2nd Parliament · 2nd Session
The President took the chair at 3.30 p.m., and read prayers. ,
Motion (by Senator Playford) agreed to-
That the Senate at its rising adjourn until Wednesday next.
Bill received from the House of Representatives, and (on motion by Senator
Keating) read a first time.
Senator KEATING laid upon the table the following papers: -
Notification, of the acquisition of a site for a post office at Mosman, New South Wales.
Repeal of Public . Service Regulation 64, and substitution of new regulation - Statutory Rules, 1903, No. 5.
asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as follow : - 1, 2, and 3. No. 4 and 5. No.
– I move -
That, in the opinion of this Senate, the Defence Act 1903 should be amended so as to provide for a system of Compulsory Military
Drill, including rifle practice, of all youths in the Commonwealth between the ages of twelve and eighteen years, and also for the universal military training of all male persons of nineteen years of age for a period of five years thereafter, or such other term as may be deemed necessary sci as to secure the services of a Citizen Army, efficiently trained, in times of emergency.
It will be admitted that this motion deals, with, a subject of vast importance. It strikes, at the very root of our system of defence, and suggests the question whether we have any sure foundation upon which to build: a scheme of defence worthy of the name. It deals also, to some extent, with the question of Imperial defence. Whilst I think the question of naval defence is of the very greatest importance, I do not see why we should not now consider the question of Imperial defence from amilitary point of view. The motion also suggests vast possibilities for the improvement of the physique of our youth and manhood, and that we may;, by a change in our system of education, improve and increase the moral and mental vigour of our citizens.
– The honorable senator does not suggest gymnastic exercises for the physical improvement of’ cadets.
– That would be apart of the scheme. I desired the Senate,, last session, to affirm the principle of compulsory drill for youths, but I asked that a Select Committee should be appointed toinquire particularly into the cost and practicability of such- a scheme. Honorable senators will notice that in the present motion I do not ask for the appointment of a Select Committee, but I ask the Senate to affirm the principle npt only of compulsory drill for youths, but . also of some compulsory system of training for men betweenthe ages of eighteen and twenty-three. The motion is, therefore, an affirmation of the principle of universal military training. I had a conversation with the PrimeMinister before I tabled this motion, and he suggested that I should leave out any, reference to a Select Committee, and” ask the Senate merely to affirm a principle. I am glad I have done so, because I believe that is the right course to adopt. If I were to obtain the appointment of a Select Committee, it is true that it might examinea. number of military men, and obtain exceedingly valuable evidence as to whether universal military training is desirable. But the Legislature is. specially called upon to deal with principles ; and if we affirm theprinciple ‘of universal training, our military men will, no doubt, have very little difficulty in preparing such a scheme, based on the. conditions of life in Australia, as will meet with the approval of Parliament. It is, of course, essential that we should take local conditions into consideration. I consulted with the Prime Minister because, to my great delight, I found that he was very much in favour of the scheme which I advocate. At the outset I direct the attention of the Minister of Defence to the words which the Prime Minister has uttered in this connexion. He said -
Speaking as a member of the public, witBout any pretence to expert knowledge, it appears to me that our achievements to-day are the establishment of a defence force inadequate in numbers, imperfectly supplied with war material, and exceptionally weak on the naval side.
He then went on to say -
I was about to say that, although we spent £600,000 a year on our military’ affairs, we have in the ranks less than one-third of the number of those capable of bearing arms that we ought to have, if we take New Zealand as a standard. New Zealand enlists 10 per cent, of her able bodied youth, we have only 3 per cent, in our ranks ready for war.
The honorable and learned gentleman was asked -
Do you think it the duty of all able-bodied men to fit themselves for defence work? - and he replied -
Putting aside exceptional cases and exceptional circumstances, emphatically yes.
So I begin my remarks by directing the attention of the Minister of Defence to the fact that the Prime Minister absolutely believes in the system which my motion advocates.
– Why did the honorable senator ignore the Minister of Defence ?
– I have not ignored the Minister of Defence. I have asked him privately to support my motion, and I understand that whilst he is in favour of it he thinks that the people will not stand it, and will be inclined to object to the cost, and also to give their time to the service of their country. I hope, before the debate terminates, to persuade the honorable senator that what the Prime Minister has said is wholly right, and that no system other than that which he advocates can possibly be adopted in Australia. Let us look for a moment at the opinions expressed bv the foremost military men of the time, “and some of the foremost politicians, statesmen, and writers, and we shall then gain some idea of the importance of the subject. The first public document from which I propose to quote is the report of a Royal Commission appointed by the Imperial Government to inquire into the conduct of the war in South’ Africa. The pith of the report is contained in the following sentences : -
But the true lesson of the war in our opinion is, that no military system will be satisfactory which does not contain powers of expansion outside the limit of the regular forces of the Crown, whatever that limit may be.
If the war teaches anything it is this, that throughout the Empire, in the United Kingdom, its colonies and dependencies, there is a reserve of military strength which, for many reasons, we cannot and do not wish to convert into a vast standing army, but to which we may be glad to turn again in our hour of need, as we did in 1899. In that year there was no preparation whatever for utilizing these great resources. Nothing had’ been thought out either as to pay or organization, as to conditions of service, or even as to arms. Even here in England it was to be “ an experiment.” The new force was not to be discouraged, but it was allowed to equip itself, and it was denied anything beyond the barest complement of trained officers.
We regret to say that we are not satisfied that enough is being done to place matters on a better footing in the event of another emergency.
Then Sir George Goldie, who agreed with the report of the Commission, and signed it, thought it wise to add a note of his own, in which he said -
Although prepared to furnish a detailed scheme, it is not possible in this brief note to do more than roughly sketch a general outline, as follows : - After two or three years’ interval to allow of the perfecting of existing volunteer cadet corps, and the general creation of others throughout the country, every physically sound boy of 17 years of age, not serving in the Navy or the merchant service, and unprovided with a certificate (from the appointed military authority) that he is an efficient member of a volunteer cadet corps, would have to serve for a term in National Cadet Schools.
I quote now from a far more important report, that of a Royal Commission appointed to report to the Imperial Parliament upon the militia and volunteers. In their report, these Commissioners say that the first essential is more efficient officers. They then state -
The training given to the Swiss officer may be taken as the minimum received in any country by the officers who form the framework of an army. . . . But no provision is made for the careful progressive military education before and after receiving a commission which is conspicuous in all armies, although a small number of volunteer officers attempt to acquire it for themselves. . … We are agreed in the conclusion that the volunteer force, in view of the unequal military education of the officers, the limited training of the men, and the defect of equipment and organization, is not qualified to take the field against a regular army.
Then, under the head of militia, they say -
For an increase of efficiency in the militia we must look in the first instance to an increase in the period of training. The evidence satisfies us that the principal part of this increase must be given during the recruit stage, and in view of the opinions expressed by a large majority of those officers who have appeared before us, we cannot recommend less than six months’ continuous training for the militia man in his first year of service. This should be followed in the second, third, and fourth year by not less than six weeks’ training. We have adopted these periods of recruit, and subsequent training, because we believe that a further extension would diminish recruiting, and deplete the force.
The members of this Commission regarded the training provided for in Switzerland as insufficient, but I hope to see a scheme adopted under which we shall be able to do with less training than is required under the Swiss scheme, and at the same .time increase to a wonderful extent the efficiency of our Military Forces. Under the head of volunteers, the Commissioners say -
The governing condition is that the volunteer, whether an officer, non-commissioned officer, or private, earns his own living, and that if demands are made upon him which are inconsistent with his doing so, he must cease to be a volunteer. No regulations can be carried out which are incompatible with the civil employment of the volunteers, who ,are, for the most part, in permanent situations. . . . The cardinal principle must be adopted that no volunteer, whether officer, non-commissioned officer, or private, should be put to expense on account of his service. The cost of all instruction, of all exercises, and of all necessary travelling, should be defrayed by the State, so that no volunteer may be out of pocket in consequence of his endeavour to train himself as a soldier.
Honorable senators will see from these extracts that the members of the Commission found that the volunteer, by reason of his avocation in life, is unfitted to form the backbone of a military force. They go on to say -
All volunteer corps should be allowed to Train up to fourteen days in camp in each year, with adequate allowances. This appears to the Commission to be the longest period practicable. Ranges and grounds of exercises for all corps should be provided at the cost of the State, and adequate financial provision should be made for the necessary cost of movement to arid from them.
Then they say -
The volunteer force has had a great effect in educating the people of Great Britain to think of the army as a national institution, and at the same time it has enlarged the ideas of professional soldiers on the subject of the means and methods of military training. We deprecate any changes which would modify the spirit which this force has cherished, or any fundamental change in its position, except as a part of s’ome comprehensive measure, which would replace both the militia and volunteer forces by an organization which, while giving greater military efficiency, and at least equal numbers, would also render permanent that sympathy between the nation and the army which, before the rise of the modern- volunteer force, was undoubtedly defective.
– That has nothing to do with compulsion, which the honorable and learned senator’s motion favours.
– ‘The quotation shows that, in the opinion of these officers, it is impossible to make volunteers the backbone of an army, because their avocations prevent them from receiving proper training. The report proceeds -
We are unable to recommend the adoption of the Swiss system as regards the initial training, which is not, in our judgment, sufficient for the purpose.
– Yet the honorable senator tells us that he proposes to do less than the Swiss system does.
– Because I recognise that I could noi carry the people and Parliament of this country with me. But here are officers who are amongst the first soldiers of the British nation, and who were appointed to inquire into this very subject immediately after the South African war, and they distinctly say that if ever we have to meet a trained army of one of the European nations,- or an enemy like the Japanese, we shall certainly go under unless we improve our methods of training. The document proceeds : -
The principles which have been adopted, after the disastrous failure of older methods, by every great State of the European continent, are, first, that as far as possible the whole able-bodied male population shall be trained to arms ; secondly, that the training shall be given in a period of continuous service with the colours, not necessarily in barracks, and thirdly, that the instruction shall be given by a body of specially educated and highly, trained officers. We are convinced that only by the adoption of these principles can an army for home defence, adequate in strength and military efficiency to defeat an invader, be raised and maintained in the United” Kingdom. To make detailed recommendations under this head appears to us to be beyond the scope of the task entrusted to us, especially asthe principles which we recommend cannot be adopted without producing an effect on the regular army. But we submit the following general observations. We believe that the necessarythorough training could be given within one year, after which only one or two annual periods of a few weeks exercise or manoeuvre would be needed. The condition of such a short training being sufficient is that the instruction should be given by professional officers and noncommissioned officers.
Then they conclude by saying that they submit to His Majesty -
That a home defence army capable, in the absence of the whole or a greater portion of the regular forces, of protecting this country against invasion, can be raised and maintained only on the principle that it is the duty of every citizen of military age and sound physique to be trained for the national defence, and to take part in it should emergency arise.
– That is the Continental system.
– My honorable friend has not been listening, I think. It is the system which the Royal Commission appointed to report upon the militia and volunteers recommend for Great Britain.
– Undoubtedly, but it is;the Continental system.
– It is not the Continental system; it is a system of universal military training as against conscription.
– It is conscription under another name.
– My honorable friend proceeds to condemn what I propose before he has heard the argument. I understood thathe was in favour of some system of compulsory training, but thought that the people would not stand the cost and the sacrifice of time.
– I say that if we are going to have an ideal army, we must have a compulsory system, and every citizen must be trained.
– If the honorable senator says that, I want him to give effect to his own common-sense views and not to be led away by the thought that the people will not stand it. I ask him to recollect that leaders of men are supposed to point the way and not to follow after. Leaders of men are supposed to give emphasis to jtheir convictions, and to carry them out. I am perfectly certain that we shall have to adopt some system of compulsory military training. But as the Minister seems to be rather averse to the motion - although I really do not understand what he means - I shall quote a few more opinions. English opinion in f avour cif some system of compulsory training has increased wonderfully since I brought forward the subject last session, and as I have before me the opinions of some of the first military men in the world, as well as of other leaders of opinion, I think it would be a mistake for me to try to put their ideas into language of my own rather than to quote from them. Therefore I do not apologize to the Senate for quoting pretty freely. Lord Roberts says -
I maintain it is the bounden duty of the State to see that every able-bodied man in this country, no matter to what grade of society he may belong, undergoes some kind of military training in his youth, sufficient to enable him to shoot straight, and carry out simple orders if ever his services are required for the national defence. I believe that such a training would be of the greatest benefit to the nation, inculcating as it would a spirit of sober self-reliance in the individual, and raising the standard of physical efficiency. Moreover, there does not seem any other way by which, it would be possible to obtain the very large reserve of officers (amounting to some thousands) that is essential to our success in war, no matter under what system our army may be organized.
We know that Lord Roberts now proposes to take active steps to direct attention to the importance of this subject. At the age of seventy-three he is undertaking an extensive platform campaign, and is to deliver addresses in many of the principal towns of Great Britain on the subject. Lord Wolseley says -
Besides our great and splendid fleet, we require for national defence a highly trained standing army, supported by great reserves of trained soldiers, always ready to take the field, with every necessary warlike appliance. And this we can never have without some form of compulsory military service.
Sir Evelyn Wood, Sir T. Kelly Kenny, Sir Edmund Barrow, Sir Ian Hamilton, and Sir John French have all, time after time, given public utterance to their view that some system of compulsory military training is necessary if the nation is to have an army on a national basis to meet every possibility in time of Avar. I now come to a quotation, which I think is exceedingly apt, and I will ask the Minister to pay attention to it -
Had we had a system of general military service, no such calamity as the Boer War need have occurred. There would have been no Majuba, and had there been any conflict between Boers and English, the individual Englishman’s consciousness of his well-trained physical power and military efficiency, and the knowledge possessed alike by English and Boers, that this country could at any moment place a large army of well-trained men in the field, would have enabled both races to live side by side, as selfrespecting neighbours who respected each other. A system of national service may. cost much money, but it gives in return vast gain of health and strength, of self-respect and sense of safety from wanton attack and wanton insult. Our system has cost all the lives lost, and the constitu- lions ruined, in the South African War; the loss of all those two hundred and fifty millions of money; all that weakening credit and loss of reputation which came of the war.
– Simply because we have not a bigger Army?
– Simply because we have not a larger Army, and because the citizens of the old country and of the Colonies had not been trained to shoot and to military exercises. I find that even Sir Oliver Lodge writes as follows: -
I am one of those who are beginning to contemplate the possibility of a national or citizen army, each one in his youth devoting a certain time to the acquisition of drill and discipline, and the use of weapons for national defence. I believe it will make for peace, inasmuch as it will bring home the danger and the responsibility of war to every hearth in the kingdom ; for a people whose ordinary avocations are upset by active service will not rush into war as rashly as do people who maintain a professional fighting class.
I should like to read what Mr. Amery says. He is the author of the Times history of the war in South Africa. He says -
The army we want for Imperial purposes is not likely to be as serviceable for the defence of England as a far cheaper force raised separately for that special purpose.
If ‘we wish to avoid conscription on the Continental plan, we must instil something of the military spirit and of the rudiments of military training into the. youth of the country.
The whole boyhood of the nation, between the ages of sixteen< and seventeen, should receive a military education. This would be universal service, but except for the short periods of field training (the youth) would not have to leave his home.
Some steadying influence, some discipline, which will implant in our citizens’ nature the habits of self-restraint, order, obedience to law, and co-operation, is an indispensable complement to our system of universal education.
Is compulsory education or compulsory taxation a violation of liberal principles?
Where “ compulsory “ is synonymous with “ universal “ there is no injustice.
The more universal and the more thorough the training of our nation for home defence, the higher will be the military qualities, &c, &c.
The separation of home defence from the task of the Regular Army is necessary alike from the point of view of strategy, from the point of view of training, of economy, and of the possibility of a great development of military power in times of serious crisis.
Then I turn to a German authority. Professor Dewar says -
The standard of education of the German people is two generations ahead of us. Their extraordinary commercial expansion and success is admittedly due mainly to the mental development of the whole nation, and this has been largely caused by the stimulus to education produced by certain military advantages, including partial exemption from service given to all who have reached a given standard of education.
He adds -
It is difficult to estimate the immense value which this direct and strong inducement to theyouth of the country to work and educate themselves has been to the manufacturing and commercial interests of our continental competitors.
– I rise to order. I should like to know whether it is competent for the honorable senator to quoteoutside opinions to such an extent?
– Under what standing order ?
– A senator can always quote opinions for what they are worth.
– A Defence League has been formed’ in New South Wales for the purpose of urging upon the people of the Commonwealth the necessity for the adoption of some system of compulsory training on the basis, I think, of the Swiss, system. In this respect the New South Wales people are following the good example of the National Service League of the United Kingdom, the objects of which, as I think I pointed out on a former occasion, are -
Two months’ . training in a camp of exercise under canvas in the first year.
Fourteen days’ training in the second, third, and fourth year.
All who have been through this training to be offered a retaining fee for an extra term, on condition that they complete an annual course of musketry.
It stands to reason that the compulsory training of our youth would have a very marked beneficial effect upon the physique of the nation. The opinion of experts is that the physique of the English nation is degenerating, whilst that of other nations that have adopted compulsory military training is improving.
– Does not the statement that the physique of the English nation is deteriorating refer to men who volunteered for service in the English Army ?
– I do not think so. I have here, for instance, a statement by Lt.-Col. W. Hill Climo, M.D., brigade surgeon, referring to the evidence obtained in relation to the South African war. He points out the result of his observations of men belonging to the Regular Army, the Militia, the “Volunteers, and the Yeomanry. He says -
In one expedition, when a regiment was inspected to take part in an advance, over 300 of -them - 380, I think - were sent for examination as to their physical fitness, and 212 of that part of the regiment so sent for examination were rejected as unfit to sustain the toils of the march, and as being liable to disease.
Those were men. who ^presented themselves in London for service in South Africa; and honorable senators see the results. The vast majority were ‘so .physically unfit that they were rejected.
– That supports my statement that the assertions as to physical unfitness apply only to men who presented themselves as volunteers for. the Imperial Army.
– That part of the statement bears that construction, but I come to another part of it-
The average measurements of the male population, according to the Anthropometic Com- ‘mittee of the British Association in r883 were -
Then follows some statistical information, with which I need not trouble the Senate; but Surgeon-Colonel Climo goes on to point out the following deplorable results : -
The average recruit of 1900, whose age was nearly 20, was : -
Two inches shorter, 1 in. narrower in the chest,’ and 15 lb. lighter than the average youth of 19. And he was 1 in. shorter, .29 in. narrower in the chest, and 6 lb. lighter than the average youth of 17 years.
I think that Surgeon-Colonel Climo’s words are correct.
– That deals with men who offer themselves for the Army.
– It does not say so. It refers to the average male population of the United Kingdom, according to a committee of the British Association, which certainly has nothing to do with the British Army.
– How are these particulars obtained? They are not obtained from the census.
– I do not know how they are obtained, tout it is evident that a committee at Home has ‘-.gathered the facts ; and they show that in every way the physique of our people is deteriorating.
– The honorable and learned senator ought to show that in Australia the people are deteriorating.
– I cannot show that’.
– Because we have not deteriorated.
– Does the Minister of Defence think that the statistics of the old country have no analogy with the statistics relating to the Australian youth?
– Precious little ; none at all, so far as I know. The present generation of Australians are bigger than their fathers.
– If the Minister will walk down Bourke-street and observe the boys who are selling race-books and newspapers, he will see that they are narrowchested, shrivelled individuals who would have been all the better for a little compulsory training. Let me now give a quotation from the observations of a Socialist, Mr. H. Quelch, in his Social Democracy and the Armed Nation: -
It may be asked, in what this system of compulsory military training differs from conscription. It differs in the most essential features. Under conscription, generally speaking, the service is not universal ; it does not fall on all classes alike. A certain number of conscripts are drawn each year, and any well-to-do youth, who may happen to be drawn, can escape service by paying for a substitute. Moreover, the officers are almost entirely drawn from the “ superior “ classes. With the armed nation no one, unless he were physically incapacitated, would be exempt from the compulsory training. . . . Above all, there is this vital difference, that with the armed nation there would be compulsory military training, but no military service, except in time of war, when all would be liable to be called on in proportion to their age, training, &c. This system would not mean, as conscription means, the maintenance of huge bodies of men, divorced from civil life, in comparative idleness, at the expense of the industrial community. Every citizen would be a soldier, but every soldier would be a citizen.
Then I have a quotation from the remarks of a working man on the subject of Universal Compulsory Training for Home Defence : -
The universal compulsory training of all healthy adult males for the purposes of home defence, is, in my opinion, desirable, necessary, and likely to be beneficial to all concerned.
It is desirable, on the grounds of patriotism. One who loves his country must, if he be genuine in his profession, devote himself to the service or benefit of his country.
In Australia we have the permanent forces, militia, volunteers, cadets, and rifle clubs. A committee of officers have suggested a scheme for the training of cadets, and in this they provide for 22,956 cadets, at a cost of , £13,606 per annum for allowances, and a total cost of , £30,700. That committee recommend that effective cadets should be allowed 10s. per annum for uniforms, and senior cadets 20s. for the same purpose. But Lt.-Col. MoCay, the late Minister of Defence, regards the scheme as altogether too limited and costly. Lt.-Col. McCay, in a Memorandum on Cadet Training and University Training in Naval and Military Forces, written when he was Minister of Defence, says: -
It is proposed that there be established in all the schools of the Commonwealth, both primary and secondary, classes of instruction for the male pupils above a minimum age of twelve years, at which attendance shall be compulsory. These classes will occupy two or three school hours in every week.
– That is compulsory training.
– It is compulsory, but it applies to those boys who are attending schools, and only during two or three school hours in every week. We all know how various citizens, from time to time, suggest that certain subjects should be taught at the State schools; and the curriculum has become so enlarged as to be almost beyond control. I should object to the boys being taught drill, gymnastics, and rifle shooting during school hours,because I think that sort of tuition ought to be given during play hours. Another fatal objection to the scheme is that, while it may be applicable to the boys attending grammar schools and colleges, it would not meet the case of State school boys, who generally leave at the age of thirteen, or thirteen and a half years, not one being found at school after he has reached fourteen. What is the use of making the system compulsory only in regard to boys attending schools ? The compulsion ought to be’ applied to all boys between certain ages, and not merely to scholars.
– The training ought to be given after the bovs leave school.
– But surely an hour and a half or two hours might be applied to this training during the week. I should like to give honorable senators some statistics as to school attendance, so that they may see, as I hope they will, the weak spot in Lt.-Col. McCay’s scheme. The total number of males attending the schoolsis 361,404, with an average attendance of 237,451, so that 123,953, or one-third of the whole number, do not attend regularly. It would, therefore, appear that under thisscheme boys would not be at school to be trained. The statistics of the Commonwealth with regard to the ages of our youths, apart from the attendance at school, are as follow : - Between the ages of fifteenand twenty there are about 189,472, and about 218,308 between ten and fifteen. These are the boys to whom, of course, I wish to apply the system of compulsory training. Lt.-Col. McCay goes on to say in the memorandum : -
No uniform will be provided for, or required of, any Instructor or boy ; no money allowance will be made to any boy.
I think that is quite right.
– Uniforms ought to be provided.
– Uniforms are a mistake in a system of the kind.
– The point I wish, to drive home is that, in return for theprivileges and advantages conferred by the State, the men and boys of the community ought to assist in the defence of the country.. But it is idle to ask! them to do so unless they are trained.
– But we do not desire to supply them with “ millinery.”
– Certainly not. Lt.-Col. McCay says -
After the scheme has been in operation for not less than two years, it will be possible to form Voluntary Cadet Corps, composed solely of youths who have been instructed, and have -left school.
How can we possibly inaugurate a system of this sort, and apply it only to the boys at school, when we know that boys leaveschool at the age of thirteen ? It has beenfound, both in the United Kingdom and in Australia, that the voluntary system, although good and admirable in its way, will not give us the numbers we require. It is monstrous for us to shrink from the idea of saying at once to the youth of the Commonwealth - “ You are bound to serve the State, in return for the privileges and advantages which the State gives you.” Lt.-Col. McCay has thought out his scheme exceedingly well so far as it goes ; but it appears to me to stop just where it ought to begin. Let me give honorable senators some information as to . the ages at which boys attend school. In-.
Victoria, boys attend school between the ages of six and thirteen ; in New South Wales, between five and fourteen ; in South Australia, between seven and thirteen; in Queensland, between six and twelve; in Western Australia, between six and fourteen; and in Tasmania, between seven and thirteen. In view of these figures, we cannot avoid the conclusion that the scheme of Lt. -Col. McCay would fail” in getting hold of the youth of the Commonwealth. Lt.-Col. McCay goes on to point out that it is very essential to have welltrained officers; and there I quite agree with him. He also says that all boys attending colleges and grammar schools should be compelled to undergo a certain amount of military training. But while there are 361,000 boys attending the State schools there are - 14,680 between six and thirteen, and 5,001 over thirteen, who attend private educational establishments in Victoria. The particulars as to the number of boys attending private schools in the other States of the Commonwealth are not available. I contend that no system will be complete unless it be compulsory, whether a boy leaves school at fourteen years of age or eighteen years of age.
– The honorable and learned senator advocates universal military service?
– I advocate universal training, but not conscription. I should now like to direct attention to the armies of the world, and the figures may be regarded as the very latest, seeing that they were given in reply to a question asked in the House of Commons only a few weeks ago.
I have many quotations which show that it would be quite impossible for the British nation to go to war with* any of these continental nations, if the war were of a military rather than of a naval character ; simply’ because England has not the required numbers of efficiently trained officers and men.
– But any war would be of a naval character, considering that nice little ditch between the old country ant the Continent.
– I should now like to quote from an article written by the Earl of Errol in the August number of the Nineteenth Century, on The Nation and. the Army; the Responsibility of the Individual Citizen -
I maintain that the present state of the army is not the fault of this Government or that, nor of this Minister or that.
It is the fault of a system acquiesced in by successive Governments, and supported by the people, and their representatives in Parliament. The secret of failure lies deeper down below the surface. It is not the War Office, but the citizen who is to blame, because he will not make the necessary sacrifices to maintain an army adequate to the needs of the Empire ; and it is to him we must look to provide the necessary driving power for that object.
In the present state of public opinion, the condition of the army cannot be satisfactory, and I do not believe it can ever be made efficient till the whole trend of public opinion is altered.
There was a moment, just after the South African war, when I believe the country would have accepted, and gladly accepted, some radical scheme for putting its military house in order
That moment has passed, and is unlikely to recur until another crisis arises, like that of the early days of December, 1899.
God grant that Ave may have time to rectify our shortcomings, as we had then, and may not have to face an up-to-date and enterprising enemy at an hour’s notice ! It makes one shudder to think what would have happened if, instead of the Boers, we had had to face the Japanese in 1899.
What would have happened at Mafeking, at Kimberley, at Ladysmith ? Is it to be supposed that Japanese soldiers would have quietly sat down till these places were relieved, or have vaited till reinforcements came from England, before overrunning the colony? Is it likely that thousands of Japanese would have wasted their time outside Mafeking for seven months? And is it likely we could have met their highlytrained and experienced warriors with our halftrained auxiliaries?
– Does that help the honorable and learned senator’s case? If it had been a Avar with a nation like Germany, Great Britain would not have acted as she did in South Africa.
– I think the quotation helps my case, because it shows that England met’ with many disasters in South Africa, merely because her citizens were not trained.
– The disasters were the result of insufficient information.
– We know that numbers of yeomen and other English citizens started for South Africa during the war, but hundreds of them were discarded because they were physically unfit, and thousands had to be drilled in South Africa before it was thought safe to allow them to go to the front.
– That was because England did not adopt the modern system of warfare.
– To adopt that system, we must have our citizens trained. The article proceeds -
We are told the country is not, ripe for .any system of universal service. I believe this is so, but it does not prove the wisdom of the feeling. The politicians are, no doubt, bound to take it into consideration, or their calling would b(e gone; but deep- down in their hearts they must know that something of the sort is bound to come sooner or later, and that the only question is, will it come before or after a disaster?
That is plain speaking, and I do not think that honorable senators can deny the statements made. Then another writer, the Rev. H. Russell Wakefield, Mayor of Marylebone, in a companion article to that of the Earl of Errol, says -
Many people are deterred from supporting universal military training, because they hold, that it is morally© indefensible. This is surely a most mistaken judgment, and those who are desirous of seeing the Empire’s sons at their best, not only in body but in character, -would do well to consider the assistance which the suggested power of universal service would afford to this end.
Some good results in this direction seem evident, and can hardly be gainsaid.
The general well-being must depend largely upon the healthy condition of the body of the individual citizen. England is awakening slowly to the fact that the physical state of the people is unsatisfactory.
Conditions, now happily disappearing, have forced some classes in our country to dwell almost exclusively upon their own rights, and a selfishness, very pardonable, but not desirable, has been engendered. “What does he know of England, who only England knows?” is the expression of a great truth, but some would emphasize this, and say, “What does he know of Empire, “who only slum-life knows?” We , shall find readiness to serve country grow with a better realization of the benefits of belonging to our land.
The universality of the teaching will cause the bonds of union between Englishmen to be better realized and more highly valued. The fact that the whole of our male population is one in its ability to be of use to the Empire may do much to draw together those separated by many circumstances which cannot be got rid of, while a truer conception of duty as citizens, exemplified by bodies well trained for service, will be an object lesson to other lands, valuable as proving not only England’s strength, but also her high moral conception of national responsibility. Then I find in the National Review an article on Army Reform on National Lines, by Major-General Sir Edmund Barrow, commanding Peshawar District, India, who says -
The blame for all this rests neither on the War Minister nor on the chiefs of the army, but on an emotional and unreasoning public, which is swayed” by every passing whim, but has neither the patriotism nor the self-denial to insist on efficacious measures, or to accept the personal obligations which they entail. A public ever ready to catch at some cheap or novel expedient, such as voluntary rifle clubs, or even /« Jitsu, ever ready to acclaim feeble platitudes about “ our stupid officers,” or the “ need for war training,”“1 but also ever unwilling to suffer either in purse or in person for those great objects which we one and all profess to desire.
Then there is a splendid article here in the Nineteenth Century by Lord Methuen, in which he says -
The Commission on the Militia and Volunteers has drawn attention, in a way it has never been drawn before, to the difficulties attendant on our maintaining our present system of voluntary enlistment.
We may say what we like, or shut our eyes to the evidence given before this Commission, but here we having facing us the deliberate opinion of a certain number of impartial men, eminently qualified to form a sound judgment, who see no solution except some form of compulsory service. *«.
Field-Marshal Lord Wolseley, Lord Roberts, Lord Kitchener, Lord Rosebery, and the Association of the Head Masters, have united in recognising the importance of the Lads’ Drill Association, and said very much as follows : -
Mental without physical training is a lop-sided experiment; there should be a curriculum of elementary training in all our schools. We ought to follow the example of our colonies, and introduce cadet corps.
The hopes of the future are that the rudiments of military training may be brought within the reach of every able-bodied subject, and that the Government may fully recognise the cadet system as the basis of home defence.
If later on the British public recognise that, for the proper protection of our country, the least we should content ourselves with is the training of our lads in drill, and in the use of the rifle, then, of course, the problem is solved ; but so long as the country does not consider it advisable to tax the youth of this country to this extent, then we have to do our best to fill up the gap.
The gap is being filled in the old country by lads’ drill associations. That, it seems to me, is a terrible mistake. We should at once grapple with the subject, and have compulsory drill for all youths, and to a certain extent for the manhood of the country. Lord. Methuen points out that in New
Zealand all expense connected with the training of cadets is borne by the Education Department, and the cadet corps are solely under the control of that Department. Then he says -
The cadet system has been thoroughly reorganized in Canada. Arms and equipment are loaned by the Militia Department, and instructors are detailed from the permanent force whenever possible.
I must, before I close my article, call in Sir George Goldie as my last witness : -
In his remarks at the end of the report of the Commission on the South African War, he proposed that every physically sound boy of seventeen years of age, who is not serving in the Navy, merchant service, or as an efficient member of a volunteer cadet corps, should serve for a term in national cadet schools, the officers being provided from the regulars.
It is said that the money given to these cadet corps increases the expenses of the Army, but Sir George remarks that the reverse is the truth, for his scheme would enable the country to reduce’ the number of men now serving with the colours.
I said in my opening remarks that I thought the motion opened up. to some extent, the question of Imperial Defence. The time may come when we shall have to flock to the standard of the Empire, as we did in the South African war. The time may come when other nations may be jealous of our paramount position in Egypt, and we may have to fight a European combination.. There may be a great uprising in the Balkan Peninsula, and the action of the Sultan of Turkey may bring about complications in which we shall have to intervene, and a great European war may be the result. We all know that Russia has been foiled in her aggressive policy in the Far East, but she may now devote her attention to Persia, and Great Britain may have to defend her rights in that country, and her interests in the Euphrates Valley. Again, the time may come - though God forbid that we should ever have to fight our Anglo-Saxon cousins in the United States - when we may have to defend Canada for all we are worth. The time may come also when there will be a revolution in India with which the former revolution cannot be compared.
– The honorable and learned senator does not mean to say that our “ Indian brothers “ would turn against us.
– Everything is possible in this world. In any of these contingencies, it would be found that we should have been wise had we considered the question of Imperial Military Defence, as well as the question of Imperial Naval
Defence. All these considerations go to show that we ought to establish some system for the training of our raw material. Nothing is so deplorable as to see the raw material of life going to waste. We have enormous possibilities for the training of men. We should be able to turn out as fine a body of militiamen, riflemen, and mounted infantry as any nation in the world.
– If we will pay for them.
– We need not pay very much for them. The honorable senator has a “ bee in his bonnet “ on this question. I do not desire that we should pay too much for them.
– The difficulty is that the honorable senator does not desire that we should pay anything.
– I say that we have a right to call upon our manhood to defend the Commonwealth. Senator Playford has a notion, and nothing I can say will knock it out of his head. I cannot help that. I am sure that the honorable senator will be left in the lurch; that he will find that he must follow his Prime Minister; and that, instead of leading the people, the people will lead him. I have read certain articles in which suggestions are made on the subject of preferential trade, and the question . of naval defence. One writer suggests that we shal’l give preferential trade to the mother country, although she will be unable to reciprocate because she cannot afford to tax food or raw material. He points out that we are deriving the verv greatest protection from the Imperial Navy, and that we cannot afford to pay as we should like - and I hope honorable senators are agreed on that point - our fair share. of the expense of it, either on the basis of population or of revenue. On the basis of population, the Colonies of Great Britain should pay £7,000,000.
– Is that a fair basis?
– On the basis of revenue the Colonies should pay £9,000,000, and I believe that our proper share of the expense involved in Imperial naval defence would be between , £2,000,000 and £3,000,000. I have a suggestion to make which may be thought worthy of consideration. If we adopt some form of compulsory military service, although we may not be in a position to pay our proper proportion of the cost of Imperial naval defence, we may be able to say that we shall be ready. when the necessity arises to supply 25,000 men for foreign military service.
– Compulsory enlistment for foreign service? I do not think we will ever stand that.
– I am suggesting that we might be prepared to supply 25,000 men for foreign military service, and 5,000 of these might be mounted men.
– I thought that the basis of the honorable senator’s motion was home defence.
– T - The honorable senator will not get Australians to follow him unless for home defence.
– I have been dealing with home defence, but I am trying now to show that there is a way in which we might help the Empire, and at the same time meet the debt we owe to the Imperial authorities in respect of naval protection and defence.
– The honorable senator is spoiling a good case.
– I do not think so; I am using the argument for what it is worth. Honorable senators seem to forget that in the South African war 5,000 of our men volunteered for the service of the Empire.
– They were purely volunteers.
– My answer is that, under a scheme providing for compulsory training, there is no reason why we should not have 100,000 men or more who will have been trained to some extent, and I undertake to say that out of that number 35,000 might be expected to volunteer for foreign service, as our men did before.
– That is their own look-out.
– From one point of view it is. But we cannot deal effectively with the question of defence if we leave everything to voluntary effort. We must know the means by which we are going to defend the Commonwealth and, if need be, assist in defending the Empire. If we are to give assistance to the Empire when it is in trouble, we must have some system laid down, and some definite plan on which the Imperial authorities can depend. Are they to be refused adequate compensation for the naval defence of the Commonwealth, and at the same time to be told that we cannot guarantee the offer of r.ooo men, or of one man, in the hour of England’s trouble?
– Trouble for doing what ?
– I need not answer that question, except to say, as Senator Higgs must know, that history repeats itself. We are not now subscribing anything like an adequate contribution to our naval defence, and I am suggesting that we might make up for an inadequate naval contribution by a military contribution. Do honorable senators mean to say that out of 100,000 or 200,000 trained men, 25,000 could not be found to volunteer for foreign service in aid of the Empire?
– T - That would not be compulsory service.
– No, but we might agree to supply 25,000 men; and if we called upon 100,000 or 200,000 men to volunteer, I have no doubt that we should get the number required. If we named our contribution at a moderately low figure, I believe that by voluntary offers we could get the number required.
– The honorable senator advocates, as a part of his scheme, that we should offer to contribute 25,000 men in case such a necessity as he suggests should arise ?
– That is not a part ofthe scheme dealt with in my motion.
– If the honorable and learned senator advocates a scheme which ultimately contemplates that we shall undertake to supply a certain number of men for foreign service, I shall vote against him.
– My scheme does not provide for anything of the sort. I am making an alternative suggestion to one in connexion with preferential trade to which I have already referred.
– The honorable senator should make that the subject of a separate motion.
– I will drop that subiect now.
– Why drag in that question. when the honorable senator knows that it is objectionable?
– I have done so, because the writer to whom I have referred has said that we might make up for our deficient contribution to Imperial naval defence by giving preferential trade to the mother countrv, and asking nothing in return. The obiection to that is that it would probablv be disastrous to our local manufacturers. I am submitting a national scheme for the compulsory training of men and boys, and I suggest - and the men might be consulted beforehand - that a certain proportion of our trained men might be invited to offer themselves for foreign service under certain conditions. I am merely endeavouring to point out a way by which we could make up to the mother country for our niggardly contribution towards the naval defence of the Empire.
– I do not know that we are making a niggardly contribution. We are making a considerable contribution. We do not contribute as much to the dangers of the Empire as do other portions of it.
– Surely the honorable senator will not say that ours is not a niggardly contribution ?
– It is, if we reckon the liabilities of every section of the Empire to be equal, but they are not, and we do not contribute as much as do other British Possessions to the dangers of the Empire.
– I cannot agree with Senator Trenwith. I think it is a blot on our policy that we contribute so little for the protection we receive from the British Navy.
– I am sorry to raise a point of order, but I must ask whether the honorable and learned senator is in order in discussing on this motion the contribution which we pay under the Naval Agreement Act? The honorable and learned senator is reflecting upon that Act, and under our Standing Orders he is not entitled to do so, unless he moves for its repeal.
– I think the honorable senator is wandering somewhat from the motion. The question of the Commonwealth contribution under the Naval Agreement Act does not appear to me to come within the terms of the motion.
– The honorable senator is spoiling his case.
– I am sorry to hear the honorable senator say so. This is only a very small portion of my case. T am urging that all boys should, while in school, receive some military training, and be taught the use of the rifle; and the latter part of the motion proposes that after they have left school thev shall still be liable to some kind of compulsory training. I have been told by a lavman that I would do much better to limit my mo tion to the training “of boys in school, but I have been advised by military men that we should affirm the principle of the compulsory training of men, because, whilst we may not make a soldier of a boy bytraining him at school, we shall make a soldier of a man by training him between the ages of seventeen and twenty-three. I hope the Senate will not shrink from affirming the principle that, no matter how little drill or training may be imparted, our youths and young men shall make some sacrifices to prepare themselves for the defence of the Commonwealth. We have a right to ask this of them in return for the advantages they derive as residents in Australia. I recollect reading a letter by Mr. Kipling, in which he referred to the enormous contribution universally levied on boys in the pursuit of football, cricket, and other games. Whoever heard of a boy attending school, and not taking part in these games? I suppose that in most schools boys are compelled to take part in them. Mr. Kipling, in his letter, pointed out that if a youth is at school between the ages of twelve and seventeen years, he will have been compelled practically to put in 2,500 hours at football, cricket, and other games, and if he is at school from ten to eighteen years of age. he will have been compelled to devote about 4,000 hours to such recreations. He adds, that if we took 10 per cent, of that time and devoted it to military drill and rifle practice, our schoolboys would be fitted to some extent to take their part in defending the country. I should think that we might take more than 10 per cent, of this time; a third, or a fourth, would be well employed if devoted to some kind of military training.
– We should not allow our boys to play at all !
– I think my honorable friend is joking. We want the boys to play at football and cricket; but I am suggesting that a certain portion of their time should be devoted to military drill and rifle practice, which would be quite as fascinating as any game. The time devoted to such exercises should not be taken out of school hours, as Lt.-Col. McCay suggests. Mr. Rudyard Kipling has two lines which are to the point -
Let us admit it fairly as a business people should,
We have had no end of a lesson, it will do us no end of good.
Then he goes on to anticipate the report of the Committee which I have quoted, and writes these lines -
Each man born in the island to be broke to the matter of war,
As if it were almost cricket -
– Will the honorable senator quote those lines of Mr. Kipling’s about “ Fifteen thousand Chinamen going to Table Bay “ ?
– No, I cannot. But the whole question is contained in the sentiment that each man born in the land should be “broke to the matter of war.”
– Is that the poet who spoke about “ The flanneled fools at the wicket, the muddied oafs at the goal “ ?
– In addition to the cadet scheme, we also have our rifle clubs, which number 686, and comprise 30,342 men. They cost about £50,566. In Canada the rifle clubs number 400; 270 of them being civilian clubs, and the remainder military. They have 34,000 members, as against our 30,000. In Switzerland there are 200,000 riflemen.
– But in Switzerland there is a compulsory system right through.
– It is a compulsory system to some extent. There are four possible systems of defence for Australia. The first is to perfect the present system - to enlarge it if you like, and make it as complete as you will ; but it is a very costly system, involving an expenditure of about £560,000 per annum. The second possible course is to perfect the present system, and to add to it the compulsory training of youths. The third possible course is to perfect the present system, and to add to it compulsory rifle practice, so that every young man in the country may learn to shoot straight; and we could combine with that the compulsory training of youth, if that be thought desirable. The fourth system is that mentioned in the motion, namely, compulsory military training of some sort. That includes numbers two and three, and would provide for such military training between the ages of twelve and twenty-three. I ask my honorable friend the Minister of Defence which system he is going to adopt. He can adopt the first system if he likes.
– It is adopted now.-
– Surely the honorable member is not going to stop there?
– I have to administer it.
– What the honorable senator has to administer is a system in which there are 22,000 paid men, costing about £550,000 per annum, and Lt.-Col. McCay has suggested that in time of war 40,000 is the least number of men required to protect the Commonwealth in case of a raid or a small invasion. Thus my honorable friend, in addition to the 22,000 men, has to provide for 18,000 more men, and I contend that there are not in this Commonwealth 18,000 men sufficiently trained to add to the 22,000, and to make up an efficient army.
– Yes there are - men who have passed through the militia and volunteers.
– I tell my honorable friend on military authority that it would cost him about £200,000 a year to get those 18,000 men to make up the 40,000 which the late Minister tells us are necessary. For that sum we could introduce a system for the compulsory training of all our youths, and to a great extent of our manhood. I urge, therefore, that this system of universal training - not compulsory service - is by far the best to adopt. I do not know what arguments I shall have to meet in opposition. I have a great many more arguments and opinions, but I will reserve them for my reply. I wish to hear what Senator Playford has to say with regard to the motion. I have pointed out the views of his Prime Minister, and when I have heard his own opinions, I shall be able to produce more arguments. But I am perfectly satisfied that if the Minister will adopt some sort of compulsory military training the greatest possible benefit will accrue from it. There will be, first, greater security. It will give us a guarantee of peace; because if all the world knows that we have trained citizens throughout the Empire other nations will be very loth to go to war with us. Secondly, there will be an improvement in the physique of our people. In the third place, there will be the advantage that the system will give our people a training in sacrifice, and will bring home to them the duties and responsibilities of citizenship. In the fourth place, it will give thousands of people a valuable training in methodical habits, punctuality, cleanliness, order, and discipline, which will have a beneficial effect upon the commercial and industrial life of the Commonwealth. In the fifth place, it will bring all classes together for their mutual benefit, and will teach them the lessons of national duty and human brotherhood in a common service under the Union Jack. If my honorable friend can show that we can adopt any other scheme than this, and secure an efficient force, I shall be glad to listen to him. But I do not think he can. I would suggest to him that he should take a leap ahead, and adopt some form of universal service. There is the Swiss scheme and the Japanese scheme to choose from. Under her scheme. Japan has shown how it is possible for a people to jump to the front rank in nationhood. Her army has been an admirable success in every way. Count Orama says that that success is owing to compulsory education and compulsory service. Under the system which prevails in the Swiss confederation beneficial results have also followed. I do not know whether my honorable friend has a copy of Lt.-Col. Campbell’s pamphlet.
– Yes; I have read every word of it.
– It is an admirable document, and gives a mass of valuable information. I shall be interested to hear what my honorable friend has to say.
– I beg to second the motion. In supporting it I have to say that I think that if Senator Dobson had omitted his unfortunate reference to recruiting for service abroad he would have earned the thanks of every honorable senator for bringing the question forward. But notwithstanding those remarks which I am proud to say are out of touch with the feeling of the majority of the members of this Parliament, and of public opinion I think that his motion is a very useful one, and is brought forward at a very opportune time, when the public mind has more or less been fastened on to the subject of a complete system of defence for Australia. There are times in the history of peoples when questions of this kind are much more acceptable than at others, though «the necessity for considering them may always be pressing. For instance, during the South African war. I believe that the public mind of Great Britain was very much inclined towards a system of compulsory training, or of universal service. Public attention was directed to the necessity of having a more effective means of defence and a better trained army. Since then public feeling has been allowed to cool down, with the result that, to-day, if universal training were proposed in Great Britain it would probably be a much greater task to convert the public to that way of thinking than it would have been had action been taken when the iron was hot. There is no doubt that the late war between Russia and Japan contained valuable lessons for Australia. We have seen how an Asiatic nation, which most of us considered to be merely a second or third rate power, has sprung at one leap into the first rank of world powers. Japan to-day stands in a position that no one can dispute. It would be futile and foolish on our part to shut our eyes to the lessons of the war. There is no people in the world that stands in such danger from that Asiatic people as we do in Australia. I am attributing to the Japanese no more than the natural tendencies that I should attribute to a European people, when I say .that the military laurels they have gained in the war will have at least as great an effect upon their imagination as military victories have had upon the imagination of European peoples. If we take the most advanced countries in the world - the energetic, progressive people of the United Kingdom, the cultured people of France, the far-sighted and deepthinking people of German)’ - we shall find that their military victories have always had the effect of making them jingoistic, and too prone to make war.
– Inclined to swagger.
– Inclined to get swelled head, if I may use a vulgarism, and to swagger over others. And if that has been the effect upon Europeans, I am quite satisfied that the same will be the case with Asiatics, who have been looked down upon for generations as inferior to white men. Considering our geographical position, we have, therefore, every reason to take to heart the lessons of the war, and to begin to prepare our country for that defence which I hope we shall never need to put into requisition. If ever we do, I trust that we shall have a defence worthy of the name. I believe that we shall be able to put up a gallant fight, and we shall certainly be better able to do it if our men are given such a training as military science can furnish. This is not a party question in Australian politics. I had the honour to propose a motion similar to this at a political Labour Conference a few months ago, and, although it was not adopted, it was defeated by such a small majority, that I have reason to think that in time the Labour Party will adopt compulsory training as one of its principles. The movement is growing in every State, and I think it is bound to extend. But, while I am a supporter of the motion, I wish it to be clearly understood that I, individually, and the party to which I belong, have no sympathy whatever with wars of aggression. Such wars are totally opposed to our principles. Wherever our party has a footing, in any part of the civilized world - and it is, I hold, a worldwide party - it has absolutely condemned all wars of aggression. But it has always been most enthusiastic in supporting wars of defence that are forced upon a country. No people have rallied more fervently to the defence of a country attacked by a foreign foe than those holding democratic opinions, though we have no sympathy with anything in the nature of jingoism. I support this motion, first, because I believe that the proposition it contains is forced upon us by the necessities of our situation. The adoption of compulsory military training in Australia would be a safeguard to our country. It would not only be a safeguard against aggression from without, but I hold that it would also prove the best defence that a democracy could have. One of the most truly democratic peoples in the world, the Swiss, have adopted this system, and consequently are not afraid of attack from any quarter. But they know that, if they had a standing army, their democracy would be threatened by a grave danger. We, in Australia, have less to fear than any people in the world in that respect, as our democracy is free from the taint of militarism. That being so, we ought to make ourselves as free as possible from the danger of aggression from without. People who are not prepared to defend their country cannot, in the right sense of the word, be described as free. If a country is worthy of defence - and I know none more worthy than Australia - that defence cannot be in better hands than those of the inhabitants ; and this is a duty which should be compulsory on all who exercise citizen rights. Considering that the rights and privileges of citizenship are so general in Australia, I cannot see how any one who enjoys them could refuse to perform the accompanying duties. We cannot get away from the fact that there may be forced upon us at any time the duty of defending Australia, and if we are not prepared to offer that defence by having a thoroughly trained citizen force, we shall certainly not show to advantage. I have no doubt whatever as to the abilities of the average Australian, who is quite as capable of taking care of himself as the citizen of any other country in the world. In our athletic sports, and in the fistic arena, where a man’s endurance and skill are thoroughly tested, a young Australian is always capable of giving, a good account of himself ; and I have no doubt that if military knowledge and training be placed within reach, he will, in this connexion, compare with any other citizen in the world. We have an enormous area and a verv small population, but if we* have the training Senator Dobson has indicated, I have no doubt that should the day come when we are called upon as a people to take action in our own defence, we shall have no reason to be ashamed of ourselves. I see no other way than that of compulsory military training to escape the institution of a standing army, which would not only be a menace to the democracy of the country, but would impose ari unbearable burden of taxation on the people generally. We know that the Australiandoes not care to pay too dear for his defence, and time and again the Defence Estimates have been severely cut down. Our military defence is not adequate under the present system, and to extend” it to the extreme limit that our finances, would bear would be objectionable. Certainly the very upmost we could afford te* spend on a defence scheme would not provide a standing army sufficient to guard a country so enormous as Australia. Under the circumstances I see nothing before us but a scheme like ‘that submitted in the motion, which would give us an adequate force at a minimum cost, and cause nodanger to our democratic institutions which we have laboured so hard to build up. Adam Smith, the great political economist, cannot be charged with having been a “ jingo,” and he laid it down as a basicprinciple ?hat a citizen army is the best of all armies for a free people. Adam Smith’s words are -
In a citizen army the character of the labourer or tradesman predominates; over that of the soldier, but in a standing army that of the soldier predominates over every other character.
In that view I agree. My acquaintance with military men, both at Home and inAustralia, leads me to believe that once a man makes the” Army his profession, it monopolizes all his thoughts and energies. To such a man the institutions of the country, other than military, are as nought ; he looks on the military as the beginning and end of all things. We have endless lessons in history which show the lengths ‘to which individuals deeply imbued with the spirit of militarism are prepared to go in order to uphold the system. That sort of character is not developed in a citizen army ; and the way in which to make the character of the labourer and tradesman, predominate over that of the soldier is to cause every man in the community to be a citizen soldier. This is the price we have to pay for our independence - the price we are obliged to pay in order to maintain and defend our country. I have already referred to the citizen army of Switzerland, and I should like to make some quotations from a recent andi very instructive book on the subject. I find that the soldiers of Switzerland are scarcely observable to any one travelling through the country; that there is no country where militarism is less in evidence, though the whole place is practically an armed camp. The system adopted in Switzerland, which is similar in principle to that outlined by Senator Dobson, is known as the compulsoryvoluntary system. That may appear to be a contradiction in terms.
– And so it is.
– However that may be, it has been adopted in Switzerland, and, perhaps, there is no institution that is more firmly established in the country. A standing army has scarcely ever been known in the history of Switzerland; if such an army were ever established there, it has been unknown, for many generations. In Switzerland, ‘ notwithstanding treaties which make her territory neutral, it has been found necessary to organize the whole of the people for defence; and, considering that we have no treaties which guarantee our neutrality, and that we are open at any time to attack, close as we are to Asiatic peoples who regard Australia with an envious eye, the necessity for a similar system here would appear to be much greater. The population of Switzerland is a republic made up of people who speak German, Italian, and ‘French ; they are not what may be called a distinct people. But, notwithstanding the fact that the population is composed of people of the surrounding nationalities, they do not consider themselves free from aggression unless prepared to defend themselves by means of their citizen army. Our danger is not from people of European race, but from the hordes of Asiatics that are our nearest neighbours. The book to which I have referred is an American production, entitled Government in Switzerland, and is written by Mr. J. M. ‘ Vincent, associate professor in the John Hopkins University. In that book I find this statement -
The organization of the Federal Army is carried out with elaborate exactness. As stated above, every able-bodied citizen, not otherwise engaged in specified government service, must be enrolled in the militia, and continues in some form, to the age of fifty, a part of the national defence.
– A man, by paying a special tax, can get himself exempted from service.
– I fancy that the Minister of Defence is in error. No doubt there are exemptions, as in the case of a man whose mother may be a widow, but I have never seen it authoritatively, Stated that a man may purchase his freedom from service. Mr. Vincent, in his book, goes on to say -
On coming of age, every young man is entered? on the list of recruits, and if, after medical “examination, he is found available, is sent to one of the schools of instruction for about six weeks of his first year. After that he is liable to be called out two weeks every other year (cavalry, ten days every year) during his term in the active army, to go into camp for military drill.
We can give that amount of time in Australia during holidays, so that there need1 be no interference with trade or industry.
On reaching thirty-two, the militiaman is mustered into the” reserve, where he is no longer subject to annual drill, but must present himself one day in the year for inspection, and is called’ out once in four years for practice courses of five or six days. The regulations differ for officers. Those who desire promotion in the various branches of the army, must follow courses of higher military instruction, and spend considerable time each year in conducting drill and manoeuvres. . . Education for military duty begins, in reality, when a boy has reached his tenth year ; -
That is much younger than the age proposed by Senator Dobson - for gymnastic training under competent teachersis obligatory upon all sound youths, whether attending school or not, until fifteen years of age. The method and scope of instruction is carefully presented by Federal law, and is carried out bythe cantonal administrations.
– The cantons find’ most of the money, and carry out the work to a great extent.
– The force is under the supervision of the Federal Government, and I have no doubt that, under such a scheme as that proposed by Senator Dobson, some of the work would have to be left to the States.
– The States would laugh at the Commonwealth Government, who have not the power to call upon them to do this work.
– I do not think so. The States would, I believe, recognise this dutv just as readily as does the Commonweal’th. Indeed, many of the schools in Australia carry on gymnastic and physical training at the present time. At the Eight Hours’ Demonstration in Sydney the other day I saw a very large number of scholars from the State schools give gymnastic exhibitions, including drill with field guns as well as with rifles. Surely if this work is being carried out at’ the present time, there would be no objection to extending it under Federal legislation. Mr. Vincent goes on to say: -
This, without maintaining a large standing army, great care is taken in the instruction and exercise of the militia, a record being kept of every available man, and where he may be found, so that when troops are wanted, they may be instantly called together. . . . Switzerland’s mode of defence is thus in striking contrast to that of the great powers surrounding her. No great army is apparent to the eye in time of peace. No draft upon the youthful strength of the nation withdraws for terms of years a large body of working men into an unproductive occupation, vet by careful organization and short periods of drill, the whole able-bodied male population has been made into an army. We are carried back to the old Germanic idea of the folk as “ the people in arms.”
According to this writer, the system in Switzerland causes very little interference with the industrial life’ of the community. At any rate, the time devoted to drill and training has not called for any adverse comment. And I think a similar system could be carried out here with just as much ease. Much of the training could be given in the evenings, on Saturdays, and at holiday times, and, as in every industry there are dull periods, a camp training could then be arranged. I have taken the trouble to collect some figures showing the . cost of the Swiss system as compared with the cost of the systems of other European powers. In Switzerland the , cost per armed man, namely, £7 per annum, is the lowest in Europe. In Great Britain the cost ranges as high as £64 per annum per armed man ; in Austria, £52 ; in France, £46 ; in Ger many, £46 ; in Italy, ,£43 ; and in Russia, £22 per armed man. The financial aspect of this question is most important; and I have already referred to the severe criticism which has at times been levelled at the Defence Estimates in this Parliament, and which indicates the necessity for the most economical administration. In order to secure efficiency with economy, there is no system which we can adopt with any chance of success, except that of making every individual take his part in the defence of his country. I should like to read some extracts from a letter written by an Australian military man who took part in the South African war, and who, with a thorough knowledge of Australian characteristics and institutions, has given the subject under discussion much attention. This gentleman recognises the need for economy, and holds that it would be foolish to dress up our lads in what he calls “millinery.” He also points out that the Boers fought in civilian dress quite as well as they would have fought in the most gaudy uniform; and he suggests that a badge on the arm or a number on the hat or cap is all that is necessary for military purposes. I will read an extract from the letter. The writer says - ‘
Drill at present day consists of about four movements, which any schoolboy can learn in a week, and has little tactical effect on fighting. Physical training, which should be begun, at school, and carried out daily until a boy leaves it, is the groundwork of every army.
To add rifle-shooting, not at short and wellknown ranges (good enough for the MartiniHenri), but up to the full extent of the rifle in use, at unknown ranges, and in all lights and weathers, will have the boy out of school far fitter than his ancestors to tackle daily fife, and always ready to fall in to his place on the first note of war. ,
To use the present electoral (districts as regimental areas, and to be able to rally every man at the polling-booth to resist an invasion bv batteries and .regiments of his own electorate as he now goes to the poll to record his vote is but the work of a day, with a proper system of skeleton army in time of peace.
The Boers were quite as invisible as the British ; they fought as well, man for man, in their everyday working clothes, and to say that we .cannot do the same is giving us very little credit.
We cannot afford to dress up the entire male population of Australia, and yet nothing short of these numbers can be looked upon as effective to guard an area equal to the United States of America.
Nor can we provide ponies for them all ; and I advisedly say ponies, for horses are absolutely out of place for this purpose.
Firstly, they cannot do the work of ponies on short rations; their own weight tires them much sooner; they offer a much larger target to the enemy ; are not so handy in any shape or form.
Taken month after month, good marching infantry will go as far. When in the firing line, 25 per cent, of the effective force have to be detached to hold the horses, and during the second Boer war it was found that about 25 per cent, were permanently dismounted, from horses running short, going back for fresh ones, &c, &c.
To lead a horse into the firing line is to court disaster; the machine-guns of an opposing force would mow down or stampede the lot, to say nothing of drawing a deadly fire on to the men who were trying to fire and hang on to their bridles at the same time - about as impossible a thing for any number of men as can well be imagined.
Again, we are defending our coast, not raiding an adjacent power; and if the trains and carts cannot bring the men approximately to their posts, well, it will be a bad day when entire dependence is placed on marching a regiment from Sydney to Brisbane.
If the men in the rifle clubs cannot ride now, well, they will be better on their feet, for their own comfort and that of the horse, in the day of battle; if they can ride, it is waste of time drilling riflemen like cavalry in peace.
Honorable senators will see that the writer of this letter seems to understand the system which was followed in the South African war. There can be no doubt that many valuable lessons for use in Australia can be drawn from the experience gained in that war. This gentleman .took part in the war from the beginning to almost the close, and, as he is an Australian, he is able to give sound advice on this matter. He points out that the dressing of men in fancy uniforms is of very little use to them in actual fighting. The Boers found it no disadvantage not to have a red coat in the firing line. It should not be forgotten that the training imparted under these schemes, wherever they “have been adopted, has greatly benefited the health of the youths who have undergone it. On this point Senator Dobson has quoted many valuable figures which further reacting on the subject would, I am sure, substantiate. We have heard that want of exercise is telling on the race at Home, and, perhaps, this applies to some extent in Australia:
– Hunger has had something to do with it.
– It has no doubt had some effect. We cannot expect men or boys to be healthy if they are not well nourished and well fed. We know that leading statesmen in Great Britain have said that there are something like 12,000,000 of people in the United Kingdom who are always on the verge of starvation, and no doubt hunger has had a very injurious effect on many of the youths in the mother country. I am sure that the race in Australia would be the better physically for the adoption of the scheme proposed ; and, once it were properly understood, I have little doubt that our boys and young menwould take it up with enthusiasm. There would be no need to force it upon them ; and I may say at once that if I thought that this motion meant anything in the nature of conscription, I should be opposed to it. I believe that that will not be its effect, but that it would lead to our boys and young men learning many useful lessons which would be beneficial to them in after life. It should be remembered that we have already legislated in such a way that the young mein who would Le effected by this motion could be called upon for service in defence of the Commonwealth. In the Defence Act we have laid it down that every male between the ages of eighteen and sixty shall be liable for service. What greater folly could there be than to provide that every man in the country should be liable for military service, if we did not also make provision for their necessary training? It will be of no use to call to the defence of the country men who will have had no military training whatever, and who will not know one end of a rifle from the other. We cannot expect men to “be capable soldiers without some training. A mob of untrainedmen in the field would be a greater danger to themselves than to the enemy. . Having laid down the principle of compulsory service in our Defence Act, the logical sequence is that we should provide our youthsand young men with the means of learning something of the duties which they may be called upon to perform. The system outlined by Senator Dobson is one which, ire my opinion, should meet with the approval of the Senate.
– I wish to say only a very few words on the motion, because I I00K upon the question as practically inthe academic stage at the present time. Senator de Largie has argued on the assumption that we have not a citizen army now, and that, unless we adopt some proposal of this kind, we shall by-and-by have an army which will not be a citizen army_, but which will be under the control of a certain section of the community, and will be used, possibly, to the injury of the rest of the community. That is altogether a mistaken idea. With the exception of a few men forming a permanent force, which we cannot do without, and which we must have, even though we adopt the Swiss system, the army we have at present is a citizen army. The whole of our troops are citizen troops - militia, volunteers, riflemen, and so on.
– Their numbers are inadequate.
– I do not know that they are. I have only lately received a communication from the Defence Committee of Great Britain, in which the opinion is held that they are adequate, if not more than adequate, for any duty they are likely to be called upon to perform. Senator Walker, in saying that the numbers are inadequate, is setting his opinion against that, expressed by some of the highest British military authorities. They say, with regard to Major-General Hutton’s scheme, that the force provided for is quite adequate for all requirements, taking into consideration the opposing force it would be likely to meet in case of war.
– Do they understand the wonderful distances which our forces might have to cover?
– They have every information on the subject. They have maps and plans, and they understand the question, practically, as” well as do military men here. In commenting upon Major-General Hutton’s scheme, and the force he suggested on _ a peace and on a war footing, they say that it is adequate. After all, what do we require a military force for? It is for the purpose of protecting ourselves. Then the question arises: What force is likely to be brought against us? Estimates in such matters are of course arbitrary ; that cannot be helped; but military authorities have laid it down that a force of a certain strength might be expected to invade our shores. They say that no force of less than 20,000 men would ever think of attacking us, and the chances are that an invading force would not exceed 50,000 men. It is held that we have made adequate provision to meet an attack by such a force. I agree with Senator de Largie and with others who contend that the most perfect system of defence would be one under which every able-bodied man in the com munity would be trained to bear arms and to shoot straight. That would be a perfect system undoubtedly, but the question is what would it cost, and would the people of the Commonwealth stand the expense that would be involved? It is all very well to refer to the Swiss system, and to say that we could take men away from their ordinary avocations and compel them to undergo military training, but is it proposed that they should serve without pay ? If the proposal is that the men should be paid for the time devoted to training, a very little consideration will be sufficient to convince honorable senators tha1*: the cost will be enormous. To attempt to enforce this system without pay would be to inflict the grossest injustice on the poorer members of the community, who would be taken away from their ordinaryavocations, perhaps, at times which’ would be most inconvenient to them, and who would lose their wages when engaged in military training. It would mean precious little to the richer members of the community, but to the rest it would mean a very great deal.
– It would mean that the poorer members of the community would have to defend the property of the rich, without recompense.
– They would have to give their time, which, ito them, means money, without recompense. What the motion proposes is an unpaid force, and that is practically what the Swiss force is, and the wealthy man would have his property protected whilst the poor man would be called upon to pay for its protection.
– We would not agree to that rotten system.
– I do not know ; but it appears to me that that is what the honorable senator proposes. If he proposes that the men should be paid he must count the cost, and I should like to know what he thinks it would be.
– We would not pay.
– Then the honorable senator would make the poorer members of the community pay by the loss of their time and wages for the protection, not only of themselves, but of the richer members of the community.
– They would have to give up their time, but not their wages.
– Does the honorable senator mean to say that a man might be away from his employment for six weeks at a stretch, as they are in Switzerland, engaged in military training, and that his employer would pay him his wages for that time?
– That would only be in the first year.
– It does not matter. So far as the Swiss force is concerned there can be no doubt that the training imparted is absolutely inadequate. It is so very small that it is extremely doubtful whether, with the exception of a few of the elite of the active army, they could be depended upon as being anything more than irregular troops. It can hardly be assumed that man for man the Swiss forces could stand against properly-trained and drilled troops.
– That is not the opinion generally held on the Continent of Europe.
-All kinds of men hold all sorts of opinion on questions of defence. If a Lord Roberts stands up in England and supports a certain scheme of defence,’ you will have a Lord Wolseley stand up and condemn it. We have appointed a Council of Defence, and have done away with the commander-in-chief, as th’ev have in England, and Lord Roberts and others contend that that is a wrong principle altogether.
– All are agreed that universal training is a right principle.
– I admit that to establish a perfect system of defence we should make it compulsory that every man should undergo a military training, but in order to establish such a system, we should have to bear the expense of paying the men while they were being trained, and if they were to be properly trained the cost would be enormous. Under the Swiss system, when men are being trained for a lengthy period, they receive an average payment of 6d. per day. Recruits get 4½d., and men who have been some time in the service get 7d. per day. We should have to pay our men considerably more than that. We could not, I suppose, pay them less than 5s. or 6s. per day while they were being trained. Our population is practically the same as that of Switzerland. The population of Switzerland is about 3.900,000, whilst the population of the Commonwealth is 3,500,000. The annual cost under the Swiss system is £1,120,000; and if we were to pay our men under the scheme pro posed we should have to multiply that by twelve, and the expense would run into £12, 000,000 or £13,000,000 a year.
– Does the honorable senator mean to say that it would cost £13,000,000 a year to carry out this scheme ?
– If we reckon the pay which men of the Swiss forces receive as one-twelfth of what we should have to pay our men, seeing that their annual expenditure on this account is £1,120,000, we should require over £13,000,000 a year. My contention is that if we insist on compulsory service, we must pay our men fairly for the time they are compelled to devote to military training. I say that that would involve the expenditure of an enormous sum of money. I admit that the system by which a country can hope to defend itself to the best advantage must be one of compulsory military training for every able-bodied man in the community, but, so far as I can see, we are not in a position to carry out such a system.
– Why does the honorable senator base his calculation on a payment of 5s. a day ? We do not pay 5s. per day now to men of the permanent force.
– I think we pay that to our naval men.
– I think we pay 5s. per day to our men at ithe encampments. At any rate, the expense will be considerably increased, and it is questionable whether there is any necessity for it. I. should be willing to alter ourl present system if I could see my way to find the money, because I admit that compulsory military service is the best system a country could adopt. But in the first place I do not know that we could afford it, and, secondly, I do not know that the people of this community would agree to it. If there is one thing more than another about which theAnglo-Saxon race has held a strong opinion, it is the refusal to bow the knee to conscription in connexion with military and naval affairs. The people have refused it in the United States, in Canada, in Great Britain, and in Australia.
SenatorMulcahy. - What about the press gang in former days in Great Britain ?
– That was a system adopted under great pressure, and in peculiar circumstances, when the very life of the nation depended on maintaining the strength of the fleet. Great Britain then resorted to measures which would not be justified under other conditions. “Self-preservation is the first law of nature,” and a country under fear of foreign aggression may resort to a system that would not be justified under normal circumstances. But there is a great difference between the situation of Great Britain al that time and our situation today. There is also a great difference between compulsory service and conscription. Conscription is compulsion, but compulsion is not necessarily conscription. A grey mare is a horse, but a horse is not necessarily a grey mare. Conscription prevails in France, where the authorities go into a village, and take by ballot a certain number of young men of certain ages to serve in the army. In Germany, however, every young man is compelled to serve for two years with the colours. The period used to be three years. After that period of service men become members of the reserve, and may be called upon to serve in case of necessity. That is compulsoryservice.
– My system is compulsory training.
– Is there any hardship in compelling our young men to do what some of them do voluntarily now ?
– Yes, I think there is. If they are compelled to serve they are taken away from their ordinarywork, and lose their wages. I can see no objection on principle to a paid compulsory military service, because under it” the poorer class cannot complain that they lose money, whereas the richer class, who have their property protected, are well able to pay for the service rendered. If the men are paid for their service, and there is a proper system of taxation that compels the richer classes to contribute more towards the revenue than the poorer, and therefore to bear their fair share of the military expenditure, it is a proper system.
– Is the honorable senator in favour of the training of cadets ?
– I am, but as far as my experience goes, after looking into the subject, there is no necessity for making that system compulsory. Every young lad who goes to a school is only too pleased to join a cadet corps.
– There are only 8,000 cadets ‘in the Commonwealth, and there ought to be 200.000. The honorable senator has not looked into the subject. He is only bluffing us.
- Senator Dobson is exceedingly rude, and would complain if I retorted upon him in his own terms.” I have looked into the matter, and I find that there is only one State in the Commonwealth in which .the cadet system flourishes to any extent, namely, Victoria. But I have made inquiries amongst school masters and others, and I find that there is not the slightest trouble in getting lads to join the cadet corps. They are only too pleased to shoulder their arms and “ showhow fields are won.” Senator Dobson was very unfair to the late Minister of Defence in reference to the cadet system. That gentleman took an immense amount of trouble, and, I believe in the principles that he had laid down, on the whole. I am willing to extend the cadet system with the co-operation of the States Governments. It is useful to teach the boys to handle rifles, and a little drilling does them good physically. If ever the country was attacked, the training ‘they received as cadets would be extremely useful. This is just like learning to swim. I learned to swim when quite a little boy, and found that after twenty years, when I jumped into the water, I could swim just as well as ever. Similarly a boy who learns to shoot as a cadet would, no matter how long he lived, be able to shoot later in life if his country required his services. We cannot, however, increase the number of cadets without the ‘assistance of the States. I have left upon the Estimates the sum of ,£7,000, which the late Minister placed there for the purpose of encouraging the system. T have also under my consideration the idea of having for the cadets an inexpensive uniform, because I have found that nothing pleases a boy more than to have a nice little military cap, and a uniform, decorated with a few bits of braid to show it off. But we do not want any ‘compulsion applied to the cadet system. I did not approve of that part of the late Minister’s scheme, not only because it is not necessary; but also because it would involve the passing of a special Act of Parliament. We could not compel these boys to join cadet corps.
– Yes, we could.
– We could not compel them to handle rifles, and to’ go through drills as part of the ordinary school curriculum.
– T - There is power to compelservice under the Defence Act.
– Not to compel little boys at school to undergo drill ; and the provision with regard to men is not intended to apply in times of peace. We shall provide proper drill instructors, and do all that we consider to be necessary to bring up the cadet corps to something like the strength that the late Minister of Defence mentioned in a special memorandum. I do not agree with what Senator Dobson has said with regard to the deterioration of the English race. I have been living in this country over fifty years, have had a considerable family of my own, and know my neighbours and their families. I have kept my eyes open, and, as far as I can see, the rising generation compare very favorably with their parents, so far as size and physique are concerned. I do not pretend to be an Australian, having been born a Cockney, but I have five sons of my own, every one of whom is over 6 feet high, while one stands over 6ft.3in. They do not compare very unfavorably with past generations. Similarly, when I look at the children of my neighbours, I see little men about 5ft. 6m. in height with sons 6 feet high. There is no physical deterioration there. As for the females amongst our people, it seems to me that for a considerable time past the younger generation have been growing taller and stronger.
– What about the Prime Minister’s opinion?
– The honorable senator has dropped the Prime Minister on to me once or twice, but he does not frighten me. As a matter of fact, I do not know what the Prime Minister’s opinions in this particular matter are. I have heard Senator Dobson say that he is in favour of compulsory military training. So am I if we can find the money. To say that we are in favour of it is one thing, but it is quite another to get the people of this country to agree to it. I am afraid that if this matter were to be brought before the country we should find that the majority of the people entertained the old-fashioned feeling of our forefathers, that no matter what might come they would never have anything but the voluntary system if possible.
– It has broken down in every part of the world.
– I do not see that it has broken down, and the statement of a few military officers that it has does not prove it. The people of the United States will not have compulsory service.
– They have an armyof 80,000.
– They can bring their army up to a million men if required, as they did during the great civil war. Because in Australia we have only 23,000 men enrolled it does not mean that we could not put a very much lareer force in the field. We could bring that army up to 40,000 men, and there are 30,000 members of rifle clubs. We could probably, in an emergency, put in the field 70,000 men.
– 7 - 70,000 efficient riflemen ?
– Some of the members of rifle clubs might be too old for service, but I think we could certainly count upon 60,000 troops that would be fit to go into a campaign; and an army of that strength would be quite sufficient to meet any invasion that I can conceive as likely to occur. I trust that Senator Dobson will withdraw his motion.
– Certainly not; the Senate will have to vote upon it.
– Even as it stands, the motion does not accomplish what the honorable senator desires. It does not go far enough to be effective, and its adoption would mean the abandonment of our present system.
– Its adoption would not alter the present system, but merely add to it.
– It would increase the numbers to such an extent that we should require a much larger force of officers than we have at the present time. I do not think that the motion is opportune, and I ask the honorable senator to withdraw it.
– I certainly shall not withdraw the motion.
Debate (on motion by Senator Stewart) adjourned.
“WHITE AUSTRALIA” POLICY.
– As the time allowed for private business is about exhausted. I should like to know whether, in the event of my submitting the motion of which I have given notice, in reference to the “ White Australia “ policy, the Government will permit me to continue my remarks after the dinner hour.
– That cannot be done unless the sessional orders are suspended. The honorable senator may obtain leave to continue his remarks on another day.
– Then, I a”sk that the motion be made an order of the day for the 2nd November.
– I move -
It is not necessary for me .to elaborate the arguments which I advanced on this question, when I referred to it on the motion for the adjournment of the Senate some time ago. I then dealt fully with every aspect of the question, and I think that, in view of the facts which were then laid before the Senate, any impartial person must come to the conclusion that much injustice has been done under the classification scheme. I showed that rights enjoyed by public servants previous .to Federation had not been continued, and that the emoluments received now are much less than were the rule under the administration of the States. With a view to affording an opportunity for discussion I now simply submit this motion, which sets forth the amendments that I consider necessary in the classification scheme.
Debate (on motion by Senator Keating) adjourned.
In Committee (Consideration resumed from 28th September, vide page 2910) :
Amendment (by Senator Keating) agreed to -
That the following new clause be inserted : -
Nothing in this Act shall derogate from any power or privilege of either House, or of the members or committees of either House, as existing at the commencement of this Act.
Provided always that no person shall be liable to be proceeded against a second time in respect of any offence or breach of privilege, for which he has been proceeded against, and convicted or acquitted, or punished.
New preamble agreed to.
Title consequentially amended and agreed to.
Clause 1 reconsidered and consequentially amended.
Bill reported, with amendments and an amended title.
Motion (by Senator Playford) proposed -
That the Senate do now adjourn.
– This seems an extraordinary procedure, considering that we have decided to adjourn from to-night until Wednesday next. There is a fairly full attendance of honorable senators, who are, I believe, prepared to go on with business at a time of the evening which ought to be the most profitable. If we have these continual adjournments for the convenience of the Government, or the convenience of some honorable senators, Ave shall find the notice-paper filled
Avith important business towards the close of the session, when Ave shall be called upon, probably, to meet four or five days a week. and sit until a late hour. There is now plenty of time to give proper consideration to the various Bills set down ; and we have yet to deal Avith the second reading of the Electoral Bill and the Representation Bill, while the Copyright Bill is still in Committee. As to the last measure, when it Avas introduced the Government thought that it could be disposed of within a few hours, and the Senate then adjourned for a week; But experience has shown that the measure contains mammost contentious clauses, not the least important amongst which is clause 4, the consideration of which ought to have been resumed to-day. Then, again, there is another most contentious measure in the Commerce Bill. So long as I occupy a seat in this Chamber I shall continue- to protest against these repeated adjournments”, and I shall call for a division on this motion.
– It is not often that I agree Avith Senator Givens, but I am fully in accord Avith him on the present occasion. This week I have travelled all the way from Sydney, in order, as I find, to do seven hours’ work in the Senate. I consider an adjournment now to be a great mistake, and it is to be regretted that the Government, in their kindness of heart, have been induced to agree to it at this early hour.
– I shall vote against the motion for the adjournment at this time of the evening. One might almost be led to imagine that the Government havenot sufficient intelligence to see that now they have an opportunity to get on with the business ; but, of course, no such suggestion can be made. There must be some reason for the adjournment which I cannot understand, in view of the business on the notice-paper.
Question put. The Senate divided.
Majority …. … 7
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 6.34 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 5 October 1905, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1905/19051005_senate_2_27/>.