that no-one believes that foreign investment will suddenly stop altogether. I hope this debate will be argued sensibly around the fact that we have benefited from some at least of the foreign investment that has been made in Australia during this period. I think it can be said, as was said in the Treasury Information Bulletin’ of 1965 on foreign investment, that this investment allowed us to have a higher standard than we otherwise would have had. But if foreign investors want to invest in this country at least we should perhaps lay down some conditions. On the other hand, if we feel that we need foreign investment in certain fields we may not always be able to call the tune we would like to call, and I suggest this is what we ought to be talking about at the moment. In my view the Government, through the mouth of the Prime Minister, who has been backed up by the Treasurer (Mr McMahon), has thrown would-be investors into confusion, because those investors do not know what the situation is. There is a lot of talk about guidelines. I suggest that what could be said about the guidelines at the moment is that they do not guide. They are misleading, and to that extent the situation will be a mischievous one until the Government does something to clarify it.

I shall deal with the flow of investment into this country in three forms, and if I have sufficient time I will develop the latter end of my argument - that Australia is failing to marshal the resources which are available to it for the proper development of this nation. I refer to a book entitled The American Challenge’ by Jean-Jaques Servan-Schreiber who analyses the situation in France in particular. This book was originally published in France; it is now available in the English language. The author looks at the European situation as a whole, which is similar to the situation here. He points out that substantial sections of the economy of Europe are not owned by Europe but by American interests. Indeed, he begins the book rather picturesquely by saying that in 20 years time the third biggest industrial power in the world will not be Europe, after America and Russia, but will be American investment in Europe.

I suggest that this situation is being reached in Australia and that strategic and important sections of the Australian economy are not controlled by Australians at all. Another observation Servan-Schreiber makes is that the American invasion, for the most part, has not been made with American money but has been achieved by utilising Europe’s money. As he says, the Americans have done with European money what Europe’s own businessmen did not do. I suggest that this is somewhat the situation in Australia at the moment. Takeovers by foreign concerns are often encompassed by Australia’s own money.

I shall now draw attention to the three fields which we ought to be concerned about and which the Treasurer’s committee is investigating. Firstly, there is the new investment which is coming into Australia. Surely any country is entitled to set some conditions on industrialists in other parts of the world who come into this country. This is done by the United States of America. Anyone who is interested enough can read the document which 1 obtained from the local office of the Chase Manhattan Bank. It consists of twenty pages of closely printed regulations which an investor in the United States who wants to invest outside his country has to comply with. If a country can impose restrictions on the flow out of money surely it is equally competent to place restrictions on the flow in of money. There are plenty of countries who do this. Time does not permit me to go into detail about this, but Canada, Japan, Mexico and India arc examples of countries which need capital just as much as Australia does, and these countries have set limitations upon the inflow of capital. Certain kinds of industry which cannot be entered have even been laid down. It is rather curious that we in Australia should be worried about the threat of Japanese motor cars when no foreign country can set up the business of manufacturing motor cars in Japan. At least there are some differences in treatment.

Another field I want to deal with is that of portfolio investment. Figures issued recently by the Commonwealth Bureau of

Census and Statistics show that last year out of a total capital inflow of $857m portfolio investment accounted for $383ni. Portfolio investment is the buying by foreigners of equities in Australian industries. You can impose restrictions on this type of activity if you wish. For example, you could permit foreign interests to own shares in Australian companies but you could stipulate that they shall have no participating rights in the control of the companies. The seriousness of this matter may be gauged from a statement appearing in today’s ‘Australian Financial Review’ about our great national company, the Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd. In May last 79% of shareholders in the company were registered in Australia. By November last only 76% were registered in Australia. In other words, 24% of the equity in the BHP company is not owned by Australia.

On the subject of portfolio investment the Australia and New Zealand Bank Limited, in its quarterly survey dated January this year, states:

While much of the investment in Australian shares has probably been stimulated by the economy’s stability and long term growth prospects, an important unknown is the proportion of portfolio capital seeking short term gains. Variations in the volumes of this type of capital received or repatriated would reduce the stability of the oversea accounts (and also of the Australian share markets).

A similar observation is made in the January/ February bulletin of the Australian Industries Development Association. It reads:

While much of this portfolio investment is attracted by Australia’s continuing healthy rate of growth …. some part would be seeking short term gains.

It was shown the other day that a reduction in American investment outside the United States could have a serious impact upon the country in which the investment was to have taken place. A few months ago the Treasurer brought down a Budget which he said was designed to halt inflation. He has found to some extent that the rug has been pulled from under him by the failure of American investors to secure permission to engage in certain capital construction. So there are dangers in portfolio investment, although these may be regulated if a government so desires. The Government could use the dormant powers of corporation law. Section 51 of the Constitution gives the Commonwealth power to deal with foreign corporations. If the Government does not wish to take that course it could take action by way of the uniform company law. But the only people who have succeeded in making company law uniform are people who quietly register in one State and operate their gigantic enterprises throughout the whole country. They know better than the Government how to use the mechanisms available to them. I do not blame them for doing this, but if they are acting contrary to the national welfare the gaps in the law should be closed.

The other matter to which I wish to refer is the raising of capital in Australia by means of debentures in order to expand !the foreign equity of shareholders outside Australia. I draw the attention of honourable members to an interesting letter, which I do not have time to read out, which appeared in today’s ‘Australian Financial Review’ alongside one written by my colleague, the honourable member for [Scullin (Mr Peters). The letter to which I refer was written by a Mr Paul Haege, who draws attention to the fact that the existing ^Australian tax laws are designed to make it advantageous for a foreign owned company to raise debentures in Australia. This is because the interest on such debentures is a tax deduction. Any profits arising 4 this tax concession go to the equity of the foreign investors. Mr Haege refers to the proposed takeover of the Hilton organisation by Courtaulds Ltd, suggesting that this is one matter in which the Government could intervene if it so desired. Another example is mentioned in this morning’s ‘Australian Financial Review’. They all happen to be there on the one page. This is going on day after day. The article I now refer to is headed ‘Herbert Adams Link Provides Bunge with Tied Outlets’. Herbert Adams Holdings Ltd has been known around Australia for nearly 100 years for making cakes. Apparently it has now been subtly taken over by Bunge (Australia) Pty Ltd. Bunge has acquired an interest by buying only one-tenth of the equity. This is why we have the word control’ in our opinion. Bunge Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bunge (Industrial) Ltd of the United Kingdom.


Order! The honourable member’s time haj expired.

Treasurer · Lowe · LP

– It becomes obvious that the honourable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr Crean), who led for the Opposition in this debate, has not raised a single question of substance that demands an answer by the Government. As we listened to him from this side of the House, we were driven to the conclusion that he was speaking for the Government rather than speaking against it. He made the immediate concession that there was no wish whatsoever to place a restriction on the flow of private capital, or capital of any sort, into Australia. He said that no one believes that it will fall off. He went further and said that we have all benefited from it; it has lead significantly to the development of the country and has improved our living standards. Against that background it becomes very difficult to particularise and say: ‘But notwithstanding the enormous benefits that the inflow of capital has meant to this country we have some very small grievances that we would like to air in this House’.

Before I get on to the real substance of this matter, may I mention the philosophy and the attitude of the Government Parties. We support a liberal approach to foreign investment in this country and a liberal approach to both official and private capital movements here. I want to emphasise that we have four objectives. I believe that each is compatible with the others, but nonetheless in real life we frequently have to make some sort of compromise between the four objectives in order to get the best we are capable of achieving. I do not want to go over the figures, but we all know that we could not have maintained our rate of growth of development at 6%, 5i%, or the 7% for this year, unless we had been able to draw very heavily upon overseas resources to permit our development to take place. In other words, we find that very much of the capital equipment, knowhow, technical expertise, producers materials and the materials that are necessary for manufacturing can be obtained by this country only if overseas investors have confidence in our future. They have made money available overseas so we can spend it for the development of this country. I emphasise the point that out standards of living, and particularly our wage structure in real terms, would have been much less today if it were not for the inflow of private capital.

We have other objectives as well. First of all, there is a need to bring to this country the expertise and technologies that are so essential in a world that is moving as fast as ours is. We do want increasing participation in management and we have a great national aspiration to ensure that, as far as it is practicable, we will have an increasing participation in equity ownership. Each of these goals is, in various measures, being achieved. What we continue to emphasise to overseas interests when they come here, whether they talk to the Government, the Reserve Bank, the Treasury or trade officials, is our desire that they permit greater Australian equity participation. As one who has a closer association with this problem than any other person in the Government, I believe that our objectives are surely but slowly being achieved. I repeat that it is necessary to compromise in order to achieve the four objectives we seek.

Might I put this matter in perspective by showing exactly what is happening in terms of the percentage of our gross national product and the percentage of our export income that is taken up by overseas earnings. Unless we understand these facts we will be too inclined to be moved by pure emotion rather than by what is of actual benefit to the Australian community. Dividends paid overseas and profits that are remitted take up 2.1% of our gross national product. That is not a big amount or an amount we can regard as having a long term adverse influence on the Australian community, lt is not an amount that we will find difficulty in servicing in the future. Net property income - that is profits, interest and royalties - is 2.4% of our gross national product. In each case we find the long term trend is in fact being maintained. There is no evidence to point to the view that these percentages are increasing or that, with our growing export income and our growing gross national product, we will be unable to service growing overseas investment in this country. I want to turn to our export income, that is, what we earn overseas by the sale of our rural and secondary production. If we look at the figures, we will see that the long term trend in servicing costs of about 10% of export income has been constantly maintained. Except for last year, when the percentage rose by about 3%, the percentage has remained constant over the last 15 to 20 years. Few people can sensibly argue that this percentage is now starting to cause problems for us. I am not arguing that we do not have to watch the trend particularly carefully. Of course we have to. and we always do; but at least on the facts that are available to us this level is something that is well within our capacity to service. 1 mentioned the fact that last year was an exception. There are at least two good reasons for this. First of all; there were the once and for all fortuitous movements due to British devaluation. The oil companies in particular received a bonus. Secondly, our export income was adversely effected by drought and, consequently, the amount of overseas income as a percentage of our export income increased. The last question that has been raised is the profit that is being made by overseas investors. On the figures that have been made available by the honourable member for Melbourne Ports, who spoke first on behalf of the Opposition, it must be clear that earnings on overseas capital employed are not excessive. On the very figures that he produced the return on capital employed is 7%. No-one, I venture to suggest, will argue that 7% is an excessive rate . of profit on capital employed in a country that is developing as ours is. I remember, as members of the Opposition will well remember, that the last Labor Treasurer felt that a rate of return of 9% on mortgage loans that he participated in was not excessive. I cannot therefore believe that the Labor Party would say that 7% is excessive, and certainly we cannot say that it is out of kilter with earnings by Australian companies. 1 now turn to another question that has been raised by the Opposition. I refer to the necessity for restrictions on or control of the flow of private capital into this country. If we go back to first principles, we argue that our development could not have taken place unless we had permitted this money to come in. Then we have to look at the methods adopted to ensure that our objectives are achieved. Here we find a difference in ideology and in approach that divides the Government Parties and the

Opposition Party, lt wi’l always divide us. We do not believe that there can be detailed and permanent controls on investment and the areas where investment is to take place. We believe that if the Government starts to direct investors how they should invest their money and how they should satisfy demand and consumer expenditure, we would distort the processes of production, and create bottlenecks and inefficiency. We would find the same problems that are endemic in a socialist economy. We believe that what we should do in those cases where there is an overriding national interest is to restrict ownership in the ways that I will now describe. In those cases where Australian savings are involved - that is, banks and life offices - we have taken action first to ensure that no new foreign bank will establish in Australia; in the case of life offices, there are only two Australian owned offices that are not of a mutual kind. They are the MLC Ltd and APA Holdings Ltd. In those cases action has been taken by. Government ordinance to ensure that there is a restriction on overseas ownership and on overseas control. In the cases of television and civil aviation, action has in fact been taken in order to ensure that Australian ownership is perpetuated. In these very critical areas we ensure that we remain the masters of our own destiny.

Now to the question of guidelines. In this area the Australian Government has again taken action to ensure that overseas interests are not permitted to take too great a share of the available capital of this country or of the savings of the Australian people. In order to indicate what we have done I turn to the three categories mentioned by the honourable member for Melbourne Ports. He referred to new corporations.

Under the guidelines new corporations wholly overseas owned cannot obtain Australian savings to permit them to invest in Australia. We have written into the guidelines inbuilt incentives in order to induce newly established overseas corporations and also corporations already established in Australia that wish to borrow here, to admit Australian equity partnership. The borrowing powers or increases in borrowing powers are geared to the Australian equity ownership and the extent to which Australian equity participates in the development of the country. Here we see the difference of approach between the Government and the Opposition. The Labor Party point of view is for compulsion in controls, despite all the benefits that foreign capital brings. The Government’s point of view is for incentives to increased equity participation.

Now I shall refer briefly to two other subjects that are of fundamental importance to us. The honourable member for Melbourne Ports referred to the need for the mobilisation of Australian capital to develop Australian resources. He criticises the Government for its failure to take action. What has happened? Let me refer to the Australian Resources Development Bank. Little has been said about this bank. I take a great deal of pleasure in what , it has done, and the Government is justified in taking a great deal of pride in the achievements of the batik. It has been operating for a period of only 11 months. During that period it has made commitments of $127m to Australian interests to permit them to develop Australia’s resources.

When one looks at some of the approvals you see that many of Australia’s most important companies have borrowed and are still borrowing from the Development Bank in order to permit the development of Australia’s resources. The Mount Newman Mining Co. Pty Ltd, which will be predominantly owned by Australians and which will one day become one of the great iron ore companies, has borrowed S25m; the Western Mining Corp., which is Australian owned and a major producer of nickel, has borrowed $30m; the Gove Bauxite Corp. Ltd has borrowed $20m; the Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd has borrowed $30m for natural gas production. Because the bank has the power to borrow overseas it is now exploring the world to see whether it can obtain money at interest rates which will be acceptable to Australian corporations and which will permit it to marry Australian and overseas borrowing so that interest rates will be kept as low as possible. This is a positive effort made to mobilise capital to assist in our development and to permit development to take place by Australians and to remain in Australian hands.

As I said previously, I believe that we have every reason to be proud of our achievements. A country which can hope to have doubled its gross national production within 13 years and in which the standards of the working people have increased at the rate of 2.2% per annum has no cause for regret. I believe that under the leadership of the Prime Minister Australia will continue to make the magnificent achievements of the past and that this will permit us to lead the world in development of our own natural resources.


-Order! The Minister’s time has expired.

Leader of the Opposition · Werriwa

– The Treasurer (Mr McMahon) has been forced to give the first statement on this subject in the Parliament that he has made as Treasurer. It is the most considerable statement he has made inside Parliament for a long time. Recently in Perth he made a speech on general economic trends for this election year. He devoted one sentence to overseas investment. The complete sentence was:

Apparently private capital has continued to flow in at a high rate.

The Treasurer has now been compelled to give an analysis of the latest figures. First, he referred to the percentage of the gross national product which is remitted in interest and royalties. The Treasury’s White Paper on overseas investment, which was published following the report of the Vernon Committee of Economic Inquiry in 196S, claimed that the best single indicator of the extent to which the repatriation of profits represented a charge on the economy was provided by the percentage of the net national product payable to companies abroad. At that time Treasury reported that the rate was 1.9%. As the Treasurer stated, today it is 2.4%. This is a considerable increase in the space of 4 or 5 years. Then, comparing the figures which the Commonwealth Statistician gave for the last Budget and the figures which he published only last week, the financial editor of the Sydney Morning Herald today highlighted the apparent 47% leap in the amount of company incomes payable abroad in 1967-68.

He went on to state that the Statistician indicates that: the amount of after-tax company profits accruing to overseas ‘direct’ investors alone (that is, to parent companies of local subsidiaries and branches) rose more than 4 times as fast (as pretax profits of all companies) - by an unprecedented $126m.

Then, making all the allowances for drought and devaluation which the Treasurer himself has repeated this afternoon, the Financial Editor of the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ points out that this is a marked advance, and that it is enough to put us on the alert. It is clear that there are changes in the trends. Trends which have persisted for many years have changed greatly in the last year.

One of the objectives of the motion which has been moved by my colleague the honourable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr Crean) is to prompt the Government to identify the sources of overseas investment and control. It is very difficult even for the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) to get the facts correct. It will be remembered that when he returned from overseas he gave a shipboard conference. He was asked a question on the rights of overseas companies which have not given any equity to Australians when raising debenture finance in Australia. In particular he was asked to comment on the Esso debenture issue. According to the official circulated transcript of the conference, the Prime Minister said:

ESSO/BHP were allowed to raise debenture funds, I think not just for ESSO but for ESSO and BHP which is the Australian component of that company. Also, of course, they have brought in a great deal of proper overseas capital at the same time.

The facts of the matter are that Esso raised S30m in debenture for itself and no-one else. It is scarcely correct to describe BHP as a component. There was no provision that these debentures were raised for the venture between Esso and BHP, that is, the Bass Strait oil exploration. They were to take over preceding commitments which Esso had. This is just the sort of operation which the Prime Minister himself condemned in the ‘Puppy Dog’ speech in London in which he referred to:

An overseas corporations having brought capital from abroad to make that development possible, then seeking to raise debenture capital inside our own country in order to keep the process rolling.

This is not overseas capital. This does not bring in with it the capacity for us to bring in more migrants. This does not bring in the machinery or whatever it may be that true overseas capital provides.

The Prime Minister very often orates now about overseas investment and overseas control. He has developed an illusory impression of economic nationalism. When, however, a recent flagrant example during his own Prime Ministership is brought to his notice, he explains it away. He excuses it, although he has, I suggest, got some of the facts wrong. On 11th December the Prime Minister was questioned about the consequences of denying foreign shareholders voting rights in Australian companies. He justified this by saying:

This was done some time ago to AMP and CSR. J think in New South Wales.

The Prime Minister again did not get the facts correctly. He did not identify the companies correctly. Neither AMP nor CSR has such provisions. I am reading from the official text of his Press conference.

More important than this is what does happen when a case arises completely within Commonwealth jurisdiction. I ask honourable members to look at the position at Gove, the expanded project involving the diminution of Australian shareholding from 50% to 30%. Gove is situated in the Northern Territory. It is possible for the Commonwealth Government to pass laws concerning Gove just as easily as it was concerning the MLC holding company in the Australian Capital Territory. An insurance company was involved already in Gove, namely the MLC company that had been protected. The Commonwealth Parliament has the same legislative authority over insurance companies as it has over banks. It could have exercised this authority quite clearly in regard to Gove. Furthermore, the Government could itself have entered into the partnership at Gove. The Prime Minister does not speak as the Treasurer does in condemnation of controls. All the Prime Minister states on these subjects involves controls. Where, as Labor constantly points out, it is possible, and therefore proper, and now urgent for governments to take initiatives in these matters, the Prime Minister will ignore the possibility.

The Treasurer has paid a justifiable tribute to the Australian Resources Develop ment Bank, whose first report is now in our hands. In one of his series of exclusive pre-Christmas interviews, the Prime Minister was asked why the Australian Resources Development Bank did not go into Gove. He answered: ‘I suppose it could have been used, but why should it?’ He proceeded: Why should the Resources Development Bank provide capital for something which gives very small return on the amount of capital provided rather than keep it and provide it for something which gives it a much higher return on the amount of capital provided?’ When he was asked on a later occasion whether the Bank had even looked at the Gove situation, the Prime Minister replied vaguely: ‘Not that 1 know of. What the Treasurer says about the Bank is correct. What was required to take up the slack in Gove was $60m. In fact, in its first annual report, the Bank indicated that it was able to approve loans totalling $89m in the first 6 months of its life. Why is it that the Prime Minister did not even think of this Bank when it comes to the development of Gove, the development of Australian resources in an Australian territory with Australian funds?

Governments have shown what they can do in setting up plants themselves. This happened in Bell Bay. We would never have had, as we now have, hundreds of operatives, engineers and scientists familiar with every process of alumina and aluminium processing if it had not been for the initiative 20 years ago of the then Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments in setting up Bell Bay. Now we are known to have the largest bauxite deposits in the world. We would not have the Gladstone plant and we would not be getting the Gove plant if it were not for this knowhow in Australia. We only have the knowhow because of the initiatives of those governments. Now, Gove is receding from Australian control, management, research and skills.

Again, I ask: What about the insurance companies, the largest source of investment capital in Australia? They are required and encouraged - they do not have to, but they choose to because they are given inducements - to invest in Government bonds. They can be given the same inducements to invest in national projects or public works of this character to use our resources. The

Government will not do it. The sole satisfaction the Prime Minister could give about Gove on Barry Jones’ television programme ‘Encounter’ was that Australian investors were given the opportunity but they did not take it. Mr Deputy Speaker, this is not good enough. Governments can take the opportunity or give it.


-Order! The Leader of the Opposition’s time has expired.

Prime Minister · Higgins · LP

Mr Deputy Speaker, it is a little unclear to me from what the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam) has said whether in fact he is arguing that he would like either to cut down very severely or to prohibit the flow of overseas capital into Australia. If he does seek to cut down in any way significantly the flow of overseas investment capital into Australia, the results which the Treasurer (Mr McMahon) pointed out so eloquently undoubtedly would follow. There would not be able to be brought to this country as much industrial knowhow, as much machinery, as many goods or as much of the possibilities of developing this country as is now being demonstrated in all corners of Australia.

Certainly it is not and never has been the desire or design of the Government to restrict the flow of overseas capital for development purposes into Australia. Nothing this Government has said can be so construed. What we have sought to do and what we think is a right and proper thing to do is to take these actions, firstly, to make it clear that the Government wishes and would welcome that when some new company proposes to set up some new development project in Australia - we wish and would welcome, but we go no further than that - Australian equity participation be offered Australian shareholders in that company. It is a perfectly reasonable and proper action for a government to make its wishes known in that way. While they may not have the force of legislative action and control, so dear to the hearts of the Opposition, they do nevertheless have an effect. The information given to me by the Treasurer is that it is quite clear that this expression of desire by the Australian Government is having effect today in Australia and that more equity participation is being offered than has been offered in the past.

We have taken action - and we believe this is correct and proper action - to ask the stock exchanges to see that they continue to list for sale on the stock exchanges Australian companies even though the shareholders of those companies have taken action according to law to protect themselves against overseas takeover. This too appears to me to be a correct and proper protection of what it is that the Leader of the Opposition said he sought to protect.

I would like to advert, Mr Deputy Speaker, to one matter raised by the Leader of the Opposition. That is the question of Australian Paper Manufacturers Limited. He made a great story, you will remember, by saying that I had said - and I do not deny this - that it protected itself against overseas owners, that it saw that no overseas owner could have a vote, and that it disenfranchised overseas owners from having a vote. He is quite right. From my recollection it did not do that. What it does do is to have something in its articles of association which prevents the transfer of any shares in APM to any overseas owner. That, I think, puts the matter in rather better perspective than it was left at the end of the speech of the Leader of the Opposition. It is, as the Treasurer has pointed out and as the Government believes, not unreasonable when very large sums of capital are brought to Australia from overseas for development purposes for some access to the local savings to be given by way of fixed interest borrowings on the Australian market.

The Leader of the Opposition mentioned Esso-BHP. Yes, it was given permission to raise $30m fixed interest borrowings on the Australian market. That company brought in $330m in overseas capital in order to help develop this country. Is this an unreasonable matter? Is it selling Australia’s birthright when that kind of proportion is maintained? There is another action which has been taken under the guidelines that govern access to the Australian market by overseas companies wishing to borrow at fixed interest here, and that is the action not of compulsion but of providing incentive to such borrowers by enabling them to borrow more here’ according to the amount of Australian equity that they have given in their companies. Inducement or compulsion? I suggest that inducement is working; I suggest that compulsion would not work. Overseas capital is required for the continuing development of Australia and it is right for us to say that we wish for Australian equity participation in new ventures. I say it is right for us to give incentives and to allow more borrowings here at fixed interest according to the percentage of equity given by an overseas company. I say it is right to enable companies to protect themselves by their own vote against takeover from overseas.

All these matters have been and are the subject of intensive study by the Government at this present moment to see whether more Australian equity can be offered. The Leader of the Opposition made great play of this question of equity being offered. Mr Speaker, if a company from abroad wishes to establish some $100m enterprise in Australia and offers equity capital to Australians and the Australians say: ‘No, we do not want to take it up; we have a better investment somewhere else in Australia’ is it to be thought proper to say: ‘Well, all right, if you won’t take up the offer we won’t let the enterprise proceed’? It would be an utterly ridiculous proposition, but a proposition which the Leader of the Opposition virtually suggested should have taken place in the case of Gove. What would he do? Here again is an illustration of the differing points of view expressed by the Treasurer for our project and by the Leader of the Opposition for his project. Here was a major project in which Australians were offered a 50% participation but which, on examination, showed that it was not going to return sufficient profit in their judgment for Australians to take up 50%.

In those circumstances what would the Opposition do, if we judge by the speech of the Leader of the Opposition? He would go to an insurance company and would say: You must take this up. It is directed that you do take up these shares even though they will return you a lower rate of interest than you could get by exercising your own free judgment and investing in some other kind of investment in Australia.’ Is that going to be a better way of developing Australia? Is that going to be a better way of getting returns from Australian saved capital than by working out an arrangement by which, the opportunity having been given, it was left to those who had the money to invest in Australia to say what proportion they would take up in that project, never forgetting that what they did not invest in that project they had available to invest, and no doubt did invest, in some other far more profitable project in Australia?

This motion has followed a line where it seemed at first that overseas capital was welcomed thoroughly by Mr Crean and where it seemed secondly that it was not wanted according to the speech of the Leader of the Opposition; but it developed quite firmly and quite clearly that what would happen, if we can believe what the Leader of the Opposition says his Party would do should it get into government, is that the savings of Australians in banks or insurance companies would be subject to direction by the Government as to where they should be invested or where they should not be invested. That is not a course which appeals to this Government which is requiring capital for development and seeking and getting more equity participation than we have had before but which knows that if we are to continue developing as we are developing and at the pace at which we are developing at present, while we can get a greater equity participation we cannot expect to get a majority.


– Order! The right honourable gentleman’s time has expired.


– It seems very clear from the speeches of the Treasurer (Mr McMahon) and the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) that the Government’s attitude to foreign investment and control of Australian assets has not changed at all. Despite the frequent statements by the Prime Minister and despite his frequent utterances about a nationalistic approach to Australian equity in Australian assets it is very clear from listening to most of the speeches of the Treasurer and of the Prime Minister that nothing has changed and that Australia is a country which gives an open go to all other countries to come here to exploit, to develop and to take home what level of profits they can get out of this country, with the full blessing of the Australian Government. The Prime Minister instanced Gove as an example to defend his Government’s policy on foreign investment and foreign control of assets. The Prime Minister should have told the Parliament a few facts about Nhulunbuy, as Gove is now called. Swiss Aluminum Ltd did not enter into an agreement that for all time there would be a 50% Australian equity in relation to Gove. In other words, at the time it was quite clear to people on the outside and to others that, after the feasibility study had been made by Nabalco Pty Ltd and principally of course by Swiss Aluminium, the extent of capital required would be far greater than the original estimate. In fact this is what happened. The only qualifications which Swiss Aluminium made with respect to proceeding with Gove were that special mining lease No. 1 had to contain at least 100 million tons of bauxite at not less than 44% alumina and not more than 5% silicone. These were the two qualifications on which the project hinged.

It is obvious that the deposits at Gove are so great that Swiss Aluminium is prepared to go ahead and develop them and to erect an alumina works and possibly in the future an aluminium smelter in the Northern Territory. Yet the Prime Minister had the audacity to suggest that it was a pretty poor investment because it would not give a return of 7i%, or whatever the figure was, and so the Australian companies drew out. But the Prime Minister should have told the Parliament why he and his Government did not give more support to the Australian companies and allow them to increase their equity in the Gove venture. He should also have told the Parliament why he did not allow other Australian companies to engage in this venture. Why did he not allow the Australian people to invest in Gove through the stock market? His express purpose was to give as much encouragement as he could to foreign investment and the foreign control of Australian assets.

In fact, the lack of encouragement and the lack of incentive provided by the Government to the Australian Mutual Provident Society, the Mutual Life and Citizens Assurance Co. Ltd, the Colonial Sugar Refining Co. Ltd, Peko-Wallsend Investments Ltd and the other companies in the consortium caused them to withdraw. It is true that they could find better and less risky fields than Gove in which to invest their capital, but over a period Gove will be a very substantial earner of income for Nabalco and especially for the foreign company of Swiss Aluminium Ltd. The economic facts are that, if we had had an equity of 50%, we would have bad a much bigger return of foreign income than we will have with an equity of only 30%.

Those are the facts, and the Government must be condemned for its attitude to Gove. It cannot blame the State governments and it cannot blame anyone else. It has only itself to blame. One can ask the final question: If the Government could not get capital from these sources without giving encouragement, why did it not come in itself as a sleeping partner, on behalf of the Australian taxpayers, and make up the $60m? The truth of the matter is that it wanted to give the foreign company as much control of this asset as it could and it wanted to ensure that the foreign company was hindered as little as possible by an Australian company. Although the minerals industry is the most dynamic influence in the Australian economy today in both the short term and the long term, we still face an intolerable situation. The Prime Minister and the Treasurer have failed to lay down concrete guidelines for the guidance of foreign companies that want to invest in Australia. As the honourable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr Crean) said, we on this side of the House are not opposed to foreign investment and we never have been opposed to it.

The Treasurer said that a growth rate of 5%, 6% or 7% could not have been achieved without foreign investment. That is true. But the point we make is that, with wise management, wise marshalling of our resources and ownership of our assets, the rate of growth of our gross national product could have been higher than 5%, 6% or 7%. The Treasurer mentioned a return of 7% on capital. This is not the criterion. A person who buys shares in Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd today will not get a return of 7% on capital. The dividends he will receive will not represent anything near that rate. But what is the position with Weipa and Hamersley? No-one could say that Weipa is not returning 7% on the money invested in it. The return is about 30% and the money received on the original investment is being reinvested in Australian assets. The result is that the foreign companies are controlling a larger share of Australia’s assets. Anyone who has done any research on this subject will agree that lack of data prevents a firm opinion from being formed about the foreign ownership of Australian assets and the inflow of foreign capital in absolute terms. It is important that we have this information because it has been admitted that at the present time we can only hazard a guess as to the extent of the shares owned by people outside Australia. As the honourable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr Crean) has said, apparently even that great Australian company, Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd, is now falling further under the control of overseas interests. Although it is an Australian company, apparently a greater proportion of it is now owned by people outside Australia.

It is necessary also that we get some idea of the amount of outside control over our strategic assets. By ‘our strategic assets’ I mean not only minerals and oil, but food, land, and other such assets. It is essential that we get full details of such outside ownership so that we can measure, interpret and make a judgment on the position. Although we are a civilised country, although we are one of the most developed countries in terms of real income per person, we are perhaps the only country in the world that has not a full glossary of information on foreign investment here. This foreign investment problem spreads further than the mere inflow of foreign capital. It goes further than the investment of capital. For example, we now have the ridiculous situation where in the northern parts of Australia permits are to be issued for such activities as exploration and drilling for petroleum on the Great Barrier Reef. No doubt those permits will be held by foreign companies. This, too, must be stopped.


-Order! The honourable member’s time has expired.

Minister for Primary Industry · Richmond · CP

– This is the third urgency motion that has been initiated by the Opposition over the past 10 years with relation to alleged uncontrolled foreign investment in Australia. But this third motion comes forward at a time when the Government has already made definite statements as to the action it intends to take to curb the indiscriminate use of foreign capital in this country. Indeed, one wonders whether this motion is submitted really for the purpose of criticising the decisions that the Government has announced to protect Australia’s industries and to encourage greater Australian participation in them or whether the Opposition has something completely new that it wants to bring forward. So far we have heard nothing very much from Opposition speakers today. Most of them have dealt with generalities.

This inflow of overseas capital is really the by-product of the successful policies pursued by the Government over the years. By our policies, we have engendered a degree of confidence in this country by investors in other parts of the world. They are now prepared to move their savings to Australia to develop industries here and to make use of the opportunities that are available. Unfortunately, there are some undesirable consequences from some of this foreign capital and the Government certainly intends taking action wherever it can to prevent them.

Overseas capital is needed. I think all will accept that. I have heard successive Opposition members saying that they have nothing against foreign capital, although they seem to sneer every time they mention those words. Foreign capital is needed to develop our industrial activity and to give employment opportunities. It is necessary to develop our rural and mineral projects, to add to our export earnings, and to develop the outback areas. It is needed to build up our gross national product. It is a very helpful means of gathering further revenue by way of taxation on the profits of the various companies concerned. All this means a better standard of living for Australians, more development and greater future security. With foreign capital come know-how, management, technical skills and a new industries. Foreign investment was the catalyst that set off the motor car industry in Australia. The great cotton industry on the Namoi River was established as a result of American farmers coming out and showing Australians the knowhow. Esperance is another classical example. But these ventures are not always successful and do not always make a profit. The Humpty Doo rice project turned out to be a failure. We see new products such as chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs coming on to the market. We also see new export outlets for certain products.

The great alumina industry in Queensland would not have been established if this development was carried out by one of the seven great international companies which control the outlet of alumina around the world.

We see the Japanese coming in and joining, in some cases with Australia and in other cases with other foreign countries, to develop our coal resources. But they only develop these resources because there is a capital outlet. The parent company or the subsidiary company back in the home country is prepared to make this investment. Most countries recognise that foreign investment is needed and is essential. Tax concessions of all forms are given in South East Asian countries. Tax holidays are given and special government arrangements are granted to encourage foreign investment. We have not had to do any of those things in Australia. Our credit worthiness, our standards of government and the stability of our economy have been sufficient to entice people to invest in this country. I think one must say that it has been very fortuitious that there has been such a degree of capital inflow during the past 12 months to offset our deficit on current account caused by the drought, low world prices of agricultural commodities and the heavy demand for imports to keep pace with our rapid development. But having said these things about capital inflow and stated that we welcome them, I believe we must recognise that we do have a national duty and right to try to obtain the best terms possible for Australia and to see whether we can encourage as much Australian investment in these overseas companies as possible.

The Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) has stated time and time again that he requests these companies to allow Australian participation; that it is our wish and our policy that this course be followed. We hope that this will succeed without resorting to means of compulsion. In many cases we do not have the legislative power to interfere with these companies. But what a government must do and what the Australian Government must do is to try to tread a prudent course between the dangers of frightening away foreign capital and the undesirable consequences of the indiscriminate use of foreign capital in this country.

For this reason the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr McEwen) and the Treasurer (Mr McMahon) have said that they do not intend to accept foreign capital at any price. In some fields we do have legislative control on the way foreign capital is used. We control it in the fields of banking, television, radio and civil aviation. We intervened to prevent any likely takeover of the great Australian life assurance company, MLC. We were able to do this under the provisions of the Constitution which gave the Commonwealth a leg-in on life assurance companies. Also, we asked the Stock Exchange in December 1968 that Australian companies have the right to amend their articles of association to ensure that control of a company which is exercised through voting powers cf Australian shareholders remains in Australian hands. The Stock Exchange has acted on this.

It is patently untrue to say that the Government has failed to encourage and to marshal1 Australian investment in the development of Australian resources. The whole array of taxation provisions is made to encourage development projects. In the rural sphere there are wonderful taxation inducements - concessions - to invest in farm improvements. Since the Government has been in office there has been a doubling of rural output and rural holdings have gone up by one third. There has been a whole new range of developmental projects. In mining and petroleum the Government has sought to encourage participation by overseas investors by granting exploration concessions and allowing the immediate writeoff of capital expenditure as well as taxation exemption of dividends for resident shareholders.

The honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) just glided over the great difficulties associated with finding sufficient Australian capital to match the foreign capital to be invested in the Gove project. The Government laid down that there had to be Australian participation and as a result, there is a 30% Australian equity holding. The Commonwealth Government approved a renegotiation of the arrangement in connection with the Mount Newman project which led to an increase in the Australian equity. Since 1965 special guidelines have been laid down for fixed interest capital borrowing by overseas companies. There has been a distinct inducement to encourage these companies to have greater Australian participation and penalties are imposed upon them if they do not. Those are some of the things that the Government has done. It set up the Eggleston Committee to examine provisions to prevent takeovers. What is the Opposition’s approach to this subject? We do not hear anything from it. We hear a lot of generalities. It is easy for a demagogue to work up emotion about foreign investment but this investment is necessary for the growth of this country. The Government is acting vigilantly in this regard and it is faking action where undesirable consequences are likely to result from capital inflow.


– Those honourable members opposite who have spoken about the flow of capital into Australia have pointed out that the gross national product of this country is immense and that it has increased greatly over recent years. Apparently they think that that, is the most important thing. In reality the important thing is: Who owns the gross national product? Who owns the instruments that produce the gross national product? To whom do the profits of these industries go? AH those questions are important. The only expert independent committee of economists appointed by a non-Labor government to consider the inflow of capital into Australia, the Vernon committee, reported in 1965 that from 26% to 30% of the total assets of all industries in Australia were owned overseas and that, if the flow of capital into Australia were to continue at the then existing level of $300m a year, 46% of Australia’s industries would be owned by overseas interests by 1975. The flow of capital into Australia has more than doubled since 1965. When the Treasurer (Mr McMahon) was asked what proportion of the industries in this country was now owned by overseas interests he said that he had no idea. But the expert committee said that the proportion was increasing annually and that it was increasing at a rapid rate. If the proportion of our industry that is passing into foreign hands keeps increasing annually the time must come when all of our industries will be owned by overseas interests. That is what will happen if the results of a 3%, 4%, 5% or greater increase in the proportion of the gross national product continue to go to exploiters from other countries.

Over a period of more than 10 years the Government has insisted that it will not take action to ensure Australian participation or partnership in those Australian industries in which overseas capital is being invested. The Government has repeated that statement time after time while honourable members on this side of the House have been insisting that such action should be taken. It has been pointed out, not on one occasion but on dozens of occasions, by me and by others that many European nations have enacted legislation that assures local ownership control of all companies operating in those countries. Australia not only allows a complete takeover of Australian industries, it even gives taxation and other concessions to overseas investors which encourage them to take over Australian assets.

The Government now . states that it intends to restrict overseas ownership of Australian industries in certain cases, or that it favours such restrictions. The Government of Australia has taken no action to prevent overseas firms extending their ownership and control of Australian assets by using the funds of Australians for this very purpose. Overseas companies use the money of Australians to expand their ownership. Overseas companies borrow from Australian, at fixed interest rates of from 6% to 8%. Profits of up to 100% and even more have been made by overseas firms. General Motors-Holden’s Pty Ltd, Caterpillar of Australia Ltd and Mercedes-Benz (Aust.) Pty Ltd are firms whose Australian operations have shown profits of more than 100%. Overseas firms take all the money they can raise, plus accommodation from banks and loans from life assurance and other companies, but not one penny of equity do they offer in return, lt appears that the Government is now, belatedly, about to give some consideration to the use of Australian funds by overseas investors to consolidate and extend their control and ownership of Australian assets - but it is doing so most belatedly.

Overseas firms, in order to sell their goods effectively on the Australian market in competition with Australian manufactured goods, establish firms in Australia, with the considerable aid of Australian governments. These overseas firms then negotiate agreements to restrict the quantities of Australian exports and the ranges of places in which such exports may be sold. Hundreds of such agreements operate. Our Government has been inactive and complacent. Absolutely no restriction has been imposed on overseas investment. On the contrary, huge taxation and other concessions entice overseas investors to take over more and more of Australia. I have not time to set out in detail the various ways in which the governments of other countries protect the interests of their people while using foreign capital to promote development.

Mr Arthur:

– It was a Labor government that encouraged General Motors-Holden’s to establish itself here.

Mr Calwell:

– The Labor Government set that company up.


– Yes, it set the company up, but that is a different thing from allowing unjustifiable extension of the company’s activities. Let me return to my theme. I have set out in a booklet titled ‘A Financial Invasion’ the ways in which the governments of other countries protect the interests of nationals of those countries while still allowing foreign capital to be used for development, in that booklet I set out also the amount of capital inflow that we have had, what Australia owes to capital inflow, and also the disadvantages of capital that is sought on any conditions. In London on 17th January 1969 the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton), speaking on the attitude of Australia during recent years towards overseas capital, said:

The posture ot Australia seeking overseas capital has been the posture of a puppy lying on its back with all legs in the air and its stomach exposed, and saying: ‘Please, please give us capital. Tickle my tummy on any conditions.’

There is no doubt that this country should have imposed restrictions on the tummy ticklers many years ago. Overseas investors have one object and that is to make profits - the bigger the better. In that respect, of course, they are no different from other investors. The Government has a top secret report submitted to it on the subject of overseas investment. This report should immediately be made public to assist the people and the Parliament to decide what action should be taken in connection with overseas capital. Obviously, in a democracy these reports that the Government has obtained should be made available so that the people and the Parliament can decide what action should be taken in connection with overseas capital. There is not the slightest doubt that the attitude of the Government has changed. In the past there was no interference with the flow of capital in any way and no statement in connection with the participation of Australian firms in the ownership of firms that are today more or less controlled from overseas.

There has been an alteration in the attitude of the Government and there will be a greater alteration as time goes on. The Government will still pretend, though forced by economic circumstances to do the things that we maintain should be done. We maintain that it now suggests doing what it should have done 10 or 15 years ago. Of course, it is the last 10 or 15 years of trading operations and operations in connection with overseas capital that have created the conditions that are detrimental to the best interests of this country and are imposing upon the people of the future an indemnity payable overseas as great as would be imposed by an invading army.

Minister for External Affairs · Forrest · LP

– There is no doubt that Australians of all political parties would desire to see the maximum growth in Australia. There is, as has appeared from today’s debate, a very wide divergence in method. The people of Australia have received a grim warning - though delivered in a mild way - from the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam) as to what we can expect from the hands of a Labor Government. Theirs is a Socialist approach although he has tried to dress it up in mild words. Let us look first of all at what national growth means. It consists of two things: a growth in population and a growth in the value of output per head of population. We have achieved a rapid growth in these respects in recent years. I do not need to go over the figures, but in what has this involved us? It has involved bringing in to Australia migrants at a rate in excess of 100,000 people a year and a rate of saving by the individual Australian of over 25% of our gross national product each year - a rate of saving which has rarely been equalled or bettered in other parts of the civilised world over such a sustained period of time. These are important points to remember when we consider Australia’s requirements of capital - requirements to sustain a population increase of well over 100,000 people a year, a rate of saving of over 25% of the gross national product and a fully employed economy.

I put it to the House that it would be difficult to get a greater total Australian investment in capital terms and a reduced Australian expenditure on consumption. Now, if that is the situation let us look at the proposals of the Leader of the Opposition because he sees two things as a substitute for foreign investment in those areas which he and his like minded socialist colleagues see as desirable. He proposes, firstly, to direct Australian investors into this field through their investments in large companies and, secondly, to have direct Government participation in this form of investment. If we accept the proposition that the saving of 25% of our gross national product is a fairly good effort by the Australian people, then the substitution of direct Government participation-

Mr Connor:

– Not direct participation.


– The honourable member has had his chance. He has said plenty on this subject.


-Order! The honourable member for Cunningham will cease interjecting.


– I am trying to make the point-

Mr Connor:

– Do not misinterpret what

Was said.


-Order! If the honourable member interjects again 1 will have to deal with him.


– If we accept the proposition that the saving of 25% of our gross national product is a fairly good effort by the Australian people, then the substitution of direct Government intervention in these large development projects which the honourable the Leader of the Opposition foreshadowed as Labour policy will mean that Australian investors will be denied the opportunity to choose their own form of investment. The capital can come only from the Australian investors, whether it is Government or private development. Perhaps Australians are not very worried about telling foreign investors where to invest their money, but if one accepts as a corollary that the Australian investor will be told by a Labor government where to invest his money then this is something which we ought to ponder. We should consider whether or not we will achieve the same rate of savings if people are told to invest their funds where they do not particularly want to invest them. We should also ponder whether or not a government’s judgment would be better than the judgment of an individual investor with his own interests at heart. This is a typical Socialist approach.

I have in mind what has happened in regard to oil exploration. I remember when the last Socialist government was in office. At that time there were two oil drilling rigs in Australia. An announcement was made that the Government would do al!1 the necessary drilling. This is so long ago that many members in this House and many people in Australia have forgotten what happened. One of the two oil drilling rigs had broken down in Western Australia and no action was taken to repair it. This is something that could be expected when people had agreed that there was very little likelihood of finding oil in Australia. A number of people said that it was an old continent and we would never find oil here. What kind of Government expenditure would there have been on oil exploration by the Labour Government? It is all very well to be wise after the event. There has now been an expenditure of $547m or more on oil exploration, and according to the Labour Party’s then policy this should have been spent by the Government on the 1,708 wells drilled. What investment by Australians would this have prevented in areas of their own choice? This is an important consideration in this problem. The Labor Parly does not like investment by foreign companies in successful enterprises. There have been highly speculative enterprises which have lost money, but we do not hear very much about thelosses.

In terms of a general approach to this problem, I think there has been a great deal of alarmist thought. It is dangerous to try to project present trends too far into the future. We have a relatively stable percentage of the . total Australian investment in enterprises in Australia. We have a stable relationship between overseas investment and Australian investment. We have a relatively stable percentage of the gross national product paid back to overseas investors. We have a relatively stable relationship between investment and the growing value of our exports. While this continues I see no great dangers. WhatI am about to say I do not say in. disparagement of the Vernon Committee of . Economic Inquiry, for whose energy and industry 1 have tremendous respect, but that Committee made a genuine attempt to project to. the future thelikely effects of overseas investment. The Committee said that there would be annually about $400m new capital inflow from 1959-60 onwards, but that the income payable overseas would be $468m in 1964-65, rising to $740m in 1969-70. The Committee’s projections have proved wrong on just about every count, not in a small way but in a substantial way. The actual average new inflow since 1959-60 has been more than $400m, but the income payable abroad was $287m in 1964-65, rising to $457m only in 1967-68. The Australian community must realise that under Labor’s proposals this freedom of choice in investment, this freedom to exercise a judgment which will give the highest yield from investment, would be seriously impaired.

Dr J F Cairns:

– The debate before the House this afternoon is a very important one because it concerns Australian resources and Australia’s future and who shall control them. The simple question before the House is whether people overseas shall control Australia’s resources and development or whether Australians will do so. This is the fundamental question underlying this debate. The Minister for External Affairs (Mr Freeth) has endeavoured to create an atmosphere which, firstly, was not an accurate interpretation of what was said by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr

Whitlam) and, secondly, was not an accurate way of creating an atmosphere. He said that there was a wide divergence of method between the Opposition and the Government in respect of this important question of the future of Australia. He said that we had had a warning about what we could expect. He said that the Opposition had submitted proposals that were Socialist. Let me deal first with the expression proposals that were Socialist’. Then, in a minute or two, I shall deal with the way in which the Minister misrepresented the Leader of the Opposition.

A Socialist activity is one carried on by the Government for the people. I fancy that the great majority of the Australian people would be very pleased today if we had a national corporation for oil in Bass Strait, an organisation able to extract that oil in competition with this enormous international monopoly, Esso-BHP, which has the only oil in Australia. I should imagine that the Australian citizen would be very thankful for a Socialist public enterprise which was extracting oil and natural gas from Bass Strait. In that way the Australian people would know something about the costs of production and the enormous profits that will be made by this international monopoly. At the moment neither the Government nor anyone else can find out the costs of production or the details of operation of this monopoly. We are completely in its hands. The Prime Minister (Mr Gorton), the new Minister for External Affairs, the Minister for National Development (Mr Fairbairn) and everybody else are completely in the hands of this enormous private concern with which there is no competitor in the production of oil or natural gas in Australia.

Perhaps the new Minister for External Affairs thinks he can make political capital from the suggestion that there was a broken down oil rig in Western Australia 25 years ago. but I do not think he will gain political capital with any Australian who thinks clearly. I believe that the Australian who thinks clearly would be very thankful if the Australian Bureau of Mineral Resources had been carrying on the search for oil over the last 20 years, if it had found oil in its own right and if, on the basis of that discovery a fully nationally owned Australian corporation had been set up to produce that oil in competition with these capitalist monopolies. We always find those who pretend to be the spokesmen of Australian interests taking sides with these international money-making organisations. It might have been an advantage to have an Australian corporation for the production of pharmaceutical drugs. It might have been advantageous if by now the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories had been extended into that field. I would think that the pharmaceutical drugs consumed annually by the Australian community - between $50m and $60m worth - would have been produced at far less cost by an Australian corporation than was charged for them by the international monopolies that sell them in this country. If that is socialism, and it is, I think the average Australian would prefer a little of it to the exclusive exploitation of these resources by international monopolies backed by a government that only pretends to be Australian. We should also have something of this kind at Gove. What the Leader of the Opposition said about Gove was artfully misrepresented by the Minister for External Affairs, whose conduct no doubt will be a qualification that will set him off so well in his new portfolio. The Leader of the Opposition said that he wanted to see an Australian government guaranteeing private investment at Gove and not, as the Minister stated, giving it orders about where Lt should invest. We had a lot of this from the Prime Minister in that short speech which he made, but the Leader of the Opposition made it clear that his concern in this field was not to give orders to Australia investors at Gove but to guarantee their investment. So I submit that the Minister for External Affairs completely distorted the image of what the Australian people want, as he distorted the argument advanced by the Leader of the Opposition.

Earlier this afternoon in putting the essential point about this debate the honourable member for Scullin (Mr Peters) said that after being a member of this Parliament for 16 years the Prime Minister. John Grey Gorton, had at last discovered that Australia was in the posture of a puppy lying on its back with its legs in the air, saying: ‘Tickle my tummy under any conditions’. It has taken the Right Honourable John Grey Gorton 16 years to discover this. The Prime Minister made the statement in London in December. I ask the

Prime Minister or any spokesman on his behalf: Is this a fair description of the Australian economy? Was the right honourable gentleman right in London in December? No one has contradicted his statement. Ministers who have followed the Prime Minister in the debate have not said that he was wrong in London in December when he claimed that Australia had been like a puppy lying on its back with its legs in the air, saying: Tickle my tummy under any conditions’. Was the Prime Minister right or was he wrong? If he was right, what has been done since December to change the situation? All that has happened is that the Right Honourable John Grey Gorton has become an Australian. He is now Australian to the boot heels. Whenever we see him we hear in the background the faint sound of ‘Waltzing Matilda’. He is not British to the boot heels; he is not going all the way with LBJ. He is a fair dinkum Aussie who can get drunk with t*-.c best of them, can chase the birds, and is quite an expert on tickling tummies. It would appear that some of the right honourable gentleman’s speech writers have designed for him a new image.

But was he right in December? ff so, what has been done to correct the situation? What has been done to stop Australia from being exploited by foreign capital? Even the investors have a certain right to be disturbed about all this. I do not accept the view that foreign investment in this country earns a mere 7% on invested capital because there are many experts in this field whose sole business it is to disguise the return that capital of every kind earns from investment. By the time you have had necessary adjustments the position stated by the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) is much closer to the facts. I would say that hardly any foreign investment in this country today does not earn 1.00% on the amount of money that it brought to Australia - on the amount of money that it put at risk. You then add to that amount the money that they have extracted from the Australian community by reason of their excessive prices. Some of the money they have re-invested in Australia over and over again. I have in mind particularly General Motors-Holden’s Pty Ltd. I do not think that more than about SUS100,000 was brought into Australia by General Motors-Holden’s so that the remainder of the company’s $120m capital is Australian money that was obtained here out of the price of the Holden and was re-invested. If you work out the return that General Motors-Holden’s has received on its small original investment you will find that it is probably 1,000%. That is why the Prime Minister said: ‘We are like a puppy laying on our back having our stomach tickled’. Is there any kind of objection that honourable members on the other side of the House would have at treatment by the Americans? An investor has only to be an American. Even rape is preferred to seduction as long as the person concerned is an American.

If the Prime Minister was right last December, how has the position changed? Not at all. Two things are now necessary. In the first place the situation has to be clarified. It has not been clarified to date. Mr Court, the Minister for Industrial Development in Western Australia, said recently that overseas investors are showing signs of nervousness already. Anything that can make one of Mr Court’s friends nervous is disturbing indeed. It is about time the situation was cleared up.


-Order! The honourable member’s time has expired.

Dr J F Cairns:

– ….


-Order! The remarks made by the honourable member for Yarra after I had informed him that his time had expired will be omitted from Hansard.


– The remarks of the honourable member for Yarra (Dr J. F. Cairns) have ranged from the bizarre to the grossly offensive. As to those which were grossly offensive I shall let the House judge for itself without any further comment. I want to turn to the beginning of the honourable member’s speech because he began on a note which was preposterous and exaggerated. Resort to the most simple statistics will demonstrate that my charge is correct. His opening blast, given with a note of doom, was that the question being debated involved the determination of an issue as to who was to control Australian resources - foreigners or Australians. I pass by for the moment the more than latent, indeed the quite patent, xenophobia that is expressed in many of the speeches that have been made this afternoon by Opposition members.

When one bears in mind that the contribution of overseas capital to gross capital formation in Australia is approximately 10% of the total, it was nothing short of ridiculous for the honourable member for Yarra to have begun his speech as he did. Some 10% of the total of gross capital formation in Australia is contributed by foreign investment. Gross capital formation includes gross investment in fixed capital equipment and in stocks by public authorities and public enterprises, investment by incorporated enterprises, including farm investment, and investment by natural persons as well as by companies. The contribution of foreign capital is, I repeat, 10% of the whole. That seems to me to take away the basis of the whole attack by the honourable member for Yarra.

It is singularly fitting that in the first debate of the year the Opposition has done the Government parties the kindness and, perhaps unwittingly, the electorate the service of exposing, laying bare, pointing up as fully as it can be pointed up one of the fundamental ideological or philosophical differences between the Opposition and the Government parties which are supported by the substantial majority of the electorate. The choice that has been posed this afternoon by the attack that has been launched by the Opposition, if I can dignify the effort with that description, is a choice between State capitalism and frankly avowed Socialism on the one hand, and a reasonable system of free enterprise on the other, lt is a good thing that at the beginning of an election year the public, who will be called upon to judge the relative desirability of these two systems, should be reminded of the choice that they have. It cannot be denied, after what we have heard this afternoon, that the Opposition, in its whole attitude to foreign investment, is rankly socialist and for once frank about it. The covers have been taken off this afternoon and the Opposition has exposed its heart. We have heard the extravagant phrases of the honourable member for Scullin (Mr Peters). I have never heard a more xenophobic speech, hatred of foreigners dripping from every syllable.

Mr Freeth:

– And of profits.


– And of profits, yes. We heard the honourable member for Yarra engage in a dual task. The first of his tasks - a somewhat unusual one for him - was to support the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam) on the floor of the House, and the second one was to support the xenophobia of the honourable member for Scullin. That was a very interesting position for the honourable member for Yarra to put himself in. Let us look at what the Leader of the Opposition said. He said that if the Labor Party took office insurance companies would be directed as to the form that their investments should take. I pause to ask in parenthesis the question: How would that eliminate the admitted need of this country for foreign investment? It does not serve to answer that question at all. I was pleased to hear from the honourable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr Crean) the one balanced and moderate speech from the Opposition side, because he frankly avowed, when others on the Opposition side did not, that Australia could not get along without foreign investment. He said that we could not have reached our present standard of living or rate of industrial development without foreign investment in substantial doses. But the Leader of the Opposition said that a Labor government would direct life assurance companies as to how they should invest their funds. I wonder how that for once very frank avowal of the Australian Labor Party will appeal to small policy holders in life assurance companies such as the Australian Mutual Provident Society.

Mr Hansen:

– You already do it.


– I know the shoe is pinching, but the honourable member is not making much of a job of interjecting. He is unintelligible at the best of times. I wonder how this proposal will strike small policy holders who have invested in life assurance as a hedge against inflationary tendencies or because they reckon that with the bonuses they will get at the end of the term they will have something put aside for their retirement. What will happen to the bonuses when the Leader of the Opposition, if his Party ever gains office, adopts the policy that he has avowed this afternoon and tells assurance companies to put their accumulated funds into unprofitable investments?

Mr Freeth:

– He has backed enough losers already.


– He has backed enough losers already, as the Minister has said. He has a genius for it, and he has done it again. So the Opposition penchant for Socialism comes to the fore again at the beginning of this election year. We heard from the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) that the Commonwealth should invest out of the taxpayers’ money no less than $60m in the Gove project. This suggestion sounds all very well until you strip it down to see its full implications. The Opposition wants the Government to impose, and would impose itself if it came to office, taxation on the Australian public so as to provide additional Budget revenue to enable it to sally forth on madcap schemes of state capitalism. No government could put $60m into the Gove project without taxing the public to provide the funds to do so. There is no denying that proposition. The Opposition tries to cover up the truth and to produce an attractive formula, which, after a moment’s realistic consideration, is seen to be completely without substance and in my belief completely contrary to the wishes of the Australian public.


– The discussion is concluded.

Sitting suspended from 5.57 to 8 p.m.

page 33


Ministerial Statement

Prime Minister · Higgins · LP

– by leave - Mr Speaker, the purpose of this statement is to inform the House of what the Australian Government is prepared to do militarily in Malaysia-Singapore after the British withdrawal from those areas and to set this in the context of our general interest in, involvement in and thinking concerning the region. It is not to be thought that we look on our activities in that region as being purely, or mainly, military. Any examination of our policy in relation to our neighbours of the north will show that we have encouraged them to develop policies promoting political stability and economic growth, promoting their own defence capabilities in association with our own forces and those of our allies and in promoting regional co-operation.

Indeed, the stability and security of the area rests on many things. It rests on the avoidance of territorial or other disputes between the countries in the region. It rests on the economic progress of those countries and on the capacity and willingness of rulers there to see that that economic progress is reflected in the raising of the standards of living of the ordinary people. It rests on peaceful co-operation between those countries in many fields. And these are the bases without which there will not be enduring stability.

Therefore, these are the goals which Australia, through diplomatic effort, through economic assistance, through assistance in the field of trade, will strive to help these countries attain. For this is fundamental to the Australian Government’s approach - a positive, co-operative effort to encourage and assist peaceful change and progress. Yet just as ultimate stability depends on progress and rising standards of living, so does the possibility of progress depend on maintaining immediate stability. And provision for defence is necessary to help provide that immediate stability. Indeed, helping in conditions of stability to accelerate progress, and helping by military means to preserve conditions of stability, are two sides of the one coin. And the military action we propose to take in the area to our immediate north is the side of the coin that concerns us in this statement.

Just a little over a year ago Great Britain announced a considerable acceleration in the pace and scale of the withdrawal of British forces from Malaysia-Singapore. Those forces are to be totally withdrawn. The withdrawal is to be completed by the end of the calendar year 1971 - and the circumstances under which they may return to assist in an emergency are unknown. For Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and ourselves this latest announcement underlined the fact that an era had ended. During the lifetime of any one of us sitting in this House British forces have been stationed in Malaysia-Singapore to keep, or try to keep, peace and stability in that region.

During the Second World War, and since, Australian and New Zealand forces have assisted in that task and Malaysian and Singaporean troops have contributed also. For our part we contributed to the long drawn out military measures which defeated the Communist subversion campaign in Malaya, externally inspired and sustained, which became known as the Emergency. We contributed to the military measures which repelled the raids and infiltrations during the sad days of Confrontation.’ We contributed, with New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore, to a force the backbone of which was provided by British forces - seen to be there and known to be backed by all the resources and reinforcements which Great Britain could, if necessary, send them. Now all that has changed. The major power will be withdrawn. It is no longer a contribution to the efforts of a major power which we will all be called upon to make. It is a substitution for the efforts of a major power. And such a substitution must fall far short of what previously existed and be of a different character.

Faced with this basic change, we and the other nations concerned have had to reassess our position and then discuss with one another what each of us should do in the light of such reassessment. There have been almost continuous consultations at all levels - military and civilian, political and technical - on steps to be taken to meet the changing situation. Over a. period of time the plans of each of us have been influenced and shaped by what has been thought and suggested by the others and by the contributions each has felt itself able to make, or to be prepared to make in the future. Our own starting point was and is that we are a part of and are situated in the region. Hence security, stability and progress for the other nations in the region must also contribute to the security of Australia. We cannot fail to be affected by what happens in our neighbours’ countries. What affects their security affects our security. Again, if economic development in the region is to occur at the pace required, and if the stability needed for this is to be maintained, the immediate economic support of great nations outside the region, and the potential military support of great nations outside the region, will be needed.

Australia, the most industrially and technically advanced nation in the region, surely would not wish, in these circumstances, to refrain from helping the region in all ways. We could not turn our backs on our neighbours, refuse to help provide forces for their security, and wash our hands of the possible consequences to them and to ourselves. Yet there were obviously several possible courses for us. One theoretical course was to withdraw all our forces from MalaysiaSingapore at the time that Britain’s withdrawal is completed; to withdraw into Australia behind a sea frontier and turn our backs completely on the region as regards providing military assistance, except for a willingness to assist in United Nations action. We reject this utterly. It is contrary to our historical actions in Korea, in Vietnam and in the region of which I speak, and it is contrary to our future interests. Were we. with our potential, to do this we could scarcely expect smaller countries in the region to be encouraged to protect themselves or larger countries outside the region not to be affected in any future decision they might have to make should the region be endangered. For us, the question has never been whether we should play a part militarily, but how we should play that part.

A second possible course was to decide to withdraw all our military forces, of all arms, at the same time as Britain withdrew, but to assure Malaysia-Singapore that we retained an interest in their military security, that we had not withdrawn to our island Australia from which we would never make a sally to assist them, but that we would, if and when we judged it necessary, be prepared to despatch military forces to their shores to help them. This course could well cast doubt on our sincerity of purpose as far as MalaysiaSingapore and other countries of the region were concerned; and it had also obvious military drawbacks.

It is much easier to despatch aircraft from Australia to assist in another area of the region if Australian aircraft are already situated on a base in that area, and operating from it, and in possession of or provided wilh all the complicated equipment needed to service and maintain and guide such aircraft. It is much easier to despatch ground forces to an area if, in that area, there is a securely held base and the headquarters and command and signals and supply complex is already set up and operating and needing only expansion instead of construction de novo. And of course, it is much easier for a country which is to be assisted to believe that it will be assisted if forces from the country which may provide such help are there and are visible. We therefore, took the view that while a capacity for swift additional assistance should be maintained within Australia, yet it was essential for some forces to be stationed within MalaysiaSingapore itself. In so stationing them we are doing not only what we believe right but also what these countries want us to do. Accordingly we are prepared to maintain and are planning to maintain forces of all arms in that area after the British withdrawal - without setting any specific terminal date.

The forces planned to be retained will consist of 2 squadrons of Mirages, totalling in all 42 aircraft, and stationed at Butterworth in Malaya, except for one section of 8 aircraft which will be stationed at Tengah in Singapore. In addition, both ourselves and the New Zealanders will each maintain, a naval ship in the area at alt times for purposes of protection and not merely for purposes of training. Further, we are planning to maintain, in conjunction with New Zealand, a 2 battalion organisation of ground troups of which the Australian component excluding personnel required for headquarters, communications and the Jungle Warfare Training School in Malaya to which we shall contribute will be approximately 1,200 men. These troops, in accordance with the advice tendered to us by our military advisers on military grounds, and because of the considerable financial savings involved will bc based at Singapore, although one company will be detached in rotation to Butterworth except on occasions when the whole force is training either at the Jungle Warfare School or elsewhere in Malaysia. It has, of course, already been accepted by all concerned that for purposes of defence, Malaysia and Singapore are indivisible. Consequently, no matter in what part of the Peninsula (including Singapore) our forces arc stationed, we regard them as being there in order to assist the security and the stability of the whole of (hat Peninsula.

Now, Mr Speaker, having specified the Australian Forces which we are prepared to dispose in this way, I wish to indicate the conditions under which they will be there and the role which we envisage they will fulfil. They will be stationed in the area under existing arrangements, the terms of which are governed by our association with the Anglo-Malayan Defence Agreement. Should that Agreement in the future cease to be operative we would wish general understandings rather than specific treaty obligations to be worked out with the countries concerned and ourselves. Our forces will not, of course, be there or remain there unless their presence continues to be actively desired by the governments of the countries in which they are stationed. While there, they are not intended for use, and will not be used, for the maintenance of internal civil law and order which is the responsibility of the government concerned. Their presence, and their military cooperation with Malaysia and Singapore, are not directed against any other country in the region, and this we believe is well understood and accepted. Indeed, by helping to strengthen the defences of one part of the region it is hoped that they will indirectly contribute to the stability of the whole.

Their presence in Malaya and Singapore, and their participation in training and military exercises with Malaysian and Singaporean troops will we believe have value in helping to build the indigenous defence capacity of both Malaysia and Singapore, will provide additional security while that indigenous defence capacity is built up, and will make it more possible for Malaysian troops to be assigned to other parts of Malaysia should the Malaysian Government so desire. They will be available - our troops - subject to the usual requirement for the Australian Government’s prior consent for use against externally promoted and inspired Communist infiltration and subversion of the kind which became familiar during the Emergency and which is judged by our military advisers to be the most likely form of aggression in the area.

Our advice is that the greatest threat to stability and security arises from the possibility of insurgency in South East Asian countries which could ultimately expose us to threat by the spread of Communism in an insecure and unstable Asia. We have seen insurgency associated with direct military action in Vietnam and whilst the decision to employ our forces is, as it always has been, a matter to be determined by the Australian Government at the time, and in the circumstances of the time, these forces will be available to oppose any insurgency which is externally promoted, which is a threat to the security of the region and which is beyond the capacity of the forces of Malaysia and Singapore to handle.

It is clear however that at some time in the future it could be possible that a situation might arise when .the scale of such subversion and infiltration from outside - or some other organised threat to the region at present unforeseen - could be such that Australian resources alone would be insufficient to support sucessfully the forces of Malaysia and Singapore. If such a situation should arise we would have to look to the support of allies outside the region and the scale of Australia’s continued effort would in that case have to be decided in the light of all the circumstances that then prevail. What they would be we cannot now know and we cannot therefore now make precise decisions. But we can, and have decided, that we are prepared to dispose part of our forces in the manner I have described. At the same time we shall continue our efforts to help with the training of local Malaysian and Singaporean forces which we expect will be increased in size and capacity, and to provide financial assistance for defence aid aimed at assisting Malaysia and Singapore to build up their own defence capacity.

We have, to date, allotted some $4lm for the supply of equipment to the Malaysian armed forces, the Royal Malaysian Pol’ice, and the Singapore armed forces - and we have allotted $4m for the provision of specialist training courses in Australia and for meeting part of the cost of Australian servicemen seconded to the Malaysian armed forces. This programme has been and is continuing in close consultation with the Malaysian and Singapore defence authorities.

Side by side with military measures to promote regional defence and co-operation, the Government has pursued and will pursue active measures in other fields - diplomatic and economic. The Australian Government is itself in regular contact with all the governments of the region of South East Asia and with other governments with a direct interest in the region, either through bilateral dealings or by participating in the work of international’ organisations. It has been our endeavour to play a constructive role in helping to ease tensions and to reduce or eliminate causes of friction. We have seen it as a positive task to help promote political and economic conditions which will allow the independent countries of the region to proceed with their programmes of national1 development in an atmosphere of confidence.

The basis of security for the region is weakened when there are divisions within the region - divisions that threaten to get out of hand and to lead to serious clashes. Of course, there will be differences of opinion between countries and interests will not coincide on all matters but it is not an impractical aim to try to have some assurance that differences will not lead to armed clash and that no country in the region need fear for the security of its own borders.

Where differences exist within the region, their settlement should be sought by peaceful means and by peaceful means only, and various ways of achieving this exist. Some of them are directed at the removal of the cause of disagreement, others are directed at creating an atmosphere in which solutions can be sought. One possibility that has appealed to us as an aim is the attainment of a non-aggression pact or pacts whereby the countries of the region would declare their intention of never resorting to force against one another and of respect for existing territorial boundaries. I do not regard this as being the total answer to the problems of regional security and regional development, but it could be a most useful and stabilising element in a total approach. It is not capable of immediate achievement. As in so many matters, we shall have to feel our way forward, making progress as conditions permit. The countries of the region, including Australia, cannot force anything on one another, but by trying to understand one another’s interests and aims and broadening our co-operation with one another the conditions for still closer co-operation will be created.

One of the difficulties at present disturbing the region is the dispute between the Philippines and Malaysia over Sabah. For our part we respect the territorial integrity of all the countries in the region within their existing boundaries. And we believe all governments in the region should do the same. We recognise Malaysia as the rightful successor to Britain in Sabah and we believe that the people of Sabah have already exercised the right of self determination. We believe, too, that the Philippines would not wish to prosecute its claim by armed attack and indeed the former Minister for External Affairs was assured of this by the Government of the Philippines.

Bearing in mind that the use of Australian forces is always a matter for decision by the Australian Government - and that that decision will be made in the light of our judgment of all the circumstances at any given time - we believe that the best contribution we can make to the peaceful settlement of that dispute is by diplomatic means.

Mr Speaker, this statement has confined itself, as I said it would, to the question of what we are prepared to do in MalaysiaSingapore after the end of 1971. It has touched on the disposition of part of our forces. Our military advisers have for some time, knowing that we wished to provide for the possibility of such disposition and in the context of their new strategic assessment, been working on plans for the future composition and equipment of Australian forces which will give us flexibility - a capacity for home defence which will also allow us to contribute in accordance with our treaty agreements of SEATO and ANZUS. This study is still proceeding.

But I commend to the House the decisions here announced: That we are prepared to provide to the region in which we live military assistance for which Malaysia and Singapore have asked - military assistance visible to them - and an assurance that both we and they have a common purpose in being prepared to combat that Communist inspired military sub* version which our advisers consider to pose the major threat to the region. I present the following paper:

Defence - Ministerial statement, 25 February 1969.

Motion (by Mr Erwin) proposed:

That the House take note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Mr Whitlam) adjourned.

page 38


Second Reading

Debate resumed from 26 September 1968 (vide page 1602), on motion by Dr Forbes:

That the Bil] be now read a second time.


– The principal purpose of this Bill, which was introduced by the Minister for Health (Dr Forbes) before the parliamentary recess, is to revise the penalties applicable to people who are convicted of offences under the Quarantine Act. In the main the Opposition welcomes the Bill. At the Committee stage, however, I shall move an amendment to ohe provision. The Minister for Health drew attention to the serious nature of an exotic disease like foot and mouth disease. The Government has recognised the seriousness of the introduction of this disease by increasing the fine upon conviction from $1,000 to $2,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years. The Opposition is not happy about the penalty. It believes that the control of foot and mouth disease is vital to Australia. An outbreak could very quickly wreck a large part of Australia’s economy, and a fine of $2,000 is really chicken feed to a person who, in the terms of the legislation, knowingly or deliberately introduces into Australia an exotic disease such as foot and mouth disease or a disease that could destroy plant or animal life.

Dr Mackay:

– The penalty includes imprisonment for up to 5 years, too.


– That is so. The fine has been increased from $1,000 to $2,000 and an offender can also be imprisoned for up to 5 years. The Opposition considers that the penalty is absurdly low. I stress that the offence is the deliberate introduction, and not the accidental introduction, of an exotic disease into Australia. We will move an amendment to provide that the maximum penalty that may be imposed on a person convicted of the deliberate introduction of an exotic disease, such as foot and mouth, rinderpest, rabies or bluetongue, shall be a fine of up to $100,000 or imprisonment for up to 10 years. An outbreak of any of these diseases would cause an embargo to be placed immediately on the export of Australian meats and wool. In the eyes of the Opposition, the deliberate introduction of one of these dreaded diseases must be ranked as one of the greatest social crimes that could be committed against any nation. It it close to treason. The Australian Government must let other countries know of its attitude towards people who are willing to smuggle into this country any virus that could wreck the animal and plant industries. Experience has shown that Australia is now the country most vulnerable to the introduction, accidental or deliberate, of exotic animal diseases. Our livestock populations have not built up a natural immunity to such diseases as rinderpest, rabies, foot and mouth and bluetongue and are now most vulnerable to them.

The economic losses to the nation following the outbreak of one of the diseases I. .have mentioned would be great. We do not need to do much, arithmetic to find out what would happen to our economy if we had an outbreak of foot and mouth disease and an embargo were immediately placed on our exports of meats and wool. Foot and mouth disease is- a virus and is transmissible on wool. In its most contagious form, as- far as we know, lt affects cloven footed animals. In Australia, wild pigs and buffalo would be affected. But - once a disease- such as foot and mouth was introduced into Australia, -the export of all our animal products would be curtailed. With 14 million head of cattle and 180 million sheep in Australia, the seriousness of an outbreak of such a disease is evident. In the past, Australia’s geographic positiongave it the best possible insurance against the introduction of exotic diseases. However, Australia is now- becoming a most important world centre for international tourism and in addition there is a steady flow of migrants to this country.

Despite the graveness of the threat, serious deficiencies still exist in our defences against the accidental or deliberate introduction of an exotic disease. -If a disease such as foot and mouth were introduced, accidentally or deliberately, in major cattle areas in the remote parts of Australia, it could gain such a hold that it could not be eradicated except by the very drastic measures of slaughtering the cattle and domestic quarantine. One issue that has been debated in this House from time to time is the substantial increase in the activities of other countries off the shores of northern Australia, particularly in the fishing areas of the Gulf of Carpentaria, off the Cape York Peninsula and off the north Queensland coast. The coastal Areas of northern Australia, the arear of the Northern Territory and of the north-west of Western Australia are most vulnerable. If foot and mouth disease were introduced into these areas it would be most difficult to eradicate. In Cape York Peninsula, for instance, extensive cattle husbandry methods are used. If the virus of foot and mouth disease came into that area it could be spread by the thousands of wild pigs that are found there, by the buffalo and by the wild cattle that exist on almost every cattle station in the area.

The State and Commonwealth veterinary authorities are fully aware of the problem. From time to time they hold conferences and the threats of these diseases are put before the veterinarians by the experts. The problems of eradication are thoroughly discussed. If the virus of foot and mouth disease was accidentally or deliberately introduced into parts of southern Australia, such as Victoria and New South Wales, through the airports at Sydney or Melbourne, there is a good chance that it could be isolated fairly quickly and eradicated. We can draw some conclusions from the recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease in England. Despite the tremendous cost to the British Government and to the British people, especially in the highly concentrated cattle areas, the areas that were affected by the virus were isolated, cattle were slaughtered and disposed of in quicklime or by other methods, and over a period the disease was eradicated. The point that I am stressing is that the most vulnerable country in the world today is Australia and the most vulnerable areas in Australia are the remote northern areas where the virus, once it has gained a foothold, is most difficult to eradicate. These remote areas are inhabited by wild pigs and by wild cattle such as buffalo.

Every effort must be made to keep Australia clean as far as the introduction of viruses and exotic diseases is concerned. In view of the seriousness of this problem one wonders why it has taken so long for the Commonwealth and the State governments, particularly the Queensland State Government, to agree on the erection of incinerators in the major ports. As far as

I know of the position in Queensland, the people concerned are still arguing about who will pay for the operation and maintenance of the incinerators. Some States appear to be in complete agreement with the Commonwealth, but in Queensland we still have no incinerators in the major ports. This is despite repeated warnings by harbour boards, local authorities and State government professional veterinarians of the danger of a virus, particularly foot and mouth, from members of a ship’s crew which comes from a foot and mouth disease area, every time that crew dumps some refuse into the sea or into ports and does not use small incinerators. The warnings are there. Despite this situation, apparently there is still no progressive move in Queensland to install incinerators. I understand that tenders have been called in some ports. But it would seem that the long delay in constructing the incinerators is something that must be deplored.

I stress the same point with respect to the patrolling and policing of northern waters. What is the good of having an Act of Parliament which is enforceable by law and provides for substantial fines if it cannot be policed? This in fact is what is happening in the north. Hardly a day goes by when there is not some reference in the northern newspapers to foreign shipping within the 12-mile shipping limit or the 3-mile territorial limit. There are reports of Chinese and other people being shipwrecked, and of illegal immigrants coming into the north. One wonders how many people have come into the north illegally. It is high time, and not only from the point of view of the danger of the foot and mouth virus, that the shipping laws, customs laws and quarantine laws were effectively policed. It would seem that the only way this can be done is by a proper naval patrol service. Without some type of patrol boat service with authority to act it seems that the intensity of foreign shipping interests in the fishing field and other fields will increase in the northern waters.

As I said before the foot and mouth virus is one of the hardest to eradicate. It is a filterable virus in the sense that it is very difficult, in fact almost impossible, to see even with the aid of a mechanical microscope. This is because the virus can pass through filters. Therefore, one can understand how difficult it is to eradicate. The virus spreads with alarming rapidity. As I said before, the virus is so small that it is estimated to be between 8 and 12 millimicrons, which is about 3 million to the inch. The virus is spread or conveyed mechanically. By this statement I mean that it is conveyed by humans or by clothing. The virus can be attached to the sole of a shoe worn by a person coming into Australia.

The most remarkable and the most dangerous thing about foot and mouth virus is that because of its viability it can remain alive outside an animal body for a very long time. Even ordinary refrigeration does not destroy it. Refrigeration is one of the main ways in which the virus is introduced or spread. The virus is carried by means of frozen or chilled meat. The virus can remain alive in garbage that has been in water for weeks. Research workers in America have now shown that the foot and mouth virus can remain alive if it is attached to a piece of meat or even to clothing that has been in seawater for many months. They have shown that the foot and mouth virus can remain alive outside of the animal body for up to 104 months. It is an amazing thing that although the virus is mainly concerned with the animal body it can remain alive for up to 10£ months when not attached to the animal. American research work has recognised this to be one of the most amazing and dangerous things about this virus.

To bring to the notice of the House the seriousness of foot and mouth disease, one can draw on the experience of the 1967-68 foot and mouth disease epidemic in the United Kingdom. One can also illustrate, for example, what this disease cost some countries. According to the best official estimates that I have been able to get foot and mouth disease cost Argentina about Si 50m a year. According to the Minister’s statement, the 1952 outbreak in Canada cost $Canl,000m. I do not know what the 1967-68 outbreak in the United Kingdom cost. However, the amount was certainly very large. When we relate the experiences of other countries to Australia it is not difficult to draw the conclusion that if the disease came into Australia it could cripple our economy. If the disease were not eradicated it would affect our export income from wool and meat. I believe that the experience of the United Kingdom should be a warning to us although it must be admitted that the United Kingdom is an area in which the threat of foot and mouth disease is always present. It is in close proximity to the Continent and to areas that have concentrated and frequent attacks of this disease. This close proximity makes the United Kingdom vulnerable to birds that fly to it from the Continent and migrate from one area to another.

Foot and mouth disease may also be transmitted through the movement of livestock or people or materials from the Continent to England. But the most likely way in which the disease could be introduced to England would be through the trade that is carried on between countries in which foot and mouth disease is present, such as the Argentine, and the United Kingdom. It is my understanding that following all the inquiries made by the British Government, and also those made privately, into the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the United Kingdom in 1967 and 1968 no concrete conclusion was reached as to how the disease was introduced into that country. But it seems pretty clear from the evidence adduced at those inquiries, which were carried out with meticulous care, that the disease was introduced into the United Kingdom with a shipment of lamb carcasses which were sent to one of the country butcher shops. Bones from those carcasses were distributed to nearby farms for consumption by dogs. It appeared that the disease was not spread through the consumption of cuts of meat but rather from the bones that the farmers received for consumption by their dogs.

The dogs apparently took the bones on to the pastures. Then the bones were licked or chewed by cattle. Alternatively the virus could have been spread by physical contact between the dogs themselves and the cattle. After months of investigation the members of the veterinary profession concluded that this was the way in which it had spread. This was the only explanation which added up, and even this did not appear to cover certain cases in which the disease broke out many miles from the site at which it was originally discovered and in which the outbreaks appeared to be concentrated. There were outbreaks which did not appear to have any connection whatever with imports of Argentine lamb. But, as I have stressed before, the virus moves with tremendous rapidity. It can be airborne. There was a case in England only a couple of years ago which involved a breakdown in the airconditioning system of one of the research centres. Filterable foot and mouth disease virus escaped into the outside air. Luckily it was found within 40 yards of the research centre and was located in time to prevent any serious results. If there had been strong winds the virus could have gone for miles. Apparently this is how the foot and mouth virus escaped from the original area of concentration in the 1967-68 outbreak in Britain.

The investigations by the British Government have left no doubt - in the minds of Australians, anyhow - of the seriousness of this disease. The report on the inquiries referred to several individual1 outbreaks. In one case a farm at which the disease broke out had not received any imported meat. lt was situated a quarter of a mile from the village of Quinton where the villagers were receiving meat for their households and bones for their dogs from a butcher shop which was at least suspected of having received a consignment of diseased lamb. It was noted that the farm in question was in an area in which dogs moved from one farm to another, so that this filterable virus could have been transmitted between farms by dogs.

I have stressed foot and mouth disease because it seems from the Minister’s second reading speech that the Government believes that this is the disease to which Australia is most vulnerable. But there are other very serious diseases which should also be mentioned. Rift Valley fever is one which could become more and more dangerous to Australia because of direct air travel between Africa and Austrafia. Rift Valley disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. In theory a mosquito carrying the disease could bite a man or woman in South Africa or elsewhere in Africa some time before he or she boarded an aeroplane to come to Australia. Two or three days after that person’s landing in this country with the virus present in the bloodstream, a sandfly or another mosquito could bite the infected person and transmit the disease to an animal, from which it could spread rapidly through the animal population.

The disease which worries the wool industry probably more than any other disease is blue tongue. It resembles horse sickness in many ways. One of the most dangerous features of blue tongue is that it is transmitted by the biting midges and sand flies. If blue tongue got into this country it would be difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate. In fact it is recognised by scientists in America that once blue tongue gets into a country it cannot be eradicated, lt has been present in America for some years, and the whole veterinary profession is organised to minimise its effects rather than attempt to eradicate it, because it is accepted that it cannot be eradicated. One can imagine that the disease would be most difficult indeed to eradicate if it got into Australia, where there are thousands of miles of coastline and extensive mangrove swamps harbouring mosquitoes, sandflies and midges which could transmit it. I believe this disease worries sheepmen more than foot and mouth disease, which is mainly a cattle disease. However, as foot and mouth disease is transmissible through contact of the wool of one sheep with that of another, an outbreak of it would probably affect the export earnings of the wool industry as much as it would affect those of the cattle industry.

Another most serious disease to which the Department of Health has directed particular attention is rabies. This is spread by infected dogs biting other dogs or animals. It is a very serious disease if it gets a hold in herds. There has been no outbreak of it and the most stringent precautions are taken to see that it is not introduced into Australia. But if it did get into this country we would have a problem very similar to that which would result from an outbreak of blue tongue, because it would be practically impossible to prevent the spread of the disease by midges, sandflies and mosquitoes. It could be spread also by wild dogs, particularly in the sheep and cattle areas where there are dingoes, and it would be extremely difficult to eradicate once it had got a hold. It appears that the quarantine regulations directed against foot and mouth disease would be sufficient to prevent the introduction of rinderpest into Australia. Included in pig diseases we have swine fever, which we know of in areas in close proximity to Canberra. This disease has caused the authorities a good deal of worry in the past. The main disease in birds appears to be Newcastle disease; it is the most serious bird disease that could be introduced into Australia.

The Opposition is in full agreement with the Government’s intention in revising the penalties applicable to the introduction of diseases into Australia. The only issue the Opposition raises is with respect to the amount of the fine te be imposed on people who deliberately or knowingly introduce a disease. It is our opinion that you cannot safeguard or make provision for accidents. Accidents will happen. I suppose that 99.9% of the outbreaks of exotic plant and animal diseases throughout the world have been caused through accidents. When one talks about accidents one has to have regard to the degree of carelessness. The person who does not take much care, who does not change his boots, or who does not go through a quarantine bath, is the sort of person who has to be clamped down upon heavily.

The purpose of the Opposition’s amendment is to make very clear to all persons inside and outside Australia the seriousness of knowingly or deliberately introducing into this country one of these dreaded exotic diseases such as foot and mouth disease. There are people who will deliberately go out of their way to smuggle birds into or out of this country. There have been plenty of cases of smuggling animals and birds into or out of Australia. There are people who will attempt to go around the quarantine laws with respect to artificial insemination. There was such a case in Queensland recently but luckily the authorities got on to it straight away, and if my memory serves me correctly the area was isolated and the cattle in question were destroyed immediately. This act could have caused a very serious outbreak, although in the event an examination revealed that there was no positive reaction. I think that every person in Australia would say that the State Government and the Federal Government did exactly the right thing, and that no risks were taken. In other words, the governments concerned immediately recognised what could happen through the introduction of semen from an area where exotic disease had existed.

I refer now to the importation of sheep. There is a ban on the importation of sheep. I think this ban arose from the possible danger of the blue tongue disease entering Australia and because of a very narrow escape in Victoria in 1950 with the disease scrapie. What might have been a disaster to the wool industry was averted by very quick professional recognition of the disease. It was then realised what could happen with respect to blue tongue, and after that a ban was placed on the importation of sheep into Australia. A ban has been placed on the importation of sheep and cattle into Australia virtually without exception, and this is worrying some of our research people.

Two arguments can be advanced. Should we take the risk of bringing in an animal to improve a blood line? Should we take the risk to improve the economy of our sheep and cattle industry? That is the first question. One can argue for days on this question. There is a case for the scientist and also for the sheep and cattle industry. If we can import clean animals into Australia, experiment with them and breed from them, then there is a case for a second look at the setting up, as has been suggested before, of an international quarantine island for Australia on which animals can be quarantined and then brought here to enable research people to carry out their work. It must be recognised that the use of Brahmin blood in Australia has proved to be of tremendous benefit to the cattle industry. Australia was fortunate in importing the Santa Gertrudis cattle before the ban was imposed. The actual use of Brahmin cattle in northern Australia in the tick areas and the heat areas, whether they were full bloods or were down to a percentage of European blood, has been of tremendous benefit to the industry in those areas, not only in terms of increased production but also in terms of increased income.

An additional argument can be advanced in relation to quality. Throughout the world, and with the United States trade as it is, there is a demand for poorer quality beef. So the argument against the introduction of such cattle is at least minimised. One only has to go to the bull sales anywhere in the northern part of Australia, and in fact anywhere in Australia where Brahmin blood has been introduced, to see the very high prices which are being paid for these animals.

Mr Hansen:

– What is wrong with friesians?


– I do not know about the friesians in the north. From time to time scientists put up a case for the introduction of improved strains of animals, particularly in sheep. I have a letter from a scientist in the Department of Experimental Pathology at the John Curtin School of Medical Research. His case from a scientific point of view is that we should be experimenting with Finnish Landrace sheep which have up to six lambs per pregnancy. According to this particular scientist the Australian wool industry is being denied the right to improve progeny testing or lambing percentages. Although we must recognise the danger of introducing into this country an animal which could spread disease we must also consider the important aspect of research. There must be some limit to the fence we erect around Australia. We should not say that for all time no animals will be imported into this country no matter how good their performance in other parts of the world.

The research scientist at the John Curtin School of Medical Research states also that in his opinion the karakul sheep should be imported for experimental purposes. The pelts of the day old karakul sheep bring up to $20 each. The scientist is very keen to study the metabolism of fat tailed sheep. We must pay full regard to quarantine and must do everything to protect our industry, but should we at the same time ignore technological improvements in other parts of the world? It would seem that in some areas we could learn a lot if our research scientists were able to follow the practices now being employed in other countries of setting up quarantine islands so that we could ensure that animals were completely free of diseases before they were allowed to enter Australia.

Dr MACKAY (Evans) [9.121- One detected in the speech of the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) a grudging acceptance and even admiration of the measures which the Government has taken with regard to quarantine. People listening to the honourable member might be excused for thinking that the subject was restricted to animal quarantine and measures dealing with animal quarantine, because not one word was said about human quarantine, which in my opinion is an aspect of this legislation as important as animal quarantine. Our achievements in the field of human quarantine have been most important and most laudable. The annual report of the Department of Health for last year under the heading ‘Quarantine’ might well begin with these words: ‘Australia was again kept free from human quarantinable diseases in 1967-68 despite the ever increasing volume of international travel and the world disease picture in which smallpox and cholera continued to take heavy toll’.

It is with considerable pleasure that I speak on this subject. Australia has an enviable record as far as quarantine is concerned. It is apparent to anyone looking dispassionately at the scene that a tremendous amount of work is going on. The speed of travel and ease of communications are bringing countries closer together. We all have seen the exaggerated newspaper articles claiming that we can expect an epidemic of influenza in the winter of 1969. The fact that it is taken for granted that the disease will be transmitted throughout our population indicates something of the magnitude of the problem and the extent of the research and scrutiny necessary in enforcing our quarantine laws. So the first point I make is that we have reason to be satisfied with the efficient force which is doing its scientific homework and enforcing our quarantine Jaws. -

In introducing this legislation the Government points out that certain provisions of the Act, particularly with regard to penalties, are put of date. One can sympathise with the claim of the honourable member for Dawson that to increase a particular penalty from $1,000 to $2,000 is not going far enough. I had to point out to the honourable member by way of interjection that for certain forms of behaviour a much more severe penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment is provided. The honourable member foreshadowed an amendment, which I have not seen, which is apparently worded rather strangely. Section 67 (1.) of the Quarantine Act prescribes a penalty for any person knowingly bringing into Australia any goods, animal or plant or any disease agent in contravention of the Act. The honourable member for Dawson referred to the case of a person who attempted to get around the quarantine laws by importing animal semen for purposes of artificial insemination. But . this is not covered by the Opposition’s amendment. As I understand the amendment it refers to the deliberate introduction into Australia of an exotic disease. In my book, the deliberate introduction of a disease is an act of war. If the introduction is the work of an Australian citizen, then it is an act of sedition, which was the term used, I think, by the honourable member. Knowingly or deliberately introducing disease into Australia is a serious matter. I would agree that a penalty of $100,600 or more should be imposed on anybody who knowingly sets out to introduce a disease into the country. But I do not think this is the purpose of the Opposition’s amendment. I think the Opposition is interested in the person who knowingly sets out to flout the existing law with regard to inspection and prohibition of entry, not the person who sets out to bring a disease into the country. The Opposition is interested in the person who seeks to bring into this country articles or animals which to the best of his knowledge are not diseased. This would have been the situation with respect to the person who imported animal semen. He would not have thought for a moment that he was importing semen which was infected with blue tonge disease. I say that, having some background knowledge of the case. The man concerned had no intention of importing disease into this country. He thought that he had taken sufficient precautions to ensure that he was importing a healthy specimen.

In this case the Opposition has pointed to a rare state of affairs. It would be an act of national sabotage if a person set out deliberately to bring such a disease into the country. But we should not exclude from our minds the possibility that in time of national emergency or hostilities a tremendous blow might be struck at our security by somebody knowingly bringing into the country diseased animals.

The honourable member for Dawson gave us a lengthy lecture about foot and mouth disease. He reminded us that our wide open spaces, our tremendous length of coastline and the swampy inhospitable country to our north make inspection virtually impossible. In this country there are herds of buffalo which could readily be infected by the introduction of one or two diseased animals from a nearby country, and before long dreaded diseases such as blue tongue or foot and mouth disease could be spread throughout the country and could infect our own domestic animals as well. In this way it would be possible for war to be waged. I suggest that what the Opposition is trying to achieve by the proposed amendment is really to protest that a fine of $2,000 plus the alternative penalty of 5 years imprisonment is not adequate for the smart alec, the quick operator, who thinks he can get round the quarantine inspection and bring in something that would otherwise not be obtainable. This is entirely reprehensible behaviour from anyone who is an Australian or who comes to visit this country, but it is not in the same category as the first case.

In passing, the honourable member also spoke on the subject of naval inspection and said that there should be, collateral with the provisions of this Bill, implementation of an inspection service to give an adequate scrutiny of our coastline in case the kinds of things I have just mentioned were attempted. We know how today it is relatively common, as the honourable member indicated, for unauthorised landings to be made on our coastline. But we have to consider the size of our population, as Australians are doing all the time in every context. When we consider the size and the resources of the relatively small population of this vast expanse of territory, the tremendous coastline that would have to be policed, on a quick calculation that I made as the honourable member was speaking, it would appear that something like 200 vessels would be required to give an adequate inspection service. That calculation allows for vessels that would be refitting or resting. They would be purely the smaller units. In addition to these there would have to be major base vessels, aircraft support and, every 300 or 400 miles, suitable bases from which to carry out operations. The expenditure for such a tremendous undertaking would have to be justified against the experience we have already had and in the light of any incipient threat or threat of any magnitude that has to be assessed. So I believe that it is not exactly realistic at this stage of Australia’s development to suggest the introduction of a coastguard system.

Let me get to the subject matter of the Bill itself. In the first part, attention is drawn to the fact that there are many areas in which it is necessary to increase the penalties for breaches of quarantine legislation. As we look at the ways in which this is being done, we find that it is true that fines and gaol sentences loom large. In other words, a penalty is one of the means by which we keep our quarantine situation in hand. There are other ways in which this whole matter should be pursued.

I would like to congratulate the Department of Health on the number and quality of the brochures and the educational material that are readily available and are familiar to every traveller. I would also like to congratulate the Department on the way it seeks to bring home to our troops in overseas countries the particular problems relating to their activities, the way in which air travellers and travellers by sea are educated in the kinds of dangers which beset Australia from their carelessness or indifference to the regulations. This education pays off. The brochures, of which I have a sample here, are most attractively and intelligently presented.

But education should go further than this. I would like to see more use made of the periods devoted to civics and social subjects in schools so that children are given a clearer understanding of the kind of problem which the honourable member for Dawson outlined so well with regard to one particular area in animal quarantine. I refer to the need for very close scrutiny. In many areas of our national economy everything depends on it. When we come to the subject of human quarantine there are other areas where we can also realise how fortunate we are. We live cheek by jowl with Asia. We are coming closer and cl’oser in contact with the islands to the north of us all the time. Some of the most dreaded human diseases are prevalent in those countries. The disease of cholera, for instance, has occurred only recently in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. These are countries with which we have daily, almost hourly, contact these days through air travel. Nevertheless Australia has remained free of cholera. J suggest that this is only one more illustration of the vigilance of the Department of Health and its officers in relation to human quarantine. The same can be said of the plague, which has been prevalent in South Vietnam, where our troops have been active. We know how stringent are the regulations which are in force to prevent that dreadful disease being introduced into Australia.

One topic which is in my mind is the subject of tuberculosis. I know that we are bringing into this country large numbers of students from Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia, where there is a very high incidence of this disease in the population. The same annual report of the Department of Health gives us a most encouraging graph of the declining number of cases of tuberculosis and indicates the effectiveness of the mass X-ray campaigns in Australia. At the same time, from my own experience of dealing with Asian students, I feel that there is room for tightening up the screening of the backgrounds of these students. I know that they are supposed to have a valid tuberculosis X-ray certificate, but this is not always the case. 1 suggest that there could be a little closer scrutiny in this area, although most universities attempt to get their overseas students, early in their stay in Australia, to have X-rays and to continue them annually during their time here. A greater degree of encouragement would be by no means amiss in that area.

When it comes to the new provisions for the quarantine of shipping, the Bill immediately makes sense. One only has to go to the north of Australia, to the new mineral exporting ports, for instance, to understand how the old laws are no longer applicable. Take a place like Port Hedland, on the coast of Western Australia, where the great iron exporting business is undertaken by Goldsworthy Mining Ltd. Soon iron ore from Mount Newman and other deposits will be exported through that harbour. It is a relatively small harbour, and it is being dredged continually to make room for larger and larger vessels. The approach is relatively shallow and a dredged channel going several miles out to sea is necessary to allow ships to enter. The turn round time in the port is very short. A vessel enters the heads or approaches to the harbour, comes alongside the very speedy loading facilities at Finucane Island, for instance, and in a matter of hours has turned round and headed out to sea. It is quite apparent that if any attempt were made to enforce the existing laws with regard to ships remaining outside a particular line until pratique had been granted, and only then being allowed to come alongside the loader, there would be complete dislocation of the whole process - and an extremely costly dislocation at that.

The Bill contains a set of provisions which apply not only to iron ore carrying ships but also to large tankers whose weight today is approaching 100,000 tons. These tankers have their own particular characteristics regarding berthing arrangements and their movement in harbours and shallow waters, and ‘ it would be considerably hazardous for such vessels to be halted or moored while the old method of approaching quarantine and obtaining pratique was undertaken. The Bill brings into effect provisions whereby it is possible for ships to come alongside and for other arrangements to be made. All of these provisions I support without qualification. But at the same time as we see these provisions being brought into effect by this legislation one has a series of questions regarding the future.

One has only to consider the speed and size of. future operations. For instance, with the introduction of jumbo jets masses of people and luggage will pour through our airports in the immediate future. The very size of this mass movement of people will present vastly increasing problems for the quarantine and health authorities. One atea in which I believe more and more research must be concentrated is the area of modern methods of sterilisation and of fumigation and the implementation of these methods on a comprehensive scale, which would be on a general scale rather than on the basis of a particular case selection. As regards cargo this matter is happily made easier by the increasing use of containerisation. The aluminium or steel container, which measures 20 feet by 8 feet by 8 feet, is an ideal means whereby certain methods of sterilisation or fumigation could be pursued. Therefore this is one modern advance which will be beneficial to the implementation of the quarantine laws.

At the same time, I hope that continuing emphasis will be placed upon the use of modern methods - whether it be by exposure to various rays or by other methods of exposure to fumigants and so forth - which would enable a speedy and acceptable procedure to be adopted for the mass sterilisation of luggage and which indeed could apply even to clothing on the human body. In this age of scientific development it is not out of the realm of possibility that travellers could pass through a particular area in which measures, which would not be harmful to human beings or to their clothing, would be taken to sterilise or to fumigate against the introduction of a disease. So I hope that commensurate with developments in transportation and communication there will be other scientific developments which will enable this country to maintain its proud record, and that when we read future reports of the Department of Health we will again see the heading that says that Australia has been free from human quarantinable diseases and, we trust, also free from those animal quarantinable diseases which have been so adequately described to us by the honourable member for Dawson. I have great pleasure in supporting the Quarantine Bill 1968 and the provisions which have been outlined for us by the Minister in his second reading speech.


– The Bill before the House amends the Quarantine Act 1908-1966. I do not think that any citizen would refuse to commend the Government for the introduction of this legislation if in fact it will provide that citizen and those for whom he or she is responsible with adequate protection against the dread diseases of cholera, smallpox, plague - to which reference has been made - yellow fever, typhus fever and other diseases which affect humans. The legislation before us will give us adequate protection in this regard. Also, I do not think that any stock owner or agriculturist would fail to applaud the legislation because it is designed to give more protection against the entry of exotic diseases in stock from overseas.

The main purposes of the Bill are set out in the second reading speech of the Minister for Health (Dr Forbes). The principal purpose, of course, is to revise the maximum penalties that may be imposed upon persons convicted of quarantine offences. The Minister stated that the decision to increase these penalties was made only after careful review. I think that that statement has a bearing on the amendment to be moved by the Opposition. The provision in the Bill is designed to keep pace with a change in the value of money over the years and with the greater human and animal population, to provide protection against the consequent increased vulnerability in this country, and to keep up to date with our ever increasing dependence on primary industries for export income and also with greater movements of people and goods at faster speeds.

There are other proposals in the Bill. One is designed to remove existing anomalies. A second proposal is designed to allow for the smoother functioning of the quarantine legislation. A third proposal, about which I wish to say a little more later on, is designed to cause less inconvenience to importers of goods on the one hand and to travellers on the other hand.

We ask ourselves: What are the dangers in this country? Reference has been made to these dangers, to some extent, and I think there is little need for me to amplify them. But in common with the honourable member for Evans (Dr Mackay) I turn first to the human side. On the human side we have been particularly fortunate in that we have had good and successful quarantine protection. We have an excellent medical service which has used good methods for eradicating some of these diseases as they have arrived in Australia. This is a most important point. We have seen sufficient in this country and in other countries to know the terrific suffering and grief which follows an outbreak of one of these human diseases. It is well to remember that humans also can be alternative hosts of some of the exotic diseases which are communicable to animals. I refer to Newcastle disease in poultry, to foot and mouth disease to which considerable reference has already been made, and to Rift Valley fever which has been mentioned by the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson). These diseases, which cannot be detected in humans in the early stages, can be transmitted to animals when the environment is right.

It is also well to remember that, despite our excellent quarantine facilities, exotic diseases have gained entry into this country in the past. I am inclined to disagree here with the honourable member for Dawson. I understood him to say that we have not had rabies in this country. My information from veterinary sources is that as far back as 1867 Australia had an outbreak of rabies. It is a long time ago and, in fact, too long to argue about. Australia suffered an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 1871. Rinderpest disease was found in Australia in 1923 and we had two outbreaks of Newcastle disease, one in 1930 and the other in 1932. Scrapie was found in Australia in 1950 and outbreaks of swine fever occurred in 1902, 1927, 1942 and 1960. I mention those ‘facts to remind the House that outbreaks of these diseases are on the cards at all times:

I might mention here, because I think it is significant to do so, a disease which caused considerable economic loss in Australia. This is ephemeral fever, or 3-day sickness, which of course occurs in cattle. An outbreak of ephemeral fever illustrated the great rapidity with which these diseases spread and what may be expected in what we could term a susceptible population. I think that in both the human field and the animal field we can say that our population is susceptible to these diseases because it has never had the opportunity to build up a resistance to them. Ephemeral fever was first reported in the Northern Territory in February of 1936. In March of the following year, it had reached as far down as Victoria - I understand between Wodonga and Wangaratta - having come right across the top of the continent, down the east coast of Queensland and the coast of New South Wales. Also this disease broke out last year. Luckily, the mortality rate from it is low and an outbreak does build up and develop immunity in stock.

I also understand from veterinary sources that an estimate of the loss caused by the normal livestock disease in Australia - the diseases common to our country, not exotic diseases - is about 10% of the gross value of Australian livestock at any one time. This is an estimate. It could mean that Australia loses approximately $190m per year through stock diseases. This estimate takes into account deaths, loss of production, the cost of labour in combatting the disease, and the cost of drenches and medicines, lt is anybody’s guess what would happen if a simple outbreak of foot and mouth disease or an outbreak of any of the other diseases I have mentioned occurred in this country. It is quite easy to believe that this figure of §I90m could be doubled.

In his second reading speech, the Minister for Health pointed out - the honourable member for Dawson drew attention to this also - that in 1952 Canada lost well over SCan 1,000m. I think that fact is worth repeating. I differ again with the honourable member for Dawson because my figures for the position in Argentina arc $2m above his. He said that the annual loss to that country was $150m. The figure that I have is $152m. But we need not argue over that difference. The loss is substantial lo any country which relies so much on the export of meat for its income. This occurs not only in loss of stock but also in the effects on the stock that is left. I am reminded of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in England during 1967-68 - I think the County of Cheshire was the one most seriously hit - which resulted in the slaughter of 430,000 animals. This has had its effect on the breeding programme and the production programme to come later.

I turn to another aspect of quarantine by referring to the dangers to plant life. It is pleasing to note that the Minister for Health made the announcement not long ago that further restrictions would apply to the import of hay, chaff and straw. Undoubtedly, these measures are to guard against or prevent the introduction of further cereal rusts of which Australia has quite a number. I refer in particular to smut and bunt in cereals. It is also to prevent the importation of prohibited grains and noxious weeds. Dealing with noxious weeds, I ask: Who is to hazard a guess as to what the effects on the economy of this country have been as a result of the introduction of skeleton weed, one weed only, which is so often referred to in this House by the honourable member for Mallee (Mr Turnbull). I am advised that the seed was introduced in hay from South

America many years ago during one of our periodic droughts. I do not concern myself with the introduction of such things as lantana or prickly pear. They were introduced deliberately because people did not realise the danger that they were to become.

How are these exotic diseases introduced? I come back to the provisions of the Bill because the House will be well aware of the traditional methods of introduction of these exotic diseases. We immediately start to think of shipping and air travel and of passengers, either visitors or migrants, coming in in ever increasing numbers at increased speeds. This is important. While the speed of travel increases, the incubation periods of various diseases remain static. We have all forms of contamination - contamination of clothing, footwear, all personal belongings and foodstuffs. We have the contamination of the ships and the aircraft themselves, the dunnage in the holds of the ships and the rubbish of all types as well as garbage. These are the things to which the Quarantine Bill and the proposed amendments therein apply.

One part of the Bill with which I am fully in accord is that section that doubles the penalties, particularly the gaol sentences, for certain offences. I refer to subsection (1.) of section 67 of the Quarantine Act. Any man who will set out deliberately to contravene quarantine regulations for his own personal benefit is not, I think the type of person who will be concerned greatly about the amount of money that it will cost him if he is found committing this offence. But I do think that just as we in Australia could not, figuratively, stand the taste of the shocking catastrophe which it would be to our economy, because of the effects on our exports and our primary producers, if such diseases were introduced the man who deliberately introduced such diseases into this country would not like the taste of 5 years behind bars.

I do feel that the amendment sought by the Opposition in this regard is not altogether called for. I feel that a 5-year gaol sentence truly is a deterrent which will have beneficial effects. In accordance with British justice, the usual safeguards apply. A distinction is drawn between an indictable offence and an offence which is punishable by a court of summary jurisdiction. One provision prescribes a maximum penalty of $1,000 or 1 year in gaol for any summary offence. There is also provision whereby a defendant may elect to have a trial by jury.

Section 26 of the principal Act, which is amended by clause 6 of the Bill, relates to shipping and sets out the .conditions under which ships can be authorised to cross the quarantine line before pratique is granted. Reasons have been given for this provision. It is designed to overcome some of the problems that have developed recently. First, reference was made to the congestion of port traffic and the possibility of navigation hazards. Secondly, our attention was drawn to the larger draught of the bigger ships, particularly tankers and ore carriers. The third reason related to rapid loading techniques, also mentioned by the honourable member for Evans (Dr Mackay), at our various mineral ports. While it is commendable to remove inconveniences to importers and travellers, great care must be taken not to destroy the effectiveness of our quarantine procedures. The layman is left to wonder a little at what the balance is when we set out to do away with inconvenience. Reassurance comes in a number of forms.

We in the Country Party took the opportunity some time ago of inviting senior quarantine officers to meet with us and discuss quarantine matters. These officers were concerned not only with plant and animal quarantine but with personal and general quarantine matters. We listened to them and questioned them and as a result I am sure that we all recognise our quarantine service as being forward looking and active. This contention is supported by an article in the September 1968 issue of the magazine Health’, which is the journal of the Commonwealth Department of Health. The article to which I refer was headed Quarantine in the Container Era’ and it ties in closely with the subject matter of the Bill, particularly in relation to a vessel crossing the quarantine line before pratique is granted. The article reads:

With the introduction of container handling the Commonwealth Department of Health is on the alert to ensure that no further quarantine risks are incurred with containers than with the present methods of handling cargoes. It has already been necessary to examine the proposed new system to ensure that no quarantine loopholes will exist. Officers of the Animal and Plant Quarantine Services are keeping closely in touch with developments in this field, both in Australia and overseas.

A forum attended by Australian Quarantine authorities was held in Sydney last year. This forum brought together wide interests, and was attended by representatives of shipping firms, railways, road hauliers, producers and manufacturers and many others. It enabled all who attended to gain some insight into the complexity of interests to be met in the container method of handling cargoes.

Quarantine officers have also inspected container ships in Australia and visited the Tilbury container terminal, the London International Freight Terminal, and had discussions with the Port of London Authority, British Customs and container operators in the United Kingdom.

The intention of regarding each container as if it were a ‘ship’ and requiring documentation accordingly is the basis of Australian Customs and Quarantine control for this innovation in handling cargoes.

The article proceeds to deal with the need for accurate prior documentation of all these container contents and I refer to this part of the article to indicate some of the complex problems which will face quarantine services. The article emphasises the need for introducing amending legislation. The need for accurate prior documentation is brought about by the speed of operations and to enable effective quarantine. When speed is introduced into any operation there is more opportunity for error. On the question of speed of operation the article states:

The minimum cycle for loading and stacking of each container at Tilbury will be 3 minutes.

Vessels designed to carry 1,146 to 1.260 containers will have a total handling and loading time of 40 hours. The article states:

On arrival in Australia the same speed will accompany the unloading operations.

The article deals also with the question of recording, which is certainly most important. The movement and history of every container is to be fed into a computer memory system by the container consortium in the United Kingdom.

The article mentions the method of dealing with containers which are suspect because of the risk of contamination. The memory system will enable the operators and quarantine authorities to identify all countries in which any container has been used. We can see the purpose of this, but we can also see what a tremendous area for error there is and the need for tighter quarantine precautions. The article concludes by emphasising that our quarantine service is insisting on a rigid set of conditions. Reference is made to the external washing of containers at Tilbury. Experiments are being made with chemicals which will not damage the containers but will provide adequate disinfection. Mention is made of the treatment of borers in wood. The article gives some picture of the great task ahead and I have used it to show that the Australian quarantine service, because of the work it has done on this project not over the last month or so or the last few months but over a number of years, is indeed forward looking and active. I have used the article to support the contention that the complications that will arise from speed and the heavy traffic that we are encountering and will encounter in increasing quantity call for a dedicated quarantine service backed by Commonwealth legislation and complementary State legislation.

No quarantine precautions can ever provide full guarantee against, the introduction of exotic diseases. The question of human error arises. Virus carrying insects have been discovered as high as 20,000 feet and no quarantine measure can combat that. The question of migratory birds arises, but this is not mentioned often. We have a common frontier between Papua and New Guinea and West New Guinea, or Irian Barat as it is now known. Australia has a long coastline. All these factors make valid my statement that there can be no guarantee. We must constantly keep our eradication machinery up to date. I support the contention of the honourable member for Dawson that we must pay particular attention to complete incineration methods at our airports and seaports. I advocate the setting up of maximum security laboratories. The House should constantly keep in mind the need to maintain our precautions and to amend legislation as the need arises.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In Committee

The Bill.


– I refer to the Schedule, which reads in part:

Section 67(1.) Omit ‘Five hundred pounds’, Insert Two thousand dollars or imprisonment for five years’.

I move:

Omit - ‘Omit “Five hundred pounds”, insert “Two thousand dollars or imprisonment for five years”.’,

Insert ‘Omit “Five hundred pounds”, insert “Punishable upon conviction by a fine not exceeding One hundred thousand dollars or imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years”.’.

I listened with interest to the honourable members for Evans (Dr Mackay) and Calare (Mr England). I do not disagree with any of the points they made. But they do not agree with me on the seriousness of this matter and the need for the fine to be increased. The honourable member for Evans did not interpret sections 67 (1 .) as I do, and the honourable member for Calare thinks that imprisonment for 5 years is sufficient. Section 67 (1.) is one of the most frightening provisions that could be found in any legislation. It reads:

No person shall knowingly import, or bring into. . . . Australia, any noxious insect, or any pest, or any disease germ…..

Knowingly’ means that the person knows about it. He has full knowledge of the facts and he knows that he brings into Australia a dreaded animal, human or plant disease.

Dr Forbes:

– No.


– That is the way the section could be interpreted. It is all very well for the Minister for Health to say that the section does not mean that. We have had our legal people look at it and we are told that it could mean that. Let us take the case of a leper or somebody who knows that he has a disease, wants to come into Australia and smuggles himself into the country in one way or another. He contravenes section 67(1.) of the Act. A person who clips or defaces a 20c piece can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. Which offence is the more serious, the deliberate introduction of an exotic human, animal or plant disease or the clipping of a 20c piece? The cattle people and the representatives of the organisations to whom I have spoken in the last 3 months- think that the penalty now provided is completely inadequate.

The question might be asked: What sort of person would deliberately introduce such a disease into Australia? I think that very few people would do so and frankly I find it difficult to give an example of such an act being done. But let us not forget that a lot of cranks play around with these things. History has shown that some of the most serious plant diseases, animal diseases and parasites have been deliberately introduced into this country. I do not say that a person would deliberately introduce prickly pear if he were aware of the serious consequences. Harrisia cactus would not have been introduced if the consequences had been known. A person would not deliberately introduce an exotic animal disease if he knew the consequences. But the amendment is intended to introduce a penalty that will serve as a warning to people in other countries. It is a warning to anybody who thinks of bringing into Australia animals or plants that could be infected. As 1 said before, there are plenty of cranks who might knowingly and deliberately bring a disease into Australia.

How do we know what is lurking in the future? The introduction of these exotic diseases could cripple Australia. This may be fantastic thinking, but it would be possible for a high flying aeroplane to ba sent across the north of Australia loaded with the viruses of animal, plant or human diseases. If they were dropped into Australia they would wreck our economy. It might be argued that only the cranks or the enemies of Australia would do that. But the point I make is that somewhere in our legislation we should have a provision that will warn people that if they set out on this sort of caper they will face a penalty of $100,000 or imprisonment for 10 years and not merely a fine of $2,000 or imprisonment for 5 years. Knowingly or deliberately to introduce a serious exotic disease, whether it be plant, animal or human, is virtually an act of treason.

It is all very well for the Minister to say that my interpretation of the provision is not right. We have had our legal advisers look at the provision and we are told that it could be interpreted in the way that I have suggested. The world ‘knowingly’ means ‘knowing’, lt does not have two meanings. A person who knowingly does something knows that he is doing it. If he knowingly imports a disease germ he knows that he is doing so. It is not an accident. The Act provides for people who accidently bring diseases into Australia. If a migrant came in with the virus of foot and mouth disease on his shoes, he would not be subject to the provisions of section 67(1.). That is clearly an accident. The provision is designed to deal’ with a person who deliberately gets around the quarantine laws and brings in a disease that could result in a tragedy for Australia.

Minister for Health · Barker · LP

– The Government opposes the amendment. In imposing the general and material increases in penalties the Government was keenly aware, and was just as aware as the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) is, that section 67 (1.) is the cornerstone of our quarantine edifice. It is recognised that the person who knowingly breaches the quarantine laws, whatever his motives, can introduce a threat to the health of the people of this country and a threat to our primary industries which might in the event assume the gravest of proportions. For this reason section 67 (1.) is amended by the Bill so that it will carry the heaviest penalty of all, and that is a fine of $2,000 or imprisonment for 5 years. It is argued that this penalty would not even remotely approach the value of the damage that could be caused. One of the more severe exotic diseases, animal or plant, could be introduced. But even the penalty proposed by the Opposition would pale into insignificance when compared with the possible national cost of such a disease. The costs have been mentioned by the honourable member for Dawson and by my colleagues on this side of the chamber.

The Government has adopted other and, I believe, more realistic criteria in fixing the level of penalties. These criteria are firstly the general penalty structure under the present Act and under the Bill and secondly, the penalties provided by the Parliament under legislation comparable with the Quarantine Act. We just cannot pick a particular piece of legislation out of the air and say that we are going to impose penalties quite independently of everything we do in relation to penalties in the whole framework and structure of Commonwealth legislation. We must have regard to certain principles and broad comparability with respect to it. The third criteria that the Government had regard to were the actual penalties which the courts have imposed for breaches of section 67(1.). With respect to the first of these, as I mentioned earlier, this provision carries under the Bill the severest penalty whilst under the Act it carried the severest monetary penalty. But it did not carry, as some of my colleagues on this side of the House mentioned, the alternative of a prison sentence, although some other sections did provide goal penalties. To that extent the penalty proposed is relatively more severe than it is under the Act.

With respect to the comparability of penalties provided by this Act, all I can say is that the Government has examined very carefully the penalties suggested in the Bill. With respect to the third criterion, there have been very few prosecutions under section 67 (1.) and over the last decade the heaviest penalty imposed by a court has been $100, even though, of course, the maximum penalty up to now has been $1,000. However, I should make the point that the normal procedure is to take action under the Customs Act. In most cases offenders choose to be dealt with by the Minister for Customs and Excise instead of by a court. Penalties imposed are of the order of $10 to $20. A notable exception was a case in 1965, which was mentioned by the honourable member for Dawson when a court imposed a penalty of $500 for the illegal importation of bull semen into Queensland. The penalties imposed by courts are generally fixed having regard to the seriousness which the courts attach to the offences and are not necessarily to be related to the maximum penalty provided by the legislation.

The history of breaches of section 67 (1.) therefore does not suggest a maximum penalty even remotely approaching that proposed by the Opposition. The decision as to what is a suitable maximum penalty to be provided in legislation is, of course, one which cannot be resolved with precision by some magic formula. However, in the context of Commonwealth legislation generally and of other penalties under the Quarantine Act, the penalty proposed is a reasonable one and was decided on by the Government after considering the criteria to which I have referred. On those grounds the Government must oppose the amendment moved by the honourable member for Dawson.

Question put:

That the words proposed to be omitted (Dr Patterson’s amendment) stand part of the Bill.

The Committee divided. (The Chairman - Mr P. E. Lucock)

AYES: 68

NOES: 37

Majority .. ..31



Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment negatived.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

Third Reading

Bill (on motion by Dr Forbes) - by leave - read a third time.

House adjourned at 10.23 p.m.

page 53


The following answers to questions upon notice were circulated:

Acts Interpretation Act : Cheques Act : Territories Criminal Code : Neighbouring Rights Convention : Soldiers Wills (Question No. 575)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Attorney-General, upon notice:

What progress has been made since his answer to me on:

19th May 1967 (Hansard, page 2474) towards introducing the new Acts Interpretation Act, the new Cheques Act and the uniform criminal code for the Territories,

1st November 1967 (Hansard, page 2608) towards introducing legislation required to enable Australia to become a party to the Neighbouring Rights Convention of 1961, and

25th October 1967 (Hansard, page 2220) towards introducing legislation to permit soldiers to make wills at 18 years?

Mr Bowen:

– I now provide the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

  1. Further progress towards the introduction of a new Acts Interpretation Act has not as yet been possible because of the attention required to be given to other more urgent projects. With regard to a new Cheques Act discussions with interested bodies have been completed and instructions for the final draft of the Bill are nearly completed. With regard to the uniform criminal code for the Territories a meeting of the Committee of the Law Council of Australia working on the preparation of the draft uniform criminal code was held in Melbourne in the last week of January to finalise the draft. I understand the draft will be considered at the meeting of the Executive of the Law Council to be held late in March and if approved will be then presented to the Commonwealth.
  2. As a result of my consideration of possible legislation to enable Australia to become a party to the Convention, the rights which the Convention requires to be conferred on record manufacturers and broadcasting organisations were included in the Copyright Bill which I presented to Parliament and which is now the Copyright Act 1968. It is proposed to bring this Act into force on 1st May 1969. I have written to interested organisations seeking their views on other provisions of the Convention and am giving thought to the replies I have received.
  3. Since my answer of 25th October 1967 the whole approach to legal rights of persons who attain the age of 18 years has been under review in Australia. The question of power to make wills is being attended to in general legislation. Some of the States have legislated to permit persons who attain 18 years to make a will. Similar provision has been made by the Wills Ordinance 1968 of the Australian Capital Territory. Legislation will shortly be introduced in the Northern Territory Legislative Council.

Post-Graduate Scholarships and Fees (Question No. 745)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

  1. How many Commonwealth post-graduate scholarships have been made available in each year?
  2. How many new students have been admitted to post-graduate studies in each year since Commonwealth post-graduate scholarships became available, and what was the total number of students pursuing post-graduate studies in each year?
  3. What percentage of (a) new and (b) other post-graduate students received scholarships in each year?
  4. How many applications for post-graduate scholarships were submitted in each year, and how many eligible applicants did not receive scholarships?
  5. What percentage of applicants for postgraduate scholarships received scholarships in each year?
  6. How many (a) full-time and (b) part-time Commonwealth scholars are currently engaged in post-graduate studies?
  7. How many full-time Commonwealth postgraduate scholars are receiving (a) part living allowances and (b) full living allowances this year?
  8. What is expected to be the Commonwealth expenditure on post-graduate (a) fees and (b) allowances this year?
  9. How many Commonwealth post-graduate scholars have failed to complete the courses for which their scholarships were awarded?
  10. What percentage of Commonwealth postgraduate scholars does this failure rate represent?
  11. How many (a) men and (b) women were studying in each institution as Commonwealth post-graduate scholars in the last year for which information is available?
  12. What fees are payable for post-graduate studies in each institution offering such studies?
  13. Which institutions have increased their fees for post-graduate studies this year, and by what (a) amount and (b) percentage
  14. What proportion of its expenditure on postgraduate studies did each institution receive from (a) the Commonwealth, (b) a State, (c) fees paid by students, (d) fees paid by persons and organisations for research services and (e) endowments and benefactions in the last year for which information is available?
  15. What (a) amount and (b) percentage of post-graduate fees received by each institution in that year was paid by the Commonwealth?
  16. By what (a) number and (b) percentage has each institution varied its enrolment of postgraduate students in each of the past five years?
  17. By what (a) number and (b) percentage does each institution propose to vary its enrolment of post-graduate students in 1969?
  18. What is the percentage variation in expenditure at constant prices on post-graduate studies in each institution (a) between the final year of the last biennium and the first year of the current biennium and (b) successive years of the current biennium?
  19. Which institutions have dismissed postgraduate studies support staff in 1967 and in 1968, and by what (a) number and (b) percentage in each case?
  20. Which institutions will receive during the current biennium a special research grant lower than that recommended by the Australian Universities Commission
  21. What is the (a) amount and (b) percentage’ difference in each case?
Mr Malcolm Fraser:

– The following answer to the honourable member’s question is now supplied:

  1. The first year of operation of the Commonwealth Post-Graduate Awards Scheme was 1959. The number of Commonwealth post-graduate awards available and the number awarded in that year and subsequently is as follows:
  1. The numbers of new students admitted to post-graduate studies at Australian universities in each year since 1959 and the total numbers of postgraduate students in those years are as follows:

3 (a) and (b). Because of differences in the practices adopted by universities in recording postgraduate enrolments as new or re-enrolments it is not possible to calculate the percentage of new students receiving scholarships. It is considered that the percentages would be similar to those for other post-graduate students. However, these per centages (set out below) do not include part-time Ph.D. students who are almost all paid members of the staff of the universities. 4 and 5. Post-graduate scholarships are awarded by a considerable number of different bodies. Each student normally makes applications to several of these bodies and to more than one university. There is no way of determining the net number of applications and (consequentially) how many eligible applicants did not receive scholarships within Australia or overseas.

  1. In September 1968 there were 1366 Commonwealth post-graduate award holders studying on a full-time basis. These awards are available for fulltime study only.
  2. All’ Commonwealth post-graduate award holders are receiving full living allowances.
  3. The estimated expenditure on the Commonwealth Post-graduate Awards Scheme for the current financial year is $3.6m. Of this amount an estimated $3.2m will be paid in allowances to students. The remainder will be paid to universities and will be applied by them to meet costs associated with individual students’ study programmes. Separate estimates are not available for expenditure on fees alone. 9 and 10. A study is at present being made of the details in the records of the universities.
  4. The numbers of male and female Commonwealth post-graduate award holders in September 1968, by university, are as follows: 12 and 13. The following schedule shows fees for full-time post-graduate students at each university in 1968 and the increase over fees applying in 1967. They include only compulsory fees on an annual basis: endowments and benefactions, and other sources in 1966, is shown in the reply to part 19 of Question number 595 asked by Mr Whitlam.
  5. Please see reply to part 8.
  6. The number and percentage variation in enrolments of post-graduate students in the last five years is shown in the following table.
  1. Undergraduate and post-graduate teaching, and research activities are provided for jointly by staff, libraries, equipment and buildings at each university. It is therefore not possible to quantify the expenditure on post-graduate studies alone at each institution. The proportion of its total income however which each institution received from the Commonwealth, a State, fees paid by students,
  2. The increase and percentage increase in post-graduate enrolments expected by each University in 1969 is shown in the following table:
  3. See answer to 14.
  4. No post-graduate support staff have been dismissed by Australian universities in 1967 and 1968. 20 and 21. The information requested is set out in a table which follows. The Commonwealth, in brief, is contributing a total sum of $9m to university research in the triennium 1967-69 compared with a total of $5m in the previous triennium.

In examining the figures in the table it should be remembered that in 1966 the Universities Commission merely recommended $10m for research in the universities. It made no division between the Special Research Grants and the funds to be allocated by the Australian Research Grants Committee. It also needs to be remembered that in the triennium 1964-66 the States and the Commonwealth both shared equally on a dollar for dollar basis the support of these funds. A total of $6m was made available for Special Research Grants and $4m through the Australian Research Grants Committee.

The decision which the Government made in 1966, after considering the Third Report of the Australian Universities Commission, was to provide half of a total sum of $6m for the purpose of general research in the State universities on condition that the States provided the other half, and to provide half of a further sum of Slim for distribution through the Australian Research Grants Committee on condition that the States provided the other half. At the time of announcing the Commonwealth’s decision (21st September 1966), we did not know whether all States would provide their half of the Slim for distribution through the Australian Research Grants Committee. We therefore went on to say that, although we were prepared to provide half of the money required for a research programme totalling $17m over the triennium, we could not provide, from our own resources, more than $9m over the triennium and, because of the importance which we attach to the Australian Research Grants Committee, we regarded that Committee as having first call on our available funds. We therefore said that to the extent that any State did not support the grant to the Australian Research Grants Committee, we would be compelled to reduce our contribution to the special research grant and that it was for each State to decide what it would do in the matter.

In the event, four States, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia, decided to meet the whole of the special research grant for their universities and none of the grant to the Australian Research Grants Committee. Neither the New South Wales nor the Victorian Government has been prepared to accept any financial participation in the Australian Research Grants Committee expenditure, nor have they been prepared to meet in full the special research grant for their universities. The Commonwealth is therefore meeting the whole of the grant of $9m for the Australian Research Grants Committee and no State contributes to it.

Tropical Marine Biological Research Station (Question No. 785)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

  1. On what occasions and with what results has the Government considered the development or establishment of a tropical marine biological research station since Senator Gorton’s answer to Senator Murphy on 19th May 1964 (Hansard page 1227)?
  2. What submissions have been made to or by the Australian Universities Commission concerning a grant for such a station at the Townsville University College since the Commission’s third report was submitted on 29th August 1966?
Mr Malcolm Fraser:

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. The Government has been approached on a number of occasions by the Great Barrier Reef Committee for direct financial assistance for the development of facilities at the research station on Heron Island on the south section of the Great Barrier Reef. The Government has refused these requests on the ground that it already supports research on Heron Island through grants to the University of Queensland on the recommendations of the Australian Universities Commission and the Australian Research Grants Committee. The Commonwealth is giving support to the development of tropical marine biological research in a number of ways. Since 1964 the following grants, shared equally between the Commonwealth and the Queensland Governments have been allocated under the Australian Universities Commission program to the Heron Island Research Station:

On the recommendation of the Australian Research Grants Committee the Commonwealth Government has awarded grants totalling $25,420 for projects concerning aspects of tropical marine biology for the 1967-69 triennium. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has since 1964 also been associated with tropical marine biological research. It has participated with the Queensland Government and the Commonwealth Department of Primary Industry in a survey of prawn resources in the south eastern corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Grants totalling $1,152 were made in 1967 and 1968 from the Science and Industry Research Fund for biological studies on the Great Barrier Reef.

  1. The University College of Townsville has recently placed before the Australian Universities Commission a formal request for the establishment of a centre for research in tropical marine science during the triennium 1970-72. The proposed centre would be concerned with both physical and biological sciences. The Commission is now considering the proposal and will in due course make recommendations.

Queensland Power Resources (Question No. 796)

Dr Everingham:

asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

  1. Has his attention been drawn to reported statements on 1st August 1968 of the Director of Industrial Development for Queensland, Sir David Muir, that central Queensland coal deposits are one of the potentially cheapest power sources in the world, but this could not be competitive on a world basis without a power house investment of $100,n to $200m which should be found urgently at State and Federal level in the vital interests of Australia?
  2. Is there evidence to support Sir David’s reported statement that lack of cheap power will retard growth in primary production, has prevented the setting up of aluminium refining in Central Queensland, and will retard the expanding salt and sulphuric industries there, including a large-scale alkali plant which is needed so that central Queensland salt would no longer have to be shipped to New South Wales as at present to make caustic soda for the Gladstone alumina refinery?
  3. Is he able to say whether the Queensland Treasurer recently failed in an overseas mission to attract foreign capital for the purposes of providing this cheap power for Queensland?
  4. Is it a fact that Queensland provides many times its share of .earnings towards a favourable balance of Australia’s trade?
  5. Has there been disinterest and delay In his Department ‘ in connection with the prolonged, urgent, sane and business-like proposal of Queensland for remunerative Commonwealth investment in this unquestionably warranted giant power house project; if so, wilt he investigate this matter and provide an explanation at an early date?
Mr Fairbairn:

– The following answer is now supplied:

  1. The Premier of Queensland has submitted a case to the Commonwealth in connection with a major power station in central Queensland.
  2. It is we)) known that the unit cost of power strongly affects the location of major power using industries such as the aluminium smelting and chemical industries which require low unit cost power to be viable. The provision of power at a sufficiently low unit cost to make such industries economic would require the construction of a large scale power station involving a very substantial capita) outlay. An assured demand for power would be required before the construction of a major power station could be justified.
  3. No. I am not aware of the outcome of the overseas mission by the Queensland Treasurer.
  4. Trade statistics for the 5 years to 1967-68 Indicate that the ratio of exports to imports for Queensland averaged 2.48 : 1. The comparable figure for Australia as a whole was 0.98 : 1.
  5. There has been no disinterest and delay in my Department.

Racial Discrimination (Question No. 811)

Dr Everingham:

asked the AttorneyGeneral, upon notice:

  1. Has his attention been drawn to a report that the Netherlands Parliament is considering a Bill to prohibit public insult of, or incitement to hatred and discrimination against, any person or group because of their race, religion, or outlook on life? ‘
  2. As this is an essential principle in establishing a peaceful world order, will he study the Netherlands Bill with a view to the introduction of similar legislation here?
Mr Bowen:

– The following answer is now supplied:

  1. Yes.
  2. The study presently being made of the International Convention on the Elimination of AU Forms of Racial Discrimination includes a consideration of legislation proposed or passed by other countries on the subject of racial discrimination.

Constitutional Review Committee (Question No. 813)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

  1. Has the Government given consideration to any of the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Constitutional Review since, his predecessor’s answer to me on 17th October 1967 (Hansard page 1919)?
  2. If so, to which recommendations has lt given consideration?
Mr Gorton:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

The recommendations of the Joint Committee on Constitutional Review have been and are considered from time to time by the Government as part of the continuing process of law revision. As far as any particular recommendation is concerned, I have nothing to add to my predecessor’s reply of 17th October 1967.

Marriage of Minors (Question No. 823)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Attorney-General, upon notice: il. How many (a) male and (b) female minors of (i) 18 years of age, (ii) 19 years and (iii) 20 years have applied to magistrates for consent to marry in each year since the relevant provisions of the Marriage Act came into operation?

  1. How many of the applications were (a) granted and (b) refused?
Mr Bowen:

– I now provide the following answer:

No statistics of these cases are kept by the Attorney-General’s Department or the Bureau of Census and Statistics, and State figures are incomplete. From the information that is available (which does not include any figures for New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland or Tasmania), the following answers are given:

For Victoria, the only figures available are total numbers of applications. These are as follows:

Maritime Conventions (Question No. 8S2)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

On what dates, by what means and with what results have communications passed between the British, Australian and State Governments concerning the following conventions adopted at the Diplomatic Conference on Maritime Law held at Brussels in May 1967:

  1. International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules relating to Maritime Liens and Mortgages;
  2. International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules relating to the Carriage of Passenger Luggage by Sea;
  3. International Convention relating to Registration of Rights in respect of Vessels under Construction; and
  4. Protocol to Amend the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law respecting Assistance and Salvage at Sea, 19107
Mr Gorton:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows: 1 have been advised that the relevant departments are unaware of any communication between the British,’ Australian and State Governments concerning the international conventions referred to in the question.

Armed Services Censorship Regulations (Question No. 870)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

  1. What is the (a) date and- (b) text of the censorship regulations at present applying to each of the Services?
  2. What is the (a) date and (b) text of the uniform draft sent by his Department to the commander in Vietnam?
Mr Fairhall:

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. There are no censorship regulations as such applying to the armed Services. There are, however, the Defence Act, section 73a and individual Service instructions which restrict information which may bc given or matters which may be discussed by servicemen. These latter are the Service counterparts of the regulations under the Public Service Act.
  2. lt would be contrary to all established practice to publish purely, intra-departmental communications.

Armed Forces: Dishonourable Discharge (Question No. 901) Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Defence upon notice:

  1. Have the regulations of the various Services been amended since his answer to me on 29th August 1967 (Hansard, page 571), to give servicemen dishonourably discharged after 15 years service the same rights as public, servants to payment in lieu of furlough?
  2. If so, when were the amendments made?
Mr Fairhall:

– The answer to the honourable member’s questions is as follows:

The Departments of the Navy and the Army have advised that advice received since my answer of 29th August 1967, (Hansard, page 571) indicates that no amendment of existing regulations is required to permit payments in lieu of furlough being made to members of those Services who have been dishonourably discharged after not less than 15 years service.

The Air Force Regulations do however require amendment and the necessary instructions which are included in a complete review of the regulations relating to furlough will be issued shortly.

Strikes and Lockouts (Question No. 923)

Mr Clyde Cameron:

asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

  1. On what occasions since 1904’ has the Commonwealth Arbitration Court penalised (a) a trade union or employee for supporting or being involved in strike action, and (b) an employers organisation or employer for supporting or being involved in a lockout?
  2. What was the (a) penalty and/or cost imposed and (b) the date of the conviction, in each case?
Mr Bury:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. and 2. The honourable member will know that in 1930 the provisions of what was then the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904-1928 relating to strikes and lockouts were repealed.

The only records available in a readily accessible form regarding penalties imposed on parties relate to proceedings taken during and since 1952 under the present sections 109 (1.) (a) and (b) and111 (and the former sections 29 (b) and (c) and 29a) of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act. These sections do not contain provisions for penalising a trade union or an employee for supporting or being involved in strike action or for penalising an employers organisation or an employer for supporting or being involved in a lockout. The provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of sub-section (1.) of Section 109 of the Act empower the Commonwealth Industrial Court to order compliance with an award proved to the satisfaction of the Court to have been broken or not observed, and to enjoin an organisation or person from committing or continuing a contravention of the Act or a breach or non-observance of an award. Section 111 empowers the Court to impose a penalty in respect of a contempt of the Court consisting of a failure to comply with an order of the Court made under paragraph (a) or (b) of sub-section (1.) of section 109. The former sections 29 and 29a of the Act gave similar powers to the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration.

If the honourable member so desires I will provide him, at his request, with such information as is readily available relating to applications under section 109 (or the former section 29) and contempt proceedings under section 111 (or the former section 29a) in respect of the period 1952 to 1968. Information about costs, however, is not readily available.

Defence: Ship and Aircraft Purchases Overseas (Question No. 929)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for

Defence, upon notice:

What has been (a) the date and (b) the amount of payments for each class of ship and aircraft ordered for the services from overseas in the last 6 years?

Mr Fairhall:

– The following information is provided in answer to the honourable member’s question:

Armed Forces: Equal Pay (Question No. 930)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

What is the basis of relativity between male and female rates of pay in the Services?

Mr Fairhall:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

Servicewomen receive in group pay an element (formerly called a margin) equal to that of males where the duties are identical. Their basic pay component bears the same relationship to that of males as exists in the Commonwealth Public Service. Rank pay for servicewomen is two-thirds that of rank pay for men because of the lower rank responsibilities of female members of the Services.

Oil Search (Question No. 943)

Br Everingham asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

As the Bureau of Mineral Resources is spending S2.7m this financial year searching for oil, will he consider equipping it to take over much of the oil search at present undertaken by overseas private investors with Government subsidy, or alternatively seek Government equity in all oil found with Government subsidy?

Mr Fairbairn:

– The following answer is now furnished:

Surveys by the Bureau of Mineral Resources in Australia’s on-shore and off-shore sedimentary basins provide basic geological and geophysical data which assist and encourage private industry in conducting an effective programme of petroleum exploration. The Government is actively considering all other aspects of its future participation in the search for oil.

Vietnam: Australian Broadcasting Commission News Broadcast (Question No. 944)

Dr Everingham:

asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

  1. Has his attention been drawn to an Australian Broadcasting Commission evening news broadcast of 28th September which reported 33 Vietcong killed and 20 injured when a Royal Australian Air Force Canberra jet dropped four 500 lb bombs from 15,000 feet at night?
  2. If so, will he confirm or deny this report?
  3. Can he disclose the source of this information? If not, why not?
  4. Will he investigate the reliability of reports of casualties?
Mr Fairhall:

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. Yes. 2, 3 and 4. The report of the operation and casualties resulted from an official news release made by the Department of Air on 28th September 1968. The information for the news release was provided by Headquarters, Australian Force Vietnam.

Divorce Laws (Question No. 960)

Mr Hayden:

asked the Attorney-General, upon notice:

  1. Has bis attention been drawn to a report in in which a Victorian supreme court judge described Australia’s divorce laws as inadequate and, not infrequently, being the cause of injustice? 2: ls the time ripe, as suggested by the eminentjudge, for a ‘new look’ tribunal, including a psychiatrist, social worker, lawyer and accountant, to deal with divorce and matrimonial -causes in° Australia?
Mr Bowen:

– I now provide the following answers to the honourable member’s questions:

My attention lias been drawn to a newspaper report concerning certain proposals made recently, by Mr Justice Barber of the Supreme Court of Victoria. The proposals were contained in a paper presented by His Honour at a recent symposium on family law reform at Monash University.

In the paper the Judge proposed a new family law code, the Commonwealth enacting a new marriage and divorce code, with uniform State legislation in the fields in which the Commonwealth has no powers, such as testators family maintenance. He also proposed the establishment of a ‘family court’, with jurisdiction to deal with matrimonial causes, custody, access and welfare of children, maintenance and property settlements.”

The Judge’s proposals are being studied, along wilh views of other persons and bodies that have advocated changes in the field of family law. Whether the law should be amended is a matter of policy.

Aboriginals (Question No. 961)

Mr Hayden:

asked the Minister-in-charge of Aboriginal Affairs upon notice:

  1. What is the Aboriginal population, comprising full bloods and part bloods, as a percentage of the total population of Australia?
  2. Of the full blood and part blood Aboriginal population, how many (a) have graduated from a university in the last 10 years, (b) are practising lawyers, (c) are practising doctors, (d) are employed as academics in a teaching or research position in an Australian University of technical college, (e) are members of a State or Federal Parliament, (f) are qualified secondary teachers and (g) are qualified primary teachers?
Mr Wentworth:
Minister for Social Services · MACKELLAR, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

The Commonwealth Statistician has advised that:

Due to the imprecise reporting at the 1966 census of persons of Aboriginal descent it is not possible to make a reliable separate distinction of persons of varying degrees of Aboriginal blood. The statistics available from the census therefore relate to all persons who reported that they were of Aboriginal descent to the extent of one-half or more. The total number so reported at the 1966 census was 80,207 persons of 0.69% of the Australian population. (i’O For census purposes persons are classified to the occupations in’ which they were working at the time of the census. An analysis of statistics so obtained shows that of the 80,207 persons mentioned above:

Three males had reported that they had a university degree, but the date at which the degree was obtained was not sought at the census.

None were classified as lawyers.

One male was classified a medical practitioner.

None were classified as university teachers.

None were classified as members of a State or Federal Parliament.

15 males and 30 females were classified as teachers, some of whom may have been trainee teachers.

In view of the difficulties encountered at the census with the reporting of race and the very small numbers involved in particular occupations, the figures should not be considered to be precise measurements of the categories concerned.

Tariff Board (Question No. 966)

Mr Hayden:

asked the Minister for Trade and Industry, upon notice:

  1. What special powers are provided for the Minister under sub-paragraphs (i) and (iii) of section 15 (1) (h) of the Tariff Board Act?
  2. Has he made any reference to the Tariff Board under these provisions; if not, why not?
  3. If references have been made, what are the details of the (a) above references, (b) reports from the Board and (c) the dates of the references and reports?
Mr McEwen:
Deputy Prime Minister · MURRAY, VICTORIA · CP

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. Section 15 (1) (h) of the Tariff Board Act 1921-1966, provides that the Minister shall refer to the Board for inquiry and report the following matters:

    1. any question whether a manufacturer is taking undue advantage of the protection afforded him by the Tariff or by the restriction of the importation of any goods, and in particular in regard to his-
    1. charging unnecessarily high prices for his goods; or
    2. acting in restraint of trade to detriment of the public; or
    3. acting in a manner which results in unnecessarily high prices being charged to the consumer for his goods, and shall not take any action in respect of any of those matters until he has received the report of the Board.
  2. Yes.
  3. Since I have been responsible for these matters, it has been my normal practice to send all references to the Board under the authority of section15 as a whole. The Board has thus been empowered to investigate and report on all aspects of the cases referred to it including any instance of undue advantage being taken of the Tariff.

In November 1967, I sent to the Board a reference worded specifically in terms of section 15 (1) (h). The reference covered local manufacture of case board and panelboard. The Board’s report has not yet been received.

Bush Fires (Question No. 967)

Mr Stewart:

asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

  1. Have any investigations been made by bis Department into modem methods of fighting bush fires?
  2. If so, what have these investigations disclosed, and has the information been passed on to State governments?
  3. Is he able to say whether any other countries have more efficient methods of fighting bush fires?
  4. If so, what are these methods, and is it possible to introduce them to Australia?
  5. Do any other countries use specially equipped aircraft to fight bush fires and is this method considered efficient?
  6. If so, are there any aircraft in Australia, for example, Neptune bombers, which would be suitable, after transformation, to perform this task?
Mr Fairbairn:

– The following answer is now supplied:

  1. The Fire Control Research Section of the Forestry and Timber Bureau of my Department has been actively engaged on the development of and investigation into more effective methods of bushfire suppression and control since 1954.

This programme of bush fire research has covered both forest fire fighting methods and grassland problems. The programme has involved intensive experiments into the fire behaviour aspects of these two major fuel types and during this period some 1200 experimental fires have been burnt and studied in detail. In conjunction with this experimental programme a large proportion of the major forest and grassland fires which have occurred in Australia over the past fifteen years have been thoroughly investigated in the field.

The Officer-in-charge of this Section has also visited Canada and the United States on two occasions in the past four years and in association with State fire control officers has kept in close touch with developments in fire fighting methods including the use of water bombing aircraft and helicopters in both these countries. The effectiveness of North American practice in relation to the specific requirements and problems of the Australian environment is being constantly evaluated.

The Fire Research Section has kept in close touch with the more effective equipment developments and maintains a fire tanker and crew which frequently combines with fire fighting activities in the Australian Capital Territory and adjoining areas of New South Wales in order to test and evaluate any new pieces of equipment and more efficiently evaluate existing methods used by the volunteer fire fighting organisations.

Work has also been carried out on the use and effectiveness of various chemical fire retardants from both aircraft and ground tanker applications. Currently the Section is co-operating with the Forests Commission of Victoria on an evaluation of Snow Commander, Beaver and Piper Pawnee aircraft in a fire suppression system. 2. (a) A major result of the Department’s bushfire research has been the evolution of successful methods of control burning. By this means the often very heavy accumulation of dry’ fuel on the ground in forest country (in the form of forest litter, dry grass, and deadwood) can be safely reduced by burning off in cool calm weather and before the fuel has dried out completely after rain. This is a skilled operation requiring detailed assessment of weather conditions, and of the weight and degree of dryness of the fuel, but has been proved to be a very effective method of reducing the severity of wild fires occurring in hot, dry and windy weather, so that these fires can be quickly suppressed or brought under control. The technique can be used effectively by ground crews in easy country, but a fairly recent development which is simpler and more effective in fiat or rolling country and which allows the technique to be extended to mountainous country where ground operations would be virtually impossible, is aerial control-burning. It was first evolved by the Forests Department of Western Australia and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, and has now become standard practice in West Australian forest areas, but the Fire Control Research Section has been instrumental in evaluating, testing and improving the technique and successfully extending its use to mountainous forest areas in the eastern States.

In aerial control-burning, incendiary devices are dropped from a light aircraft in a regular pattern over the area to be burnt Forest areas on the south coast of New South Wales which had recently been control-burnt by aerial methods proved remarkably effective during the serious fires which occurred on 28th October 1968. Once the fires entered the control-burnt forest, they were quickly controlled. On 1st August 1968, the Management Council of the Hume-Snowy Fire Control Organisation approved the incorporation of a programme of aerial control burning as an integral part pf the fire control system in that region.

  1. Information on the behaviour of all major forest and grassland fires and comments on the effectiveness of the suppression methods and suppression tactics used during the course of the fires has been supplied to the State Forest Services and rural fire authorities.

The results of all bushfire research are also passed on to the Forest and Rural Fire authorities in each State, as soon as significant results are obtained.

In addition, the Forestry and Timber Bureau arranges periodic conferences on forest fire control at which the results of research and improvements in operational practices are fully discussed. The last such conference was held in Perth during October in 1968. 3 and 4. Bushfire research carried out by my Department in various States has shown that fire behaviour in eucalypt forests is vastly different from that prevailing in North American or European forests largely due to the ability of eucalypt forests to throw burning embers long distances ahead of the main fire under strong wind conditions. This factor alone indicates that it requires different methods of fire fighting than are practiced in most other countries. In addition to this, fires in eucalypt forests burn much faster and build up to conflagration proportions much more rapidly than in forest types common to the northern hemisphere and this factor requires very fast and concentrated initial attack on fires as they occur. These two fire behaviour characteristics are the main reasons why water bombing aircraft methods, which are claimed to be more efficient, would be much less effective in this country.

Canada and the United States are considered to have highly developed fire control organisations embodying the use of the very expensive system of water bombing aircraft. However, this system still fails under very severe drought conditions such as experienced in the north western United States last year when a number of very large fires burnt through high-value forest country. It can be fairly stated that there are no fire fighting methods or techniques developed in any country of the world which can control a forest fire which has reached conflagration proportions in heavy fuel quantities under severe meteorological conditions.

Nevertheless, current research and operational practice indicates that medium sized water bombing aircraft will be effective in controlling or containing lightning fires which have occurred in remote forest country, and their use has already become operational practice by the Forests Commission of Victoria.

  1. The United States, some provinces of Canada, and France use specially equipped aircraft to fight forest fires and in general their use produces reasonably effective results for the special environments in which they are used. However, in both the United States and Canada the use of water bombing aircraft against high intensity, fast moving fires seldom produces significant effect on the control of the fire perimeter. This ineffective use of aircraft results in very night costs and is the main reason why many fires in the 20,000 to 30,000 acres category have suppression costs exceeding $2m.
  2. The Australian Forestry Council at its meeting at Mount Gambier in 1967 discussed reports by Australian experts who had been in Canada and the United States studying the technique of fire bombing in the light of an offer made to Australia for the purchase or lease of some Canadair CL-215 aircraft. It was decided by the Council, which consists of Commonwealth and State Ministers, that purchase of these aircraft should not be proceeded with. The aircraft are very expensive and there was some doubt as to whether they could operate satisfactorily in areas of Australia where we do not have the many unsnagged lakes and other stretches of water that are available in the United States and Canada. The Council, however, decided that light aircraft, such as crop dusters, may be suitable for use in fighting bush fires and recommended that a survey of existing light aircraft be undertaken to assess their suitability as water bombers. This study is now in course. It has been recently demonstrated that light aircraft, such as crop dusters, can be used successfully in the role of a water bomber and could be useful in containing fires caused by lightning in isolated and rugged country. This technique would be effective only if the fire is caught in the very early stages.

The Council also considered the possibility of obtaining obsolete aircraft, particularly the Neptune P2V5 aircraft. The Royal Australian Air Force was approached to see whether it would be possible to obtain these aircraft but an assessment showed that they would probably be as expensive to modify and operate as the Canadair. In addition the Air Force indicated that it was fully committed and would not be able to operate or maintain the Neptunes.

Defence: Ship and Aircraft Orders (Question No. 971)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

  1. On what dates and in what countries have ships and aircraft been ordered for the Services in the last 6 years?
  2. On what dates have these ships and aircraft been delivered or are they expected to be delivered?
Mr Fairhall:

– The following information is provided in answer to the honourable member’s question:

Canberra and Australian Capital Territory: Prison Costs (Question No. 976)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Attorney-General, upon notice:

  1. How many persons sentenced by courts in the Australian Capital Territory have undergone imprisonment in New South Wales in each of the last 20 years?
  2. Is he able to say what costs have been incurred by New South Wales in keeping such persons in prison in each of the last 20 years?
  3. On what occasions and with what results have Commonwealth and State Ministers and and officials consulted on the procedure and cost of keeping persons in State prisons?
  4. What amount has the Commonwealth received in fines and costs imposed by courts in the Australian Capital Territory in each of the last 20 years?
Mr Bowen:

– The following answer is now supplied:

  1. The information cannot be obtained from available records.
  2. No.
  3. The Premier of New South Wales raised the question of the cost of maintenance of Australian Capital Territory prisoners in a letter to the then Prime Minister dated 9th October 1967. On5th January 1968 the Acting Prime Minister informed the Premier that the Commonwealth agreed in principle to the cost of maintenance of these prisoners being determined along lines consistent with arrangements between the Commonwealth and New South Wales with respect to children committed from the Australian Capital Territory to New South Wales institutions and the committal of persons suffering from mental disorders. On 14th February 1968 the Premier advised that he was in accord with the suggestions and would have the matter examined with a view to subsequent discussions between officials. There have been a number of discussions between officials and a draft formula for calculating daily maintenance has been agreed between them subject to Treasury approval. I have written to the Treasurer seeking his views on the draft formula.
  4. There is no separate accounting record of these amounts.

Judiciary Act: State Courts (Question No. 977)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Attorney-General, upon notice:

To what extent is the Judiciary Act committee empowered to recommend uniform laws relating to procedure, evidence and the competency of witnesses in State courts exercising Federal jurisdiction in any matters (a) arising under any treaty,

affecting consuls or other representatives of other countries, (c) in which the Commonwealth, or a person suing or being sued on behalf of the Commonwealth, is a party, (d) between States, or between residents of different States, or between a State and a resident of another State, (e) in which a writ of mandamus or prohibition or an injunction is sought against an officer of the Commonwealth, (f) arising under the Constitution, or involving its interpretation, (g) arising under any laws made by the Parliament, (h) of Admiralty and maritime jurisdiction and (i) relating to the same subject matter claimed under the laws of different States?

Mr Bowen:

-I now furnish the following answer:

Section 79 of the Judiciary Act provides at present that the laws of each State, including the laws relating to procedure, evidence, and the competency of witnesses, shall, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution or the laws of the Commonwealth, be binding on all courts exercising Federal jurisdiction in that State in all cases to which they are appliable. Under its terms of reference the Judiciary Act committee is empowered to recommend such alterations to the provisions of this section as may be thought desirable. It is for the committee to decide whether in its opinion a provision could be devised that would result in uniformity of laws relating to procedure, evidence and the competency of witnesses in State courts exercising Federal jurisdiction (in the particular matters mentioned in the question), and what recommendation it should make to achieve this uniformity. I should not expect, however, that in so doing the committee would attempt to formulate the details of a uniform code of procedure, evidence and the competency of witnesses, although its terms of reference would not prevent it from doing so.

Education: Secondary School Scholarships (Question No. 980)

Mr Kevin Cairns:

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

  1. How many secondary school scholarships have been awarded to students from schools in each of the States for each year that the secondary school scholarship scheme has been operative?
  2. With respect to the three categories of schools granted assistance under the States Grants (Science Laboratories) Act, how many scholarships were awarded to students attending schools in each of these categories in each year since the inception of the scholarships?
  3. What form of test or examination has been used to award the scholarships in each State since 1964 and were changes made in some States in the methods used for determination of the scholarships subsequent to the first awards?
  4. What proportion of the scholarship winners in each State came from families whose breadwinner has an occupation classified as (a) labourer,(b) tradesman, (c) white collar employee, (d) professional, (e) managerial and (f) other?
  5. What proportion of the scholarship winners in each case came from families of (a) 1-2 children, (b) 3 children, (c) 4 children, (d) 5 children and (e) 6 or more children?
Mr Malcolm Fraser:

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. The numbers of Commonwealth secondary scholarships which have been confirmed since the commencement of the scheme are:
  1. Within each State the scholarships are awarded solely on merit, and no specific allocation is made for particular categories of schools. The number of scholarships awarded each year to students who at the time they competed were attending each of the three categories of schools referred to in the honourable member’s question were;

4 and 5. In applying for Commonwealth Secondary Scholarships on behalf of their children, parents are not required to provide information relating to occupation and family size. Answers are not available to these questions.

Importation of Ore Wagons (Question No. 981)

Mr Hansen:

asked the Minister for Trade and Industry, upon notice:

  1. Was permission given to Hamersley Holdings, a Western Australian company, to import 120 steel wagons from Japan to be used for the carriage of ore?
  2. If so, is he able to say whether any Australian companies tendered for these wagons?
  3. Is he able to give the reasons why the Australian tenders were rejected?
  4. What rates of tariff apply for steel wagons, and do they represent concessional rates?
Mr McEwen:

– The following answers are now supplied:

  1. There are no import restrictions or other requirements which would make it necessary foi Hamersley Holdings to seek permission to import ore wagons. The Australian manufacturers of ore wagons are protected through the tariff.
  2. I am informed that Australian manufacturers tendered for supply of the wagons.
  3. No.
  4. The duties on ore wagons are 47i% ad valorem (general) and 22)% ad valorem (preferential). The genera) rate of 47i% would apply to ore wagons imported from Japan. These duties are not concessional rates.

Drought Relief (Question No. 982)

Mr Munro:

asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

  1. Is it a fact that the Government has undertaken to pay half the cost of any drought relief measures entered into by the New South Wales State Government in the present drought in EdenMonaro, and has also stated that it is prepared to re-negotiate a different basis of relief if drought re-emerges in New South Wales on a large scale?
  2. Has a request been received recently from the Premier of New South Wales for a Commonwealth subsidy of 40 cents per bushel on feed wheat in the drought areas, and for the provision of 100% Commonwealth financing for drought relief employment?
  3. If such a request has been received, has it been answered; if so, in what terms?
Mr Gorton:

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. In my statement to the House on 26th September I indicated that the Commonwealth will meet half the Cost in this financial year of relief measures which the New South Wales Government may find it necessary to continue in the South Coast, Southern Tablelands and Cobar districts until the drought breaks. The relief measures for which the Commonwealth has agreed to contribute are those which have been applied in New South Wales drought areas during the past three years. They include the provision of loans for carry on purposes where credit is not available through normal commercial channels; rebates of freight on the transport of fodder and water to drought affected areas and the transport of starving stock out of drought areas; expenditure to provide relief work for those unemployed in rural areas as a result of drought; and miscellaneous expenditure in relation to the drought, such as cloud seeding.

In my statement of 26th September I also said that the Commonwealth would be prepared to consider new assistance arrangements if drought conditions were to re-emerge on a large scale. 2 and 3. A request was received from the Premier of New South Wales for Commonwealth assistance towards financing of a subsidy on the purchase price of wheat to feed stock in drought affected areas. I have advised the New South Wales Premier that my Government does not consider that the present circumstances call tor the provision of special financial assistance of this kind to his State.

Liquor and Tobacco Industries (Question No. 1005)

Dr Everingham:

asked the Minister for Trade and Industry, upon notice:

  1. Is he able to say what amounts are spent on the various types of advertising or promotion by the (a) liquor and (b) tobacco industries in Australia?
  2. Can be say what (a) amount and (b) proportion of the retail price of (i) liquor and (ii) tobacco goes to (A) governments, (B) advertising and promotion, (C) research other than promotional research, (D) cost of processing, (E) dividends of processing companies, interest, rent and capital gains less depreciation, (F) growers costs and (G) growers profits?
  3. What percentage of the processed primary products are of Australian origin in each of these industries?
  4. Is he able to say what are the estimated total numbers of (a) growers and (b) processing firms shareholders in each of these industries?
  5. Has he any information as to the (a) average investment and (b) percentage return on investment of the (i) growers and (ii) processing firms shareholders, in each of these industries?
  6. Is he able to say what representatives the governments of Australia have appointed to bodies concerned with the tobacco and liquor industries?
  7. What were the (a) amounts and (b) varieties of revenue derived from the tobacco and liquor industries during the years 1964-65 to 1967-68?
  8. Have the Commonwealth and State governments, during the period 1964-65 to 1967-68, contributed assistance to these industries; if so, what sums were provided and what was the purpose of the assistance?
Mr McEwen:

– The following answer is now supplied:

  1. No.
  2. The amounts and proportions of the retail price of liquor and tobacco which go to tha Government are as follows:


  1. Because of wide variations in retail prices in respect of spirits and cigarettes, the current Sydney retail prices of the ‘popular’ brands have been used for the above calculations.
  2. There is also a sales tax of15% payable on spirits.
  3. State governments derive revenue from licence fees assessed on liquor sales by publicans. (See 7.)

The amount allocated to items B, C, D, E, F and G are not known.

  1. The current arrangements are that Australian tobacco manufacturers are required to use a minimum of’ 50% Australian leaf in blends to qualify for a concessional rate of duty on their importedleaf. Cigars are produced from 100% imported leaf. The primary products used to produce local brandy, whisky, gin and rum nre of Australian origin. The principal primary products used in beer production are of Australian origin, but there could be a proportion of imported hops used from time to time.
  2. There is no information available on the number of shareholders in each of these industries. However, at the commencement of the Tobacco Stabilization Plan in 1965, there were 990 tobacco growing units in Australia. A more recent authoritative figure is not available.
  3. No.
  4. Commonwealth and State Government representatives are on the following organisations:
Mr Bowen:

– The following answer is now supplied:

  1. I am not able to say whether the Australian Guarantee Corporation Ltd has such a practice.
  2. No.
  3. I shall arrange for consideration to be given, in the course of the present review of the uniform Companies Act, to whether there is a need for protection.

page 70


Australian Tobacco Board -

Commonwealth representative (one)

State representatives -

New South Wales (one)

Victoria (one)

Queensland (one)

State Tobacco Leaf Marketing Boards -

State representatives -

New South Wales Board (one)

Victorian Board (one)

Queensland Board (one)

State Tobacco Quota Committeee -

State representatives -

Queensland (one)

Victoria (one)

Research and Extension -

Central Tobacco Advisory Committee -

Commonwealth representatives - (Department of Primary Industry (Chairman) and CSIRO) (two)

State representatives -

New South Wales (one)

Victoria (one)

Queensland (one)

State Tobacco Advisory Committees -

State representatives -

New South Wales (two)

Victoria (two)

Queensland (two) (C.S.I.R.O. has a representative on the Queensland Committee)

Wine and Brandy -

Bodies on which the Commonwealth Government is represented:

Commonwealth Representative (one)

Research Institute - .

Commonwealth Representatives (two) (Department of Primary Industry one, C.S.I.R.O. one)

Revenue collected by State and local government authorities from licence fees assessed on liquor sales by publicans.

It is not possible to say precisely how much sales tax was paid in the years mentioned on sales of liquor or snuff. (Sales tax is not payable on tobacco or tobacco products other than snuff). It is estimated however, that collections of sales fax on liquor and snuff ranged from about $8m in 1964-65 to something of the order of.$10m in 1967-68.

Collections under the Tobacco Charge Act in the years 1964-65 to 1967-68: were as follows:


Contributions by the Commonwealth and State governments to the Tobacco Industry Trust Account to finance tobacco research between 1964-65 and 1967-68 were:

Wine and Brandy -

In common with other primary industries the Overseas Trade Publicity Committee provides assistance foi export promotion. Amounts received by the Wine Board are:

C.S.I.R.O. grant* to the Australian Wine Research Institute (whose function is to conduct research with the winemaking and viticultural Industries of Australia) have been:

Australian Guarantee Corporation Ltd (Question No. 1006)

Or Everingham asked the AttorneyGeneral, upon notice:

Is he able to say whether the Australian Guarantee Corporation Ltd requires debenture holders to sign an indemnity without time limit when they apply for replacement or redemption of a lost debenture?

Is he able to say whether this practice ls common with this company as its shares are frequently alleged to be missing in the mail?

Will he consider legislation to protect those who deal with large organisations by requiring that certain warnings, be incorporated in specified instances where standardised letters or agreements are in use?

Vietnam (Question No. 1007)

Mr Barnard:

asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice:

Can he give any information on the investigation within his Department which he said, in reply to the honourable member for Grayndler on 13th August (Hansard, page 10), was proceeding into a book on the Vietnam war by Major John Rowe?

Mr Lynch:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

As I said in my reply to the honourable member for Grayndler, at the time, my understanding was that the book was a work of fiction. Subsequent examination of the matter has confirmed this and the book has been accepted as such.

Even so, it should have been apparent to the author that the book, although written in fictional terms, was liable to misinterpretation and should have been submitted for clearance prior to the publication. He was informed to this effect in August and was subsequently advised that the matter could therefore be considered closed..

I should add that subsequently, on 21st November 1968, Major John Rowe submitted an application to resign his commission so that he could concentrate on a writing career. The Military Board has recommended that the resignation be accepted.

Overseas Visits by Parliamentary Officers (Question No. 1010)

Mr Lee:

asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

  1. What officers of the parliamentary departments have proceeded to North or South America, Asia, Africa or Europe at government expense during the last S yean; excluding visits to parliamentary conferences?
  2. What were the reasons for each visit, the cost involved apart from normal salary, the periods of absence from Australia, and the countries visited?
Mr McEwen:

– The information requested by the honourable member is as follows: 1 and 2.

Conciliation and Arbitration Act (Question No. 1026)

Mr Clyde Cameron:

asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

  1. On what occasions has action been taken under section 119 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act against an organisation or person bound by an order or award for breach or nonobservance of any term of the order or award?
  2. What were the dates of such proceedings, who were the parties and what were the penalties imposed in each case?
Mr Bury:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

Information is only readily accessible in relation to action under section 119 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act taken by inspectors, who were first appointed in 1934. During the period 1934 to 1962 inclusive proceedings were taken by inspectors on seventy-nine occasions. Details since 1962 are set out in the following schedule:

Conciliation and Arbitration Act (Question No. 1027)

Mr Clyde Cameron:

asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

  1. On how many occasions have orders been granted under section 109 (1.) (a) of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act in respect of offences which could have been penalised under section 119 (1.) (a) and (b) of the Act?
  2. In each such case of failure to observe such orders made under section 109 (1.) (a) of the Act, what was the penalty imposed by the Industrial Court under section 111 (4.) of the Act compared with the maximum penalty permissible under

section 119 (1.) for an offence against that section?

  1. What were the dates of the proceedings that led to the imposition of such penalties, the names of the parties involved and the penalties imposed in each case?
Mr Bury:

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

2 and 3. The information sought is set out in the following table.

A maximum penalty of $200 would have been permissible in respect of each failure to observe an order listed in the table had it been dealt with under section 119 (1.).

Conciliation and Arbitration Act (Question No. 1028)

Mr Clyde Cameron:

asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

  1. How many applications have been made under section 109 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act for the Industrial Court to (a) order compliance with an award proved to the satisfaction of the Court to have been broken or not observed, or (b) enjoin an organisation from com mitting or continuing a contravention of the Act or a breach or non-observance of an award?
  2. How many of these applications have been refused and in respect of such unsuccessful applications what parties were involved and on what dates were the applications refused?
Mr Bury:

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. To 31st October 1968, (a) 635, (b) 697.
  2. In the same period 68 applications were refused either wholly or in part. The details requested in connection with these are as follows:

Rifle Ranges (Question No. 1029)

Mr Crean:

asked the Minister for the

Army, upon notice:

  1. How many rifle ranges for military use exist in Victoria?
  2. Where are they located and what are their dimensions?
  3. Is there any estimate, arrived at by Army authorities, as to the distance that a bullet fired on the Williamstown rifle range could travel when it overshoots the protective mounds by the Williamstown foreshore?
  4. What are the locations and areas of Army rifle ranges in the vicinity of State capital cities other than Melbourne, and, in each instance, how far are these ranges from the heart of the city?
Mr Lynch:

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. There are four military ranges in Victoria.
  2. Because of the difficulty in defining precisely what the term ‘dimensions’ means in regard to rifle ranges, I have supplied where practicable details of the areas of land they occupy. It should, however, be borne in mind that when a rifle range is part of a military range complex the actual area occupied by an individual range cannot always be stated precisely; for example, at Puckapunyal, which has a total Army land area of 53,000 acres:

Bonegilla - 550 acres.

Williamstown - 300 acres (seaward firing).

Puckapunyal - see above.

Portsea - located within Officer Cadet School training area of 1,318 acres.

  1. The question does not specify what weapon and what firing point on the range are envisaged. However, the standard safety template distance behind target mounds on all classification ranges, of which Williamstown is one, is for at least 2,000 yards. This danger area is designed to accept all ricochets and also the occasional bullet in free flight which escapes just over the top of the stop butt. It is adequate for all types of small arms used. Experience has shown the 2,000 yards danger area to be satisfactory. At Williamstown the proclaimed danger area embraces the 2,000 yards referred to above.

Arts Subsidy (Question No. 1035)

Mr Duthie:

asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

  1. Is the bulk of the Government’s subsidy in support of the arts to be allocated to those organisations which the Chairman of the Australian Council for the Arts founded and until recently, controlled, namely, the Elizabethan Theatre Trust, the Australian Ballet Company and the Drama Foundation? 2 Are the three professionals on the expert advisory panel all financially beholden to the executives of the organisations mentioned in question 1.
  2. Did Dr Coombs choose this expert subcommittee?
  3. What percentage of the total annual federal subsidy is to be allocated to theatre groups outside the Elizabethan Theatre Trust, the Australian Ballet Company and the Drama Foundation?
Mr Gorton:

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. The Australian Council for the Arts considers its primary responsibility is to subsidise the performing arts at a national level, and to be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of high national standards. It has,’ therefore, given major subsidies this year to the Australian Opera, die Australian Ballet, the Marionette Theatre df Australia and the Elizabethan Theatre Trust Orchestra, all of which are the major companies in their field in Australia and all of which have an obligation to bring the arts to the widest possible audience within Australia. In addition, the Council has given the major grants in the case of drama to two companies, one in Melbourne and one in Sydney which will form the basis for. national level companies in the two. major centres of population, with obligations to tour in other States and to provide a .wide variety of services, in the field of drama, including the production of new Australian plays.

The Connell is also, providing, assistance to companies in the other State capitals to ensure that a healthy local growth, of drama is possible. In respect of other companies which operate within the confines of individual States or communities, the Council considers that the prime responsibility for their .support lies with State and local governments. However, in “ the interests of improving national standards the Council has established a large fund of money to support special projects devised and presented by these other drama groups.

The Council understands that companies which have been previously administered through the Elizabethan Theatre Trust will move in the near future towards autonomy. When this stage is reached the Council will deal directly with these companies on all matters affecting their work. Therefore, the Council has stipulated precise grants to be paid to these companies, even ‘ where, for this year, the payments will be made through the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust:

Details of grants for 1968-69 by the Australian Council for the Arts were announced by me on 11th December 1968. The text of my statement is included as an appendix to this answer.

  1. I am informed that all the members of the Advisory Committee on Drama (other than members of the Council) have personal experience in one aspect or other of the theatre as producers, critics or teachers. Mr John Sumner is Director of the Melbourne Theatre Company (previously the Union Theatre Repertory Company) which has received financial assistance from the Elizabethan Theatre Trust, and Mr James Sharman is a freelance producer who has done work from time to time for drama and opera - companies affiliated with the Trust. The other members are:

Professor Macartney, Professor of Drama, University of Melbourne,

Dr Thiersch, Lecturer of Modern Languages, University of Adelaide,

Miss Patricia Rofe, Critic on ‘Bulletin’,

Miss Katherine Brisbane, Critic on ‘Australian’.

  1. The Committee was chosen by the Council of which Dr Coombs is Chairman.
  2. See answer to question 1.
Mr Fairbairn:

– The following answer is now supplied:

  1. Yes.
  2. It would be theoretically possible to create water storages in a number of ways by detonation of nuclear explosives at shallow to intermediate depths below the ground surface. Such methods would include the formation of open craters, the formation of ‘chimneys’ of broken rock below the ground surface, the creation of dams in gorges by artificially induced landslides and the accelerated re-charge of aquifers by breaking up the rocks in the intake area. I should emphasise that, despite the undoubted promise of these methods, none has as yet been tested experimentally and proven effective for water storage. For a number of reasons, practical tests are essential.
  3. No. Underground nuclear explosions give rise to significantly different effects from air bursts and, furthermore, the thermonuclear explosives which would be used to form water storages would create quitedifferent radioactivity problems to the fission-type explosives detonated previously in Australia. It is therefore not considered relevant to carry out a study of the type suggested.
  4. The limiting factors in the use of nuclear explosions to create water storages would appear to be seismic shock and radioactivity. In fully contained explosions (i.e. those which do not create a crater) there is virtually no release of radioactivity, but seismic shock damage may preclude projects in built up areas. Even in the case of cratering explosions, theseismic shock wave could be expected to be. of the same order of importance as the release of radioactivity. Radioactivity release has been reduced markedly by design of special explosives for civil use.
  5. Twelve nuclear devices have been exploded in Australia, the last on 9th October 1957.
Mr Charles Jones:

asked the Minister for

Trade and Industry, upon notice:

What legislation has been passed since 1964 to assist the decentralisation of industry?

Mr Charles Jones:

asked the Minister for

Shipping and Transport, upon notice:

  1. How many ships are under construction or on order (a) in Australia and (b) overseas for:

    1. The Australian National Line; and
    2. Other Australian owners?
    3. What will be the tonnage of these ships?
    4. Who are the builders?
    5. When did the Government approve the orders?
  2. What is the estimated date of completion in each case?

Mr Charles Jones:

asked the Minister for

Shipping and Transport, upon notice:

Is he able to say what subsidies, maintenance or taxation allowances, or other forms of assistance are paid or allowed by other countries to assist their shipbuilding and shipping industries?

page 94


Statement by the Prime Minister, Mr John Gorton

I have received from the Chairman of the Australian Council for the Arts the Council’s recommendations for grants to be made by the Commonwealth Government in support of the performing arts in the current financial year.

This is the first year of the Council’s existence and it has given considerable thought to the proper function for Commonwealth support for the arts in relation to other forms of support. The Commonwealth contribution is only one among many. The arts belong to the whole community, and support for them should come from many sources - from State Governments, from local councils, from public organisations and private individuals. It is therefore to be hoped that the lead given by the Commonwealth in sponsoring the arts will encourage support at all levels throughout the Australian community. In this respect it is heartening to perceive a growing interest by many States in artistic matters. Splendid buildings are being erected in many State capitals and considerable help is being given to provide conditions in which the arts can flourish and Australians can take due pride in their increasing achievements in this field.

The Council is of the opinion that its main concern as a Federal body should be to establish and develop high national standards which will benefit activity in the arts throughout Australia and stimulate interest abroad in Australia’s cultural achievements. Its concern with quality is fundamental. To this end the Council has adopted a principle widely accepted by similar bodies in other countries, that high standards can best be achieved by a concentration of available funds rather than by a thin spread over a wide area.

Much of the Council’s work in these early stages is exploratory in nature. It has established working committees to seek expert opinion on its various areas of interest with a view to formulating in the near future long range policies for Government support for the arts in Australia. The Government understands that a report will shortly be forthcoming from the Council on the work of its film committee which has begun inquiries into means by which film making for television may be supported.

The Council has received requests for assistance in many categories other than the theatre arts to which its grants for this year have been restricted. lt will begin inquiries as soon as possible into the need for assistance in some of these other fields and will advise the Government of its conclusions.

In announcing the Council’s recommendations for 1968-69 may I express the Government’s pleasure at being associated with activities in the arts which contribute so significantly to the enrichment of Australia’s national life and to her reputation in other countries.

The grants for 1968-69 are as follows:

Water Conservation: Use of Nuclear Energy (Question No. 1036) Mr Crean asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

Has his attention been drawn to the advocacy by Professor T. D. J. Leech of the use of nuclear blasts to help solve water conservation problems in Australia?

Is it a fact that major storages could be created by the use of nuclear devices?

Has any examination been made by officers of his Department of the effects of a considerable number of nuclear devices that have been fired in Australia as air bursts?

Are the dangers of radiation a limiting factor in the application of such methods of storage construction or can these dangers be suitably controlled?

When was a nuclear device last fired in Australia and how many such devices have been fired?

Decentralisation of Industry (Question No. 1038)

Mr McEwen:

– The following answer is now provided:

The question of location of industry has traditionally been a matter for State Governments and they have developed a variety of measures designed to attract industry to country areas. The Commonwealth’s main role in furthering the decentralisation of industry has been to maintain a climate favourable to balanced development. A wide range of legislative measures in the fields of transport mining and agriculture have contributed to this objective. The more substantial of those passed since 1964 are as follows:

Railways -

Railway Agreement (Queensland) Act 1968 (supplementary assistance for CollinsvilleTownsvilleMt Isa Railway)

Railway Agreement (New South Wales) Act 1968 (assistance for Parkes-Broken Hill line)

Railway Agreement (New South Wales and South Australia) Act 1968 (assistance for Broken Hill-Cockburn line)

Roads -

Queensland Beef Cattle Roads Agreement Act 1966 (extension of scheme)

Western Australia Grant (Beef Cattle Roads) Act 1966 (additional assistance for further year)

States Giants (Beef Cattle Roads) Act 1968 assistance to Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia)

Water Resources and Irrigation -

Western Australia (South-West Region Water Supplies) Agreement Act 1965 (assistance for further development)

States Grants (Water Resources Measurement) Act 1967 (assistance to Stales for measurement and investigation of their water resources)

Queensland Grant (Maraboon Dam) Act 1968

Western Australia Agreement (Ord River Irrigation) Act 1968

Victoria Grant (River Murray Salinity) Act 1968

New South Wales Grant (Flood Mitigation) Act 1968

Fertilisers -

Nitrogenous Fertilisers Subsidy Act 1966 Urea Bounty Act 1966

Phosphate Fertilisers Bounty Act 1966 (extension of period to 31st October 1969)

Phosphate Fertilisers Bounty Act 1968 (extension of period and increase in rate of bounty)

Sulphate of Ammonia Bounty Act (No. 2) 1966 (extension of period and amount of bounty available increased)

Land Development -

Brigalow Lands Agreement Act 1965 (extension of scheme)

Brigalow Lands Agreement Act 1967 (extension of scheme)

Port Development -

Weipa Development Agreement Act 1965

Hydro-Electric Power -

Tasmania Agreement (Hydro-Electric Power Development) Act 1968

Australian Resources Development Bank -

Banking Act 1967

Petroleum Prices Subsidy Scheme -

States Grants (Petroleum Products) Act 1965

Mining, Petroleum and Natural Gas -

Gold-Mining Industry Assistance Act 1965 (increase in rate of subsidy)

Natural Gas Pipeline (South Australia) Agreement Act 1967 (assistance for pipeline from Gidgealpa to Adelaide)

Income Tax Assessment (No. 2) Act 1967 period in which capital subscribed for oil and mining exploration tax deductible extended)

Forests: -

Softwood Forestry Agreements Act 1967 (assistance to States to increase rate of planting)

Shipbuilding (Question No. 1043)

Mr Sinclair:
Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Industry · NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP

– The answer to the honourable members questions is as follows:

The following is a list of vessels under construction or on order, through the Australian Shipbuilding Board, in Australian yards for Australian owners:

In addition to the above twenty-five vessels a number of smaller vessels are also under construction at various yards in Australia.

To my knowledge only one trading vessel at present is on order or under construction overseas for an Australian owner. This is an 11,000 dwt roll-on roll-off vessel for the Australian National Line, which is under construction at Kawasaki Dockyard, Japan. It is due to be completed in August 1969. Approval to purchase this vessel was given on15th April 1968.

Shipbuilding and Shipping Subsidies (Question No. 1046)

Mr Sinclair:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

Records, for all countries, of subsidies, for maintenance or taxation allowances, or other forms of assistance for shipbuilding and shipping industries paid or allowed by overseas countries are not available. However, my department does have some information in respect of a number of countries. Details are set out in the attached list.

Iron Ore (Question No. 1047)

Mr Charles Jones:

asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

  1. How many iron ore export contracts have been signed during each of the last5 years?
  2. If so, what is the name of the exporting company in each case?
  3. Are these companies Australian or foreign owned?
  4. To which country was the ore exported or is to be exported?
  5. What quantity of ore was, or is to be exported, and what is its value?
  6. What royalties have been or will be paid on these exports?
Mr Fairbairn:

– The following answer is provided to the honourable member’s question:

  1. Contracts involving exports of iron ore to Japan which have received Commonwealth approval are as follows:


Western Mining Corporation

Frances-Creek Iron Mining Corp. Pty Ltd 1965-

Morgan Mining and Industrial Co. Pty Ltd

Savage River Mines

Mt Newman Consortium

Goldsworthy Mining Ltd

Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd (three contracts)


Goldsworthy Mining Ltd


Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd (four contracts)

BHP (two contracts)


Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd

Goldsworthy Mining Ltd (two contracts)

Mt Newman Consortium (four contracts)

Frances-CreekIron Mining Corp. Pty Ltd

  1. The contracts mentioned in 1 and 2 above relate to exports of iron ore and iron ore pellets to Japan. Exports are also being made to Europe and while there are numerous contracts the quantities involved in each are relatively small. Numerous spot sales of iron ore have also been negotiated with Japan, but these have not been included in the foregoing.
  2. Contracts with Japanese steelmills, approved by the Commonwealth Government, amount to about 402 million tons of lump iron ore, iron ore fines and iron ore pellets. The approximate value of these contracts is $A3,250 million. Exports will take place over a 22-year period (from 1966).

Exports in 1967-68 were:

  1. Royalty rates as prescribed by State legislation are as follows:

Western Australia -

  1. Dampier Mining Co. Ltd (BHP),15 cents per ton.
  2. Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd, Goldsworthy Mining Ltd, Mt Newman Consortium

    1. 71/2% of thef.o.b. revenue on direct shipping ore (not used locally) with a minimum of 60 cents per ton.
    2. 33/4% of the f.o.b. revenue on fine ore (not used locally) with a minimum of 30 cents per ton. (iii)15 cents per ton on fines, (iv)15 cents per ton on iron concentrates produced from locally used ore by secondary processing, and on locally used ore. (v)71/2% of the f.o.b. revenue on all other iron ore.
  3. Western Mining Corporation Ltd

    1. 45 cents per ton on the first 5,100,000 tons with a rise or fall clause depending on shipping freight rates.
    2. 60 cents per ton on ore in excess of 5,100,000 tons.
    3. 15 cents per ton on ores other than direct shipping ores, or on concentrates.

Northern Territory - 11/4% of ex-mine value except when on an Aboriginal reserve when royalty is 21/2% of ex-mine value.

South Australia -

  1. high grade ore - 15 cents per ton.

    1. jaspilite - 5 cents per ton.

Tasmania - pellets - 15 cents per ton.

Immigration (Question No. 1052)

Mr Charles Jones:

asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:

  1. How many non-European migrants have been admitted annually to Australia for the past 10 years as permanent and long term arrivals and what were their nationalities?
  2. What was their sex and occupation?
Mr Snedden:
Minister for Immigration · BRUCE, VICTORIA · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s questions is as follows:

Permanent and long term arrivals’ is a statistical term for persons admitted for periods in excess of 12 months. The following figures relate only to persons admitted for indefinite stay or, in more recent years as migrants. They exclude persons admitted under temporary permit but with no intention of indefinite stay, even though the period of stay will exceed 12 months (e.g., staff of overseas companies, students and specialist workers).

It was not until March 1966 when the Government reviewed the non-European policy that provision has existed for non-Europeans to be admitted as migrants. There has however been provision since the late 1950’s for non-Europeans to be admitted under family sponsorship, for residence if the non-European is the spouse, dependent minor child, aged parent or fiancee of an Australian citizen or person having resident status in Australia.

Until the second half of 1961 statistics were not maintained of the number of non-Europeans admitted during given periods. It is not possible therefore, to supply annual arrivals prior to 1st July 1961. From 1st July 1961 to 30th June 1968 the number of non-Europeans admitted for residence under family sponsorship and, since the March 1966 review of policy, as migrants has been:

Prior to the March 1966 review of policy, statistics were maintained under four broad nationality headings only. The detailed nationality statistics since 1st January 1966 to 30th June 1968 of persons admitted under family sponsorship were:

The countries of residence from which NonEuropeans have been admitted as migrants since the March 1966 review of policy until 30th June 1968 have been as follows:

The occupation of persons admitted under family sponsorship is not recorded.

Statistics relating to sex are compiled on the basis of the total migrant intake and cross-tabulated to age, marital status and occupation but without distinction as to race. The sex of non-European migrants is not therefore separately recorded.

Immigration (Question No. 1053)

Mr Charles Jones:

asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:

  1. How many assisted migrants have entered Australia since 1st July 1964, by (a) ship, and (b) air, and from which countries did they come?
  2. How many of these migrants were carried by each (a) shipping line and (b) airline, and at what cost to the Commonwealth?
Mr Snedden:

– The following is the answer to the honourable member’s question: 1. (a) and (b). The schedules hereunder give details of all assisted passage arrivals by sea and by air during the period 1st July 1964 to 30th June 1968 inclusive, and separately from 1st July 1968 to31st December 1968. The latter figures must be regarded as preliminary at this stage, and will not be confirmed until they have been computerised by the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics.

Assisted migrants settling in Australia travel under arrangements made by the Commonwealth Government by the Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM), or by other governments, or make their own passage bookings through normal commercial channels. The Department of Immigration arranges transport by sea and air for British assisted migrants and for most of those who arc approved under the Special

Passage Assistance Programme (SPAP). ICEM arranges transportation for migrants and refugees from European countries moved through that organisation. This function is assumed in Holland by the Netherlands authorities for Dutch migrants. All migrants approved under the General Assisted Passage Programme (GAPS), and some approved under the Special Passage Assistance Programme (SPAP), make their own passage bookings. The latter scheme came into operation with effect as from 1st July 1966. 2. (a) and (b) Because negotiations for transport arc not conducted by my Department - and hence no record of actual berth and seat allocations is kept - 1 am unable readily to give a detailed statement of the shipping companies and airlines by which assisted migrants travelling under the auspices of ICEM and the Netherlands Government were carried. This information could only be obtained by an extensive analysis of nominal rolls covering every aircraft and every vessel which brought assisted migrants to Australia over the four-year period. However, approximately 80% of those migrants who travelled by air under ICEM auspices would have been moved in flights arranged by Qantas during the years mentioned above.

Transport arrangements for British assisted and SPAP migrants travelling by air are made by the Department of Immigration in conjunction with Qantas. British assisted migrants are moved on scheduled services of both Qantas and BOAC, supplemented by special charter flights as required. Charter flights are also used to bring SPAP migrants to Australia and these are likewise arranged by Qantas either with that airline’s own aircraft or under cross-charter arrangements. Since March 1968, all charter flights taken for British and SPAP migrants have been carried out by Qantas’ own jet aircraft.

Seas transport for British assisted migrants (and since January 1967, for SPAP migrants) was arranged with various shipping companies. During the years concerned berths for British assisted migrants were accepted with the following companies:

The above figures do not coincide exactly with those shown in the schedule under Question 1. This is because statistics for various assisted passage programmes are coded in terms of arrivals. On the other hand, shipping statistics are based on departures, and departures in one financial year often arrive during the next year. Another reason for the apparent discrepancy is that infants who travel free of cost, do not occupy berths. Thus the number of berths taken in any period is always smaller than the number of persons carried during that time.

Since 1st January 1967, shipping berths for SPAP migrants were taken as follows:

It is the practice to negotiate a long term agreement (currently, 3 years) with a shipping company, capable of undertaking such a commitment, for a relatively large number of berths for assisted passage migrants. This covers basic foreseen requirements and enables the programme to be planned in the certain knowledge that sufficient berths will be available to meet our needs over the period at a price and on conditions favourable to the Commonwealth. Additional berths both from that contractor and other carriers are taken on an ad hoc basis as required at the same price and under similar conditions. All established shipping companies engaged in regular passenger operations to Australia are given the opportunity of offering berths for the carriage of assisted migrants.

The cost to the Commonwealth for the transport of assisted migrants from 1964 to 1968 was as follows:

MineralProductionIncome (Question No. 1055)

Dr Everingham:

asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

Is he able to say what percentage of the $953m mineral production in Australia in 1967 has been devoted to (a) Government charges, including rates and taxation, (b) research, exploration, prospecting, conservation, community development or other productive activities apart from mining, smelting and refining, (c) wages and salaries of Australians, (d) fees and salaries to overseas firms, consultants and executives including those temporarily in Australia, and (e) profits, dividends, interest, publicity and (promotion paid to (0 Australians and (ii) others?

Mr Fairbairn:

– The following answer is supplied:

The information sought is very detailed and the necessary statistics are not available. I regret, therefore, I am unable to provide answers to the question asked by the honourable member.

Naturalisation (Question No. 1054)

Mr Charles Jones:

asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:

  1. How many applications for naturalisation have been rejected annually since 1st January and what were the reasons for rejection grouped under headings such as security, education, etc?
  2. How many applications were rejected in each group?
Mr Snedden:

– The answer to the honourable member’s questions is as follows:

The following table shows the annual numbers of applications which have been either refused or deferred for a further period since 1st January 1965:

Roads (Question No. 1056)


asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

Has any communication been received from the Premier of New South Wales concerning the matter of special Commonwealth financial assistance for the reconstruction of New South Wales Trunk Road No. 92?

Mr Gorton:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

There was correspondence on this matter between the then Prime Minister and the Premier in 1966 but no recent approach has been received.

Judiciary Act: State Courts (Question No. 1057)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Attorney-General, upon notice:

On which of the matters on which the Commonwealth Superior Court Bill permits Rules of Court to be made is the Judiciary Act committee empowered to recommend uniform rules to be followed in Slate courts invested with federal jurisdiction?

Mr Bowen:

– The following answer is now supplied:

The Commonwealth Superior Court Bill permits Rules of Court to be made on matters of practice Or procedure and matters incidental to practice or procedure or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for the conduct of the Court’s business. Some, but by no means all, of these matters are specifically mentioned in the Bill. As the Judiciary Act committee has been asked to report on the provisions of the Judiciary Act that at present require the application of State laws in Courts exercising federal jurisdiction in matters not Covered by the Constitution or the laws of the Commonwealth, it is empowered to recommend, if it is so inclined, uniform rules to be followed in State courts, in matters of practice of procedure generally or in particular matters, when exercising federal jurisdiction.

Hifar Reactor (Question No. 1059)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

  1. Is the Australian Atomic Energy Commission reactor HIFAR currently operating satisfactorily?
  2. Is the Commission now satisfied with the safety of the reactor?
  3. Why has the reactor not yet produced its full output of IS MW as foreshadowed in the Commission’s fifteenth report?
Mr Fairbairn:

– The following answer is now supplied:

  1. Yes.
  2. The Commission has never had any doubts concerning the safety of the reactor HIFAR.
  3. As indicated in the fifteenth annual report, operation of HIFAR at 15 MW is dependent upon the introduction of Mark IV or V concentric type fuel elements. The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority which is the sole manufacturer of this type of fuel element is as yet unable to provide a version which would be satisfactory for the conditions under which HIFAR is operated.

Electron Microscopes (Question No. 1060)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

  1. How many electron microscopes have been purchased for the Atomic Energy Commission?
  2. What was (a) the date of purchase and (b) the price of each electron microscope?
Mr Fairbairn:

– The following answer is now supplied:

  1. Three. 2. (a) and (b)-

Australian Atomic Energy Commission (Question No. 1061)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

  1. What was the cost of the block of high activity handling cells to which reference is made on page 65 of the Fifteenth Annual Report of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission?
  2. For what programmes, purposes and periods have cells been used?
  3. Are the cells currently in use; if not, when were they last used?
Mr Fairbairn:

– The following answer is now supplied:

  1. $823,145.
  2. and 3. The first block of high activity handling cells at the Australian Atomic Energy Commission Research Establishment were commissioned in 1960 next to the reactor HIFAR. These have been in continuous use since that date for the disassembly of irradiation rigs, the investigation of operating problems with HIFAR components and for the metallurgical examination and testing of irradiated materials being developed for fuel elements for future power reactors.

The new block of high activity handling cells was constructed to allow this work to be carried out more efficiently and to permit the introduction of other operations such as the separation of specific radioisotopes for medical use and chemical studies involving highly radioactive materials.

The new cells are currently in the final stages of commissioning and it is expected that they will be used for work with highly radioactive materials early in the new year. Commissioning of the cells has involved checks on the various safety and functional aspects, the incorporation of additional features found necessary as a consequence of such surveys, the remedying by the contractor of minor constructional defects appearing within the maintenance period, the provision of specialised in-cell services and the installation of the specialised incell equipment.

Australian Atomic Energy Commission Research Establishment (Question No. 1062)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

  1. How many professional scientists have (a) been recruited into and (b) resigned from each of the scientific grades of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission Research Establishment in each year since its establishment?
  2. How many professional scientists listed in Appendix D of the Third Annual Report of the Commission are still employed by the Commission?
  3. In each of the last 5 years how many vacancies have remained unfilled in each of the professional scientific grades in the Australian Atomic Energy Commission Research Establishment?
Mr Fairbairn:

– The following answers are provided to the honourable member’s questions:

  1. Twelve of the thirty-one professional staff listed in the Appendix are still employed with the Commission. Of the remainder four have died whilst in the Commission’s service; the balance have taken appointments in universities, industry or other branches of the Commonwealth and State Governments.
  2. The scientific staff of the Commission are not recruited into specific vacancies. The allocation of available staff numbers between the scientific, technical, trade and administrative areas is determined by the Director with the approval of the Commission.

Australian Atomic Energy Commission (Question No. 1063)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

  1. What is the total sum expended by the Australian Atomic Energy Commission in support of research in other organisations?
  2. What proportion of this was in the form of grants to persons previously employed by the Commission?
Mr Fairbairn:

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. $1,279,000.
  2. Of the total funds expended on extramural research approximately 6% has been awarded to persons who have at one time been employed by the Commission.

South Vietnam (Question No. 1065)

Dr Everingham:

asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

  1. Has his attention been drawn to the final paragraph in the document entitled ‘Statement by the Government of the United States of America’ presented to the House this day, slating that the United States will not recognise a South Vietnamese government not freely chosen through democratic process, and that the imposition of any coalition government would conflict with this principle?
  2. Does the Government support this statement?
  3. Does the Government support the holding of elections throughout South Vietnam under the joint supervision and control of the Saigon regime, Communists and a neutral team?
  4. Would the holding of such an election and the return of a government of communists and non-communists amount to the imposition of a coalition government?
Mr Gorton:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. Yes. 2 to 4. The Government has itself subscribed to statements similar to that referred to in part 1. of the question. For instance, in the communique issued in Wellington on 4 April 1968 the Foreign Ministers of the Republic of Vietnam and its allies agreed that ‘the South Vietnamese people must be assured the right to determine their own future through democratic and constitutional processes without either external interference or terrorist pressure. The imposition of any form of government, including the spurious “coalition” advocated by the Communists and some others, would be incompatible wilh this principle and therefore completely unacceptable.’

Shipping: Grain Exports (Question No. 1071)

Mr Charles Jones:

asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:

  1. Which are the ten major grain exporting ports in Australia, and what quantity of grain was shipped through each port annually for the past 5 years?
  2. What is the largest ship which can load grain at each of these ports?
Mr Sinclair:

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. The following table sets out the major ports from which grain is exported and lists the quantities of grain shipped through each port for the financial years 1963/64 to 1967/68.
  2. Included in the table are the maximum dimensions of ships which can be accommodated at the grain loading berths of each port. The depth of water available at each berth is also listed.

Power Production in Australia (Question No. 939)

Dr Everingham:

asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

  1. Has his attention been drawn to reports that French and other foreign interests are competing for a chance to set up a giant powerhouse in Queensland as a profitable investment?
  2. Is it a fact that Commonwealth Railways, by ministerial instruction, are carrying Leigh Creek coal at a loss for power production in South Australia?
  3. Are the rapidly developing States of Queensland and Western Australia the only Slates which have not yet convinced the Government that Commonwealth finance is needed for cheap power production if the profits from such production are to be kept in Australia?
Mr Fairbairn:

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. I understand that some newspaper reports have referred to a French organisation willing to invest in a power project in -Central Queensland.
  2. When the Leigh Creek coalfield was opened, a special freight rate was quoted by Commonwealth Railways with a view to affording assistance in the development of brown coal deposits. The rate was confirmed at Government level and was maintained whilst carriage was continued over the narrow gauge railway which then served the field. When the new standard gauge railway was constructed, the rate for the carriage of coal was reviewed and the rate ultimately adopted was fixed by Government negotiation, and has been maintained until the present date. At volumes currently carried the existing rate of SI. 15 per ton meets the present cost of handling this traffic.
  3. It is correct that the Commonwealth has not provided financial assistance for power production in Queensland or Western Australia.

University Scholarships, Places, Incomes (Question No. 595)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

  1. In what years since the inception of the Commonwealth Scholarships Scheme has there been an increase in the number of Commonwealth scholarships tenable at universities, and what was the increase in each case?
  2. How many new students were admitted to universities in each year since the inception of the Scheme, and what was the total university enrolment in each year?
  3. What was the number of Commonwealth scholarships tenable at universities expressed as a percentage of total university enrolments in each year?
  4. How many eligible applications for Commonwealth scholarships tenable at universities were submitted in each year, and how many eligible applicants did not receive scholarships?
  5. What percentage of eligible applicants received scholarships in each year?
  6. How many students passed matriculation level public examinations at the end of each year?
  7. How many Commonwealth scholars were enrolled in the first year of their courses at each university this year?
  8. How many (a) full-time and (b) part-time Commonwealth scholars are studying at universities this year?
  9. How many full-time Commonwealth scholars at universities receive (a) part-living allowances and (b) full-living allowances this year?
  10. What is expected to be the Commonwealth expenditure on university (a) fees and (b) allowances this year?
  11. How many Commonwealth scholars failed in (a) the first year and (b) later years of their courses at university last year?
  12. What was the percentage of failure in each case?
  13. What was the student-staff ratio in each university last year?
  14. Which universities and university colleges applied entry quotas this year, and to which faculties in the universities and university colleges were quotas applied?
  15. What percentage of eligible applicants were excluded from each faculty by the application of entry quotas?
  16. How many medical students are enrolled at each university this year?
  17. What fees were payable for each degree course in each university this year?
  18. Which universities have raised fees this year and by what (a) amount and (b) percentage?
  19. What income and what percentage of its income did each university receive from (a) the Commonwealth, (b) a State, (c) endowments and benefactions and (d) fees in the last year for which information is available?
  20. What (a) amount and (b) percentage of fees received by each university in that year was paid by the Commonwealth?
  21. What was the (a) number of males, (b) number of females and (c) total number of school leavers at last year secondary level for each State and Territory in 19677
  22. What was the (a) number of males and (b) females as a percentage of the total number of school leavers at last year secondary level for each State and Territory in each case?
  23. What was the (a) number of male, (b) number of female and (c) total number of new entries to universities for each of the States and the Australian Capital Territory in 1967?
  24. What was the (a) number of males and (b) number of females as a percentage of the total number of new entries to universities for each of the States and the Australian Capital Territory in each case?
Mr Malcolm Fraser:

– The answers to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. The Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme began in 1951 and the following table shows the number of Open Entrance awards made available each year since that time to students commencing courses. Further from 1951 to 1963 Open Entrance scholarships not taken up or vacated in any year were made available in the following year as Later Year awards to students already engaged upon their studies. These awards were additional to the normal Open Entrance quota and the numbers made available each year are shown in brackets, u 1964 the number of Later Year awards to be made available was determined as a separate quota; figures showing the number of awards in each category since 1964 are also given in the table.
  1. The following table shows the number of new enrolments and the total number of student enrolments in Australia since the inception of the Commonwealth Scholarships Scheme, 1951:

Source: Commonwealth Statistician - University Statistics.

  1. Between 1951 and 1965, students who obtained awards under the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme were able to apply them to courses in universities or in certain other institutions. Some 5% of successful candidates elected to use their awards at institutions other than universities. In 1966 and subsequent years, awards for university study were made under the Commonwealth University Scholarship Scheme. In 1966, a new scheme, the Commonwealth Advanced Education Scholarship Scheme, was introduced to provide assistance for students at tertiary institutions other than universities.

The numbers of university students holding Commonwealth scholarships each year and their relation to total university enrolments in Bachelor degree, diploma and certificate courses are set out in the following table:

  1. and 5. For the purpose of selection for Commonwealth Scholarships an applicant is regarded as ineligible if he does not meet certain requirements related to age, permanent residence in Australia, previous study and possession of other awards which involve a bond. However, as a check of eligibility is carried out only in the case of applicants whose academic results are of sufficient standard for them to be offered scholarships, no information is available on the total number of applicants who were ‘eligible’. The following table shows for each year from 1952 the total number of applicants for Commonwealth Scholarships (since 1966 Commonwealth University

Scholarships), the number offered awards, the number of acceptances, and the percentage of total applicants who accepted an award.

  1. The table below provides information on matriculation level examinations in each State for the years 1951-1967. Students shown as passing in Victoria. Tasmania and South Australia (1966 and 1967 only) have qualified to matriculate. For New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia (1951- 1965) and Western Australia, those passing have not necessarily qualified to matriculate.


New South Wales - Figures for the years 1951-1966 are Ibr students passing four or more subjects at the Leaving Certificate examination. The low figures in 1966 are for- students who were making a repeat attempt at the Leaving Certificate examination, 1965 being the last year in which this examination was the final secondary examination. Private students passing individual subjects are excluded. The figure for 1967 is for students passing five or more subjects at the Higher School Certificate Examination. Victoria - Figures are for those students passing sufficient subjects to matriculate. Queensland - From 1956 onwards figures are for those passing one or more subjects. Soufi! Australia - Figures are for students passing sufficient subjects to qualify for: (i) Leaving Certificate 1951-1965; (ii) Matriculation 1966-67. Students who completed requirements for Leaving Certificate or Matriculation at supplementary examinations have been excluded. Numbers passing in 1966 were low as many students qualified for Matriculation on subjects passed at 1965 Leaving Certificate examination. Western Australia - Figures are for students passing five or more subjects, one of which was English 1951-65 and passing five or more subjects (not necessarily including English) 1966-67. Tasmania - Figures arc for students qualifying to matriculate in years shown. Matriculation courses may bc attempted over one or two years in Tasmania. Figures for the years 1951-1961 are for secondary school students only. {: type="1" start="7"} 0. The following numbers of Commonwealth University scholars are enrolled in the first year of courses in 1.968. These include students who accepted awards in earlier years and deferred their entry to university: {: type="1" start="8"} 0. At 30 June I96S there were: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. 23,286 Commonwealth scholars in full-time studies at universities 1. 1,498 Commonwealth scholars in part-time studies at universities. 1. Under the Commonwealth University Scholarship Scheme, living allowance is payable to scholars in full-time study subject to a means test. For most scholars the rate of allowance is assessed on the basis of their parents' incomes. At 30 June 1968 6,365 of these scholars were eligible to receive part living allowance and 2,770 were, eligible to receive full living allowance. In addition there were 1,174 scholars classed as 'independent' of whom the majority receive full living allowance. 2. In the present financial year (1968-69) expenditure on benefits for Commonwealth University scholarships is expected to be as follows: 11 and 12. The numbers and percentages of Commonwealth University scholars who failed in 1967 were: {: type="1" start="13"} 0. The student/staff ratios in Australian Universities in 1967 are shown in the following table: {: type="1" start="14"} 0. The Universities and the Faculties or Schools in which quotas were imposed this year were as follows: The Australian National University wished to limit enrolments in the subject of Political Science I but enrolments were much less than the limit envisaged. Macquarie limited its total enrolment. {: type="1" start="15"} 0. Statistics of eligible applications classified by the faculty of first choice are not available. 1. The numbers of medical students enrolled at Australian Universities in 1968 were as follows: 17 and 18. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. University fees paid by the Commonwealth in 1966 in respect of Commonwealth University (undergraduate) scholars. * It should be noted that the figures given in this column relate only to fees paid in respect of Commonwealth University (undergraduate) scholars, and are therefore comparable with those provided in answer to similar questions in previous years. Other payments are made to the universities by the Commonwealth for sponsored overseas students (e.g. Colombo Plan students) and students holding cadetships and free places. The percentages in column (b) of part 20 shows the relationship between student fees, as defined, paid by the Commonwealth and students' fees paid from all sources as used in the answer to part19. The two sets of figures used to calculate percentages in part 20 (b) are not strictly comparable. The figures in part 20 (a) include fees paid to student unions, etc., whereas the part 19 figures exclude these; again the part 19 figures include an unknown element for post-graduate fees. The amounts involved are relatively small but would, if known, require a small variation in the percentages given in the answer to part 20. 21 and 22. Source: Commonwealth Statistician - University Statistics, 1967 - Part I, Students and Degrees Conferred. {:#subdebate-36-16} #### Education: Pre-school Children and Teachers (Question No. 746) {: #subdebate-36-16-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister or Education and Science, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What is (a) the entry standard required and {: type="a" start="b"} 0. the length of course offered by each kindergarten teachers' college listed in his statement of 14th August 1968 and by any other such institution? 1. How many (a) government and (b) nongovernment pre-school centres are there in each State? 2. How many persons have qualified as preschool teachers in each State in each of the last 10 years? 3. What were the enrolments of (a) government and (b) non-government pre-school centres in each State in each of the last 10 years? 4. What percentage of eligible children in each State was enrolled for pre-school education in each of the last 10 years? 5. What was the ratio of qualified pre-school teachers to enrolled children in (a) government preschool centres, (b) non-government pre-school centres and (c) all pre-school centres in (i) each State, (ii) each Territory and (iii) the Commonwealth in each of the last 10 years? 6. What percentage of persons employed as preschool teachers in (a) government pre-school centres, (b) non-government pre-school centres and {: type="a" start="c"} 0. all pre-school centres in (i) each State, (ii) each Territory and (iii) the Commonwealth consisted of qualified pre-school teachers in each of the last 10 years? 7. What percentage of the income of (a) government pre-school centres, (b) non-government preschool centres and (c) all pre-school centres in (i) each State, (ii) each Territory and (hi) the Commonwealth was derived from (A) the Commonwealth Government, (B) State governments, (C) fees and (D) other sources in each of the past 10 years? 8. What percentage of persons enrolled as trainee pre-school teachers in (a) each State (b) each Terri tory and (c) the Commonwealth received bursaries in each of the past 10 years, and what was the value of the bursary in each case expressed as a percentage of the allowance payable at the time to a' trainee primary or secondary teacher? 9. Which department is responsible for the supervision of pre-school education in each State and Territory? 10. What is the number of Aboriginal children of pre-school age in each State, and what (a) number and (b) percentage of such Aboriginal children in each State is enrolled for pre-school education? {: #subdebate-36-16-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows: 1. (a) The required entry standard for each institution, as stated by that institution, is as follows: {: type="a" start="i"} 0. Kindergarten Teachers' Colleges Sydney - A pass in English and four other subjects at the New South Wales Higher School Certificate Examination. A matriculation qualication is preferred. Melbourne - A pass in English and four other subjects at the Victorian Leaving Certificate Examination together with at least a further year of approved study and/or experience. A full or partial completion of matriculation requirements is preferred. Brisbane - A pass in English and four other subjects at the Queensland Senior Examination. Adelaide - A pass in English and four other subjects at the South Australian Leaving Examination (Public Examination Board, Technical or Area). Perth- To have qualified for the Western Australian Leaving Certificate. A matriculation qualification is preferred. {: type="i" start="ii"} 0. Other Institutions Sydney Day Nursery Teachers' College - A pass in English and four other subjects at the New South Wales Higher School Certificate. A matriculation qualification is preferred. Hobart Teachers' College - To have completed a year of matriculation study. Full matriculation qualifications are preferred. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. For each of the institutions in (a) the length of course offered is three years. 2. (a) In the States most government assistance in respect of pre-school education takes the form of grants to independent bodies which administer pre-school centres classified, for the purpose of this question, as 'non-government' centres. In addition, most mainland States themselves provide and administer pre-school facilities, often in hospitals, child welfare institutions and the like. These 'government' centres are few in number and their enrolments are not included in the statistics which I shall quote in reply to later parts of this question. In Tasmania, however, the major part of pre-school education is provided at 60 government centres. 2 (b) Non-government pre-school centres in the States may be divided into two groups: (i) affiliated' or 'subsidised' centres which receive subsidies from State governments through affiliating organisations such as the Kindergarten Union; (ii) 'unaffiliated' centres, most of which do not receive government financial assistance. Centres in group (i) provide a generally recognised pre-school education; of those in group (ii) a small number provide a similar programme to those in group (i), while many provide little more than child minding facilities. For group (ii) the numbers given are approximate only. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. The following table shows the available information on graduates from pre-school teacher training institutions. 4. (a) and (b). The following table shows the available enrolment information for each State in each of the last 10 years. The information relates to affiliated centres only, except in Tasmania where figures are for government centres only. Because of the diversity of pre-school activity, and of the various ways in which enrolments in these centres are recorded, it cannot be assumed that the above figures are directly comparable from Stats to State. {: type="1" start="5"} 0. This information is available for all of the States only for the years 1963 to 1966. The percentages have been derived by expressing the number of children enrolled in pre-school centres as a percentage of the number of children in the population aged 3-5 years not attending Infants or Primary Schools. For the reasons mentioned in answer to part 4, the figures are not comparable from State to State. . Not available. Source: Australian Pre-School Association. {: type="1" start="6"} 0. Since children enrolled in pre-school centres may attend for from one to five days a week and daily attendance may vary from three to six hours, and as some centres may operate a morning session for one group of children and an afternoon session for others, it is not possible to produce meaningful pupil-teacher ratios for pre-schools. 7- (0 (a) (b) (c). The information given in the following table relates to government pre-school centres in Tasmania and to non-government affiliated' pre-school centres in the other States. The percentage figures relate the number of teachers with a pre-school training college qualification to the total number of teachers employed. The total number does not include kindergarten assistants. Source: Australian Pre-School Association. 7. (ii) (a) (b) (c). The following table gives similar information for the Northern Territory. Preschool centres for Aboriginals are included. In the Australian Capital Territory all persons employed as pre-school teachers in government and non-government centres in each of the last 10 years have been qualified. 7. (iii) (a) (b) (c). This information is not available. 8. (i) (a) (b) (c). This information is not available. It could only be obtained by examining the financial accounts of individual pre-school centres, as they differ widely in their sources of income and in the manner in which that income is received. 8. (ii) (a) (b) (c). In the Northern Territory, 100% of running costs of government pre-school centres for Aboriginal children is met by the Commonwealth Government. For non-government centres for Aboriginal children, total income is not made public. For community pre-school centres the entire costs of buildings and salaries are met by the Commonwealth Government; full details of other income are not readily available. Of the two non-government community pre-school centres, one received substantial initial capital assistance and receives 66.6% of running costs from the Commonwealth Government, the other is entirely supported by a mining company. A third centre destroyed by fire in 1966, received a subsidy from the Government equal to the teacher's salary. In the Australian Capital Territory, actual income of government pre-school centres is provided entirely by voluntary contributions from parents; however, these funds are applied only to providing equipment for the centres and wages of cleaners. All other expenses including staff salaries are met directly by the Commonwealth Government. The non-government pre-school centre receives no direct governmental assistance. 8. (iii) (a) (b) (c). For the reasons set out above no meaningful figure can be provided for the Commonwealth as a whole. {: type="1" start="9"} 0. (a). The percentage of pre-school teacher trainees receiving financial assistance in each State is shown in the following table. Information is available only for 1962, 1963, and 1968. As bonded trainees at State Teachers' Colleges receive varying allowances depending on age and place of residence and pay no fees, while many pre-school scholarships and bursaries cover only the amount of tuition fees charged by the colleges or in addition provide a living allowance subject to a means test, it is not possible to provide realistic figures for the relationship between allowances paid to preschool teacher trainees and those paid to other teacher trainees. Source: Australian Pre-School Association, and Commonwealth Scholarship Board Reports. 9. (b) Pre-school teachers for the Territories are trained in State Kindergarten Training Colleges and have been included in 9. (a). 9. (c) The percentage of pre-school teacher trainees receiving bursary or scholarship assistance throughout the Commonwealth was 31.8 in 1962, 29.4 in 1963 and 38.5 in 1968. {: type="1" start="1"} 0. My information is that the following government departments are involved in varying degrees in the supervision of pre-schools: New South Wales: The New South Wales Department of Education through the Kindergarten Union of N.S.W., and the New South Wales Child Welfare Department through the Sydney Day Nursery and Nursery Schools Association. Victoria: The Victorian Health Department. Queensland: The Queensland Department of Education through the Creche and Kindergarten Association of Queensland. South Australia: The South Australian Education Department through the Kindergarten Union of South Australia. Western Australia: The Western Australian Education Department through the Kindergarten Association of Western Australia. Tasmania: The Tasmanian Education Department. Northern Territory: The Department of Education and Science and the Department of the Interior. Australian Capital Territory: The Department of Education and Science. {: type="1" start="11"} 0. The number of Aboriginal children in preschool centres in each State is not known. {:#subdebate-36-17} #### Education: Reports to Commonwealth Government (Question No. 934) {: #subdebate-36-17-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What persons and bodies have been called upon to report to the Commonwealth Government on educational matters since **Sir Robert** Menzies' answer to me on 5th May 1965 (Hansard, page 1199)? 1. What was the purpose of their inquiries, when were they called *upon* to initiate their inquiries, and when were their reports received? {: #subdebate-36-17-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- The answer to the honourable member's questions is as follows: >The honourable member's attention is directed to the answer the Minister for Health (representing my predecessor) gave him in reply to his Parliamentary Question No. 686 on this matter (Hansard 2 and 3 November 1967, page 2755). Since that reply was given, two further inquiries into educational matters have been instituted. > >On 2nd June 1968 I announced the establishment of a committee which, with the co-operation of the States, would inquire into and make recommendations on the desirability of achieving conformity in the naming of awards for courses in Colleges of Advanced Education within the broad approach that has so far been adpoted for the development of the Colleges. The Committee, which began its hearings in July, is being chaired by **Mr F.** M. Wiltshire, O.B.E., Managing Director of the Melbourne firm, The Wiltshire File Company Pty Ltd. The other two members are Professor J. J. Pratt, Professor of Education at the University of New South Wales and, with the agreement of the New South Wales Minister for Education, **Dr R.** L. Werner, Director of the New South Wales Institutes of Technology and Business Studies. This Committee has not yet reported. > >On 6th June 1968 I announced in the House of Representatives that, after detailed discussions with the States, the Government had decided to establish an inquiry into academic salaries in colleges of advanced education. (Hansard, page 2078). The terms of reference of the inquiry are as follows: > >To advise on salaries of lecturer and senior lecturer in colleges of advanced education having regard *to* present levels of academic and professional salaries in Austrafia, with a view to such advice being used by the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Advanced Education as the basis for recommending grants for colleges of advanced education. > >The inquiry consists of a judicial figure who is assisted by two assessors, along the lines of the Inquiry into University salaries which was conducted by **Mr Justice** Eggleston in 1964. The Honourable **Mr Justice** C. A. Sweeney, a Deputy President of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission and a Presidential Member of the Trade Practices Tribunal, has as assessors **Mr H.** H. Dickinson, a member of the Public Service Board of New South Wales, and **Mr D.** R. Zeidler, Executive Director at the Imperial Chemical Industries of Australia and New Zealand Limited since 1962. These two assessors were nominated by the States of New South Wales and Victoria respectively. This Committee has not yet reported. > >As was the practice on the two previous occasions this answer does not include the activities of bodies, such as the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Advanced Education and the Australian Universities Commission, which have a continuing responsibility for advising the Minister. {:#subdebate-36-18} #### Education: Commonwealth Grants (Question No. 1014) {: #subdebate-36-18-s0 .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP irns asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Are grants under the States Grants (Science Laboratories) Aci made on the basis of the student population in both government and independent schools? If not, what criteria is used? 1. Did more independent schools than government schools receive Commonwealth aid in the last period? If so, *why?* 2. Are there any representatives from the staffs of government schools on the Standards Committee? If not, why not? 3. Has the percentage of grants given to independent schools risen from the last period to the current one, while that given to government schools has fallen? If so, why? 4. What information is available on particular grants made to individual schools, both governments and private? {: #subdebate-36-18-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The distribution between groups of schools under the successive Acts providing grants for secondary school science facilities takes note of both State populations and secondary enrolment. Since 1st July 1967 the total annual amount for independent schools has been double what it was in previous years in accordance with the endorsement by the people at the 1966 election of the Government's proposal that this should be done. 1. No. More than 1,000 government schools and approximately 300 independent schools received assistance with laboratories or apparatus between 1st July 1964 and 30th June 1968. During that period the State authorities decided to make allocations for laboratories at 383 government schools and the State Advisory Committees for independent schools recommended initial grants for laboratories at 411 independent schools. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. As the functions of the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Standards for Science Facilities in Independent Secondary Schools relate only to independent schools, representative of the staffs of government schools are not included in its membership. 1. Yes, see 1 above. 2. Information on particular grants to individual independent schools and the names of government schools assisted with science laboratories covering the period 1st July 1964 to 30th June 1968 was included in lists which I circulated to honourable members on 27th March 1968 during the con sideration of the States Grants (Science Laboratories) Bill 1968. The lists which I circulated in the House on 18th September 1968 gave details of assistance available in the three year period from 1st July 1968 to 30th June 1971 to those independent schools which bad been informed, as at 31st August 1968, of the grants allocated to them. Further lists will be made public from time to time. Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory: Electricity Charges (Question 861) {: #subdebate-36-18-s2 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: >What rates are charged for the supply of electricity in (a) the Australian Capital Territory and (b) the Northern Territory? {: #subdebate-36-18-s3 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {:#subdebate-36-19} #### Canberra and Australian Capital Territory (Question No. 874) {: #subdebate-36-19-s0 .speaker-JWX} ##### Mr J R Fraser:
ALP er asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What revenue has the Commonwealth received in the Australian Capital Territory in each year since 1964 by way of (a) general rates and (b) water rates? 1. How many leases granted under the City Area Leases Ordinance for (a) business, (b) industrial and (c) residential purposes are at present in existence? 2. How many leases granted under the Special Purposes Leases Ordinance are there in the Canberra City area? 3. How many mortgages in the Australian Capital Territory are held at present by (a) the Commissioner for Housing and (b) the Commonwealth of Australia? 4. How many mortgages in the Australian Capital Territory have been taken by (a) the Commissioner for Housing and (b) the Commonwealth of Australia in each year since 1963? 5. What amounts are there at present owing to the Commissioner for Housing and the Commonwealth of Australia by way of unpaid mortgage instalments? 6. How many times in each year since 1963 has (a) the Commissioner for Housing or (b) the Commonwealth of Australia exercised the power of sale as mortgagee? 7. What sum in cash premium payments did the Commonwealth receive in each year between 193S and 1947 from the sale or disposal of leases granted under the City Area Leases Ordinance for residential, business and industrial purposes? 8. What was the average size of the blocks granted for residential purposes in 1950, 1955, I960,' 1965 and in each year since 1965? {: #subdebate-36-19-s1 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows: l. 2. (a) 679. (b) 311. (c) 19,505. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. 172. 4. (a) 5,384. (b) 5,426. 5. (a) 1962-63, 534; 1963-64, 561; 1964-65, 668; 1965-66, 781; 1966-67, 805; 1967-68, 1,066. (b) 1962-63, 542; 1963-64, 842; 1964-65, 1,128; 1965-66, 605; 1966-67, 485; 1967-68, 460. {: type="1" start="6"} 0. Commissioner for Housing, 530,527, Commonwealth of Australia SI 8,370. 7. (a) 1962-63, nil; 1963-64, nil; 1964-65, nil; 1965-66, nil; 1966-67, nil; 1967-68, 4; 1968-69, 1. (b) The Commonwealth of Australia has not exercised the power of sale as mortgagee in any year since 1963. lt is about to do so in one case. 1. 1935, nil; 1936, nil; 1937, $3,250; 1938-45, nil; 1946, $204; 1947, $142. 2. 1950, 33 perches; 1955, 32 perches; 1960, 1 rood; 1965, 36 perches; 1966, 36 perches; 1967, 37 perches; 1968, 1 rood. {:#subdebate-36-20} #### Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory: Workers Compensation (Question No. 88S) {: #subdebate-36-20-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: What Workers' Compensation Acts and Ordinances apply in the (a) Australian Capital Territory and (b) Northern Territory? {: #subdebate-36-20-s1 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Australian Capital Territory - Seamen's Compensation Act 1911-1968; Commonwealth Employees' Compensation Act 1930-1968; Workmen's Compensation Ordinance 1951-1968. 1. Northern Territory - Seamen's Compensation Act 1911-1968; Commonwealth Employee's Compensation Act 1930-1968; Workmen's Compensation Ordinance 1949-1968. {:#subdebate-36-21} #### Civil Aviation (Question No. 953) {: #subdebate-36-21-s0 .speaker-KGH} ##### Mr Hansen: asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Is there only one entrance and exit to the Eagle Farm Airport at Brisbane? 1. Are there any emergency exits for use in the event of a blockage of the existing exit? 2. If not, can suitable exits be made across the Pinkenba railway line? {: #subdebate-36-21-s1 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
Minister for Civil Aviation · DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND · LP -- The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Normally there is only one entrance road used by the travelling public to enter and leave the airport. 1. When races are held at Doomben an arrangement has been made with the Railways Department to provide airport access via the Schneider Road crossing. Other means of access can also be provided through Raceview Avenue and thence via the airport perimeter road or, alternatively, through the Bunour crossing along Reservoir Road. 2. Not applicable in view of the answer to Question 2. {:#subdebate-36-22} #### Northern Territory: Cultural Grants (Question No. 993) {: #subdebate-36-22-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What are the names of organisations which have received assistance from the Northern Terri tory Administration under the Administration's cultural grants programme? 1. What was the (a) purpose and (b) amount of the assistance in each case? {: #subdebate-36-22-s1 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: 1 and 2. {:#subdebate-36-23} #### Northern Territory: Youth Organisations (Question No. 994) {: #subdebate-36-23-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: >When will the Welfare Branch of the Northern Territory Administration complete its inquiry into youth organisations and the recreation needs of young people in the Territory? {: #subdebate-36-23-s1 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The inquiry is a continuing one. A youth welfare officer has been appointed on a permanent basis to continue the inquiry and to provide practical assistance, leadership training and advice. As a result of surveys in the early stages of the inquiry four positions for youth activities and recreation officers for work with Aboriginals on missions and settlements have been created and it is hoped that these will be filled early in 1969. Northern Territory: Aboriginal Housing (Question No. 991) {: #subdebate-36-23-s2 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many Aboriginal families in (a) Darwin and (b) the remainder of the Northern Territory (i) own and (ii) rent houses provided by (A) the Administration, (B) the Housing Commission and (C) private sources? 1. What (a) number and (b) percentage of Administration homes occupied by Aboriginals is located in Aboriginal reserves? {: #subdebate-36-23-s3 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answers to the honourable members questions are as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. (Figures apply to full-blood Aboriginals only.) 2. (a) 583. (b) Approximately 95%. {:#subdebate-36-24} #### Northern Territory: Housing (Question No. 990) {: #subdebate-36-24-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many (a) houses and (b) flats were built in (i) Darwin and (ii) the remainder of the Northern Territory in each of the last 5 years for (A) sale and (B) rental by (1) the Administration, (II) the Housing Commission and (III) private builders? 1. How many persons were listed in each year as waiting to (a) purchase or (b) rent (i) houses and (ii) flats provided by (A) the Administration, (B) the Housing Commission and (C) private builders? 2. What was the average waiting period in each case? 3. What emergency accommodation is available for persons waiting to be allocated (a) houses and (b) flats by (i) the Administration and (ii) the Housing Commission? 4. How many social workers are employed by (a) the Administration and (b)theHousingCommission to assist families with problems arising from prolonged delay in the provision of housing? 5. What is the average rental for (a) houses and (b) flats let by (i) the Administration (ii) the Housing Commission and (iii) private owners? 6. How many public servants are paid allowances in recognition of the cost of housing in the Territory? {: #subdebate-36-24-s1 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="4"} 0. No houses or flats are specifically set aside as emergency accommodation pending allocation cf houses or flats by the Administration or Housing Commission. Single accommodation is available for public servants in hostels. 5. (a) Eleven qualified social workers are employed by the Administration and their work is supplemented by eight welfare officers and three government-subsidised social workers employed by churches; their work is directed to social problems generally including any which may arise from a shortage of housing. {: type="i" start="b"} 0. No social workers are employed by the Housing Commission but there is regular consultation between members of the Commission and the Director of Social Welfare and his officers on problems associated with the housing of families. 6. (i) (a) and (b). Houses and flats administered by the Administration are let to Commonwealth public servants on the basis of 10% of basic salary or wages to a maximum of SIO per week and the average rental is estimated at $7 per week. 1. (a) Darwin $11 per week; elsewhere $16.30 per week, (b) Darwin $14 per week; elsewhere $16.20 per week. 2. (a) Darwin $30 to $40 per week; elsewhere $25 to $35 per week, (b) Darwin $30 to $50 per week; elsewhere $25 to $40 per week. 3. There are eighty public servants from various Commonwealth departments in the Northern Territory receiving an allowance under the provisions of Public Service Regulation 98. The allowance is payable until married accommodation is made available. {:#subdebate-36-25} #### Northern Territory: Convictions of Aboriginals (Question No. 995) {: #subdebate-36-25-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many persons of Aboriginal descent were convicted in each of the last 5 years by courts in the Northern Territory? 1. What were the (a) principal offences involved and (b) number of convictions for each offence? 2. How many offenders were convicted more than once for the same offence, and what was the (a) offence, (b) number of convictions and (c) sentence in each case? {: #subdebate-36-25-s1 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's questions is as follows: 1 to 3. No separate records are kept of offences by or convictions of persons of Aboriginal descent. {:#subdebate-36-26} #### Northern Territory: Interpreters for Aboriginals (Question No. 996) {: #subdebate-36-26-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many defendants of Aboriginal descent convicted in courts in the Northern Territory in each of the last 5 years were unable or only partially able to speak English? 1. In what (a) number and (b) percentages *ot* these cases were interpreters provided by the court? {: #subdebate-36-26-s1 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: 1 and 2. No attempt is made to keep such records on a racial basis and the information sought is therefore not known. With a few exceptions the people of Aboriginal descent convicted by the courts and who are unable to effectively communicate in English are fullblood Aboriginals, and the number of such cases in any year would be relatively low in comparison to the number of cases dealt with by the courts. {:#subdebate-36-27} #### Northern Territory: Legal Aid (Question No. 997) {: #subdebate-36-27-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: >How many indigent defendants in the lower courts of the Northern Territory in each of the last 5 years (a) were granted, (b) were denied and (c) did not request free legal representation? {: #subdebate-36-27-s1 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >No record is kept of the numbers of persons who seek free legal representation in the lower courts of the Territory and it is therefore not possible to say how many indigent defendants were denied, or did not seek, free legal representation. Under the Social Welfare Ordinance of the Territory, the Director of Social Welfare has authority to pay fees for legal assistance to persons who, in the opinion of the Director, are socially or economically in need of assistance. This authority is delegated to District Welfare Officers throughout the Territory and no separate records are kept of assistance given. {:#subdebate-36-28} #### Northern Territory: Mental Defectives (Question No. 998) {: #subdebate-36-28-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many residents of the Northern Territory hi each of the last 5 years have been convicted under the Mental Defectives Ordinance? 1. In which institutions have such residents been confined? {: #subdebate-36-28-s1 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1963-64, 14; 1964-65, 21; 1965-66, 8; 1966-67. 11; 1967-68, 8. 1. All patients have been placed in mental hospitals in South Australia at the discretion of the South Australian Hospitals Department. Usually patients are taken to the Enfield Receiving Hospital and later moved to Hillcrest Hospital. {:#subdebate-36-29} #### Northern Territory: Juvenile Offenders (Question No. 999) {: #subdebate-36-29-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many juvenile offenders were confined at Fannie Bay gaol in each of the last 5 years? 1. What facilities for rehabilitation training are provided at the gaol? {: #subdebate-36-29-s1 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1963-64, 11; 1964-65, 27; 1965-66, 17; 1966-67, 10; 1967-68, 17. 1. No training is given within the gaol. Juvenile prisoners receive training at the Adult Education Centre in academic subjects and in practical subjects such as art, pottery and woodwork. {:#subdebate-36-30} #### Northern Territory: Delinquent Girls (Question No. 1000) {: #subdebate-36-30-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What facilities for the detention of delinquent girls are available in the Northern Territory? 1. How many delinquent girls have been sent for detention outside the Territory in each of the last 5 years, and in what institutions were they detained? {: #subdebate-36-30-s1 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. There are no special facilities at present for the detention of delinquent girls in the Northern Territory. A new training and assessment centre will however open in the near *future* and this will provide security accommodation for girls with rehabilitation training to be provided by a skilled staff including psychologists, social workers and group workers. 1. No girls have been sent outside the Territory for the purpose of detention during the past5 years. Twenty-two girls have been transferred outside the Territory for training in institutions where there is some degree of security, principally institutions operated by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane. It is emphasised however that these girls were transferred for training and not for detention purposes. Civil Aviation (Question No. 1021) {: #subdebate-36-30-s2 .speaker-JZX} ##### Mr Collard: asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Did he or his Department recommend or make the request that MacRobertson Miller Airlines Ltd drop out of uneconomical air service routes in Western Australia in favour of commuter air services? 1. If so, for what reason other than to reduce subsidy pay but was the request made? 2. Did he expect a substantial increase in the costs of travel and cargo delivery as. the result of the changeover? 3. Was any consideration given to subsidising the commuter airlines to keep costs of travel and cargo delivery to a reasonable level? 4. Is it claimed that the charges now being made are reasonable? {: #subdebate-36-30-s3 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows: 1 and 2. MacRobertson Miller Airlines Ltd and the Commonwealth are concerned at the trend towards increasing subsidy need with an estimated requirement of more than $400;000 for the current year. The Company submitted proposals to withdraw from the more uneconomical routes in favour of commuter air services. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. It was anticipated that the consumer would be required to bear a higher proportion of the costs involved though the extent of any increase was not expected to be steep. 1. The Government recently reviewed its policy on subsidising air services and decided that consideration will be given to subsidising commuter operators who take over existing subsidised developmental airline services provided a saving in subsidy will be achieved. 2. In the light of costs of operation, the type of aircraft being used and the frequency of service provided it is considered that the present charges are reasonable. Civil Aviation (Question No. 1022) {: #subdebate-36-30-s4 .speaker-JZX} ##### Mr Collard: asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Which companies (a) have taken over, or (b) are expected to take over the airline services which MacRobertson-Miller Airlines Ltd now operate or will, in the near future, cease to operate? 1. Has he approved the charges for air fares and freights to be made or now being made for the new services in each instance? 2. If not, on which specific routes have charges been approved? 3. Have any of the new companies applied for subsidies? If so, have they been approved? 4. Where no application for subsidy has been made could a successful application at this stage be the means of reducing current fares and freight charges or would the subsidy only be granted to prevent any further increases in charges? {: #subdebate-36-30-s5 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Port Hedland stations services - Murchison Airlines Pty Ltd Carnarvon to Shark Bay, Carnarvon to Gascoyne Junction - Murchison Airlines Pty Ltd Perth-Geraldton to the Murchison area - Hicks Airlines Pty Ltd Perth-Rottnest Island - Murchison Airlines Pty Ltd, Civil Flying Services (W.A.) Pty Ltd Perth-Albany- Civil Flying Services (W.A.) Pty Ltd Kalgoorlie-Norseman-Esperance, KalgoorlieLeonoraLaverton - Noeska Aviation. 2 and 3. I have approved fares and freight rates on the following services: Port Hedland stations Perth-Geraldton to the Murchisonarea Perth-Rottnest Island Perth-Albany Kalgoorlie-Norseman-Esperance Kalgoorlie-Leonora-Laverton. The fares and freight rates from Carnarvonto Shark Bay and Gascoyne Junction are still under consideration. {: type="1" start="4"} 0. None of the new companies has applied for subsidy. 1. This would depend on the detailed investigation which will be made of the applications for Commonwealth air service subsidy. Whilst not wishing to anticipate the results of any such investigations it would seem more likely that the subsidy would be granted to prevent any further increases in charges. {:#subdebate-36-31} #### Civil Aviation (Question No. 1023) {: #subdebate-36-31-s0 .speaker-JZX} ##### Mr Collard: asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has there been a recent steep increase in air fare and freight charges to northern areas of Western Australia? 1. Is it a fact that from Perth to (a) Shark Bay, (b) Gascoyne Junction and (c) Marble Bar air fares have increased from - {: type="i" start="i"} 0. $21.80 to $51.40 1. $39.90 to $49.00 and 2. $56.80 to $72.00 respectively, and freight charges have increased from; {: type="a" start="a"} 0. 13 to 27 cents per lb 1. 16 to 27 cents per lb and 2. 22 to 36 cents per lb respectively? 2. If so, did he approve these charges? 3. Are the airline companies operating on these routes - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. in receipt of subsidy, or 1. entitled to subsidy if their profits are below a certain figure? 4. Will the recent increases in charges substantially reduce the need for subsidy? {: #subdebate-36-31-s1 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The following reply is furnished: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. There have been increases in fare and freight rates to these areas. 1. Apart from two minor differences, the fares and freight rates are as set out in the question. 2. Those to Marble Bar have been approved but those to Shark Bay and Gascoyne Junction or, more correctly, from Carnarvon to Shark Bay and Gascoyne Junction are still under consideration. It must be appreciated that changes in the route structure were involved and indirect routings to these centres are now necessary. 4. (a) No subsidies have been sought by tha commuter operators serving these routes, (b) This could only be determined by the detailed investigation of the financial affairs of the companies which would follow any request they might make for Commonwealth air service subsidy. 3. A substantial reduction in subsidy should result from these increases. {:#subdebate-36-32} #### Civil Aviation (Question No. 1050) {: #subdebate-36-32-s0 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Are some of the companies which operate commuter air services linking country centres allocating to passengers the co-pilot's seat with live controls? 1. If so, is this a safe procedure? {: #subdebate-36-32-s1 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. In some cases passengers are carried in commuter service aircraft in seats in which dual controls are fined. The Air Navigation Orders require that when passengers occupy such seats, specific precautions must be taken to ensure that the controls are not interfered with during flight. 1. This procedure is quite safe provided the precautions prescribed in the Air Navigation *Orders* are complied with. {:#subdebate-36-33} #### Postmaster-General's Department (Question No. 941) {: #subdebate-36-33-s0 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham: asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has his attention been drawn to a report entitled 'Divergence in Departmental Policy' in the Medical Journal of Australia of 19th October, at page 698? 1. Will he seek specialised advice to confirm or refute the statements of **Dr T.** H. Crouch that (a) the Minister's Department demoted and demoralised a fifty-year-old man due to a coronary episode, (b) the patient is fitter than before the attack due to treatment and self-discipline and (c) such departmental action contradicts rehabilitation principles laid down by the Department of Health? 2. If leading specialists decide the man's new and menial manual work is better for his happiness and coronary arteries and for the public's safety than his former supervisory work, which is alleged to have required him to drive a car more, will the Minister consider the need for specialised rehabilitation to help convey such an optimistic viewpoint to demoralised demotees? {: #subdebate-36-33-s1 .speaker-KIF} ##### Mr Hulme:
Postmaster-General · PETRIE, QUEENSLAND · LP -- The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. A copy of the report entitled 'Divergence in Departmental Policy' in the Medical Journal of Australia, dated 19th October 1968, at page 698, has been perused. 2. (a) The Department has not demoted the officer concerned, as he has been placed in his former position, although on restricted duties, (b) The officer has been medically examined by the Commonwealth Medical Officer on five occasions since he resumed duty early this year following his coronary episode. After each examination the Commonwealth Medical Officer has stipulated restricted duties, and on the last occasion it was expressly specified that he was fit for light duty not above ground or floor level, was not to drive a vehicle, and was not to lift anything above 40 lb in weight or work near moving machinery, (c) In accordance with the relevant provisions pursuant to the Public Service Act, all Commonwealth Departments are obliged to abide by the certifications of Commonwealth Medical Officers, whose prerogative it is to decide whether specialist opinion is necessary or desirable. 1. The Department's Welfare Section is available to help staff placed on light duties, either permanently or temporarily, to obtain suitable placement in accordance with the medical restrictions imposed. It has been ascertained that this assistance was given to the particular officer concerned, both during his absence on sick leave and after his return to work. Canberra: Land Development Costs (Question No. 1034) {: #subdebate-36-33-s2 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice: Will he endeavour, as he offered in his answer to me on 21st November, to obtain comparative data of the cost of specific services in (a) Canberra and (b) other cities and provincial centres? {: #subdebate-36-33-s3 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon:
CP -- The answer to the honour able member's question is as follows: >Whilst some 'authorities' involved m land development adopt similar design and construction standards, it should be noted that developmental costs vary, for example, with the particular nature of the terrain, the mechanical equipment used, and the proximity of the area being developed to supplies. For these and other reasons, it is often difficult to make rigid comparisons of developmental costs. However, the broad average comparative costs of providing those development services specified in the honourable member's previous question (No. 864) are given below. {:#subdebate-36-34} #### Civil Aviation (Question No. 1051) {: #subdebate-36-34-s0 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What are the names of the companies operat ing commuter air services Unking country centres in each State of the Commonwealth? 1. What types of aircraft are used on these services and what is the age of each aircraft? 2. Is each aircraft fitted with weather radar? If not, why not? {: #subdebate-36-34-s1 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The answers are as follows: >Hereunder is a statement listing within each State the various commuter operators together with the types of aircraft, registration marking and date of manufacture of each. > >None of these aircraft is fitted or required to be fitted with weather radar as it is required to be fitted only in the following types of aircraft: > >Turbine powered aircraft having a maximum permissible take-off weight in excess of 50,000 lb; > >turbine powered aircraft having a maximum permissible take-off weight in excess of 12,500 lb which are engaged in regular public transport or charter operations; > >pressurised piston engined aircraft having a maximum permissible take-off weight in excess of 50,000 lb; and > >DC4 type aircraft and variations of this type engaged in regular public transport and charter operations. > >These requirements were developed having regard for the normal operating speeds of the aircraft concerned and the altitude at which they normally would fly. There are also economic and practical difficulties involved in the fitment of weather radar to aircraft of the type used in commuter services, all of which have a maximum take-off weight of less than 12,500 lb. {:#subdebate-36-35} #### Dairying (Question No. 1058) {: #subdebate-36-35-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Did the Governor-General on 12th March 1968 announce that the Government would introduce legislation for the reconstruction of the dairying industry? 1. Did the Prime Minister on 30th September 1968 write to the Premiers with proposals for such reconstruction? 2. Did he on 21st November 1968 tell me that the Prime Minister had been unable to put the proposals to the Premiers until there was a degree of uniformity between the State laws? 3. What changes were made in the relevant laws of the several States between the GovernorGeneral's speech and the Prime Minister's letter? {: #subdebate-36-35-s1 .speaker-BU4} ##### Mr Anthony:
CP -- The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. Yes. 3 and 4. On 21st November 1968 I indicated that negotiations had been taking place in an effort to find a basis for an offer to the States that took account of the varying laws relating to land and land tenure in the different States. The efforts of the officers were sufficiently encouraging to enable the Commonwealth to put a common offer to the States on 30th September as indicated above. {:#subdebate-36-36} #### Civil Aviation (Question No. 1070) {: #subdebate-36-36-s0 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice: >What is the cost of aviation fuel and what proportion of the cost is tax in (a) Australia, (b) the United States, (c) the United Kingdom, (d) France, (e) Japan, (f) Italy, (g) India, (h) West Germany? {: #subdebate-36-36-s1 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The following reply is furnished: >A precise answer to the question is not possible, because prices of fuels vary considerably within countries. The table below therefore specifies the posted prices of aviation turbine fuel at particular airports. It is to be emphasised that these are the maximum prices at those airports, and the airlines will, in general, pay lower prices under their confidential contracts with suppliers. Because of the special arrangements in the United States, posted airport prices for fuel are not published. Taxes also vary from state to state. In view of this complication, Canada (Vancouver) has been substituted in the table. {:#subdebate-36-37} #### Sewerage Services in Capital Cities (Question No. 751) {: #subdebate-36-37-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What is the last year for which the Statistician can provide figures of (a) the number and (b) the percentage of (i) premises and (ii) residents served by sewerage in each capital? 1. What were the figures for (a) that year, (b) 10 years earlier and (c) 20 years earlier? {: #subdebate-36-37-s1 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's questions is as follows: >Further to my interim reply which appeared in Hansard of 27lh November 1968, the Commonwealth Statistician has now furnished the following advice. > >The year ended June 1967 is the latest year for which information relating to sewerage services is available. *However, as* definitive information relating to total population in the area served by the sewerage authority in each State capital is in general available only for census years, be has supplied figures for the census years 1947, 1954 and 1966 in place of the years requested by the honourable member. He also states that the various authorities use varying concepts for measuring connections or services and it is not possible to determine the percentage of premises served in each State capital. > >The available information which appears most pertinent to the honourable member's question is set out in the tables- below. This relates to the areas served by the authorities providing sewerage services to the whole or a major part of the metropolitan area in each State. These areas do not correspond to the metropolitan area for statistical purposes and, in the case of New South Wales, include important urban areas outside the Sydney metropolitan area. The figures for 'properties served', 'premises connected', etc., and 'estimated population served' were obtained from the authori- ties concerned for all States except Western Australia. For Western Australia the Metropolitan Sewerage and Drainage Board provided the figures for 'No. of services' and the 'Estimated population in sewered area' was compiled, from census returns. The figures for 'Total population in area served' have been compiled from census returns and relate as nearly as practicable to the areas served by the respective authorities at successive census dates. > >It should be noted that the areas served have changed over the period. These boundary changes affect the percentages of population served and the figures given in the final columns of the table accordingly do not seem particularly meaningful. {:#subdebate-36-38} #### Local Government Revenue: Loan Repayments and Interest (Question No. 897) {: #subdebate-36-38-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What is the latest year for which the Statistician and/or the Treasury can state the percentage of then revenues which (a) local government bodies in each State and (b) semigovernmental authorities in each State had to devote to interest payments and loan repayments? 1. What was the percentage for (a) that year, (b) S years earlier, (c) 10 years earlier and (d) IS years earlier? {: #subdebate-36-38-s1 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The answer to the honourable members questions is as follows: >Further to my interim reply which appeared in Hansard of 26th November 1968, the Commonwealth Statistician has supplied the figures below for local government authorities. He has advised that corresponding figures are not available for semi-government authorities. {:#subdebate-36-39} #### Education: Matriculation Examinations (Question No. 912) {: #subdebate-36-39-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Does any school system in Australia provide an examination which qualifies for matriculation in every university and college of advanced education in Australia? 1. What are the matriculation requirements for the principal faculties in each university and college of advanced education? 2. What steps have been taken to co-ordinate or standardise matriculation requirements throughout Australia? {: #subdebate-36-39-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The educational systems in the various States are quite independent of one another, and the final secondary school examination is in each case used as an entrance examination to the university or universities in that State, lt is true, however, that universities in other States may admit 'ad eundem statum' those students eligible for admittance to any 'recognised' university. There is no standard examination for entry to every College of Advanced Education. Each college has its own entry requirements based on the secondary school system in each State. Qualifications of students from overseas or interstate are assessed for equivalence by individual colleges for acceptance into particular courses of study. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. Matriculation to ail universities depends on results obtained in the final secondary school examination. The main requirements are set out in the following table. In addition to the requirements shown, some universities require passes in certain subjects for entry into particular faculties or courses. Although a student may be eligible for admittance to a university, he may not be eligible for entry to certain faculties, where various studies are a pre-requisite. A list of pre-requisites for all Australian universities is set out below. Entrance to diploma courses at College of Advanced Education is generally by a pass in the final secondary schools examination including pre-requisite subjects for some courses. However, there are cases, notably in Victoria, where entry to some diploma courses is at a level one year below completion of secondary schooling (i.e. Victorian Leaving Certificate). In such cases the first year of the course is regarded as advancing the student to full secondary schooling level. Detailed entry requirements for diploma courses at Colleges of Advanced Education are readily available in the college handbooks. Hovever, 1 have listed below the entry requirements for some diploma courses in some of the main colleges. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Both South Australian universities have agreed on common matriculation requirements, and so too have the three universities in Victoria. The Australian National University (in the Australian Capital Territory), and the Universities of Newcastle and of New South Wales (both in New South Wales), have agreed on common matriculation requirements. The other universities in New South Wales have their own matriculation requirements. With respect to entry standards for colleges of advanced education, see answer to question 1. {:#subdebate-36-40} #### Education: School Dental Service (Question No. 396) {: #subdebate-36-40-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What were the enrolments in each State and Territory in each of the past 5 years for: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. government primary schools 1. non-government primary schools 2. government secondary schools and 3. non-government secondary schools? 1. In which States and Territories were dental inspections of children carried out in schools by: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. dentists employed by an education department 1. dentists employed by another government department and 2. dentists employed by a non-government authority? 2. How many children in: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. government primary schools 1. non-government primary schools 2. government secondary schools and 3. non-government secondary schools in each State and Territory providing school dental services had dental inspections at school in each of the past 5 years? 3. How many children in: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. government primary schools 1. non-government primary schools 2. government secondary schools and 3. non-government secondary schools in each State and Territory providing school dental services had dental treatment in each of the past 5 years? 4. What was the cost of providing school dental services in each of the States and Territories concerned? {: #subdebate-36-40-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- The answers to the honourable members questions are as follows: Answers to questions 2-5 insofar as they relate to the States are based on information supplied by the State Departments of Education. 2. (a) Nil. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. New South Wales (Department of Public Health); Victoria (Department of Health); Queensland (Department of Health); South Australia (Department of Public Health); Western Australia (Department of Public Health); Tasmania (Department of Public Health Services); Australian Capital Territory (Commonwealth Department of Health); Northern Territory (Commonwealth Department of Health). {: type="a" start="c"} 0. Nil. 3. (a) and (b) Very few children were examined/treated from secondary schools. These were urgent cases referred by the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, Department of Public Health or by school principals. No records are kept of the number of nongovernment pupils examined/treated as no distinction is drawn, but it is considered that onethird non-governmental would be a reasonable estimate. Victoria Nil (Victoria's is a treatment service not an inspection service). Secondary schools are not visited. This service is restricted to children in Education Department primary and infant schools in those parts of the State that are remote from private practitioner services. Owing to the method adopted for the compilation of statistics in the School of Dental Services it is not possible to distinguish between government and non-government schools. Tasmania It is not possible to give figures for the categories named in the question as all school children in Tasmania are treated irrespective of the schools they attend. At the moment comprehensive treatment for new patients is limited to the pre-school and Grades I, II and HI, but this is only until the situation is brought under control when it will then be the aim of the Service to treat all children up toschoolleavingage. The figures for the period 1963-1966 do not give an accurate assessment of the number of children inspected as initial and revision examinations were not separated. Australian Capital Territory {: type="a" start="a"} 0. and (b). Data is not available for (a) and (to) separately. Dental inspection and treatment is given to children irrespective of whether they attend a government or a non-government primary school. Northern Territory There is no reliable record of the number of inspections carried out as distinct from treatments. Very few children were treated/examined from secondary schools. These were urgent cases referred by the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, Department of Public Health or by schools' principals. No records are kept of the number of nongovernment pupils treated/examined as no distinction is drawn but it is considered that one-third non-governmental school children would be a reasonable estimate. Secondary schools are not visited. This service is restricted to children in the Education Department primary and infant schools in those parts of the State that are remote from private practitioner services. Owing to the method adopted for the compilation of statistics in the School Dental Services it is not possible to distinguish between government and non-government schools. Tasmania Again, all school children in the priority grades and revision children, irrespective of schools, are eligible. Therefore, the number of children treated was: Australian Capital Territory {: type="a" start="a"} 0. and (b). Data is not available for (a) and (b) separately. The following number of children received dental treatment as a result of the routine annual inspection. In addition, there were a number of children who were given dental treatment of an emergency nature quite independently of the normal annual routine examination A child requiring emergency treatment may have been examined and/or treated at some other time during the year. {: type="a" start="c"} 0. . Nil. 1. . Nil. {: type="1" start="5"} 0. New South Wales The cost over the last 3 years has been $400,000 per annum including approximately $30,000 per annum capital expenditure for buildings, mobile clinics, etc. {:#subdebate-36-41} #### Teaching of Asian Languages (Question No. 1049) {: #subdebate-36-41-s0 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: >Is he able to say (a) which high schools and universities are teaching Asian languages, (b) what languages are taught and (c) how many students are studying each language? {: #subdebate-36-41-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >Precise details to provide fully the information sought by the honourable member are not avail able. However, the following information, which it must be stressed is incomplete and may well contain inaccuracies, may be of use. > >Some seventy Australian secondary schools, both government and private, currently offer courses in at least one modern Asian language. The total number of students involved is approximately 3,500. The majority are studying Indonesian and Japanese, with a small minority undertaking studies in Chinese. The latest information available to my Department is given in the following Table No. 1, > >At the tertiary level, the situation in 1968 was that courses in Japanese and Indonesian or Malay were available at four universities and Chinese at three. Information for individual universities is given in the following Table No. 2. {:#subdebate-36-42} #### Northern Territory: Tertiary Education (Question No. 860) {: #subdebate-36-42-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What was the date and what were the terms of the notification by the University of Queensland that it would take no more external students from the Northern Territory? 1. What opportunities for tertiary education have now been arranged for residents of the Northern Territory? {: #subdebate-36-42-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. On 10th November 1966 the University of Queensland notified the Commonwealth Government that the University Senate had decided no further enrolments from external students in the Northern Territory would be accepted after (he 1967 academic year. The University stated that existing money and staff were heavily pressed and it was forced to restrict enrolments from both Queensland and elsewhere. Talks were held between the Commonwealth Department of Territories and the University of Queensland in which the importance of the existing service was pointed out, there being sixty-six students enrolled at the time. As a result of these discussions the Vice-Chancellor of the University, **Sir Fred** Schonell,recommendedtotheUniversity Senate that enrolment of Northern Territory students be continued for a further three years. On 5th October 1967 the Senate approved that the present service to external students from the Northern Territory be continued for the years 1968, 1969 and 1970. The Commonwealth agreed to make a grant of $5,000 per annum for the three years towards the cost of the service. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. In addition to courses of the University of Queensland, other facilities are available. These are frequently provided in co-operation with the Northern Territory Adult Education Centre in Darwin which is conducted for the Department of Education and Science by the South Australian Education Department. {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Students from the University of Western Australia who have completed at least five units may continue their courses externally. 1. The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the Western Australian Institute of Technology both provide external courses for students in the Northern Territory. Tutorials are given at the Adult Education Centre. 2. The University of Adelaide grants exemption from lectures in certain cases, particularly teachers, so enabling Northern Territory students to study at this institution. 3. Students may also obtain correspondence courses in some subjects from the Technical Correspondence College, Adelaide, and attend tutorials at the Adult Education Centre. 4. Northern Territory teachers may study soma subjects externally from teachers' colleges in South Australia. Again tutorials are provided by the Adult Education Centre. 5. The Adult Education Centre acts as agent for the University of London for residents of the Northern Territory enrolled as external students of that institution. Students from the Northern Territory who wish to undertake either full-time or parttime tertiary education can compete for Commonwealth University or Advanced Education Scholarships. In addition, as from the beginning of 1969, a new scholarship scheme will provide 25 tertiary level scholarships each year for students whose parents are permanent residents of the Northern Territory. They will be awarded on a competitive basis to students who do not receive the offer of a Commonwealth University or Advanced Education Scholarship. The awards will cover the cost of tuition and certain other compulsory fees and will be tenable in any approved tertiary level course. Northern Territory students doing approved tertiary courses may also be assisted with the cost of their fares between their home in the Northern Territory and the institution they attend. I have asked the Australian Universities Commission to examine the general question of facilities for external students in all States because both the Commonwealth Government and the Universities Commission are conscious of the importance of external studies for the improvement of qualifications particularly for country students.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 25 February 1969, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.