2nd Parliament · 2nd Session
The President took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.
– I beg to ask the Minister representing the Minister for External Affairs the following questions, without notice -
Will the Minister make inquiries -
– The honorable senator gave notice of ‘ these questions, for the 4th October, but at that time we were not in a position to furnish replies, and we promised to make inquiries. As the result of the inquiries. I am able to furnish the following answers: -
The proposal, I understand, was forwarded to the Salvation Army officially, but they have not yet taken advantage of it.
– Then the late proposal looked like a huge advertisement?
asked the Minister representing the Minister of External Affairs, upon notice -
– The answer to the honorable senator’s question is as follows : -
The Commonwealth received no invitation to the Conference mentioned, and was not represented.
An International Congress on Working Men’s Insurance was held at Vienna in September last at which the Commonwealth was represented by Sir John Cockburn. The complete report of the proceedings has not yet been received. As soon as it is available any resolutions agreed to by the Congress will be made public.
– Surely that answer is altogether outside the question ?
– It gives a little information on another point. I do not think that the Senate will offer any objection.
– Not in the least, but surely it is given irregularly ?
– It arises, to a certain extent, out of the question.
– I am glad to get the information, but) this is, I think, a wrong way to give it to the Senate, because it does not arise out of the question.
Public Service Increments : Transferred Properties
asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice -
Whether the returns moved for on the 14th September and12th October last referring to increments, &c, in Public Service, and transferred properties, will be presented to the Senate before the end of the present Session?
– The answer to the honorable senator’s question is as follows : -
The return moved for on the 14th September, relating to increments, was furnished yesterday ; that relating to transferred properties cannot be supplied by the Postmaster-General.
In amplification of the latter portion of the reply, I may state that the information with regard to the transferred properties is not available in the Department of Home Affairs, and that so far as it knows, it has not yet been compiled by any State. It will be required in connexion with the proceedings relating to the valuation of the transferred . properties, to which reference was made in the discussion on the Appropriation Bill; that is to the proceedings arising out of the resolutions arrived at by the Premiers’ Conference in Hobart.
asked the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as follow : -
– Arising out of that answer. I wish to ask the Minister if the Government will give an earlier intimation to the Senate, than to the public, first, as to the conditions of the tenders ; and, secondly, if it will be given before the close, of the session?
– The PostmasterGeneral is doing all that he possibly can to have the matters referred to in the second part of the question attended to. I shall bring under his notice immediately, the desire of the Senate to be acquainted before the public with the terms and conditions to be set forth in the advertisement.
– The Senate will not be informed if the information is not forthcoming during this session.
– I shall bring under the notice of the Postmaster-General the desire which has been expressed by honor able senators to have this information furnished before the end of this session.
asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as follow : -
– Arising out of the questions and answers, I desire to ask Senator Keating how it is that he told the Senate the other day, that, according to the terms of partnership, we were entitled to two representatives on the Pacific Cable Board, why the answers to the questions do riot tally, and whether there is any confusion in the mind of the Postmaster- General or his assistants?
– Neither the’ PostmasterGeneral nor myself had anything to do with the selection of the representatives of the Commonwealth on the Board, and the information which I then gave to the honorable senator, like that which I have just given to him, was supplied by the permanent head of the Department.
– With reference to the notice of motion in the name of Senator Trenwith, it is my duty to call the attention of the Senate to standing order 104, which’ reads -
A senator giving notice in general terms tomove certain resolutions must deliver at the table a fair copy of the proposed resolutions, at least one day prior to that for which he has given notice.
It appears to me that Senator Trenwith’s notice of motion is couched in general terms, and that he ought to have given one day’s specific notice of the motion which he intended to move.
– I would respectfully submit, sir, that the motion, although it is somewhat general in its terms, is specific, and proposes to give effect to the prayer of the petition.
– Yes, but the honorable senator has not given notice of themotion which he is going to move.
– I purpose moving -
That in the opinion of this Senate it is desirable that the prayer of the petition from employes in the manufacture of stripper harvesters in Australia should be granted by the Parliament.
– The honorable senator, I think, ought to have handed in a copy of his motion, because he will see that honorable senators are entitled by the standing order to one day’s notice of a proposed resolution. His motion is couched in general terms,, and1 is quite in order as far as it goes, but I think he ought to have handed in a specific notice of the motion which he intended to move. However, I shall put the question whether the motion is to be taken as formal or not formal.
– I think that the motion is sufficiently specific, as it indicates what I purpose to move. The session is drawing to a close, and if the motion is not moved now it cannot be moved this session. In view of the urgency of the matter, I would urge that if it is at all practicable I should be allowed to proceed.
– The honorable senator has had sufficient time in which to hand in a specific motion.
– I have had time, but I have to confess that I overlooked the terms of the standing order, as I suppose most honorable senators have done.
– It is my duty to call the attention of the Senate to the standing order. If the motion is taken as formal, of course I have nothing more to say. I shall now put the question: Is the motion formal or not formal ?
– Not formal.
Dissent from President’s Ruling.
Debate resumed from 6th December (vide page 6259), on motion by Senator Pulsford -
That the President’s Ruling on the subject of Lapsed Bills, in connexion with the Trade Marks Bill, be objected to, on the ground that such ruling is not in conformity with the Standing Orders and the Report of the Standing Orders Committee.
– In reference to this motion, I wish to explain that yesterday I made a statement which is not quite correct.
– Oh !
– When a ruling is objected to, I have a right to restate it with more particularity than I could have done on the spur of the moment, and that I propose to do now. Yesterday I stated that I was informed by one of the clerks that the Life Assurance Companies Bill had been treated and dealt with by the Senate in a manner similar to that in which it is proposed’ to deal with the Trade Marks Bill. I find on reference to the dates that that information is not correct. On the 3rd August the Senate resolved to proceed with the Bill as a lapsed Bill. On the 17th August it was read a second time. Amendments1 were subsequently made in it in Committee. It was read a third time on the 25th August. On the 29th August the House of Representatives agreed to the amendments. That Bill originated in the House of Representatives last session. On reference to the dates it will be seen that the Standing Orders Committee of the Senate and the Standing Orders Committee of the ‘House of Representatives, recommended new standing orders, and the adoption of a resolution on the 17 th August; and that that recommendation was not agreed to by the Senate until the 30th August. Therefore, all the proceedings on the Life Assurance Companies Bill took place prior to the adoption by the Senate of the new standing orders recommended by the Standing Orders Committees. Consequently, the information given to me, which I conveyed to the Senate yesterday, was not quite correct ; and I wish to state that at once. I also desire to state with more particularity! than I could do on the spur of the moment, the position in reference to the Trade Marks Bill. Prior to last August the Senate had a standing order, No. 234, which said -
If in any session the proceedings on any Bill shall have been interrupted by the prorogation of Parliament, the Senate may, in the next succeeding session, by resolution, order such proceedings to be resumed ; provided that a periodical or a general election has not taken place between two such sessions.
Acting on that standing order as it stood - and the House of Representatives had a precisely similar standing order - the House of Representatives had prior to the 17 th August, reinstated certain Bills as lapsed Bills. Amongst them was the Trade Marks Bill. When the two Standing Orders Committees met and considered this question, it was agreed by them unanimously that the standing orders on the subject then in existence were insufficient; that, although they provided what one House could do with a Bill which it had in its possession, they made no provision whatever as to what the other House might do with that Bill when it was dealt with by the House which had possession of it, and referred .it back to the other House. Therefore, thev recommended new standing orders. One of these standing orders was this -
If a Bill be in the possession of the House in which it did not originate, it may be proceeded with by resolution of the House in which it is, restoring it to the notice-paper. But such resolution shall not be passed unless a message is received from the House in which it originated, requesting that its consideration may be resumed.
But the Standing Orders Committees, in recommending that new standing order took into consideration this fact - that there were certain Bills, and amongst them was the Trade Marks Bill, on which proceedings had been taken under the old standing order; and they, therefore, provided by a resolution, which it was proposed that each House should adopt, to permit the Houses to deal with Bills of that nature in a peculiar and specific manner. For this reason. - that if either House had prior to the adoption of this new standing order proceeded on the old standing order, and reinstated a Bill, it could not proceed under the new standing order; because the new standing order provided that a message must be received from the House in which the Bill ordinated before the other House - in which the Bill did not originate - could reinstate that Bill on the notice-paper. But if honorable senators will search the records of the House of Representatives, they will see that on the 27th Tu! V that House reinstated the Trade Marks Bill as a lapsed Bill. The House had already reinstated it under the old1 standing order, and it was considered that a Bill of that nature should be proceeded with under a specific resolution, which I will read directly. The second reading of the Bill was moved on the 2nd August. It was read a second time on the 9th August. So that honorable senators will see that three stages’ had been taken concerning this Bill in the House of Representatives before the Standing Orders Committees met and agreed to the resolution which I take to be a compact between the two Houses. It was in view of this Bill, and some other Bills of a similar nature, that that compact was re- commended by the Standing Orders Committees of the two Houses for adoption. The proceedings on Bills of that nature were to be dealt with under this resolution : -
That any action already taken in either House respecting any lapsed Bill shall be given full effect to by each House up to the final determination of the issue raised by such Bill.
It was necessary to do something to provide for Bills which had already been dealt with under the old standing order, but not finally completed; and it will be seen - indeed,’ it was obvious - that the House of Representatives could not deal with the Trade Marks Bill under the new standing orders, because the House had already reinstated the Bill under the old standing order. Therefore, as I say, the Standing Orders Committees recommended that resolution to the two Houses. The resolution was agreed to by the Senate. I did not know yesterday, but I do know now, because I have searched the records of the House of Representatives, that that resolution has not been agreed to by the other House. It was laid on the table, but nothing further was done. But the other House has acted on it, on the faith that the Senate would carry into effect the resolution passed by us.
– In what way?
– By proceeding with the Bill. It was contemplated that the Senate would proceed with the Bill under the resolution which we passed, and which it was supposed that the House of Representatives would’ pass, but which, owing to circumstances that I need not explain, that House has not passed. Therefore, in my opinion, it would be a breach of faith with the other House if, after allowing it to proceed with this Bill in full confidence that the Senate would act on the resolution recommended by the two Standing Orders Committees,, and passed by the Senate, we were to turn round and say that this Bill should be proceeded with under the new standing order. That is all I have to say. I think the matter is perfectly clear. I believe it is perfectly clear to every member of the Senate that that is what was intended- I believe the Senate had before it in language as plain as could be the opinions of the Standing Orders Committees, and adopted them.
– Before I commence the discussion on this matter, I should like to submit what I take to be a proper inquiry to the President as to our standing order. If I am wrong, I hope that he will correct me. I believe that Senator Pulsford gave notice of his intention to dispute your ruling, but that, having resumed his seat, he is not now permitted under our Standing Orders to debate this question any further.
– He has the right to reply.
– I think it is as well that that point should be cleared up. It is as well that every honorable senator should remember the position,, so that if such circumstances happen again we may all be aware that if an honorable senator disputes your ruling,” and resumes his seat, he will not be allowed, when the. question of the disputed ruling comes up for the consideration! of the Senate, to debate the matter, except by way of reply or by permission of the Senate.
– This practice has been adhered to on all occasions.
– I do not dispute that it is in accordance with a proper interpretation of the Standing Orders.
– I do not think it is a good practice.
– I do not think it is, myself. but I am forced to the conclusion that it is quite in accordance with our present Standing Orders. If I may, with the greatest respect, make another observation, I should say that the very fact that you, sir, have given an amended ruling to-day-
– I have not given an amended ruling ; I have simply stated my ruling of yesterday with more particularity.
– You have amplified! your ruling, or. to use your phrase, have re-stated it with more particularity. The very fact that you have done that - and I think it is a good1 thing that you have - emphasizes the point which I wish to put forward merely as my own opinion : That the President should not be necessarily expected by the Senate to deliver an off-hand ruling on an important point. I merely submit that for your consideration, and intimate that, so far as T am concerned.i I shall always loyally support you if you intimate your desire to take time for consideration before delivering a ruling. . It is now unnecessary for me to refer to the fact that you unwittingly fell into an error yesterday in . referring to the
Life Assurance Bill, You have admitted the error. But the point which I wish to emphasize, and which is at the root of the whole discussion, is that you were in error also when you stated that the House of
Representatives had agreed-
– I only said that I was so informed.
– I do not say that you asserted it, but you said that you had been informed that the House of Representatives had agreed to the recommendation of the Standing Orders Committee upon this subject. You have already ruled - and of course from that ruling no one can differ for a moment - that under our Standing Orders as they exist the Trade Marks Bill could not come before us now. I then ask myself, “ How does it come before us ? “ The answer is that the Standing Orders Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives have recommended to both Houses that they should adopt a certain resolution. It is a fact that the Senate did adopt the resolution. It is equally a fact that the House of Representatives did not adopt it. I wish to consider first the moral obligation - if honorable senators choose to term it so - that is upon the Senate to adhere to its determination. I say at once that if the resolution put before the Senate in. that way were not in the nature of a joint reference to both Houses, there could be no question that the Senate, having resolved to adhere to it, must necessarily do so. But by far the most important aspect of the matter is that the adoption of the resolution in question is analogous to the case of an agreement between two parties. In this case the two parties are the Senate and the House of Representatives. Under this analogy the agreement has been signed and properly executed by one party, but has not been executed in any way by the other party That is the position in which we find ourselves. To emphasize it, I put this view before the Senate: Suppose that the positions were entirely reversed, and that the other House were now being asked to take up a lapsed Bill under the circumstances that it had agreed to this resolution but the Senate had not. I ask every honorable senator to consider whether, under those circumstances, he is perfectly satisfied that the House of Representatives would not take advantage of that position. Would not the House of Representatives be entitled to say : “ It is a fact the Senate has agreed, but we have made no such agreement, and do not consider ourselves bound in any way.” If that be so, is it not worth our while to consider how far we are bound by an agreement which the other House has left unexecuted? If the subject-matter of the ruling were a Bill to which none of us attach any immediate importance, we might hesitate for some time before we decided to act on an agreement, when we know perfectly well that the other House had not completed its part. I do not believe that any senator will dispute the accuracy of that position; and it would be a pity if the great importance of this measure were in any way to cloud our judgment on the question before us.
– But the other House has not refused to adopt the resolution.
– Have we any knowledge of what the other House has done ?
– Certainly we have. I desire to present this question without any party bias of any kind ; and I point out to Senator Best that, if we revert to the analogy of an agreement, and one of the parties were asked to act with the full knowledge that the other party had not affixed their signatures, he would certainly not ask whether it was known for certain that the other party intended to take that course. My reply would be that I am not in the mind of the other party - that all I know is that the agreement remains unexecuted.
– It is not an agreement, but a recommendation, which has been acted upon by one party, and not by the other.
– I am sorry that Senator Trenwith misunderstands the position. A recommendation by the Standing Orders Committee is worth nothing to this Senate, unless the Senate has ratified it. The recommendation of the Standing Orders Committee is worth nothing until the other House agrees.
– Surely that is a question for the other House.
– But it certainly concerns us.
– The other House acted on the recommendation, and proceeded with the Bill.
– Senator Playford is entirely in error in assuming that the other House acted on the recommendation.
– The question is: Are wo right in our position?
– I do net desire to discuss this question with any suggestion of animosity. If Senator Givens could remove’ from his mind any consideration as to the importance of this Bill, would he think we could immediately act on an understanding that the other House was going to execute an agreement which so far remains unexecuted ? I am merely stating a case, and not attempting any argument ; but that is precisely the position. It is a great pity that this Bill should be one of such great importance, and that in connexion with it we should be compelled to act on the assumption that the other House is going to do what so far they have left undone, but what the Senate has rightly and properlydone. Everything I have expressed represents mv own view, but I take the opportunity to speak, to a considerable extent, on behalf of Senator Pulsford, who. for the reasons I have indicated, is unable to put his case before the Senate.
– This is a matter which in reality resolves itself into a question of the exercise of the discretion of the Senate. It is perfectly true that both Houses, as represented by the Standing Orders Committees, came to an honorable understanding that a resolution was to be. passed; and the Senate has done its pan in this connexion. The other ‘ House has not refused to pass a resolution ; but the mere fact that it has failed to do so, does probably place it within our_ power on a technicality to say : “ We shall take advantage of the situation, and refuse to consider this Bill.”
– Under the new standing order we have to pass a resolution.
– We have passed a resolution.
– The Bill originated in the Senate last session, and, under the new standing order, we had to pass a resolution asking the House of Representatives to reinstate it. The House of Representatives, however, reinstated the Bill before we passed the resolution.
– Precisely ; I am arguing about this particular Bill, and I sa.y that, technically, we mav refuse to go on with it until the other House passes a resolution.
– But there was an hon- orable understanding that the agreement was not to apply to Bills already on the business paper.
– As I understand the matter, the Standing Orders Committees recommended that any action already taken in either House respecting any lapsed Bill should be given full effect to by each House up to the final determination of the issue raised in such Bills. The Standing Orders Committees, however, went on to say that certain, new standing orders would be enacted in regard to future Bills.
– The other House adopted the recommendation, and acted upon it without any former resolution.
– The other House acted before the new standing orders were submitted.
– And continued to act afterwards.
– But the new standing orders do not apply to this Bill, and the Standing Orders Committees, it may be presumed, came to their determination in the full knowledge that something had been done under the Trade Marks Bill itself, for the resolution was passed to cover exactly that class of cases,.
– That is so.
– It was understood that the resolution recommended by the Standing Orders, Committees should be passed by both Houses. It was passed by the Senate, and, consequently, I s,ay that technically we have the right to tell the House of Representatives that they must take a similar course. That, however,, would be an extremely technical view to take.
– But turn the case the other way.
– I say that technically we have the right to refuse. Although for reasons which we cannot explain, the House of Representatives have, we shall say, neglected to actually carry the resolution, they have, as a matter of fact, acted as if they had passed it. That being so, would it not be the height of folly for us to refuse to deal with business that has already been dealt with by another place with the knowledge that the Senate had passed a resolution ? If the House of Representatives had given us an intimation that they refused to pass a resolution, our attitude would be very different. It is, however, a mere matter of circumstances that the House of Representatives have not actually passed the resolution, and we should be stultifying ourselves if we now refused to go on with this business. Under the circumstances, we have a clear duty to proceed with the Bill.
– I do not feel that my case is quite strong enough to warrant me in taking up any longer the time of the Senate. I desire, however, to make one or two remarks. In, the first place, the action of the other House has in every respect been quite correct. They took up the Bill in accordance with their own original standing order, at the time when that standing order had not been brought under survey by the Standing Orders Committees. As to the joint meeting of the Committees, I point out that we should be involved in very great trouble indeed if two Committees, meeting under the circumstances, were presumed to have power to commit both Houses in an important matter of this kind. That, however, if I may say so, with all respect, seems to be embodied in vour ruling, Mr. President.
– Oh, dear me, no !
– I think, sir, that you used the word “compact” - that you told us a compact was entered into at the joint meeting of the Committees.
– And it was ratified bv the Senate.
– There can be no compact unless it be indorsed by both branches of the Legislature.
– The compact entered into at the joint meeting of Committees was to make a recommendation to both Houses.
– The Committees decided to make a recommendation to both Houses, but had no power to enter into a compact, and did not do so. They exercised their power to make a recommendation, which this Senate has accepted-; whereas it was simply tabled in the other House, and has not yet been considered. Probably I should not have given notice yesterday of my intention to dissent from the ruling had it not been for the fact that on one or two points the President was misinformed ; and I thought it possible, on a further review, a different result might be arrived at. With these few remarks I beg leave to withdraw the motion.
Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
Message received from the House of Representatives intimating that it had agreed to the amendments made by the Senate in the Bill.
Received from the House of Representatives and read a first time.
Senator PLAYFORD laid upon the table the following paper : -
Appropriation Act, 1904-5 - Transfers approved bv the Governor-General. - Dated 7th December, 1905.
Order of the Day called on for consideration of notice of motion by Senator Trenwith -
That Petition No. 6, presented on 29th November, from employes in the manufacture in Australia of stripper harvesters, be taken into consideration, with a view to the Senate taking such action as may carry out the wishes of the petitioners.
– It is my duty to see that the Standing Orders are upheld, and at present I am of opinion that this notice of motion cannot be submitted. As a matter of fact, I do not yet know what the motion is, because Senator Trenwith has given only a general notice ; and has not, as should be done in pursuance of the Standing Orders, followed’ that notice up by a specific motion. I do not think that the honorable senator can give specific notice of motion now except bv leave of the Senate. I do not think the honorable senator can move a specific motion now unless bv leave of the Senate.
– I regret that, in your opinion, I have not sufficiently complied with the Standing Orders, but I thought it was sufficiently specific to say that I proposed to move a motion with a view togive effect to the prayer of the petitioners. The question was submitted as to whether the motion should be considered formal or not formal. It was declared “ not formal,” and it must therefore be discussed in the ordinary way . If that motion is carried, a definite motion in the terms indicated can be submitted. But if we decide to consider it, I think it would be very much better if we could discuss the matter on a definite motion at once.
– It has been ruled out of order.
– IfSenator Trenwith will say what specific motion he wishes to move, I will then put it to the Senate that he have leave to moye it.
– That will be a newmotion.
– On a point of order, I understand that you, sir, rule that the motion on the notice-paper which it is the intention of Senator Trenwith to submit is out of order.
– What is the motion? I see no motion.
– So far as grammatical construction is concerned, the honorable senator’s notice of motion is intelligible in a way. Am I to understand that you definitely rule that, in its present shape, it is out of order?
– I do not think it is.
– If we are going todisagree with the ruling of the President, it is the duty of some honorable senator to give written notice of that intention.
– It is a commonpractice for honorable senators to ask leave to amend a motion, and for such leave tobe granted. Senator Trenwith can ask leave to amend his motion now.
-Not if it is out of order.
– Some confusion apparently exists, judging by the remarks of Senator Playford. The honorable senator states that it is a common practice for honorable senators to obtain leave to amend a motion. We can admit that, as applied to a motion which is in order, and properly before the Senate. But the President has ruled that, under standing order 104, this is not a motion, and therefore it cannot be amended. I take it that that is the correct view of the matter, if the President has; not already definitely decided that the motion is not in order.
– The President has done so.
– If that is so, we are not entitled to further discuss it.
– I did not understand the President to rule in that way.
– Surely the President has not ruled that this is not a motion?
– The President has done so, and has ruled that it is out of order.
– I wish to be clear ore the point, if I am given an opportunity. If you, sir, have given a ruling in this matter. I and other speakers are not in order in continuing to discuss it. If you have not done so, and hold, as I do, that this motion is not covered by the Standing Orders, the proper course is to rule it out of order. If Senator Trenwith wishes to bring forward a motion, he can only do so by leave of the Senate, or by securing the suspension of the Standing Orders, to enable him to do so.
– I might be allowed to say that I think that Senator Trenwith has adopted the only course which was open to us. A petition was received, and read the other day, and it could not be taken into consideration on that day. Notice had to be given to take it into consideration on some other day. Senator Trenwith gave that notice - That the petition be taken into consideration on Thursday, with a view to giving effect to the prayer.
– The prayer is for z. duty of 25 per cent, on harvesters.
– I think that the motion is definite and specific - that the petition be taken into consideration, with a view to the Senate taking such action as may carryout the wishes of the petitioners.” Senator Trenwith can make a speech on that motion in just the same way as a Minister can do on a motion that the report in connexion with a Bill be taken into consideration on a certain day.
– No; the Minister would be in order.
– Senator Trenwith can do that if the President rules that he is in order in going on with this motion.
– Will the honorable senator look at standing order 104?
– I am aware that the standing order quoted has reference to an honorable senator giving notice in general terms, and provides that he shall afterwards state the terms of his motion.
– That is a condition which must be complied with.
– If an honorable senator gives notice that a Select Committee be appointed, and the motion is carried, some further motion is necessary. If Senator Trenwith’s motion is carried, a further motion will be necessary to supplement it.
– Has Senator Trenwith delivered a ‘fair copy of his motion, and complied with the conditions of standing order ^104?
– I submit that he has done so.
– Where is it?
– It appears on the businesspaper.
– That does not comply with standing order 104.
– I am very much afraid that I shall have to rule that there is no specific motion on the notice-paper which can be moved. I should very much like to be able to give Senator Trenwith an opportunity to move a motion, but I think that, as the honorable senator has himself stated, he has overlooked standing order 104. Under that standing order he ought, to have given specific notice of the motion’ he proposes to move. I may say that this, standing order has been complied with on a great many occasions. Senator Neild has given a great many notices of motion in general terms, but he has always subsequently given twenty-four hours’ notice to the Clerk of the specific motion he intended to submit.
– And those motions have been moved day after day for months.
– That is not the point. Notice in general terms has been given,, and subsequently specific notice of motion in pursuance of standing order 104. Senator Trenwith should have done the same. I suggest that the honorable senator should ask leave of the Senate to move a motion, which he can indicate.
Senator TRENWITH (Victoria). - I would urge, first of all, that this is the first occasion on -which I have given notice of motion in general terms. Whether I’ am right or wrong, it will be admitted that the matter with which I propose to deal is one of great urgency, and, in the circumstances, I ask to be allowed to give specific notice of motion now.
– Why not give it for tomorrow ?
– Why not for next Thursday ?
– Because next Thursday is next Thursday, and consequently a week further ahead. I am entirely in the hands of the Senate. My oversight might be easily excused. I believed that I had given a sufficiently specific notice of motion, and I am aware that other honorable senators held the same views, because they spoke to me of the opportunity afforded to discuss the question to-day. In view of the circumstances, I therefore ask that the Standing Orders may be suspended in order that I may put myself in order, and the motion I propose to move is -
That, in the opinion of the Senate, it is desirable that Parliament should grant the prayer of the petitioners.
– Have you, Mr. President, definitely and formally ruled that this is not a motion?
– I do not think that it complies with standing order 104.
– Is it not an affirmation that the petition be taken into consideration ?
– I take the point of order that the President’s decision has been given, and, acting upon it, Senator Trenwith has now submitted another motion to the Senate.
– No; the honorable senator has asked for leave.
– Senator Trenwith has passed from the matter to which reference is being made by Senator Best, and I take the point that “it is not in order to reopen the original discussion.
– I understand from Senator Trenwith that he asks leave to move a motion.
– The honorable senator has asked for the suspension of the Standing Orders.
– That was a mistake. I put it to the Senate - That Senator Trenwith have leave to move “ That, in the opinion of this Senate, it is desirable that Parliament should grant the prayer of the petitioners.”
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales).I take it that it will be necessary to move a motion to suspend the Standing Orders before that can be done.
– No ; leave can be given without the suspension of the Standing Orders.
– Are the Standing Orders here for our guidance, or are the)’ to be played with? It seems to me that the business of the Senate is being reduced to a farce, and the position is made worse when we find the leader of the Government prepared to throw the Standing Orders under the table. I am not an old parliamentarian, bat I have had ten years’ experience of Parliament, and this is the first time I have heard the Standing Orders spoken of as something to be played with in this way.
– Will the honorable senator look at standing order 109, which provides that -
No senator shall, unless by leave of the Senate, make any motion except in pursuance of notice given.
That implies that the leave of the Senate may be given. ;
– Without the suspension of the Standing Orders.
– I wish to know whether the leave of the Senate must be accorded unanimously ?
– Then if my vote will settle the matter, I shall not occupy further time. I shall object to leave being given.
– Then the motion cannot be moved, and we must proceed/ with the next business.
– Cannot the honorable senator move the suspension of the Standing Orders ?
– I think so.
– I have- given my decision.
Senator BEST (Victoria). - I propose to move the suspension of the Standing Orders.
– Really, the discussion is altogether irregular.
– Senator Trenwith asked leave, and it was not granted.
– That is so; but I can move the suspension of the Standing Orders.
– On a point of order, I submit that the Clerk has called on the next business.
– I think that this matter has now been concluded.
– I wish to move that the Standing Orders be suspended.
– I do not think that the honorable senator will be in order ir» doing so. The matter has been concluded.
– This is a new motion by another honorable senator.
– Senator Trenwith asked leave; leave was not granted ; and new business, was called on.
– Quite so; and I propose to move the suspension of the Standing Orders. I have nothing, necessarily, to do with Senator Trenwith in the matter.
– For what purpose does the honorable senator move the suspension of the Standing Orders?
– For the purpose of discussing a certain question, which I shall set out.
– The honorable senator must state the question, even if he is in order in moving the motion he proposes, to move. Have you, Mr. President, decided that it is in order for the honorable member to move the suspension of the Standing Orders ?
– I have a right to do it.
– We shall decide the honorable senator’s right directly, and there is no need to get angry about it. The President and the Standing Orders will protect the honorable senator’s rights, as they will protect mine. I understand you, sir, to say that Senator Best’s proposition is highly irregular.
– The President never decided that.
– I said that the whole of this discussion is highly irregular.
– Senator Best cannot move to suspend the Standing Orders without notice.
– I can under standing order 433.
– Although Senator Best is not moving in association with Senator Trenwith, it is obvious to the Senate that the honorable senator’s purpose is by another course to circumvent the decision which the Senate has already arrived at.
– I object to the expression “‘circumvent.”
– Well, to “get round,” if that will suit the honorable senator. Senator Best will not dispute that it is his object to arrive at the goal which the Senate has already decided shall not be reached today.
– The Senate has not decided it; it is the honorable senator who decided it.
– The Senate has decided it, because, by its Standing Orders, it has given any individual senator power to enter an objection.
– The honorable senator was the individual senator who ‘did so.
– That is quite correct. My point of order now is that Senator Best is not in order in endeavouring, by an indirect method, to do what the Senate his decided cannot be done directly.
– I am proceeding, sir, under standing order 433, as I have an absolute right to do.
– The honorable senator would have had an absolute right to do so if the Senate had not already decided that this motion shall not be moved.
– But I am not going to move that motion. Under standing order 433> I propose to move that the Standing Orders be suspended, in order to permit me to move a motion of an urgent character. I submit that at this stage it is not competent to say that, because a motion has been ruled out of order on the ground of irregularity, I have not the light to move a motion which may or may not refer to the subject-matter of that motion, and which is couched in a proper and regular form.
– But which does refer to it !
– Precisely; but my honorable friend will see that he has no right to refer to the motion, which has been put aside because of its irregularity in form.
– Will the honorable senator state what his object is in moving for the suspension of the Standing Orders ?
– My object is to move that, as a matter of urgency, that Parliament should impose a duty of 25 per cent, upon the importation of harvester machines.
– I do not think that the honorable senator can do that.
– Perhaps, sir, I may be permitted to state my case.
– I think that the honorable senator will see that he cannot move the motion.
– Of course, sir, if you order me to resume my seat I shall do so.
– Chair !
– I wish to save time. Under ordinary circumstances, the honorable senator would be perfectly in order in moving the motion, but the Senate has already decided that it shall not be moved.’
– With great respect, sir, I say no.
– Under our Standing Orders, when leave is asked by a senator to move a motion, and one objection is made, that is the decision’ of the Senate.
– But no such motion has been made.
- Senator Trenwith asked leave to move a motion of which he had given notice, which is in effect exactly the same as that which Senator Best wishes to move, but the Senate decided that leave should not be given, and therefore I do not think it is competent for the honorable senator to move that the Standing Orders he suspended in order to negative that decision.
– Why, sir, you told Senator Trenwith that he could not move the suspension of the Standing Orders !
– Undoubtedly; to start with he could have moved that motion. I wished to help him, and therefore I said I thought that he had better ask for leave, because I could see that he could not carry a motion to suspend the Standing Orders by an absolute majority of the Senate.
– That remains to be seen.
– I wanted to help Senator Trenwith, but I must administer the Standing Orders. The position, I take it, is that, leave having been refused by the Senate to do a certain thing although only one objection was offered, Senator Best now wishes to, in effect, rescind that resolution by moving the suspension of the Standing Orders, and I do not think that he can do so.
– Do I understand, sir, that I am not to be at liberty to put my case before the Senate.
– Of course, if the honorable senator likes to speak he can do so, but I have given my decision.
– Senator Best will have to dispute the ruling of the President if he wishes to speak, otherwise I shall obiect to him addressing the Senate.
– After all, it is only a question of a day, because Senator Trenwith can submit a motion to-morrow. If Senator Best will take my advice he will drop the matter.
– I think that, with a slight alteration, the Government will see their way to accept my motion relative to the establishment of telegraphic communication with New Guinea. I think that if the motion is altered in the direction of asking the Government to consider “ the desirability of establishing, telegraphic communication,” it will be accepted at once.
– I think so, because it will only ask the Government to make the necessarv inquiries.
– I ask leave, sir, to make the necessary alteration in my. motion.
– The question is that Senator Pulsford have leave to amend his motion.
Honorable Senators. - Hear, hear.
– I move-
That the Government should at once consider the desirability of establishing telegraphic communication, wireless or otherwise, between Australia and New Guinea, and between the main settlements in New Guinea, because Federal control would thereby be made more effective and development be facilitated, and because it would then be possible to dispense with the steamer Merrie England, and to save the heavy cost of that vessel.
Understanding from Senator Playford that the Government will heartily consider my proposition, with a view to carrying it into effect, I shall content myself with what I have said.
– It must not be understood that in agreeing to this motion I concur in the statements which Senator Pulsford makes therein, about dispensing with the Merrie England steamer, and soon. These will have to be inquired into.
– That is understood.
– We shall make all the necessary inquiries into the matter, and if we can save money we shall be only too pleased to do so.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senator PEARCE (Western Australia). I move -
That the Select Committee on Tobacco Monopoly have leave to extend the time for bringing up the report to this day fortnight.
– I object to a fortnight’s extension being granted, because it is quite possible that the sessionmay end before its expiry.
– Senator Pearce can bring up the report next week if he gets a. fortnight’s extension.
– There is no possibilitv of the report being readv within, a week.
– Would it not be better for Senator Pearce to bring, up the report next week?
– There is no chance of bringing it up.
– If a fortnight’s extension be given, the report could be brought up to-morrow.
SenatorCLEMONS. - It could, but on the other hand it could be kept back.
– No, because it could not possibly be got ready within a week.
– I am not hostile to this inquiry, and it is only because I think it is possible that the session may close within a fortnight that I suggest to Senator Pearce that he should ask for only a week’s extension. If that should prove to be insufficient, I shall not object to a further extension.
– If the session is to end within a fortnight I could not possibly bring up the report, because we have not yet concluded taking the evidence of -witnesses who have asked to be called.
– Practically the honorable senator is asking for leave to postpone the bringing up of the report for six months.
– If by any chance the session should end before the expiration of a fortnight, it really means that the inquiry is to continue for six months. If the honorable senator now got a week’s extension, then at its expiration he could point out reasons for asking for another week’s extension, and no doubt if we were satisfied it would be granted. Surely he does not wish to imply that he wants a longer extension than a fortnight ! If we agree to this motion, at the end of a fortnight he may say that the Select Committee wants leave to sit in recess.
– No, because Select Committees cannot sit in recess.
– I know that they have, and so does the honorable senator.
– Select Committees expire at the end of the session.
– Yes; but permission has been granted to Select Committees to sit in recess, as the honorable senator well knows.
– Not by the Senate.
– At the end of a session, Select Committees have been converted into Royal Commissions.
– There are a number of witnesses, most of whom are financially interested in the tobacco manufacturing industry, who have requested that they may be called to give evidence. I do not propose to close the inquiry until that opportunity has been afforded. There are four witnesses in Melbourne, and four witnesses in Adelaide, who have yet to be called. There are eight witnesses waiting to be called, and there is not the slightest possibility of taking their evidence within a week. We have held two sittings in this week. At the week end we intend to go to Adelaide to take the evidence of the four witnesses in that city. On Tuesday next we shall return to Melbourne, and, if possible, hold two sittings during the week, in order to try to finish the taking of evidence. There is not the slightest possibility of the report being brought up next Thursday. It . would be farcical to ask the Senate for only a week’s extension. There is not the slightest possibility of the work of the session being finished within a fortnight. Under the circumstances, we are quite safe in asking for a fortnight’s extension.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Debate resumed from 23rd November (vide page 5648), on motion by Senator Styles -
That, in the opinion of the Senate, the Stateowned railways of Australia should be transferred to the Commonwealth with as little delay as possible.
– Many of us remember with pleasure the very interesting and instructive speech in which Senator Styles proposed this motion, and I am surewe sympathize with him in his present state of health. I have informed him privately of an amendment which I intend to move. The question before us is not of a party character, and therefore anything that we may say in regard to it cannot possibly be said to have a party complexion. No one who knows the interest that I have taken in the question can have any doubt that I am sympathetically inclined towards it. But, nevertheless, the facts of the case convince me that it is altogether premature to expect that we can secure the. federalization of the railways at present. My views on the subject have been expressed in various places, and at different times. I expressed them at the Bathurst, Convention in 1896, again at the National Convention at Adelaide in 1897, at Sydney in the same vear, and at Melbourne in 1898. My idea was that each State should be credited with the. income on its own railways and debited with the charges ; and that the Federal Government should consolidate the debts of the States, taking the railways as security. That proposal, however, proved to be unsatisfactory to the States. Then I propounded a second scheme, which, I am glad to say., to some extent met with the approval of Sir George Turner, namely, that where the income from Customs and Excise in the hands of the Federal Government was not sufficient to pay the interest on the debts of the States, that income should be supplemented by hypothecating a proportion of the railway income to the Federal Government,It willbe within the recollection of Senator Dobson and others who attended the Adelaide Convention that when section 69 or the Constitution was under consideration, I proposed that the word “railways” be inserted after the word “ quarantine.” Unfortunately, that Convention had to be brought to a conclusion before its work was done, in order to allow the Premiers of the States to go to London in time for the Jubilee of the late Queen Victoria. The language in which I formulated my proposal was -
That the Federal Parliament should take over the railways of the several States, except Tasmania and Western Australia, and each State should be charged with any deficiency or credited with any nett profits on the working of such railways.
However, to use the language of Bobby Burns -
But facts are chiels that winna ding ;
An downa be disputed, and we had to recognise that the federation of the railways of Australia is a work for accomplishment in the future. Therefore, I do not regard Senator Styles’ motion as a matter of practical politics, but merely as expressing a pious aspiration. I propose to deal with the question by moving -
That all the words after Senate, line 1, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu therein the words “the Federal Government should consider the propriety of forthwith opening negotiations with the several States Governments, and offer to co-operate with them in bringing about an early unification of the railway gauges.
That a copy of the foregoing resolution be forwarded to the House of Representatives requesting their concurrence.”
Of course, I am not a railway expert, but I am sure that honorable senators will be interested in hearing the views of the late Mr. Eddy, showing the advantage that would arise to the country from the adop tion of a uniform gauge. Much that Senator Styles said strengthens my argument from that point of view. In fact, after listening to his speech, I was much surprised that he did not earlier in the session support the Bill for the survey of the route of the proposed railway from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie. He seems to me to be rather inconsistent. The remarks of Mr. Eddy which I shall quote were with reference to the opening of the Hawkesbury Bridge in New South Wales. He said -
The opening of the bridge over the Hawkesbury by His Excellency the Governor, Lord Carrington, on May nth, marked a great event in the railway history of Australia, as it enabled passengers and goods to be conveyed by railway between four of the capital cities of the continent, but it is much regretted that, although this is true in regard to the continuous railway system, yet the inconvenience, delay, and expense of transhipment has to be suffered by all traffic owing to the lines having been constructed on three different gauges. The question of a universal gauge is of such vast importance to this great; continent, both from a commercial point of view, and also from a military stand-point, that we cannot too earnestly urge upon the Government the necessity of pressing the question upon the Governments of the other colonies, as we feel certain that if the break of gauge is allowed to continue, the consequent inconvenience and cost will in a few years be so great as to render the adoption of a universal gauge im- . perative. Every year the change is delayed, the mileage of rolling-stock increases, and the cost of altering the gauge becomes greater. If the question could be settled at once, and the change carried out in about four years’ time, and all additions to the rolling-stock constructed with a knowledge that at the end of that period it would have to be adapted to the requirements of the universal gauge, the cost of making the alteration would be found to be comparatively trifling if divided between the four colonies affected.
At the Adelaide Convention, Mr. Glynn took a great deal of trouble in acquiring information on the same subject. I will quote his remarks -
I would remind members of this fact, that the question of the gauges was mentioned as far back as 1857, when the matter of the Federation of the colonies was discussed in England, and it was recommended that there should be a uniformity in the gauges of the railways in the colonies, so that as far as I can gauge the opinion of the Convention, there has been a retrogression in public opinion. In1889 I tabled a motion in the South Australian. Legislature regarding the assimilation of the railway gauges in the colonies. I suggested then that the Railways Commissioners should decide what the gauge should be, and that it should be declared by Act of Parliament, that that should be the gauge of the future, and that any rolling-stock ordered in the future should be so constructed as to allow the alteration of that gauge. That was carried here, but except in New South Wales, little attention was paid to the subject. I would remind Mr. Higgins that the question of adopting a uniform gauge does not altogether receive its importance from its efficacy for military purposes. That is a subordinate one, and one, judging from the possibilities of Australia-, we need’ not pay much attention to. We are more industrial than aggressive, and will not probably be called into defensive action for many long years to come. It has been shown by Mr. Eddy and English authorities that by the establishment of a uniform gauge a saving can be effected, a saving that would pay the interest.
Mr. Higgins. If you can show that, by all means do it.
Mr. GLYNN. I can refer the honorable member to the facts in print on this point, which I think will lead him to the conclusion at which I have arrived. A very great saving can be effected by this. As regards the rolling-stock, the Great Western railway had a gauge of 7 ft. 3 in. or 7 ft., and they changed it to the standard gauge of the world - the 4 ft. 8? in. - and some of the existing rolling-stock was used. If it is possible there with such a difference in the gauge, I say it would be possible to use the rolling-stock at present used for the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge on the 4 ft.8? in. If you carry out Mr. Eddy’s idea, and have a uniform gauge of 4 ft. 8? in. in them, the work of converting all our lines to one uniform gauge can be brought about in a week.
It may be that it would not be possible to do the work in this country in a week, although I learn that in Ohio, after trying all sorts of mechanical appliances, 10,000 miles of railway were altered from 5 ft. 3? in. to 4 ft. 8? in. in one week; and on the Great Western railway, in England, the gauge was altered from the broad to the standard gauge in thirty hours.
– The difficulty is to increase the gauge, not to reduce it.
– No one denies, that. I believe that if the gauge on all our railways were made uniform, within a few months the public would begin to wonder how they had for so long submitted to the present antiquated methods. On the continent of Europe, I believe, it is no uncommon occurrence for carriages and trucks belonging to one country to carry passengers and goods over the lines of other countries.
– That is the case in Australia, to some extent.
– But there is a uniform gauge on the Continent of Europe. All questions of the relative proportion of receipts and expenses could bearranged in a railway clearing-house, or an equivalent. Personally, I shall be disappointed if in a few years we are still without the projected railway lines outlined by Senator Styles in the very interesting plan he showed us. In fact, I am greatly surprised that Senator Styles should be so active in promoting what looks like an extensive railway system, after his remarks about economy, and so forth.
– That would be the true economy.
– I am inclined to agree with the honorable senator. Certainly, strategic lines should be completed without delay, even though the Commonwealth has to assist by an annual subsidv for some years. You, Mr. President, in the Federal Convention of 1891, advocated that the Constitution should contain powers to establish a uniform gauge, and, therefore, I indulge in the hope that you will honour my amendment with your support. I mayfurther mention that at the Adelaide Convention there was considerable difference of opinion on this point, but amongst the wellknown men who were in favour of my then proposal were the late Sir Edward Braddon, Mr. Deakin, Sir Philip Fysh, Mr. Glynn, Mr. Higgins, Sir Josiah Symon, Mr. Wise, and Sir William Zeal. Those who opposed my motion were Sir Edmund Barton, Mr. Dobson, Sir John Downer, Mr. Simon Fraser, Sir Frederick Holder, Mr. Kingston, Sir William McMillan, Mr. R. E. O’Connor, Mr. G. H. Reid, Mr. Trenwith, and Sir George Turner.
Debate (on motion by Senator Keating) adjourned.
Debate resumed from 23rd November (vide page 5641), on motion by Senator Higgs.
– I do not think it is competent for Senator Higgs to move paragraphs 1 and 2 of this motion, because the Senate has already decided exactly the contrary. We cannot rescind a resolution of the Senate of this session, unless we go through a certain specified course of procedure.
– -I ask leave to amend the motion by leaving, out paragraphs 1, 2, and 4.
Motion amended accordingly.
– Notwithstanding any views which Senator Higgs may entertain, I can assure him that there is no desire on the part of the Government to do anything that will militate against the success of the Pacific Cable. Personally, I have, from the beginning, favoured preference for the Pacific Cable on the part of the people and Governments of Australia, and I understand that previous Governments of the Commonwealth have offered to confer on those who control that .cable the same rights and privileges, in regard to the opening of offices and the construction of. land lines, as are enjoyed by the Eastern Extension Telegraph ‘ Company. The Pacific Cable Board, as honorable senators are aware, is located in London, and is charged with all matters, pertaining to administration. The facilities in connexion with the opening of offices, and the construction of land lines, have been referred to in the course of the debates on the relative merits of the two cables, and, therefore, I do not propose to now deal with these matters in detail. As honorable senators know, all cables lodged with the Post and Telegraph Department for transmission beyond the Commonwealth are invariably sent by the Pacific Cable, unless the sender gives an express direction to the contrary. Senator Higgs, and honorable senators generally, may rest assured that the Government, so far from endeavouring to do anything to prevent the success of the Pacific Cable, will direct their efforts in a contrary direction. I hope that with this intimation Senator Higgs will rest satisfied that the course of action taken by the Government will be such as will meet with his approval.
– I am glad to hear that the Government intend to do what they can to assist the development and further the interests of the Pacific Cable, because in the past the Governments of the Commonwealth have given no assistance of the kind. On the contrary, I cannot help thinking that they have done much to assist a rival private company in preference to a project in which we have a one-third interest. In my opinion, there was no reason why a previous
Government should, at the expense of the Commonwealth, have spent thousands of pounds in providing for this rival private company a special wire from Melbourne to Adelaide. When the Appropriation Bill containing that item came before the Senate, the proposal was so disguised that honorable senators did not know the purpose to which the money was to be devoted.
– We were told that the expenditure was on behalf of the Post and Telegraph Department.
– The taxpayers have been put to considerable expense in order to assist a rival company, to the disadvantage of the cable of which we are part proprietors. Without the sanction of Parliament, and under the authority of a section of the Post and Telegraph Act - which section, I may say, was never intended to be applied in such a way - the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company have been allowed to open offices in Victoria, and in this and in other directions Governments of the past have, without any warrant whatever, extended material help to this private enterprise. This policy adopted in the past has in spirit, if not in letter, been most unfair to our partners in the Pacific Cable project. No objection would have been taken if facilities of the kind I have indicated had been extended in the case of the Pacific Cable; and such a policy would, I believe, have reduced very much the annual amount which we are called upon to contribute. Is it not extraordinary that Commonwealth Governments should have spent thousands of pounds on a rival private company and have extended no assistance whatever to the Pacific Cable?
– The Eastern Extension Company were the first in the field. Is the Pacific Cable not the rival cable?
– We own one-third of the Pacific Cable, and, therefore, I regard the Eastern Extension Cable as a rival.
– How do we own onethird of the Pacific Cable?
– All that I can say is that it is an absolute fact that we do so.
– We have spent no money on the cable.
– The British Government advanced the money, and we are responsible for one-third of any loss after interest, sinking fund, and work-, ing expenses are provided for.
– And the honorable senator regards that as constituting us a third owner?
– We actually do own one-third of the Pacific Cable. If the honorable senator borrowed money in order to carry on his business, that business would still be his, though he would have certain responsibilities in connexion with the loan.
– Does the honorable senator think that a guarantor owns the thing he guarantees?
– This is not a case of guarantee.
– There is no doubt that we practically own one-third of the Pacific Cable.
– The British Government have advanced the money at a fair rate of interest, and that interest we pay in conjunction with the other partners. The special line gives the Eastern Extension Company an immense advantage; and the question arises why a similar privilege should not have been extended to the Pacific Cable Board. The money was probably spent by the Ministry of the day at the request of the company, and it is difficult to understand why the Pacific Cable Board was thus neglected. Our partners may rightly say that the Pacific Cable has received no encouragement whatever from the Commonwealth Government. Senator Fraser, who attended at least one of the Conferences, will bear me out that a pledge was given on behalf of the countries who own the cable to influence traffic so as to make it a commercial success. This Pacific Cable was to be the beginning of a movement which would lead to the encircling of the globe, and to that end every effort should be made to secure its success. It is time that the Government granted facilities to the Pacific Cable equal to those which are now granted to the Eastern Extension Company. We have decided to adopt the agreement with that company, and the line running from Melbourne to Adelaide is irrevocable for ten years. The Eastern Extension Company has opened offices in Melbourne and elsewhere, and the Government, as the principal shareholder in this gigantic concern, should urge the Pacific Cable Board to open offices in the Eastern States, and to offer to the clients of the Pacific Cable all the facilities which are now offered to clients of the Eastern
Extension Company. In offering these facilities, the Eastern Extension Company have only done what any intelligent business firm would do. But if we are to take in hand a gigantic enterprise like the Pacific Cable, and have any desire to make it a commercial success, we must adopt commercial methods. We cannot afford to adopt the same attitude towards the Pacific Cable as we adopt in dealing with internal telegraphy, in connexion with which we have a monopoly, and can say to people that if they wish to send telegrams they must come to our offices. There is no need for us to provide extra facilities when our customers can go to no one else. When we are brought into active competition with one of the strongest and ablest companies in the world, we cannot hope to make the Pacific Cable a success unless we adopt the commerical methods which have already been adopted by the Eastern Extension Company. They have shown us what we should do. I mentioned twelve matters in connexion with which their clients are given an advantage as against the clients of the Pacific Cable. In strongly supporting the motion, I ask the Government, seeing that they have given a line to the Eastern Extension Company, to give a line to Southport, in Queensland, where the Pacific Cable lands, for the bene- fit of the Pacific Cable Company, to request the Pacific Cable Board to open offices at least in Melbourne and Sydney, to employ canvassers, and generally to see that the clients pf the Pacific Cable are given the same facilities as are given to the clients of the Eastern Extension Company. This will involve expenditure, but it will lead to a very great increase in the business done by the Pacific Cable. If the Colony of New Zealand has been so successful in diverting traffic to the Pacific Cable that three times as many messages are sent by that cable as are sent by the Eastern Extension Company’s line, the example of the goahead New Zealand Government is one which we can well follow. If the State, after starting commerical enterprises in competition with private enterprise, permit them to take care of themselves, the result must be failure, and in this case the great undertaking in which we have embarked, instead of proving bv its success to be an incentive to the extension of such State lines throughout the world, will prove the end and the grave of all our hopes in that direction.
Apart from the commercial aspect of the matter, there is the defence aspect to be considered, and it is admitted to be most important. In time of war, it is necessary that our cable should be kept open, in order that we may be advised of the movements of an enemy, and of the various precautions which it is necessary that we should take. If we have to deal with a private company, it is possible that foreign shareholders may become possessed of the majority of the shares, and be in a position practically to control the private line, to the immense detriment of the Commonwealth in time of war. If the Pacific Cable isallowed to become a burden on Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and the Commonwealth, it may be decided that the best thing we can do with a line which has become an incubus involving a financial drain, is to sell it. Our position would then be that the Eastern Extension Company, having maintained a monopoly for thirty years, would be able once more to rivet the fetters which we have momentarily thrown off, and we should be dictated to in the matter of telegraphic communication for all time. I urge the Senate and the Government to do all that is possible to see that every encouragement is given to the Pacific Cable - that it is at least given similar advantages to those given to the Eastern Extension Company, and to urge the Pacific Cable Board to do all that can be done to influence business in favour of the Pacific line.
– Whilst I agree generally with the last speaker, I cannot agree with all that he has said. I hold that we have already sufficient telegraph lines for the business to be met. If that is so, I am unable to see why we should erect another line at a cost of, per- haps, £30,000.
– What I was referring to was the proposal now under consideration to have a British-owned line from Vancouver to Great Britain, to complete the circuit. That would cost us nothing.
– The Pacific Cable is a British-owned line. That is its justification, and that was the great plea which aroused so much enthusiasm for its construction in all British countries, and rightly so, too. We never know when war may break out, and, if foreign nations have the power to do so, they will cut cables, and create confusion. I agree that it was politically improper to erect a telegraph line for the sole use of the Eastern
Extension Company. It was an unwarrantable expenditure, and I cannot conceive how any Government could specially favour a foreign enterprise at the expense of their own. I could have understood the matter if the Government had erected a line to be used by both companies.
– The messages do not go the same way that is the trouble. The Pacific Cable messages go to Queensland, whilst the Eastern Extension Company’s messages go to Adelaide.
– I consider that the Government went out of their way to incur an unwarrantable expenditure of £30,000, to give to the Eastern Extension Company a special line. We cannot help that now ; but there can be no doubt that, it must be an immense advantage to the Eastern Extension Company. That company is at present obliged to open offices everywhere, and that must involve them in very great expense. WhatI would like the Government to do would be to see that the best experts in the Post and Telegraph Department are selected for the purpose of cabling, because it is a common complaint by all the big business houses that better results are obtained by cabling through the Eastern Extension Company than through the Government office. I can easily under- stand that, because every young operator must be expected to make blunders in cabling. The operators of the Eastern Extension Company never make blunders, because they are adepts at the business.
– The honorable senator believes that they are infallible.
– They are practically infallible, because they are very clever at their work.
– The operators of the Eastern Extension Company make many mistakes.
– I think they make very few. They give many facilities to their clients, and thus obtain a very great advantage. Amongst other things, they keep a ledger account ; and I ask why the Post and Telegraph Department, in connexion with the Pacific Cable, should not keep a ledger account in just the same way as the Railway Department does? They could open a ledger account for the banks, the big wool houses, and merchants and traders generally. Surely their credit is good enough.
– They would sometimes make big losses.
– They would not make any losses at all.
– They could get guarantees.
– Of course they could, as the Railway Department does at the present time. I have a ledger account at present with the Railway Department, and’ I give a guarantee’ that the charges on my goods wild always be met.
– The same thing is done in the Customs Department.
– That is so, and it is only business. If the Minister will draw the attention, of his colleagues to these matters the business of the Pacific Cable will be greatly facilitated. At present it is very much more convenient for people to do ‘business with the Eastern Extension ‘Company because they do what any private company would do. The difficulty is that we cannot remove red tape from a Government office. Government officials have a set way of doing business, and apparently nothing will move them out of it. What I suggest can be done. I have no wish whatever to treat the Eastern Extension Company unfairly. As pioneers they have done a great work, and are entitled to our thanks for having provided us with cable communication in the early days. We should not treat them unfairly ; but all the same, there is no reason why we should not support our own line in a reasonable way. I cannot understand why the Eastern Extension Company refuse to adopt the pooling arrangements proposed, but since they have refused the Government can, with more reason, bring pressure to bear upon them. The Eastern Extension Company can open offices in the city, but they cannot open offices all over the country. The innumerable post-offices throughout the States are receivers for the Pacific Cable Company.
– There is not much cabling done from the country.
– I admit that_ the principal portion of the cabling business is done from the capitals, but still a considerable amount is done from the country and suburban towns. It is only right, I submit, that the Government should try to force business to the Pacific Cable Company.
– I rise to express the pleasure I feel at the remarks which Senator Keating made on behalf of the Government. Senator Higgs has done a service in submitting the motion, because, although the Senate ratified a contract] yesterday in a certain form, I confess that I voted for the motion very much against the grain. It obtained my support simply because I recognised that four States were placed in such a position that it would be wise for the Commonwealth to make the best of a bad bargain. Senator Fraser has described the Eastern Extension Company as the pioneer cable enterprise, and Senator Smith has said that that company have had a monopoly for a large number of years. Speaking from a purely business standpoint, I do not think it can be fairly, said that the Eastern Extension Telegraph Comparty have taken advantage of their monopoly to any great extent against the interests of the Commonwealth at large.
– They charged 9s. 4d. per word.
– It is only natural that those who hold a monopoly should make the best use of it in. an equitable spirit, and that, I think, is what the company have done. Extraordinary agreements were entered into on behalf of four States, but the blame should not be attached to the company, but to the Ministers who put their signatures thereto. Until the formation of the Pacific Cable Company we were entirely in the hands of the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company. Although from a business stand-point we may fairly say that they did not take an undue advantage of their monopoly, still we may also fairly assume that the reduction in their rates was attributable to the coming competition. If that was so, and I think we must all recognise that it was - then how much more important is it that as the Commonwealth progresses we should feel that we are not in the hands of one cable company? The Pacific Cable Company was started to a certain extent under Imperial auspices, and it secured to us a reduction of rates on’ the part of the older company. Quite apart from the sentimental aspect of the question, the Commonwealth Government should do everything in their power - of course, in fairness to the old company - to assist by every equitable means in promoting the welfare of the Pacific Cable Company. I confess that, from my little knowledge of the latter company, they have not shown that business acumen which some of us might expect from a company in which Australia and England are partners. To say that the company has been feebly administered is, I think, only to tell the absolute truth. They have allowed the. Eastern Extension Telegraph Company to continue to a certain extent the monopoly which they had to the disadvantage of the people of Australia. Although the Pacific Cable Company have had the sympathy of all portions of the British Empire, still they have allowed things to remain exactly as they were, appearing to me to be more asleep than awake. From a business point of view, they do not seem to realize the advantages which they possess, but which they will not exercise. I hope that the Government will” let the Pacific Cable Board know the views which are held in Australia in regard to their management, and point out that if they want facilities they must indicate -what they want, in order to be placed on an equality with the other company. I do not think that the Government are very much to blame for the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company continually “nagging” at them for certain privileges’, and the Pacific Cable Company simply going to sleep, and resting content with what lis going on. A progressive firm, if they do not get exactly what they want, will continue to peg away until they do. The Pacific Cable Company appear to me to have let matters run on in the ordinary routine, which, I am sorry to say, marks so much Government work. They appear to have no one with any goaheadness. Having got a certain guarantee from Australia in regard to the capital outlay, they seem to think that they have done all that is required of them. There is a great deal more to be done. If the Pacific Cable Company prefer to go to sleep, and take things as a matter of course, they are to blame if they do not get what they require. In view of the advantages which we have derived commercially from their existence, it is the dutv of the Commonwealth to assist the Pacific Cable Company as far as -it can, and, at the same time, to let them know that, in our opinion, they have not been sufficiently awake to their interests, and that if they will only rise to the occasion, we shall do our duty as partners in the enterprise.
– I understand that Senator Higgs has withdrawn the first, second, and fourth parts of his motion. I think that no one can dissent from the third part, but it seems to me that a good deal of misapprehension exists as to what our position is. Last night, Senators Higgs and Smith continually laid stress on! the fact that we are partners in the Pacific Cable business. Thev seemed to think that for that reason it was obligatory upon us to take active measures of interference in the management, that we - of course, I mean the Federal Government - were to do this, that, and the other. Last night. Senator Smith repeatedly used the word “ we,” as applying to both the Pacific Cable Board and the Federal Government. The two things are very distinct. Undoubtedly we are partners in this concern, but we are simply partners along with other people, and we have all conjointly appointed a board of management. It is this Board which is in fault in conducting the business, and as soon as the Federal Government recognise that fact the sooner we shall be on a fair way to recover some portion of the loss we have already incurred. No business could be carried on in the way in which this business is being carried on by the Board. It consists of a few eminently respectable gentlemen in London, who have no great business capacity, and who, apparently, have not taken any steps to appoint a business manager in Australia. Under the circumstances, is it surprising that the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company runs rings round the Pacific Cable Company’s business, and secures the bulk of it? I do not know what the powers of the Federal Government are. but if they are going, year after year, to make up a very large portion, of this enormous loss,, thev ought to insist, first, upon having an efficient voice in the Board of Management ; and, secondly, upon the appointment of an absolutely independent manager to take charge of the Australian business. When that is done, it will be for the Board to open offices, in exactly the same way as the other company have done. It is nonsense to talk of the Government giving these facilities. The Government cannot give them, but the Pacific Cable Board can. If Senator Higgs and Senator Smith would only get the machinery. ,bv which this improvement of business must be effected firmly fixed in their minds, and work in that direction, a very great deal of good might be achieved. But so long as. they continue to talk of the Federal Government doing this, that, and the other, and facilities being given through the Telegraph Office, we shall get no adequate result from their agitation. We know what Government offices are. We know that, even in connexion with this telegraph business, the Government insist upon a man paying for a penny stamp if he wants a receipt for a telegram. This is not done for the purpose of revenue, but simply to defraud the sender of the telegram, it is not required by the law in any sense.
– And the Eastern Extension Company do not.
– I do not know what the other company do, but I fancy that they must s,tamp their receipts under Victorian law. The Federal Government are above the Victorian law, and, therefore, are not obliged to put a stamp on their receipts. This is a small matter, but it is just an example of the way in which the Government endeavour to impede business instead of trying to facilitate it. In a hundred other little matters public officers do everything they possibly can to stop the development of business.
– No one Is personally interested.
– It seems to me that every one in a Government office is personally interested in giving to the citizens as much inconvenience as possible. I do not think that that is the fault of the subordinates. The leading idea of Governments seems to be what I have described. I could mention a dozen instances. I will give one by Way of illustration. If you go to the General Post Office in Melbourne to declare the value of a parcel from abroad the officers absolutely will, not supply you with the necessary forms. You have to go to Collins-street to buy a form, on which to declare the value. The same sort of management applies to the telegraph business. Until a manager is appointed and proper offices are opened, we shall have no efficient competition against the Eastern, Extension Telegraph Company.
– I quite agree that the Government should do everything possible to make a success of the Pacific Cable as a business enterprise. But I have risen to point out that the Government must not forget that we also have a State-owned telegraph line running through the centre of Australia to Port Darwin. If the whole of the traffic is diverted’ to Southport, Queensland-, the central Australian line must result in an absolute financial loss. At all events, during the book keeping period South Australia ought to be recompensed if the traffic is to be diverted in that way, as the loss must be considerable. While I have every sympathy with the desire to secure all the business we possibly can for the Pacific Cable… South Australia ought not to be made to suffer. She came to the assistance of Australia in the early days by her enterprise which at that time she could ill afford.
– It was a very big work for a small State to take up.
– It was a tremendous work; and I ask the Government when they take steps to assist the Pacific Cable not to forget the burden that will be placed upon South Australia by the line through the interior becoming a source of loss.
– I wish to say a few words in support of Senator Higgs’ motion. As an ardent supporter of collectivism, I am bound to express my disappointment at the failure which up to date appears to have dogged the footsteps of the Pacific Cable. There can be no doubt, I think, that, under existing conditions, in many departments, privately managed businesses are very much more successful than are those which are publicly managed. But there is no reason under the sun why that state of , affairs , . should continue. I believe that it is as . possible to have good business management on behalf of the community as it is on behalf of a joint stock company. Holding that opinion, I think that the Senate ought to support the Government in every possible way to improve the system under which the Pacific Cable is working. We pay high salaries to officials. If they are not capable of conducting the business in a satisfactory manner, they ought °to be dealt with in exactly the same way as a private com1 pany would deal with its officers. If a private company were managed in such a manner that its manager year after year presented a balance-sheet showing a miserable failure, whilst a rival company that had probably had not nearly so many advantages, constantly showed a big balance on the right side, and paid handsome divid’ends, I think the first company would very soon get rid of its manager, and appoint some one else who would be able to conduct its affairs by more up-to-date methods. The chief defect in connexion with a State or Commonwealth managed business is that no individual seems to take a personal interest in pushing it.
– Except to draw his own salary.
– Just so. These failures are advanced by the opponents of collectivism as an unanswerable reason why that principle should not be adopted. To mv mind it is no reason. What is possible in the case of private companies is possible in the case of businesses managed in the interests of the community. What we have to do is to point out to the men who are engaged in the management of our businesses that if they do not make them a success .they will have to give place to others who will.
– ‘ Then their friends in Parliament will speak up for them.
– I want to crush all that sort of thing remorselessly. As one who believes that in the direction of collectivism lies the ultimate redemption of the human race, I am prepared to trample down any one who stands in the way of the adoption of that system. If one set of officers cannot, or will not, carry on their business as it ought to be carried on, let us replace them, and have other officers. Let us exhaust every possible means of making this system a success, as I believe it ought to be. It has been pointed out by speaker after speaker how inadequate and out-of-date’ in its methods the management of the Pacific Cable is. It has also been pointed out that the Eastern Extension Company is one of the most pushing affairs of its kind in the world. Surely the Government will poke up these people who are mismanaging the Pacific Cable. I hope it will. If it does not, the members of the Senate ought to poke up the Government. I am prepared to poke any Government out of office which will not do its duty in connexion with these matters. The Pacific Cable, instead of presenting a deficit at the end of each year, ought to be paying its way. If I were a member of the Government, I should certainly demand to know why it was not doing so. I trust that not only will Senator Higgs’ motion be carried, but that every member of the Senate will consider it to be his duty to bring all possible pressure to bear upon the Government, so that they may be induced to take all the necessary steps to make this concern a success.
– Without reflecting upon the vote given by the Senate last night, I think I may say that no vote that has been cast in this Parliament during my experience caused me greater pain. But it is some consolation to find that honorable senators who voted for the ratification of the agreement with the Eastern Extension Company have expressed the hope that the Pacific Cable will be supported in every way by the Government. I do not agree with Senator Stewart when he says that State institutions are not as successfully carried on as are privately-owned businesses. Take, for example, the Post and Telegraph Department. 1 think that that Department in this Commonwealth, covering as it does, such an immense area, is carried on most successfully. Whoever hears a complaint, except in an isolated case now and again, about the wrongful delivery of a letter? There was a case mentioned some time ago by Senator Guthrie where a letter addressed to a certain island was returned marked “ Place unknown “ ; but such instances are extremely rare. Senator Stewart says that we ought to carry on our Stateowned businesses as effectively as joint stock businesses are carried on. That is true. We need to have the most successful experts we can get in every profession connected with those enterprises. But if we want expert ability, we have to pay for it. It is a common thing in America for £10,000 per annum to be paid to a good organizer or captain of industry. I believe that .£10,000 a year was paid at one time to the manager of the Broken Hill Proprietary mine.
– If such a salary were paid to a Commonwealth officer, Senator Stewart would move a reduction.
– Senator Stewart wants to see our State institutions conducted successfully, but if it is proposed to pay more than ,£500 a year to a Commonwealth officer, he moves a reduction in the salary. I believe that the manager of the Queensland National Bank receives ,£3,000 a year. At all events, a few years ago he was paid £3,500. Senator Walker, who is connected with banking institutions, knows that it is a common thing to pay over £2,000 per annum to an expert banking official. When Senator Stewart argues that these salaries are not necessary, I reply that the fact is that they are paid, and that that shows that they aTe necessary. Ability will go to the place where it receives the most remunera- tion. If we want our Commonwealth enterprises, such as the Post and Telegraph Department and the Pacific Cable, to be carried on successfully, we must be prepared to pay reasonably high salaries to those who manage them, and not to be constantly moving reductions.
– I did not move a reduction in the salary of any expert officer, but I did move a reduction in the salary of the honorable senator, and think it should have been carried.
– When Mr. Reynolds was out here in the interests of the Pacific Cable he did not strike me as being a very capable officer. I believe Mr. Reynolds is not getting a very high salary, but if better remuneration were offered, the services of a good man would be obtained. I should not have mentioned Mr. Reynolds in the way I have, had I not felt it my duty to relate my experience of the way in which that gentleman seems to favour, and to be afraid to do anything in opposition to, the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company. Mr. Reynolds actually removed the canvasser whom the Pacific Cable Board had employed, in order to extend the business in Melbourne.
– What reason did Mr. Reynolds give for that action?
– I do not know that any reason was given.
– That was the canvasser who was stated to be doing damage to the business of the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company.
– There seems to be a fear of offending the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company, there being an idea that that company might be able to bring pressure to bear in other parts of the world. I am glad that the Government will endeavour to give effect to the motion, because I feel sure that it will lead to a diminution of the loss which we now have to bear in connexion with the cable. Senator Walker is of opinion that the Commonwealth is not a partner in the Pacific Cable; but, nevertheless, we have taken over an obligation.
– I asked whether the Commonwealth is a partner?
– The Commonwealth is a partner to the extent that we hold a sixeighteenth share, the several partners being - New South Wales, with two-eighteenths ; Queensland, with two-eighteenths ; Victoria, with two-eighteenths ; Canada, with, fiveeighteenths; New Zealand, with twoeighteenths; and Great Britain, with fiveeighteenths. Great Britain advanced the £2,000,000 necessary for the work, and the partners undertook to bear any loss, and to pay interest and principal. The deficit, which was £80,000 this year is not altogether loss, a certain portion being devoted to a sinking fund for the repayment of the principal. The payment extends over forty years, by which time, of course, renewals may be required, necessitating further expenditure. The Government will be able to glean from the observations of Senator Matheson, Senator Smith, and others, in what respects the Pacific Cable administration in Australia is defective. I think we ought to accept the suggestion of Senator Gray, and adopt the same financial system that is carried out in the Railway Departments of the States. We should endeavour to find out if a customer is a “ good mark,” and trust him to the extent indicated.
– A banker can guarantee his customers, so that the money would be safe enough.
– All the customers who use the cable should not be treated as people who desire to “ take down ‘ ‘ the Commonwealth. I understand that the reason why cheques are not received is that that system has been condemned by one of the Postal Conventions.
– How do the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company manage ?
– They pay no attention to the understanding, and the general public find the present arrangements reasonable. I have asked repeatedly for the names of the representatives of Australia on the Pacific Cable Board. I was informed, in answer to a question, that the number of representatives to which Australia is entitled is two, but, in reply to further questions, I elicited the fact that Sir Horace’ Tozer is the only representative we have. It may be that Lord Jersey has been acting as one of the representatives ; but he is now in Australia. He was a delegate at the Pacific Cable Conference, and it may be that he no longer represents the Commonwealth in this connexion. If that be so, some up-to-date man, and not a mere figurehead, ought to be appointed to urge the Pacific Cable Board to do all that appears to be necessary in Australia to make the cable a success - to take those steps which the Government apparently do not feel themselves called upon to take. That we have not a live Pacific Cable Board is. largely the fault of our Government. New Zealand is carrying out its obligations in a very active way, as is shown by the receipts, and Canada, I also understand, has a very live representative on the Board. I believe that Sir Horace Tozer has done his best in the interests of the cable; but I think there ought to be a representative and also a canvasser appointed for Melbourne. One of the first duties of the canvasser should be to hunt the newspaper files, and ascertain the names of the members of the various Chambers of Commerce who pressed the British Government, Canada, and New Zealand to construct this cable, and who deputationized the various State Governments and carried resolutions in favour of the enterprise. It would be interesting to know whether these gentlemen send any of their business messages over the Pacific Cable.
– It would also be interesting to know whether these gentlemen were instrumental in urging that the Eastern Extension Company should be permitted to open an office in Melbourne.
– I have no doubt that some of them were active in that connexion. It ought also to be the duty of the representatives of the Board to ascertain what, and to whom, rebates are granted by the Eastern Extension Company. If good evidence could be obtained that rebates are granted, it would form sufficient reason for an early determination of the agreement entered into with the company. The Pacific Cable Board are bound by international obligation to charge every customer, large or small, the same rate, and all commercial men will admit the justice of such a policy. Imagine for a moment what the state of affairs would be if the Post and Telegraph Department were to charge a half-penny in the case of a firm who sent, perhaps, 1,000 letters, while charging the full price of twopence to all customers who use its lines to a lesser extent.
– I have never heard of any rebates being granted.
– That may be so ; but I produced in this Senate a card on which was printed a statement that a rebate was given to cable users if they sent their cables through Reuter’s Agency which is closely in alliance with the Eastern Extension Company. What would be the effect if the several States adopted differential rates for. various customers?
– I think that the rebates are in connexion with the coding. When a customer hands a message in, it is coded, and the charge thus reduced.
– The rebate is all in the coding.
– I know that a certain charge is made for the coding of messages, but after that has been done for the customer, the company codes the messages for themselves. Why cannot an ordinary business firm do the same thing?
– Large firms do.
– Surely in the Post and Telegraph Department sufficient brains could be found to carry out the same system. It could be advertised that the Department is prepared to cable messages at a reasonable cost, and if a message be reduced to ten words for the customer, it might be reduced to five, or even to three, or one, by the Department. We saw from a recent Court case that Reuter’s Agency were able to get a young man of twenty-one years of age at a salary of £75 per annum to do the coding ; and’ surely the Commonwealth ought to be able to get a suitable person at , £140.
– The small salaries are the reason of the success of their business.
SenatorHIGGS. - The small salaries may be partly the reason.
– That is what I mean.
– But while the subordinates get low salaries, the heads are exceedingly well paid. I understand that the Eastern Extension Company pay their Australian manager over £1,500 per annum, with a considerable allowance for expenses, whereas Mr. Scott, the Chief of our Post and Telegraph Department, receives£1,000 per annum. In a Department like that of the Post and Telegraph good experts ought to be paid well ; and until that view is taken in regard’ to our public servants generally, we shall certainly encourage the feeling which Senator Gray says exists, that it is not worth while taking any more interest in the business than is represented by the salary. An American gentleman, who is assistant manager of a railroad company, was in Australia the otherday, and gave as an objection to Government enterprise the fact that if a manager or employe made a successful suggestion hereceived no reward, whereas if a mistake were made there was nothing but censure. Under such circumstances, a Government servant very often says: “Well, perhaps the best thing I can do is to say nothing, and stick to my billet.” I am afraid there is a good deal of truth in the opinion expressed by the American visitor. When we find in the Government employ men of high capacity and ability, we ought to give them credit for their value and pay them well. I am very gratified at the expressions of approval which have fallen from honorable senators as to the necessity for diminishing the annual loss, and for making the Pacific Cable an up-to-date business enterprise.
Question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.
In Committee (Consideration of House of Representatives’ amendments) :
Clause 1 (Short Title).
House of Representatives’ Amendment. - Omit “4,” insert “5.”
– It might be as well if in a few words I were to indicate generally the nature and scope of the amendments which the House of Representatives, in this message, asks us to accept. As honorable senators will see by the schedule attached to the message, there are no Jess than eightyseven amendments proposed, and included in these ; there are three separate new parts, one dealing with workers’-‘trade marks, which the House Of Representatives has substituted for the part qf the Bill which, as it left the Senate, dealt with trade union marks ; another dealing with what is called a Commonwealth trade mark, and a third dealing with the protection of trade marks. Apart from these particular divisions^ the o’:her amendments which we are asked in the House of Representatives’ message to accept, do not call for any very lengthy discussion or consideration. There are, for instance, amendments involving the alteration of the date in the title. of the Bill from, 1904 to 1905, and to provide that the Bill shall be brought into operation hot earlier than four months after it is passed, in lieu of the provision contained in the Bill, as it left tine Senate, that it should come into operation on a day to be determined by proclamation. It is hardly necessary that 1 should remind honorable senators that we dealt at length with this Bill last session. During the present session it has been dealt with in another place, and the amendments made in it are amendments upon the measure as «it went from the Senate to another place. Some of the amendments are necessitated by the adoption of the new parts of the Bill which we are asked to accept. Some of the earlier amendments are consequent upon alterations made in the definitions, which, in some instances, are made a little more extensive. The use of the word “ person “ and the definition of “Court” call for the consideration of some of the amendments included in the schedule. There are also amendments dealing with matters that were dealt with at very great length in the debate which .took place in the Committee or the Senate last year, in connexion with the case where application is made for the registration of a trade mark already registered in a single State or enjoyed or held by virtue of user in a single State. In connexion with such a case, we made provision for excepting from the effect of the Commonwealth registration of such a trade mark the particular State in which it was registered or existed by virtue of user. But the provisions we made inthat regard have been re-drafted. I thinkthat honorable senators will see that without any departure from principle they are now put in better form. A new provision included is one dealing with standardization: trade marks. This has been adopted fromthe most recent English legislation on the subject. When we were discussing the Bill last year, references were freely made to Mr. Fletcher Moulton’s Bill, which wasthen before the Imperial Parliament. Since that time, a Trade Marks Bill, not entirely in conformity with Mr. Moulton’s Bill’ but containing modifications of the provisions of that Bill, has been passed by the British Parliament, and is now known asthe Trade Marks Act 5 Edward VII., Chapter 15. We are asked to accept section 62 of that Imperial Act asclause 22a of this Bill. The only modification of that section is the substitution here of the Minister for theBoard of Trade, and the use of the word “conditions,” in sub-clause 1, with an exempting provision in sub-clause 3. to theeffect -
This section shall, as to conditions of manufacture, apply to Commonwealth and State authorities only.
Honorable senators will find that provision is made that -
Where any Commonwealth or State authority or any association or person undertakes the examination of any goods in ‘respect of origin, material, mode, or condition of manufacture, quality, accuracy, or other characteristics, and certifies the result of such examination by the mark used upon or in connexion with such goods, the Minister may, if he judges it to be to the public advantage - permit such a certificate to be registered as a trade mark under this Bill. That follows the latest legislation from England on the subject. It really gives the certifying person a right in respect of his certificating mark analogous to that enjoyed by the holder of the trade mark in connexion with other goods. Provision is made for dealing more comprehensively and systematically with associated trade marks, and all cases of series of trade marks are brought within the provisions of the Bill relating to what are known as associated trade marks. In the case where an individual who is already in the enjoyment of one trade mark, and desires to register another so nearly similar as to be calculated to mislead and deceive the public, provision is made that he cannot obtain registration for that mark unless in conjunction with the other trade mark, so that the two shall be dealt with as associated trade marks. The object is to prevent the disposal of either separately in such a way that two marks should fall into different hands, and be so nearly alike that the public might thereby be misled or deceived. As honorable senators are aware, associated trade marks cannot be assigned separately. They must be assigned in association, and this, provision has been put in as an amendment in another place, with the object of protecting the public in such cases. Another very important amendment makes provision for suboffices in the different States. We provided that an application for a trade mark should be put in before the Registrar at the Trade Marks Office of the Commonwealth, and the House of Representatives’ amendment provides for the establishment of suboffices in each of the States, so that applications may be lodged in any State, and the procedure then goes on as though they were lodged at the principal office. We are invited to make provision that in connexion with transmissions or assignments, of trade marks notice may be given so that it shall appear upon the register. It is further pro- posed that the directions in which the register of trade marks may. be rectified shall be extended by indicating other matters than those contained in the Bill as it left this Chamber. In two or three places in the schedule honorable senators will find a reference to what is called “ address for service.” These amendments* are proposed in order to provide proper notification of the address of parties who may be in conflict in connexion with any proceedings under this Bill. The object is to secure that a proper address shall be given by the party which shall be the address for service, so far as he is concerned, and at which notices, documents, and other matters relating to pending proceedings may be either left or sent for him by the other party, by the Registrar, or any person upon whom the duty may fall. I think I have briefly indicated the principal amendments proposed1. Apart from these. and from the new divisions, I think I may say that the amendments proposed are wholly verbal or consequential upon the adoption of one or other of the principles to which I have already referred. I may now refer to the three new divisions of the Bill dealing with workers’ trade marks, the protection of trade marks from infringement, and the Commonwealth trade mark. But before leaving the consideration of the other amendments, honorable senators will remember that honorable members in another place have had the benefit of the English legislation, which has been passed since the Senate considered this measure previously. ‘Some of the alterations which have been made in the Bill and which are submitted now to the Senate as amendments, have been adopted by reason of the fact that it was thought desirable to make the verbiage of the provisions of our law follow that of the provisions of the English legislation on. this subject. Some of the clauses we adopted were taken verbatim from Mr. Moulton’s Bill. That Bill, as passed into law, has been altered, and the House of Representatives invites us. in dealing with the clauses taken from it, to adopt the alterations made by the Imperial Parliament. The new part, providing for workers’ trade marks, is proposed in substitution for what were known as the. trade union marks provisions as the Bill left the Senate. In those provisions we defined what a trade union was, and what a trade union mark was, and we provided that a trade union mark should be registered in the manner prescribed. We made provision against the registration of any trade union mark so nearly identical with another as to be calculated to deceive. Perhaps the most important of the provisions to which we agreed was clause 76, which provided that -
Upon the registration of te trade union mark, the trade union by which it is registered shall be deemed to be the proprietor thereof and shall be entitled to the exclusive use of the mark for the purpose of designating the products of the labour of the members thereof.
The rights of the proprietor of the trade union mark shall be deemed to be infringed by the unauthorized use in respect of the goods in respect of which it is registered of a mark identical or substantially identical with the trade union mark or so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive.
The trade union by which a trade union mark is registered may sue in its registered or corporate name to protect its rights from infringement or to recover damages for their infringement.
Then in clause 77, we provided various penalties for the infringement of any trade union mark, and we described more explicitly what would be an unauthorized application of such a mark. We made provision in certain cases for the removal from the register of a trade union mark. The effect of the provisions was to enable any trade union to adopt a label., device, or mark ifor the purpose of registering it under the Bill. Having registered it the union became the absolute proprietor of the mark, and could take proceedings in the same way as any private individual to prevent the unauthorized application of the mark to any goods. We also provided that the mark should not be applied to any goods unless by the trade union itself, with its consent, or by its authority. The whole of those provisions have been struck out of the Bill by the House of Representatives, and we are asked to insert in their place the provisions which will be found on page 4 of the message, beginning with clause 73A, which provides that-
No person shall -
falsely apply to any goods for the purpose of trade or sale ; or
knowingly sell or expose for sale, or have in his possession for sale or for any purpose of trade or manufacture any goods to which there is falsely applied ; or
knowingly import into Australia any goods not produced in Australia to which there is applied a- mark which is a distinctive device, design, symbol, or label registered by any individual Australian worker or association of Australian workers corporate or unincorporate for the purpose of indicating that articles to which it is applied are the exclusive production of the worker or of members of the association (and which mark is hereby declared to be a workers’ trade mark), or any mark substantially identical with a registered workers’ trade mark, or so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive.
That is the first provision to meet the false application of a workers’ trade mark.
-What is the meaning of the phrase “exclusive production”? Suppose that a boot consists of twelve pieces, and is made by twelve workers?
– It would necessitate the placing of twelve marks on one boot.
– If it is the case of a single worker, the mark will indicate that it is the exclusive production of that worker. If it is the case of an association of workers, the mark will indicate that it is the exclusive production of the members of that association. The next provision, that is, sub-clause 2 of clause 73A, reads as follows : -
The workers’ trade mark is falsely applied unless in truth -
Then a definition is given of “association,” “production,” and “produced.” Honorable senators will see that, so far as subclause 2 is concerned, it amends very radically the proposals contained in the Bill as it. went to another place, inasmuch as it provides that the workers’ trade mark is falsely applied unless one or other of certain sets of circumstances occur, and one of such sets is contained in paragraph c, which I have just read. When the Bill left the Senate a trade union mark could not be applied to goods unless by the trade union or somebody acting on its behalf and with its authority. But now pro-
– The honorable senator disputed that when the Bill was previously here.
– Well, the honorable senator’s vote showed that he did.
– Not at all. The attitude taken up then was that in the circumstances no union would be foolish enoughto deny to a man who complied with the conditions the right to use a mark, and so jeopardise their chance of getting the sympathy of the public. But since then the provisions of Part VII. have been so amended t!ha.t an employer who has conformed to the conditions may apply the mark. Provision is made here for registration, for removal from the register, and for the duration of the term, which is fourteen years. Provision is also made that a trade mark of this kind shall not be capable of assignment either by an act of the parties or by the operation of law.
– Does not that show at once that it is not a trade mark within the meaning of the Constitution?
– Certainly not, because we can impose any limitations we please with regard to any of the characteristics of any particular class of trade mark, so soon as we begin to deal by statute with trade .marks.
– Can we take away the inherent principle of the very thing about which we are legislating? .
– Undoubtedly; if we have full power to legislate with regard to a subject we have full power with regard to that subject to do as we please.
– To rob it, of its inherent principle?
– Undoubtedly ; we can do just as we please within the domain of our legislation, as the honorable senator knows.
– I do not; I have never before heard such an> extraordinary remark fall from the lips of a lawyer.
– But the” honorable and learned senator forgets where the lawyer stands.
– On this matter the lawyer stands exactly where he stood last year.
– His vote does not show that.
– I have not altered my opinion in one iota. When Senator Dobson raised his objections I dealt very fully with the subject, and nothing that I have since seen, or read, or heard has caused me to feel that on that occasion I was in any respect incorrect.
– This amendment* is an admission that the previous one was faulty.
– It is an improvement on the form of the previous provision, but the alteration does not touch its legality or constitutionality at all. I admit that it meets the verv objection which Senator Millen raised. I was not responsible for the. introduction of Fart VII. of the Bill, and perhaps if I had been I might have given attention to the objections’ which he raised, and endeavoured to meet them.
– The honorable senator swallowed the part the moment it was brought forward.
– No ; I spoke very lengthily on the proposal.
– Exactly; and then swallowed it.
– I do not think that I spoke with any heat. I support the amendment because it is an> improvement on the provision submitted by Senator
Pearce. I was not responsible for the drafting of his amendments ; I had nothing to do with them ; but, so far as the principle was concerned, I supported them, and so far as the constitutional objection taken bv Senator Dobson was concerned I opposed it, for reasons which I gave.
– Does the Minister think that Mr. Cussen’s opinion is all wrong ?
– I think that my opinion is correct.
– And that) his is wrong ?
– That isi a matter for the honorable senator to satisfy himself about. We come then to sub-clause 5 of new clause 74A, in which further precautions are provided in connexion with this particular class of mark. It reads -
A workers’ trade mark shall not be registered if it is substantially identical with any registered trade mark within the meaning of this Act or so nearly resembles it as to be likely to deceive.
– Does not sub-clause 4, which provides that Parts III., IV., V., and VI. shall not- apply in relation to workers’ trade marks, show absolutely that a workers’ trade mark cannot be a trade mark ?
– I have just indicated to the honorable senator that if we have the fullest power of legislation with’ regard to a subject we can take any portion of that subject and deal with it just as we please ; and the fact that Ave do so does not in any way destroy the essential character of that particular matter.
– But can we define what a trade mark really is by an Act of our own?
– No, of course we cannot.
– I dealt very fully with that matter on a previous occasion. I am now dealing generally with the amendments of the other House.
– Will the Minister accept a definition of trade mark?
– I shall accept the Bill as it stands, with all these amendments except one.
– The other House .refused to accept a definition because it would exclude the union label.
– New clause 75A, reads -
Nothing in this Fart shall be so construed as to make it lawful for any person or association or combination of persons to do any act which it would have been unlawful for such person, association, or combination of persons to do before the commencement of this Act.
– A very candid admission as to the purpose of the union label !
– Has the Minister yet come to one amendment which he is not going to accept?
– No ; and it is only a verbal amendment which I propose not to accept.
– Will the Minister tell us the meaning of the clause which he read just now?
– It is partly to allay the anxiety of the honorable senator, and many other weak, timid persons, who seem to be unnaturally and unwarrantably apprehensive.
– Who are not under the dictum of Mr. Watson?
– And who are not under the dictum of Mr. Watson. New clause 76A reads -
This Part shall not apply to any primary products of the agricultural, viticultural (including wine-making), horticultural, dairying - (including butter-making and cheese-making), or pastoral industries.
– Every word of that amendment shows that the workers’ trade mark is not a trade mark.
– Is the Minister going to accept the amendment?
– Yes ; I am going to ask the Committee to accept these provisions in place of clauses 73 to 78. I think that, without departing from the principle of the division of the Bill known as “ Trade Union Marks,” its system and verbiage have been considerably improved upon ; and the more important, if not all the chief objections which were raised against the insertion of the clauses have been met, I submit, in these amendments. As the law stands at present, there is nothing, as I pointed out la:sf year, to prevent a trade organization in any State from adopting any particular label or device or mark, and! using it for the purpose of indicating, in respect of the goods on which it is used, the conditions referred to in these provisions. There is nothing, even apart from the registration or non-registration of such a mark to prevent that organization from using all the moral suasion it can to induce the community to approve of the conditions which the marks indicate, by purchasing, as far as they possibly can, the goods on which they appear. We know that organizations of various kinds do appeal strongly to the community in connexion with the different matters for which they stand. In different parts of the Commonwealth, for instance, persons who wished to adopt a system of early closing in connexion with particular trades, banded themselves into an association and used various means to enlist the sympathy of the public. They held meetings, gave entertainments, and adopted various other means of drawing public attention to the fact that there was in existence; an association which had for its object the early closing of certain classes of shops. As soon as that was done they published the names of the shopkeepers who had conformed to their wishes, and asked the public to patronize the shops which belonged to what was known as the Early Closing Association. In precisely the same way, there is nothing to prevent a trade union from adopting a label or device to indicate that the goods upon which it appears are manufactured by members of that union ; and having adopted such a device, there is nothing to prevent the union either from advertising in the newspapers or by means of placards bringing to the notice of the community that that mark has been adopted, so as to familiarize the public with the appearance of it. There is nothing to prevent a union from using every means of moral suasion to induce the public to patronize the goods upon which its label appears. That is the present position under the law; and all that these clauses provide is that once a union has adopted a mark or label, it shall be able to register it, and that if any person pirates it, or applies it to goods to which it should not be applied, he shall be subject to a penalty. That is the whole effect of these amendments.
– Suppose that goods are made under equally sound conditions, but not with union labour, then the mark cannot be used?
– I am pointing out that there is nothing to prevent any association from adopting a mark at the present time. As a matter of fact, it is done in ma.nv parts of the world. It has been done in Canada for some years.
– But that is where Canada stops.
– In other words, we are asked to accept a proposal which differs in no important particular, and in no principle, from the proposal which the Senate adopted last year ; but we are asked to agree to safeguards for the public, and to amendments which the Government consider to be an improvement upon the provisions previously carried by the Senate.
– Is there any provision by which a manufacturer who employs both union and non-union labour can apply the mark to his goods?
– There is nothing to prevent him from adopting a mark of his own, which will indicate to the public that the goods are made by non-union labour. Part VIIa. of the Bill, as amended, deals with what is called the Commonwealth Trade Mark. Provision is made that this part of the measure shall apply to goods - included in or specified by a resolution passed by both Houses of the Parliament that’ in their opinion the conditions as to the remuneration of labour in connexion with their manufacture are fair and reasonable.
The clauses go on to provide that -
A resolution shall be deemed to have been passed at the commencement of this Act by both Houses of the Parliament that the conditions as to the remuneration of labour are fair and reasonable in respect of goods which are manufactured in any part of the Commonwealth under conditions as to the remuneration of labour prescribed, required, or provided in relation to the goods by an industrial award, or order, or an industrial agreement under an industrial law.
– Does that include the Wages Boards of Victoria?
– That comes later. Under this part of the Bill, an industrial law means -
Any Act or State Act existing at the commencement of this Act, and providing for conciliation and arbitration, or “both conciliation and arbitration, or the determination of the remuneration of labour in connexion with industrial matters, or the manufacture of goods, or any statutory modification, amendment, or reenactment thereof respectively, or any Act or State Act passed after the commencement of this Act, and declared by resolution of both Houses of the Parliament to be an industrial law within the meaning of this part; and “industrial award or order “ includes any determination of any special board or court under an industrial law.
– Is the Factories Act of Victoria an industrial law ?
– Yes. I think the provision I have just read is sufficiently wide to cover all cases that will be dealt with by the Wages Boards in Victoria, or by the Conciliation and Arbitration Court in New
South Wales, or by other similar instrumentalities.
– A man is bound down to a resolution passed by both Houses of the Parliament if he wishes to get a mark in a State where there is no factories legislation.
– We first provide that this part of the measure shall not apply to any goods except those in respect of which a resolution has been passed by both Houses of the Parliament. But we provide that in respect of goods produced under the conditions provided for by Wages Board or Arbitration Courts, such a resolution shall be “ deemed to have been passed.”
– In Tasmania we have no such laws.
– Then a resolution can be obtained.
– This, I suppose, is all from Mr. Moulton’s Bill !
– If Senator Pulsford had paid me the courtesy to listen to me, Tie would have known that I said nothing of the kind. I expressly excepted these provisions of the Bill from that remark.
– They will be in Mr. Moulton’s next Bill !
– Provision is also made that the Minister may cause to be designed a Commonwealth trade mark, and that it shall notcontain the name of any particular State. So far as registration is concerned, it is provided that -
Upon the registration of the Commonwealth trade mark, the Minister shall be deemed to be the proprietor thereof, and shall be entitled to prevent the unauthorized application of the Commonwealth Trade Mark.
– Can Great Britain be the proprietor of a trade mark?
– We are not dealing with Great Britain. We are legislating for the Commonwealth. The Minister is authorized to sue with respect to infringements of the Commonwealth mark, and provisions are included as to what shall constitute an infringement.
– Is the Minister the only person who can sue?
– He is the proprietor of the mark for all purposes.
– The word “ may “ is used.
– We could hardly say that the Minister “ shall “ sue. The application of the Commonwealth trade mark to goods is to be deemed to be unauthorized unless the circumstances in paragraphs a, b, and c of clauses 78L are conplied with. There is also power to revoke authority to use the mark, and there are penalties against infringements of it, or against its application to goods to which it is not properly applied.
– Are these provisions taken from any other Statute?
– They are quite original ?
– They are original.
– Home-made !
– Of course, anything made in Australia must stand condemned bv Senator Pulsford. With regard to Part VIIb. of the Bill, I have not much to say. It relates to the protection of trade marks. The clauses running from 78Q to 78X I need not mention in detail. They provide for the punishment of fraud. But I wish to observe that last year the Senate dealt with a Bill called the Fraudulent Trade Marks Bill. A number of the provisions contained in that Bill have not become law, and although, in that measure, they applied both in respect of registered trade marks and ordinary trade marks that were not registered, but which served to indicate certain things to the public, Ave now, in this Bill, provide, so far as registered trade marks are concerned, for the Insertion of those provisions for the protection of trade marks against fraudulent dealers. Part VIIb., therefore, is practically those provisions, of the Fraudulent Trade Marks Bill lifted bodily out, and transferred to this measure.
– The provisions were passed by the Senate.
-Yes; but the Bill did not become law. These clauses are “ lifted “ from that Bill. I hope that the consideration of the measure will proceed, and that honorable senators will find, as they discuss the different clauses, that they are not asked to accept any amendments which make any radical departure in principle from what was affirmed by the Senate when we discussed the measure last year. The amendment in clause 1, which is now before the Committee, alters “ 1904 “ to “ 1905.” I move -
That the amendment be agreed to.
Motion agreed to.
Clause 2 -
This Act shall commence on a day to be fixed by proclamation.
House of Representatives’ Amendment. - After “ proclamation “ add “ not less than four months after the passing of this Act.”
– I hope the Minister will agree to postpone the consideration of this amendment, and also the consideration of certain of the amendments made in clause 3.
– I have no objection to postponing certain of the amendments in clause 3, but not the consideration of the amendment made in clause 2.
– Will the Minister consent to a recommittal of clause 2 if that be desired ?
– No; I think the amendment in clause 2 ought to be accepted.
– It is quite clear that the period of four months has been inserted for strong reasons, and it might be the opinion of the Senate that the period should be extended to six months. I move -
That the consideration of the amendment be postponed.
– When the Bill was passed last year it was provided that it should come into operation on a day to be fixed by proclamation. It is still provided that the date shall be fixed by proclamation, but it must be a date not less than four months after the passing of the Bill - that period is a minimum and not a maximum. Of course, if a really valid reason be shown, I shall have no objection to a recommittal, but I do not desire to make any definite promise under the circumstances. It is quite right, however, that the amendment to substitute “workers’ trade marks” for “trade union marks.,” and also the amendment dealing with the “ Commonwealth Trade Marks “ and the “ Protection of Trade Marks “ should be postponed.
– I agree with Senator Keating as to the desirableness of postponing the amendments in clause 3, to which he has just referred, but I think there is also something in the point raised by Senator Pulsford in regard to clause 2. We ought to know the reason for this amendment, for undoubtedly there is some reason.
– The Bill comes back to us better than when it left us.
– I am not so sure as to that.
– I - I fancy the amendment was made as a concession to the opponents of the Bill.
– I ask the Minister whether there is any definite reason for imposing this limit of four months?
Senator KEATING (Tasmania- Honorary Minister. - I am informed that the amendment was made in response to a request by certain honorable members in another place, who appeared to have some apprehension in regard to the effect on the import trade of the Commonwealth. I do not know whether there were any grounds for the apprehension, but those honorable members pressedtheir claims strongly, and the Government consented, as it were, to suspend the operation of the Bill for the period mentioned.
– I ask leave to withdraw my motion .
Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
Motion (bv Senator Keating) agreed to-
That the amendment be agreed to.
Amendments in clause 3 postponed.
Amendments in clauses 4 and 5 agreed to.
Clause 8 -
Where the same trade mark, or a nearly identical trade mark, is owned or registered by another proprietor, in respect of the same goods, the trade mark may be registered -
Where the trade mark or a nearly identical trade mark is common to the trade in another State it may be registered with an exception as to that State.
House of Representatives’ Amendments. -
After proprietor insert “in any part’of the Commonwealth.” Omit “ it may be registered with an exception as to that State,” and insert “ the registration under this Act shall confer no exclusive rights in that State on the registered proprietor, and that State may be excepted from the registration under this Act.”
Motion (by Senator Keating) proposed -
That the amendments be agreed to.
– What is the meaning of the second amendment ?
– It is a purely drafting amendment. Some doubts were cast on what the construction of the omitted words might be. and the intention is net out more fully in the amended form of the clause.
Motion agreed to.
Clause 9 -
House of Representatives’ Amendments. - Before “ proprietor “ insert “ unregistered “ ; after “ (4) “ insert “ (4a) “ and insert new sub-clause. “ (4A) Where the same trade mark, or a nearly identical trade mark, is owned or registered by another proprietor, in any part of the Commonwealth, in respect of the same goods, the trade mark may be registered subject to such conditions and limitations as to mode or place of user or otherwise as the Registrar Law Officer or Court thinks fit to impose to preserve the rights of each proprietor.”
Motion (by Senator Keating) proposed -
That the amendments be agreed to.
– It would be a great convenience if Senator Keating, who has probably gone through all these amendments, would indicate to the Committee those which are, and those which are not, material.
– I shall do so.
– I should like to know how a person may be the proprietor of an unregistered trade mark. I do not see how any one can be the proprietor of a trade mark which is not registered.
– A person may be the proprietor of a trade mark by user. He may have been using the trade mark for a long time, and, although it is not registered, the public know it as the mark of a particular man, and he is the proprietor in fact, although there is no registration. This amendment supplies what was clearly an omission on the part of the Senate.
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales).Do I understand that, although an unregistered proprietor may claim to have some ownership, it is not a legal) ownership ?
– An unregistered proprietor mav proceed against another person for fraud if that person uses the trade mark to the proprietor’s detriment.
– But surely, if the trade mark is not registered under the State law, there can be no legal and exclusive right to it?
– If an unregistered trade, mark be used for the purpose of misrepresentation, the proprietor will have an action at common law for fraud. That is the extent of his right ; the action will not be for infringement, but one at common law for, fraud.
– But if such a mark does not carry exclusive right, how can any one be called its “ proprietor “ ?
– He is always referred to as the proprietor, arid that is how we dealt with him in considering the Bill last session.
– As a matter of fact, he is the proprietor.
– That is the point on which I wish to be quite clear. If the mere using of the trade mark does not give him exclusive and proprietary rights in it, the clause is unnecessary, and the amendment is even more unnecessary.
Senator KEATING (Tasmania- Honorary Minister). - A person who uses a mark, and has used it in such a way that, in the eyes of the public, it has become identified’ with his goods, even though he mav not have registered it, has the exclusive . right to its use. No one else is entitled to use that mark upon other goods which may perhaps be of inferior quality, in such a manner as to lead the public to believe that they are the goods of the person first mentioned without -rendering himself liable to prosecution for the fraudulent use of the mark in such a waxas to deceive the public, to the detriment of the first person. If the person entitled to the use of the mark in this way registers it as a trade mark, he gets other, remedies given him by the Statute, which he would not ordinarily have at common law.
Motion agreed to.
Clause 12 -
For the purposes of this Act an office shall be established which shall be called the Trade Marks Office.
House of Representatives’ Amendment. - After “ Office “ add “ and a sub-office shall be established in every State other than the State in which the Trade Marks Office is established.”
– I move -
That the amendment be agreed to.
The House of Representatives have by this amendment made provision for suboffices in each of the States, which will really be receiving offices, as the actual administration of the Act will be carried on at the head office. The establishment of these sub-offices will enable applications to be registered in the different States, and parties resident in those States to communicate directly with the Trade Marks Office by means of the State sub-offices. The provision is simply to afford facilities to the public.
Motion agreed to.
Amendments in clauses 13 and 16 agreed to.
Clause 18 -
Except in the case of a trade mark properly registered in any State under a State Trade Marks Act, a registrable trade mark must not contain -
a representation of the King, the Queen, or any member of the Royal Family.
House of Representatives’ Amendment. - After “ Family “ insert “ or of the Royal Crown.”
– I move -
That the amendment be agreed to.
Honorable senators will notice that this amendment is taken from paragraph b of clause 19, for the reason that clause 18 covers certain exceptions, and at present there are some trade marks registered under State Acts which have representations of the Royal Crown. If the words were not included in this clause, those trade marks would not be excepted from the prohibitive provisions of the Bill.
Motion agreed to.
Amendments in clause 19 agreed to.
Clause 20 (Scandalous and improper marks) -
House of Representatives’ Amendment. - Transpose this clause to follow clause 98 as clause 98A.
Senator KEATING (Tasmania- Honorary Minister). - The reason for this amendment is that this Part III. of the Bill does not apply to workers’ trade marks, and it is necessary that this clause should be placed in the Bill, where it will be of general appllication. - I move-
That the amendment be agreed to.
Motion agreed to.
Clause 21 -
In determining whether any particular of a trade mark is distinctive, regard may be had, in the case of a trade mark in actual use, to the extent to which user has rendered the trade mark or the particular distinctive for the goods with respect to which the trade mark is sought to be registered, but subject to this section, a pictorial representation of goods or words having reference to the character or quality of goods shall not of themselves be deemed distinctive.
House of Representatives’ Amendment. - After “ registered,” line 7, omit the remainder of clause.
– The words which we are asked to omit were in Mr. Fletcher Moulton’s Bill, but are not in the English Act. Their omission from this clause will bring it in conformity with the corresponding section of that Act. I move -
That the amendment be agreed to.
– I do not know that the Minister attaches verymuch importance to the authority, but does he think it desirable that a pictorial representation of goods should not be deemed distinctive ? I understand that the omission of these words is proposed because they do not find a place in the section of the English Act, but I take it that they were used in this clause for some good reason.
– There was a judicial decision.
– Since the passing of the English Act ?
– No, before it was passed. I think that both Mr. Fletcher Moulton’s Bill and our Bill purported to make it distinctive, but it has not been thought necessary by the draftsman at Home to do so.
– In other words, it is proposed to leave the clause in conformity with a judicial decision?
Motion agreed to.
Amendments in clause 22 agreed to.
House of Representatives’ Amendment. - After clause 22 insert new clause. 22A. - (1) Where any Commonwealth or State authority, or any association or person, undertakes the examination of any goods in respect of origin, material, mode or conditions of manufacture, quality, accuracy, or other characteristic, and certifies the result of such examination by a mark used upon or in connexion with such goods, the Minister may, if he judges it to be to the public advantage, permit the authority association or person to register the mark as a trade mark in respect of such goods, whether the authority association or person is or is not a trader, or is or is not possessed of a goodwill in connexion with such examination and certifying.
Motion (by Senator Keating) proposed -
That the amendment be agreed to.
– Do I understand that this new clause is taken from the English Act? It seems to be a very important one.
Senator KEATING (Tasmania - Honorary Minister). - The distinction between this clause and the corresponding section of the
English Act is that the latter does not contain the word “conditions” in the phrase, “ mode or conditions of manufacture.” The operation of the word is restricted by subclause 3. In other respects, the clause is the same as the provision in the English Act. Only the Commonwealth and State authorities could acquire a mark with respect to conditions of manufacture.
Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania).- Does not this clause practically raise the whole question of Commonwealth trade marks?
– No, it relates to selection, examination, and certification.
– The clause seems to raise the question as to the authorities who are to decide the conditions of the manufacture of various goods. It seems to imply that the only authorities are the Commonwealth and the States. To that extent it anticipates the provisions relating to the Commonwealth trade mark, and I would suggest to the Minister that its consideration should be postponed for the present.
– This clause would be required if the provisions relating to the Commonwealth trade mark were not proposed at all.
– But it contains the word “ conditions.”
– Because the Commonwealth and States authorities do a lot of work in respect of inspectingand certifying exports.
– Will the Minister tell me if this new clause is in any wav exclusive with regard to the examination of the conditions under which goods are manufactured ? If it is not, I do not wish its consideration to be postponed.
Senator KEATING (Tasmania- Honorary Minister). - This new clause is not in any way exclusive, as Senator Clemons will see if he refers to section 62 of the English Act. Sub-clause 3 would exclude a trade union from getting a trade mark under the provision in respect of certifying conditions. The Commonwealth or a State authoritv may certify as to conditions, and adopt a mark for such certificate, and acquire in respect of the mark the rights of a trade mark proprietor. That is the only addition to the provision from the English Act. and for that reason it is limited to the Commonwealth or State authorities.
Senator PULSFORD (New South Wales). - We have a right to expect the marginal notes as to the origin of provisions to be absolutely correct. The marginal note to this new clause is “ standardization, &c. trade marks,” and it states that it is taken from the English Acf. It is taken from the English Act, except that it contains some highly important words which are not in that Act, but there is no indication in the marginal note to that effect. If there are any more cases where clauses or parts of clauses are taken from the English, Act, and they are stated to be so taken, and have been altered in any way, that fact should be indicated in the marginal notes.
– When a clause is altered the word “ compare “ is always used, as it is here, in the reference, to indicate that one has only to compare the section of the English Act with the clause.
Motion agreed to.
Clause 24 -
House of Representatives’ Amendment. - After “ mark “ insert “ or matter therein.”
Motion (by Senator Keating) proposed -
That the amendment be agreed to.
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales).I do not quite follow the purpose of this alteration. I desire to know whether it is intended that the clause shall read in this way -
The fact that a mark or matter therein is publicly used.
– A trade mark may not necessarily of itself be one single indication or mark. It may be composed of several component parts, each of which is severable or separate.
– Or part thereof.
– One of these may be a part of the whole or complete trade mark. If that part is used by more than, three several persons in a State, that is taken as evidence that so far as that part is concerned it is common to the trade.
– I see what it means.
– The wording of the sub-clause struck me as being very objectionable. I think it would be better to use the expression “mark or part thereof,” instead of the expression “mark or matter therein.” The word “matter” is very much out of place where it is used here, therefore I move -
That the amendment be amended by the omission of the words “ matter therein,” with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ part thereof.”
Senator KEATING (Tasmania - Honorary Minister). - The draftsman, who has been watching the. Bill very carefully in both Houses, informs me that the words “matter therein” are used1 in the section of the English Act, and that in other parts of this Bill the same words are used in connexion with the mark.
Amendment of the amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Motion agreed to.
Remaining amendments in clause 24 agreed to.
Amendment in clause 26 agreed to.
Clause 29 (Associated Trade Marks) -
House of Representatives’ Amendment.- Before sub-clause 1 insert new sub-clause : - “ (ia) Where application is made for the registration of a trade mark so nearly resembling a trade mark of the applicant who is already on the register as to be likely to deceive or cause confusion if used by a person other than the applicant, the Registrar may require as a condition of registration that the trade marks shall be entered on the register as associated trade marks.”
– The object of this clause” is that, where application is made for the registration of a trade mark so nearly resembling any trade mark of the applicant already on the register as to be likely to cause confusion, the Registrar may require that the trade mark shall be entered on the register as an associated trade mark. Then it cannot be disposed of by assignment’ separately. If that could be done, the public might be misled. By providing that the Registrar may require it to be dealt with as an associated trade mark the public are protected. I move -
That the amendment be agreed to.
Motion agreed to.
Remaining amendments in clause 29, and amendments in clauses 30, 31, and 32 agreed to.
Clause 33 -
House of Representatives’ Amendment. - Omit all words after “ shall “ to end of sub-clause 2, and insert “ ascertain and report whether the *.rade mark is a registrable trade mark. and whether it is identical with a trade mark already on the register under this Act, or any State Trade
Mark Act, in respect of the like goods or class of goods, or so nearly resembles the latter trade mark as to be likely to deceive, and whether the trade mark or any matter therein is common to the trade.”
Motion (by Senator Keating) proposed - -
That the amendment be agreed to.
Senator MACFARLANE (Tasmania).Is the Minister to have power to allot the examiner, or is that to be arrived at bymutual agreement?
– The Registrar will appoint the examiner.
– Will he be a permanent officer?
– Anyone who reads what the duties of the examiner are to be must be quite sure that his task will not be by any means an idle one.,
– We had a long discussion about this point last year.
– If he is to do all the work allotted to him under this clause, as well as perform other duties, he will have a very difficulty task?” I doubt whether it would be possible to find a man competent to discharge such duties. Does Senator Keating understand that the finding out of a man competent to discharge these duties, and the appointment of him, is to lie entirely with the Registrar?
– There are a number of examiners appointed under the Patents Act; the same procedure will be followed here.
– After the examiner has done his work, it appears that his decision can be set aside without any formal appeal. Are there any provisions for appeal under the Bill ?
– Yes ; later on.
Motion agreed to.
Remaining amendments in clause 33, and amendments in clauses 34, 35, 39 (with a verbal amendment), 41, 45, 49, 5°. 51, 53, 55. 58> 59, and 60 agreed to.
House of Representatives’ Amendment. - After clause 61 insert new clause : - “ 61A. Where a trade mark has been lawfully assigned or transmitted, a notification of the assignment or transmission, in the form and authenticated in the manner prescribed, may be given to the Registrar, who shall thereupon register the assignment.”
– I move -
That the amendment be agreed to.
This is one of the amendments to which I made reference when dealing with the matter generally. The object of it is simply to enable notice to ba taken of an assignment, so that any one who consults the register may know at any particular time who is the holder of a trade mark.
– Is this new clause not a repetition of the provision in sub-clause b of clause 61. which provides that there shall be kept at the Trade Marks Office a register containing particulars of “ notifications of assignments and transmissions, and disclaimers.”
– No. That subclause provides that there shall be kept a register, but there is no obligation to register. In the new clause, however, provision is made that notice in the manner prescribed mav be given to the Registrar.
Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania).- This is a very desirable clause, but I do not think it goes far enough. If I read it aright, it means that after an assignment the assignee may refrain from giving notice for as long a period as he likes ; and I am afraid that may lead to confusion. It is desirable, in my opinion, that not:ce of the assignment should be given within a certain time. The clause also fails in that the registration is not made compulsory.
– When the Bill left the Senate, there was no provision for compulsory registration beyond the sub-clause to which Senator Pearce has called attention.
– I am not sure that there would not be considerable hardship in compelling registration of an assignment, and, while I do not press that point, I sayit. is doubtful if we are acting wisely in allowing the registration of an assignment to be delayed as long as the assignee may choose. I do not desire to fix any unfair limit, but there certainly should be some limit.
– The limit would be prescribed, I presume.
– I do not think that the words “ in the manner prescribed “ will govern this matter. Unless the Minister will submit an amendment, I shall do so.
Senator KEATING (Tasmania- Honorary Minister). - I understand that with regard to trade marks in every other part of the world, there is no compulsion to register any assignment. If a person does desire to register he may do so whenever he pleases, and, in any case, I fail to see what could be done with a person who failed to register. He could not be said to have forfeited his right to the trade mark.
– We must consider the public, who otherwise will not know who is the. owner of the trade mark.
– An amendment of the kind would be a radical departure from all legislation on the subject ; and, as I sa.y, when the Bill left the Senate, there was no provision to compel registration.
– We did not give the matter very close attention.
– I think the Bill received a very great deal of consideration.
– It will stand further consideration.
– -This new clause was inserted in another place simply to provide what the Registrar shall do if a person chooses to exercise his option to register.
Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania).- In the form which I think the least objectionable to the Minister, I move -
That the amendment be amended by inserting after the word “ transmission “ the words “within the time.”
– What will happen if a man fails to register within the time? Will he be barred from registering afterwards ?
– I certainly think he should be; and there would not, in my opinion, be any unfair hardship imposed
– A person might have a trade mark, which he did not think would be of much use for two or three years to come.
– We must consider the public. It is not fair to allow the public to-be under the impression that the original owner, who has become the vendor, is really and truly the owner, when he may have made an assignment long ago. Senator Keating asks what would be done with a man who failed to .register in the time prescribed, and, in reply. I ask what will be done to a man who fails to give a notification “ in the form, and authenticated in the manner prescribed “ ?
– The clause is purely optional.
– Surely it is a very ordinary piece of legislation to provide for regulations as to .time as well as to form and manner. I cannot hope to make registration compulsory, because that, it appears, would be altogether a reversal of the policy we have adopted ; but the amendment I have submitted! does not make anyradical change, and is certainly an improvement.
– What would be the alternative if a man failed to register in time ?
– He could not register at all.
– He would also lose his assignment, and would, for instance, be unable, under certain circumstances, to bring an action. He would not lose the absolute ownership, but would be deprived of rights which, I think, he ought not to possess if he conceals the fact that he is the owner. His position as an assignee is not the same as that of an original owner, who has become the vendor ; and under the circumstances, it is desirable that there should be a time limit. Ample opportunity will be given to the Minister to decide what is a fair time.
– There seems to be some doubt whether, if we inserted these words, it would still be left optional with the assignee to register, but I point out that if we introduce a time limit within which registration must take place, the clause will automatically provide its own penalty, as if the registration is not affected within the time prescribed^ there can be no registration. The insertion of the words will, therefore, insure registration of the assignment of d trade mark within- a reasonable time, and there will be the element of compulsion to which I have directed attention. As to the desirability in the interests of the public of such registration, it may be said that it matters .little to the public whether A or B is the proprietor of a certain- trade mark. Experience has shown, however, that it is desirable that the public should1 know who represent the trading corporations and firms with which they do business. In New South Wales, and, I believe also, in other States of the Commonwealth, it has been found necessary, in the interests of the public, to pass a law to compel people trading under other than their own names to register the fact. The same principle is involved here. The original proprietor of an assigned’ trade mark might have secured a certain hold upon the public by reason of the reputable manner in which he conducted his bust.ness. If the trade mark was assigned to some one of whom the public had a less favorable opinion, it would be an advantage to him to continue to permit the public to assume that the original owner of the trade mark was still, using it. In my opinion, it is desirable in the interests of the public that registration of the assignment of a trade mark should take place within a reasonable time, and for that reason I support the amendment.
Senator KEATING (Tasmania - Honorary Minister). - I haVe just looked at the section of the English Act,, which provides that -
Subject to the provisions of this Act, where any person who becomes entitled to a registered trade mark by assignment, transmission or other operation of law, the Registrar shall, on request made in the prescribed manner, and on proof of title to his satisfaction, cause the name and address of such person to be entered on the register as the proprietor of the trade mark. Any decision of. the Registrar under this section shall be subject to appeal to the Court, or with the consent of the parties to the Board of Trade.
Honorable senators will see that there is no express provision with regard to time included in that section. I point out that these registrations have always been allowed to be effected at whatever time the assignee has thought desirable. Senator Clemons will bear me out that if he were to acquire by virtue of transfer a number of shares in any company it would be optional with him to register himself as the transferee.
– Not everywhere; and it is very undesirable anywhere.
– The honorable and learned senator is only partially right.
– I take the case, for instance, of landed property. A man has land transferred to him under the Torrens Act, or the corresponding Act in any State, and he can hold it for any time without registering the transfer.
– Until the transfer is registered it has no validity, so far as the public are concerned.
– That is so. If the assignee of a registered1 trade mark is content with his assignment without registration, why should we interfere with him ?
– Only in the interests of the public.
– If he chooses to register his assignment later on, why should we not let him do so? A man might, by assignment or transmission, be- come the owner of one or more registered trade marks. A particular trade mark might at the time, be of no commercial value to him, but three or four years later he might have gone into some industry in which it would be of use, and he would thereupon register his assignment of the trade mark in order that it might become his registered property, and he might have all the rights conferred by the Statute, and especially the right to proceed against any one fraudulently applying the trade mark to other goods. In the English Act, as well as in this Bill, the registration in such a manner as may be prescribed of an assigned trade mark is left optional with the assignee. If we impose a limit of time in such a way as to penalize the assignee, we shall be attaching to him conditions and obligations that we should long hesitate to impose under the circumstances.
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales). - The Minister’s remarks induce me to again appeal to the Committee to accept the amendment. The honorable senator has referred to two classes of transfers in support of his contentionj, but his selections have been extremely unfortunate. The transfer of land from one individual to another affects those individuals only.
– So does the transfer of a trade mark.
– I venture to saythat the public is concerned in the transfer of a trade mark.
– No more, and no less, than in the transfer of land.
– Surely the honorable senator is ignoring altogether the purpose of a trade mark? If I purchase an allotment, or sell one to another person, the transaction has no material affect upon the general public.
– It might or might not. The registered proprietor of land may secure credit on that account.
Seniator MILLEN. - There are certain disabilities connected with the omission to register mortgages. The general public, believing that a trade mark carries with it the guarantee of good workmanship and material supplied by the original owner, may be deceived fora long course of time by its transfer to some one having a less reputable name.
– My remarks do not apply to mortgages only. Take the case of a man applying for credit. Before he gives him credit the man to whom he has applied makes, a search, and discovers that he is the registered proprietor of certain land, and yet a quarter of an hour afterwards a transfer of the land might be registered.
– The honorable senator must know that there is a certain disability where a mortgage is not registered, and under the land laws of New South Wales in many instances penalties and disabilities follow the omission to register a transfer. The Minister has told the Committee that the clause is similar to the English legislation on the subject. I think there is a tendency, which may not be confined to the honorable senator, when support is asked fora certain measure, to remind the Committee that the provision in question is to be found in “ the English Act”
– We have had more English Acts thrown at us from the other side than would fill a book.
SenatorMILLEN. - I am inviting Seator Turley to join with me in deprecating the practice. If Senator Keating attaches value to this argument we should expect him to adopt the English Act in its entirety, but when we come to consider other amendments which will not be found included in the English Act, I have little doubt that the honorable senator will explain that we are a more enlightened, progressive, and up-to-date people, and propose to start where the English Act leaves off. The fact that no time limit is prescribed in the English Act is no reason why we should not prescribe such a limit here, and as no argument has been advanced! to show that it would be unwise to do so I again ask the Committee to accept the amendment of the House of Representatives’ amendment.
Question - That the words proposed to be inserted in the amendment be inserted - put. The Committee divided.
Majority …. … 1
Question so resolved in the negative.
Amendment of the amendment negatived.
Motion agreed to.
Amendments in clauses 65, 67, 70, and 72 agreed to.
– I think it would be a fair thing to postpone the consideration of all the amendments relating to the workers’ trade marks, the Commonwealth trade marks, and the protection of trade marks, and to deal with the amendments in clauses 85 to 99. We might dispose of the amendments in those clauses to-night, and consider the postponed amendments to-morrow.
Senator KEATING (Tasmania- Honorary Minister). - I have no objection to the postponement of the three parts relating to the workers’ trade marks, the Commonwealth trade marks, and the protection of trade marks until after we have disposed of the other amendments, which are contained in the message from the House of Representatives ; but I cannot agree to the suggestion that we should not begin the consideration of those parts until to-morrow. In the course of five or ten minutes we could dispose of the amendments in clauses 85 to 99, and begin the consideration of the three parts to which I have referred.
Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania). - I. support the view of Senator Keating, because I think it will make for rapidity. There are a certain number of formal amendments to which no one can take exception, and which could be disposed of in a few minutes, and so clear the way for the consideration of the debatable amendments.
Motion (by Senator Pulsford) proposed -
That the consideration of amendments Nos. 73 to 76 be postponed.
– I object to this way of doing business, because if we postpone these three parts, and deal with the remaining amendments, it might become necessary to go over the work which we had done. I fail to see what good pur-‘ pose can be served by taking this course. We ought to go through the schedule of amendments in a regular manner.
Senator KEATING (Tasmania - Honorary Minister).- I gave a good deal of consideration to the schedule of amendments, and had not a senatorand I been engaged in conversation, I should have taken the same course as Senator Pulsford has suggested, because, in my opinion, it is the most expeditious way of dealing with the amendments. We have dealt with seventy amendments of a formal, consequential, and drafting nature. “ The amendments in clauses 85 to 99 can be dealt with in the course of a’ few minutes, and then honorable senators can apply themselves, unhampered and untramelled by other considerations, to the large principles contained in the three new-‘ parts to which I have’ referred.
Motion agreed to.
Amendments in clause 85, proposed new clause 9 1 a, and amendment in clause 92 agreed to.
Clause 97 (Aiders and abettors).
House of Representatives’ Amendment. - Omit this clause.
Senator KEATING (Tasmania - HonoraryMinister). - The reason why this clause is omitted is that we are asked in the measure to insert another clause in its place- 78T, in Part VIIB.
– That clause is not’ quite an alternative to the one before us. It is rather an enlargement.
– We do not re-‘ quire two clauses for the purpose. I move -
That the amendment be agreed to.
Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania).- . There are obvious reasons for postponing this clause. It is unfortunate that the amending clause 78T differs materially. from the one before us.
– It is drawn in conformity with our recent legislation. We can fairly leave out this clause.
Motion agreed to.
Clause 99 -
House of Representatives’ Amendment. - After “ If.” insert “ upon the request of the GovernorGeneral.”
Motion (by Senator Keating) proposed -
That the amendment be agreed to.
– This amendment seems to me to open up rather a large question. The clause as it originally stood provided that if the King was pleased to apply to the Commonwealth any law of the United Kingdom in respect of trade marks, he could do so. The amendment provides that the King can only act if the Governor-General requests him to do so. Surely that is an alteration of principle. I am not seriously alarmed, but I should like to know what is the necessity for the proposed amendment.
– The idea of another place in making the amendment was that the Governor-General might request His Majesty to make any legislation that might be passed in ; the United Kingdom expressly applicable to the Commonwealth ; and in that event the procedure that is outlined in the clause would take effect. As honorable senators are well aware, the position of the Commonwealth is such that the Crown does not interfere directly with its legislation; and it is not at all likely that unless the Crown was directly approached by the Commonwealth it would expressly extend’ British legislation to Australia in anv legislative field in respect of which the Commonwealth has supreme powers. We have, for instance, supreme legislative powers with regard to the registration of trade marks. It is not at all likely that . the Crown would expressly extend to the Commonwealth any legislation on that subject which might come into effect in Great Britain, without being ‘moved to do so from Australia. Under these circumstances it is thought desirable to insert before the words “the King” the words “upon the request of the Governor-General.”
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales). - The Minister says it is not likely that the King would propose to apply to Australia any arrangement entered into by the Imperial authorities., unless requested to do so. Why insert the stipulation that only on the request of theGovernor-General shall His Majesty do so?
– It indicates the procedure to be followed.
– It appears to me that the words have been put in merely for the purpose of making an alteration. The Minister tells us that, as we stand constitutionally, it is not likely that the King wouldattempt to apply to Australia any arrangement made by the Imperial authorities. If His Majesty is not likely to do so, why put in these words?
– I hope the Committee will not agree to this amendment. I do not see the object of it. It seems rather to limit the power of the King, and does not increase the power of the Governor-General, who at any time, without the insertionof these words, can do what it says may be done. But the King, if we make the amendment, cannot act without a request from the Governor-General. Therefore it distinctly curtails the power of the Home Government to take steps which might be to our advantage.
Motion agreed to.
– We shall now return to the postponed amendments.
Amendments in clause 3 further postponed.
Part VII. - Trade union marks.
House of Representatives’ Amendment. - In the headline omit “ Trade Union Marks,” insert “Workers’ Trade Marks.”
Motion (by Senator Keating) proposed -
That the amendment be agreed to.
Senator PULSFORD (New South Waies). -I think that this is a matter to which the Minister might devote a little explanation. I have not followed the reasons why the term “Trade Union Marks “ has been omitted and “ Workers’ Trade Marks “ substituted. From some points of view I prefer the former words, and’ should like to know why a change has been made.
Senator KEATING (Tasmania - Honorary Minister). - I have already explained that the “ Trade Union Marks “ provisions of the Bill, as it left the Senate, have been omitted, and in their place have been substituted provisions dealing ‘with “Workers’ Trade Marks.” Provision is made for the registration of these marks, whether by an individual worker, an association of workers, or a number of associations conjoined1. It is further provided that anybody who falsely or fraudulently applies those marks or has in his possession for the purposes of trade goods, to which the marks have been applied, shall be punishable. The right of using these marks is not necessarily confined to the workers or associations themselves, but may be applied to goods manufactured by persons who employ workers under conditions which the marks indicate. In consequence of the substitution of these provisions-, the heading of the division has been altered from “Trade Union Marks” to “Workers’ Trade Marks.”
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales).I take it that the amendment now before us is really only that of the heading. I wish to leave the road open for reasonable discussion of the whole of the provisions put before us, and that would not be possible if we were tied down to a particular clause.
– The next amendment deals with the whole of the clauses 7,3 and 78 inclusive, which cover this subject, and my view is that if we pass the amendment now before us, which I regard as merely verbal, the whole question will be quite open to discussion.
Motion agreed to.
Clauses 73 to 78 (Part VII., Trade Union Marks).
House of Representatives’ Amendment. - Omit these clauses, and insert new clauses - 73A. - (1) No person shall -
knowingly import into Australia any goods not produced in Australia to which there is applied a mark which is a distinctive device, design, symbol, or label registered by any individual Australian worker or association of Australian workers corporate or unincorporate for the purpose of indicating that articles to which it is applied are the exclusive production of the worker or of members of the association (and which mark is hereby declared to be a workers’ trade mark), or any mark substantially identical with a registered workers’ trade mark, or so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive.
the mark is applied to the goods (being goods produced in Australia) by the employer for whom they are produced, or, with the authority of the employer, by the worker or a member of the association registering the mark.
Penalty : Fifty pounds, in addition to any liability to forfeiture provided by law. 74A. - (1) A worker or association may register a workers’ trade mark in the prescribed manner and shall thereupon be deemed the registered proprietor thereof, and be entitled to institute legal proceedings to prevent and recover damages for any contravention of this Part ia respect of that trade mark.
Senator KEATING (Tasmania - Honorary Minister). - I move -
That the amendment be agreed to.
Before the tea hour I explained the effect of these clauses, which have been printed and circulated in the schedule of amend- ments. Last year this Bill was threshed1 out in Committee of the Senate at great length, and Senator Pearce moved the insertion of certain clauses which appeared as Part VII. under the heading of “Trade Union Marks.” The effect of these clauses, which numbered 73 to 78 inclusive, was that a trade union which was there defined, might register a trade union mark, and no identical mark, or any one so resembling it as to be calculated to deceive, could be registered. The clauses went on to provide that as soon as the trade mark was registered, the union itself, as a corporate body, became the proprietor, and was entitled to apply it to goods, or to authorize or license any individual to apply it. Clause 77 provided for penalties if a person unauthorizedly applied such a trade mark to goods, and clause 78 set forth that a mark could, when necessary, be removed from the register. Broadly speaking., that was the effect of the clauses when they left the Senate. We had empowered a union to register a trade mark, and given to that union the same rights and privileges as those enjoyed by the holder of an ordinary trade mark under other provisions of the Bill. But a union was given the power to either use the trade mark itself, or to authorize or license a limited number of persons to do so.
– Or refuse to allow other persons to use it.
– Or to withhold such’ a licence. The object was to enable a trade union to obtain by registration property in a trade mark which would indicate to the public that the goods were made under trade union conditions - to obtain such a property that nobody could take advantage of the mark without consent. It was pointed out in the course of the discussion that the most objectionable feature of the provisions was that a union might withhold the use of a mark from an employer of union labour, because of a difference of opinion there might be with regard to some other matter. One honorable senator, in dealing with the provisions, and referring to Senator Pearce, said -
If the honorable senator would provide that any employer or manufacturer who employs union labour shall be entitled to use the trade union trade mark, my objection to the clauses would be very largely minimized. If his sole object is to have goods manufactured by union labour so branded, I am unable to see how the honorable senator can object to the suggestion I now make, that all employers manufacturing goods by union labour, shall be entitled to use the trade union mark.
Later on, the same honorable senator, still referring to Senator Pearce said -
If his object is merely to provide that goods made by trade unionists shall be so marked, there can be little objection to the proposal. But if he intends to leave it to certain people to saythat certain goods made by trade unionists may be stamped with the union trade mark, whilst other goods also made by trade unionists shall not be so marked, I must say that I am entirely opposed to his proposal.
– Who was that honorable senator ?
– Senator Millen. Honorable senators expressed hearty approval of a principle which would enable a trade union to get proprietary rights in a trade mark, indicating that goods were made under trade union conditions, but the chief objection pointed out was that it was left absolutely to the discretion of a union to license or refuse to license others to use the trade mark. There were many expressions of sympathy with the principle contained in the provision, and the objections raised were all on the ground that a union would be placed in a position to be able to tyrannize; over employers, even though they employed union labour - that this might be made a means to force an employer to conform to some other conditions.
– There were also other objections.
– Which we shall no doubt hear strongly urged. When the Bill reached another place, a number of provisions were substituted for those which had been introduced by Senator Pearce, and the effect of the former are set out in the schedule of amendments. Substituted clause 73A provides, in effect, that no person shall falsely apply to any goods a worker’s trade mark, which, in a subsequent clause,, is defined and described. Then no person shall - knowingly sell or expose for sale, or have in his possession for sale or for any purpose of trade or manufacture, any goods to which there is falsely applied - a workers’ trade mark. No person shall knowingly import into Australia any goods not produced in Australia to which this is applied - a distinctive device, design, symbol, or label registered by any individual Australian worKer or association of Australian workers corporate or unincorporate for the purpose of indicating that articles to which it is applied are the exclusive production of workers or of members of the association (and which mark is hereby declared to be a workers’ trade mark), or any mark substantially identical with a registered, workers’ trade mark, or so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive.
It is provided that a workers’ trade mark is falsely applied unless one of several sets of circumstances occur, the implication being that when any of these circumstances do arise, it is correctly applied. The workers’ trade mark is falsely applied unless the goods are exclusively the production of the worker or of the members of the association, or are - in part but not exclusively the production of the worker or of members of the association . . . and … is applied to the goods (being goods produced in Australia) by the employer for whom they are produced, or, with the authority of the employer, by the worker or a member of the association registering the mark.
The last provision I have read removes in toto the objection referred to in the quotation I read from the speech of Senator Millen. An employer of labour, who employs trade unionists wholly in the production of a certain class of goods, may apply the mark which is registered by the association under the Bill ; he has not to go to the union and ask for their leave: Then on the other hand, it is not obligatory on any employer to apply this mark. I make this statement for this Teason : I happened to be in Sydney recently, and met there a gentleman whose name is well known throughout Australia as that of a man who occupies a very prominent position. He assured me that, from what he had read in the newspapers, he understood that the provisions of this legislation were such that every employer of labour had to brand his goods as union made, and had to employ none but union labour.
– Is it not the intention that that shall be so?
– Certainly not.
– Perhaps not the legal intention.
– That, is the hope.
– It may be the hope in the breast of Senator Gray, but for that I am not responsible.
– It is the fear, not the hope.
– Whether it be the hope, the fear, or any other emotion,I am not responsible for it. The gentleman to whom I refer should haveknown something about politics and party warfare inParliament and in the press.
– He was speaking sarcastically.
– No; he is very unlike my honorable friend, Senator Pulsford. Hethought that the union label would have to be applied to all goods sold in Australia. Provision is made here defining “ associations,” “ production,” and “produced.” There are other provisions with regard to the registration of the workers’ trade mark, the removal of such a trade mark from the register, its duration - its registration is to continue in operation for fourteen years. Provision is also made that it shall notbe assignable, and that Parts III., IV., V., and VI. of the Bill shall not apply in relation to these trade marks. Then clause 75a provides -
Nothing in thisPart shall be so construed as to make it lawful for any person or association or combination of persons to do any act which it would have been unlawful for such persons, association, or combination of persons to do before the commencement of this Act.
– Does that forbid boycotting.
– It does. It has been asserted in certain quarters that as soon as this Bill becomes law, associations which might take advantage of these provisions to register workers’ trade marks would be in a position in which it would be lawful for them to boycott and to carry 011 practices of that character which are obnoxious to the general sense of fairness in the community. That statement is fully met by the provision I have just quoted. Then thelast provision of this Part is to this effect -
This Part shall not apply to any primary products of the agricultural, viticultural (including wine-making), horticultural, dairying (including butter-making and cheese-making) or pastoral industries.
– Why not?
– Because these products are not manufactured products in the ordinary sense of the word.
– Are not wine, butter, and cheese manufactured products ; and how does the honorablesenator justify their exemption?
– I do not propose at a moment to deal with everything the honorable senator brings up. Senator Millen will be pleased to follow me. I spoke on this matter before the adjournment for dinner, and I do not intend to speak upon it at length at this juncture.
– Will the honorable senator justify these exemptions?
– I will justify whatever is here to any fair-minded and reasonable man; but I have read what the ^honorable senator had to say last year, and note his present interjections, and my hopes do not spring so high as to lead me to believe that I can satisfy him. I intend to deal with the matter-
– Let the honorable senator deal with it now? Senator KEATING.- I shall deal with the matter in the way which I have set out for myself, and I shall not be dictated to by the honorable senator or diverted from my own line of argument.
– Perhaps Senator Millen has no objection to these provisions now?
– We have yet to see that. As I said when speaking before the adjournment for dinner, the present position of the law with regard to trade unions, and any other organization for that matter, is that they may adopt any distinctive label, device, or mark, to indicate .anything they please of the character contemplated by these particular provisions, and having adopted it, whether they have the power by Statute to register it or not, they can still bring it under public notice by advertisement in the press or otherwise, and enjoin the public to assist with them in providing the conditions which the mark indicates. They can use all the moral suasion at their command to influence the community to adopt the principles which they profess by buying goods that bear these particular marks. . That being the. case, in the absence of any law at all, the whole effect of these provisions is to give to these unions when they adopt such a mark the right to register it, and the right to pursue into Court and to recover adequate penalties from the man who pirates or fraudulently uses it. If we are agreed that it is reasonable that organizations _ or persons banded together for the elevation of the labouring classes and the improvement of conditions of labour, should have the right, as we tacitly agree they have, to adopt labels, devices, or marks of this character, the right to apply them to goods, and the right to ask ‘the public to help them by purchasing goods that bear these brands, we have the right, and I think the duty also, to say that we shall protect them in the enjoyment of the proprie tary rights they have in these marks, just as we protect the capitalist in respect of the trade mark he registers. This principle is recognised outside of Australia. The trade union mark, so far as I have yet spoken of its legality in the absence of Statute, has been adopted as a device of the kind in Great Britain in connexion with some of the industries, and the persons engaged in those industries use a great deal of moral suasion to induce the public to patronize the people who sell the goods that bear their particular mark. So far as the United States is concerned, the principle has been recognised there for about thirty years, and to such an extent that legislation has been passed to give effect to provisions somewhat similar to those now submitted to the Senate, though the public have not been safeguarded in the manner here proposed.
– Is not the honorable senator alluding only to a mark of origin ?
– No, I am referring to the trade union mark.
– The Hatters’ Union of England has issued no less than ‘12,000,000 labels.
– That was the particular industry in England to which I was referring.
– Without legislation?
– I tried to be as explicit as possible, and said that I. was dealing with the English matter altogether apart from any legislation. I said that, so far as Great Britain is concerned, in some industries trade union labels have already beenadopted, and moral suasion has been used to induce people to patronize those selling goods to which the labels are attached. I said that this was in the absence of legislation. In the United States of America the trade union label has been used by various trades, and it has been legalized in various States, in which it is adopted and in use.
Senator -Millen. - And with what result?
– If Senator Millen really wishes to know, I can tell him.
– The honorable senator knows as well as I do.
– I have no desire to read from party press organs, which give. only one side. It would take too long to read them, but I can refer Senator Millen to reports “tabled in the Congress of the United States, in which he will be able to “read another, and a very different side from that which he has been reading in the Conservative press of Australia.
– It all depends upon who reads it, and how it is read.
– Senator Millen will there read a side of the case which has not been presented by the press of Australia.
– In Government reports.
– Yes, in Government reports. With regard to the Dominion of Canada, we know that–
– They have refused to pass the measure.
Senior KEATING. - We know that in Canada the Bill was passed three times.
– Where ?
– By the House of Commons.
– Not by the Parliament of Canada.
– The Senate of Canada, a nominee House that does not represent the people at all, rejected it. The House of Commons of Canada, elected by the people, has passed union label legislation three times, and three times it has been rejected by a reactionary, tory, unrepresentative body.
– Why does not the honorable and learned senator go to Canada, and impeach their Constitution?
– Senator Dobson was a member of the Federal Convention, but he would never have favoured the establishment of this Senate by appointment, on the principle adopted in Canada. The honorable senator did not think that such a Senate would be sufficiently representative. The one body in Canada which has blocked the union label legislation has been the nominee Senate of the Dominion. So far as public sentiment in Canada is concerned, it may fairly be assumed that where there is a difference of opinion between the two Canadian Houses-
– The honorable and learned senator is hard-set for arguments. The Canadian Parliament has declined to pass the Bill.
- Senator Dobson knows that the Canadian Senate is not an elective body, and that legislation of this kind has been passed by the House of Commons, which is the representative Chamber of the Dominion. I refer honorable senators for -proof of the fact to a speech made by Mr. Ralph Smith, member for Vancouver in the Dominion House of Commons, in moving the second reading of Bill No. 35, respecting union labels. He said -
I do not think it necessary, Mr. Speaker, to take up the time of the House for many minutes in explaining this measure. A Bill similar to this has already gone through the House, but was defeated in the Senate. This House has given its opinion three different times that the request made by the trades unions of this country in favour of a registration of the union label should be complied with. Members of this House on both sides have agreed to that principle but unfortunately the Senate has seen fit to kill each Bill to that effect as it came before that body.
I say that this Senate last year, by its vote ‘ in respect to similar provisions, affirmed the principle contained in the division dealing with trade union marks. Some honorable senators were opposed to the insertion of those provisions, because they left to the unions absolute discretion to grant or refuse the right to use them to employers. In the amended provisions the Committee is now asked to consider the provisions then objectionable to some honorable senators are deleted, and so far as the public are concerned, there are safeguards provided in these workers’ trade marks provisions to meet the contingencies and dangers which honorable senators, who last year professed themselves in sympathy with the principle, but in opposition to certain clauses, seemed to apprehend. After the utterances of honorable senators on the occasion to which’ I refer, and the attitude assumed by the Senate when these provisions were before it in Committee, and afterwards when it was proposed to recommit the Bill for the reconsideration of the clauses. I can confidently rely that the Committee will accept the modifications here proposed of the provisions which, were then inserted in the Bill. Because, although they provide additional safeguards, so far as the public are concerned, they do not involve any radical departure from the principle involved in the provisions which were last year inserted in the Bill on the motion of Senator Pearce.
– Before the Minister resumes his seat, will he not deal with the question of the exempted trades?
– I shall deal with that by-and-bv.
Senator MILLEN (New, South WalesaFirst of all. I have to congratulate Senator Keating upon occasionally looking for words of inspiration in quarters in which he is likely to get a little enlightenment, even if he is not able to profit by it. He has done me the honour of quoting some remarks which I made last session.
– It may please the honorable senator to learn that I read them in- the recess..
– I am sure that it helped to some extent to keep the Minister out of mischief. I am quite, familiar with the words which have been quoted. There is no single line by which I do not stand, and which is not entirely consistent with the vote I shall give against this proposal. What was the proposal before the Committee last year? It was first that a union should have the right to register a trade mark, and to say what employers should or should not use it. I said that if the union label be registered, and the power of refusing to any one the right to use ‘it were taken away from the union, the objections would be largely minimized. I admit at once that the new proposal does largely minimize the evils contained in the original proposal ; but to try to make it appear, as some honorable senators wish to do, that because I regard the present proposal as less objectionable than the original, therefore I necessarily say1 that it is a good one, is, altogether a perversion of logic and fairness.
– Hansard should be abolished.
– 1 do not wish Hansard to be abolished. Apparently it provides recreation for some honorable senators in the recess, and for that reason it would be a great pity to destroy so useful a publication.
– But the present proposal is not very objectionable.
– It is infinitely objectionable, but less objectionable than the previous one. There are degrees of objection ; and whilst this proposal is sufficiently objectionable to justify the vote of every honorable senator who will vote against its acceptance, I regard it as less objectionable than the original one.
– The alternative is to accept the original proposal, or to amend this one.
– Certainly not. Surely the honorable senator has had sufficient parliamentary experience to know that we should not have seen the Trade Marks Bill again this session but for the union label proposal. It is not the Trade Marks Bill, but the union label, which is wanted.
– It is the Trade Marks Bill which is required.
– The Trade Marks Bill is not required,, and there is not one out of ten senators who would ever havebothered about the Bill but for the union label proposal.
– Why not call it a. workers’ trade mark ?
– Is the honorable senator ashamed of the title?
– -No; I am proud of being a trade unionist. /
– I have been drawn a little off my “track by the honorable senator who interjects that it is not a union label, but a workers’ trade mark, which is wanted. Can every worker register?
– Yes, every individual.
– My honorable friends opposite may disguise the proposal by terms as much as they like, but still it is one to confer upon organized labour some supposed advantage or benefit which is outside the reach of non-union labour. What I am rather surprised at is that if this is such a beneficent proposal there is no explanation from the Minister as to why it is proposed to exclude the persons engaged in certain industries, from its humanizing benefits ?
– The honorable senator has not finished the explanation of his own position.
– I really do not know what other explanation is wanted. Here is a proposal which not only provides for the registration of a union label, but also confers upon the union registering it an absolute right to say who should or should not use it. My honorable friends opposite seem to think that my previous utterance places me in the position of reversing my vote.
– We are delighted at the prospect of the honorable senator making it appear consistent.
– I do nor anticipate that anything I can say will do that. If I had changed my opinion I should not hesitate to acknowledge the fact. I have never thought that there was anything but false courage in a man refraining from acknowledging a change of opinion. I have not made an alteration in my opinion, and therefore I have no change to acknowledge. But had I done so, I should have stood up at once and acknowledged the fact. I am quite certain that the Committee will not think any the less of a man who does change his opinion for reasons advanced.
– But the honorable senator has changed his opinion.
– If the honorable, senator likes to think that I have changed my opinion, which I deny, I could advance abundant reason foi- making the change. It will be remembered that this proposal for a union label was sprung upon us.
– Notice was given of my proposal for some weeks before it was submitted.
– Probably it was due to my own negligence, but certainly I did not see Senator Pearce’s proposal until we were considering the Bill in Committee. At that time I believe that I was in the position of nine persons out of every ten in the community. I have never heard of such a thing - possibly owing to my limited reading - as a legalized union label. I certainly had no knowledge of what took place in. America under the provisions of the law legalizing its use.
– Does not the honorable senator think that if in America it had worked all the harm which the newspapers have asserted, we should have had by this time some cables regarding its ill effects ?
– All I know is that
Ave have had statements made, supported by records, of what has taken place elsewhere in the shape of boycotting under the legalized union label. As the result of the discussion which has taken place since the Bill was last before the Senate, I have made myself more familiar with what has taken place elsewhere, and have had further time for considering what the effect of this union label proposal would be. All the discussion which has taken place, and all the inquiry which I have been able to make, has had the effect of showing me that the more one looks at the proposal, the more pernicious it becomes. And if, when a more injurious proposal was before us, I thought that the elimination of some part of the proposal would minimize its evil effects, I still think that its effects would be sufficiently evil to justify the fears which I then expressed. It is a curious thing - and it seems to largely prove the contention that the effects are very pernicious - that it is proposed to exempt certain industries from the application of this provision. Why? If it is justifiable to authorize the attachment of a union label to goods produced under union conditions, why should any trades be exempted? Why should not all the trades have the benefit of this provision, if it is beneficial? It is curious that the Minister has passed over this question. When, by interjection, I asked him to deal with it, he became extremely petulant, and said that he would deal with it in his own time, and that he was not going to be dictated to. No one knows better than he does that it is not competent for one senator to effectively dictate to another senator. Therefore, the use of such a term was not only uncalled for, but utterly misleading. What I did want, and what I think the Committee was entitled to get, was an explanation from the Minister as to why, when he comes forward with a general proposal, certain exemptions should he made. Honorable senators on the other side, who probably know a great deal about the origin of this clause, and the reason why it is being pushed on at this late period of the session, may know why these trades have been exempted, but the Committee, as a whole, have not been informed. If there was any justification for leaving out these trades, surely it was the duty of the Minister, when bringing this new proposal before the Committee, to make us acquainted with the reason. What did he do? He did not even venture an explanation, anc! he only became indignant when I pressed him for an explanation.
– Does the honorable senator object to the trades being left out?
– I think it is an excellent thing, because I would leave out ever. trade. What makes me a little more suspicious on the point is the fact that although I twice requested the Minister to (rive an explanation, he became angry each time and resumed his seat without doing s.o.
– He said that he would give an explanation in due time.
– Yes ; but the Minister was making a general explanation in regard to all these new clauses. Surely he ought to have explained then the reason for making this exemption, and not wait until a later period, when we are considering a detail in these provisions. When the Minister was dealing with the subject generally, was the proper time to tell the Committee why these trades were exempted. If there be anything beneficial in the clauses in dispute, if they can be justified as being sound economically, of advantage to the workers, and not injurious to others, the Minister should have shown us why certain trades are denied the benefit which they will confer. Surely it is not the duty of a Federal Parliament to legislate on principles of favoritism - to confer benefits on one section which it denies to another. We ought to guard against the imputation of passing class legislation. But this legislation is entirely for the benefit of a class. While it confers certain rights and privileges on trade unionists, it denies them to persons who are engaged in other industries. On the general principle: involved in the proposals before us - that of conferring the right on trade unions to register a trade mark - I am entirely at variance. It seems to me to be utterly foreign to trie purpose of a Trade Marks Bill that there should be a possibility of registering a trade mark to indicate bv what class of labour goods were made. If I understand the purpose of a trade mark at all it is entirely different from that. I regard this as a piece of class legislation such as is being attempted with increasing frequency here. It is class legislation, both as to its origin and purpose. There can he little doubt that the clauses in Question originated within the inner circles of unionism.
– Are not the other portions of this measure class legislation, protecting the trade marks of manufacturers ?
– To which clauses does the honorable senator- refer ?
– To the general clauses referring to trade marks.
– Do those clauses deny the right to a manufacturer of butter or wine to register a trade mark ?
– But they are for the benefit of a class of manufacturers, and therefore they are class legislation.
– The. answer to the honorable senator’s interjection is contained ‘n the fact that the general clauses of this Bill make no exemption in regard to the manufacturers ‘ of butter, wine, and other products, and the union label clauses deny to the labourers employed in those industries the right to register a mark which is given to the workers in other industries.
– That is what the honorable senator’s friends did in another place.
– And I would carry the principle further if I could. It is justifiable to say : “ These union label clauses, applied to 100 trades, are iniquitous, and therefore we. will limit them to fifty.” That is a different attitude from that of honorable senators opposite, who profess to believe in the application of the union label to alL trades, and yet deny its benefits to certain trades.
– The honorable senator should not blame us until he knows our attitude.
– I know perfectlywell that the party has spoken. I know that there is but one course open to honorable senators who are associated with the caucus. Whether there is the slightest prospect of still further limiting the objectionable features of the Bill I do not know. What I do know is that there are proposals before the Committee which, to my mind,, are seriously defective, iniquitous, and opposed to common sense and justice! Believing that to be the case, I conceive it to be my duty to oppose them and to set forth the reasons for my opposition. I presume that as we proceed it will be possible for me to address myself more closely to the details, and I shall take the opportunity to do so.
– Will the Minister consent to adjourn at this stage?
– The progress made has been very fair, and on the distinct understanding that we finish this business to-morrow we will adjourn.
– Undoubtedly, and we- recognise that that is an extra concession.
Senate adjourned at 10.10 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 7 December 1905, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1905/19051207_senate_2_30/>.