3rd Parliament · 2nd Session
The President took the chair at 2.30 p.m. and read prayers.
– Pursuant to a suggestion which was made yesterday, I beg to ask the- Minister representing the Minister of Defence, without notice, if he will lay upon the tables return showing the settlements proposed or, agreed to withregard to the acquisition of lands in connexion with the rifle rnge at Sandy Bay, near Hobart, and the new battery at. One Tree Point?
– As was suggested in the course of ‘ the debate yesterday, I arranged this morning to procure for the Senate particulars in connexion with the claims relating’ to the lands for the rifle range, and they should be available this week. With regard to the claims for the lands in respect of the battery, which I may say is near the rifle range, these are to some extent bound up with the other claims, because they were settled at the same time. I shall be pleased to supply to honorable senators full particulars regarding them also.
– As a matter of personal explanation, I desire to refer to some remarks which I made yesterday criticising the delay on the part of the Post and Telegraph Department in fixing a ‘letterbox at Sydney Railway Station Post Office. When I left the chamber I found the reply from the Department in my locker, and, therefore, the delay has terminated.
– The Government has come to no final decision. I have consulted with the Treasurer. I am aware of his anxiety, . as well as that of other Ministers, to send up the Tariff piecemeal, but at this stage I cannot venture to give a definite promise on the subject.
– Mr. President, I desire to ask you, without notice, whether you have received from the Parliament of Western Australia a communication relative to the Tariff, and, if so, the n’ature of the communication, and the reply there- 1 to ?
– The Speaker of the House of Representatives, and I,, as President of the Senate, received from His Excellency the Governor-General com,munications- one addressed to the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives, and the other to the President and members of the Senate - which he had received, covering a joint resolution of both Houses of the Parliament of Western Australia, and embodying what they were pleased to term a protest” against the Tariff.
We gave careful consideration to the. question whether it would be in order for documents of this character to be laid upon the table of each House of this Parliament. While recognising, and desiring to recognise, to the fullest possible extent any representations which may be made by the Government or :Parliament of a State, we could find no pre- !. cedent to justify us in tabling such a document: ‘ From time immemorial the practice has been to approach Parliament by means of a petition. Had this document been. framed in the form of a petition it would have been entirely unchallengeable so far as laying it upon the table was concerned. We thought that we would exceed the powers which properly appertain to our offices if we, on our own responsibility, were to table the document. We felt, moreover, that the question of the Tariff had been expressly taken out of the jurisdiction of the States Parliaments, and had passed into the exclusive control of the” Commonwealth. This Parliament represents the people of the various States, and its members are returned for the purpose of dealing with such questions as representatives qf the electors and States, and not as representatives of the States Parliaments. Of course, the rights of the members of this Parliament .received very full consideration at our hands. We considered that the proper course to take was to explain that we were unable to deal with the document unless it was forwarded in the form of a petition. We sent a reply, of the nature which I have indicated.
asked the Minister representing the Minister of Defence, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as follow’: -
– Arising out of the answer, may I ask the Minister if he. is aware that at the Sydney .University instruction in military science is given?
– I understand that for some time Professor Foster has occupied a Chair of Military Science in the Sydney University. What the results have been I am not in a position to say : but I have no doubt that they will form an important’ factor in determining the action of the Government in connexion with a similar proposal for Melbourne.
asked the VicePresident of the Executive Council, union notice -
– The answer to the honorable senator’s questions is as follows: -
All negotiations have been direct with the Council.
asked the VicePresident of the Executive Council, upon notice -
– The Public Service Commissioner reports as follows: -
-He would have been prejudiced but for other persons interfering.
Motion (by Senator Best) agreed to -
That leave be given to introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Australian Industries Preservation Act1906.
Bill presented, and read a first time.
Motion (by Senator Best) proposed -
That this Bill be now read a third time.
– I think it desirable to make mention of one or two calculations which I have made with regard to this matter. For the information of the Senate, I may mention that there are 43,560 square feet in one acre. If we pay at the rate of 15s. per square foot for this land, at twenty-five years’ purchase, it represents a freehold costing £816,750 per acre. If we base the calculation upon a thirty years’ purchase - and that is not an unreasonable rate, because, at present in Sydney, for part of the Cooper Estate, you have to calculate on the basis of quite thirty years’ ground rent to purchase the fee simple - and if we take the same rate of 15s. per foot, the cost of the freehold would run into , £980,100 per acre. I think that it is just as well we should recognise these facts. When I was speaking on Friday I made rather a stupid mistake in speaking . of land in St. Paul’s Churchyard as being sold at , £1,000,000 “per foot” frontage. ‘I should have said “per acre.” , Well, the land for which we are negotiating would, if we were buying the freehold, cost pretty well £1,000,000 per acre. I may add that I do not think the site a bad one, but I am one of those who regret that the Commonwealth Government did not seek the co-operation of the States before entering into negotiations for the acquisition of the property. Therefore, I did not see my way to vote for the itemyesterday afternoon. Probably the best site from our point of view would be one in Trafalgar Square, but I recognise that it would be almost impossible to get land there even- for so high a price as we are proposing to give for this.
– That supplies an answer to the honorable senator’s own suggestion.
– Yes. I hope that if this transaction is carried through, the best anticipations of the Government and of the country will be realized, though at the same time I still regret that the cooperation of the States was not secured before entering into negotiations.
.- I think it must be admitted by the Government that, considering the somewhat loose manner in which this subject was brought before the Senate and the paucity of definite information in regard to it, they have been treated generously by honorable senators in agreeing to the item as they have done. I should have been pleased if in moving the third reading of the Bill the Vice-President of the Executive Council had intimated in some way what immediate steps the Government intend to take next to secure the co-operation of the States.
– I dealt with that point very fully last night.
– The Government are going to erect the house before they know how many tenants they will have to occupy it.
– I was out of the Chamber a little while last night, and may, therefore, have missed the Minister’s explanation. The gist of the opposition to the proposal was simply that the States were not consulted, and that there was no assurance that they would join with us. Of course, if they do not, the whole thing will be a failure. For years I have advocated the grouping of Australian interests in the heart of the Empire. My feelings with regard to that matter were . intensified extremely when I happened to be in London for a month or two myself, and saw the way in which Australia was represented in that great city. I found that each of the States had its own little agency, some in one part of London and some in another, without any recognition of cognate interests or of unity of interest in any shape or form. I did not find that in’ regard to Canada. As Senator Lynch pointed out last night, you find in London that Canada only is talked about when the British Empire is under discussion. You do not hear Australia mentioned. When people speak of the Dominion thev do not mean Ontario, Manitoba, or Quebec, but they speak of Canada. It is desirable that we should have grouped representation as quickly as possible. While I sympathize to some extent with the remarks made on this side of the Chamber, the desirableness of having the States grouped together should by no means be lost sight of. If we lose this opportunity it is possible that we may not secure another for a long time. I feel that if we waited until we got the whole of the States into line we might have to wait very long. ‘In the meantime what is to happen? Are we to continue to drift as we have been doing, and do nothing to secure a proper recognition of our interests in London?
– That is the policy of “spend and tax.”
– I suppose the honorable senator’s view is that we should spend first and tax afterwards. I do not believe that any State in Australia will be so blind to its own interests or to the interests of this great Commonwealth that when an opportunity is afforded of coming into this scheme of representation it will refuse to do so.
– Does the honorable senator think that Victoria will come in as part occupant of the Commonwealth building ?
– I believe she will do so.. I have not the slightest doubt either that the great State of New South Wales, especially now that there is a new man at the helm, will join with the other States in the matter.
– New South Wales will “ wade “ in.
– I believe that the States will recognise that this grouping of interests would make for unity and economy. At present each of the’ States has its own agency, its own office, and its own separate expenses, which must be considerable. By coming together they will save money, they will make for unity of action, and certainly they will be able’ to arrange for a far better display of Australian products and resources than they can do when scattered about that great city. Something was said last night to the effect that Canada has been able to push her way in England by reason of the Canadian caravan going about the country. I saw the
Canadian caravan when I was in England, and I can assure the Senate that I have seen on one stall at the Kerang Show, in the north of Victoria, four or five times the quantity of produce that I saw in the whole caravan. Some years ago, I myself gave a prize for the largest number of exhibits from any one ‘farm; and from one farm alone the exhibits totalled several hundreds. I was very much disappointed when I saw the travelling Canadian exhibition, if honorable senators consider the position of the two countries, they will realize that there can be no comparison between them in regard to their capacity for production. Canada occupies a geographical area from about 45 degrees of latitude to 65 degrees, while we in Australia occupy ah area of from 10 degrees to 42 degrees. Consequently there is scarcely a product in the world that is not either found in Australia or can be produced here. Therefore, we can, if we like, make a much better display than the Canadians can. I think that these considerations justify the step that has been taken by the Government, and they justify those who voted for the acquisition of the Strand site on each occasion when, the matter has been before us. But just now I wish especially to ask the Government in all earnestness to lose no time in endeavouring to bring the States into line. I trust that they will proceed with this matter with tact and energy.
– I have already- promised that.
– I trust that they will make it a special matter of “policy, and not trust to mere clerks and to a written correspondence which may spread over weeks and months, until the matter finally drifts into forgetfulness. I trust that the Prime Minister will take . the question in hand, and make it his special endeavour to induce the States to come into line with us. I feel sure that their patriotism and their interest alike will appeal to them; and induce them to endeavour to make . the Commonwealth building a . great success, which it ought to be, and which, I believe, if managed with proper judgment and tact, it can be made to be.
.- I do not desire to open up the whole question of the acquisition of a site for Commonwealth Offices in London again, but I wish to emphasize the stand-point from -which I and other members on this side of the Chamber opposed the proposed vote of £1,000.
– And some on this side.
– As my honorable friend reminds me, some honorable senators opposite by their votes and their logical speeches rendered us valuableassistance. I only wish thatmy honorable friend could have induced some of those with whom he usually associates to vote with him. The objection taken to the item, I venture to say, was in no sense an objection to the early and effective representation of Australian interests in London. The whole ground of objection was one of procedure. The policy of the Government was to acquire an area of land sufficient for- our maximum requirements before we knew exactly what those requirementswere. We, on this side of the Chamber, said that the Government should first ascertain what the requirements were, and thensecure land suitable to. represent them. The whole position was as if the Government had said, “ We desire to provide a coat for the Commonwealth,- and for each of the six States,” and if, before knowing whether the whole of the Stateswanted coats, or whether they would accept them, they proceeded to manufacture enough cloth to make coats for the whole seven. Our argument was that the Government should have ascertained how many of these separate entities wanted’ coats, and how many would accept them;, and having done that, they should have ordered the cloth. That illustration will’ make clear the -view which honorable senators on this side of the Chamber pressed, I am sorry to say ineffectively. I have one other question to put. Iam interested, as the Senate will be, to know whether the Government are in possessionof arty further information bearing upon the negotiations with the London County Council. With the earlier stages of those negotiations the Vice-President of the Executive Council has already made us familiar. He has explained them as: carried up to the point where certain instructions were sent to Captain Collins. I do not ask the Vice-President of theExecutive Council to disclose the details of what has been going on.
– Nothing was done pending the decision of the Senate.
– That is hardly my point. The Government might say that the vote of last night represented the decision of the Senate.
– After to-day.
– Then I may take it that nothing more has been done. I did not wish my honorable friend to disclose any details which it might be desirable to keep private, but I wished to know whether the negotiations had been carried any further, and whether what had transpired might be regarded as satisfactory.
– I had no opportunity of saying anything with regard to the London site question when we were in Committee, but I was struck with the unbusiness-like nature of the objections made to the proposal of the Government. I do not pose as a business man.
– Now we understand the honorable senator’s criticism !
– But this, as I understand it, is the first principle of business : that if you are going to sell or lease anything - whether it be a block of land or a house- you must be able to tell the parties concerned where it is before you approach them.
– That could have been done in this case.
– Could it have been done without the Commonwealth having even an option?
– It had an option for two months. It was in the pocket of the Government for all that time.
– Not at all.
– The fact is that the Government have not got the option yet.
– Then Sir William Lyne has misled Parliament and the country.
– They cannot get the option until Parliament has sanctioned their action, without being open to. the charge of spending money without the authority of Parliament. Following the proper, constitutional course, they consult Parliament as to whether Parliament will authorize them to spend £1,000 for the purpose of getting an option. If they approached the Premier of Western Australia, saying, “You have an office in London, willyou. bring your office into our building?” would the Premier of Western Australia be’regarded’“as. a business man - the Qualification that is so praised and admired by my honorable friends opposite - if he said “yes.” when he did not know whether the building was going to be in the Strand, Westminster, or Timbuctoo?
– - Would it have bepn anunbusiness-like proceeding to say to the
Premier of Western Australia, “ If we secure this block of land, will you join us in occupying the building?”
– The honorable senator is asking a question which is not apropos of the present position. We are not now concerned with what is past. We are concerned with our vote as to the present position. The argument is used, on the other side, not as a criticism of what the Government have not done, but of what tlw Government propose, to do. That argument that it is not a business-like proposal was given as a reason for proposing to strike out the item.
– It is not business-like.
– The honorable senator can repeat that as often as he likes, but- it seems to me to be business-like for the Governmentto secure an option and then approach the “various States,saving, “ We have secured this block of ground. You know where it is. You know its conveniences and advantages. Are youprepared to act in an Australian spirit and make this a real Australian centre in London?”
– How long have the Government had this land in view?
– I do not know how long the Government have had it, biit I know that we have the matter before us at the present time, and our duty is to make up our minds- as to the best course of action to take. Are we to assume thai: the various States Governments, which are under the influence of the people of the States, at any rate to some extent, and which represent to some extent the verv same people as we represent-
– To some extent?
– Only to some extent, because in the honorable senator’s State, for instance-
– The Governments represent the people all right.
– In some States there are Ministers in the Legislative Council, which represents only a section of the people. Are we to assume that the States Governments are going to take up an un- Australian attitude, that they will sav “No, it is more to the advantage of Australia that our offices should be scattered all over London in bv-ways and lanes, where even our own citizens cannot find them?” Senator McCoII and . Senator Best told us that when they went to London they could not ‘find the States, offices. Are we to assume, then, from the criticism of honorable senators opposite that every State Premier in Australia is an unbusinesslike man, and does not recognise the advantage of having a central site? Are we to assume that all the States Premiers fail to recognise the advantages, which have been brought before us by honorable senators on both sides, of all the States offices being under the one roof? The arguments used appealed to me as being extremely unbusiness-like. Coming as they did from gentlemen who have deservedly such high reputations as business men. I could nothelp thinking that they were being used with the tongue in the cheek, and that those honorable senators were more carried away by their party feelings than led by their business instincts.
– What nonsense !
– I cannot help thinking so, because, applying their own guiding rule of business to this proposal, they did not, to use a common phrase, have a leg to stand upon.
– Surely that does not apply to me?
– It applies to the honorable senator just as strongly as to anybody in this Chamber. I am surprised at his being led away by such hollow and specious arguments as were used.
– The honorable senator is evidently not a business man.
– I begin to think that I am. When I see men who have a reputation as business men taking such pronouncedly stupid and unbusiness-like action, I begin to thinkthat, after all, I shall have some claim to be recognised as a business man in the future. I believe that the States Premiers are just as patriotic as we are, and will recognise the advantage of making a common centre for Australia in London. I believe also that, having this central site, the Commonwealth will be able to offer them better terms than could any other landlord in London. It will be to the interests of the Commonwealth to do so, and, therefore, even on that low business ground-
– As a matter of fact, the States must come in whether they like it or not, because they have to pay the piper.
– They have not only to pay the piper, but there is a certain event of a financial character which will happen in three years time, and which will compel them to be more reasonable in dealing with the Commonwealth than they are at present. I am very gladthat the item was not struck out, and 1 support the third reading of the Bill.
– I do not know whether to believe the document issued by the Government on the subject of the proposed site for London offices or Senator Pearce. Probably the latter knows a great deal more about the business of the Government than the Government themselves do. All that I know, and what I have been influenoed by during the whole discussion, is that in this document it is stated by Sir William Lyne that -
At that interview -
The interview between Sir William Lyne and the valuer of the County Council, with Captain Collins - it was arranged that the Commonwealth should have the option of about 10,000 ft. superficial up to 20th of July.
– That is a long time ago.
– Does the honorable senator deny the truth of that statement ?
– No, it is accurate, but the honorable senator is referring to another thing altogether.
– If the statement I have quoted is correct, then Senator Pearce’ s statement must be wrong.
– Will the honorable senator read it ?
– I intend to read it. It appears from this document that the Commonwealth had an option of about 10,000 feet superficial, up to 20th July.
– Exactly, about 10,000 feet.
– The Government got that option extended.
– I quote further-
None of the land is for sale. Only leaseholds are procurable. I obtained a letter giving the offer until 20th July. Terms of rental were mentioned, but nothing definite was stated, as the valuer undertook to bring the matter before the Council at its next meeting, and get them to submit an offer. This came to hand, and was cabled by. Captain Collins on the 21st June.
I have established at least one point - that the Commonwealth Government had an option.
– Up to the 20th July, and for only 10,000 feet.
SenatorSTEWART.- Why does the honorable senator wriggle like a fish on a hook? If I were not a supporter of the
Government, the honorable senator’s action would compel me to vote against the third reading of the Bill, because I would come to the conclusion that there was something fishy in the whole affair. Why this twisting and turning and wriggling about? Senator Pearce said that there was no option.
– At the present time. I was speaking of the present. The honorable senator is speaking of what happened in July last,
– The honorable senator posed as a business man who did not know anything about business. He evidently had not read this document, or he certainly would not have made the statement he did.
– I read it right through.
– I will do so also. I have established the fact that the Government had an option up to the 20th July. Then we were told, oh the day on which the matter came before the Senate, that “to-morrow” the option expired. What option was that? The VicePresident of the Executive Council shakes his head, but does he deny that that statement was made?
– It was publicly said that the option was extended.
– Of course it was.
– It was another area. My honorable friend is confusing what took place at the beginning with the ultimate outcome.
– There is something very confusing about the whole business. Was the option extended or not ?
– I told the Senate that we had a right to make an offer up to the 26th September.
– It was given as a reason why the item should be passed in a hurry, that the option expired “ tomorrow,” and that if Parliament did not authorise the expenditure of £1,000. the London County Council might hawk its land in some other market. I do not see why there should be this wriggling and turning and twisting. I said on the second reading, that I believed that the Government had gone about the matter in a most unbusiness-like fashion, or that, if they had done their business in London in a proper way they had certainly not done so in their method of submitting the matter to Parliament. With regard to the other matter, about consulting the States, while I believe that the States ought to have been consulted, and that it would have been prudent on the part of the Commonwealth to ascertain the minds of the States Premiers on the subject, and find out whether they would be willing to co-operate with the Commonwealth, still I do not allow that consideration to weigh very much with me. One House of the Australian Parliament has authorized the Government to go on with the proposal to take this lease, and, I presume, to erect this building. I expect that the other House of the Parliament will very soon add its authority, so that the Australian Government and Australian Parliament will have decided to lease land and erect an edifice representative of Australia in London. That being the case, I do not see how the States Premiers, unless they are going to be exceedingly disloyal to Australia, and also to their own constituents, to whom they are responsible, can avoid coming in with the Commonwealth.
– They have to pay whether they come in or not.
– That is so. Would they not be exceedingly stupid if they paid for this building which was their own, and also leased a building from some outsider, for which they would have to pay in addition?
– If they have to come in, what is the objection?
– I am not raising any objection on that score. It is not such a very serious matter after all that the Commonwealth did not consult the States.
– We agree now.
– We agree up to that point. We know that there is a very great deal of jealousy existing at the present moment between the States and Federal authorities. I think it is inevitable that as the Federation grows the States will shrink in importance until ultimately the only entity so far as the outside world is concerned will be Australia, and the States as individual portions of the Commonwealth will disappear almost as completely as the States of theUnited States or the Provinces of the Dominion of Canada have disappeared.
– That will depend entirely on Commonwealth legislation.
– Commonwealth legislation up to the present has been excellent, and I have no fault to find with it. Notwithstanding the disloyal utterances of certain StatesPremiers and members of States Parliaments, and of municipal and shire, councils,I see no evidence that the legislation of . the Commonwealth Parliament is likely to be injurious to Australia as a whole. I think the lesson of loyalty to the Federation should be continually preached to our States Premiers- and Parliaments.
– And conversely.
– And conversely. The States Parliaments bear, the same relation to the CommonwealthParliament that a State municipal council bears to the State Parliament. The members of the States Parliament and Governments should never forget that.
– I think that the true position is absolutely the reverse of that stated bythe honorable senator.
– The honorable Senator is entitledto his own opinion, and when I have finished he. may tell us. if he pleases that the States are greater than the Federation.Pursuing the same line of argument, the honorable senatorwill no doubt wind up by stating that just as the States are greater than the Federation , so the municipalities are greater than the States.
– And carrying the Argument further, the municipalities must be greater than the Commonwealth.
– Certainly. If the States are greater than the Commonwealth, and the municipalities: are greater than the States, themunicipalities must: be greater than the Commonwealth.
– The honorable senator should not forget that the States are the parents , of the,. Commonwealth.
-I forget nothing. I do not even forget that the individual electors of the Commonwealth are the parents of the Commonwealth, and that they have more power and are more directly represented in the Commonwealth Parliament, than in any other Parliament in Australia. Indeed this is the only Parliament in which the people as a whole can speak with undivided voice. In every other Parliament in Australia a parasitic influence is at work. In this Parliament nothing of the kind exists. This is the only Parliament in Australia in which the free voice of the people can be heard, and can make itself effective. So that the sooner the talk about interfering with States, rights is done away with, the better it will be for everybody.
Senator Colonel NEILD (New South Wales) [3.20]. - There seems to be acharming conflict of statement between the re marksof the Vice-President of the Executive Council and the printed document circulated by the Acting Prime Minister, from which Senator Stewart has made certain quotations. I know that I should not be in-order in quoting from the debates in another place, but if honorable senators will look at page 3662 of. No. 24 of Hansard for this session, they will find a statement made by Sir William Lyne, on the 24th September, to the effectthat in two days, namely on Thursday, the26th September, the second extension Of time in’ this . matter would expire. I do not, know . that ‘what was meant was that there -were two’ extensions of time, pr that there was an option’ and : oneextension of the option. But we know that negotiations in connexion with this matter -were. begun at the latter end of May, and we have the word ofthe -Acting -Prime Minister, in his placein Parliament, f or. the statement that theextension of time would expire on the 26th September. This represents a period inall of ‘four months - from the 26th. Mayi’ when the negotiations were commenced, to the 26th September,when the extension of time- referred to- terminated. Weknow that the acting head of . the Government has’ repeatedly used the term “ option “ in his’ communications to representatives of the press regarding this matter. That is what somehonorable senators myself included, take exception to. The Government had an option, or some agreement or promise, for an option. It might not have . been a. binding option. There might not have been any money paid for it: I havestated., in my placehere that I shouldbe, willing to vote£1,000 to secure a legitimate, option, . so that negotiationsmight be entered into. That would be a business arrangement. I do not know; whether Senator Pearce is . acquainted with the processes of a business option, but, representing a Statewhere options; are as common as blackberries on a hedge, the honorable senator- should knowperfectly well that it is customary to pay sums of money ten securebinding options.
-And my experienceis that the option does not commence until the money is paid.
– We could have an option withoutthepaymentofmoney.
– Themoney binds the option.
SenatorWalker. -Property is sometimes put underoption for a week without any moneypayment.
– That is so. It often happens that properties are placed under offer in that way. Honorable senators, must be aware of how frequently that happens between landlord and . tenant.
-lt is the invariable rule in dealings in live stock.
– As Senator Millen says, options, in such . transactions are not paid for. But in transactions concerning property of large value, it is customary to pay some.thing.for an option. If the Government had paid a sum of money to secure a binding option in this matter, I should have been the last to find fault with them. If they had a binding option for this property, they might have done what honorable senators on this side claim they should have done,namely, entered into negotiations with those whom they desire to have for their tenants. If the proposed building is to be one of six stories, and we. are to have it occupied bv seven tenants, there may be some difficulty in arranging the matter. Possibly the States Governments are to be given a floor each, and the Commonwealth Government will occupy the cellar. Thisis a detail, but it ought , to be looked into. What State Government would care to have their offices skied ‘up under the roof, like a half-discarded picture at an art exhibition? If the proposal suggested be carried out, some State Government will have to take offices under the roof, and some, apparently, will have to be content with the basement. When Senator Pearce prefaced his remarks by admitting that’ he was, not acquainted with business customs, and then proceeded tocastigate business menfor unbusiness-like habits h.e displayed a splendid temerity. The honorable senator was vigorous in his denunciation of honorable senators on this side, who. have spent a lifetime in business transactions with business men., and who, by all rule, should have some knowledge of what constitutes a business proposal. I should not be prepared to attack the conduct of a class of transaction with which I was wholly unacquainted, and I certainly shouldnot attempt to castigate members of the Senate, for not handling properly a matterof which I possessed no . knowledge and no capacity to. criticise. There is one matter which was referred to last night that I wish to mention. I wish to say something- about ammunition waggons, and perhaps a change from Strand palaces to ammunition waggons for a moment may be arelief to those who are suffering from the “ tired feeling ‘ ‘ on the subject of the Strand transaction. Through the courtesy of the Secretary for the Defence Department, I; obtained just now copies of correspondence that passed between the Department and myself on the subject of ammunition waggons. It is not necessary that I should quote the correspondence at length. I wrote to the Minister of Defence, on the 26th March last, and I may read the last sentence of the letter. I wrote -
I make this application for fair treatment of New South Wales tenderers, and ask fora reply by wire to the effect that a sample vehicle shall be’ at once available for Commonwealth taxpayers in this State.
Two days later, I received a wire from the Minister to say that there was only one pattern waggon in the Commonwealth, and that he would communicate with me in a few days as Che officers were at campThat telegram. was dated 28th March, but. I did not get my promised reply until the- 19th April, or fully four weeks after thetenders for this£20,000 worth of waggons had closed. I never heard before of the clerical staff of the Defence Department being away at camp. It is not usual I think for the Secretary for the Defence Department and the clerks to go into camp. It is an almost unheard ot thing, and I fancy there must have been some mistake.
– Did they go into camp ?
SenatorColonel NEILD. - I cannot tell the honorable senator; but, on the- 19th April, a letter was addressed to meby the Acting Secretary for Defence, in which I was informed that there was only one sample waggon and limber in the Commonwealth, and to have sent the sameround to all the. States, in turn would haveoccupied some time, and involved considerable expense. That was a bit of departmental bluff, because I had not made such a request. It stand’s to reason that this class of waggon, which costs between£750 and £800, could only be built in very few establishments in theCommonwealth. With the greatest respect I doubt if there would have- been many tenderers except from one or two of the leading States. It wasa large transaction. It is possible to build a railway carriage at the cost of one of these waggons. That there would have been many tenderers seems tome exceedingly improbable, but I did not ask for the sample waggon to be sent round to all the States: It would have been a differentthing if such an application had come in from all the States. The point I desire to make is that in New South Wales there were competent persons to tender, and that they wanted to be put on the same terms in making their tenders as were the folks in Victoria. Surely that was not an unreasonable request ! . I think that some step ought to have been taken to give to competent tenderers in such States as they may exist in the same opportunities as were given to practically’ one firm in Victoria, which obtained a £20,000 contract virtually without -competition. The firm are to be allowed from March, when the tenders closed, until the end df next June - a year and three months - in which to build the waggons. That, I think, is an unheard pf thing.
– Surely the honorable senator does not want to hurry the Government ?
– I suppose that they have secured a reliable priesthood to pray for peace until the waggons are made. Why was the Commonwealth put to the expense of paying for the guns years before the waggons were provided? The guns are absolutely useless without waggons, and therefore the taxpayers have been burdened with useless artillery, while a particular firm, without competition, is attempting, in the course of fifteen months, to build the waggons in which to carry the ammunition. That is a position of affairs which is not creditable to those responsible for its existence. I do not know exactly which official is responsible for the matter in its original form, but clearly the members of the Military Board and the Minister must have some responsibility. Though the Minister does not sit in this Chamber, two of his colleagues do, and they must be prepared to shoulder a reasonable share of his responsibility.
– Why not courtmartial them?
– At the other end of the world there have been occasions when men have been court-martialled for less. If a war suddenly breaks out, what are we to do? Are we to wait for nine months while the contractor dawdles with the building of waggons which are eminently necessary for the defence of the Commonwealth? It is most painful and humiliating that the Commonwealth cannot get a few wooden waggons built in less than a year and a quarter. It is not needful that I should read any more of the correspondence. I have shown that the matter was pressed upon the Ministry by a member of .the Legislature, and that they apparently had no proper consideration for the interests of the Commonwealth in the matter of defence, otherwise the contract would have been let in a different manner. It would have been quite proper to divide the work between two firms of competent carriage builders in Melbourne, or Adelaide, or Brisbane, or Sydney.
Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON (South Australia) [3.35]. - I wish to refer very briefly to the item for the acquisition of a site in London. It is high time that the Commonwealth had a habitation as well as a name in London. Its present offices are in, certainly, a great street, but a most inconvenient part. Unless one makes a search for the particular .block it is very difficult to find the offices, and when he finds them there is no effective advertisement, so far as the building is concerned, to call attention to the fact that there is such a great continent as Australia. Then there is no other place in London where there is anything in the nature of an advertisement for Australia. The offices of the Agents-General, are in different places. The. South Australian offices are in the city : the other offices are scattered about in Queen, Victoria Street, Westminster, and so on- I am bound to say that neither has an attempt been made nor has any success been attained in stamping Australia upon the notice of the people of London, or, for the matter of that, of England. While we complain, and perhaps not unjustly, of a want of knowledge of Australia. and its resources in all parts of the old country, we are absolutely to blame for that fact. Where the Commonwealth offices should be established is a question of considerable importance. ‘There are two localities - at either end of London, so to speak - each of which has its own recommendations and advantages. If the offices are to be merely a centre for immediate business transactions in connexion with banks, inscription of stork, and so on, I suppose that a site in what is known as the city proper should be chosen; but there would be great difficulty, and probably enormous expense, in securing a suitable site in that part. On the other hand, if* it were merely required’ for something ambassadorial, the neighbourhood of Queen Victoria Street or Westminster generally would afford a very suitable locality. But, considering that in respect of both of those positions there are disadvantages, including the probable very large expense, I ‘ think that the locality chosen is one of the best in which a site could be secured. Some years ago it probably would not have offered the same recommendations as it does now, because the Strand then was not exactly : the place where we would then have put such a building as is contemplated, in order to house the Commonwealth, if not also the States, and to bring about an advertising success. The Strand was not like the city. It was an enormous business thoroughfare, consisting largely of retail houses and so on. I think that it would have offered many disadvantages then. It is in the locality of the Strand that all the cafes, theatres, and music halls are to be found, and these mav not be quite the surroundings in which we would like to place the unsophisticated representative of Australia. But of recent years there has been a very great alteration in the Strand. . The selected site is opposite Somerset House. It is near the Law Courts, which is a distinct advantage, and also near the site of - the London establishment of the- great Dominion of , Canada. If it can be secured on reasonable terms, the Commonwealth cannot do very much better. At the same time, the Government have not dealt with the question as they ought to have done. It would not have been very satisfactory to have rejected this item, because the whole matter would then have been thrown into’ confusion. Whilst it might have been a very good way of expressing disappointment with the method which the Government has adopted, the rejection of the item would simply have meant that the whole thing would have gone bv the board, and that possibly we should have been without an opportunity of dealing with the question. This is a very large transaction. It will involve, I suppose, outgoings amounting to £14,000 or £15,000 a year. It would, have been more business-like and very much better if, before entering into negotiations, the Government had endeavoured to settle the question of what area they would require, and how they could utilize it. When a man wants to build a house or business premises, and desires to secure a piece of land for the purpose, he first determines what his requirements will be, so that he mav not buy more land than he will absolutely require. From that point of view, I think that the Government ought to have formu lated a scheme and endeavoured to arrange with the States for the consolidation of their London offices in one building.
– We must have something to offer the States before we begin to negotiate with them.
– What have we to offer the States now ? Suppose that the States do not come in with us, but retain their present attitude?
– Is there a possibility of such a thing happening?
– Iwould not like to predict what the States will or will not do.
– After being a joint partner in finding the money?
– The honorable senator knows the jealousy which exists in the States in regard to their business affairs.
– Surely it would not extend to a matter affecting their own interest to the tune of a few hundred thousand pounds?
– Take the position- of South Australia. She would say, “ We have our own offices in the centre of the city near the Bank of England and all the other financial houses, where for many years we have inscribed our own stock, paid the interest thereon, and thereby saved much money.” We all know that there is a jealousy - to some extent a perfectly proper jealousy - on the part of each State in regard to the control of its own business affairs. It will take some time before that feeling is broken down. It would have been a wiser thing if the Government had made some effort, before they decided to negotiate for any particular area, to ascertain how that area was likely to be occupied. They might have failed in inducing the States to come in. I do not say that they would have failed, because, from the point of view of economy, I think the States would be foolish if they did not conduct all their London operations under the Commonwealth roof. But as a pure matter of business we should have been in a better position to negotiate with the States before having a large and costly piece of land on our hands, than we shall be when we have it, and when the States know that we are dependent upon their becoming tenants. Therefore, it would have been wiser if the Government had negotiated with the States and arrived a.t some definite understanding with them. I think they have been a little precipitate in enteringupon negotiations for this very considerable area; because it is considerable from a London point of view.It is not much from the aspect of our wide lands in . Australia, but it is a greatdeal of land in the centre of London. The Government wouldhave been in a better position to know exactly what area they required and what outlay they should incur if they had formulated a scheme. They have not done so, I am sorry to say. But the fact that they have omitted to do that does not seem to me to- be a- sufficient reason for throwing the wholething back and breaking off negotiations for what, irrespective . of area, is a most eligible site in an eligible locality. If we are landed with more land than we absolutely require for the purposes we may . eventually have to provide for-
– It is less than a quarter of an acre altogether.
– But it involves an outlay of something like £14,000 or£15,000 per annum.
– Of course that is on the basis of 15s. a foot.
– We are only speculating in the matter altogether. There is no certainty about it one way or the other. The thing would have been in a much more satisfactory position had we known how the land would be utilized before we absolutely closed - if we do close - with ithe . opportunity to take the land. At any rate, I feel so strongly that the site is a desirable one that, even at the risk of our being placed in a position of some difficulty - which I hope will not occur - in relation to the utilization of it in the way we desire, by getting the States to come under our roof, I cannot see that the Commonwealth will be better off by not allowing the negotiations to proceed.
– So far as concerns the Strand site for the Commonwealth offices, I consider that on the second reading of this Bill, the Senate, by a fair majority, absolutely put its seal upon the proposals of the Government. I wish to bring under the notice of the Ministry a matter which I can pro- bably connect with the item for additional plant required for printing postage stamps and postal notes in South Australia. I wish to draw attention to a new procedure in relation to money orders. If a person wishesto send money by telegram to an agent in another State, he sends a telegram stating that ‘the money has been f orwarded, and another, telegram for which he is charged, is. sent tothe postmaster of the place where it is tobe paid. Under a new instruction from the central office, the Postal authorities, before they will pay over the money, demand that the telegram received by the person to whom it is to be paid shall be given up. But the difficulty is that the instructions given to the agent may be contained in the telegram, and if he hands it over to the postal authorities, he has absolutely nothing to show that he has investedthe money asinstructed by his principal. The present procedure is entirely new, at all events so far as South Australia is concerned. I cannot see that it benefits the Department. . It has been brought into operation without Parliament being informed. It took me a considerable time last week to’ hunt up the statutory rules connected with the PostOffice, which have been laid upon the table of the Senate, but I found that theycontained nothing with reference to the p’oint.
– Are they not contained in the Postal Guide?
– No. Senator Neild did a good service some time ago in getting a resolution passed requiring that statutory rules should be printed and circulated amongst members of Parliament But the instruction under which the practice of which I complain is pursued is not contained in a statutory rule. I experienced considerable difficulty in finding out what the statutory rules were. In the first place, there is no file which honorable senators can consult. The rules are kept by a clerk in one of the offices at the top of Parliament House.
– They have no legal force unless they have been laid upon the table.
– Statutory rules are laid upon the table, but it is exceedingly difficult afterwards to ascertain what they are. When I found that there was no statutory rule on this point, I repaired to the Post Office to find out how it was that the new practice had been brought into force. Then I was informed that if had been done under an instruction given, to postmasters by the central office. It appears therefore, that an alteration of considerable importance to business people has taken place, and yet Parliament has had no opportunity of ‘expressing an opinion regarding it. I wish to ask the Minister representing the Postmaster-General whether he will see to it that the instruction given to postmasters is formulated in a statutory rule, so as to afford an opportunity to honorable senators of expressing an opinion about it . The matter was broughtunder mynotice in this way:A business man in Sydney’ telegraphed to his agentin Adelaide to do certainthings. He said,”Buy -so-and-so;deposit wired - mentioning a certain amount. There was an instruction. The agentin Adelaide went to the Post Office and said, “ I have received a telegram informing me that a sum of money has been telegraphedto me.” He showed the telegram, and wastold, “We cannot pay you this money untilyou hand over your advice to us.” The man refusedto give it us because it contained instructions from his principal.Consequently he could not get the money.’I believe that the same instruction has been given to every money order office in the Commonwealth. Surely it should be sufficient for a man who receives a telegram of that kind to show it, and to give reasonable evidence of identification.When I brought this matter under the Postal authorities,I was informed thatthetelegram could be produced if there Was any dispute. But there is a regulation which provides that onlythe sender of atelegram can demand to see it: the receiver cannot. The present practice is hampering business to a considerable extent. Is it absolutely necessary tomake a rule thata telegram sent to an agent must be given up before money is paid? If so, that instruction ought to be formulated as a statutory rule, and laid upon the table of the Senate, so that we may have an opportunity of expressing an opinion regarding it.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a third time.
Senator KEATING laid upon the table the following paper: -
Post and Telegraph Act 1901. - Amendment of general postal, telegraphic, and telephonic regulations - Statutory Rules, 1907, No. 91.
– With regard to remarks made by Senator Guthrie about files of statutory rules and orders, files are being prepared. The whole of the rules and orders will be placed on the table in the club-room for the use of honorable senators.
– I should like to draw your attention, Mr. President, to the fact that those papers are becoming so voluminous that it might be as well to filethem under their separate headings’; such as Post Office, Defence, Public Service, and so on. We might also have an index to them.
– There will be a separate file for each Department.
In Committee (Consideration resumed from 25th September, vide page 3730) - First Schedule.
Tobacco leaf for the manufacture of cigars, high grade, of a quality to be prescribed; (period) 5 years ; (rate of bounty) 2d. per lb. ; (maximum payable in any one year) £4,000.
Upon which SenatorPearce had moved) by way of amendment - “ That the words “ for the manufacture of “cigars” be left out.
– Honorable senators may not be aware that the carrying of this amendment would restore the Bill to the form in which it was introduced by the Government. I mention that because some honorable senators pay considerable attention to the fact of a Bill having been introduced in a certain form. They seem inclined to adhere to it, and object to any alteration. The fact that I am not moving anything hostile to what the Government, acting on the advice of their experts, have done, may have some weight with them. The Committee ought to carefully consider the question of whether if they are going to agree to this bounty they should not restore it toits original shape. I have read the debate that took place in another place, and the only reason given for the alteration was that to give a bounty on leaf for plug tobacco would be to make a present of it to the Combine.
– Can the honorable senator meet that argument?
– Yes, by saying that it applies equally to a bounty on cigar leaf.
– The bounty will be so small that it will not be any good.
– That is an argument in favour of striking the bounty out altogether. If the Combine is powerful in plug tobacco, there is a factor which will makeit more powerful as regards cigar tobacco. Competing manufacturers of plugtobacco can get all the machinery which the Combine can get, so long as they have the capital. But in the case of cigar making, the Combine are the agents for the patent rights of a machine which nobody else in the Commonwealth can acquire, and which is an, overwhelming competitor as against hand labour. Hand labour is many times more expensive than the use of that machine. Consequently, if the argument used” in another place as a reason for making the alteration is worth anything, it applies more to cigar leaf than, to plug tobacco leaf. There is another and more powerful reason in favour of my amend ment. If there is one country in the world, whose conditions are like our own, and which has succeeded in growing tobacco leaf, it is America. America is the great producer of the world in tobacco leaf, and yet America cannot successfully grow cigar leaf. The Statesman’ s year-Book for j 907 shows, on page 437, that _ the raw material used in the United States factories for cigars and cigarettes alone was valued at $81,000,000 in round figures and that the total production of leaf in the United States for that year was worth $68,000,000. They do not produce as much leaf of all kinds in the United States as was used in the cigar and cigarette factories in that country’ alone. That is leaving plug tobacco out of consideration altogether. As a matter of fact, almost the whole of the leaf produced in the United States, so far as it was used locally, was used for plug tobacco, and almost the whole of the leaf used iii the United States for cigar making was imported. Those figures show a deficit in production of- $12,900,000 worth of leaf. The same Y earBook, on page 449, shows that the imports of tobacco leaf from Cuba into the United States were valued at $26,590,706. The exports from Cuba of cigar leaf were 27,900,000 lbs, or roughly 28,000,000 lbs. We can assume that the great proportion of that quantity went to the United States. Therefore, although the” United States have succeeded beyond almost any other country in the growing of tobacco leaf generally, they have not, and cannot succeed in growing cigar leaf, for various reasons.
– No cigar leaf at all ?
– I did not say that. The United States make a greater weight of cigars and cigarettes than they produce in leaf of all kinds. If the United States, having succeeded in growing plug tobacco leaf, cannot and do not supply themselves with cigar leaf, then, as we in Australia have not yet successfully solved the problem of producing leaf for plug tobacco - the easiest to grow and the easiest to cure, and’ a leaf which will grow under the greatest variety of conditions - is it not nonsensical if ‘we are going. to give a bounty to give- it for the most difficult form ‘of the industry, the one which we are least likely to succeed in, and which will grow in the least number of places in the Commonwealth? Is it not more sensible to give the bounty for that form of leaf which can be most, easily grown, which needs the least technical knowledge in curing, and which will succeed in a greater number of places in Australia, as we know from experience? One of the great sources of supply, both to the United States and Australia, is- Java and Sumatra. They produce, and largely export, nearly 92,000,000 lbs. of leaf, principally cigar leaf. Java, Sumatra, and Cuba are the great sources of supply of cigar leaf to the world. We have no place in Australia, not .even the Northern Territory, which lies in the same latitude. All those places are much nearer the equator than the Northern Territory. I do not dispute that we can grow cigar leaf in Australia. I have seen it growing, and have smoked a cigar made of Australian leaf.
– What ?
– If the honorable senator had come with us to Wangaratta he would have seen cigar leaf grown by Mr. Temple Smith at Edi, near Wangaratta. That leaf was grown, however, under cheese cloth. I am not going to say that it cannot be grown- under the same cover in other places, but I do say that plug tobacco leaf can be successfully grown in the open fields at Wangaratta. Mr. Temple Smith certainly succeeded in growing cigar leaf under those hot-house conditions. He told me that if the present duty was ‘allowed to remain he could grow it successfully under’ those conditions, but he is also of the opinion that the ordinary farmer is much less likely to succeed with cigar leaf than with plug tobacco leaf. He finds it very difficult to get the ordinary farmer to undertake the methods that will successfully cure plug tobacco leaf. When dealing with- a much higher class - a much rarer type - it will need greater instruction and greater effort to get the farmer to take it up.
– That is the strongest reason why he should get the bounty.
– It is not. If we had succeeded in growing plug tobaccoleaf, if our growth of it was expanding, andwe were becoming exporters of it, after supplying our local market with the grade most generally used, then the honorable senator’s argument would have something in it. But if we are to give a bounty we ought to give it for the leaf most generally used, and of which we now import a weight of upwards of 7,000,000 lbs.
– The best locallygrown leaf is chosen for cigars, and the refuse is put into the plugs.
– The present practice is to put the highest grade of the ordinary leaf into the filler of the cigar, and then Cuban, or Havana, or Sumatra leaf is used for the wrapper. There is a certain amount of waste from those wrappers, and that is used to make the filler of the next highest grade of cigar, in which still higher grade leaf is put on for a wrapper. Those, broadly, are the two different grades, but the fact remains that the ordina iy good cigar is not made with local leaf. The leaf which is popular with Australian smokers is a leaf which gives a light crop to the acre. There is a form of heavy dark tobacco, which will give an average crop of over half a ton to the acre in Australia. But the trouble is that the Australian consumer does not like it, and in a great majority of cases will not smoke it. In order to get the grower to produce a leaf which the Australian smoker will smoke, the Tobacco Combine have been distributing free the seeds of a leaf known as the Hester variety, but the trouble is that with that variety the growers only get a yield of 7 cwt. to the acre, as against from 10 to 16 cwt. of the common varieties. Seeing that the Australian smoker will not smoke the heavy varieties, if we are to give a bounty at all, we should give it to induce the Australian grower toproduce the Hester variety, which the Australian smoker will smoke, and give him the bounty in order to compensate’him for the difference in the yield between the heavy and light varieties.
– For which he will get a good price.
– He does not get a good price at present, but he may do so in future. The Hester leaf is a leaf which the Australian smoker will smoke, but it gives a light crop, and by giving a bounty which would compensate the grower for the lighter crop, we might encourage him to go in for the cultivation of this leaf, which we know can be grown in Australia. If we succeed in that, we can then go in for experimental bounties for the production of cigar leaf which we might be able to grow in some parts of Australia.
– Which we have grown.
– Which has been grown in isolated cases, and under certain special conditions, but which, I venture to say, has never yet been cultivated as a commercial undertaking in any part of Australia.
– The experts say otherwise. They refer to the fact that20 tons have been grown.
– The honorable senator cannot refer me to a single person who has grown cigar leaf in any part of the Commonwealth for a number of years, and has made his living from that occupation. I can myself refer to Mr. Temple Smith, who is a Government expert, and grows cigar leaf every year, but he is not making a living from it. There are men in Queensland growing experimental crops of cigar leaf here and there, but they are not making their living in that way. They do not always get a crop, but they have sometimes succeeded. I am not opposed to giving assistance for the production of a leaf suitable for the manufacture of cigars, but the amount of bounty proposed is too small to be divided between the two varieties of leaf. I ask, also, why we should give a bounty for the production of a leaf which can only be grown in a few places in North Queensland, and perhaps in North Australia. I am not surprised at the enthusiasm with which Queensland senators have supported the proposal to restrict the bounty to cigar leaf, when- they know that the effect of the restrictions would probably be to confine the bounty to growers in. their own States, andpossibly in the Northern Territory. I think it is better that we should give a bounty which we may hope will be distributed amongst growers in all the States. Queensland is doing very well under the Commonwealth, and honorable senators from that State might be a little generous to the growers of tobacco in other States.
– Can a cigar leaf be grown at Tumut?
– I do not know of any cigar leaf grown at Tumut. Such a leaf is grown at Ashfield, but not as a commercial undertaking.
– And at Wangaratta in Victoria.
– Not as a commercial undertaking, but as an experimental crop, on a State farm. The fact is that there are tobacco-growers at Tumut and Wangaratta who make their living at the business. Those at Wangaratta have the experience of an experimental farm alongside of them to profit by, and why do they not take up the cultivation of a leaf suitable for the manufacture of cigars? Why are they so blind to their own interestsif the cultivation of a cigar leaf would pay them better than the growth of leaf for plug tobacco? The fact is that they do not grow cigar leaf, nor is it grown at Texas in Queensland as’ a commercial undertaking. Statements have been made to the effect that cigar leaf can be grown anywhere in the Commonwealth.
– I do not think that any one ever made that statement.
- Senator McGregor accused me of bringing forward a proposal which he said was not favoured by a cigar manufacturer in ‘my own State, Mr. Schmidt. I may inform the honorable senator that Mr. Schmidt made one of a deputation that waited on the Premier of Western Australia, with the result that I received the following telegram from the honorable gentleman, dated 21st August,
1 907 -
Deputation of the whole of the cigar manufacturers of the State, introduced Holman Walker, have made strong representations to me to secure your good offices in endeavouring to amend duty on unmanufactured tobacco for cigar making. While raw material has been advanced from one shilling and sixpence per pound to three shillings, three and three, and four shillings per pound, no corresponding increase has been made on the imported cigars, local leaf grown in Australia unsuitable for cigar manufacture. If no relief given, am satisfied local manufacturers will be ruined. Kindly convey to allmembers your party contents this message, and ask assistance. Matter serious.
That was the result of the representation made to the Premier of Western Australia by Mr. Schmidt, the gentleman referred to by Senator McGregor, and other cigar manufacturers.
– That is quite correct, and it does not contradict what I have said.
– If Mr. Schmidt were such an enthusiastic believer in Australian cigar leaf, he would not go with a deputation to the Premier of Western Australia to tell him that Australian leaf is unsuitable for the manufacture of cigars.
-There is no cigar leaf being grown in Western Australia yet.
-The honorable senator said that it was grown in various parts of the Commonwealth.
– The honorable senator should quote me correctly. He has said that the statement was made that we can grow cigar leaf in any part of Australia’, and, so far as I know, no one ever made that statement.
– The honorable senator was referring to my attitude, and used a statement made by Mr. Schmidt to him as an argument against my amendment, indicating that Mr. Schmidt thought that cigar leaf could be grown in Western Australia successfully. Mr. Schuh, manager for Snider and Abrahams, an independent cigar manufacturing firm in Victoria, making the “ Aristocratica “ cigar, was asked, at page 105 of the report of the Royal Commission on the Tobacco Monopoly question,No. 12 16 -
In the manufacture of your cigars, do you use anyAustralian tobacco? - No.
I think that this firm is the next largest manufacturer of cigars to the Combine.
– The Combine do not make many cigars. I do not think they make as many as do Sniders and Abrahams, who employ more men than the States Tobacco Company.
– They employ more men, but they have no cigar-making machines. If the honorable senator will look at the appendix to the report of the Tobacco Commission, he will find that the States Tobacco Company are the largest manufacturers of cigars in Australia. They may not employ so many hands at the work as the other firm referred to, but they have what no other firm in Australia has, and that is cigar manufacturing machines, each of which can be worked by a girl, and which do the work of seven cigar-makers. Mr. Schuh said that his firm used no Australian leaf in the manufacture of their cigars. He was asked-
Why is it not used ? - Because we do not consider it suitable. Its combustion is not satisfactory by any means.
He was then asked if the imported leaf contains stem, and his answer was that some of it did, and that some was stripped. Mr. Jacobs, of the States Tobacco Company, gave practically the same evidence. He said that they had used some Australian leaf, but that, generally speaking, they did not use Australian leaf. This is the evidence given by representatives of two of the largest cigar manufacturers in the Commonwealth.
– Is there anything to prevent the production of cigar leaf in Queensland?
– Yes, I think the climatic conditions prevent it. The climatic and other conditions of the southern States of the United States approximate very closely to those prevailing in Queensland, and in those States they import their cigar leaf from Cuba.
– Can Queensland produce plug leaf?
– Yes; growers in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria are to-day producing a leaf suitable for plug tobacco successfully, and I say that the bounty is needed to induce them to go in for a higher grade plug leaf, because to do so would mean a lighter crop, and they require some compensation on that account.
– What is the secret of the superiority of the Cuban leaf?
– There is no secret about it; it is merely a matter of latitude and climatic conditions. Java and Sumatra produce more cigar leaf than does Cuba, simply because of their geographical situation. Cuba exported 28,000,000 lbs. of tobacco leaf, and Java and Sumatra exported 92,000,000 lbs. They are, therefore, very much larger producers of this article than is Cuba. I have here numbers of a Tobacco Journal, published in New York. I shall not weary the Senate by reading all the passages I have marked, but it will be found that in the southern States of America, right in the heart of the tobacco-growing country, at Tampa, Key West, in Louisiana, and in the other southern States, cigar makers have established factories, and these journals prove that they are sending their agents to Cuba to purchase cigar leaf wholesale. Do honorable senators think that they would do that if they could grow the leaf themselves ? There is a heavy duty on Cuban and other cigar leaf imported to the United States, and if it could be grown in the States, it would not be imported. I suppose it will be admitted that the Americans are as keen business men as we are. It seems to me that we are ignoring the fact that Australia is not sufficiently near the Equator to enable us to succeed in the growth of a leaf suitable for the manufacture of cigars. I feel disposed to oppose’ the item altogether, because I think that under existing conditions the Tobacco Combine will get the proposed bounty. But ifthe item is retained in the amende form I suggest, it may have some practical effect. As it appears in the schedule it might lead to the cultivation of a few experimental crops, and as soon as the bounty ceased the industry would cease. If the bounty is given for the. production of a high-grade leaf, suitable for plug tobacco, it may induce growers to go in for the cultivation of a leaf which Australian smokers demand, that is. to substitute for the cultivation of the heavy cabbage-leaf varieties of tobacco, the cultivation of the lighter Hester varieties. I appeal to honorable senators to support my amendment, which, I believe, is in the best interests of the community and of the tobacco growers themselves.
– I have been rather surprised and very much disappointed at the attitude which Senator Pearce has taken up in regard to this question. It was my privilege to be associated with the honorable senator on the Royal Commission inquiring into the tobacco industry, and in view of the fact that Senator Pearce is known to be a nonsmoker, I must say that the intelligence and knowledge he displayed as Chairman of that Commission excited my admiration. When speaking previously the honorable senator, in reply to an interjection I made, admitted that it was probable that the Combine would get the whole of the proposed bounty. Senator Gray also agrees that the Combine would receive the bounty. I agree with Senators Pearce and Gray that if the bounty is made payable in respect of tobacco leaf for making plug tobacco, it will undoubtedly go to the Combine. Probably it was largely on that ground that the other House made the bounty payable on highgrade leaf for making cigars. The other evening Senator Turley pointed out that if the bounty is to be made payable on tobacco leaf for the manufacture of plug tobacco, £4,000 a year will be altogether insufficient. It will be of no use for that purpose. I propose presently to read a few extracts from the evidence taken by the Tobacco Commission, in order to show that high-grade cigar leaf can be grown in Australia, and that possibly, with the aid of the bounty proposed, it could be grown successfully from a commercial stand-point. Senator McGregor has mentioned that twenty years ago cigar leaf was successfully grown in the Northern Territory. He stated that eight tons of cigar leaf were shipped from the Northern Territory to Hamburg, where it realized 2s.11d. per lb. at public auction. It must have been cigar leaf of a very superior quality to realize that price at public auction in a place like Hamburg, which is nearer to what is known as the home of the cigar leaf than is Australia. It has been pointed out that the increased duty of 3d. per lb. on unstemmed tobacco leaf, and the increased duty of 6d. per lb. on stemmed tobacco leaf, will offer a very large encouragement to the growth of a superior leaf for the manufacture of plug tobacco. I do not think that there is the slightest doubt that the increased duties will be sanctioned by Parliament. It is now generally recognised that Australia is committed to a protectionist policy. Free-trade is dead; as a matter of fact, it was buried in Sydney a few weeks ago. Mr. Peter Stewart Thomson, of Wangaratta, manager for Permewan, Wright and Company, when giving evidence as to the possibility of growing cigar leaf, gave an extract from the Australian Tobacco Journal - 1580. I have here the Australian Tobacco Journal for 21st September, 1905, and at page 720 I find the following statement’ made : - “ A record price has been obtained for Victoriangrown unfermented cigar leaf. In forwarding to the Director of Agriculture a cheque for£9 12s. for cigar leaf from the Government tobacco farm, Edi, sold in Melbourne on 23rd August, Mr. Temple A. J. Smith reports this satisfactory result. The price given for tent and field-grown tobacco, 1st and 2nd grades, stamps the first at a value of considerably over1s. per lb. The varieties used were Comstock Spanish,’ and ‘ Connecticut ‘ seed leaf, and the crop yielded at the rate of 1,200 lbs. per annum. These results have been achieved from experiments extending over three years, of which time two years were occupied in proving the variety suited to the soil. Mr. Smith states that the progress made is encouraging, as by further selection of soil and varieties the general quality of the leaf can be improved upon. The price obtained -1s. per lb. for all grades - constitutes a record for Victoriangrown cigar leaf unfermented. The crop was harvested in March, the buyer undertakingthe fermentation process.”
That proves that tobacco leaf not completely cured, but only partially cured, has brought1s. a lb. all round. It also proves that cigar leaf can be grown in the Wangaratta district, in Victoria.
– Under a tent.
– Some of it was grown under tents. The cost of growing tobacco under tents is estimated at only£65 per acre. It is simply a matter of stretching cheese-cloth over a, frame to protect the tobacco from the air. A large quantity of cigar leaf brings up to 3s., 4s. and 5s. per lb. ‘ If that result can be obtained from the production of cigar leaf at an expenditure of£65 per acre, certainly it is much better than that which is obtained by the men who now grow tobacco leaf for making plug tobacco - an average price of not more than 6d. per lb. Mr. Walter Smith, of Wangaratta, was also examined by the Tobacco Commission. He stated that he had had from twenty-five to twenty-six years’ experience as a buyer and seller, and also in forwarding tobacco to Melbourne and other places. A gentlemain who has had that lengthy experience ought to have some knowledge about the quality of tobacco. He gave the following evidence - 1812. You think it possible to grow a cigar leaf in this district? - I do, if it is grown with proper care. 1813. Do you think it will pay the grower? - It will if he can get a fair price; but it will not pay at 6d. per lb. 1814. Did you see the cigar leaf grown at the Edi farm? - Yes; the same kind of leaf was grown at Whorouly by Mr. G. Gibson. 1815. Mr. Temple Smith reports that he received1s. per lb. for the leaf grown at Edi. Would that be a payable price? - Yes. 1816. You have seen other cigar leaf grown in the district? - Yes, very nice leaf. It was grown last season, but not in any quantity. 1817. Was it sold? - No; but it cannot be held for very long. 1818. What was the leaf grown at Whorouly worth ? - I could give you no estimate of the value of it. I have had no dealings in cigar leaf.
– No dealings in cigar leaf ?
– No, but heknew what cigar leaf was.
– The other man had had dealings in cigar leaf.
– That evidence proves that cigar leaf can be grown at Wangaratta, in Victoria. I took a parcel of the cigar leaf grown at Edi to Adelaide, to be made into cigars by a cigar-maker who was prejudiced against the use of Australian leaf.
– And who told the Tariff Commission that three cigars made from Australian leaf would kill an elephant.
– Knowing that he had made that statement to the Tariff Commission in Adelaide, and that he was prejudiced against the use of Australian tobacco leaf, I took to him the cigar leaf from Edi, in the belief that it was good cigar leaf, and with the object of trying to remove his objection to the use of Australian tobacco leaf. He confessed that it was the best Australian-grown cigar leaf that he had ever handled. “That was good so far as it went. I smoked several of the cigars, and gave some of them to a number of my friends. Such excellent judges of a good cigar as Sir Richard Baker and Sir William Lyne each smoked one of them without knowing that it was an Australian cigar. Each gentleman smoked the cigar with apparent satisfaction, and expressed the opinion that it was a first-rate cigar. In Sydney, Mr. Moseley Richard Aaron, a cigar-maker, gave the following evidence - 7318. What experience have you had as a cigar maker? - Upwards of forty years. I am not now engaged in that business. I have been at the trade in Germany, Belgium) France, England, America, and pretty well all countries of Europe. Though not a tobacco-grower, I have studied the question fully, which, under my articles of apprenticeship in Belgium, I was required to do, as well as cigar-making in all its branches.
Mr. Aaron was employed by the New South Wales Government to report on the possibilities of tobacco growing in various parts of that State. On page 341 of the report of the Royal Commission he was asked -
Do you know anything about Australian leaf?
He replied -
I do know a great deal about it. I prepared a report for the Department of Agriculture in this State on the question on the 28th April, 9°3-
I will quote a few lines from that report, which deals with land which Mr. Aaron inspected near the. Queensland border -
I then drove about ten miles down river and examined the soil on Mr. Christenson’s land (on Gooman Station), and saw Mr. H. C. Ferdinand, who rents some eight acres from Mr. Christensen. . I saw some tobacco that had been grown by him, but owing to want of knowledge and lack of proper curing accommodation the product, in my opinion, is of nomarketable value. I then went about two miles further down the river, about fourteen miles from Bonshaw, and examined the soil on Mr. ‘ A. Watt’s holding. In short, the miles of country traversed by me on the New South
Wales side of the Dumaresq River are, in my opinion, of limitless value as a cigar tobacco producing country. I estimate that such tobacco as could be here produced would stand, in respect of quality, second only to the Havanna tobacco grown in the best portions of the island of Cuba.
– I rise to a point of order. I wish to obtain a ruling as to whether it is competent for the Committee to consider the amendment which has been moved. It seems to me that if we accept the amendment we shall make the bounty payable on account of any tobacco of high grade of a quality to be prescribed, whereas the Bill only intends the bounty to Le for leaf for the manufacture of cigars. Therefore, the intention of the Bill would be, to some extent, frustrated if the amendment were carried. I doubt whether we have power to pass such an amendment.
– There was in the schedule originally an item for a bounty on raw coffee, and we have altered that to “coffee as prescribed.”
– I find that ae» cording to May, nth edition, page 565 -
When a schedule of duties has been reported from a Committee and agreed to by the House, the Committee on the Bill cannot increase such duties, nor add any articles not previously voted; but if the duties so voted are less than those payable under the existing law it is competent for the Committee on the Bill to increase them, provided such increase be ‘ not in excess of the existing duties.
It was laid down by Mr. Speaker in the House of Representatives, where an amendment was moved to insert the .words “ and Canned Pine- Apple “ after the word “ Fruits “ in this very Bill, that -
If the Bill did not provide for a bounty on Pineapples a bounty could not be now put in. If an item in the Estimates .were under consideration the destination of a vote could not be altered. He ruled that no amendment could be introduced which would have the effect of giving a bounty on any item not provided for in the schedule or of increasing any bounty.
In this ‘ instance the proposal is to give a bounty on tobacco leaf for the manufacture of cigars. The amendment proposes the giving of a bounty on any tobacco leaf of high grade. Guided by the opinion expressed by Mr. Speaker in another place, and by the practice of the Imperial Parliament, I hold that this amendment, extending the bounty to articles not provided for in the schedule, and therefore extending the destination of the bounty, is not in order. Perhaps it may be desirable to refer the point to Mr. President.
– The matter in question is of such importance, and the ruling of the Temporary Chairman limits the power of the Committee to such an extent, that I shall have to dissent from it formally. I do so in the following terms -
I dissent from the ruling of the Temporary Chairman on the ground that it unduly limits the powers of the Committee.
In the Senate :
The Temporary Chairman of Committees. - I beg to report that, in Committee, upon the item -
Tobacco leaf for the manufacture of cigars, high grade, of a quality to be prescribed, an amendment was moved to leave out the words “for the manufacture of cigars.’’ The effect of the amendment would be to make the item read “ Tobacco leaf, high grade, of a quality to be prescribed.” A point of order was raised as to whether that amendment was in order. I ruled that it was not. I did so first of all on the authority of May, nth edition, page 565 -
When a schedule of duties has been reported from a Committee and agreed to by the House, the Committee on the Bill cannot increase such duties, nor add any articles not previously voted; but if the duties so voted are less than those payable under the existing law it is competent for. the Committee on the Bill to increase them, provided such increase be not in excess of the existing duties.
I held that the amendment proposed would involve an increase in this way : that whilst the proposed bounty under the schedule is limited to tobacco leaf of a certain class, the amendment would materially extend the destination of the bounty, inasmuch as it would be applicable to other classes of tobacco leaf not specified in the schedule. I was also influenced by a decision given by Mr. Speaker in another place, where a question arose’ in connexion ‘with Dried Fruits, and it was proposed to add the words “and Canned Pine-Apples.” The decision of Mr. Speaker, reported in the Votes and Proceedings, No. 16, was as follows : -
Mr. Speaker stated he had no hesitation in giving his ruling. He would remind the House of the different stages through which the Bill had passed. First of all, there was a Message from the Governor-General recommending an appropriation.. The appropriation was voted in Committee, and a Bill was then brought in to give effect to the vole, and providing for certain bounties on certain items in the First Schedule. If the Bill did not provide for a bounty on pine-apples a bounty could not be now put in. If an item in the Estimates were under consideration the destination of a vote could not be altered. He ruled that no amend ment could be introduced which would have the effect of giving a bounty on any item not provided for in the Schedule, or of increasing any bounty.
It appeared to me that the amendment did propose the giving of a bounty on items not provided for in the schedule, namely, on classes of tobacco leaf not therein specified. Under these circumstances, I .ruled that the amendment was not in order. Senator Pearce has dissented from my ruling, on the ground that it unduly limits the power of the Committee’.
– I draw your attention, Mr. President, to the fact - since reference has been made to the ruling of Mr. Speaker’ in another place- that when this Bill was under discussion there the provision relating to a bounty on tobacco was in precisely . the ‘ same terms as it would be if my ‘ amendment were accepted. An alteration was made in the schedule changing the destination of the bounty from tobacco leaf to cigar leaf only. .1 am endeavouring to reverse what another place did in Committee, and not to extend the bounty to other articles. My amendment simply proposes that the bounty shall be paid in respect of tobacco leaf, high grade, which includes cigar leaf» as’ the Bill originally provided. The ruling of the Temporary Chairman is founded upon what has been adopted as the practice in another place. But I submit thai, our practice is laid down by sections 53 and 54 of the Constitution and by our own Standing Orders. The Senate has determined that it will establish its own practice in these matters. The quotation which the Temporary Chairman has made from May has no effect, since we have not adopted the practice of the House of Commons. We have declared our powers and privileges, and have our own practice. While the Speaker ruled that at a particular stage of the Bill the proposed alteration could not be made, it was still within the power of the other House, under its Standing Orders, at one stage of the Bill to have made the alteration desired regarding “ canned pine-apples.” In Committee of Supply the other place could, if it had wished^ by means of an amendment to the resolution for an appropriation for ‘ the purposes of the Bill, have decided that “ canned pine-apples “ should be put in the schedule. Therefore that House had the power at one stage to make an alteration such as was ruled out of order at a later stage by, the Speaker. No honorable senator, would say that we should have less powers than the other House, except so far as they are lessened ‘by the Constitution. We are not in an equivalent position, because we never have the stage which I have indicated. A Bill is not brought in on a resolution founded on a Governor-General’s message and passed in Committee in this Chamber. Therefore that opportunity never presents itself here. Our equivalent opportunity is when we go into Committee on the Bill. Our procedure is different. Another place, in their procedure, have the power at one stage. If they do not care to exercise it then, but attempt to use it at a later stage, when it is clearly against their practice that is the misfortune of those who bring forward the amendment at the wrong time. But because in another place, at a certain stage, they cannot make an amendment which they could previously have made, are we in this Senate to decide that the only opportunity which we can have shall not be availed of ? Are we to say that because another House has adopted a certain procedure at this stage, we shall not have an opportunity at all to make an amendment? That is what we are asked to say by the ruling of the Temporary Chairman, since neither in our Standing Orders nor in the Constitution is there anything that prohibits us from making this amendment. It does not alter the destination of the grant, but allows the bounty tobe paid as the Bill originally provided when it was introduced after consideration of His Excellency’s message. If my amendment is carried, it will, therefore, be covered by that message. I ask your particular attention, Mr. President, to the point that my amendment cannot be said to in any way contravene the terms of His Excellency’s message, inasmuch as the Bill, as originally brought down, provided for what my amendment seeks to achieve. That is a very important point, and I ask you, sir, not to uphold a ruling which would seriously restrict the powers of a Committee of the Senate.
– This is the second or third time that a point of order has been raised as to the admissibility of amendments. When you, Mr. President, were asked for a ruling last week, your decision was that amendments, and also requests, could be made on this Bill. Later on, when Senator Pearce was in the chair, Senator Chataway moved an amendment regarding coffee. It was accepted by the Chairman, and the Committee agreed to it.
– That amendment did not extend the area of the bounty on coffee.
– The honorable senator does not know how far the destination of the grant on coffee maybe altered by it, because the bounty will be affected by the regulations that will be drafted under the Bill. Senator Pearce desires that this bounty shall be made payable on all forms of tobacco. He does not necessarily exclude cigar leaf.
– He could if he chose.
– Buthis amendment does not do so. There is no analogy between this amendment and the proposal made in another place to substitute “ pineapples “ for some other item. We are keeping directly to the item in the schedule. All that we desire is that a fuller opportunity shall be given for the encouragement of the growth of different kinds of tobacco in the Commonwealth. I do not profess to be as conversant with these points as honorable senators with longer parliamentary experience, but I hold that it is getting away from the question to compare the amendment regarding “ pine-apples “ with this amendment.
– That was an article which was not in the original message at all.
SenatorChataway. - What official information have we of any message?
– We know that this item was introduced in another place in the form to which Senator Pearce desires to have it restored here, and that it was altered there to its present form. Surely we shall not be Wrong in following the example set us by another place.
– I should like, first, to offer a few observations with reference to Senator Pearce’s main argument. It may be fairly put in this way : He said - and I agree with Senator Chataway ‘s interjection that we have no official notice of it - that a message came to another place covering a wider area with regard to this item. To use a simple analogy, the other place received a message which covered the area “ ten.” Acting within their rights, the other place reduced that area to, say “eight.” Senator Pearce contends that it is equally competent for us to restore the area eight to the area ten originally covered by the message, of which we have no official notice. But the two things are totally different. While it was quite competent for the other House, just as it would be for the Senate, to reduce the area ten to the area eight, it is not within the powers of the other House to increase the area from eight to ten, any more than . it is within our powers under our Standing Orders to increase an area now specified as eight to an area ten. The very fact that Senator Pearce has indicated to the Senate that a reduction was made is a clear proof that what he proposes to do is to make an increase. It is argued ‘ that to change the item from tobacco for cigar leaf to a wider area of tobacco is really making no change in the item, and is not on the same footing as would be a change, say, from” tobacco ‘ ‘ to “ pine-apples.”
– The Temporary Chairman did not rule the amendment out of order on the ground that it increased any burden on the people, but on the ground of an alteration of the destination of the grant.
– The very fact that this does represent an increase, in one respect, and a decrease in the other, is in itself practically admitted by Senator Pearce to be a variation. It increases the area over which it is proposed to spread the bounty, and, inasmuch as it increases it, it varies it. I consider that what Senator Pearce emphasized as his strong point regarding the Governor-General’s message is not a strong point. We have already had a ruling upon the other point, as to the competency of the Senate to transfer amounts from one item to another. In my view, the proposed amendment is just as much an alteration of the schedule as would be the changing of “tobacco” to “ pine-apples.”
– Although I entirely disagree with Senator Pearce as to the way in which this bounty should be paid, still I hold that we, as a Senate, would be limiting our powers in Committee to an unwise extent by adopting the view taken by the. Temporary Chairman. The Constitution is very explicit as to our powers. It simply states that we cannot make an amendment which would increase any proposed burden on the people. But Senator Pearce’s amendment would not increase any burden on the people.
– But it might.
-How could it when the amount to be paid annually over a certain number of years is specified in the schedule ?
– Perhaps the maximum would never be claimed on cigar leaf.
– Any unexpended balance is to be carried on from year to year.
– Yes, and may be expended in a future year. The amendment does not infringe the Constitution. Moreover, we have done exactly the same thing as Senator Pearce now proposes in an amendment, to which we have already agreed. When the item “Coffee” was under discussion, objections were taken to the form of the item, and Senator Chataway moved to leave out the word “ raw “ and insert the words “as prescribed.” Senator Chataway showed that there were different stages of the manufacture of coffee from the berry up to the merchantable commodity, and wanted so to word the item that the grower of the coffee would get the greatest benefit.
– And not the merchant. He said that unless the item was altered, the bounty would go to the merchant, and not to the grower. That was an alteration of the destination of the grant.
– That was exactly the position which Senator Chataway took up. The destination of the bounty was altered by his amendment in the same way as the destination of this bounty would be altered by Senator Pearce’s amendment.
– Does the honorable senator know exactly what Senator Chataway’s amendment was?
– The honorable senator moved the omission of the word “raw” after the word “Coffee” and the insertion of the words “ as prescribed.” That altered the scope of the item., just as much as Senator Pearce’s amendment would alter the scope of the item now under discussion, because anything might be prescribed.
– Senator Chataway would not have moved his amendment if he had not desired to alter the destination of the bounty.
– That is so. I support the view taken of this matter by Senator Pearce, because in my opinion, the amendment would not increase the proposed burden on the people, and because the Committee has already carried an amendment which is practically identical with that moved by Senator Pearce. If I were taking a selfish view of the matter, I would support the ruling of the Temporary Chairman, but it would not be fair for any senator to take a stand in connexion with such a matter which he could not justify by his interpretation of the Constitution, and by the practice of the Senate in the past.
– Was Senator Chataway’s amendment challenged?
– No ; it was not. I do not think that any honorable senator took sufficient objection to it to challenge it. I do not know that in similar circumstances, Senator Pearce’s amendment would have been challenged. I think the amendment is within our rights under the Constitution, and a similar amendment was previously received and carried in Committee.
– I think that as Senator Pearce haspointed out, our procedure in this matter is governed, to a considerable extent, by the original message recommending the appropriation for the purposes of the Bill. Senator Chataway asked what knowledge we have in the Senate of the message from the GovernorGeneral, but if we know anything of the Constitution, we must know that such a Bill could not be introduced without such a message from the Governor-General.
– That is, introduced in another place?
– We can take cognizance of it here. I remind the honorable senator also that the message has already been referred to in the ruling given by the Temporary Chairman, and the matter is, therefore, fairly before us. I think that the amendment is in order as affecting the same item. It is very different from an amendment such as was moved in Committee in another place, proposing a bounty on canned pine-apples, which did not appear at all in the Bill, as originally introduced. As Senator Pearce has pointed out, powers are vested in the Committee of Supply of another place which we have not in the Senate. I think that the amendment of the item “ Coffee” which has been alluded to is exactly analogous to that proposed by Senator Pearce. We struck out the word “ raw “ after the word “ Coffee “ and inserted the words “ as prescribed.” The bounty then applied to the same article, only we dealt with the matter in a different way. That amendment was accepted and carried, and I think it therefore forms a precedent which might be followed until itis shown to be out of order. I urge that the arguments advanced by Senator Pearce and other honorable senators are strongly in favour of the contention that the amendment is in order.
– Before dealing with the question raised, I want first of all to have the ground perfectly clear. We have had a reference made to the way in which this item originally appeared in the Bill when it was introduced in another place. I take it that we are not concerned with that at the present time. The Bill came up to the Senate in a complete form, and we must accept it in that form. With regard to any decisions arrived at in another place, whilst they may guide or assist us in forming a judgment, they are not in any way binding upon the Senate. The question we have to put to ourselves is : Is this a Bill which requires to be preceded by a message from the Governor-General? We all know that it is. We presume that it was preceded by such a message, that the message was dealt with in Committee of Supply, and the Bill was introduced upon that message. It then embodied the demand made by the Crown for the services, and it was not then within the competency of another place to increase or to alter the destination of any of the votes included in the schedule, the rule being that the Crown knows what it requires, and makes its demands accordingly. The House says whether it will grant the demand wholly or in part only. But the House has no power to make an amendment in the way of an increase, or in the way of altering the destination of a grant, because the Crown has asked what it requires. The Bill passes through its several stages and comes up to the Senate in whatever form may have been decided on by the House of Representatives. When it reaches this Chamber, we have to regard the Bill as embodying the demands made by the Crown for the services described in the Bill. It then becomes impossible for us to increase or alter the destination of a vote. In the first place, we are asked to vote an amount to provide for a bounty on “ Tobacco leaf for the manufacture of cigars, high-grade, of a quality to be prescribed.” The amendment is that the words “ for the manufacture of cigars “ be left out, and the bounty asked for “ Tobacco leaf, high grade, of a quality to-be prescribed.” That would, if carried, increase the area over which the bounty would have to be spread, if it. did not really initiate another form of tax. Tobacco leaf of a high grade, of a quality 1 to be prescribed, would certainly include leaf for the manufacture of cigars, but it would include much more, and inasmuch as the amendment goes beyond the item as stated in the schedule, it is really the initiation of another tax, or if not, certainly alters the destination of the bounty to be granted. With regard to the question of initiation, section 53 of the Constitution provides that -
Proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys or imposing taxation shall not originate in the Senate.
They must originate in the House of Representatives. If the item had been submitted in another place in this form -
Tobacco leaf for the manufacture of cigars, high grade, of a quality to be prescribed - it would not have been within the competency of that Chamber to have altered it by the elimination of the words “for the manufacture of cigars” when the Bill was in Committee, but when the Governor-General’s message was being considered in Committee of Supply, it would then have been possible to have made the alteration, whilst it became impossible after the Bill was introduced with the schedule in its present form attached to it. Under section 53 of the Constitution, it is provided that-
Except as provided in this section, the Senate shall have equal power with the House of Representatives in respect of all proposed laws.
We are deprived of the power of originating laws appropriating revenue, and we have not a power analogous to that of the other Chamber, when a message is received, of going into Committee of. Supply to consider it, and, having considered it, introducing a Bill in accordance with the determination of the Committee. We are deprived of that opportunity to deal with a measure, and can only take up the consideration of such a Bill in the form in which it comes before the Senate. The Senate is powerless to make such amendments as might be made in Committee of Supply in another place in considering the message from the Governor-General preceding such a Bill. It may be perfectly true that this involves a limitation of the power of the Senate, but, unfortunately, that limitation appears to me to come clearly within the constitutional provision. Allusion has been made to an amendment of the item “ Coffee, Raw.” I do not propose to offer any opinion upon that. That amendment was made in Committee, and it was not referred to the President for any opinion. The fact that such are amendment has been accepted and agreed to without ‘having been referred to thePresident does riot constitute it a precedent having any binding effect on the Committee.
– Would you not offer some observations upon the analogy suggested ? I think the Senate would be glad to hear you on that point.
– The President could do that without expressing an opinion on’ aruling which has not been referred to him.
– I do not proposeto express any opinion on that point. . It is not before me now, and is altogether- beside the matter with which I am now dealing. The question is whether, by leaving out the words, “ for the manufacture of cigars,” the item would not be altered in. such a way as to change the destination of the vote, or to involve the initiation of a new tax. I am of opinion that the ruling given by the Temporary Chairman of Committees is correct, and that the amendment is not in order, as it is beyond the power of this Chamber, or of another place, at asimilar stage to the present.
– Before you leave thechair, sir, will you permit me to nut a question to you on your ruling ? I . ask whether, in view of your ruling that the amendment is one which cannot be made by the Senate, it would be competent for a member of the Committee on the Bill to move -that the House of Representatives be requested to make such an amendment, seeing that honorable members in another place have undoubtedly the power to make such an amendment?
– I do not regard the amendment as one which could be effected by a request ; though, before giving, a ruling, I would be prepared to hear the question argued, because I believe it involves an alteration of the destination of the vote. A point was considered the other night in connexion with an amendment proposed with respect to the item of “ Rice.” It was proposed to increase the amount of the bounty. That matter came before the Chair, and the ruling given then was that what, was proposed might be done. That ruling was based upon a precedent laid down in 1903 in. dealing with the Sugar Bonus Bill. I pointed out then that the matter had beer* debated at very great length in both Chambers, and that it had ultimately been accepted as within the power and competency- of the Senate to request an amendment of a character which would increase a bounty, and the other House had power to assent to the request if it saw fit. That, was the decision ‘practically of both Houses on that occasion, . and I so accepted it.
– Would it not be in conformity with that decision to move the amendment I have proposed in the form of a request?
– I do not think it would, because such an amendment would alter the destination of the grant, and the cases are not parallel.
– May I put another question before you leave the chair? I should like to ask you, sir, if you will, to indicate to honorable senators some method whereby the amendment made in the item “ Coffee, Raw “ may be referred to you for. your ruling. If I may offer a short reason for my request it is that the amendment made on that item is analogous to the amendment proposed by Senator Pearce on the item “Tobacco,” and in view of the ruling you have just given, I think it would be better, in the interests of the Senate, if we ourselves took some steps to make the alteration necessary to comply with that ruling than that we should have the Bill returned to us from another place with a message saying that we had done something that was out of order.
– At the present stage I do not see how I can make a suggestion that the matter mentioned by the honorable senator should be referred to me. Of course, if the Bill were recommitted, it might then be possible to obtain an opinion from the President. hi Committee:
– When I was interrupted, sir, I was reading a quotation.
– The honorable senator will understand that the amendment is not now before the Committee.
– I understand that, sir. I propose to quote some evidence to show why the Committee should agree to the payment of the bounty on cigar leaf, and to prove that it can be grown in New South Wales, as well as in other States. I was quoting this extract from Mr. Aaron’s letter when the point of order was taken -
In short, the miles of country traversed by ;me on the New South Wales side of the Dumaresq river are, in my opinion, of limitless value as a cigar-tobacco producing country. X estimate that such tobacco as could be here produced would stand in respect of quality second only to the Havanna tobacco, grown in the best portions of the island of Cuba.
In reply to question 7333 Mr. Aaron said -
In the Inverell district we could produce plug and cigar tobacco lea-f of the finest description. I have samples of it which I could show the Commission, and I say that no better plug or cigar tobacco could be grown anywhere in the world than that produced there. 7334. By Senator Gray. - Do you say that no better cigar tobacco leaf could be grown anywhere else? - In speaking of tobacco for cigars, of course the island of Cuba must always be excepted. 7335- In saying that the tobacco leaf grown in that district is the best in the world, you mean plug tobacco leaf ? - I say we can produce cigar leaf in that portion of the electorate which I visited of equal quality or superior to anything grown in the world except the island of Cuba.
That is the opinion of a practical man who has been working cigar leaf all his life.
– Does the honorable senator believe in him?
– Undoubtedly. I admit that Mr. Aaron’s attitude was slightly eccentric, but nevertheless he is’ a practical man, and knew what he was talking about. Perhaps the honorable senator will accept the evidence of Mr. Robert Nevill, instructor of tobacco culture at the Queensland Agricultural Bureau. He was examined in Brisbane by the Tariff Commission, and his evidence is appended to the report of the Tobacco Commission. After urging that the Excise duty should L-e reduced, he gave the following evidence in reference to cigar leaf -
Before we go further, I should like to allude to cigar tobaccos. The other day I wrote aletter on the subject to our Under-Secretary. There is a strong disposition amongst farmers in the north, and in New South Wales, to’ grow cigar tobacco ; but the present Tariff, and the old Tariff in Queensland, before Federation, have acted ‘ as a deterrent. Local factories have tried time after time to hold their own in regard to the manufacture of Australian cigar leaf, but have failed to do so. A representative of the British-Australian Tobacco Company has been going through Queensland and New South Wales, and has bought up small lots of cigar tobacco at 8d. to od. a lb. It is almost impossible to divert this branch of the trade in face of the present Tariff and the present excise, as our tobaccos are brought into competition with tobaccos imported from Manilla, Sumatra, and Borneo. Our growers get a protection of only is. 6d., and hardly that, because a good deal of cigar tobacco is brought in stemmed and the excise is is. 6d. I am suggesting that the excise should be taken off altogether from cigar tobacco manufactured here, and that the is. 6d. should be added on to the duty on imported cigar tobacco instead. For instance, now, all the cigars manufactured in this State are made from imported tobacco.
I do not suppose that as many as 10,000 cigars are made from locally-grown tobacco. If my * suggestion were adopted, the revenue would not suffer. If the duty were made 3s., and there were no excise on cigar tobacco it would amount to the same thing as at present, and would not interfere with the working of the Tariff. The import duty on raw tobacco is is. 6d., and the excise on cigars manufactured in the Commonwealth is is. 6d. per lb. That makes it 3s. 28427. By Mr. Wamsley. - As against an import duty of 6s. and 15 per cent, ad valorem, on manufactured cigars? - Yes; I will read the letter which I wrote to the Under-Secretary. It is as follows : - “ Brisbane, 12th June, 1905.
There is a disposition among the farmers of the New South Wales and Queensland coastal districts to take up the growing of cigar leaf, and a few experimental plots give promise of good quality ; but the present excise prevents the opening of small factories, such as would encourage the industry ; hence all cigars in the Commonwealth are either imported or made from imported tobacco.
It is impossible to build up the industry of cigar leaf production in the face of the is. 6d. per pound excise ; if this wa-s removed for a few years, small factories working the local product would begin operations, and a local industry develop that would grow to large dimensions, and of immense value to the States. The large factories would also take large quantities of the local leaf when the supply became large enough to establish brands.”
You understand that a brand with a certain flavour has. perhaps a reputation upon the market, so that shopkeepers recommend it to their customers. It is expected that that particular brand will be supplied uniformly to the trade; and if we have not got the tobacco and cannot supply the demand to the trade the brand goes out of existence and money must be lost upon it. But a small manufacturer manufactures a few hundred- cigars only, and does not put his goods on the market in a big way. My letter goes on - “ In order to assist this industry, and, at the same time, work no injury to the revenue, I would suggest that the present excise be abolished and the import duty on cigar leaf be correspondingly increased. The present excise would thus be collected as duty, and the local tobacco thus freed from taxation would .be in demand.
This arrangement could continue until such time as the consumption of locally-grown tobacco impaired the revenue, when a readjustment might become necessary. At present the revenue is entirely from imports, no local cigar tobacco being used, hence no serious disturbance of the revenue could occur for some time under such a readjustment, could work no hardship to manufacturers, as they would pay all in duties, instead of. excise and duties, and would stimulate production and manufacturing by enabling men of small capital to go into the business and eventually there would be an export demand.
We can grow good cigar leaf, such as brings good prices in the European markets ; prices that are remunerative to ordinary labour, and it is a pity and a wrong that this valuable industry should be lost to the farmers of the State be- cause of adverse legislation. This industry/ would be especially valuable to outlaying districts, as it will stand transportation to shipping points.”
That is the opinion of Mr. Nevill, the Queensland expert. I do not think that 1 need advance more arguments to show that cigar leaf can be grown, not only in Queensland, but also in the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia. With regard to thepayment of the bounty, there is a difficulty in the case of tobacco leaf which doesnot exist in the case of other items in the schedule. I refer to the great difference in the prices of the different qualities of tobacco. Some kinds of tobacco leaf areworth 5s., 8s., and as much as 10s. per lb. This is an argument which I intend: to use against fixing a minimum price 011 which the bounty shall be paid. The experts suggested to’ the Commission that 10d. per “lb. should be the minimum price or* which the bounty should be given. If that suggestion were adopted persons would grow tobacco leaf which was worth about 10d. or is. per lb., and get the bounty. They would not take the same trouble ingrowing tobacco which was worth is. 6d. or 2s., or even more per lb. If the itemis passed as it stands, it may be possible for the Government to prescribe a way ir» which the bounty can be paid on the high.grade leaf which can be most profitably grown for cigar making. I do npt imagine that it will be possible to have differential rates for the different kinds of tobacco. If, however, that were possible, it would be a capital tiling to give abounty of id. per lb. on the lowest quality of tobacco leaf, that is leaf up to the value of is. per lb., a bounty of 2d. per lb. on tobacco leaf -of higher quality, and even to go up to 3d. per lb. I realize that it cannot be done, but I believe that if it could be done it would encourage and1 stimulate the production of high-grade tobacco leaf. I believe that most honorable senators, especially Senator Gray, W 11 agree that unless the payment of the bounty is confined to cigar leaf it will goto the Combine.
– They will get it under this item.
– The manufacturer of cigars is In a somewhat different position from the manufacturer of plug and twist tobacco. -In each State, there are a number of small cigar-makers. I do not know the. present number in Melbourne, but ire 1905 there were sixty-eight small cigar manufacturers!. There are probably less than a dozen in Adelaide. The existence of the small manufacturers would secure a reasonable price to the growers for their tobacco leaf. At any rate, the seventy or eighty cigar-makers would compete for the cigar’ leaf if it could be produced. From the evidence which I have been able to get, I am convinced that the industry of growing cigar leaf, if properly encouraged, will attain to very large dimensions, and be of very great value to the Commonwealth. I hope that the item will be passed exactly in the form in which it appears in the schedule, so as to allow the Government to prescribe the kind of tobacco leaf on which the bounty shall be paid. If the suggestion of Senator Chataway to fix the minimum at is. per lb. were adopted, it would probably prevent the bounty from being paid on high-grade leaf for which the growers could obtain only 1 id. per lb. That certainly would be a disadvantage to the growers who were trying to earn the bounty, and most inconvenient. If it is left to the Government to prescribe the manner in which the bounty should be paid, I believe that the best results will be achieved.
Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) [5.44)- Mr. Chairman, although I promised at earlier stages of the Bill that I would vote for every item in the schedule, I am inclined now to alter my opinion after what has happened to the amendment which you submitted. From an intimate acquaintance with men, who for years have been engaged in the cigar-making industry, I am satisfied that good cigar leaf has not been grown and cannot be grown in any part of Australia.
– Somebody has been pulling the honorable senator’s leg.
– No ; my leg cannot be pulled so easily as can- my honorable friend’s. Although I am not so worldly-wise that Senator McGregor would make us believe that he is, I know a good cigar from a bad one’. I know, too, that it is impossible to get in any part of Australia to-day a good cigar made from entirely Australian leaf. What is the use of befooling ourselves?
– Because we cannot grow cigar leaf to-day, is that any reason why we should not be able to do it at some future time?
– Those who have any knowledge of cigar leaf are aware that in America, for a considerable number of years, attempts were made to grow a particular kind of leaf suitable for the manu-‘ facture of superior cigars. But they were not successful.
– That does not prove that efforts would not Le successful in Australia.
– There is one place in the world, and one only, where the best quality cigar leaf is grown, and that is the Island of Cuba. We ought to con- sider whether this money would be well spent. The protection extended to the growers under the old Tariff was is. 6d. per lb. Under the new Tariff the protection for unstemmed cigar leaf will be 3s., and for stemmed 3s. 3d.
– There is also an Excise duty.
– That applies to the manufacturer, not to the grower. But on the top of the protection of 3s. 3d. per lb., it is proposed to give the grower a bounty.
– They do not grow unstemmed tobacco.
– The honorable senator is very facetious all- at once. I am well aware that the cigar tobacco is stemmed after it is grown.
– The honorable senator should be fair, then. The growers do not get a protection of 3s. 3d. per lb.
– To be strictly accurate, they get a protection of 3s. There is .a gentleman in this city, Mr. G. A. Carter, who is as earnest and as anxious for the advancement of the labour movement as any man in the Labour Party can be. Now, Mr. Carter has had great experience in connexion with cigar making. Probably he has had more experience than any man in any part of Australia. He says that some years ago a number of cigar-makers who were out of employment made cigars from Australian leaf, and endeavoured to sell them..
– It was not cigar leaf.
– How does the honorable senator know that it was not? These men had to disguise themselves as sailors before they could sell their cigars. Senator Story has quoted the evidence given by Mr. Aaron, given before the Tobacco Commission. But what is his opinion of Australian cigar leaf? Senator Story gave us one side of the story.
– I had not time to give it all.
– I will give the other side. Mr. Aaron has had many years’ experience in connexion with cigarmaking. Now, the Matador cigar is, I understand, made wholly from Australian leaf.
– But not cigar leaf.
– What is it made from, then?
– From ordinary plug tobacco leaf.
– That is a statement as to which I should like to have proof.
– It is a fact. It is made from the best leaf grown for plug tobacco.
– Mr. Aaron said that, in company with Mr. De Beers, he went to the office pf Mr. P. L. Jacobs, a member of the Tobacco Combine, who is connected with the States Tobacco Company. Mr. Aaron- -
Mr. Jacobs brought down four or five boxes of Matador cigars. It is a nicely finished cigar and looks well, but not unlike the pudding, you cannot tell what it is like until you have tried it. 1! lit one of them, and he asked me what I thought of it. I asked Mr. De Beers what he thought of it, and said that as my English education was very neglected I was afraid I could not coin a word to express the quality of it.
– That is what they always do in connexion with Australian goods. The Australian producer gets the discredit for all the bad imports.
– I am a strong protectionist myself, but the honorable senator is the most bigoted protectionist I ever came across. ‘
– Surely he cannot beat Senator Findley !
– He has done on this occasion. Some one has told Senator McGregor that cigar leaf can be grown in Australia, and simply because some one told him so he is “ going bald-headed “ for’ a bounty. no matter what it will cost the taxpayers. This proposal means 2d. per lb., in addition to the protection of 3s.’ per lb. which the growers now get. I maintain that a good cigar leaf cannot be grown in any part of Australia. That statement will be backed up by experts, who are in no way connected with the Combine, but who are extremely anxious for the encouragement of tobacco growing in Australia. We have not yet grown a good tobacco for plug purposes in Australia. If we had done so, the consumption of Australian tobacco would be increasing, instead* of decreasing, as it has been doing during; the last few years.* According to. the Year Book for 1905, in 1900 276,407 lbs. of Australian leaf were used for manufacturing purposes. That is to say that quantity was used for making plug tobacco. We have been told that that tobacco is used for making Matador cigars. I do not believe that that statement is correct. As as matter of fact, I know that it is not correct, because, some tobacco grown in Queensland has fetched is. a lb., and that leaf has been made into cigars.
– Good cigar leaf will sell from 5s. up to 11s. per lb.
– Of course, and some cigars cost £250 per thousand. In 1 90 1 the weight of Australian leaf used was 230,113 lbs. j in 1902, 205,413 lbs. > in 1903. 3°4,°49 lbs. ; in i9°4> 266,055 lbs.; in 1905, 265,219 lbs. So that there has been a decrease in the consumption.
– Where was .this?
– In Victoria. For a number of years in’ Victoria, Messrs. Dudgeon and Arnell had a large market for their tobaccoes, which were almost entirely made from leaf grown in>’ Victoria, and other parts of Australia.. But the Tobacco Combine came along,, and started manufacturing tobacco from imported leaf. The Combine - this is not my statement, but it is the statement of smokers - put on the market a superior article made from imported leaf,, and, as a result, Dudgeon and Arnell’s. business has fallen off from year to year. It is true that no small business can stand in opposition to that of a big combine, but the main reason why Dudgeon and Arnell’s business has fallen off, whilst the .business, of the Combine has increased, is attribut- able to the superior article whichthe Combine placed upon the market. I repeat- that we have not yet grown areally good plug tobacco in any quantity in Australia. If ‘ we did grow it, there is no doubt that the Australian manufacturers would be only tooglad to avail themselves of it. .What advantage would it be to them to pay duties and increased prices for tobacco’ simply because it was imported? They carry on business just as do other business”’ men,, to make as much profit as thev possibly’ can, and to put upon the market anarticle that is readily saleable. Naturally, they would use the’ Australian leaf, which is cheaper, if they found it to their advantage to do so. The argument has been used that if we grant this bounty the money will not go into the pockets of the Combine. I know that there are, in various parts of Australia, numbers of men who pay licencefees ranging from£5 to £50. But does any one mean to tell me that the man who pays £5 will have any chance against the man who pays £50. If a good cigar leaf is placed upon the market for sale, the small man will always be handicapped as against the big man.
– If a sufficient quantity is grown, all the growers will get some of the bounty.
- Senator Story runs away with the idea that good cigar leaf can be grown in any part of Australia.
– Oh, no.
– Senator McGregor made the statement that it can be grown in any part of Australia.
– I did nothing of the kind.
– By inference, that conclusion can be drawn from what he said.
– Does the honorable senator contend that the small man would be injured in reference to growing tobacco suitable for cigar leaf?
– I do not say that he would be injured, but if the amendment had been accepted and carried, the Combine, being the only buyer, would, of course, reap the advantage of the money expended by the Commonwealth for the plug tobacco industry. As against that, Senator Story said that if we voted for the item as it stands in the schedule, the Combine would not have the same advantage in connexion with cigar leaf as they would have in the case of plug tobacco leaf, because in the making of cigars there were many men, who pay a small licence fee, working apart from the Combine.
SenatorPearce.- None of them car get a machine.
– The small man whether in the making of cigars or in any other line of industry, is always at a disadvantage as against the big man when he has to buy in the open market. I wishto inform Senator Story that I am on familiar terms with most of the small cigar manufacturers of Victoria. They are ardent Labour men,anxious to increase their business, but I have not met one of them yet who has spoken well of the leaf grown i n any part of Australia for the making of cigars. I should be lacking in my duty i f I were to offer any opposition to the encouragement of an Australian industry, if : he men engaged in it thought that a bounty would be advantageous to them or to the Commonwealth. As you, Mr. Chairman, pointed out on one or two occasions, in addition to the advantages which the big men have, from an £ s. d. point of view, the States Tobacco Company, who to-day manufacture cigars extensively from Colonial leaf, have an absolute monopoly of the machines for making cigars.
– And of the market.
– Would that monopoly of the machines be lessened by producing in Australia tobacco leaf suitable for cigar making?
– If we can grow tobacco leaf for cigar making in Australia, those people having monopoly rights to a certain machine would be enabled, as they can produce cigars much cheaper than can others who have not got the machine, to pay a higher price for the leaf, and yet have a larger margin of profit. I am backed up in this statement by the view of the Cigar-makers’ Union - the evidence can be read in the Tobacco Commission’s report - that the cigars turned out by that machine with the tobacco which I have mentioned are doing more than anything else to injure the reputation of cigars made in Australia, because of the inferiority of the leaf, and because the machine cannot turn out a cigar as well from a workman’s point of view as can the man who works with his hands.
– The question is how the honorable senator will vote.
– I told the Committee that I was in a state almost of indecision.
– The honorable senator ought to have convinced himself one way or the other by this time.
– I suppose I can please myself in regard to that matter.I should have had no hesitation in voting for the item had it been amended in theway which you, Mr. Chairman, desired, because I defy anybody to produce evidence that we have yet produced a really good plug tobacco in any part , of Australia, and we ought to encourage the production of the leaf which is most extensively used. However we cannot give a bounty for that purpose now, because the amendment has been ruled out of order. ‘ I wish again to mention to the ardent protectionists in this Chamber that those who desire to go in for the growing of cigar leaf in Australia will have an advantage over outside growers of 3s. per lb. I desire to know, in regard to this bounty on cigar leaf, who is to be the judge as to what price shall be paid for the leaf, and as to its value?
– -The market price will settle that.
– Is the tobacco grown to earn the bounty to be placed on the open market, and are bids to be invited for each .particular lot? I desire to see the grower obtain the highest prices possible, but what methods are to be adopted in order that he may receive that advantage? Is the Government expert to place a value per lb. on the leaf produced, and is the bounty to be paid on that valuation? Afterwards, when it is placed on the open market, we may find that it does not realize half the Government expert’s valuation. Those, particulars ought to be forthcoming. The bounty ought not to be paid on any kind of cigar leaf, because, when it was desired to encourage the industry in Victoria, the Government of the day did not take the precaution of giving the bounty for the quality of leaf. The result was that numbers of Chinamen took up the industry, and went in for quantity instead of quality. It will not be possible under this Bill for Chinese or other coloured men to receive any advantage. There are varying conditions in regard to cigar leaf, and various prices are offered, but it is not so difficult to determine quality and price in the case of leaf far plug tobacco. I trust that if I have done nothing more I have started a discussion with regard to a matter that is very important from an Australian point of view. Strong protectionist as I am, and anxious as I am to encourage every . possible industry that deserves assistance in Australia, I. think I am fortified in the position which I take up by the fact that the highest and best quality of cigar leaf cannot be grown in Australia, because Australia is unsuitable for its growth. If the opinion of experts is worth anything at all, they are unanimous that up to the present time there has not been produced, nor so far as they are aware can there be produced at any future time in Australia, a highly suitable cigar leaf which would enable manufacturers to place on the market cigars that.would find a ready sale in opposition to cigars made from imported leaf.
– The Tobacco Commission travelled throughout Australia, and all concerned had an- opportunity of submitting their evidence to that body, which I think I may fairly say gathered the evidence, not only “of the growers of tobacco leaf, but also of the manufacturers and distributors of tobacco and cigars. The Commissior* thoroughly sifted the evidence, and arrived, as far as possible, at the facts in -connexion with the tobacco industry in all its elements and ramifications. In face of the evidence brought before the Commission, I fail to understand why the Government should propose this bounty on cigar leaf. If that evidence proved anything, it proved that whereas leaf for tobacco making might be, and had been, grown ir quantities in Australia, leaf suitable for cigar-making could not be grown here. The evidence showed that whilst leaf suitable for the higher classesof tobacco was not being grown in Australia, it could be grown, especially if the growers would use all the necessary care in the curing of the leaf. If Senator Pearce’s amendment had been admitted, I should have supported it. I realize that while there may be possibilities of growing here the higher class tobacco leaf for the manufacture of plug tobacco, although it is not being produced now in any quantity, there is very little probability of tobacco leaf suitable for cigar-making’ being grown here. I may mention one piece of evidence submitted to the Commission which, in itself, is quite sufficient to prove my statement. The States Tobacco Company is the largest, manufacturer of cigars in the Commonwealth. It has also been said that it has the benefit of a monopoly of cigar-making machinery. Mr. Jacobs, in his evidence, stated that the company had engaged an expert at ^400 a year to come to Australia to find out if it was possible to grow in Australia leaf suitable for cigars. Mr. Jacobs said at that time that he thought it might be possible, and we can understand that, as a business man, he would not have gone tosuch a large expense if he had not thought that that possibility existed. The expert pointed out a site ,near Cairns, which he thought would be suitable for the experiment. The company lost ^2,000 in the experiment on that farm, and the farm was given up. Seeing that, with all the advantages which they would derive from the production of that leaf in Australia, the company were compelled to admit, after spending a large sum of money, that the experiment was a failure, I should like the Government to inform us of their reasons for refusing to regard that failure as a fair test. I have not the slightest doubt that the Government think that this money would be wisely expended in establishing the industry, but I want to know their reasons for persisting in it, in view of the experience of the States Tobacco Company. One practical illustration is worth a ton of theory, or a dozen small experiments, which, in themselves, prove nothing. In many aspects of commercial life, if you like to expend money, and take exceptional pains in small matters, you can grow many things which, grown on a larger scale, would be failures “from a commercial point of view.
– What experience has the Tobacco Trust in growing leaf?
– They have exploited America, Cuba, and, in fact, every country where tobacco leaf can be grown, as is shown by their evidence before the Commission. Besides, it is natural to suppose that their business instincts would lead them to- secure all the information possible bearing upon their business. The States Tobacco Company .are by far the largest manufacturers of cigars in the Commonwealth, and are keenly anxious that cigar leaf should be grown here.
– But how much interest have they, got in the growing elsewhere?
– They have no interest, so far as I know.
– Is not Cameron in the Combine?
– He has nothing to do with the States Tobacco Company. Mr. Jacobs is in the Combine, and represents that company. Even if this leaf could be grown in Australia, the Combine would get nearly all the benefit of it. I do not point that out as a reason why the industry should not be encouraged, because, of course, if it could be firmly established here the growers must be advantaged also- I da not care twopence who gets the benefit. I presume that the Government are offering the bounty to enable an industry to be established which will be a benefit to the growers themselves, and care very little who gets the bounty, so long as the leaf is grown and a permanent industry established. We must take a practical view of these matters, and must first see clearly that there is some prospect of establishing the industry. There would be a prospect of the bounty being useful if it was given for the production of plug tobacco leaf, but I tell honorable senators candidly that I revolt against the proposal, because there is no necessity for it. A firm like Dixson’ s, who spent ,£30,000 in that direction, can spend another £30,000 if they choose. I do not see why the Commonwealth should put money into the hands of the manufacturers. The evidence given before the Tobacco Commission was to the effect that, whilst the Hester variety of leaf could be grown, the growers would not go to the trouble required in curing it to make the quality of leaf which the manufacturers required. We have the evidence of two experts from America on that point.
– Who were interested in the Combine.
– What has the Combine to do with the question we are now discussing ? The Combine is a business concern carried on on purely business lines, and, so far as I know, is doing its business honestly. Those engaged in business, whether individuals or .companies, endeavour to make their business profitable: It is only an arrant hypocrite and humbug who will say that he is in business for philanthropic purposes. The evidence proves that a cigar leaf cannot be grown here. The only person who gave evidence to some extent in favour of the contention that such leaf can be grown in Australia was Mr. Neville, and he was obliged to confess that he could not say that it would have the flavour of imported leaf. We have abundant evidence on the subject before us in the course adopted by manufacturing firms. It is clear that it would be profitable to the local manufacturers df cigars if a leaf suitable for cigars could be grown in Australia. Large sums of money have been spent on the experimental cultivation of cigar leaf. The States Tobacco Company have had an expert, to whom they paid £400 a year, trying for the last twelve months to grow a leaf suitable for the manufacture of cigars, but without success. In the circumstances, I find it impossible to believe that the growth of such a leaf can be made a permanent and successful industry in Australia, and for that reason I shall vote against the item.
– I have been strongly opposed to this item from the first time I saw it in the schedule, and in the last few minutes Senator Findley has given many reasons why I should continue my opposition to it. It was very refreshing to hear the honorable senator’s eloquent speech. He dealt with the matter in a manner which reflects great credit upon him. The honorable senator has convinced me that the attitude he assumed in dealing with a previous item was more make-believe than real. Only recently he declared, in the face of opposition, that anything could be grown in Australia, that he was. for the whole Bill and nothing but the Bill, and was prepared to vote for any amount of protection or for any amount of bounty, so long as it was for an Australian industry. I am glad to be able to think that the honorable senator was not voicing the real opinion of Senator Findley on that occasion. He has shown now that he is in very close touch with some of the experts connected with the tobacco industry, and has benefited by their experience. It has enabled him to take an intelligent view of. what ought to be done with this item. I do not know whether I should have been prepared to support Senator Pearce’s amendment, because, in my opinion, the tobacco growers are satisfactorily provided for under the new Tariff.
– That provides for the growth of ordinary leaf, but the bounty is proposed for a special leaf.
– In some important respects tobacco is very much like other crops. We have good and bad tobacco grown. If we tried to grow an inferior leaf I have not the slightest doubt that we might easily succeed in doing so. If the local growers of tobacco leaf desire to produce a leaf for which they can get from 8d. to10d. per lb. more than they obtain for the leaf which they now produce, the new Tariff offers them abundant encouragement to set about the work.
– No, because greater assistance is required to encourage the growth of cigar leaf than is necessary to encourage the growth of leaf suitable for plug tobacco.
– That might be a good argument; but Senator Findley, who must be in frequent touch with the experts, has told us that the men who handle tobacco for the manufacture of cigars-
– The experts referred to are making cigars, and are not growing cigar leaf.
– The man who makes cigars may have a better knowledge of the kind of leaf required than the grower of the leaf. A farmer may grow a field of wheat, and the miller may tell him that he can get better wheat. The man who makes cigars may be in a much better position than the grower of tobacco leaf to say whether the leaf grown is suitable for the manufacture of cigars.
Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 7.4.5 p.m.
.- Mr. President-
– Can we not have a quorum, sir? - [Quorum formed.]
– I move-
That, while it is desirable to provide old-age pensions for the present generation as soon as the funds can be provided, the Senate is of opinion that any permanent scheme applying to persons under thirty years of age andto future generations should be framed, as far as possible, on the principles of thrift and self-help, and that the Government should, as soon as convenient, introduce a Bill providing for a compulsory scheme of life insurance, old-age pensions, and sick allowance, based upon contributions from both employers and workers, with such subsidies from the Commonwealth as will make the scheme financially sound. And it is suggested to the Government that they might offer a substantial prize to the person furnishing the details of a scheme best suited to carry put this resolution, having regard to the conditions of Australian industrial life.
I realize that, in submitting this motion, I am tackling a gigantic subject - a subject with very great possibilities, and one which I am sure all honorable senators must admit is of the gravest importance to the wellbeing of the people of the Commonwealth. In this matter, as in every other, Australia - combined with New Zealand, of course - seems to me to have established a standpoint of its own. It has got into a certain groove, and I believe I am right in saying that this subject is looked at here from an Australian groove. I desire to bring under the notice of my honorable friends the German scheme, which in many ways is opposed to our scheme, differing from it in most material particulars, but conferring upon the people enormous benefits. I feel. sure that in the end, if I can get consideration for the scheme, it will be “found that our scheme is lacking in some of those essentials which make for social progress. I shall be very pleased to see the motion carried, but my great object to-night is. if possible, to cause honorable senators to consider seriously whether the scheme which has been adopted in New Zealand, New South Wales, and Victoria, and. is now proposed in South Australia, is the best one to encourage thrift and industry, and at the same time to provide in the most efficient way for the aged poor, and all who are disabled from earning their bread by the sweat ‘of their brow and their hands. I shall be quite satisfied if I can induce honorable senators to . consider these matters, and to study more’ and more the German system which, I regret to say, our Old-Age Pensions Commission in its report, has regarded as impracticable, or not suited to the Commonwealth.
– It is only one of the German systems.
– In Germany there are three or four different systems, but practically they are all one. As I understand, our Old-Age Pensions Commission expressed the opinion that the German systems are unsuitable to Australian conditions. I most respectfully differ from that opinion, and I hope to make some converts before I have concluded my speech. I have read various reports by leading men in the Empire, and also by leading men in the Commonwealth. I have waded through an enormous mass of evidence, read books and perused many articles, as well as many letters in the press. I have convinced myself that our scheme is essentially a bad one, that it is fundamentally unsound, and that, while it is too soon now to pass any opinion as to its effect upon the moral fibre of our community, the time is not very far distant when its grave defects will become apparent to everybody when he realizes how intensely it has weakened our manhood. I have come to the conclusion that any scheme to do what we want on sound economical and social lines must be compulsory, contributory, and to some extent, discriminating. All those factors or principles are found embodied in. the schemes of Germany. I may just as well read now ai letter .from Mr. Thos. A. Welton to the Times last July -
It is a matter of profound conviction with me that no scheme for granting old-age pensions should omit to provide for contributions to be made by those who are eventually to receive benefit. I think every member of society who does not belong to the “ submerged “ element should contribute. Thus an enormous burden on industry would be sensibly mitigated, and the self respect of the people generally would be maintained.
– Who is Mr. Welton?
– I do not know who Mr. Welton is, but I copied his letter because I do not remember that I have seen in the Times any article which indicates its views on the subject. I shall read presently some letters and articles from the Spectator, which, on this subject, as on the cadet system, is emphatically of opinion that some compulsion is necessary. Before describing the German system, let me read from the Spectator an article or two, which will lay the foundation for the arguments I intend to use in favour of a compulsory scheme. In a letter to that journal, Mr. G. J. Cowley Brown says -
A national Insurance Society is a very different thing from a State-paid pension scheme, and need not interfere or compete with any sound Friendly Society. May I say that Mr. Mar.tineau’s objection (see Spectator, July 27th) occurred also to myself when I brought Mr. Blackley’s plan before one of our ChurchSynods some years ago? I am not sure that this was not one of the objections raised at a meeting in the Oddfellows’ Hall at Edinburgh presided over by the late Lord Provost Harrison, and addressed by Mr. Blackley himself; but I remember - his saying, in answer to it (I give the substance of his words) : - “ A man is either thrifty or unthrifty; if the latter, he must be compelled to make the necessary provision ; if the former, he is not likely, though already belonging to a Friendly Society, to cease to belong to it, or object to make what is in effect an additional investment any more than a man who owns shares in one company will refuse to become a shareholder also in another.” This, so far as I remember, is the substance of. what Mr. Blackley said in answer to a question I put to him on the subject.
Canon Blackley is the first man in England who started the idea of a compulsory oldage pensions scheme^-
I am sorry I cannot lay my hand upon his letter. He was not hostile to any sound Friendly Society or Benefit Club, or to any system that might tend to promote thrift. He felt sure that his scheme would not impair them. “ They may help,” he said, “the selfdenial of the best class of our people, but they do not touch the misery of the worst.” His scheme provides, not only against destitution in sickness, but also against destitution in old age. On the subject of Friendly Societies in general and other aids to thrift, may I venture to recommend Mr. Blackley’s really remarkable little book, published by the S.P.C.K., or his “Collected Essays on the Prevention of Pauperism “ ? They will repay perusal. -
The next letter I wish to quote is from Mr. John Martineau, who says -
In the Post Office Savings Bank a weekly contribution of 4d. commencedat twenty years of age will secure a pension of5s. a week at sixty-five. In the Friendly Societies the cost is considerably less. Thus, in the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows the same position can be secured for the same weekly contribution, commencing at twenty-five instead of twenty, or by a weekly contribution of 3¼d. beginning at twenty-one, and by members of Friendly Societies insured for other benefits it can practically be secured on easier and more convenient terms still.
-What does the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows charge in Australia ?
– I shall come to that by-and-by.
– It charges1s. 6d.
– The letter continues -
For instance, in the Manchester Unity the weekly contribution, commencing at twenty-one, to secure sick pay during life and funeral benefits is 4&3/8d. But if a member will commute his claim to sick pay after sixty-five for a 5s. pension from that age, combined with immunity from all further contributions, the weekly payment is 6&7/8d. ; that is to say, his right to the pension costs him weekly only 2½d. extra till sixtyfive, and nothing at all afterwards. By the rules of a Suffolk branch of the Foresters as fixed in 1896, which are before me, a member entering at twenty-one and paying 6d. a week secures : sick pay, 10s. per week for twentysix weeks, 5s. per week for twenty-six weeks, 3s. 6d. per week during remainder of sickness ; pension, 5s. from age of sixty-five, when sick benefits and also contributions cease; funeral allowance,£10 at death. To this should be added a small contribution for management, &c., which is not stated. This court was founded in a Suffolk village forty-four years ago, the members being chiefly agricultural labourers, then earning during most of the year probably not more than9s. or 10s. a week, if so much. At the end of thirty-three years, in 1896, there were a hundred and sixty-six members, and the audit showed a certified balance of £1,072. In the face of such an object-lesson as this, and in view of the great increase in the wages and resources of working men in the last forty-four years, what are we to say of proposals to load the country with crushing taxation, and to open wide the flood-gates of pauperism, in order to relieve the British workman from the payment of 2½d. a week?
In a postscript, Mr. Martineau says -
In other words, the man who gives up his pint of beer on one day of the week can secure an old-age pension of 5s. at sixty-five. In view of this fact, it is not unfair to describe Stateprovided pensions as the reward of thriftlessness.
I am quite sure that in Australia no man can go to an insurance company and, for a payment of 2½d. per week, provide himself at the age of sixty-five years with an old-age pension of 5s. per week. But it is pointed out that in the case of the Foresters Society, which I assume is sound financially, a man who has been contributing for some time may, upon the further payment of 2½d. per week, insure for a weekly pension of 5s. at the age of sixtyfive years.
– A man cannot do that in Australia.
– I am coming to that; but I would point out to my honorable friend that there is very little difference between the calculations of insurance companies or benefit societies in Australia and those in the old country.
– The doctor charges ten times as much.
– The difference is that, whereas in England the tables are computed on a basis of 2½ per cent., in Australia all societies that wish to be accepted as being sound compute on a basis of 3 per cent.
– No; 4 per cent.
– Three per cent. Any society which reckoned that it could always get 4 per cent. interest would be over-estimating its receipts, and would not be financially sound.
– The Government Actuary does not say so.
– I do not care for the opinion of the Government Actuary. This is a matter of common-sense and good finance. A society cannot invest trust funds in every kind of security. It may have to keep a large sum in a bank, and there it could not reckon to get more than 3 per cent. on its money. In order to be safe, I have obtained calculations from some Victorian societies, and they distinctly say that they have calculated on a basis of 3 per cent. I am not prepared to admit that there is very much difference between what a friendly society in Great Britain and a friendly society in Victoria can grant. The next letter I propose to quote is from Mr. J. W. Gordon, of the Cocoa Tree Club, St. James-street, who cites a most astounding fact. I suppose that if honorable senators were asked to mention a democratic community which has set to the world an example in providing for its aged poor and disabled workmen, they would point to New Zealand. Will they be surprised to hear that under its despised poor law, on which, I admit, we must make an advancement, Great
Britain is spending as much as New Zealand is spending on her system of old-age pensions.
– Yes, on officials and buildings.
– My honorable friends are quite wrong. The analogy is almost perfect, and the difference is in favour of Great Britain. ‘ New Zealand spends a certain amount upon old-age pensions, whereas Great Britain spends relatively the same amount on her poor law ; but she relieves every one who needs relief. Any person who breaks his leg or who is sick, or who is unable to earn a living through any cause, can obtain relief under the English poor law system.
– But a man has to have his heart broken before he will ask for it. _
– I am trying to show my honorable friends that, taking New Zealand as a place which democrats and Socialists point to, and comparing it with Great Britain, the expenditure on the relief of the poor in the latter country is, at this moment, comparatively speaking, greater than in the former country.
– What is the comparative cost of administration in Great Britain and in New Zealand?
– I dare say that the cost of the British system in that respect is considerably more than that of the New Zealand system. Certainly the administration of the old-age pensions scheme in Victoria is most economical, whilst the New South Wales scheme is most extravagantly worked.
– The New South Wales scheme is only extravagant in one respect, and that is as to the arrangement with the bank for paying the pensions.
– Can the honorable senator tell us the amount which New Zealand pays in pensions as compared with the amount which Great Britain pays in outdoor relief?
– I am going’ to give those facts. The letter to which I have referred, and which was published in the London Spectator, reads -
It is’ interesting from that point of view to compare the Colonial figures with our own. The population of New Zealand is slightly’ under 900,000 souls; that of the United Kingdom a little over 430 hundred thousand. Roughly, therefore, the two communities are proportioned to one another in the ratio of fifty to one ; to be more precise, in the proportion of four hundred and thirty to nine. In the year igo6, the Colony paid £313,000 in pensions and ^38,000 in subsidies to charities; in all, ^350,000 for the relief of its poor. Multiplied by the factor 430/9, that would give sixteen and three-quarter millions as the equivalent outlay in this country. In the year 1905 - the latest for which my figures are available ; I am quoting from the Statesman’s Year-book - our outlay was, in fact, sixteen and a half millions.
These are facts which cannot be explained away.
– Great Britain spends j£i, 000,000 per annum on one family.
– My honorable friend is, I suppose, talking about His Gracious Majesty the King, but what has that to do with old-age pensions? The King does not want an old-age pension. Honorable senators opposite do not seem to like these figures, but they cannot explain them away.
Between these two figures there may seem to be a very striking agreement until one inquires into, their precise significance. Then it will be found that the extent of the relief given is widely different in the two cases. The relief afforded in the. United Kingdom is extended to all ages, and the class which comprises paupers of sixty-five years old and upwards, numbers only about 36 per cent, of the whole. The New Zealand scheme deals with much less than onehalf the problem set to our own Poor. Law authorities. If the care of the necessitous and the outworn is the real object which the advocates of old-age pensions have in view, then their proposal cannot be too strongly denounced as tending to divert the relief afforded from its real objects by the blind profusion with which it is proposed to scatter it among recipients whose qualifications are imperfectly ascertained. Any person who will pause to ask himself what proportion of his friends who have attained- to sixty-five years of age areactually incapacitated will realize that the mere age criterion is no test at all. And statistics bear out one’s general impression. In our general population, persons of sixty-five years or more count for about 6 per cent, of the whole number of ten years old and upwards. In our commercial and industrial population they count for about 4 per cent., and in the agricultural for about 10 per cent. I do not suggest that a pension of 5s. a week would not be a great boon to a hale agricultural labourer or hearty carpenter of sixty-six years old. But I do take leave to say that it is sheer frivolity to propose that, or anything like that, as a remedy for the distress produced by want or, as a scheme for the relief of the deserving poor. The poor deserving of public consideration in this sense are not the hale old men who are energetic and selfsufficient at sixty-five and seventy years of age, but the broken men and women of all ages whose specialized faculties or otherwise limited aptitudes are a drug in life market through movements of trade, change of fashion, decay of health, or other casual misfortune. These are the meritorious objects - meritorious in the sense in which misfortune is a merit - of public benevolence, and to those of us whose humanity has not been sapped by rhetoric, it is maddening to see their claim postponed to this demand for old-age sinecures. Do not the Prime Minister and Mr. Asquith - does not Mr. Burns, at least - know well that the pinch of poverty is no respecter of decades?
– From what journal is the honorable senator quoting?
– From the London Spectator.
– The most conservative journal in England.
– We could not expect him to quote from the Clarion.
– I am very much surprised that my honorable friends should criticise facts like these - for they are facts, whether they like them or not. As this writer points out, England relieves the whole of her poor, whilst the New Zealand system does not. In the Spectator, for 27th July, there is another letter signed by Mr. John Martineau, who says -
In your last week’s article on “ Old-age Pensions “ you give convincing reasons why they will have less effect in reducing the poor-rate than is popularly supposed.
It is true that whatever old-age pensions scheme we adopt - make it as lavish and as far-reaching as we please - the decrease in respect to other charities will be very small indeed -
I would venture to go a step further, and point out that all experience goes to show that the poor-rate will not only not be diminished, but will ultimately be materially and continually increased. It has invariably been found that when out-door relief has been diminished or increased, indoor relief has diminished or increased at the same time. It is enough to cite the well known case of the Bradfield Union, where in twentyfive years the number of outdoor paupers was reduced from nine hundred and ninety-nine to thirty-five, and that of the indoor paupers fell at the same time from two hundred and fiftynine to a hundred and five.
So that when charity is lavish, and administration is lax, the indoor and the outdoor relief increase. That is a piece of evidence that was brought out in the elaborate report on the Poor-law in 1835. I should like to remind my honorable friends opposite, who are very critical indeed, that the education of the human race is proceeding very very slowly. The latest authority in support of that fact is the leader of the Labour Party, who has declared that Socialism, as the Germans mean it, and as my honorable friends opposite mean it - the Socialism which would nationalize everything - is not immediately possible. Mr. Watson says that we have to educate the people up to it. Mr. Watson has gone back on their policy.
– What Germans Socialist ever said what the honorable senator has asserted?
– I am talking about what Mr. Watson has said - that the people have to be educated before they will be fit for the Socialism that some people profess to believe in; and when the people are educated up to that standard, they will not want Socialism at all.
– Mr. Watson knows what a task the Socialists have in hand so long as Senator Dobson is alive.
– He was trying to lead the Labour Party from their devious ways towards a sane and sound Socialism. My honorable friends ought to thank God that they have a moderate leader. If they Had a firebrand for their leader, who would try to drive the country towards the nationalization of industries they would lose influence throughout the Commonwealth. They all know that as well” as I do.
The Friendly Societies have been in the last two generations the diligent and beneficent prophets of thrift. Slowly but surely they were doing their great work, effacing the evil traditions, healing the wounds, and covering the scars left by the old Poor-law. But thrift and selfreliance’ are plants of tender growth. Mr. Chamberlain’s advocacy of State-paid pensions swept over the Friendly Societies like a chill blast and checked their growth.
So that the mere suggestion made by Mr. Chamberlain had the effect of inducing people not to subscribe their money to benefit societies. This writer points out that the hope that peoplewere going to get some contribution from the State led men to wait with their mouths open to see what plums the State would drop into them.
– What would be the good of preaching thrift to people who were in receipt ofpoor-law relief?
– I am going to rest my case on a witness, with whom I hope honorable senators will be inclined to agree, namely, Mr. Charles Booth. But I have not yet read the whole of Mr. Martineau’s letter-
It came just when many of the lodges were starting old-age pension schemes out of their own funds.
The bare idea that there was going to be a State contribution checked the whole thing.
– Tell us what Bismarck said about old-age pensions.
– I intend to quote evidence as to the German scheme. This letter continues -
And but for its baneful influence many and many a member would now be secure in the prospect of an old-agepension earned by his own hands, who, as it is, has no such prospect to look forward to. Pauperism and thrift cannot exist together. If the bare suggestion of a State pension has wrought so much harm to the friendly societies, assuredly its adoption would before long kill them outright;
– Has it killed them in Victoria?
– I ask honorable senators not to interrupt the speaker in the middle of a quotation, and, that, when they do interject, to make their interjections as pertinent to the subject as possible, but not too frequent. Otherwise, the speaker is placed at a disadvantage, and will take a much longer time to explain the policy which he wishes to advocate.
– The letter proceeds - and with them would be lost all the ground that they have gained for the working classes in more than half a century of patient and sustained effort, till we are landed where we were in1834, on the brink of economic ruin, and with a large section of the people all but bankrupt in self-reliance and manliness. Will no champions of the friendly societies raise their voices in protest before it is too late ? - I am, Sir, &c., John Martineau.
SenatorMcGregor. - Has the old-age pensions scheme killed the friendly societies in Victoria, New South Wales, and New Zealand ?
– It has not killed them yet; but I do not think it will do them any good. It is altogether too early to say what effect our scheme will have. I believe that it will have a bad effect. I have many more arguments to show that far greater men than we are believe so too. The Spectator says -
We believe every word of Mr. Martineau’s admirable letter to be true.
The next letter which I shall quote is’ from Mr. J. H. Eaton. He says, and I shall be very glad to learn the result of his inquiries -
I am making an investigation into the detailed working of contributory pension schemes in Germany and Austria with a view to finding out how far they could be applied in the United Kingdom. In the event of either political party granting pensions at the expense of the State, continual demands for increases of the amount and reductions of the pension age seem likely to result. Agitation of this kind could probably best be met by advocating a scheme by which the contributions would be provided by those who will benefit.
Do not honorable senators opposite see that the system which they advocate simply means doling out - shovelling out - money ? Although they pretend and assert in their scheme that the pension is to be considered and accepted as a right, and not as a charity, will a declaration of that sort make any difference to what it really is? In their scheme, they lay no obligation on the citizen, and bring before him no duty. The German system does. It brings forcibly before him, and compels him to discharge, the most sacred duties of manhood - to provide for his old age, for his partner in life and for the dear ones he has brought into the world. The German system requires that this duty shall be carried out, and stimulates and encourages a man in the effort. Our system is defective in every one of those vital principles. Surely my honorable friends will see that there is room for doubt and consideration. Everything shows that, with all the experience of the world before us, we have chosen the wrong system, while the right system has been under our noses all the time. I now come to it.
– Does the honorable senator contend that, with the extension of the old-age pensions scheme throughout the world, the cost of charitable relief is increased ?
– I do not say that it is increased. It ought to decrease immensely, but it will not decrease as much as it ought to. Honorable senators opposite may call the old-age pension a right if they like, but they are going to make the thrifty pay for the thriftless - the industrious pay for the loafer. They give money away to people and ask them to do nothing in return for it. They do not ask them even for one penny, or sixpence per week. They simply say, “Take the money.” That is not the way to build up a strong, virile, independent nation, but just the reverse. I hold in my hand two very important documents, which I am indebted to the German Consul -General in Sydney for having sent to me. He evidently saw my notice of motion on the business-paper, and asked me if these two pamphlets would be of use to me. He also asked whether it would be well to send copies to other honorable senators. I said that it most certainly would. I believe that he had not enough to go round, but that some pamphlets were sent. This pamphlet, explaining the German scheme, was prepared with great care for use at the Universal Exposition at St. Louis_ in 1904. I suppose, therefore, that every word in it is correct, and that all the facts were carefully checked. It gives a complete description of the great scheme of Germany, which, consists of three principal funds - a sick fund, an accident fund, and an old-age pensions fund, the last named also including a fund for pensions to those who have not arrived at the pension age. If the decay of a man’s powers prevents him from earning a living, he becomes entitled, being an invalid, to what is called an invalidity pension before he reaches the pension age. Consequently there are really four different funds wrapped up in the German scheme. It is stated with regard to the sick insurance fund -
The great purpose of the insurance is to secure to the insured an ever certain and sufficient relief, in case of sickness, during at least twenty-six weeks. The minimum relief to which all the insured have a- legal claim includes : - 1. Free medical attendance and medicines from the beginning of the illness, likewise spectacles, trusses, bandages, &c. 2. In case of incapacity for work, from the third day of the illness, foi every working day a sick pay, amounting to one-half the daily wages on which the contributions have been based, or, in special cases - free admittance to a hospital, together with half the sick pay for the family. Besides this assistance the obligatory insurance grants : - 3. Burial money amounting to twenty times the average daily wages, and 4. Sick relief to women during six weeks after confinement.
The contributions of the insured are limited by the law in the Parish Sick Insurance to 1 - 2 per cent, of the usual local daily wages of common labourers, and for the rest they must not exceed 3 - 4 per cent, of the average daily wages of that class of workmen for whom the club has been formed. The law binds the employers, when depositing the contributions of their workmen, to. pay themselves a sum equal to one-half the contributions of the employed, so that two-thirds of the whole are furnished by the workmen, and one-third by their employers.
The State, therefore,, has nothing to do with the sick fund. We come next to the accident insurance fund : -
The common law granted no compensation in the frequent cases where persons were killed or wounded either by chance or through their own imprudence.
So the accident fund was started. We have had half-a-dozen Employers’ Liability Acts, and in some of the States there is a Workmen’s Compensation Act, which is a very proper thing. After having a good many tries at it, the Germans embodied all their law -in one scheme -
The compulsory insurance comprises principally all workmen (irrespective of wages) and inferior managing officials (with yea’rly salaries
UP t° 3j°o°, formerly 2,000 marks) if they areoccupied in concerns subject to insurance or (under the new law) in domestic and other service ordered by their masters or managers apart from their regular work….. The insurance is carried out under the guarantee of the Empire, on the mutual system, by. the employers united in Trade Associations, which may embrace all the several branches of industry in certain districts or in the whole Empire. The “employer” is held to be the person on whose account the enterprise is carried on. In the case of State undertakings special “ Executive Boards “ replace the Trade Associations.
The object of the insurance is to secure compensation for bodily injury or for death arising from an accident to the insured person whilst working for his employer, unless thevictim himself has caused the accident intentionally.
There is no getting out of it unless the man practically commits suicide, or deliberately puts his arm into a machine.
– Chamberlain’s Act was entirely based on that scheme.
– I know that there is now in England a Workmen’s Compensation Act. I shall refer to that directly when I come to deal constructively with what we should do here. Senator Walker reminds me that the Workmen’s Compensation Act is not nearly so good a scheme as this. I introduced a ‘ Workmen’s Compensation Bill, and succeeded in getting it passed through the Tasmanian House of Assembly ten or eleven years ago, but it was thrown out by the Upper House. I then got myhonorable friend, Sir Elliot Lewis, to introduce it again when I -left for the Federal, Convention. It was passed by the House of Assembly a second time, and it was again thrown out by the Legislative Council. The principle of that Bill was that if a man lost a limb or his life, the employer or the industry was not to. pay the whole compensation, but it very rightly made him pay a considerable amount of it. -From the accident fund, hewould get a limited amount of compensation, and I provided in the Bill I introduced that the maximum compensation should be ^300. That is also the Englishlaw.
– There are any number of exceptions.
– There are some exceptions, but there are no exceptions under the German system, under which, I believe, the benefits conferred are far greater, more continuous, and much more safe and. satisfactory in every way.
– Has the Bill to which the honorable senator has referred yet become law in Tasmania?
– No, it has not.
– It was not half as good as the German system.
– I admit that the Bill I introduced and the Workmen’s Compensation Act of Great Britain would not be half as advantageous to working men as the provision made in Germany, which insures workmen against every kind of accident.
– Has the honorable senator seen the Imperial Act of 1906?
– I have, and I admit that its scope has been greatly enlarged. Looking at it, I was astonished to see how limited was the scope of the Bill I introduced. It was limited, to a few classes only. The English Act has increased the number- of classes to whom the law applies, and takes in agricultural labourers, domestic servants, and seamen, and rightly so, too. I could never understand why seamen should be left out of the beneficial operation of such a law. I could never see why the man who falls from a yardarm when trying to save a ship from going on the rocks, or the man who, in assisting to carry on one of the -primary industries of the country, has his arm taken off in a threshing machine, should not be protected under a workers’ compensation law. I did not include these classes of workers in the Bill I introduced, because I knew how difficult it would be for me to get the measure through the Legislative Council, even in the form in which I introduced it. Honorable senators will understand that the German accident . fund is contributed to solely by employers, through trade associations and insurance companies. The workman contributes nothing to the fund; his business in the matter is only to receive compensation for injury. I notice that the fund is under a State guarantee, so that, I suppose, the German Imperial Government does guarantee the trade associations in order that there may be no failure to pay compensation to an unfortunate injured work- man. As the contributors to the fund include factory owners, and we know how wealthy they are as a rule, there may be no great necessity for the guarantee, but the fund being guaranteed, is as ‘ safe and sound as the Bank of England. In connexion with the fund, I find that it is said that, in virtue of these . laws, the employers have already paid over £48,650,000, have spent ,£10, 500,000 in. sanatoria and hospitals, that 1,433,000- cases have been compensated, and that there are £10,000,000 to the credit of thefund to meet future claims for compensation. I ask honorable senators whether that is not a national system of insuranceworth striving for in Australia? Are there not great benefits to be derived from it, and does it not go far beyond anything proposed or carried out in Great Britain, or in any of the Australian States? And all this is brought about without any contribution from the worker at all. Surely even Senator Findley would not disapprove of that system. I do npt hear Senator McGregor sneering at such- a system.
– No, it is pureSocialism.
– Honorable senators must bear in mind that we could not have such a system and a Workmen’s Compensation Act operating at the same time. If we adopted this system, we should have to repeal our Workmen’s Compensation Acts, and would have to point out to the employer that he must make certain contributions to an accident fund, which would have to be substantial and sound, or arrange to pay certain premiums to insurance companies, leaving the insurance companies to meet the claims to compensation.
– Let the honorable senator propose to embody that in the Navigation Bill and we will help him.
– I ask Senator Guthrie to let the Navigation Bill look after itself. We cannot provide for workmen’s compensation in the Navigation Bill. The honorable senator has already been told by the Vice-President of the Executive Council that the Navigation Bill is not the proper place for such a scheme.
– No; Senator Best said that the Government would prefer to deal with it in another way, but we think that the Navigation Bill is the proper place for it.
– That matter cannot be discussed now.
– Though the task would have been a difficult one, I should very much like to have had an actuary to estimate the liability of a manufacturer under a Workmen’s Compensation Act, and compare it with the contribution which he would have to make to the accident fund und.er the German system, which has so nobly answered all the demands made upon it. I think the comparison would show that employers as well as workers would be benefited by the German system. It should pay the manufacturers better that each should have tq contribute a certain fixed sum to a fund than that one or two of them should have to pay possibly £1,000 compensation, under a Workmen’s Compensation Act. I believe that the German accident fund would be found more advantageous to both parties, and it certainly would be infinitely more sure for the working man. I find this statement made in connexion with the invalidity pension -
The pension for invalidity will be granted irrespective of age to every insured, person who is permanently disabled, i’e., no longer able to earn at least one-third of his average wages, calculated on certain fixed principles, and also to persons not permanently disabled, but whofor half a year, have been unfit for -work during the remaining period of their disability. Thus the invalid pension offers a compensation for the Loss of capacity to work. Besides the proof of the disability (not purposely caused), a waiting time of regularly 200 (formerly 235) contributory weeks is requisite to obtain the pension’.
As to the pension for old-age, it is stated -
The pension for old age will be granted without proof of disability to all who have completed their seventieth vear. It forms an addition to the earnings of old but not incapacitated working people, and makes some amends for the diminished vigour of age. The waiting time here extends to 1,200 (formerly 1,410) contributory weeks.
Honorable senators will see the difference between this system and ours. Under the Australian system provision is made for an old-age pension when a man has reached the age of sixty-five years. But I do not think there is any provision for giving relief to a man who, before he reaches the age of sixty-five years, has .become absolutely incapacitated from work, and is consequently in greater need of a pension than a sound man of the pension age.
– What does the honorable senator mean by “our system “ ?
– I refer to the oldage pensions systems in force in Victoria, New South Wales, and New Zealand as the “ Australian ‘ ‘ scheme, as distinguished from the German scheme with which I am dealing.
– Is the honorable senator aware that when the Premier of New South Wales went to the country at the general election, he stated that he proposed to amend the New South Wales Act, so that pensions might be paid to incapacitated persons under the age of ‘ sixty-five years ?
– I have a note of that, and it shows that, he is aware of the weakness of the existing scheme. I would ask my honorable friends opposite whether, in addition to the amount paid away in old-age pensions, and, notwithstanding the excellent work which the friendly societies are doing, they suggest that we should give sick p_ay as well? If so, where is it going to end? What will be the cost to the taxpayers if we go on giving these grants without asking for a contribution of 6d. or id. per week from persons who mayhereafter become eligible for. the grant? The important part of the German scheme is that the employer contributes one-half the fund, and the workman _ the other half. Then there is a State contribution in the form of a little pension of 50 marks, or £2 10s. per year, to every man on his arriving at the age of seventy years. That represents the whole of the State contribution .to the old-age pensions fund in Germany. Even taking into account the fact that with us money is more expensive, I should be disposed to be more liberal than that. Really I do not care how generous, within reason, we make the pension, so long as we base the system upon some form of compulsory contribution from persons’ who may be eligible for the grant. I could read any quantity of evidence to show that if we trust to voluntary action; if we think that men will make provision, by insurance or in some other way, for themselves against accident or old age, we shall be disappointed. Not one in eight or nine will do it. It is ridiculous to go on imagining that we shall ever grow into a robust arid healthy nation, morally and physically, unless people who cannot be induced to do so are compelled bv law to carry out these sacred duties. Let me direct the attention of honorable senators to a report which appeared in the
Age this morning under the heading of “ Worthless Husbands.” We are accustomed to see such things in the newspapers; but it appears that three cases of 1 the kind were tried yesterday in the police courts in Melbourne. In one case a man who had been left ,£375 gave his unfortunate wife a sovereign, and then went away to Sydney, and spent the balance of the money. After leaving his wife in degradation and want and misery, he came back to her, and she had to take him to the police court. He got rid of the £375 > he made all sorts of excuses, and acted like a brute and an animal rather than a. man, and an order had to be made against him for the maintenance of his wife.
– I think he got the money from his wife.
– I believe he got £5 from his wife to take his watch out of pawn, and as soon as he got it out he pawned it again for a few pounds.
– Does the honorable senator mean to say that that is the character of the average man?
– No. 1 Why does the honorable senator ask me a question like that?
– Because the honorable senator appeared to quote the case as an instance in point.
– I said that three cases of the kind were reported in the Age this morning. I object to the honorable senator trying to put words into my mouth. I am sure that he did not mean it, and therefore I will not say that that was a cowardly interjection.
– I ask whether the honorable senator intended to apply it to the average man?
– The honorable senator knows that I did not mean that.
– I ask honorable senators not to carry on conversation. The honorable senator should address himself to the Chair.
– What did the other worthless husband do? He picked up his clothes, told his wife that he was going to clear out, and then sent a man who had sold them some furniture on the timepayment principle to take away beds and chairs and other furniture. When taunted with this in court he asked whether he had not left his wife . a few cooking utensils and a sewing machine. An order was made against him to maintain his wife. The third man was not quite so bad as the other two. With respect to what I think of the working men of the Commonwealth, I believe I could bring evidence to show that the degradation, poverty and misery attributed to drink is very often exaggerated. Some witnesses claim that one-third of the pauperism of the country is attributable to drink, others put the proportion at 40 per cent, and others, with whom I am disposed to agree, believe that very often too great a proportion of the. prevailing poverty and misery in a country are attributed to drink. Very often men are thriftless, and do not join benefit societies, because . they have wives and children to keep. With some men it is a hopeless task, and I do not blame them for not “joining benefit societies, but I wish to encourage people to do so. They should be shown that if they will exercise the smallest degree of self-restraint and thrift it will add to their savings. The State should help men who will help themselves. I do not desire that the State should dole out help to every one independent of character and ‘ of whether they will help themselves or not.
– The honorable, senator would not give a scoundrel,- like the man mentioned in the Age, an old-age pension ?
– No, I would give such a man a comfortable home in a State institution. I would look after him.
– At a higher cost than the old-age pension would amount to.
– Senator Guthrie knows a great dea.1 about navigation, but on this subject he knows absolutely nothing. I believe that I can convict him out of his own mouth of ignorance of this subject. He has. not read the reports on old-age pensions, or he would not talk such nonsense. The honorable senator is misleading the Senate, and I have to put him right. Does he not know that Mr. Johnston, of Tasmania, has said that the State can keep the indigent old men and women there - and there are 500 ‘ of them. - for. under £14. per annum ‘per head ? That amount is inclusive of everything, rent of building, pay of officers, printing, and all the red-tape of administration, as well as food and raiment for the inmates. Is the honorable senator not aware that at Ballarat - and I got this fact from Dr. Norris only yesterday - people are kept at 4s. 9d. per head per. week ?
– Seeing that I was for ten years on the Destitute Board in South Australia, I do know something about the matter.
– Then I am very much surprised that the honorable senator, should not have put the knowledge that he has gained to better account. I was asked whether I would give the man who, as I. have said, treated his wife as if he were a brute and an animal, an old-age pension. I have stated that I would not do so, but I would not let him starve. I would look after him better than he is looking after himself. I would give him a home in a comfortable asylum. But do honorable senators suppose that I would for a moment agree that an old-age pension should be paid to a confirmed drunkard?
– No, but the honorable senator would keep him at a greater cost than an old-age pension would amount to.
– Certainly not. An old-age pension, at ios. per week, would amount to ^26 a year. Does the honorable senator not know that 10s. or 7s. 6d. is more than 4s. od. ? Has he ever heard any one suggest that the old-age pension paid in Australia should be 4s. od. per week? And yet we have evidence that people are being kept in Victoria for 4s. od. per week. I would add a shilling or two in order to give them every reasonable comfort which a Christian democracy would like them to have. But I am not going to shovel out money without discrimination. Let me follow up this argument a little further. Suppose that Senator Guthrie and ninetynine other gentlemen had arrived at old age, and that, while they did not possess very much means, they had accumulated a little by industry, thrift, sobriety, and selfrestraint? Suppose that living alongside of them were another one hundred gentlemen who had exercised no thrift or sobriety, who had not stinted themselves, but had had their pint of beer morning, noon, and night, .and their half-a-dozen pipes of tobacco every day. I wonder what he and his friends, honest chaps, would think when they were making their contributions, and at the same time helping to pay the pensions of the gentlemen who had not done a hand’s turn to deserve any consideration other than a fair living in a decent asylum.
– Evidently they would have contributed largely to the revenue.
– That is perfectly true, but I do not think it has any special bearing on my argument. I would ‘ not care to get revenue in that sort of way.
– That is the way in which we do get revenue.
– My honorable friend will see that the German system is a compulsory, contributory, and discriminating system. Under the old-age pensions scheme the workmen are divided into five classes according to their wages; the contribution of a man increases by. gradation, in accordance with his wages. The pension which he gets is in accordance with the number of contributions which he makes, because the German Government recognises, as we all must recognise, that for ohe reason or other, a man may at certain times be out of work, and miss paying. Therefore, the whole of that scheme is graded, and according to the class to which a man belongs and the contribution which he makes, his pension is fixed. It is adapted to all the wants of the industrial classes. It tries to provide for all circumstances, and it is based on sound economic lines. Our system is not based on such lines, and it never can be unless a radical alteration is made.
– Is the honorable senator able to say how the cost of administration compares’ with our experience ?
– I believe that I possess all the information, but I have such a mass of matter that I can hardly go into that point now. I may tell my honorable friend, however, that it costs very little indeed, because Germany has a network of useful institutions.
– A regular army.
– Nothing of the kind. Many of these institutions are constituted to carry out this law. Does not my honorable friend realise that if we were to set ourselves to work we could administer an old-age pensions fund at practically no cost? Have we not at our service the Post Office Savings Banks, the money order offices, the railway offices, the postal officials, and the State school officials? Is there any difficulty about receiving a contribution or paying a pension ? Is there any difficulty about getting the manufacturer to deduct from the wages the worker’s contribution. In Germany it i.° all done by means of a card. On each card there are spaces for recording the fifty-two payments made in the year. When the employer pays a contribution to the fund one-half comes from himself and one-half from the worker. On payment of the money before a certain official he covers one of the spaces with a stamp, which is evidence that the workman and the employer have each paid his respective share. I cannot ascertain from either of the two pamphlets what is done in regard to men who are not in permanent employ- ment, and that, I admit, is a difficulty. I do not know whether Government officials hunt up the men, or what they are supposed to do. Let me repeat what I have said here on many occasions. I cannot conceive a town in a Christian democracy going on without a Department of Labour. I cannot understand any community being able to carry out its laws or charitable organizations, or to find work for the workless, unless it has a complete up-to-date Labour Bureau, with the smartest secretary who can be found, in association with the different centres of employment, so that from one end of the State to the other a person can on inquiry ascertain what miners or agricultural labourers, or mechanics are wanted. If we had such an institution there would be very little difficulty, even in collecting the contributions to a pensions fund from the men who are not in regular employment, that is, from the casuals.
– That could only be carried out under a system of unification.
– I do not see that ; I believe that we could make our Federal agencies serve very well for a long time.
– Would we not be interfering with the States?
– Has my honorable friend forgotten that, under the Constitution, we have legislative power with regard to old-age pensions? That power was taken in the Constitution, so that we could establish one scheme for the whole Commonwealth, and, according to an American decision, we have the right to make State officials carry out Federal laws. Does my honorable friend think that if New South Wales repealed its system of old-age pensions because a Commonwealth system had been inaugurated, its officials would not use their best endeavours to see that the citizens of that State were paid their pensions?
– Under the Constitution we have no power to deal with cases of invalids or accidents. That power remains with the States.
– There may be some point in that remark. If we determined some day to do away with the old-age pensions systems of New South Wales and Victoria, in order to establish a comprehensive national insurance for the Commonwealth, I take it that the Constitution would be amended so that we might copy the German scheme if we thought it a. wise one, as I do. The conclusion of the whole business is stated in this pamphlet in these terms -
The three branches of the German National Workmen’s Insurance - Sickness, Accident, and Invalidity Insurance - supplementing one another mutually, form a complete organization, and have resulted in the formation of a new working man’s code, which in the inevitable fluctuations of modern industrial life, will afford to all those in need of assistance a welcome aid, and in its farther development cannot fail to exercise a great and salutary influence on the economical and social condition” of the working people, indeed, on the entire nation.
The other pamphlet deals chiefly with the conclusions and with results, and I propose to read a few sentences. When we get all the employers to take an interest in the health, the freedom from accident and sickness, and the poverty df the people, see what an enormous amount of thought, energy, and brain we shall bring to bear in the direction of securing a robust people morally and physically. Every single subject which affects human life is brought more into prominence in Germany than elsewhere, because of the very system which I have been trying to explain. Let honorable . senators listen to this statement -
We are doing everything in our power to further the health and general well-being of the people we employ. This conviction has been mainly brought home to the employers by the useful effects of the measures called into existence on account of the social legislature. Thai % is the reason why employers are very willing to extend their provisions far beyond the legal requirements, not only within their own establishments, but also, to a great extent/ in favour of the general social institutions aiming at the welfare of the workmen.
– Into what fund do they pay .this money?
– The added amount is paid out of their own free will in favour of the workmen, and it is over and above the contributions which I have mentioned. I have already stated that they have spent £.1:0,000,000 in building sanatoria and hospitals. It is to their interest to see that the men are brought up in a healthy way, and that disease is eradicated. Hitherto I have been talking of what the employers are compelled to do, and now I shall proceed to show what they do voluntarily. I think I have read that the great firm of Krupp, who employ many thousands of men, spend tens of thousands a year.on the workmen for their own benefit. Of course,
I admit that the firm make enormous profits. The pamphlet goes on to say -
The following figures show the amounts that have been contributed by the employers out of their own free will during the last few years in favour of the workmen : -
– It does not mention for what purpose it is spent.
– No. I was struck by the use of the word “free-will,” because, as I mentioned, the employers are compelled to make the other contributions. Take the case of Mr. Cadbury. My honorable friends know that he has spent tens of thousands of pounds in building homes, halls, and libraries for his employes. I objected to the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill because it appeared to me that a fair thing between worker and employer could only be determined by going to law. Have my honorable friends every heard of people who are always litigating toeing a happy family? No. My idea is not that my honorable friends should do away with the Conciliation and Arbitration Act if they will not have any other, but should make it a success if they can, or go in for a system of profit sharing. Whatever they do, they ought to nail to the mast the declaration that the interests of employer and worker are mutual. So long as they have a system under which they point out that those interests are not mutual, and that the parties can only get their rights by going to law, they will have a rotten system. I ought to have read this extract before I read the last one, as it bears much on the same point -
An essential point in this respect is the fact that since the introduction of the insurance, the general position of the workmen in every direction of their interests, material, hygienic, legal, moral, and spiritual, has been considerably improved, but that during the same period, the whole political economy of the Empire has prospered to an immense degree. Of course the workmen’s insurance is only one of the causes producing the development, but as is proved in the description, a very strong mutual influence exists between the workmen’s insurance
Mid national economy, and the opinion sometimes expressed abroad that the workmen’s insurance is apt to act as an impediment to political economy and riches, can certainly not be founded on the German development of affairs.
It goes on to say -
For the hot competition among the nations the world of a recently deceased German author and patriot may be applied, which he wrote in his last work, dedicated to the United States of North America, and which is of double importance in this connexion. “ The palm of victory will be secured in the end by the nation possessed of the largest reserve of national health and power.”
How can my honorable friends build up a national sentiment in the people if the first thing which they do is to make them, not independent, but dependent, upon a State dole? Is that the way to develop a virile nation ? Is that the way to make men believe in themselves ? How can we ever’ hope to win in any naval or commercial struggle in which we may have the misfortune to be engaged unless we are a selfreliant community ?
– We have in Australia the most independent working class in the world.
– My honorable friend is generalizing, but I cannot admit his statement. I hope that we have such a working class. In another place this writer says -
It is clear that the benefits thus secured for the health of the workmen are enormous. The principal aim is not alone to assist sick, injured, and invalid workmen, but to cure and make them capable again of earning their and their families’ livelihood. Where death used to occur, life is now maintained. Where formerly the victims became permanent cripples, they now keep their serviceable limbs. Thousand of individuals that would have become wholly or partly incapable of earning their living, are now restored and ‘can do their work as usual. The grown-up workmen in general are at present less exposed to sickness, invalidity, and accidents, and seem to have gained greater power of resistance, while the young generation is starting at once with a healthier and stronger constitution. And under the reign of the Workmen’s Insurance, which more and more forms the ground and corner stone of social hygiene, this development is growing more favorable every day, and becomes perceptible through the gladdening decrease of mortality, or, to put it in a positive form, through the increase of vitality of the German population.
There are many precedents besides the German precedent for the policy of compulsion. I will quote from a paper by Sir John Cockburn, which takes the form of a report on the International Workmen’s Congress, held at Vienna in 1905. In this document he says -
Among Continental nations the German system of insurance is the most complete, but there is also in Austria and Hungary a form of compulsory insurance against sickness for industrial work people generally. In France, there is compulsory insurance against sickness for miners, and in Belgium for miners and seamen.
In some of these places evidently the rulers have more wisdom than we have. They recognise that miners follow a very dangerous industry, and they have therefore been careful to institute a proper system of compulsory insurance for miners.
– We have that in Australia.
– I am showing that there is plenty of evidence in , favour of compulsion -
Against accidents there is compulsory insurance in Germany, Austria, Hungary, France, Italy, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Luxembourg, and Finland.
So that all these nations seem to go in for a compulsory insurance system rather than for Workmen’s Compensation Acts.
But whilst in some of these countries the range of occupations subject to insurance is wide and comprises the chief manufacturing industries, in others it is restricted to one or two kinds of employment, such as that of miners and seamen. . . There is compulsory insurance against invalidity and -old age in Germany, and for miners against invalidity in Austria. In France and Belgium there are invalid pensions for seamen and miners. In the other European countries insurance against invalidity and old age is voluntary.
– Does Sir John Cockburn express any opinion of his own in that report?
– I do not think that he does. Honorable senators all know that Mr. Chamberlain has had a great deal to say upon this question of old-age pensions, and I should like to. call him as a witness as to how it pays to encourage thrift and to hold out inducements to men to protect themselves by insurance, and by putting by a small amount out of their weekly wages. I quote from the evidence given by Mr. Chamberlain before Lord Rothschild’s Committee in 1893. He said -
A gentleman of my acquaintance employs a considerable number of out-door servants, grooms’ and gardeners ; he found some time ago that none of these men, who are all young men and who receive wages ranging from 14s. in the case of boys to 30s. in the case of men, had made any savings at all ; and thereupon he proposed to them that if they would save as much as £2 10s. a year and put it into the Savings Bank and bring him the book at the end of the year he would add £2 10s. to it, and that he would go on doing this each year if they increased their savings every year by the amount of £2 10s. They were, of course, at liberty to save as much more as they liked, but the contribution of the employer was con fined to £2 10s. in each year, which he intended to be a stimulus to induce the habit of thrift. Well, the effect was extraordinary. Almost all. these persons took advantage of it, and some of them have since left his employment to go. elsewhere taking their books and their savings, with them. But the amount of savings madeunder this system was perfectly remarkable. ‘ In one case it rose to ^150, in” other cases the sums were £20, £30, ^’40, ^’50, and £60 bv men in receipt of these at all events not very high wages and altogether induced by this stimulus. But there are other cases which would, I dare say, suggest themselves to members of the Commission, and I have known of similar inducements offered by employers to their domestic servants having similar results, where no contribution would have been made without the additional stimulus afforded by the offer of the employer.
That is a very striking instance pf the way in which thrift can be encouraged. It answers the rather incredulous interjection of Senator Turley, who asked how it wasthat die German employers came to give their employes sums of money of their own free will. Here is the case of an employer offering to give his men £2 10s. per annum if they would only produce a bank book showing that they had saved £2 10s. for themselves. There are many instances like that, I believe.
– There are instances of that kind in Australia.
– Now I come to a rather disappointing state of affairs. I must spend a little time in giving the history of this matter, in order to make it perfectly plain. When Canon Blackley promulgated his compulsory scheme in- 1879, in an article published in the Nineteenth Century, Mr. R. P. Hookham came out with another system, which Mr. Charles Booth believes in at this moment. Speaking of the English Poor law system, Mr. Hookham said -
This universal legal right operates most injuriously ; it educates the people to rely on 11 : it makes no distinction, reducing good and badalike to the same level. But I hold that a good citizen has deserved an honorable maintenance, not one that degrades him into a- pauper. I speak with a conviction drawn from intercourse with the class, when I say that it is to the depressing influence of the hopelessness of ever attaining to this most desirable and rightful state of independence, and of the certainty of being reduced ultimately to pauperism, . that the improvidence so prevalent amongst the lower orders may be chiefly traced.
I maintain that allowance ought to be madefor the thriftlessness of some workers, and, indeed, even for intemperance. It would be a cruel shame not to help a man who, perhaps, had had to struggle against the disadvantage of a sickly wife and a large family of children. Indeed, I notice that, as a rule, it is the delicate wives who have the largest families. Such a man cannot <be expected to save much, and therefore he wants all the help which can be given to him.
– If he does not save, when he gets old he is called a loafer.
– My (honorable friend surely knows better than that. I do not know any one who would say that si man was a loafer because, having a sickly wife and a large family to provide for, he has not been able fo save much. He is the sort of man for whom such a scheme as I have in mind should be chiefly inaugurated. I hope that it will encourage such nien, and give them help. We should say to them, “ If you will only save a little money during your life, when you reach the age of sixty-five the State will come to your aid.” That is the sort of scheme I want. This writer also says -
The poor laws founded upon a noble principle and worthy of a Christian nation ha-ve, nevertheless, proved in practice to be debasing and subversive of order and morality. To counteract the labourers’ improvidence with its consequent evils so far as it springs from the causes specified is the end I have in view; and I will now, as concisely as may be, develope mv scheme. I would entitle every man at a given age - from the highest to the lowest - upon the fulfilment of certain duties, to a- pension from the country. I would have a comfortable provision for old age plainly within the reach of every man.
This is the father of the universal scheme, but even he does not go so far in laxity, generosity, and State nonsense as some people here propose to do. He insists upon the fulfilment of certain duties. I do not know exactly what they are, but certainly no man has a right to expect to receive a pension unless he does some little to deserve it, and to justify us in giving it to him.
There is no doubt that three-fourths of the prevailing distress and pauperism and crime are more the result of recklessness than all other causes put together. The drinking habits of the working classes are chiefly to be traced to this. I am firmly convinced that this recklessness and improvidence is mainly to be traced lo the hopeless condition of the labourer.
I desire to hold the best opinion of human nature. I would not by any” means say that poverty is always caused by drink. I know that workmen often drift into positions that seem hopeless through other causes. I desire to put hope into such men, and to point out to them that if they will only save a little we will not leave them in the lurch -
I would aim at divesting the pension of the remotest resemblance to a charitable dole. This I conceive cannot be done without including all classes in the operation of the scheme ; and every attempt I have made to narrow its working to the class for whose benefit it is mainly intended has signally failed.
I do not agree with Mr. Booth when he says that we ought to have a universal system of old-age pensions in order to make the pension a right and not a charity. Are we to say that a man who enjoys an income of ,£10,000 or ^20,000 a year shall be entitled to get the same pension as a working man? ls a law bad because in it we discriminate? That appears to be a most nonsensical view. Could we ever get such a scheme through Parliament? It is all very well for Mr. Booth, or any body else, to suggest it ; but there is a better way out of the difficulty. Just as we discriminate in every law, so I would discriminate in the old-age pensions law. Is there anything wrong in saying that any man who does not get more than £3 or £4 a week shall be compelled to provide for his old age, or in saying that a man who is fortunate enough to earn £3 or £4 a week, winter and summer, wet or dry, year in and year out, shall be exempt, and shall provide for himself ? If the latter does not provide for himself, and comes to us as- a pauper when he is sixty-five, he, too, will be looked after, but not quite so well as the man who has. saved carefully. In any scheme which is to fit in with human nature there must be some discrimination. Although I admire Mr. Booth’s large-heartedness, I am not going to let my heart run away with mv head. We must have a system based upon principles which will stand the test of time. The German scheme holds up for commendation and reward all the duties which make for progress and manhood, while the Australian scheme does not hold up one of them. If we have such a system, we may not feel or know it, but in a generation we shall see its effects. I experienced a great deal of disappointment upon reading the report of the Commission, of which Lord Aberdare was Chairman, and that of the Committee of which Lord Rothschild was Chairman. They both came to the conclusion that it was impracticable and impossible for them to recommend any old-age pensions scheme.
– There were nine or ten .schemes put before them.
– There were more than a hundred, and yet they could not adopt a scheme. Still there are a few useful passages in their reports. Lord Aberdare’s Commission-, at the end of their report, say -
The evidence on Friendly Societies, the Post Office Savings Bank, and other like agencies, has shown remarkably the great development of habits of thrift and providence among the working classes, and has satisfied us of the general ability of those who are in any regular employment to make direct or indirect provision for. old age, as well as for sikness and other contingencies beyond the every-day needs of life. The various thrift organizations which have been developed during the past sixty years have without doubt contributed largely to the relative diminution of pauperism in proportion to population which has been in progress during that period.
Those worthy men, including Lord Lingen, Lord Brassey, Lord Playfair, Mr. J. J. Henley, Mr. Albert Pell, Mr. A. C. Humphreys-Owen, Mr. Chas. S. RoundellMr. C. S. Loch, Mr. Joseph Arch, and Mr. J. J. Stockall, deliberately say that those who are in any regular employment can make direct or indirect provision for their old age. But how the workmen of England, getting the wages they did in 1895, could make provision for their old age without any help from the State, I do not know. Those learned gentlemen, however, told us that they could. They say -
We have carefully examined the various schemes for State assistance to the aged which have been submitted to us, and, bearing in mind the great labour and thought expended on them, and the high public spirit and deep sympathy -with suffering which inspired their authors, we regret that, in view of the financial and economic difficulties involved, we have been unable to recommend the adoption of any of the schemes 11s yet suggested, whether, for endowment or for assisted insurance….. In conclusion, -we again point out that the number of aged poor who seek public relief, while still very large, has much lessened in proportion in the last thirty years, although the rate of decrease lias greatly diminished in the last decade. We are encouraged in our hopes for the future by the remarkable growth of thrift, as shown by -the savings banks and insurances in friendly societies, which are largely increasing in popularity and importance. The self-reliance and strength of character of the working classes thus evinced will greatly aid in the solution of the problems of old-age poverty as well as of general pauperism.
I read in another report that it is all very fine to talk about the self-reliance of the people, and of their being able to make provision for themselves, but that if it is left to their self-reliance without any aid or help, or left purely to the voluntary system, only about 10 per cent, of those who ought to insure will insure. I do not like to leave the matter in that way. There is attached to the report a memorandum by Lord Brassey, Mr. James Stuart, Mr. A. C. Humphreys-Owen, and Mr. Joseph Arch, to this effect -
We are of opinion that the recommendations of the Commission do not go far enough, nor so far as the evidence before the Commission warrants. We consider that greater distinction should be drawn between industrious persons who in old age have fallen into misfortune, and the wastrels and worthless who seek relief.
Mr. Roundell; in a separate report, says
Some of the main points brought out by the evidence are : - i. The remarkable continuous decrease of pauperism, qualified only by the demoralizing and. pauperizing mischief of lax administration of the Poor Law ; 2. The remarkable continuous increase of wages, and of the purchasing power of wages; 3. The remarkable continuous growth, among the working classes, of thrift, of facilities for saving, of the desire to save, and of a healthy and honorable spirit of self-help and self-dependence. From these postulates it appears to result that direct aid from the State towards the establishment of oldage pensions is unnecesary, and, if unnecessary, detrimental to the- best interests of the classes concerned. And this objection to State intervention on historical, moral, and economic grounds stands separate and apart from the grave financial objection to be urged on the ground of the enormous and incalculable cost which any such scheme would ultimately involve.
Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Ritchie, Sir H. Maxwell, Mr. W. A. Hunter, and Mr. Charles Booth signed a kind of minority report, in the course of which they stated -
For this and other reasons we feel that this portion of the inquiry remitted to us has been inadequately considered.
It was inadequately considered. The Commission recommended the appointment of another Committee to inquire into the subject. I shall read their report shortly.
– All that stuff is dead now in England.
– The principles are -not dead. Mr. Loch, in a separate memorandum, observed -
In the face, then, of the great advance made in the last twenty-five years, the many means now at the disposal of the people for making provision ‘for old age, and the great increase in the membership of friendly societies, it does not seem either necessary or desirable that the State should abandon the policy, which has hitherto proved successful, of guidance and encouragement, and adopt that of subsidy and grant. It would be wiser to rely on the spontaneous growth of institutions suited to the actual wants of the people.
My object in reading these reports, with which I utterly disagree, is to point out that there exists a middle course. Those
Englishmen, call them Conservatives or Tories if you like, although ‘some of them are Liberals, think .that it is unnecessary to do anything, as wages are increasing, self-reliance is extending, facilities for saving are growing, and friendly societies increasing in number. They, therefore, consider that this matter should be left to the voluntary system. I do not think so, nor do I think it should be left entirely to the contributions of the workers ; but, at the same time,- it should not be left entirely to contributions by the State. Lord Rothschild’s Committee got to work, but their report was just as unsatisfactory as . the others. The Committee comprised the following gentlemen : - The Right Honorable Lord Rothschild (chairman), Sir Francis Mowatt, Sir Courtenay Boyle, Sir ‘Spencer Walpole, Mr. A. J. Finlaison, Mr. E. W. BrabrookMr. George King, Mr. A., W. Watson, and Mr. Alfred Chapman. Mr. Brabrook (now Sir Edward Brabrook) and Sir John Lubbock (now Lord Avebury) have, according to a recent cable, framed a scheme of contributory old-age pensions, of which I suppose we shall receive the details in a week or two. Lord Rothschild’s Committee stated -
Before quitting this portion of the subject, we desire to notice the plea constantly urged by advocates of State-aided pensions, namely, that the receipt of money in this form from the taxes or the rates is free from the taint which attaches to allowances made under the noor law. This might be true of a system such as that advocated by Mr. Charles Booth, under which a uniform pension became the right of every individual at a certain age, irrespective of his antecedents, his character, or his private means, but all such schemes are practically excluded by their enormous cost.
I call special attention to the next paragraph
Under any system, however, which does not involve a universal and identical pension, the plea which we are considering appears to us to be misleading. Any discredit must depend, not on the form in which the relief is received, but on the causes which have led to it. We believe that this truth is largely recognized by the working classes.
It is perfectly hopeless to expect any scheme worthy of the name to be inaugurated in Australia if honorable senators are going to ‘ ram down our throats the idea that, because a ‘ man receives a pension, he is thereby accepting charity, and doing something unworthy of his manhood. As those gentlemen point out, the question is not the fact of a man receiving relief, but the cause of his having to do so. If a man has struggled honestly all his life to support a delicate wife and many children, if he has not had permanent employment andi has had ill-luck, is there any disgrace in. his taking the relief or grant or pension which a Christian State says is his right and due? But if another man, who hashad no . disadvantage, takes it ; if a manwho has poured ‘two or three old-age pensions down his throat, or a man who has smoked himself dry with tobacco, or one who has gambled and never exercised one hour’s self-restraint in his life, takes thedole, although he may be legally entitled to it, he must feel in his heart, and anybody who is familiar with his history will know,, that he is robbing the State.
– According to the honorable senator’s system, how would he deal with the extremes? How would he meet the cases of the man who has been moderately economical and the man who has been a miser?
– The German system deals with all those cases. It encourages every man to do his duty. It’ divides the workers into five different classes, and give pensions to each class. The pensions also vary, according to the contributions made, but no. man is allowed to go without a pension. We might have aproper institution such as we have now, a little improved, it may be, if the food or clothing is not .quite good enough, for the incorrigible man. We might have a pension of 7s. or 8s. a week for the man who has made no attempt at thrift, of 9s. for the man who has made an effort, and ros. for the man who has done his duty. There are all kinds of ways of doing it. There is no difficulty about it that cannot be got over.
– If the honorable senator thinks there are no difficulties he is singularly light-hearted.
– Has the honorable senator read Senator Neild’s report?
– I have, and if time had permitted, I should have quoted largely from that admirable document, which puts the German system clearly and tersely, But having received from- the ConsulGeneral for Germany pamphlets published by the German Government, I thought it better to quote from them. I admit the value of the information contained in Senator Neild’s report, but I differ from the honorable senator absolutely in the conclusion at which he arrived that the German system is unsuitable to Australian con- ditions. I see no difficulty which could not be got over by the adoption of the German system. We should have their experience to guide us. Does my honorable friend think for a moment that by simply doling out a certain sum of money we should be establishing a good scheme? Our scheme is, perhaps, assimple as any on the face of the earth, but it is wanting in economic soundness. It is as simple as ABC to dole out 10s. a week to every one who has reached a certain age, and it might be as simple to dole out £1 a week. But where is such a system to end ? There is an old-age pensions system in operation in Victoria today, and every one - and particularly the members of the Labour Party, and I do not blame them for looking after their friends - desires to increase the pension paid, to decrease the age limit, and to include as persons eligible for pensions persons who are not eligible now. I believe that persons not now eligible for pensions should be included in the scheme. I think it is a disgrace to give a pension to a hale and hearty man of sixty-five years of age, who is as well able as I should be to grow vegetables, to look after a garden, or to do light work on a farm, and at the same time deny a pension to a widow who has one babe tugging at her gown and another in her arms. We should give a pension to women in child-birth, as is done under the German scheme, and they are surely more entitled to a pension than a hale and hearty carpenter at sixty-five years of age. I therefore say that the Victorian scheme is defective,and that all these difficulties could be got over by the adoption of the German scheme.
– The honorable senator’s leader, Senator Symon, believes that women, as well as men, should be eligible for old-age pensions.
– Surely my honorable friend does not imagine that I would propose to deny an old-age pension to women ? Certainly not.I have too much love for them. Sir Spencer Walpole, who signed a minority report, says - “ It is proposed, therefore, that when a poor man has an assured income of 2s. 6d. a week, and the guardians are satisfied that he is a proper subject for a pension, they should be authorized to meet it with a pension of 2s. 6d. per week, making the whole income one of 5s. a week. When the poor person has an income of more than 2s. 6d. a week, the guardians should reduce their contribution by one-half the poor person’s additional income. Thus, when the income is 3s. 6d., the guardians contribution should be 2s., making5s. 6d. in all ; when the income is 4s. 6d., the guardians’ contribution should be1s. 6d., making 6s. in all; when the income is 6s. 6d., the guardians contribution should be 6d., making 7s. in all.
And there it would stop. That is a proposal under which if a man at sixty-five years of age earned 2s. 6d. a week, the State would give him another 2s. 6d. a week, and so on, the object being to encourage thrift. Sir Spencer Walpole also says-
I feel that thrift should be the test of any pension scheme.
– Then he does not know anything about it. He has not grasped the initial conditions of an old-age pensions scheme”.
– His scheme would have relieved the poor rate, and that is all.
– Senator Neild, who got an idea of old-age pensions into his head a few years ago, and paid an historic visit to Europe in connexion with the matter, cannot have watched the progress of modern events. He has not recognised the necessity of proceeding on economic lines, and, quite unintentionally no doubt, is misleading the Senate by trying to ram down our throats a very rotten scheme. Sir Spencer Walpole may not be as great a man as is Senator Neild, but let us listen to what this humble individual has to say - “ I feel that thrift should be a test of any pension scheme and that any pension scheme that is decided upon would be injurious if it injured the present methods of thrift which people must ordinarily adopt, and any scheme which injures Friendly Societies would do more harm than good.”
When I tell honorable senators that I can quote Mr. Charles Booth in favour of my scheme, I do not suppose any member of the Senate will attempt to criticise what he says.
– Why ?
– Because he favours to a great extent the Australian scheme.
– Does he not recommend that the scheme should apply to everybody, whether rich or poor?
– He does, and I disapprove of that suggestion.
– Old-age pensions for millionaires !
– I have here a kind of reprint of Mr. Charles Booth’s scheme for old-age pensions, prepared in a concise form, and I propose to make a few quotations, to show that it is framed on the one principle and with the one idea of stimulating and encouraging thrift. He says -
It is, however, said that the principles of independence and thrift are assailed by the provision which takes away the stimulus of saving resulting from the prospect of destitution in old age. That this objection would be fatal if it had any real basis I readily admit, but it has no basis.
I think the more of Mr. Booth as an authority on the subject for his admission that it is fatal to any scheme that it should be open to the objection that it does not encourage thrift. He says further -
I think I have shown that no more useful assistance could be given to those who are inclined to help themselves than a small fixed provision in old age.
He suggests a pension of 5s. a week at sixty or sixty-five years of age, and 7s. per week at seventy years of age. And he goes on to say -
But that the proposed pension is inadequate in the sense of not in itself providing1 a sufficient maintenance I fully admit. To make it adequate would be an -error in social tactics, and the weakest points in this scheme are the few cases in ‘ which the pension income would be accepted as sufficient for all wants. I .trust that a rising standard of life may gradually cover these blots.
From that statement, I contend that Mr. Booth’s idea is intentionally to make the pension insufficient and inadequate, in order that there may be instilled into the mind of every possible recipient of a pension the duty to practise self-help. He expects the pensioner to add to the insufficient and inadequate pension, a pension which he must earn for himself by thrift.
– There is no compulsion in Booth’s scheme.
– I admit that there is no compulsion in Mr. Booth’s scheme, but it is based on the idea of self-help and thrift. I contend that, according to his scheme, we should cut down the Australian pension to something that would really be inadequate and insufficient, in order that those who may look forward to a pension may be encouraged to make the pension adequate by the exercise of thrift. Honorable senators cannot escape the fact that Mr. Booth suggests an economic principle. The Government can never go wrong in helping those who help themselves. They can never go wrong in giving pound for pound for charitable purposes, and so long as the people will help themselves, it is the duty of the State to help them.
– Does the honorable senator seriously contend that the prospect of an old-age pension of 10s. a week at sixty years of age will encourage a man to become less thrifty ?
– I believe that if we do something to encourage thrift we mayexpect to succeed. We may call the oldage pension a charity, or may howl from the housetops that it is a right, but if we give people something for nothing, and do not impress them with the idea that it is their duty to save, we shall discourage thrift. There are plenty of examples which might be quoted to prove that, we have history for it, and our own conscience and judgment must tell us that -it is so.
– Where’ -is the history for it?
– The honorable senator should read some of these reports, as I have done.
– There is more thrift in England to-day than there ever was before.
– That is because the friendly societies encourage thrift, and they are doing magnificent work in that direction.
– The co-operative movement in Great Britain, has done more in that direction than, the friendly .societies.
– I cannot argue with honorable senators who generalize. All these statements are no doubt perfectly true, but I could quote any number of statements supported by statistics to show the greater the laxity in charitable administration in the administration of the poor law, and in the grant of old-age pensions, the less thrifty will the people become, and the less the incentive given them to provide for their old age.
– Is there less thrift inAustralia to-day than. there was before the establishment of old-age pensions?
– I do not say that there is. But I say that if you undertake to .provide a man with something, he is less likely to try to provide it for himself, and it is better that we should say to a mart that we will meet him half way, and he will then make some effort to do something for himself. Mr. Booth says, also, that -
From sixty to seventy is usually the time of danger, when, for many of the poor, the workhouse begins to loom in the distance. The cost to the State of an annuity of 2s. 6d. per week from sixty, or 4s. from sixty-five, or 7s. from seventy, is approximately the same. Before theage of sixty I should not grant this facility.
Here Mr. Booth differs from the Germansystem, which I wish to see adopted, in- not being quite liberal enough. He suggests a pension of 7s. per week at seventy. He provides for no invalidity pension, and for an old-age pension of only 2s. 6d. per week at. sixty, and 4s. at sixty-five. But honorable senators will bear in mind that he admits that this pension is inadequateand insufficient, and it is on economical and social grounds, and advisedly, that he suggests, an inadequate pension. He goes on to say-
No case should be recommended by them, nor would be accepted by the Pension Authorities, unless need were shown for this concession, nor unless an income could be assured which, with the reduced pension, might be expected to suffice for the maintenance of a decent existence. The supplementary provision would be most satisfactory if it’ took the shape of a sum of money paid into the Post Office which would serve to raise the reduced pension to a minimum of 5s., or whatever sum might be “considered requisite to maintain independence.
That is a rather extraordinary position. If a man has not attained the age-of seventy years, and is above the age of sixty years, he can apply for a reduced pension, but the guardians will not grant his request unless he can show that he has some money with which to maintain himself. There again comes in the element of thrift and self help. My honorable friends’ own man is in favour of that principle. He goes on to say -
Any existing out-paupers who are over seventy I would allow to claim their pensions, and those whose age lies between sixty and seventy might put forward, through the guardians, their claims for an anticipated pension of reduced amount, according to their age, and these claims would be admitted provided that the applicants found the means to raise the amount of pension to a sufficiency.
Therefore, when a man is not seventy years of age, and is being doled out at 2’s. 6d. per week at sixty years of age, he will not get that 2s. 6d. unless he can .show that he has sufficient means to enable him to live.
– If he has nothing, give him nothing.
– I am not advocating that, but pointing out that Mr. Booth comes to the ground in not being liberal enough. He is satisfied, as I am, though I . am afraid that my honorable friends opposite are not satisfied, that thrift must be the foundation of any scheme which is worthy of a name, and will not do harm. .If my honorable friends do not adopt that foundation they will do infinite harm. Mr. Booth goes , on to say -
My argument is this. If we are to secure the moral results-
Does the Australian scheme look for any moral results? No. It simply means that any old man or old woman is to get 10s. per week -
If we are to secure the moral results for which I look, and without which a pension system would- be of little value, out-relief must be abolished. The original proposal of 5s. at sixty-five carried with it, in my mind, a proviso that no one should be granted an independent pension who had received poor relief during the preceding five or ten years. It was a clumsy device, but the aim was, by a gradual pressure, to bring about the abolition of out-relief. With seventy as the pension age, this plan would not work, and there is no practical course short of the entire abolition of out-relief for the old. To carry this out successfully, we need some system which shall put a premium on private effort of every kind.
Under our system, is any premium to be put on private effort? -
This premium may, I think, be found by allowing those who are. in danger of drifting into pauperism to forestall the pension before their resources were exhausted. These early pensioners would not be paupers - they would dip no deeper than others in the public purse-but it would be asking a favour, and would carry with it sufficiently the “ stigma of admitted poverty “ to make every one prefer to wait for their pension till the proper time if it was in any way possible.
That is the reason why Mr. Booth does not think it -a blot. He says that if we hold out to. a man the prospect of getting a pension upon attaining the age of seventy years, but allow him to apply for it before he reaches that age, it will not be granted unless he can show that he has enough income to enable him to live in comfort. He goes on to say that it would be much better for a. man to struggle on until he attained to that age, and so obtained, as a right and not as a favour, a pension of 7s. per week. To come to the practical part of the subject, let me ask whether the working men of Australia can afford to contribute to some extent towards a system of old-age pensions for themselves ? According to the evidence which I have seen, and the difference in wages being enormously in favour of the Commonwealth worker, I should think that the working man can provide out of his own earnings the whole of the pension necessary to maintain him in his old age. As. to that there may be some doubt. But there is no doubt that he can, to some extent, earn by contribution the pension of 10s. per week which we all think necessary to maintain him in his old age.
– What does the honorable senator think it would cost him to get that sum?
– It would cost between 2½d. and 4&d. per week.
– And a great, deal more.
– ,1 do not think it would.
– What does it cost him now, through his friendly society, to provide for a case of sickness ?
– I propose to show the fund from which the saving should come. I do not desire to exaggerate anything, or to make out a case against the worker. I propose to quote the drink bill, tobacco bill, pleasure bill, and gambling bill of the community, and then (perhaps we shall be better able to judge whether a man can, wholly or partially, contribute to his pension.
– What about Tattersall’s?
– How many times have I said here that I opposed the legalization of Tattersalls in Tasmania in every possible way I could? I have never supported gambling, and why should I have Tattersalls thrown at my head here when I come to the most crucial point in my argument? I am looking at the drink bill, tobacco bill, pleasure bill, and gambling bill ; not at the cost of the comforts or necessaries of men, nor at the cost of the perquisites of the wives or the indulgences of children, and I do so because I am suggesting that by acts of selfdenial, that would not be burdensome,’ provision could be made for old-age pensions. Our drink bill is between £13, 000,000 and ^14,000,000, while the tobacco bill runs between ^3, 000,000 and ^4,000,000. For every male adult in the ‘ community the drink bill is £11 15s. 8d. I am charging” against the male adults all the drinks for the female adults. That is not quite fair in one way, but we cannot very well divide the pewter pot between the two. The consumption of alcoholic drink of all kinds by adult males costs £1.1 15s. 8d. per head per annum. Treating the tobacco bill in the same way, for I suppose that if a man expressed a strong desire his wife would not smoke if it would deprive him of an old-age pension, the annual consumption of tobacco per male adult costs ^3 2s. 9d. The pleasure and art bill is put down by Coghlan at £1 4s. 6d. per head, but I deduct the 4s. 6d. for art, and set down £1 for pleasure, so that “in every house hold of five persons £5 is spent on pleasure in each year: I put down the gambling bill at £1 per male adult. I know that women do gamble, because in my gallantry I have had to help them. The total bill comes to £16 18s. 5d. If we deduct £2 18s. 5d. per head for women, we get the expenditure on drink, tobacco, pleasure, and gambling, by adult males at, say, ^14 per head. Now out of that sum cannot they afford to provide themselves with old-age pensions on the basis of a weekly contribution of 4d., 3d., or 6d, If we intend to make the States pay one-half of the contribution, as in Germany, it will be 2d. or 3d. per week.
– According to sworn evidence the condition of- the starch workers in Victoria was so bad that they could not afford id. per week for a newspaper. Surely that was thrifty enough.
– I have quoted the opinions, of some, of the leading men in the world, and am dealing with absolute facts. My honorable friends can deal with conditions of the workers, as they must know more about wages than I do. With all their Arbitration Acts, with all their strikes, which seem to be successful - - and I am not sorry that they are - with all the £2 14s. per week just won by .the bakers, with all their minimum wage, are they going to assume that the Australian working man will never be in a position to provide an old-age pension for himself? Are they going to insist upon pauperizing them for ever? Are we not going to educate them to the idea that there is to be progress?
– We are not pauperizing them.
– My honorable friends run a very great danger indeed of pauperizing the workers in the meantime, when they demand nothing in return for the dole which is given to them.
– The honorable senator does not argue that a pension pauperizes the Judges and public servants of Aus- tralia.
– Order. I ask Senator Dobson to. continue his speech.
– I should” like to answer the interjection if it is relevant.
– I said that the honorable senator does not apply that argument to Judges and public servants who are in receipt of big pensions?
– My honorable friend must see that the interjection is not relevant. But if he objects to pensions-
– I do not object to them.
– If my honorable friend will look at Hansard, he will find thatI opposed the provision of pensions for the Judges of the High Court. In Tasmania, I opposed the grant of pensions to every one, and pensions were abolished there in 1863. I believe in giving a man, not a pension, but a generous living wage, ‘ and helping him, if he is too poor to provide for himself. The State has no business to give pensions to its officials.
– And very generous wages they pay in Tasmania.
– Order. I ask the honorable senator to discontinue these irrelevant interjections. Senator Dobson seemed to be anxious to reply to the previous interjection, but he discovered that it was irrelevant, and he is now getting away from the question. I ask honorable senators to allow him to discuss the subject which he has brought under their consideration, and not to try to lead him off the track.
– The drink, tobacco, pleasure, and gambling bills amount to £16 18s.5d. per adult male. My honorable friends can knock off just as much as they please for the good wives, but they cannot make the total cost per adult male less than £13 or £14. Out of the increase of wages during the last few years, out of the increase which was granted to the bakers only fortyeight hours ago, cannot’ a working man afford to make a small contribution towards a pensions fund? Will it do a man any harm if he does? Is it not right that he should be reminded by our legislation of those sacred duties which some men neglect, and which, perhaps, at times we all neglect. Why should we pass measures which do not pay any attention to the question of character making ? We all, I suppose, like to be politicians, though probably some of us would be prouder if we were called statesmen, but are we not also character builders? Ought we not to consider how a measure, if passed, will affect the character of our people? I contend that the existing Oldage Pensions Acts do not go to build up sterling character. I have received a quotation from two insurance companies in
Australia. One company quoted10d. per week as the contribution by a man to secure a pension of10s. per week at the age of 65 years; but it has to meet all the cost of its office, staff, and directors. Taking the weekly cost at10d., if the State were to pay one-half, the worker would have to pay only 5d. Another company estimates the weekly cost at10d. and11d., but it says that it is on a returnable basis. If the weekly contribution were10d., and the State paid one-half, the contributor would pay only5d., and if he died before he attained the age of 65 years, all the premiums would be returned to his representatives by the company.
– At what age would he begin to pay?
– At the age of twenty-one years. I have compared the rates of the Australian Mutual Provident Society with the rates charged in England, and I find that they are very much the same. The Provident Insurance Company will pay 5s. weekly to a person at the age of sixtyfive years for a weekly premium of 2d. from theage of from one to ten years ; of 3d. from the age of from ten to twenty years; and of 4d.from the age of twenty years. Mr. Watson, an English gentleman, says that a pension of 5s. weekly can be” bought for less than 3d. per week. There are even cheaper systems than that in England. I find that some of the English authorities are making provision for pensions for women for whom they now have sick funds, pension funds, and accident funds. There have been many schemes. There is the scheme of Mr. Lionel Holland, the Bristol scheme, the Chester scheme, and Sir Henry Burdetts’ scheme. Every one of those schemes was considered by the Royal Commission, and every one was based upon some contribution by the recipients of benefits. They make it a principle to help the recipients provided they help themselves. I could not obtain a copy of the report of the Poor Law Com- . mission of 1835, as the Librarian informed me that our series of reports in the Library commences in 1836. It was, however, a most important report, the result of which was to alter the whole Poor Law system of England. However much honorable senators opposite may sneer at the poor-house, it has to be remembered that under the English system as much is distributed amongst the poor in proportion of the population of Great Britain as is distributed by the scheme of old-age pensions in New Zealand. Ihave here Sir George Nicholls’ History of the English Poor Law, from which I shall quote the following passages -
The Commissioners consider that the evils consequent on the existing system of administering relief, both indoor and outdoor, are “ on the whole, steadily and rapidly progressive.”
Whenever you have a defect in administration in reference to matters of this kind, the evil tends to become progressive -
The effects on the owners of property are then staled, including the case of Cholesbury in Buckinghamshire, where, in 1832, it is said the collection of thepoor-rate had suddenly ceased in consequence of the impossibility to continue its collection, the landlords having given up their rents, the farmers their tenancies, and the clergyman his glebe and his tithes.
The writer goes on to say -
The instances which had occurred of the defeat of legislation by unforeseen obstacles, or by the laws not being administered in accordance with the expressed will of the Legislature, led the Commissioners to distrust the operation’ of enactments, however clear and precise, unless a special agency were appointed to superintend and to control their execution. They say, “We find on the one hand that there is scarcely one statute connected with the administration of public relief which has produced the effect designed by the Legislature, and that the majority of them have created new evils, and aggravated those which they were intended to prevent “ : whilst, on the other hand, they declare that the obstacles to the due execution of any new legislative measure by the existing functionaries are greater than heretofore, the interests of individuals in maladministration stronger, and the interests in checking abuses proportionately weaker.
Whether we call an old-age pension “ a charitable dole or a right, it will have to be dealt with on the same lines as a charity. When a number of people come forward to claim pensions, each case will have to be inquired into, and the circumstances of each applicant investigated. As a man said to me the other day in reference to the old-age pensions system of Victoria, “ Its administration reminds me of a charitable dole.” That cannot be helped. The authorities all tell us that the evils attaching to any such system tend to multiply and increase. Therefore, it is most important that in formulating any Federal old-age pensions scheme, we shall take care to base it upon a sure and sound foundation. Sir George Nicholls further says-
Anxious attention had beendirected to the effect of the change upon the working classes, more especially upon those who had been accustomed to the allowance system. Inquiries were made as to the subsequent condition of those labourers whose allowances being discontinued yet refused to accept relief in a workhouse ; and it was found that they generally obtained independent employment without quitting their parishes. In the Faringdon Union all outdoor relief is discontinued, and relief in the workhouse was offered to. 240 able-bodied labourers, only about twenty of whom entered the house, and not one-half of these remained there more than a few days. Yet the diet in the workhouse was high as compared with the ordinary diet of the independent labourer. The reports from the dispauperized districts reported wages as improving and as being generally higher than in the adjacent pauperized parishes; and in concluding their report, which is dated August 8, 1835, the Commissioners remark that they are sustained in their labours by the conviction that the Act which they have to administer “will fulfil the beneficent intentions of the Legislature, and will conduce to elevate the moral and social condition of the labouring classes and promote the welfare of all.
I regard that as a most astounding bit of evidence - that when outdoor relief was discontinued, out of 240 labourers only twenty entered the workhouse, whilst the others, I suppose, found work in the neighbourhood.. This evidence goes to show how much evil may be done by lax administration, and it proves that this subject is surrounded with the greatest difficulties. It requires the utmost foresight and the wisest statesmanship we can possibly devote to the subject to solve the problem in a satisfactory manner. It is not enough to say that we will simply give a pension of 10s. a week to everybody who wants one. The new Poor law proclaims that the personal responsibility of the individual is the necessary foundation of all social progress. Every evasion of that principle, notwithstanding many plausible advantages, has a parasitic and demoralising influence. Are we not now in danger of sacrificing the permanent and expansive principles of social growth for advantages which are merely plausible and evanescent?
Senator Colonel NEILD (New South Wales) [10.10]. - At this late hour I do not propose to speak at any length, but I hope that, after I have made a few observations, leave will be given to me to continue my speech on a future occasion. I compliment my honorable and learned friend Senator Dobson onthe delivery of a speech remarkable for its enthusiasm, as well as for its length ; but really, with the greatest possible friendship for my honorable friend, I cannot compliment him on having given thought to the opinions that he has quoted. He has given us a rehash of opinions that the world has put aside as positively useless. What in the world has become of all the writings of well intentioned enthusiastic gentlemen like Mr. Charles Booth ? They have been absolutely productive of nothing. My honorable friend has quoted the bygone and utterly useless report - so it is regarded in England - of the Royal Commission of 1895. It was practically forgotten when I reached England as Royal Commissioner for New South Wales in the following year. Indeed, it was forgotten in the year after the Commission! had reported. It was forgotten so quickly that within twelve months Lord Rothschild’s Committee was sitting to examine into the matter which the Royal Commission presided over by Lord Aberdeen - who died, unfortunately, while the Commission was at work - had dealt with. The Commission absolutely failed. Let me show what it did. I shall quote from what I wrote at the time. I quote from my report, page 23 -
The report is signed by Lord Playfair, acting Chairman, and by Lords -Lingen and Brassey, and Messrs. J. J. Henley, Albert Pell, A. C.’ Humphreys-Owen, Charles S. Roundell, C. S. Loch, Joseph Arch, and J. J. Stockall. Then follows a Memorandum by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, explaining, “ that as the question involved has become one of party controversy both inside and outside Parliament it has assumed a phase inconsistent with my position of political neutrality,” he did not sign the report. This is followed by an “ explanatory memorandum “ by Lord Playfair. Lord Lingden next adds a memorandum to explain his numerous objections to the report, and he is followed by Lord Brassey and Messrs. Stuart, M.P. (who did not sign the report), A. C. Humphreys-Owen, M.P., and Joseph Arch, M.P., who, in terse language say, “We are of opinion that the recommendations of the Commission do not go far enough, nor so far as the evidence before the Commission warrants. . . We consider that in respect of the possible provision for the aged poor by means outside of the poor-law the investigations and work of the Commission ‘have been too restricted.” Mr. J. J. Henley, C.B., comes next with a brief memorandum recording his objection to any help being given by the State to the working classes instead of leaving them to trust, “as they have done in the past, to their unaided efforts.” He is followed by Mr. Albert Pell, who furnishes a further memorandum protesting against reform, and then Mr. C. S. Roundsell, M.P., supplies another protesting against “State intervention on historical, moral, and economic grounds,” and Mr. J. J. Stockall follows with yet another memorandum on the same side.
– I stated how disappointing those reports were to me.
– But the honorable senator used the report of that Commission to buttress up .his scheme of compulsory payments, which, in my report, was as utterly demolished as any proposal ever was. ‘ I went on to report -
Report No. 2 is furnished by the Right Honorable Joseph Chamberlain, M.P., the Right Honorable C. T. Ritchie, Sir H. Maxwell, Bart., M.P., Mr. W. A. Hunter, M.P., and Mr. Charles Booth, who, as might be expected, assume a strong attitude for reform. A memorandum by Mr. Ritchie in favour of, and another by Mr. Charles Booth against, the e> tension of outdoor relief, come next and then Mr. James Stuart follows with a report devoted chiefly to the question of outdoor relief, which he deemed should be extended. A lengthy, vigorous, and humanitarian report is furnished by Mr. Henry Broadhurst, M.P., strongly urging reform, and the great array of conflicting opinions closes with supplementary memorandums by Mr. Charles Booth and by Mr. C. S. Loch, the latter a very lengthy one. It will be seen that the nineteen members of the Commission, reduced to seventeen by (1) Lord Aberdare’s death and (2) His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales’ virtual retirement furnished no less than four reports and eleven memorandums, in all fifteen varying expressions of opinion. This may prove that “ In the multitude of counsellors there is wisdom,” but it is certainly confusing to receive fifteen reports and memorandums from seventeen gentlemen. What may be called the report-in-chief, seeing it is signed by Chairman (Acting) occupied eleven months in preparation ; at any rate, the taking of evidence ceased on the 14th March, 1894, and the report is elated 26th February, 1805.
As to Lord Rothschild’s Committee, there will be found on page 474 of my report this paragraph -
An iconoclast might be excused for describing the composition of this Committee as an excellent example of the “how not to do it” principle, for, apart from the noble Chairman, it is plain that while the critical or destructive element was present in force, the constructive element was noticeably absent. And here it must be emphatically laid down that something more than even the ability to construct is needful in such matters as the preparation of an oldage pension scheme. There must be the willingness; nay, more, there must be the desire to construct, or such work cannot be effectually accomplished.
While Senator Dobson bases his whole motion on the idea of contributory support to a pension fund, he seems entirely to overlook the fact that the one class of the community who more than any other require the benefit of an old age pension scheme, who are more entitled to it, and for whom it is more necessary than for any other class, are the one class of the whole community who have no power to make contributions. I refer to the womanhood of the world, or, as we are discussing an Australian proposal, I will say, in this case, the womanhood of Australia. The workman may spend his money in providing for an oldage pension instead of knocking it down at the pot-house, but where is the workman’s wife, the woman who gives up her life, her very existence, for the sake of her husband and children, who stints herself, as we know that true womanhood always does, sacrificing everything for those she loves and whom it is her duty to aid - where is she to obtain the money to pay for contributions to an old-age pension? She strips herself, she even goes barefoot, in order to provide the little boots and socks for her children to attend school. She gives up more than men give up.
– She would get her pension.
– Where is she to find the money to pay for it ? My honorable friend wants a contributory scheme.
– Among those who can afford it.
– I gather that my honorable friend thinks it objectionable that there should be inquiries into the circumstances of people who are to receive pensions when they reach the pension age. I do not argue for a pension age. I want a necessity limit, not an age limit, because the man or woman who, by accident, has lost a limb, and can no longer earn a living, is just as appropriate a subject for State aid as is a person who has reached an advanced period of life. I quite agree with my honorable friend that if a man is hale and hearty there is no reason to give him a pension simply because he has reached a stipulated age. But my honorable friend wants these inquiries to be’ made, and these circumstances investigated all through life, because how, otherwise, is he going to prove at the end of a life of sixty or sixty-five years . that the person concerned has been thrifty? In my report I recommended that, in the case of those who could show that at some period during their lives they had made an attempt to make old-age provision, and had lost it by unmerited misfortune, through accident or sickness, or some other unavoidable cause - I did not include fire, because you can insure against that - I recommended that in such a case, where the old-age provision had been lost by unmerited misfortune during, say, ten years before the pension age, when, of course, there is not much chance for the old man to overtake and make good that which he has been stripped of, 50 per cent, increase of pension should be paid to those who had made that worthy attempt in the direc tion of old-age provision. Certainly, I approve of a system of pensions- based upon contribution if you can only work it, but you cannot work it. . You can work it for the well-to-do workman, the man in constant employment, or even the woman in constant employment ; but you cannot provide it for the wife, you cannot provide it for the widow, whosewhole attention is centred upon the bringing up of her little children. You cannot provide it for the chronically sick and thechronically feeble, and those who have suffered through accident. You cannot fit any contributory scheme to such cases. Thereis one other objection that I shall merely name to-night. If you try to build up a. contributory scheme for the whole community, you reach such1 gigantic funds that you cannot make them interest earning. The funds would exceed the national debt of England over and over again. In four years the funds of the German systemaggregated £75,000,000, and they did not cover anything like all the workers of Germany. If your fund is so gigantic that it does not earn interest regularly, your wholecontributory scheme comes littered to the ground like a pack of cards.
– That has been the trouble with the co-operative movement inEngland. They have not been able to find an outlet for their capital.
– Undoubtedly ;. and that is one of the troubles of the friendly societies. The friendly societies, of England had ,£220,000,000 to their credit, and the difficulty was to find investments for it. Senator Walker, as one of the members of the board of the greatest of England’s oversea life offices, knows the trouble of finding investments. That is thegreatest duty of a board of directors ina large life office. If it came to the handling, not of tens of millions, but of hundreds and even hundreds of thousands of millions, what would be the result ? It is shown in my report in referenceto Mr. Chamberlain’s No. 2 scheme - which would give a pension of only 5s. a week to the workers of England, and involveonly 7,000.000 of the workers and 4,000,000 women - that when the fund reached its apex it would amount to billions without interest. I need say no more to-night, except, shortly, to open honorable senators’’ eyes in one direction at least to two facts : that my honorable friend, in proposing a- ! contributory scheme, is proposing somethingthat all the world has gone against, except in the case of the limited German scheme; and, secondly, that you cannot provide a contributory scheme that is possible of operation by the women, the chronically sick and feeble, and those who are incapacitated by various reasons from regular work.
– And the bushworkers of Australia.
– That is still another matter. It is referred to in my report. I cannot deal with it to-night, but I should like to have even half the time that Senator Dobson has had to enable me to show, far more conclusively than I can in the course of about a quarter of an hour, that ray honorable friend, while actuated by splendid desires - for we know that he is an enthusiast - has taken up only one phase of the question. He is saturated with the idea of a contributory scheme. Strangely enough, he quotes Mr. Charles Booth, who is shown in my report as advocating a pension scheme of 5s. a week for everybody in the United Kingdom over a given age. The estimate was for twenty-four millions a year, and I pointed out then, as I point out now, that the world has not yet reached a stage of development ‘ that appreciates a proposal to pension at the public expense the. millionaires of the nation. I hope that I may be permitted on a future occasion to continue a speech which; out of regard for the comfort of honorable senators, I feel that I should not be justified in prolonging tonight.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.
Motion (by Senator Keating) proposed -
That the Senate do now adjourn.
Will the Minister of Home Affairs inform the Senate the order of business for tomorrow ?
– The first business to be taken to-morrow will be the Bounties Bill. The next on the noticepaper will be the Quarantine Bill.
– Is it not intended to go on to-morrow with the Bill to amend the Australian Industries Preservation Act ?
– Not to-morrow. That measure will be third on the noticepaper.
– The VicePresident’ of the Executive Council said that he would make- his second-reading speech.
– He said that he would put it on the notice-paper, and that the most he would do would be to deliver his second-reading speech, and then the debate could be adjourned, but, later on, he informed me that he thought in all the circumstances he would be better able to do justice to the matter next week.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 10.32 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 3 October 1907, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1907/19071003_senate_3_39_c1/>.