13 November 1907

3rd Parliament · 2nd Session

The President took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.

page 5857



Senator WALKER:

– I desire to ask the Vice-President of the Executive Council, without notice, if he can inform the Senate how far the negotiations for the lease of a site in the Strand, London, have gone?

Senator BEST:
Vice-President of the Executive Council · VICTORIA · Protectionist

– At this juncture it is impossible for me to state the exact position ; but I assure my honorable friend that when Iam able to give any definite information I shall be only too glad to communicate it to the Senate.

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Senator MILLEN:

– I beg to ask the Vice-President of the Executive Council, without notice, whether the statement in to-day’s newspaper affirming that the Government is taking steps to collect the Excise duty on agricultural machinery from 1st January last is correct, and also whether it is intended to recover the duty as from that date?

Senator BEST:

– The collectors have been instructed to issue anotice in a form, which I intend to read, to all manufacturers of Excisable implements who have not obtained a declaration from the President of the Court of Conciliation and Arbitration that the wages paid by them are fair and reasonable. The form of that notice is as follows -

Take notice that in accordance with and following the decision of the President of the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, in the case recently decided by him, you are hereby required, under the provisions of the Excise Tariff 1906 (No. 16, of 1906), to furnish declared entries for, and to pay the Excise duty as set out in the schedule to the said Act, upon all dutiable goods delivered from your factory since the 1st January, 1907. You are further notified that it is required of you to apply for a licence to manufacture under the provisions of the Excise Act 1901, and to give security in the sum of…………………………… for the due compliance with the requirements of the said Act.

You are further notified that, in view of the decision above noted, the provisions of the said Act have been in force in regard to your factory since the 1st January, 1907, and further take notice that, in accordance with the said Act, it will be necessary for you to pass proper entries for all dutiable goods before delivery from your factory, from the date hereof.

Senator Millen:

– Has that notice been sent out ?

Senator BEST:

– That notice has been sent to the collectors, who have been instructed to duly show it to the manufacturers.

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Senator FINDLEY:

– I desire to ask the Minister representing the Minister of Trade and Customs, without notice, whether any Excise duty has yet been collected from the distillers who are liable to such duty as from 1 2th October last, unless they recognise reasonable working conditions in their industry ?

Senator BEST:

– I remind my honorable friend that we are not in a legal position to collect the Excise duty, but my honorable colleague is taking all the necessary steps to enforce the provisions of the Act.

page 5857



Painters’ Wages

Senator McGREGOR:

– On behalf of Senator Story, and at his request, I beg to ask the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral, without notice, the question which he put recently in reference to the wages paid to painters in the service of the Telegraph Construction Branch ?

Senator KEATING:
Minister for Home Affairs · TASMANIA · Protectionist

Senator Story asked these questions -

Is it a fact that in Adelaide, in the Telegraph Construction Branch, painting is being done by glut hands, at 7s. per day (painters’ wages being 9s.), and that at Port Adelaide, similar work is being done by linemen, who receive a lower rate of pay than painters? If so, what is the reason ?

On the 7th inst., I informed the honorable senator that inquiries were being made, and that full particulars would be supplied later. The Deputy Postmaster-General, Adelaide, has furnished the following in- . formation -

The Permanent Line Partypaint the poles in connexion with the maintenance of the lines; the salaries paid are£144,£126,£126, and£120 per annum, and in Adelaide, one painter is employed at a salary of £132 per annum, fixed by the Public Service Commissioner for this class of work.

One temporary man was employed for a few days assisting the painter, at 7s. per day. This man was employed as a temporary labourer, not as a painter, and was therefore paid the current rate of wages as a labourer. 5858 European Mail Contract. [SENATE.] Anglo-Japanese Treaty.

The painting of telegraph poles in South Australia has always been carried out by the Permanent Gangs, and is considered part of the maintenance of the lines.

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Senator BEST:

– I think I am justified at this stage in giving my honorable friend the assurance that, unless something unforeseen should transpire, I shall be prepared to make a statement on the subject to-morrow.

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– I desire to ask the Vice-President of the Executive Council, without notice, whether he can tell me the date on which the long vacation of the High Court will commence, and also whether the Disputed Elections and Qualifications Bill will be given preference over all Government business in the other Chamber.

Senator BEST:

– The long vacation of the High Court will commence on or about the 21st December, and continue for a period of eight weeks. I am not in a position to answer the other question, but if the honorable senator chooses to give notice of it, I shall be very happy to refer It to my honorable colleagues.

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Sick Sailor: Bond


asked the Vice-President of the Executive Council, upon notice -

For particulars under which a bond of£500 had to be given in Hobart recently, before a German seaman, aged 70 years, was allowed to be landed and conveyed to the Hospital from the barque Industrie?

Senator BEST:

– The answer to the honorable senator’s question is as follows: -

The honorable member refers, apparently, to the case of a sailor discharged from the German ship Luise suffering from serious ailments. Tinder the Immigration Restriction Acts,1901r-5, section 3, paragraph (b), the admission of any person likely to become a charge on the State is prohibited.

It appeared that the sailor in question, if landed without conditions, would have been likely to become a charge on a public institution.

A bond was accordingly required that the ship would become responsible for the cost of his maintenance while in hospital, until certified by the authorities of the institution as capable of resuming active work.

This course is taken by the Commonwealth wholly in the interest of the State and the State institutions affected, and in accordance with the practice in the States prior to Federation.

Senator Macfarlane:

– Was it a bond

Senator BEST:

– It is not a question of a bond. The amount of the bond is’ a matter more or less of detail. I had personal experience of this practice’ long before the establishment of the Commonwealth.

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Senator PEARCE:

asked the Vice-Presi dent of the Executive Council, upon notice -

In reference to the reply given by the Minister as to the connexion of the State of Queensland with the Anglo-Japanese Treaty -

Have the Government made any representation to the Government of the United Kingdom, in order to have the Commonwealth made a party to the Treaty, for the purpose of getting trade advantages for the exports of Australia to Japan?

If so, what representations were made, and what was the reply?

Will the Government consult Parliament before entering into any arrangement that will involve the Commonwealth?

Will the Government take into consideration the advisability of terminating the protocol by which the State of Queensland became a party to the treaty?

Senator BEST:

– The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as follow : -

  1. Yes.
  2. The matter was referred to Japan, and a reply received, but no further action has been thought advisable.
  3. Yes.
  4. It has not been considered necessary to intervene.
Senator PEARCE:

– Can the Minister give me a more explicit answer to “ the second question? I should like to know the nature of the reply.

Senator BEST:

– I am afraid that I am not able to give more explicit information on this subject. I will, however, consult the Department; but, as at present advised, I will not be in a position to further answer the question.

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Readers’ Assistants

Senator FINDLEY:

asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice -

  1. Whether his attention has been called to the following paragraph inthe Age of 2nd November, on a report of Mr. A. Valentine in respect to the State Government Printing Office, “ Work in the reading branch is much hampered by the class of readers’ assistants employed, and of the twenty-four on duty on the date on which particulars of the staff were furnished me, seventeen were lads of fourteen and fifteen years of age and of under one year’s service, receiving a weekly wage of seven shillings “ ?
  2. Whether the Minister will cause inquiries to be made as to whether any of the lads in question are engaged on Commonwealth work?
  3. Whether their services are utilized at night as well as during the day-time?
  4. If so, does the Minister consider 7s. per week an adequate wage for the work performed?
Senator BEST:

– The answer to the honorable senator’s questions is as follows : -

The readers’ assistants are employed in reading from the original to the readers, who check the proofs. The average number employed is nine. Their wages range from 7s. to ros. per week, the rate being slightly higher than that fixed by the Printers’ Board. Their average.. ‘ige >s over 15. The boys are, as a rule, employed on day work one week and on night work on the following week, but on an average about six boys volunteer each week to do night work in preference to day work. Those doing night work are employed in reading typewritten copy of Hansard. They usually work from 5.30 p.m. to 4 a.m. on four days of the week, and are free for the rest of the time. The total number of working hours is 42 per week. As the work of the Commonwealth and the State Governments is done by the same employes, it would not be practicable for the scale of payment to be different.

Senator FINDLEY:

– The Minister has said that, as the State work and Commonwealth work are performed in the State Printing Office, it will not be possible for the boys doing night work, for the hours stated, to receive more than 7s. or 10s. a week. I desire to ask the honorable gentleman whether it is not possible to give them more compensation than that for the work performed ? It is not true that that kind of work is performed by boys in any other part of Australia.

Senator BEST:

– I can only supply the information which has been authoritatively given to me. From inquiries I have made, I can assure my honorable friend that the boys distinctly prefer the night work.

Senator Findley:

– Oh, bosh !

Senator BEST:

– My honorable friend should not say that.

Senator Findley:

– No boys prefer night work to day work.

Senator BEST:

– They do, because it gives them some freedom during the day.

Senator Millen:

– Does the Minister say that the wage paid to the boys is higher than that fixed by the Printers’ Wages Board ?

Senator BEST:

– -So I am informed. I may add that the lads in the Printing Office axe employed by the Government Printer, who pays those wages.

Senator Findley:

– In every other office, readers’ assistants are either men or youths.

Senator BEST:

– I can only give my honorable friend the information which has been supplied to me.

Senator Findley:

– In other offices, boys do not do the reading.

Senator BEST:

– I apprehend that the Acting Government Printer of Victoria really knows what he is talking about. I do not think he would be a party to misleading the Senate, and it is the information I have received from him that I have imparted to honorable senators.

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Senator DE LARGIE:

asked the VicePresident of the Executive Council, upon notice -

Is it a fact, as stated in the State Parliament of Western Australia, that Federal uniforms” are being made under sweating conditions in that State ? .

Senator KEATING:

Senator de Largie was kind enough to supply a copy of the Western Australian Hansard containing the statement to which reference is made in his question, and on inquiry it appears that it refers to defence uniforms. The following is the reply furnished to me by the Defence Department -

Nothing is known in the Department beyond what appeared in the Western Australian Hansard of the 16th October. Inquiries are now being made, and when a reply has been received the honorable member will be informed.

page 5859


Motion (by Senator Stewart) agreed’ to-

That the report of the Board of Experts appointed to inquire into the issue of a set of Commonwealth postage stamps be ‘ laid on the table of the Senate.

page 5859


Senator KEATING laid on the table the following papers -

Public Service Act 1902 - Repeal of Regulation 74, and substitution of new Regulation in lieu thereof - Statutory Rules 1907, No. 114.

Census and Statistics Act 1905 - Population and Vital Statistics of the Commonwealth for the quarter ended 31st March, T907. - Bulletin No. 3; Trade, Shipping, Oversea Migration, and Finance of the Commonwealth of Australia for the month of August, 1907. - Bulletin No. 8.

Canberra Capital Site - Report of Acting Chief Engineer for Rivers, Water Supply, and Drainage, New . South Wales, as to water supply, and of Government Architect as to local supply of building material. 5860 Supply Bill [SENATE.] (No. 3).

page 5860


Seizure of Wire Netting: Legal Proceedings - Defence Forces : Military Board: Supply of Boots to Militia and Volunteers : Promotions of Noncommissioned Officers - AngloJapanese Treaty - Defence Policy - Uniform Stamps Board’s Report.

Motion (by Senator Best) proposed -

That this Bill be now read a first time.

Senator Colonel NEILD (New South Wales) [3.19]. - I desire at this stage of the Bill to refer at once to certain matters which, at a later stage, I shall have to deal with separately. I beg to ask the Vice-President of the Executive Council if, when he replies to the debate, he will give the Senate some definite information with reference to the legal process that was issued by the Commonwealth Government against the State of New South Wales in respect of an historic seizure of wire netting. On most authoritative information, I understand that the facts are these : That the Commonwealth Government issued a process against the AttorneyGeneral of New South Wales, and made that process the basis of an application for an injunction. After going to some very considerable expense, as I think there was a heavy bar engaged, the Commonwealth Government made the remarkable discovery that they had gone about the business in. the wrong way, by issuing a process in the wrong name, and they have never from that day to this dared to take any further legal proceedings in respect of the matter. I should not make a statement of this kind unless on the highest authority, and that I may not be misunderstood, I repeat that I am informed that the Commonwealth Government issued a legal process against the Attorney-General of the State of New South Wales in respect to the seizure of wire netting, seeking to recover penalties for that seizure, and made it the basis of further proceedings, in equityI presume, for an injunction, and finally had to drop the whole business because they had started in the wrong manner, had issued the process in the name of the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth instead of in the name of the Minister of Trade and Customs, or something of that kind. I do not wish to tie myself too closely to a statement of the exact form in which the process was issued, but it suffices to say that it was issued in the wrong name and in incorrect circumstances, and the whole pack of cards came tumbling down. That is one thing I hope the Minister will tell us something about when he replies to the debate. I am not in the habit of taking up the time of the Senate with matters of a military character. It is a long time since I did so, but I’ take advantage of this opportunity to bring certain matters of the kind before the Senate. I think it might be a courteous thing if the Minister at the head of the Defence Department was informed that I propose to deal with some matters affecting his Department.

*Supply Bill* [13 November, 1907.] *(No.* 3). 5861 of these regiments, I managed to do that for years under the State and subsequently under the Commonwealth. I have refreshed my memory by looking up the vouchers, and I may say that before the Commonwealth Parliament imposed Customs duties we were able to supply our men with military cossacks at 6s. 6d. a pair, and very fair boots at that, just as good as the 'boots which now, under the operation of the Federal duties, cost 9s. 6d. per pair. >Regulation 98 is amended as follows : - Certain lines are cancelled, and then the instruction is given to officers commanding regiments only to issue boots at' half-price. As I have said, I do not charge the volunteers of Australia as being so miserable as to throw up the sponge for the sake of 4s. or 5s. a year. My own knowledge tells me that Australian volunteers' will go into camp on very poor rations and no pay whatever, and will even in many cases out of their own pockets pay other men to do their work whilst they are away. I know that that has taken place in several cases at least that have come under my own personal notice in connexion with men under my own command. But I do say that if this continual diminution of the small privileges that are granted to the volunteers of Australia goes on - if their privileges are to be illegally tampered with - we may bid good-bye to our volunteer forces. Let me relate an incident that occurred a few days ago in Sydney. Major-General Hoad, the Inspector-General of the Commonwealth, was inspecting the regiment of which I have the honour to be colonel. The men were drawn up in line two deep. The Major-General said, " Now, any man who has a grievance will shoulder and take two paces to the front. " Nobody moved. If any one had a grievance he kept it to himself. The Inspector-General seemed rather surprised, and went a stage further. He said, " Well, now, any man who is without a great-coat will shoulder and take two paces to the front." The whole battalion shouldered and took two paces to the front. If that had been done on the comic opera stage, the audience would have regarded it as an admirable joke. *Supply Bill* [13 November, 1907.] *(No.* 3). . 5863 have been depleted to the extent, I am informed, of£70 over it. SenatorColonel NEILD.- I am; I do know of my own knowledge. There is another matter to which I wish to draw attention, and that is the fact that while the Commonwealth promotes officers on the permanent staff, it makes no provision for the payment of the emolument that' attaches to the higher office. The same rule applies to the civil branch of our service. No doubt it also applies to the naval branch. I find that it is quite a) common thing for the statutory increments in the Post and Telegraph Office to be withheld when they are due, and officers are told that they cannot be paid, because Parliament has made no grant. They are told, " You must wait until the next Estimates are passed." There was an occasion, a little while ago, when an officer on the permanent staff of the Defence Department received a very well-deserved promotion. He was a man who had risen from the ranks. . He had been under my own observation for years, and I took some little interest in seeing that his long-delayed promotion eventuated. He was promoted. As a captain he is entitled to more pay than he received as a lieutenant. But until the next year's Estimates are passed by Parliament he cannot be paid his increment. I know that there is no provision on the Estimates before Parliament, and there is no hope of the man being paid until perhaps eighteen months hence. The same rule, as I have said, applies in the civil departments. I once spoke to the present Minister of Trade and Customs when he was Postmaster-General, and in company with him was the then Treasurer, **Sir John** Forrest, and urged that just as Parliament places a considerable sum at the disposal of the Treasurer to meet unforeseen outlay, in exactly the same manner the Ministers of the Departments in which increment are likely to accrue ought to be provided with a fund and enabled to make payments which are due upon the promotion of officers. An advance ought to be obtained from Parliament for that purpose. Apparently that suggestion has had no useful result, and nothing has been done. But I am taking advantage of the present opportunity to bring the subject forward again. There is another matter to which I wish to direct attention. It will scarcely be believed by honorable senators that when such a humble officer as a sergeant is promoted, and a corporal is entitled to be promoted to take the sergeant's place, the mills of the military gods grind so very slowly that the thing does not seem to be capable of eventuating. When honorable senators are very properly interested in preventing or trying to prevent sweating in the civil" departments, I should like them to take a hand in such a matter as this that I am now laying before the Senate. I am going to refer to the case of an acting-sergeant. He is not permanently appointed. I will not mention his name, because I will never assist in making the Senate a place for individual grievance-mongering. I will, however, give the name to the Minister if he wishes to have it. This man was on what is called the married establishment. He obtained leave to marry, and had some children. He has three children. What does he receive? **Mr. President,** upon my word, I am ashamed to make the announcement to the Senate. This man receives pay at the rate of 4s. 6d. per diem, with is. 3d. per diem lodging allowance, and 10d. per diem for rations for himself, wife, and three children; or a grand total *of 6s. 7d. per diem. Senate will show that I have never yet, in the six or seven years of the existence of the Commonwealth, used this Chamber for the purpose of ventilating any personal grievance, or any grievance connected with the Military Department, of which I am a humble member, and in which I have as large and as virile an interest as I imagine any honorable senator has in any subject to which he devotes his .energies and experience. There is one case that I am very much tempted to speak of. I shall treat' it in the most vague manner. A certain commissioned officer in the permanent employ of the Commonwealth has had his name very much, in the records of Parliament in connexion with certain matters that were the subject of inquiry. Although that gentleman has been moved from one State to another, the ill fortune which has marked his discharge of duty in one portion of the Commonwealth has marked it in others - if not for himself, at least for those under his command. I take the case of a man whom I have known from childhood, and whose father I knew before him. He has had some eleven years' experience as a non-commissioned officer in the employment of one of the States and of the Commonwealth. He has been specially selected for onerous duties coming within his sphere of military service. He has discharged those duties with unerring acceptance. I once sought to have him attached to my regiment as an instructor, and it goes without saying that no commanding officer who is responsible for the discipline and training of his regiment will ask for a duffer for such a position. After some ten or eleven years' service, having passed all the examinations required of him, he had to go to a school under the permanently employed officer to whom I have tei erred. I understand that the proceedings upon the barrack square, or wherever the instruction or examination was held, were so remarkable that a young officer who was exceedingly raw to the business very nearly fainted under the process to which he was subjected, and this non-commissioned officer of whom I am speaking was reported as incompetent. After nearly eleven years of non-commissioned service, having acted on several occasions as the sergeantmajor of his battery of the permanent service, he was, on the *ipse dixit* of this commissioned officer, and with the approbation of the Military Board, reduced to the ranks, without an appeal. Such things are scarcely credible, and are certainly not creditable. To show that I am not bringing an unworthy case forward, although the man was reduced to the ranks at the instance of this major, and by the direction of the Military Board, yet the colonel of the regiment - the R.A.A. - and the State Commandant, who is an officer of general's rank, took him out of the ranks, and made him a clerk in the Rifle Department. I cite that to show that he is an admirable man, because no general and no colonel would so deal with him if he were not worth it. They do not want a bad man in the onerous position that this man has been placed in. I believe, the matter has gone so far that the Military Board, in a sudden access of generosity, has permitted this disrated man to go up for examination - which I have not the slightest doubt that he will pass triumphantly if he gets even a ghost of fair play - for what rank? For appointment to a higher non-commissioned rank than he has been put out of - as a sergeant or sergeant-major on the instructional staff ! I will not take the action myself at present, but I shall be very happy to cooperate with any honorable senator who will ask for the appointment of a Select Committee, not to interfere in matters of discipline or questions of military misconduct, but to deal with some of these finance questions to which I have referred, and with such an apparently glaring case as that which I have just detailed. *Supply Bill* [13 . November, 1907.] *(No.* 3). 5867 sure **Senator Best** will take a note. We have deliberately provided that the defence of the Commonwealth shall be in the hands of a citizen soldiery, but not one officer of the citizen forces, either paid or unpaid, is a memberof the Military Board, except occasionally when he is called in to have a chat. I have no personal grievance with the Board. I am not airing my own unhappiness. The Commonwealth can never do more for me in the military service than it has done. I am saitsfied, and therefore have nothing to complain of. The Board consists chiefly of officers, who are the juniors of those to whom they give orders. We find that a company commander, for instance a Captain, gives orders to a Brigadier-General. But that is not the only instance of the kind. The State Commandants, who are in the position of either Generals of Brigade or Generals of Division, receive their orders from aMilitaryBoard that consists of civilians and officers, nearly the whole of whom are their juniors. That is a fact, and it does not make for discipline or for a feeling of confidence, without which we cannot run a citizen force in this community. I hold very strongly that some of the senior officers of the militia, and, if my honorable friends like, a member or two of the volunteer force, shouldbe members of the Board. It would be better if, instead of meeting, perhaps, once a week, they met once a month, and the State Commandants had more authority than they have, for they cannot get a door painted or a fowl-house whitewashed without an immense amount of delay and red-tape. A State Commandant is one of the most helplessly crippled beings on the face of the earth. {: #debate-12-s0 .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE:
Western Australia -- I desire to bring forward a matter which is, I think, of considerable importance to the Commonwealth, and which, if dealt with, may relieve the Commonwealth from the possibility of serious happenings in the future. It will be remembered by honorable senators that on the 25th August, 1894, Great Britain and Japan entered into a treaty, which is commonly known as the Anglo- Japanese Treaty, and which provided for certain Colonies that were exempted from its provisions to become parties thereto on taking action within a certain time, and thus to get the advantage of trade relations with Japan. Article 19 of the Treaty reads - >The stipulations of the present Treaty shall be applicable so far as the laws permit to all the Colonies and foreign possessions of Her Britannic Majesty excepting to those hereinafter . named, that is to say, except to India, Canada, Newfoundland, Cape Colony, Natal, New South Wales,Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, New Zealand. > >Provided always that the stipulations of the present Treaty shall be made applicable to any of the above-named Colonies, or foreign possessions on whose behalf notice to that effect shall have been given to the Japanese Government by Her Britannic Majesty's representative at Tokio within two years from the date of the exchange of ratifications of the present Treaty. Under that article, the Colony of Queensland became a party to the conditions of the Treaty. As I intend to ask the Government to take a certain course, I invite the attention of **Senator Best** to the protocol making Queensland a party to the Treaty. It may fee seen on page 1315 of volume I. of the *Votes and Proceedings* of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for 1899. It was signed on the 16th March, 1897, and reads as follows: - >Whereas Queensland, a Colony of Her Britannic Majesty, has this day in due form, acceded to the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Great Britain and Japan, signed in London on the 16th day of July, 1894, in accordance with the provisions of Article XIX. thereof. > >The Undersigned, Her Britannic Majesty'_s Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, and His Imperial Japanese Majesty's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs,' duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments have agreed : - > >That the stipulations contained in the first and third articles of the above-named 5868 *Supply Bill* [SENATE,] . (No. *3).* > >Treaty, shall not in any way affect the Laws, Ordinances and Regulations with regard to trade, the immigration of labourers and artisans, police and public security which are in force, or may hereafter be enacted in Japan or in the said Colony of Queensland. > >That the said Treaty shall cease to be binding as between Japan and the said Colony of Queensland at the expiration of twelve months after notice shall have been given on either side of a desire to terminate the same. > >In witness whereof the undersigned have signed the present Protocol and affixed thereto their seals. > >Done at Tokio this16th day of March, 1897. (seal) Ernest Satow. (seal) Signature of Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs. Honorable senators will perhaps have noticed that recently there was a serious influx of Japanese into British Columbia. Prior to this, the Dominion of Canada had become a party to the treaty with Japan, in the same way as Queensland had done. When the authorities of the Province of British Columbia took legislative action to prevent a further influx, it was vetoed by the Dominion authorities, who have the power to veto provincial legislation. During the recent riots in British Columbia, the authorities of the Province approached the Dominion. Government with a request that they would make such representations as would have the effect of bringing about a cessation of the Japanese immigration. If honorable senators will remember, the reply of the Dominion Government was to the effect that it would be fatal to the treaty advantages which the Dominion was receiving in the matter of trade relations with Japan if such representations were made, and they, therefore, declined to make them. The Queensland Government, having become a party to the treaty, the arrangement still continues, because the twelve months' notice provided for has not been given to the Japanese Government, either by the Government of Queensland or by the Commonwealth Government on their assumption of the control of External Affairs. My object to-day is to ask the Commonwealth Government to induce the Government of Queensland, if the matter is within their province, to take the necessary steps, and, if it is not within their province, to take the necessary steps themselves to give the necessary twelve months' notice denouncing the treaty. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- Why ? {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- I shall tell the honorable senator. I have here volume 4 of the *Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland,* for the sessionof 1901, which contains correspondence that took place between the Japanese Government, through their consuls and Foreign Affairs Office, with the British Foreign Affairs Office, and. through that' office with the Queensland Government, and also correspondence between Japanese consuls in Australia with the Queensland Government, which discloses the fact that an immense amount of friction has already occurred between Queensland and Japan in connexion with the treaty. The correspondence, in my opinion, shows that the arrangement to which the Commonwealth Government have become a party in a secondary sense, at any rate, contains the seeds of trouble in the future if Japan should seek occasion to raise the question of the effect of our immigration laws. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- They are specially tabooed by the treaty. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- They are not. As I shall show when I deal with some of the correspondence, it is specially set out in the arrangement that, while the immigration laws were to be left to the discretion of the Queensland Parliament, an arrangement was come to under the protocol between the Government of Queensland and the Government of Japan, by which the proportion of Japanese then in Queensland was to be maintained. That is to say, if the population of Queensland increased, under that arrangement the Government of Japan had the right to demand the admission of more Japanese to the State to keep up the proportion. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- That is not in accordance with the terms of the treaty. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- No. In volume 2 of the *Federal Parliamentary Papers* for the session of 1901, the honorable senator will find at page 1383 that the first article of the treaty provides that - >The subjects of each of the two HighContracting parties shall have full liberty to enter travel or reside in any part of the Dominions or Possessions of the other Contracting Party, and shall enjoy full and perfect protection for their persons and property. It goes on to amplify that. But the first article in the protocol I have read provides - >That the stipulations contained in the first and third articles of the above-named treaty shall not in anyway affect the Laws Ordinances and Regulations with regard to trade the immigration of labourers and artisans police and public security, which are in force or may hereafter be enacted in japan or in the said Colony of Queensland. While there is that provision in the protocol, the correspondence which I intend to quote shows that under it an arrangement had been come to for the introduction of Japanese labourers into Queensland. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- That was a voluntary act. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- Certainly, but it has never been denounced, and continues in force to-day. Since the inauguration of Federation, the Queensland Government have taken no action whatever to put an end to it, and the Government of the Commonwealth have not abrogated the arrange-, ment. What I say is that we have in this protocol 'a means to enable the Japanese Government at any time to raise the question of our immigration law. The Government, in their answers to my questions todav. have told the Senate that they made representations to Japan in order that the Common wealth might become a party to the treaty to secure certain trade advantages, but the correspondence they received from the Government of Japan was of such a nature that they took the matter no further. I venture to assume that if we could get it, that correspondence would reveal the fact that the Commonwealth Government did not complete the arrangement sought to be made, because the Japanese Government made it one of the conditions that our ports should be thrown open to Japanese immigration. We have only to read the current literature of the world, the extracts from time to time published from Japanese newspapers, and the statement of Viscount Hayashi, the Japanese Foreign Minister in London, regarding our immigration laws, to know that the Japanese Government only await a favorable opportunity to raise this question. I say that so long as the arrangement entered into with Japan by the Government of Queensland continues in force, the Japanese Government have a pretext to raise the question at any time that the Commonwealth Government are not carrying out the terms of the agreement, whilst Queensland continues to enjoy the! trade advantages afforded by the arrangement. {: .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator Turley: -- It does not apply to immigrants. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- That is not correct. T. have pointed out that an arrangement has been entered into between the Japanese and Queensland Governments to permit of the introduction to Queensland of such numbers of Japanese as may be necessary to keep up the proportion of Japanese to other people in the State existing at the time that the protocol was signed. That demand on the part of the Japanese Government was not .met with refusal by the Queensland Government, but with evasion throughout. At no stage of the correspondence have the Queensland Government denied the right of the Japanese Government to introduce Japanese in such numbers as might be necessary to keep up the proportion existing at the time of the signing of the protocol. I say that whilst the protocol remains in force, there will always be a pretext for the Japanese Government to raise the question of our immigration law. An agreement has been entered into by the Government) of Queensland with the Japanese Government by which that State enjoys certain trade advantages with Japan, and at the same time we are not carrying out the arrangement requiring the proportion of Japanese in the State to be kept up. I am sorry that I shall have to inflict some of this correspondence on the Senate. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- It is very interesting. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- It is interesting to me, and I hope that it is interesting to honorable senators. At all events, in view of. possible consequences, under the treaty, I deem it my duty to direct attention to the matter. The first letter is dated 2nd June, 1899, and is from the Premier of Queensland to the Governor of that State ; but the first from which I shall quote is one from **Sir Ernest** Satow to the late Marquis of Salisbury. It appears in this correspondence as an inclosure in a letter from the Right Honorable Joseph Chamberlain, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, to the Governor of Queensland, and is dated from Tokio, 2nd June, 1899. I quote the last paragraph. Speaking of Viscount Aoki, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, and his representations, **Sir Ernest** Satow wrote - > **His Excellency** said i had no doubt seen in the papers a telegram from the Japanese Consul at Townsville, stating that about fifty Japanese who had landed in Queensland with passports in which they were described as merchants, having been found to .be labourers, were refused permission to land. On receiving this information, he had at once instructed the Governors of the places from which 'emigrants usually proceed to exercise greater care in the issue of passports, and he assured me of his desire to avoid any misunderstanding with .the Government of Queensland. 5870 *Supply Bill* [SENATE.] . (No. *3).* A further memorandum is inclosed to the British Ambassador at Tokio, dated 15th June, 1899, to this effect - >The Imperial Government entertain no objection to the wish of the Queensland Government with regard to the issue of passports to Japanese travellers and Japanese labourers and artizans proceeding to that Colony with the object of restricting the entrance of Japanese labourers and artizans if the restriction in question is to be applied to all foreigners. But if the intention of the Queensland Government is to make a distinction as regards Japanese subjects only and subject them alone to this restrictive treatment the Japanese Government must hesitate to further the wishes of that Government. **Senator Turley** will see from that that the Japanese Government advanced considerably in the claims they made under the. Treaty. {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator Lynch: -- Is the reference to immigrants or to tourists ? {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- All this correspondence refers to Japanese immigrants. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- And to Japanese travelling with passports. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- Under the arrangement with the Queensland Government all the Japanese immigrants were to be provided with passports. It was further to be provided that they should be commercial men, but it was found by the Queensland Government that under the passport system Japanese labourers were introduced wholesale. Many of the immigrants had not a£10-note in their possession when they landed in Queensland, and had no goods of any sort for sale. The next representation was made to the Marquis of Salisbury, and is dated Tokio, 22nd June, 1899- >My Lord, 1 took an opportunity yesterday of speak ing to Viscount Aoki about his memorandum respecting Japanese immigration to Queensland, which was enclosed in my despatch No. 106, of the 15th inst. I explained that the reason why the Queensland Government desired to restrict the immigration of free labourers was not a dislike to Japanese on account of race, religion, or conduct, but because the Colonies preferred to see their territories populated by people who would become good Australians. Japanese merchants and travellers were welcome, Here is a significant statement made by the representative of the Queensland Government at the time - and employers of labour had only to make application to the Queensland Government for permission to import the number of contract labourers they might desire. Consequently that Government had proposed that Japanese not belonging to the labouring classes should provide themselves with passports. I now understand from his memorandum that Japanese going out of the country were , no longer compelled to ob tain passports which were only issued upon application. The Queensland Government were anxious to arrive at an understanding, but the wording of his memorandum, I thought, would not facilitate an arrangement. Later on a firm named Bowden and Son actually offered to import Japanese labourers under this arrangement. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- Did they succeed ? {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- They did not, although the Government in that case did not give a direct refusal. They simply evaded the question. Here is an extract of a letter from the Premier of Queensland to the Administrator of the Government of that State- >Chief Secretary's Office, > >Brisbane,13th October, 1899. > >It should not be lost sight of that, under the Protocol by which the adhesion of this Colony is given to the Treaty between Great Britain and Japan, it is perfectly competent for this Government to pass a law having for its object the suspension of immigration of this nature. The Government, however, do not propose to go to this length, their present policy being merely a provisional exercise in one direction only of the discretion expressly reserved to them under the recent arrangement with the Government of Japan, and I may add that in taking this course they are only carrying out the emphatically declared wishes of the vast majority of the people of the Colony. Following on that is a letter from the Lieut. -Governor of Queensland to the Secretary of State for the Colonies - >Government House, > >Brisbane, 27th October, 1899. > > **Sir,** > >I have the honour to transmit for your information a copy of a letter dated 13th inst. with two enclosures, which I have received from **Mr. Dickson,** the Prime Minister, referring to the questions raised by the Despatches dated the 23rd and 28th June, 1899, from **Sir Ernest** Satow, of which copies were enclosed in your Despatch No. 29, of 31st August, on the subject of Japanese immigration into Queensland, and which were sentby Lord Lamington to **Mr. Dickson** for the consideration of the Government. > >You will observe that **Mr. Dickson** takes exception to the statement reported by **Sir Ernest** Satow in his despatch No.111, of the 23rd June, as made to him by Viscount Aoki, to the effect that " employers of labour had only to make application to the Queensland Government for permission to import the number of contract labourers they might desire," - I may mention that the Lieut. -Governor at the time was the present Chief Justice of the Commonwealth, **Sir Samuel** Griffith. What I have quoted was the British Ambassador's interpretation of the arrangement. But the Queensland Government took exception to that - and points out that shortly before the date of the conversation referred to in the Despatch the Government of this Colony had already informed the Japanese Consul at Townsville, by letter dated 20th May (No. 35 of the Parliamentary Papers, transmitted in Lord Lamington's Despatch No. 25, of 5th June) that the Government of Queensland was not prepared under existing conditions to consent to any increase in the number of Japanese labourers at present in the Colony, and were accordingly, for the time being, constrained to render prohibitive the restrictive measures previously adopted. In the same letter **Sir Samuel** Griffith went on to say that in a previous despatch the Governor of Queensland had said - " With regard to **Mr. Chamberlain's** inquiry, I have the honour to inform "Your Excellency that the retention of the power of restricting alien immigration is of such vital importance to the welfare of the Colony that, unless the proviso is so framed as to leave the Government free to legislate, when it may seem to them necessary, in the direction of restricting the influx of Japanese artisans, they f eel that it will be impossible for them to take advantage of the stipulations of the present treaty." Evidently this was just about the time the arrangement was being brought up. So far, 1 am not complaining of anything, but I am making these extracts to show what subsequently happened. The retention of the power, so far as regarded labourers, seems not to have been in question. He goes on to say - After some further correspondence, the Protocol of 16th May was signed in the form desired by this Colony. In that letter, which was signed by **Sir Samuel** Griffith, we had outlined what had been the arrangement entered into, and also the view of the Queensland Government as to what the arrangement meant. Now we come to what, to my mind, is the most important point - a number of letters from the Japanese Consul, and also from the Japanese Department of Foreign Affairs, showing that they put an entirely different interpretation upon that arrangement. I shall only quote so far as is relevant, but I assure honorable senators that I am not leaving out anything except passages that are not necessary in order to state the case properly.' The first letter is headed - His Imperial Majesty's Consul to the Chief Secretary. Japanese Consulate, Stanton Hill, Townsville, 6th November, 1S99. After acknowledging the receipt of a letter, the Consul goes on to say - Admitting your necessity to restrict the Japanese immigration, in order that a certain proportion or number of people of Asiatic race permanently settling in your Colony be not exceeded, and that the decision of what is an undue proportion should rest with your Government, at the same time I beg you will permit me to state that I am of opinion that in the event of decrease of this number by a return to their native country, or exceptional loss of life by calamities, &c, due proportion should be maintained by the admission of other Japanese labourers being allowed to proceed. Bearing on this point I may state I have been informed by the Manager of "Tyo Imin Kaisha" (the company which supplies the chief number of immigrants coming to Queensland) that there are about 216 Japanese labourers returning to Japan about the end of this year, the terms of their engagements having expired, and that since the beginning of the year sixty men have already returned ; and, notwithstanding this decrease, I understand applications to indent Japanese labourers have, been refused by your Government. From your communication it appears to me that your Government is anxious to maintain a certain .proportion of people of Asiatic race in your Colony, but I am unable to 'earn on what basis this proportion is arrived at, or how the limit or maximum becomes known, and I will be thankful if you will be good enough to enlighten me on these points. Apart from the foregoing, I beg you will permit me to remark that it is not agreeable to the Japanese Government to see their subjects included in the general category of Asiatic races, without any consideration being paid to their state of civilization. Also, that .1 may be permitted to express my pleasure that your Govern ment is anxious to maintain and develop the * good' understanding at present existing between the two countries. The letter goes on to say - After consideration of these circumstances, my Government desire that I should convey to you that if your administration of the measures for the restriction of Japanese immigration is enforced to the extremity of total prohibition, my Government will, with reluctance, be compelled to request a consideration of the measure, although at one and in accord with your Government with the principle .of restriction. The Japanese then in Queensland made representations to their Government on this question, and on page 1134 of the Queensland Parliamentary Papers for 1901, Vol. 4, there is a letter, of which I desire to quote a paragraph explaining what occurred. They say - Therefore Japanese alone are injured by the law. The action of Queensland disregarding the most favoured nation clause of the AngloJapanese Treaty, which is in operation, and to which it has itself acceded, and not allowing Jap- .anese to be naturalized, is illegal and in violation of the Treaty. Queensland has no right at all to refuse to allow Japanese to be naturalized' after allowing naturalization to Germans, French, Americans, Austrians, and the subjects or citizens of other Treaty Powers who emigrate thither. That shows that the Japanese in Queensland themselves had already made representations to their Government on this question. It is the danger of that kind of thing, and the possibility that in the future it may give rise to trouble, .that makes me think that the existing .arrangement is an 5872 *Supply Bill* [SENATE.] *(No.* 3). unwise one. Theletter which I have quoted was signed by Sato Torajiro, Chairman of the Japanese Association, Thursday Island, and was addressed to " His Excellency Yarnagata Aritomo, Minister President of State, and His Excellency N. Aoki Shuzo, Minister for Foreign Affairs." Now I wish to direct attention to the possibility of danger in this direction. I shall refer honorable senators to an enclosure sent by the Right Hon. Joseph Chamberlain to the officer administering the Government in Queensland - the enclosure being a letter from **Sir Ernest** Satow, the British Ambassador at Tokio. The Ambassador's letter is as follows - >Tokio, 2nd January, 1900. > >My Lord, > >With reference to the measures which have been taken by the Government of Queensland for regulating the emigration of Japanese into that Colony, I have the honour to enclose translation of an article from a Japanese newspaper, comparing the position of' Japanese subjects in Queensland with that of British subjects andl other Ultlanders in the Transvaal. The article is partly intended as a side blow against.Viscount Aoki, but there is a good deal of feeling here against the Queensland Government on account of the attitude it is considered to have taken upon the labour question. This letter, being from the British Ambassador in Japan, was from a man who knew what he was talking about. This is the translation to which he refers - >The question of the persecution of the Japanese at Thursday Island (incapacity and *laissez faire* of the Foreign Office). > >We have previously made frequent mention of the question of the persecution of the Japanese at Thursday Island. We now learn that in the opinion of the Japanese Association in the Island, the persecution of Japanese in Thursday Island and the demands made by England in the Transvaal are in direct antithesis to each other. If we grant that there are reasons why England should go to war with the Transvaal, there are proper reasons why Japan should go to war with Queensland. For instance, if we investigate the facts underlying the demands made by England upon the Transvaal, we find that they simply amount to - > >The advantage which would accrue to England from the seizure and annexation of the Transvaal, it being rich in gold and diamonds. > >The advantage to be gained by carrying into effect of British Imperial principles if the Transvaal were amalgamated with the British Possessions - that is to say, the laying down of a railway passing vertically through the whole of Africa and the swallowing up of the African States. > >The alleged necessity for England to enter upon a war of revenge, in order to wipe out the disgrace of the great defeat sustained at Majuba Hill some years ago. . > >The alleged striking conflict between the Imperial and annexationist principles of England and those of the people of the Transvaal, who love freedom, are very patriotic, and intend to preserve their freedom and independence. > >The demands of the Japanese are not made with a view of taking possession of Thursday Island, but simply with a view to the preservation of the acquired rights of Japanese in consideration of the historical fact that the present development of the Island is entirely due to the energy of Japanese and nothing more. I wonder what my honorable friends from Queensland will say to that - >They do not desire to participate in the government. In other words, there is sufficient occasion for the Japanese Foreign Office to protest to the Government of Queensland, and the more so as the war between England and the Transvaal furnishes reasons for and lends force to our protests. But owing to the incapacity and *laissez faire* of our Foreign Office, no protest has been made, and thereby great disgrace has been brought upon the Japanese. They attempt to drive Japanese away by refusing them permission to employ the aborigines of Australia. They levy telegraph rates beyond what are fixed by regulation on Japanese alone, and withhold from them the conveniences of communication. Moreover, the first person to pay the illegal telegraphic rales was Consul Iijima, the representative of the Japanese Government, who did so without any objection on the 5th . November, and since then Japanese have in consequence, following his example, paid the illegal telegraphic rates. Our Government has not yet made any protest at all with regard to the matter, and the result is that the Queensland Government despises Japan and publicly states that the Japanese Government is in the habit of taking no action. The successive persecutions which will arrive will, it is feared, be worse and worse, until in consequence the Japanese will have to withdraw from Thursday Island, which they have opened up with . very great trouble. Such are the views of the Japanese Association at Thursday Island. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- That is merely a newspaper statement, and, therefore, quite irresponsible. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator PEARCE: -- It is a newspaper statement, but if the British Ambassador in Japan thought it of sufficient weight to send to his Government, as representing public opinion, we should give some weight to it also, and should not dismiss it by saying that it is merely a newspaper opinion. There are here a number of letters, including one from Baron Hayashi, dated 30th July, 1900, all contending that the meaning of the arrangement entered into between Queensland and Japan was that the proportion of Japanese then in Queensland was to be maintained, and that the Government of Queensland had the right to admit sufficient fresh Japanese to make up that proportion. Up to the last I can find no record of the Queensland Government giving a straight-out refutation of that contention. They merely evaded it, and, towards the close of the correspondence, did so on the ground that, as the Colonies were about to federate, the question would be one to be dealt with by the Federal Government. If that agreement is still in force, and if we have become, so to speak, the proprietors of it, it seems to me, as a layman, that the Japanese Government could at any time make the same claim on us as regards Queensland territory, although I know that they could not make it as regards the whole Commonwealth. But there is the possibility of the Japanese Government again urging that the ports of Queensland should be opened to admit sufficient Japanese to make up the proportion that existed in that State at the time the arrangement was entered into. To prevent the possibility of any quarrel arising over this matter, I ask that the Government, if it is within their province - and if it is not they can make representations to the Queensland Government - should give the twelve months' notice necessary to terminate the agreement. The only possible benefit of if is that there may be some trade advantages to the State of Queensland, but I do not think that they are very great. I believe that Queensland entered into it, in the first place, because the Government then in power were somewhat favorable to the entry of Japanese labour for the sugar plantations. But that day has gone by, and surely it would be well for us. to be on the safe side. The Japanese compare their position here with that of the Britishers in the Transvaal. It is a stern fact that, had there been no Britishers in the Transvaal, the British flag would not be waving over that country today. Seeing that there are Japanese here, that they have interests here, that they already attempted to have an extended meaning applied to the agreement, that they evidently believe that they have a right to have that extended meaning applied to it, and that they feel that they have a grievance against the Government of Queensland for not giving it that extended meaning, it would be wise for the Commonwealth Government to take the course I have indicated. We should then be certain that if the Japanese Government wished to raise the question of our immigration laws thev would have to do it directly. As it is, they can at any time say, " We are being treated unfairly. Queensland is not reciprocating; she is getting an advantage from the arrangement, but she is not opening her ports to our labourers as she promised to do." That is a very foolish position to allow ourselves to remain in. I have made these representations because I wish no loophole to be left in our White Australia policy, and I know that the present Government want none. I believe that there is a loophole here, and, although Japan is not at present making any protest, yet, while the feeling is there, there is always a danger of the protest being made. If it is made, we are in an unsound position, because we shall get no sympathy from the British Government. If Japan could make representations to the British Government that a British Colony entered into the arrangement with its eyes open, and that it was not being carried out, the British Government, as a party to the treaty, would feel themselves bound to say to us, " We ask you to carry out that treaty in its entirety." It would be far better for us to be on the safe side, by giving the twelve months' notice necessary to terminate the arrangement, as we have the power to do. {: #debate-12-s1 .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM:
Western Australia -- There are two matters to which I desire to call the attention of the Government and -the Senate. A fortnight ago to-day the Vice-President of the Executive Council stated that before Parliament adjourned, prior to Christmas, the Government defence policy would be declared.. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- No. I said that we would try to do it before Christmas, but would certainly do it before the session closed. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM: -- Perhaps' I misconstrued the honorable senator's words, but I am wondering when the declaration will come, or if it will come at all. On several occasions this session .1 -have asked questions in order to elicit a statement from the Government of their real intentions in the matter of national defence. I have received replies which were certainly satisfactory for the time, but I hoped that before we reached this period of the session a definite announcement would have been made. When I first raised the question, the principal reason why a statement of the policy of the Government could not be made was the unfortunate illness of the Prime Minister. As he had been at Home attending the Imperial Conference, and in consultation with the Imperial Naval authorities, the Cabinet were waiting for him 5874 *Supply Bill* [SENATE.] *(No.* 3). to recover health and strength, so that he might give them the benefit of his experiences, and make a statement from his place in Parliament. I am glad that the Prime Minister has resumed his parliamentary duties, and I think sufficient time has elapsed for him, if not to have made the statement himself, at least to have given such information as would have enabled one of his colleagues to do so. I recognise that the Government are perhaps still waiting for information from the officers who are at present in England investigating the question, but I am not going to be a party any longer to the policy of drift in defence matters. The people of Australia are anxiously waiting for a declaration of the Government's defence policy. The matter is referred to at almost every public function. On Saturday last, at the Lord Mayor's banquet, in Melbourne, several important speeches were made, and those, irrespective of statements which have been made in both Chambers, should convince the Government that the people are anxiously awaiting the declaration of their policy. Vice-Admiral Fawkes spoke. Portions of his speech I do not agree with, particularly his statement that the greatest factor in the safety ofAustralia is the knowledge that an enemy attacking any part of the British Empire would always have to reckon with the whole strength of the Imperial Navy. Statements of that kind tend only to accentuate the evil that has existed so long. The people of Australia are living in a false sense of security in that regard. I do notwish to enlarge now upon the question of Australian defence. I simply emphasize the fact that the sooner the Federal Government declare their policy, the better it will be for them and for the people of Australia. I desire to refer to another matter connected with the appointment of a Board to inquire into the question of a uniform stamp for the Commonwealth. On 6th November last I asked the following questions - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What is the date on which the report of the Board appointed to deal with the question of a uniform stamp for the Commonwealth was completed? 1. What was the date when the Minister re ceived it? 2. Has the report been circulated among members ? 3. If not, why not? To these, the Minister of Home Affairs gave the following replies - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. On the 30th October, 1907. 1. On the 31st October, 1907. 2. No. 3. It is not usual to circulate such reports. There is, however, no objection to a copy of the report being laid on the table of the Parliamentary Library for the information of honorable members. To-day, a motion has been carried, at the instance of **Senator Stewart,** that the report be laid on the table of the Senate. It is a remarkable thing that the report was completed on 30th October, and the Minister only received it on the 31st of October, and yet it was published in the Sydney *Bulletin* of 31st October. I have no objection to the report being published in any newspaper so long as the Minister receives it before its publication. The *Bulletin,* which is a very important Australian paper, arrives in the Parliamentary Library on Thursday in each week. The 31 st of October this year fell on a Thursday. The paper, to arrive here on a Thursday, must necessarily leave Sydney by Wednesday night's express. Consequently, the *Bulletin* must have had the information, at the very latest, on Wednesday, 30thOct- tober. The report was only completed on 30thOctober. It was an extrarordinarily clever feat of journalism if the report of the Board which sat in Melbourne was printed in a Sydney paper, and circulated in Melbourne on the very day on which it was received by the Minister. It must be patent to every one that a leakage has taken place somewhere. I am not complaining of the publication of the report in the Sydney *Bulletin.* If the members of the Senate cannot directly get the report of aCommittee appointed by the Government, surely it is right that the Minister for the Department should have the report before it is published to the world by a newspaper. If the publication of such a report is to take place in that way before it is received by the Minister, why is it not supplied to all the newspapers? {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator Stewart: -- The question is, how did the *Bulletin* get the report? {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM: -- That is what I want to elicit. Did the Minister know what the report was going to be before it was received by him officially ? If he did, did he sanction the supplying of the information to the *Bulletin,* and if not, did any member of the Board do so? If no member of the Board furnished the report to the newspaper, did any officer in the Minister's Department do so? Those are points on which I want to be enlightened, and honorable senators generally ought to share my anxiety. It is possible that in the past 'similar leakages have taken place. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator Stewart: -- We are the last persons to get official information. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM: -- The matters to -which I have referred are worthy of the serious attention of the Minister. If he ascertains that any leakage took place, so far as that particular report is concerned, it will be his duty to punish those who have been guilty of a breach of confidence. {: .speaker-KRZ} ##### Senator Lynch: -- There should be a vacancy next day if he can fix the responsibility on to any one. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM: -- I should not have brought forward the question but for the official reply I received from the Minister. If such a state of things is to continue, there will be no use for an official head of the Department. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- Off with his head ! {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM: -- I do not want an. v person to 'be removed, nor do I want any one punished. I merely desire a stop to be put to such a leakage as I have described. This is the first evidence I have had of leakage of that kind. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator Stewart: -- I have seen evidence of it often. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM: -- If any honorable senators have seen evidence of similar leakages, I ask them to join with me in urging the ministerial head of the Department to take immediate steps to institute a better state of things. {: #debate-12-s2 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
Vice-President of the Executive Council · Victoria · Protectionist -- I have listened to complaints about various matters, to which I propose to refer in their order. In the first place, **Senator Neild** has alluded to the legal proceedings which were instituted by the Commonwealth against the State Government or officials and others in New South Wales, in connexion with the wire-netting cases. Judging by the information which he gave to the Senate, my honorable friend must have been completely misinformed. In the first place, proceedings were taken against the carter for removing goods before the entry was passed, and with the object of proving the right of the Commonwealth to control the Customs. In the second case, proceedings were taken against the Inspector of Police, who forcibly prevented the Customs officials from recovering the goods and to prove that even State officials canmot move goods on which duty has not been paid. In the third case, proceedings were taken against the Attorney-General for New South Wales for the return of the goods alleged to have been illegally removed. All these proceedings were taken on the advice of **Mr. Gordon,** K.C., **Dr. Cullen,** and **Mr. Blackett,** and were fully approved of by the Commonwealth Attorney-General. It is alleged by **Senator Neild** that the proceedings were wrong from the beginning, and have had to be altered or corrected in some way or other. There is no foundation for a suggestion nf that kind. No irregularity has been discovered, and no step has been taken which would justify the assertion that the proceedings were in any way incorrect as to procedure or otherwise. The fact remains that no proceedings have been set aside, and, so far as I am aware, no action in that regard has been taken. But a most usual course has been adopted. As the case against Sutton the carrier involves many legal points, which are common to all the cases, it has been agreed that a case shall be stated to the High Court. For that purpose the usual practice has been followed of adjourning the actions in the meantime. When the points of law involved in this procedure are settled, then the actions will .proceed, or otherwise, according to the decision of the High Court. . But it would 'be idle, indeed improper, te proceed with three actions, involving more or less, as they do, the same points of law, and at an expense which would be quite unjustified when there is a recognised means of having them settled. So that my honorable friend, who, I am sorry, does not happen to be in the chamber at the. ' present moment, was wrongly informed. Then he gave us a perv long story in connexion with a- grievance that some members of the militia and volunteer forces of New South Wales are suffering in consequence of being called upon to contribute towards the expense of providing their boots. I believe that the answer to that complaint is that in the other States the practice has been for the volunteers to make that contribution. In New South Wales, however, the men have received a grant, and been provided with boots and uniforms. What has been done by the military authorities has been to adopt the practice of the other States, and to call upon the soldiers of New South Wales to make a contribution towards the provision of their boots. Mv honorable friend also referred to several grievances in regard to some officers. It is quite impossible for me, particularly as I do not know their names, to deal with their cases on the floor of the chamber. [ can only promise my honorable friend that if he' chooses to supply me with the names, I shall bring the complaints under the notice of my colleague, and endeavour to have them duly investigated. **Senator Pearce** has brought forward a matter which is of very grave importance to the Commonwealth, and introduced it in a speech which I am sure was of great interest to honorable senators. When I was a member of the Government of Victoria I had a good deal to do with the question of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty in my capacity of Commissioner of Customs, but I could not see my way to recommend Victoria to do as Queensland saw fit to do, recognising that certain advantages would flow to that Colony. I do not pretend to be able at this moment to go into any details, but it appears that by 1900 it was practically conceded by both sides that Japan was to be at liberty to maintain the proportion of 3,000 Japanese within Queensland. In 1901 the Commonwealth was established, and afterwards our Immigration Restriction Act was passed, by which the Commonwealth took complete control over immigration. , The Commonwealth has not at any time acknowledged the treaty or permitted the admission of Japanese by virtue of its terms. The Government takes up the position that the Commonwealth is not legally bound or in any way controlled by the treaty. lt is quite true that Queensland has received certain trade advantages from the treaty, and has not seen fit yet to denounce it. The question submitted by my honorable friend is whether the Commonwealth is called upon to take any action. The position taken up by the Commonwealth namely, that of complete control over immigration - has not, so far, been challenged by Japan, If at any time it should be challenged, need I assure honorable senators as to what the attitude of the Government will be? We shall maintain the law on the statute-book. The question is whether we are called upon at the present time to take any action, or to permit the State Government to do so. I admit that a grave constitutional question is involved, and that is whether Queensland has a right to take any action. The question also arises whether the Commonwealth has a right to do so instead of Queensland. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- The trouble is not so much about keeping out the yellow man as about getting in the white man. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- The fact remains that, in pursuance of the policy of the Commonwealth, Japanese have not been admitted, and it is only a question as to the expediency or otherwise of carrying out the suggestion of **Senator Pearce,** and bringing the matter to an immediate crisis. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- What trade benefit does Queensland receive? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- The trade benefit which Queensland receives and has been receiving since 1897, consists in her exports being permitted to enter Japan on favoured terms. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Queensland enjoys that benefit now. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- That is so. But we have never as a Commonwealth conceded, nor has there been any attempt on the part of the Japanese Government to enforce, the arrangement with the Queensland Government to maintain the proportion of 3,000 Japanese in that State. I submit that in the circumstances it would be unwise for the Commonwealth Government to take any action. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator Stewart: -- "Let sleeping dogs, lie." {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- " Let sleeping dogs lie" is the principle which-" I think we are justified in following. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- There is a loaded" bomb, and we are using it for a pillow. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- I do not know that it would be wise for us to interfere. The existing arrangements have continued for six years, during which it has been quite competent for the Japanese Government to have prevented the entry into the ports of Japan of exports from Queensland on the favoured terms provided for, but they have not thought it worth while to take any action in that direction. Nor have they thought lt worth while to assert the privileges which they might perhaps have claimed to be entitled to under the arrangement or treaty with the Government. I .can only assure **Senator Pearce** that I shall bring his representations under the' notice of the Prime Minister. Thev are certainly- entitled to the most careful and thoughtful consideration. I have explained the attitude of the Commonwealth Government in the past, and if Japan is not moving at the present moment why should we: move ? {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- We might extend to Japan the courtesy of not interfering which the Japanese Government are extending to us. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- That is exactly what we are doing in the most courteous possible way. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- We might find it too late when the Japanese did interfere. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- Two matters were referred to by **Senator Needham.** I am sorry that the honorable senator thinks that the Government have been neglectful in not making an announcement of their defence policy at an earlier date. The honorable senator must know that the hands of the Government ' have teen very full and while the matter to which he has referred is one of vital moment, it is also a matter of grave policy, requiring full and very careful consideration. He has had the assurance that before the session closes there will be an announcement of the policy of the Government in this connexion, and I ask him to restrain his impetuosity in the meantime. With respect to the publication of the report of the Stamps Board before it actually reached the hands of the Minister, I regard that as a matter of serious moment, and I fully sympathize with the honorable senator's denunciation.. Ministers endeavour, as far as possible, that Parliament shall be first advised in connexion with these matters before they are published in the press or elsewhere. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator Stewart: -- They very seldom succeed. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- I think the honorable senator can hardly say that. As a matter of fact, the practice, as well as the desire of Ministers, is that Parliament shall, as it is entitled to, have the first knowledge in connexion with reports and parliamentary papers. I shall bring the particular matter referred to by **Senator Needham** under the notice of the Postmaster-General, who, I am sure, will deem it his duty to make the fullest investigation to see who is at fault. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a first time. {: #debate-12-s3 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
Vice-President of the Executive Council · Victoria · Protectionist -- I move - >That this Bill be now read a second time. I can assure honorable senators that this is a very ordinary Supply Bill, contain ing only the usual items. The total amount which we are asking the Senate to vote is £787,496. There is a proposed vote of £25,000 for refunds. I have on several occasions explained exactly what these refunds are, and I shall be only too pleased to give further explanations if necessary. The Bill also contains a proposal to advance the Treasurer a sum of ,£50,000. Included in this amount is a sum of ,£25,000, intended for payment to the New South Wales Savings Bank Commission. -This is to cover a sum which was held by the Post Office for savings bank purposes when Federation was accomplished. That is to say, a sum of ,£25,000 was being utilized at the time of Federation by the postal notes branch of the New South Wales State Post and Telegraph Department. This sum is now being repaid, but it will be debited to New South Wales as transferred expenditure. I think that, with the exception of two' or three small items, no votes are exhausted by this particular Bill. I would point out that even if that were not strictly so, the matter would be of no great moment, since our practice in this connexion is different to that prevailing in the States, and our Appropriation Bill covers the whole of the items contained in all the Supply Bills passed, together, of course, with all balances due. I have said that this is a very ordinary Supply Bill. I direct the attention of honorable senators to the fact that the monthly Supply Bill passed on the 3rd July included votes to the amount of £365,243 ; and we propose in this two months' Supply Bill to cover votes to the amount of £712,496, which is less than double the amount covered by the month's Supply Bill to which I have just referred. Again, the Supply granted on the 3rd August for three months covered votes amounting to [£1,055,744. Two-thirds of that amount would be about £704,000, whilst we are asking in this Bill for Supply to the extent of ,£712,000. Honorable senators will therefore see that there is nothing unusual about this measure. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Is the honorable senator going to say anything about the granting of further Supply to cover the adjournment over the holidays? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- I did not intend to do so at this stage, but I am prepared to do so if honorable senators .desire that I should. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- This Bill affords an opportunity to discuss the adjournment. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- Then I may say that, so far as the Tariff is concerned, the Government have no hope that it will reach the Senate before Christmas. If the House of Representatives finished the Tariff by Christmas, undoubtedly it would be the duty of the Senate to meet as soon as possible thereafter for the purpose of dealing with it. If, on the other hand, the . Tariff should not be dealt with in another place by that time, it would be desirable for the Senate to extend the short recess proposed to be taken to cover the time during which the Tariff is being dealt with elsewhere. Honorable senators will be expected before adjourning to deal with the Quarantine Bill, the Disputed Elections and Qualifications Bill, and, if the extended adjournment to which I have referred is found to be necessary, with a further Supply Bill. I intend, should the extended adjournment appear to be necessary, to ask for Supply to carry on the Government until the 8th or oth March next year. That is to say, an additional two months' Supply. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- So that we shall not be brought back merely to grant Supply? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- Just so. {: .speaker-KQ4} ##### Senator McColl: -- Are those the only measures the Government propose to ask the Senate to consider? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- I am hopeful that I shall be able to make a statement to the Senate to-morrow in regard to the mail contract, and, later on, to give the necessary notice for the purpose of asking the Senate to confirm the contract, which has practically been settled. Perhaps it is just as well that honorable senators should know what was in my mind in connexion with future business, though I did not intend to make an announcement on the subject until later. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- What do. the Government intend to do with the Navigation Bill? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- I should have been very happy indeed to have proceeded with the Navigation Bill did I see any prospect of its being passed this session. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- Will the Government put it at the top of the business-paper for next session ? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- Honorable senators areaware of the position of business at the present time. They know that the Navigation Bill could not be effectively dealt with in this Chamber this session, and that even if it were, it is quite unlikely that, in view of the arduous labours honorable' members in another place have been indulging in for a long time past, they would see their way to take up the Bill and deal with it. In the circumstances, it will be one of the earliest measures introduced next session. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- Will the Government facilitate the passage of the Bill next session ? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- I shall be only too glad to afford every facility for the passage of the Bill next session. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Does the honorable senator mean next session, or next year? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- Next session, certainly. **Senator Sir JOSIAH** SYMON (South Australia.) [5.28]. - I take advantage of the opportunity to refer to the announcement which the Vice-President of the Executive Council has made in very general terms. It is convenient that the Government should indicate what is in their minds with regard to the progress of business, and in that respect the honorable senator has pursued a desirable course. I gather that the Navigation Bill is not to be proceeded with, for the very excellent reason which **Senator Best** has given, that, whatever views may be entertained as to its necessity, in view of the fact that at present, and for some time to come, the consideration of the Tariff will be the matter of absorbing interest, it is quite impossible, in the time which will be at our disposal, to deal with so huge a measure as the Navigation Bill, involving as it does many issues of grave importance and matters of great value from every aspect of the maritime interest. There is no doubt that after the Christmas adjournment we shall be face to face with the Tariff, which, I feel sure, will occupy our attention for the remainder of what will be a very long session before we have reached its termination. Then it will be necessary, perhaps, at the end of next week, or when we are in a position to adjourn, to pass a further Supply Bill. Otherwise, we should have to come back in the month of January, and "that would not be desirable. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- It is to be hoped that we will be back in January. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- We should get back as soon as the Tariff is sent on to the Senate. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- I did not make the remark with a view to in. any, way embarrass the Government by suggesting that they should now state definitely the date of the adjournment and the date at which we shall be called back again, because I suppose that at the present time that would be impossible, but merely with a view to say that if there is any uncertainty we should assist the Government to obtain such further Supply as may be thought necessary in order that honorable senators may not be recalled, earlier than is essential for the purpose of dealing with the Tariff. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- At this juncture I could only speak in vague terms. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON: -- I am not complaining on that score. I admit that the honorable senator could do nothing else, for one reason, which I am going to mention. We might like to adjourn on Friday next or on the following Wednesday. But the Disputed Elections and Qualifications Bill is essential. We cannot adjourn until it is passed. It has to come up from the other place where it may be amended. We must, therefore, remain sitting. That, I understand, is what was in the honorable the Vice-President of the Executive Council's mind when he alluded to this particular Bill. But the only other Bill of importance on the paper is the Quarantine Bill, which may occupy some further time. There is also the matter of the new mail contract, which will have to be carefully looked into. As soon as those matters have been disposed of, and an additional Supply Bill has been passed, so far as I am individually concerned, I shall be glad to assist the Government in enabling the Senate to adjourn. I do not think that it would be fair to keep the Senate simply marking time close up to Christmas, when there is not the slightest possibility of the great matter of- business which is occupying the other House - the Tariff - being mit through before then. I think that the VicePresident of the Executive Council is exercising a wise discretion in so arranging the business of the Senate as to lead to its transaction in the way that he has indicated. {: #debate-12-s4 .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGREGOR:
South Australia -- - I entirely agree with **Senator Symon** that it would be very unwise to keep the Senate marking time . while the other place is dealing with the Tariff. Up till now, we have assisted the Government as far as we could in carrying its business. We have got through our work very rapidly. We should have disposed of the Disputed Elections and Qualifications Bill before now, had it not been for a little misunderstanding. I am very glad that there is a disposition to expedite business. I trust that the Quarantine Bill will be disposed of as soon as possible. Of course, I do not object to opposition, but I hope that discussion will be minimized, so that there may be no unnecessary delay. Within the next fortnight, we ought to be able to adjourn until some time early next year. I can plainly see that unless we adjourn before Christmas we shall have very little chance of enjoying any respite. When the other House has disposed of the Tariff they can, of course, take an adjournment according to the length of time that it is considered. the Senate will be engaged upon that business. I am sure that all honorable senators will desire to assist the Government in getting business through rapidly. {: #debate-12-s5 .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator GUTHRIE:
South Australia -- I regret that circumstances have compelled the Government to postpone the consideration of the Navigation Bill during the present session. But I can see quite plainly Chat in the interests of the Bill itself, it is advisable to leave it over. I only hope that the Government will put it in the forefront of their business next session, so that we shall be able to deal with it just as the Tariff is being dealt with during the present session, and so that it may be pushed through to a conclusion next year. Tt has - been before Parliament for a considerable_time. After discussion by the Senate, it was referred to a Royal Commission, which took a great deal of evidence. We have the Commission's report and recommendations before us, and they will assist us materially. But I quite realize that for the Senate to attempt to deal with the Navigation Bill this session,* and send it to the other House, would not be anything like fair to honorable senators, or to the Bill itself. I agree with the course sketched out by the Vice-President of the Executive Council, and trust that we shall soon be able to clear the noticepaper. I shall be quite satisfied so lon? as the Government will give me an absolute promise that the Navigation Bill will *be* proceeded with as the most important business next session. {: #debate-12-s6 .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE:
Western Australia -- Now that the Government have made an announcement as to the probable course of business, I should like to bring before them a matter to which reference has frequently, been made in the Senate. I am referring to the survey of tnt north-west coast of Australia. I really do not know how many times the subject has been mentioned ; I should not like to have the task of counting them up. At any rate, I have been alluding to it frequently since the year 1903. I do not blame the present Government any more than other Governments, for the fact that nothing has been done. All the Commonwealth Governments are more or less guilty - even that of which my honorable friend, **Senator Symon,** was a member. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- That must be about the only bit of business which that Government did neglect. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- Then I have a special grudge against them. It is a matter of importance from a Federal point of view, and one in which the eastern States are just as much interested as is Western Australia, because the ships that ply on the north-west coast are for the most part registered, and owned by people in the eastern States. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- Some of them are owned in Singapore- {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- That is so, but the major portion is owned in the eastern States. Life and property are in constant danger on account of the difficult character of the extensive coast-line of the northwest. There has never been a really complete survey made. A very imperfect one was made some years ago - I might say generations ago ; but the charts in current use are so ' incomplete that they are utterly unreliable for use by mariners. {: .speaker-JXT} ##### Senator Colonel Neild: -Hear, hear. {: #debate-12-s7 .speaker-10000} ##### The PRESIDENT: -- I must ask the honorable senator to make his remarks as brief as possible, because we are nowdealing with the second reading of the Bill, and there is no item in it to which his observations can apply. The honorable senator would have been in order in making these references on the first reading of the Bill, but as he then missed his opportunity, I do not desire to draw the line too strictly. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- I thank you, sir. I happened to be called out of the Chamber while the first reading of the Bill was being debated, and missed my opportunity. But I shall make my remarks very brief. A complete survey of the north-west coast is urgently required. The whole matter of the survey of the coast of Australia is a Federal concern. I understand that a survey vessel belonging to the Admiralty has lately completed some work on the North Queensland coast. The Admiralty are the only authority who have properly-equipped vessels and highlytrained officers for doing this class of work. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- A survey would not be acknowledged by the British Admiralty unless it was done by officers of the Admiralty. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- I understand that a proposition has been made for dividing the cost. Communications have been entered into between the Commonwealth Government and the Admiralty for that purpose. I hope that the Vice-President of the Executive Council will be in a position to give us some information as to what has recently occurred in that regard. Unless something is done, there will continue to be grave danger to life and property. The traffic on the north-west coast is increasing every year. I urge the Government to push the matter forward. As I have already said, I have repeatedly brought it before the Senate, but up to the present nothing definite has resulted. I -hope that the Vice-President of the Executive Council will be able, if not at the present moment, at any rate before long, to make a clear and satisfactorystatement as to what is being done. {: #debate-12-s8 .speaker-KSH} ##### Senator MACFARLANE:
Tasmania -- I ask the Minister to remember that Tasmania has for a long time been urging the survey of its west coast. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The PRESIDENT: -- Order ! It was only by the indulgence of the Senate, and under peculiar circumstances, that **Senator de** Largie was permitted to make his remarks with regard to the survey of the north-west coast of Western Australia. I am not prepared to extend that permission to any other honorable senator with regard to any matter that does not come clearly within the provisions of the Bill. There seems to be an idea that on am occasion like this all matters are open to discussion. But that is not so, as the same rule of relevancy is applicable to the discussion of a Bill of. this character as in the case of any other Bill, with the exception that, upon the first reading of a Supply Bill, honorable senators are entitled, under the Standing Orders, to speak at large upon any subject. **Senator Colonel NEILD** (New South Wales) [5.48]. - The Vice-President of the Executive Council, who assured the Senate a little while ago that I was wrong with' *Supply Bill* [13 November, 1907.] *(No.* . 3). 5881 reference to certain litigation, will find on inquiry that I was perfectly right. I agree with him that the writs issued against the carters in connexion with the wire-netting episode were in proper form. I knew that, and if I did not mention it, it was an oversight. But the original writ against the State of New South Wales has not been issued in the form provided for by our own legislation. I had that only yesterday from a legal gentleman in New South Wales, than whom no one can know more of the facts. It was upon that authority that I made my statement. As regards supplying the names in the military cases to which I have referred, if the Minister of Defence reads my speech in *Hansard* he will know all about them, because he and I have been in correspondence and in conversation for weeks past over these matters. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time. *In Committee :* Clauses 1 to 4 agreed to. Schedule. - Parliament House : Division Bells : Papers and Correspondence : Parliament Gardens - Marine Surveys : Western Australia and Tasmaniacommon wealth offices in london - Papua - Pacific Islands Mail Service - Advertising the Commonwealth : Immigration - New Hebrides - Repatriation of Pacific Islanders. {: #debate-12-s9 .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGREGOR:
South Australia -- In connexion with the proposed vote for the Parliament, I desire to ask whether anything can be done by the Government to make an alteration in the bells of the Senate, or whether the matter should be dealt with by the Joint House Committee? It is sometimes very difficult to know which bells are ringing. I have missed several divisions, as other honorable senators have, through the bells not ringing in places where they ought to be heard. {: #debate-12-s10 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
Vice-President of the Executive Council · Victoria · Protectionist -- This would probably be a matter for the President, or for the House Committee. If the President desires to move in the matter, he may rely upon my co-operation to remedy the just complaint made by **Senator McGregor.** It is most undesirable that the present state of affairs should be continued. **Senator Lt.-Colonel** GOULD (New South Wales).[5.54]. - Any convenience which honorable senators desire in order that they may be better able to attend to their duties will receive immediate attention from the House Committee, and frommyself as President. If **Senator McGregor** will suggest to me any place where he would like additional bells to be put, I shall, see that they are provided. I know that there is a little difficulty owing to the bells of the two Chambers being somewhat similar in tone. If we can find some means by which a different sound can be given to the Senate bell, I will see that that is done. {: #debate-12-s11 .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART:
Queensland -- Iwishtocall attention to the general want of accommodation for senators' papers. I find the greatest difficulty in keeping my papers in decent order. I have nowhere to put them except a little box in the Club Room and another downstairs, which is not at all convenient, as I cannot run up and down stairs every time I want a paper. The House' Committee should try to formulate some scheme which would give senators much greater conveniences in this regard. When the Victorian Legislative Council met here it was composed of men who merely played at legislation, and Parliament House to them was a magnificent club. where they came to amuse themselves.It has now become a House of business, where men come to do work. It is, indeed, an office, more especially to those members who do not live in Melbourne. Some attempt should be made to give them reasonable conveniences for sorting out their papers, so that they may be handy when wanted. {: #debate-12-s12 .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER:
Queensland -- I join with **Senator Stewart** in asking for additional accommodation, especially for senators' official and private correspondence. It is very inconvenient for correspondence to be mixed up with parliamentary documents. A private letter may frequently be overlooked. One has a delicacy in speaking about this matter, because we are really only the tenants of the State of Victoria. But it would be easy to provide boxes or rooms where private correspondence and official papers could be placed separately. I have suffered inconvenience once or twice through private letters being mixed . up with documents. {: #debate-12-s13 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
VicePresident of the Executive Council · Victoria · Protectionist -- I know that **Senator Stewart** is not alone in his complaint, I ask the President, who is present, to bring the matter under the notice of the Senate House Committee, so that it may be dealt with as soon as possible. I think that is the proper course to pursue, because that Committee practically have control over the provision of the accommodation desired. **Senator STEWART** (Queensland) £5-58]- - I have often noticed the small salaries paid to the men who work in the Parliament Gardens. I have not previously mentioned the matter in this Chamber, but it ought to be looked into by the Government or by whoever is responsible. The men are skilled workers, who work hard, and are entitled to higher remuneration. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- What do they get now ? {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- About *£2* a week; some of them less. They are the worst paid men about Parliament House. {: #debate-12-s14 .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY:
Victoria .- When the gardens were under the control of the State, there were more men employed in them than has. been the case since the Federal Parliament has met here. I know that at certain times in the year men were put on to do the work which was really, necessary. So far as I know, only permanent men have been employed since this Parliament assembled here in 1901. There is no gainsaying the fact that they are hard worked, and no -one can allege that they are overpaid. I think that more men ought to be employed in the gardens, and that some of the present employes are inadequately paid. The gardens ure no doubt a credit, but in view of the work which the men perform, greater consideration ought to be shown to them. I should like to hear how the present expenditure compares with that which prevailed when the gardens were under the supervision of the State. I understand that in a measure the gardens belong to the President and the Speaker, and that they have it in their power to employ additional hands if they think that it is necessary .to" do so. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- Subject to the money having been voted on the Estimates. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- Of course, it goes without saying that the Parliament would approve of any recommendation which they might submit in that regard. When the gardens were under the control of the State more hands were employed, and more expense incurred. At the. present time the employes are doing, if not more, as much work as they were previously called upon to perform, but their wages have in no instance been increased. With **Senator Stewart,** I trust that the Government will look into this matter,, and see if more consideration cannot be shown to men who are doing all they possibly can to make the gardens a beauty spot and a convenience to those who are assembled in this building. {: .speaker-KLZ} ##### Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD:
NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1910; LP from 1913 **-Colonel GOULD** (New South Wales) [6.5]. - **Senator Stewart** is in error in regard to the remuneration which is paid to the men in the gardens. The head gardener receives £14 a month, and the other two gardeners £11 a month each, and all are State officers. When the State placed this building at the disposal of this Parliament, the State Government made certain stipulations with regard to the persons who should be continued as their employes, and the provision of the salaries which it considered adequate for their services. At times an opportunity is afforded to put on a temporary hand, but the vote has been cut down so much that virtually no power is left to the President or to the House Committee to employ additional labour. We all recognise the fact that the gardens are a beauty spot, and that we ought to do all in our power to keep them in first-rate order. **Senator F'indley** has talked about the gardens being the property of the President and the Speaker, but that is not the case. The gardens are placed under the control of the President or the Speaker, as the case may be, but the members of this Parliament are entitled to have every possible opportunity of enjoying such advantages as they may confer. And it is not in the province of any officer to refuse honorable members reasonable access to and use of them. There must, however, be some person in whom the control is placed, in order that there may be no conflict of authority, and no difficulty in managing matters. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- How many men are employed ? {: .speaker-KLZ} ##### Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD:
NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1910; LP from 1913 **-Colonel GOULD.** - Three. Some years ago, when the Estimates were being prepared, and **Sir George** Turner was Treasurer, it was found that there was a necessity for strict economy to be observed, and ever since that time it has been exercised. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- With the result that the bush house is falling down. {: .speaker-KLZ} ##### Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD:
NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1910; LP from 1913 -Colonel GOULD. - I know that the bush house requires not to be renovated, but to be renewed, as it is in a deplorable condition. There are other buildings in a bad state. There has recently been submitted to me a special report in regard to not only the gardens, but Parliament House generally, pointing out what is necessary to be done in order to put the building in the condition in which it ought to be kept if we observe the terms of the agreement with the State Government. I assure honorable senators that if I have their assistance they will have no reason to complain of the want of al sufficiency of labour, and that if I can do anything to maintain the gardens as a beauty spot they may rely upon my best exertions in that direction. {: #debate-12-s15 .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON:
Western Australia -- I have no desire to interfere in a matter relative to the wages of men who do work and do it honestly. I listened to the remarks ot **Senator Gould.** Once or twice I have had my eyes opened in respect of the gardens. I appreciate their beauty just as much as does any man. I consider that they are a. great acquisition to Parliament House, but when one comes to consider that one gardener receives about *£14* a month, it makes one reflect. I do not suggest that *£14.* a month is one penny too much to pay, but are we sure that he always does work for that money ? {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- The gardens show that he does. {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON: -- I do not know that the garden's always show that. I remember that on one occasion in New South Wales I was in close proximity to a Government wharf, on which there were seven men working. Six of them were foremen, but not one of them ever did a day's work. The maintenance of the Parliament Gardens requires the exercise of a great deal of skill, and skill for which we ought always to be prepared to pay fair and honest wages. But ours are not gardens in which fifteen or sixteen hands are employed, ' and the foreman ought to be ready to take a spade in his hand and put his foot on it. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator Needham: -- Dees he not do it? {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON: -- He ought to do a bit of digging. {: .speaker-KQ4} ##### Senator McColl: -- Doss the honorable senator know that he does not? {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON: -- 1 do not know that he does very much digging. {: .speaker-KQ4} ##### Senator McColl: -- I think that he works a good bit. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- Evidently the honorable senator does not go there very often. {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON: -- I have been to the gardens a few times. If the gardeners are not being paid as they ought *tobe,* by all means let them be paid. But I reckon that gardens which need the employment of only a few hands, as they do. do not require at their head a sort of fancy man, who does little or next to nothing, and draws the largest screw. I believe that, if the men were put on nearly a level footing, and each one did his fair share of thework, the gardens would be well kept, and probably there would be no need for extra labour to be employed. {: #debate-12-s16 .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGREGOR:
South Australia -- According to a statement in the press, and statements made in other directions, there is a probability of this Parliament meeting in Melbourne for the next fifteen or twenty years. It is our duty tomaintain the grounds surrounding this, building in as good order as they were kept in prior to its occupation by this Parliament. I scarcely agree with **Senator Henderson** that any one of the gardeners can be neglecting to do a fair share of the work, I think that he scarcely understands the class of work which the different men ought to do. I ask him what sort of a coal mine he would have if every man were paid the same amount, and all were to do just as they pleased ? I think that very soon there would be confusion. It is necessary that some person should be in charge of the Parliament Gardens, and held- responsible, not only for what he does -himself, but also for the work done bv others. And in view of that responsibility, surely he is worth the few extra shillings which he receives ? But I contend that in order to keep the grounds in their present state, three men are insufficient, and they must work hard indeed. 1 know a little about gardening, as I do about many other things. Unless a sufficient sum is voted annually, all the skill and labour in the world will not keep the gardens in the condition in which they ought to be maintained. I understand that the vote is so small that it is impossible for the head gardener to procure the seeds, bulbs, and plants which are really required, or which he would like to have. There is another thine which is very essential to successful gardening, as I am sure **Mr. Bent,** Premier of Victoria, will advise honorable senators, and that is that a sufficient supply of manure should always be provided. If renewals of seeds, plants, and manures are not provided, no matter how many gardeners are employed, or how hard they work, they will not be able to keep the gardens as they ought to be kept. I hope that when the Estimates are being framed the Government will have in view not only the wages and the number of the employes, but also the facilities with which they ought to be provided. They ought to be considered, because if we wish the gardens to be maintained in the best order, the money required for the purpose should be provided. {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- I think **Senator Henderson** must be under some misapprehension about the foreman. He must have mistaken a member of Parliament for him. I arn frequently in the gardens, and, in .my opinion, the foreman is a hard-working man. {: #debate-12-s17 .speaker-KSH} ##### Senator MACFARLANE:
Tasmania -- I understand that the foreman has been a miner, and that it is those who are working under him who really do the work of keeping the gardens in order. I understand that he secured the position as being next in seniority of service at the time the previous foreman died. If there are to be three gardeners employed, each, including the foreman, should have a fair proportion of the work to do, and the work of the foreman should not consist merely of superintendence. I know something of gardening, and I believe there is work in the Parliament Gardens for no more than three men. There is a good deal of grass to be kept in order, but adequate appliances and a sufficient supply of water are provided. It cannot be called hard work to lay hose and cut the grass, and that is the chief work that has to be done just now. {: #debate-12-s18 .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON:
Western Australia -- I was anxious lest we should increase the expenditure in order to keep idle men in Parliament Gardens. If the foreman is an excellent worker, and does the work for which he is paid, I am satisfied he earns *£14* a month, and if the other .men do their work as it ought to be done they also earn *£14* a month. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- Surely we should pay the best gardener more than the second gardener ? {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator HENDERSON: -- The "best" gardener ? If we are to discriminate in that way we shall get into conflict at once. One honorable senator has said that the foreman is a. landscape gardener, but a sailor might be a landscape gardener. **Senator Macfarlane** has said that the foreman is a miner. So am I. I know all about mining, but I ca'n grow leeks, cabbages, and a few tomatoes. However, I should not like to set myself up as an expert gardener, and claim that I was worth ^3 or *£4* a month more than men who may have forgotten more about gardening than I ever learned. {: #debate-12-s19 .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- If we are to have the gardens kept in order we must employ competent nien, and they should be paid fair wages. We should, at the same time, provide for an adequate expenditure on the gardens. What 1 object to is that **Senator Henderson,** in his first speech, as I understood him, represented that he was a spy. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- That he was what? {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- That he had been taking notice of the workmen, and that he considered that the man in charge of the gardens was a bit of a loafer. If the honorable senator is in possession of information to justify the remarks he has made, he should give it to the Committee. If a man in a well-paid position is loafing he ought to lose his position. On the other hand, if **Senator Henderson** is not prepared to prove what he has said, he has done the man referred to an injustice. He should either withdraw what he has said or prove that the foreman is not doing his duty, or is paid more than he earns, and that those working under him are not paid what they are entitled to receive. {: #debate-12-s20 .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE:
Western Australia -- In reference to the proposed vote for the Department of External Affairs, I direct the attention of the Vice-President of the Executive Council to the matter to which I referred on the second reading of the Bill. I should like to know if he has any information to give the Committee on the question I raised. {: #debate-12-s21 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
Vice-President of the Executive Council · Victoria · Protectionist -- I may be permitted to say that the marine survey of the north-west coast of Western Australia has engaged the attention of the Government, as well as the larger and, from the Australian standpoint', more important question of marine surveys generally. Honorable senators are aware that the original arrangement was that the Admiralty carried out this work of surveying at their own expense, and that was found to be a fairly satisfactory arrangement. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator Sayers: -- A cheap way for us to get the work done. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- No; they make, a profit on the sale of the charts and sailing directions. *Supply Bill* [13 November, 1907.] *(No.* 3). 5885 {: #debate-12-s22 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
Protectionist -- Of course. Latterly the Admiralty authorities have raised certain objections to the expense, and have made proposals for dividing it. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator Sayers: -- Will they divide the profits also? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- The matter has not yet been definitely settled, and negotiations are proceeding, not only between the Commonwealth Government and the Admiralty, but also between the Commonwealth Government and the Governments of the various States, including Western Australia. I shall bring the matter referred to by **Senator de** Largie under the notice of the Prime Minister and urge expedition to secure the consummation of an early and definite arrangement. I shall draw special attention to the survey of the north-west coast of Western Australia and of the Tasmanian coast. As a matter of fact, the Prime Minister is at present in communication with the Western Australian and Tasmanian Governments on the subject. {: #debate-12-s23 .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE:
Western Australia -- I point out that a precedent has been set in this matter. The Tasmanian people 'got a part" of their coast surveyed two or three years . ago, when the Minister in charge of the Department engaged a boat from the Marine Board of Launceston and discovered a hidden rock in Bass Strait known, I think, as the " Wakatipu Rock." {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator Keating: -- I think that is nearer to Victoria than Tasmania, although it is in Tasmanian waters. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- The point is that the rock was located and the survey carried out at the cost of the Federal Government. It is nearly time something was done for Western Australia. {: #debate-12-s24 .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- I ask the honorable senator not to discuss the matter under this item. I only allowed the question he put to be answered because the Vice-President of the Executive Council had not replied to the honorable senator previously. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator DE LARGIE: -- I wish merely to add that attention has been drawn to the matter time and again, and I hope the Government will see their way to do something in the matter. {: #debate-12-s25 .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM:
Western Australia -- I should like some little information on the proposed vote of *£200* for salaries in connexion with the London Offices of the Commonwealth. A lengthy discussion on the proposal to acquire a site in the Strand for the London Offices of the Commonwealth took place when we were considering the last Supply Bill. I should like to know who receives the salaries referred to. {: #debate-12-s26 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
Vice-President of the Executive Council · Victoria · Protectionist -- There are engaged in the offices of the *Common- .* wealth in London at the present time, a clerk at *, £310* a year, a paying officer at *£140,* and a junior clerk at *£60* a year. It is on account of these salaries the amount provided for in this Bill is to be spent. {: .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM:
WESTERN AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Perhaps the VicePresident of the Executive Council will give the Committee some information as to the proposed vote of *£5,000* in connexion with the administration of Papua? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- There is on the Estimates a sum of *£20,000* in connexion with the administration of Papua, and a further sum of *£5,000* for development. The vote referred to by the honorable senator is an advance on account of the sum provided for in the Estimates. {: #debate-12-s27 .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator MILLEN:
New South Wales -- The Vice-President of the Executive Council has hardly given the information which **Senator Needham's** inquiries suggested. I think he might be a little more explicit as to what is meant by " development," and as to the way in which the vote provided for is to be expended. That would be of interest to me, and probably would be some help to the Committee in arriving at conclusions in regard to the future of the Territory. *Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 7.45 p.m.* {: #debate-12-s28 .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY:
Victoria .- I should like to have some information with regard to the item *£3,000* on account of the mail service to the Pacific Islands. I wish to know what steam-ship company is to be subsidized, and the amount of subsidy to be paid ? {: #debate-12-s29 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
VicePresident of the Executive Council · Victoria · Protectionist -- The mail service is to the Pacific Islands, and the particulars are as follow - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Subsidy towards mail service to New Hebrides, Banks, Santa Cruz, and Solomon Groups,£3,600. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. Additional subsidy granted on condition that black labour is not used,£400. 1. Additional subsidy for extension of the services,£2,000. 5886 *Supply Bill* [SENATE.] *(No.* 3). 2. Improved New Hebrides, Solomon, and Norfolk Islands services, new services to Solomon, Gilbert and Ellice and New Guinea, *£4,500.* {: type="1" start="5"} 0. New Guinea mail service, *£1,500.* We pay altogether on account of this service *£12,000.* The vote of *£3,000* now under discussion represents one-fourth of that amount. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- Do I understand the Minister to say that a total amount of *£12,000* is involved, and that white labour is to be employed? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- Yes. There is an additional subsidy granted on the condition that black labour is not employed. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- What is the name of the steam-ship company that has the contract ? ' {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator Stewart: -- How long has the contract to run? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- The information that I have is that it has to run for something like three years. Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company have the contract, I think, but I have no definite information. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- Has white labour been engaged? {: .speaker-KSH} ##### Senator Macfarlane: -- Was not the amount of the subsidy increased on condition that black labour was not employed? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- I can only give the information which has been supplied to me- that a sum of *£400* is paid on condition that black labour is not used. {: #debate-12-s30 .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY:
Victoria .- Are we to take it that the steam-ship companies who undertake this contract will be in a position to please themselves as to whether they employ white or coloured crews? The policy of this country is that white labour shall be employed, and it ought to be made a binding condition on steam-ship owners to engage white crews. But it appears to me that an option is given to the companies to employ whatever crews they like. {: #debate-12-s31 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
VicePresident of the Executive Council · Victoria · Protectionist -- The information supplied to me is that in the year 1906-7 a sum of *£400* was paid under similar conditions, namely, that black labour was not employed. As the officer in charge has not copies of the contracts with him just now, I can only give the information which he supplies to me, namely, that this stipulation is being adhered to. {: .speaker-KSH} ##### Senator Macfarlane: -- The . Minister says that the total amount of the contract is *£12,000,* and he has also told us that this Supply Bill covers one-sixth of the expenditure for the year. But *£3,000.* is one-fourth, not one-sixth, of *£12,000.* {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- My honorable friend will surely understand that this is a quarterly payment. {: #debate-12-s32 .speaker-KAH} ##### Senator WALKER:
New South Wales . -I understand that the vote of *£1,500* for the repatriation of Pacific Islanders is the balance of the original vote of *£12,000* which was estimated to be the sum required for the purpose? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- Yes. {: .speaker-KAH} ##### Senator WALKER: -- In regard to the vote of *£1,000* for advertising the resources of the Commonwealth, perhaps the Minister will give us further information? As to the vote of *£250* for the New Hebrides, I trust that the Government will see their way to increase the amount considerably. I take it that the object is to counteract the advantages conferred upon French settlers in the New Hebrides, and to put British settlers in a similar position. I obtained some information from the Minister some time since. . which I sent over to the New Hebrides, and I am assured that *£500* per annum will not be sufficient to counteract the advantages conferred upon French settlers in the form of a subsidized mail service to the New Hebrides. {: #debate-12-s33 .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY:
Victoria .- As to the vote of *£1,000* for advertising the resources of the Commonwealth, I trust that the fullest information will be given to the Committee in regard to what it is sought to do. It will be within the recollection of honorable senators that some time ago loud complaints were made by various trade organizations throughout the Commonwealth on the ground that the Government was in a measure responsible for bringing a number of people into Australia - particularly into New South Wales - under what were considered to be false pretences. There was in existence then - and I believe there is still in existence - an organization calling itself the Immigration League of Australia, the President of which was **Dr. Arthur,** of Sydney. We were informed when a Supply Bill was before us on a! former occasion that the Government had granted to that league a certain sum of money. I forget the exact amount for the moment. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: *- . £100.* {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: **- Dr. Arthur** and a number of other folks connected with the league expended that money, and further sums which came to them, in distributing; literature in various parts of Great Britain, and in sending special articles to newspapers, with a view of attracting immigrants to Australia. I have. before me a sample of one of the letters, of which **Dr. Arthur** was the author, or for which he was responsible. It was published in the *Barry Dock News,* Wales, on the 21st June, 1907. It states that hundreds of miners are required at various collieries on the north and south coasts of New South, Wales, at wages varying from 8s. per day upwards, men sometimes makins: from 12s. to 15s. per day. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Quite right; they make as much as 20s. a day in some cases. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- It is not correct to say that employment can be found now, or could have teen found then, for a number of miners at those wages. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- I believe the statement to be absolutely correct. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- I have official information that at this very time competent miners were out of employment in New South Wales. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- And I have official information staring me in the face that miners are required at such wages. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- This letter went on to say that 2,000 miners were required at Broken Hill. That was not correct. It was also stated that several hundreds were required at the Cobar copper mines, at from us. to 22s. a day, and that small mines all over the country were advertising for men. It was stated that - >The Commonwealth Oil Corporation is asking for some hundred men for railway construction, and will soon be requiring an equal number of shale miners. Further, it was stated that the New South Wales Government was commencing the construction of a railway over 300 "miles in length, which would take five years to build, so that continuous work could be guaranteed. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Every word of that is true. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- Every word of it is not true, if the honorable senator will pardon me for saying so. There are hundreds of men out of employment whose services could be obtained to-morrow, if the regular employment stated here and the wages mentioned were available. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Stuff ! {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- As a matter of fact, shortly after the appearance of this letter - in confirmation of my statements - there was a strike of coal lumpers in New South Wales, and, though **Dr. Arthur** and his friends were at that time endeavouring to induce people in England to come to Australia, the coal proprietors had no difficulty whatever in filling the places of the strikers in two or three days' time. The men on strike numbered about 600. Now I want to know - in what way is this money to be expended? The Commonwealth Government has no right to offer inducements to men to come to Australia unless it knows what is to become of them.. The Government has no employment to offer. It is said that Australia wants population. Every one is agreed- upon that. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Excuse me ; every one is not agreed. The Labour Party are not agreed upon it. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- Every one is agreed that Australia is capable of carrying ten times its present population, but every one is not agreed as to the methods that should be adopted to attract population. Every day we have circumstances brought under our notice, through the columns of the daily newspapers, showing that men are clamouring for land and unable to get it. At every Land Board their applications considerably out-number the blocks available. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- Ninety-five per cent, of the land of Queensland is more or less available. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- We have heard all that before. {: .speaker-KLS} ##### Senator Givens: -- Nearly a.ll the land of Queensland that is suitable for settlement is locked up. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- It is true that there are lands available for selection, but, as **Senator Givens** says, the eyes of the country have been picked out. The lands that are available are many miles removed from means of communication, either by sea or railway. Further, men would require some assistance in order that they might be placed permanently upon the lands of Queensland. But whatever may be said with regard to Queensland, that remark is not applicable to Victoria, nor, I believe, is it applicable to New South Wales. In Victoria, for a considerable period, we have been losing our rural population. Why? Because the estates are growing bigger and bigger, and farmers and farmers' sons are being driven away from the land of their birth or their adoption because of their inability to get suitable land to cultivate. It is true that Queensland offers inducements to people to settle there. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- So does Western Australia; very wisely too, and people are going there. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- Australia will require no glaring advertisement to induce people to come here to settle in any State, providing facilities and opportunities are offered to them. I want to know, further, whether this vote is an instalment of the amount which the Prime Minister stated at the Lord Mayor's banquet, on Saturday night, that his Government was prepared to expend on immigration. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- Hear, hear; I hope so. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- Is it another vote to **Dr. Arthur,** to enable him to publish lying squibs ? {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: **- Mr. Deakin** said at that banquet that, in order to induce immigrants to come to Australia, he was willing to take steps to spend, not £20,000, but £200,000. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- Hear, hear. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- £200.000 to induce people to come to -Australia for the purpose of further lowering the wages standard and the comfort of the people of Australia. The workers in every part of Australia have to fight every inch of their "-di, and pay heavily, too, in order to get a measure of justice and protection for their industry, while many thousands of landless men in every part of Australia are unable to get land. Yet it is proposed by the Government to spend £1,000 under this schedule - and the Prime Minister says that if the States Governments co-operate with him he is prepared to spend £200,000 in one year - in order to flood Australia with people who, when thev get here, will be unable to obtain either work or land. Recently in New South Wales immigrants' pockets have been so depleted that they have had to sleep in the Sydney Domain; they have tramped miles and miles of that State in the hope of obtaining work, but their efforts have been fruitless. I offer no objection to the introduction of suitable immigrants, free from any contract, but before I give assistance in that direction I want to see the needs and requirements of the people now in Australia met. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- How is it that Canada can take as many as 130,000 immigrants per year? {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator FINDLEY: -- I am not concerned about Canada. I am here as a representative of Australia. There are in Canada large tracts of country which the Government are placing at the disposal of new-comers. But in Australia there has been a tendency on the part of Governments in past years to assist in the aggregation of huge estates, and until the Commonwealth Government face the difficulty in front of them Australia will never be able to carry a big population. That difficulty is land monopoly, and the rapacity of the earth hungerer in every State. Australia will never be favorably looked upon in other parts of the world until the Commonwealth Government adopt a system of land values taxation to burst lip the big estates, and by that means enable those in search of land to get it. I desire to elicit from the Government some information as to the way in which this money is to be expended. Is it to be given to paid agents in the old country who know little or nothing about Australia, and who will write highly-coloured advertisements in order to lure to Australia people who, when they get here, will find themselves unable to obtain employment or land, or is the Immigration League to be further subsidized? If so, I shall be no party to agreeing to this item in the schedule. {: #debate-12-s34 .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER:
Queensland -- The conclusion of **Senator Findley's** speech reminded me very much of what was said about the postscript to a lady's letter - the sting was in the tail of it. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- Hear, hear ! {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- The honorable senator wound up by saying that the population of Australia had not increased because there was an alleged land monopoly in Australia. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- It is not alleged. It is an absolute fact: {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- Let us call it alleged. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- Hear, hear ! {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- I hope that the leader of the Labour Party will not again interrupt. He is laying himself opento a very fine retort. I hope that his sense of what is proper and right will enable him to see why I do not give him the retort which he is looking for. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- The schoolmaster again. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- It might be better to bring into the Senate some of the atmosphere of our schools and schoolmasters rather than the manners and atmosphere of a clodhopper. {: .speaker-KLS} ##### Senator Givens: -- There is no reason why the clodhopper should not be as true a gentleman as the schoolmaster or the lawyer. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- He ought to show it. **Senator Findley's** cure for the alleged land monopoly was the imposition by the Commonwealth Government of a land tax. I hold that the Commonwealth Government have no power to put on a land tax. But we are not here to discuss constitutional questions on this Bill. In face of the return which I called for recently with regard to the alleged monopoly of land in Australia, showing the land alienated and unalienated, any argument in that respect falls to the ground. About 94 per cent, of the land in Queensland is unalienated. It is attracting population, unfortunately not from the Old Country, but from the other States. The land is as fine as can be found in almost any part of Australia, cheap in price, and attractive in productivity. Western Australia is also attracting immigrants from the other States. ' That being so, in the case of those two great States and their land administration, what injury can be caused to a single worker in the whole of Australia by attracting the attention of the outside world, and especially of the people of our own kith and kin, to the vast riches and resources that still lie undeveloped in this great continent? Towards the end of his speech **Senator Findley** made a hostile reference to the statement reported to have been made at the Lord Mayor's banquet by the Prime Minister. That statement, which was made in, I think, a moment of the highest political sagacity, was that, if the Commonwealth Parliament would permit him, he would increase the grant in aid of immigration from ,£20,000 to £200,000 for the year. If the Prime Minister, with his knowledge of the financial resources of the Commonwealth, considers that we can spend .£200,000 per year for the ' introduction of immigration, no money spent on any service of" the Commonwealth will give such valuable results. Not a penny too much can be spent in advertising Australia and' making its vast resources known to the world. I am not in the confidence of the Prime Minister, but I think that neither he nor any other member of this Parliament contemplates disturbing the labour market in the cities of Australia, or our' settled industries. I have spoken to the Prime Minister privately upon this matter, and I believe that he has no wish to do so. I certainly have no wish to disturb the labour market. I know sufficient of my own State and of other States, although I am not personally acquainted with the other countries of the world, to say that vast portions of our 3,000,000 square miles of territory are equal to the land of any country on God's earth. What sort of an advertisement is it of Australia for honorable senators opposite to assert that we cannot spend the £1,000 or £2,000 asked for by the Government as a first instalment of a vote for the encouragement of immigration when we have that vast undeveloped territory ? {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- What sort of advertisement is it for Australia when men who come here have to sleep in the Sydney Domain ? {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- The honorable senator will not interrupt me. He had better remain silent on this question. {: .speaker-KOS} ##### Senator Henderson: -- " Let no dog bark !" {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- It is not that. I do not mind an interjection made for the purpose of eliciting further information. No question of internal or naval defence, or even of the Tariff itself, is so important to the States and Commonwealth Parliaments as is the question of a well-devised system, of immigration for Australia. If Canada could take in an average of 125,000 to 130,000 immigrants yearly for the last six or seven years, why cannot Australia get some of them ? {: .speaker-K3E} ##### Senator E J RUSSELL:
VICTORIA · ALP; NAT from 1917 -- Because the fat man has the land. _ {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- If that answer satisfies the conscience and intelligence of the honorable senator, it does not satisfy mine. During the last Federal elections in Queensland one of the most prominent questions at every meeting I addressed was the necessity of introducing into that State, at any rate, a largely increased number of the very people who made that State what it is. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- What the honorable senator wants is plenty of cheap labour. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- No. Upon the whole, the wages conditions in Queensland are equal to those, not only of any place in Australia, but- of any place in the world. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- That is absurd. The honorable senator does not know what he is talking about. There are two bad States from an industrial point of view - Tasmania and Queensland. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- When we consider that the 130,000 or 140,000 persons who have been induced to go to Canada every year must have taken with them sums ranging from £10 to £15, and in many cases as much as £50 a head, we can realize that their introduction has been a source of life-blood and prosperity to that country. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- And they left Canada as soon as' they could. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- I am speaking impromptu because I may not have another chance of discussing this important question during this session. So far as the declaration of the Prime Minister on this question is concerned, I know no party. I hope that no influence or menace from the party, which in each Chamber keeps him in power, will cause him to depart one tittle from the policy which he has indicated. Every- worker in Australia is benefited by the introduction of every person who is capable and worthy of earning a decent wage. If we introduce men of the same type as our forefathers, who have helped to make this country what it is, that must prove of immense benefit, not only to ourselves, but also to the immigrants. The best statisticians in the world have been dealing with the problem of what is the economic value of one man to a country. The value is put down by some statisticians at as high as £200 per year. Of course, that refers to a man who is capable of doing work and is in a country which can afford him work. If that be so, the annual introduction _of 5,000 or 6,000 immigrants of a suitable and well-selected class would be not only no danger to the working classes here, but would provide an addition to that national fund from which they and other workers may draw either to increase or to maintain their rate of wages. Either we want people in this country, or we do not. If we want people we must pay for them, or give them some assistance to enable them to come. If the Committee does not want immigrants, if it is going to quarrel with this vote, let it say so straight out. **Senator Findley** wishes to put the position in this way, " I am very friendly to our own people in the Mother Country. I have no objection to them as they are a very fine people. It might be highly desirable, indeed, to bring such persons to this country, but before you do so I want to know whether the loafers and the parasites in the domain of Sydney or Melbourne, or somewhere else, are perfectly satisfied." {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- That is a slander on the men who have been induced to come from the Old Country to Australia, and have been left without a penny in their pockets, because they are all of good repute. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- It is quite possible that in the future, as in the past, we shall get some immigrants who will be failures. To-day, every progressive nation on the earth is competing for population, especially for British and European people, but it is not asking for the domains and parks to be scoured before it goes into the open market. What is to prevent our following the example of Canada, Argentina, or the United States? Is every nation of the earth pursuing an unsound, unwise policy, and is all. wisdom confined to Australia? I ask honorable senators on the other side to declare themselves clearly on this question, to state the. conditions under which they "think the immigration should be begun, or, when begun, should be continued. If they will not make that statement there can be only one reasonable inference drawn from their silence, and that is that the Socialist Party, or, if they prefer the term, the Labour Party, are opposed to a. system of immigration. How did the three great States on the Continent of America develop their territories? Each State threw open its territory freely to the people of Great Britain and Europe. Only a few years prior to the establishment of the Commonwealth we regarded Argentina as a mere geographical expression, as a hot-bed of revolution, as indicating everything reactionary to the modern spirit. Yet within the short space of ten years what do we find? Argentina has gone ahead by leaps and bounds as compared with Australia. If we can judge by reports and statistics, it is one of the most prosperous countries on the Continent of America. The people of Argentina are doing their duty. They have the common horse-sense to understand that there is only one way in which to develop a great territory, and that is by opening it up to the people. Again, take the case of Brazil, which is also developing rapidly. It is competing for population from Southern Europe. It has not to think so much as we *Supply Bill* [13 November, 1907.] *(No.* 3). 5891 have about founding a navy. It is building its battleships out of its own purse. Its population is fast increasing, and agriculture is developing as rapidly there as it is in any other country. Why? Because Argentina has not a party who have said that the land is monopolized. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- I am afraid that the honorable senator has wandered a long way from the item. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- I shall take the hint of my honorable friend, as it is quite possible that I have gone too far ; but I notice that he did not intervene quite so quickly when an honorable senator on the other side was speaking. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- No honorable senator on this side has talked at such length as has the honorable senator. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator ST LEDGER: -- I am glad that **Senator Findley** has raised this question today, because it has afforded me an opportunity of indicating my views. I hope that the Prime Minister will not abate his earnestness on this subject by one jot, "and that the vote will be passed without further dissent. {: #debate-12-s35 .speaker-KN7} ##### Senator GUTHRIE:
VICTORIA · NAT; UAP from 1931 -- I consider that we shall be doing good work in casting upon the Government the responsibility for the expenditure of this money, so that it shall not fall into the hands of a league, which makes statements such as those which have just been made by **Senator St.** Ledger. His speech confirms us in the position we have taken up. If it is proposed to spend public money in introducing immigrants, we should first prepare for the information of applicants a true statement - of the exact position of affairs here. **Senator St.** Ledger has called our attention to a return which has been laid upon the table at his instance, and which shows that 94 per cent. of the land of Queensland has not been alienated. In his speech, however, he said that 94 per cent. of the land of that State to-day is available, when he knows as well as I do that a large portion ofthat percentage has been leased to squatters, and thus locked up for a term of at least twentyone years. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- The Government can resume the leases. {: #debate-12-s36 .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator GUTHRIE: -- No, because the leases contain conditions which prevent the State from compulsorily resuming them. The honorable senator, as a lawyer, knows that only portions of the leases can be resumed, and then merely for the purpose of constructing railways, bridges, and roads. Yet he wants the statement to go forth to the world that 94 per cent. of the land of Queensland is to-day available for settlers That statement is exactly on a par with those which have been made by **Dr. Arthur** and his clique in London, and owing to which he has been compelled to resign his position as President of the Immigration League of New South Wales. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- I do not want to be responsible for **Dr. Arthur's** mistakes. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator GUTHRIE: -- No. If the honorable senator possessed the same sense of honour as did **Dr. Arthur,** he would, after making false or misleading statements- {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- I rise to order. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: **- Senator Guthrie** must withdraw that statement. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator GUTHRIE: -- I withdraw the statement that the honorable senator has made false statements. He has certainly made misleading statements, and I remind him that when **Dr. Arthur** was made responsible for misleading statements, he had sufficient sense of honour to resign his position as President of the Immigration League. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- Surely the honorable senator does not wish **Senator St.** Ledger to resign his position ? {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator GUTHRIE: -- I leave it to the honorable senator's sense of honour to do what he thinks right in the matter. He has told us that 94 per cent. of the lands of Queensland are available for immigrants, when we know perfectly well that they are not. The honorable senator knew that the lands in that State have been locked up for at least twenty-one years. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- I did not know that. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator GUTHRIE: -- Surely the honorable senator is acquainted with the land laws of the State he represents? I can tell him further that many of the pastoral lessees of Queensland, by agreeing to erect rabbit-proof fencing have secured extensions of their leases. {: .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator Turley: -- Up to forty years. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- I know that. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator GUTHRIE: -- The honorable senator knew that, and yet he told the Committee that 94 per cent. of the lands of Queensland were available for immigrants. Where is the honorable senator now ? Many of the pastoral leases in Queensland are subject to a right of renewal, upon reappraisement, for an additional twenty-one years, thus locking up the land for forty-two years. {: .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator Turley: -- There is .no right of renewal. The lands can be resumed for settlement at the termination of the lease. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator GUTHRIE: -- Yes ; on the condition that the State pays for all the improvements made. The lessees have a right to hold on to their improvements, and on reappraisement to secure a renewal of their interest for an additional twenty-one years. The return as to the area of unalienated lands in the various States, which has beep placed on the "table of the Senate, is useless as giving any indication of the area of land available for settlement in Queensland. If **Senator St.** Ledger wishes to put himself right, he should move for a return showing the area of land actually available for settlement. On the general question, I am prepared to back the Prime Minister in spending as much money as he thinks necessary to bring immigrants to the Commonwealth. I realize their value to Australia as much as does **Senator St.** Ledger, but the people we ask to come here should be told the plain truth. We should not bring them here under false pretences, and have them sorry for coming afterwards. [ remember that in the late seventies and early eighties, there was a regular system of immigration in operation in Queensland. Ships bringing immigrants were arriving at the rate of one a month, and I have myself assisted to . carry away from Queensland dozens of immigrants, who did not remain a week in the State, to New South Wales, Victoria, or South Australia. They were so absolutely disgusted with the prospects before' them as to be only too glad to work their passages, beg their passages, and, in some cases, to " stow away " in order to get out of Queensland, because of the way in which they had been misled as to what they might expect, by immigration lecturers who were sent to the Old Country, and paid so much per head for every immigrant they could secure. To-day, according to the newspapers, captains of ships at Newcastle are complaining that the demand for men for their ships, in the shape of blood money, is so excessive that they wish to put an end to it. Immigration to Queensland was carried on in the same way iti the days to which I have, referred. The commission received by the immigration lecturers was really blood money, and they were prepared to send out any one and every one they could induce to leave the United Kingdom. If **Senator St.** Ledger desires to induce immigrants to come to Australia, he should tell them exactly what lands are available for settlement, and should not paint a rosy picture, leading them to believe that 94 per cent, of the lands of Queensland are awaiting settlement. I (particularly wish to enter a protest against the Government permitting the expenditure of any money voted for immigration purposes by any irresponsible body. If Commonwealth money is to be spent on immigration, let it be spent through Government officers. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- And let the Government be responsible for the immigration literature circulated. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator GUTHRIE: -- We know that **Dr. Arthur** had to resign his position as President of the Immigration League because of the unreliable nature of the immigration literature circulated in England. {: .speaker-JU7} ##### Senator de Largie: -- Why not call it " fiction"? {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator GUTHRIE: -- It was the sort of information which **Senator S't.** Ledger has given the Committee to-night. {: .speaker-K78} ##### Senator St Ledger: -- I do not think I could praise Australia too much. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator GUTHRIE: -- But the honorable senator should tell the truth about Australia, and that is all I ask him to do. The Government should see that advertisements and circulars referring to immigration contain only reliable information, . and should carry out the work themselves. Then, if they circulate information which is not reliable, they can be put out of office, whilst, if the money voted for immigration be handed over to irresponsible persons, we shall have no .check upon the way in which it will be spent. ' {: #debate-12-s37 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
Vice-President of the Executive Council · Victoria. · Protectionist -- I somewhat regret that the debate should have proceeded upon a misapprehension. I wish honorable senators to understand distinctly that the vote now before the Committee is not for the purpose of subsidizing any immigration league. So far as *£600* of the amount is concerned, the object is to purchase 10,000 copies of *Australia To-day,* a publication issued by the Commercial Travellers Association, for circulation in the Old Country. Honorable senators who have had an opportunity of seeing the publication to which I refer will have observed that it is not only well "illustrated, but contains a vast amount of useful and most reliable information. If we are not prepared to rely upon a statement of the facts in relation to Australia, we must have but a very poor opinion of our own country. I do not think we can speak too highly of its prospects and its magnificent resources. The publication to which I have referred may be relied upon to supply most valuable information concerning the Commonwealth. The immigration policy of the Government can hardly be -fully discussed on this vote. It is quite true that on the Estimates there is a vote of £20,000 for the purpose of advertising the resources of the Commonwealth, .£500 of which has been already voted in Supply Bills. About ,£400 will mainly be utilized in connexion with Reuter's cables to the Old Country, giving particulars of matters of great public moment to Australia. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- Then we are subsidizing Reuter's? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- We are not subsidizing Reuter's, but we are sending fairly elaborate cables for publication in the press of the Old Country. Honorable senators will see that it is not the intention of theGovernment to subsidize any immigration league. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- What kind of messages are to be sent by Reuter's ? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- Elaborate messages, for. instance, in regard to the Tariff, and giving information as to public affairs and public business in the Commonwealth. That is done not to subsidize Reuter's, but in order that useful information concerning Australia may be given publicity in the press of the Old Country. I can give honorable senators a good illustration pf the practice hitherto followed in giving the people of the Old Country information concerning Australia through the press. When I was in London two years ago there was a change of Government in the Commonwealth, which honorable senators will probably regard as a matter of grave moment. The only reference to the matter which appeared in the Old Country was a cable message, occupying about an inch of space, in two or three only of the London newspapers, intimating that a certain gentleman had proposed *at* vote of want of confidence, and that thereupon the ReidMcLean Administration had decided to resign. Some days later another small paragraph appeared stating that **Mr. Deakin** had accepted office, and had selected certain gentlemen as his colleagues. That infor mation was published in only a few of the newspapers of the Old Country, and matters of public interest and information regarding the resources of Australia are seldom published at all. Consequently we have resorted to the practice of sending cables, and when we bear the expense we stand a better chance of securing their publication in the press of the Old Country. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Do we gain any advantage by sending those cables by Reuter's rather than by the Pacific Cable? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- I understand that we do gain a certain advantage, because by. sending the messages by Reuter's the information is distributed to all the newspapers. I was asked for some information with respect to the vote of £1.500 for the repatriation of Pacific Islanders. Honorable senators will remember that the vote for this purpose last year 'was ,£12,500. The expenditure was ,£8,or5. . So that we did not spend the whole amount. This year it is proposed to vote ai sum of .£6,500. It is estimated that the total expenditure will be ,£14,515- The expenditure to date is £8,015, and a sum of £1,139 has already been voted and expended in 1907-8, making a total of £9,154. My honorable friend **Senator Walker** also asks for some information with regard to the New Hebrides. There was last year on the Estimates a sum of £500, of which only ,£73 was expended. That amount was granted to British settlers in the New Hebrides by way of subsidy on their maize to the extent of 6s. a bag. That only involved an expenditure in 1906-7 of £73. Now it is proposed to make an alteration. From the first of this month assistance is to be given to British settlers by allowing them a refund which would be equal to half the duty. In order that British settlers may get this refund, it will be necessary for them to make a statutory declaration before the British Deputy Commissioner. {: .speaker-KAH} ##### Senator Walker: -- Or some one authorized by him. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST: -- That is so. It is estimated that £500 will be more than is necessary in this connexion. A sum of ,£50 has already been voted for the purpose. I think that the new policy will be discovered to be more satisfactory than the old one. {: #debate-12-s38 .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM:
Western Australia -- I do not think that the sum appropriated for the purpose of advertising the resources of Australia is as much as we ought to spend in connexion with so important a matter. The Prime Minister said in a public speech on Saturday night that he was prepared to spend £200,000 in this direction. I presume that. he meant £200,000 per annum. But further down in his speech I notice that he said that the Commonwealth is prepared to find the money if the States are prepared to find the land. If that is the position which the Prime Minister intends to take up, considerable time will elapse before the Commonwealth spends £2.00,000 a year. If the States continue to carry out the policy which they have adopted in the past, there is very little hope of extended land settlement. The States of Australia have not yet provided land for the settlement of their own people. I do not see, therefore, any prospect of an effort being made to procure land for people who may be brought from oversea. **Senator St.** Ledger has approached the question in his usual style, and has declared that any amount of land is available in his own State. ' I am not very well acquainted with Queensland conditions, but it is well-known that in Victoria to-day thousands of acres of the most fertile lands on God's earth *axe* locked up. No chance is given to any one to settle upon them. What hope have we of using the resources with which nature has blessed us in this country, unless we take steps to utilize those lands? If the Government of the Commonwealth intend to spend money in developing the resources of Australia and bringing people to the Commonwealth, their first duty is to insist that the land shall be thrown open. Even in the Northern Territory, where we certainly ought to place population, there is a most objectionable system of land tenure. If the Commonwealth Government took over the Northern Territory to-morrow, they would find considerable difficulty in throwing land open for settlement. Mention has been made of the policy of bringing men from English towns to work here. But when artisans and labourers have been brought from the Old Country in the past, what has been the result? They have simply entered into competition in our capitals with the workmen already in the country. . They do not go on the land at all. Nor are they well adapted for agricultural pursuits. I have no objection to money being spent on advertising the resources of Australia,. It is a splendid investment. But before the Government can embark on an immigration policy it will be neces- sary for them to face, fairly and squarely, the question of imposing a tax upon the unimproved values of land. The result of that would be to at once throw open vast tracts of territory which are at present lying idle. Then they will have some foundation for their immigration policy. I am not saying this in a deprecatory spirit. There is not a citizen in the Commonwealth who has a greater hope for the future of Australia than I have, nor is there one who has larger ideas of the possibilities of our country." But, still, I think that it is incumbent upon us to do something to provide constant employment for our own people, and give them a chance of settling on the land, before we bring in an indiscriminate influx from the Old Country. {: #debate-12-s39 .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -53J- - Had it not been for the extraordinary speech delivered by **Senator St.** Ledger I should not have troubled the Committee with any remarks. I have risen, not so much for the purpose of offering any observations of my own, but to quote a higher authority than **Senator St.** Ledger can pretend to be. If the Government wish to know what ought to be done to develop the Commonwealth, and advertise its resources in the Old Country, let them pay attention to the extract which I am about to read. 1 shall not quote from the utterances of a Labour man. I have selected a Conservative, the Premier of Victoria, **Mr. Bent.** These remarks were made by **Mr. Bent** while he was travelling through the western district of this State, and was filled with a, spirit - I do not mean anything bad - of resentment at the fact that he traversed miles of land upon which hardly a house was to be seen, let alone a human being. 1 can quite understand a warm-hearted man like the Premier of Victoria giving utterance to the words which I am going to. content myself with reading. He asked his hearers, as reported in the Melbourne *Age-* *to* conjure up the teeming population that would be settled if the estates were subdivided, the amount of work that would be provided and the wonderful prosperity. " Instead of having this contemptible broken little Streatham," he said, " You would have a large and prosperous town. If they had these large estates in other countries they would have taxed them up to the hilt long ago. They would have had a land tax. I am told that there is about 600,000 acres in the hands of trustees, who can do nothing with it. ' There is an area here fit to hold half the people of Canada." I hope that **Senator Best** will make a note of that- >Talk about Canada.' (Sneeringly). Canada has no land like this. You need not set your music to Canada, but say three cheers for Victoria. I am not going to drift into a speech on land taxation. I shall not give the Chairman a chance of calling me to order on that account. I have here another speech made by **Mr. Bent.** It gives me great pleasure to quote his words, because, if I were to express such sentiments, honorable senators like **Senator Millen** would say, " Oh, he is only a Labour man, and is prejudiced ; he is always talking about land monopoly. He is bound to drag it in somehow." But **Mr. Bent** is not a gentleman who has a Labour axe to grind. It is his business to study the interests of the people of has State. This is what he said in another speech - >The Premier, who was greeted with a cooee, said a distance of 120 miles had been traversed by the party that day. He had reason for feeling a little elated when he came to a place where he could obtain some nice sweet refreshment after his long journey. He went on to say - >With the exception of a few little villages and a few houses there was no sign of population. Did **Mr. McArthur** mean to tell him that these 2,000,000 or 3,000,000 acres of land should carry only fifty houses ? - > >Fifty houses in an area of 100 miles ! Friend McArthur had stated that the land was the best in the world for merino wool growing. Well, if this land were utilized to its fullest, it would carry 50,000 houses. I wish some of my conservative friends would figure that out. Fifty thousand houses, and five individuals to each house, would mean a quarter of a million people straight away. According to another statement by **Mr.- Bent,** one part of Victoria alone could provide homes, and a living and some degree of comfort, for nearly half of the population of Canada. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- What sized areas would the honorable senator give to -50,000 people in a hundred miles stretch of country ? {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The honorable senator would have to tell me the quality of the land first. It is not area, but land values which tell. In some parts of New South Wales, especially in a dry season like this, it would take a mighty lot. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- Some of the land in the western 'district of Victoria has been sold for £100 an acre. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Land of that kind would never do for cultivation - it istoo expensive a luxury. **Mr. Bent** went on to say - >The cutting up of these large estates in the Western District would increase the productiveness of the State, add to the revenue, and give land to the people who had none. Along the route travelled he had noted a few villages, with a public-house and a few houses whose occupants worked for the adjoining squatter. What he wanted was that these men should have land of their own. The Government did not mean to confiscate the land ; it meant to pay for it, and give it to the men and women who wanted it, allowing them thirty years to pay for it. He should, rather have expected that **Mr. McArthur** would have helped him, as he ought to know by this time that he **(Mr. Bent)** would not lend himself to anything unfair or unjust. Was it right, he asked, that all this tract of country should be held by a few people while thousands of people wanting land had to be content with looking over the .fences? **Senator St.** Ledger said " There is plenty of land available." How does that apply to Victoria, seeing that two or three weeks ago 260 blocks of land were offered here, and there were 3,000 applications for them ? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- The extraordinary feature of it, against the usual experience, was that there were 3,000 individual applications. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The honorable senator made a different statement previously. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- I have made inquiries since. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The fact that there were 3,000 individual applicants makes the position even worse. Will not a part of this £1,000 be spent to send that statement to the Old Country? I might refer to South Australia or New South Wales; but, above all, the case that has been put forward by **Mr. Bent** himself is proof positive that what we need is land reform. If the Government could wire home to the *Times* and other newspapers that there was suitable land on fair terms for the people, no party in this Chamber would more gladly assist the Government in obtaining immigration than we would. I myself am an assisted immigrant. There is no disgrace in that. A nephew of mine wrote to me about two years ago from Scotland, asking me if I could recommend him to come to Australia. He said that he would like to get on the land. I could not honestly recommend him to come at that particular time. 5896 *Supply Bill* [SENATE.] *(No.* 3). {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- He would have been better here than in Scotland. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Landlordism is rampant in Scotland, but I could not recommend him to come here to go on the land. If I could have done so, he would probably have been here. If a few immigrants from the Old Country could write to their friends at Home, and say " We have arrived safely in Australia. We have plenty of work and reasonable pay," would not that be a grand advertisement? But when the people at Home read the telegrams from New South Wales, that some of the immigrants who arrived recently, instead of finding comfortable homes, and work to support themselves and their families, have had to camp in the Sydney Domain {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- That is a gross libel. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I think the honorable senator is mistaken. No doubt he always makes out the best case he can for himself and his side. Until we have suitable land for the people who want it, it would be unjust' and unfair to bring immigrants here to compete with those who are here already. In that view I am supported by **Mr. Price,** the only Labour Premier of Australia, who stated not long since that nearly 1,700,000 acres of splendid land in South Australia is held practically by a few men to the exclusion of many others. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- Why does not the Labour Premier make it available ? {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The honorable senator ought to know, if he does not, that South Australia has a Conservative Upper House which blocks reform. There are members in that Legislative Council, in which I spent six years, who are as conservative as **Senator Dobson.** They hold so firmly to their views, as **Senator Dobson** does to his, that the " deil " himself could not shift them. I have taken this' opportunity to show the real position, and I hope that **Senator Millen, Senator St.** Ledger, and even **Senator Dobson,** will give us, who dare to differ from them, credit for sincerity of conviction. If they are prepared to meet the arguments that I have advanced, and the statements of the Premier of Victoria, which I have quoted, let them do so. {: #debate-12-s40 .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator TURLEY:
Queensland -- I do not think that any one has objection to Australia being advertised, or to the Government spending money in order to let people on the other side of the world know what the resources of Australia are, and the opportunities that they will have of benefiting themselves if they come here. The members of the Labour Party take exception only to the lying information that has often been sent from Australia to the Old Country with the object of inducing people to come here under false pretences. We think that a fair statement of the conditions under which people work in Australia, the probabilities of obtaining employment, the chances of getting land, and the different kinds of districts, land, and rainfall, should be given to the people on the other side of the world, with the object of inducing them to come here to better themselves, and at the same time to build up a large Australian population. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Is that the policy of the Labour Party? {: .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator TURLEY: -- I believe so. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- The honorable senator has left out the important factor that that is the policy of the Labour Party only so long as there are no unemployed in Australia. {: .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator TURLEY: -- Our policy is to send to the Old Country absolutely reliable statements as to the condition of the labour market in Australia. There can be nothing wrong in that. Surely the honorable senator does not desire fictitious reports of the condition of Australia to be circulated in England? {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Certainly not. {: .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator TURLEY: -- Then the honorable senator and ourselves are at one. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- The difference comes in when you start to describe the state of the labour and other markets. {: .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator TURLEY: -- The state of the Australian labour market is pretty well known". I notice, from the report of the financial statement of the Treasurer of Queensland, that the Government of that State are prepared to spend money in advertising its resources, and assisting immigrants to Queensland, for whom employers are prepared to find work, providing a small amount as a guarantee of their *bona fides.* That is a fair and reasonable position to take up. If employers require men, those men can be' selected and brought out practically at the expense *Supply Bill* [13 November, 1907.] *(No.* 3). 5897 of the State Government, to supply the labour market, if there is a deficiency. It is all very well for **Senator St.** Ledger to make a by-and-large statement that we have millions of acres of splendid land available for people to settle on. As **Senator Guthrie** pointed out, a very large quantity of that land is locked up, because it is leased. It is still in the hands of the Government, but it will be locked up for a considerable time to come. The character of the land itself is really good. I do not suppose there is better land in the world than the major portion of Western Queensland, but I will show what chance men have Who go out to settle on it. It is not because the land is not good, but because there is not the rainfall. About six years ago, the' land laws of Queensland provided that the maximum area of a grazing farm should be 20,000 acres. That was regarded by everybody as a reasonable area in a large portion of the State for a man to make a living upon. In some portions of the State the maximum is 5,000, 10,000, or 15,000 acres, but in the case of a large proportion of the land of which **Senator St.** Ledger was speaking, the Parliament of Queensland, . on the recommendation of a Royal Commission, had to alter the land laws so as to make, not 20,000 acres, but 60,000 acres, the maximum for a grazing farm from which a man could make a living at all times. No one expects that sort of land to be opened up for closer settlement. **Senator Millen** knows very well that a man who takes up a grazing farm in those districts needs to have at his back a large sum. To an ordinary immigrant, who lands here with i100 or £200 in his pocket, that land is absolutely useless. It really requires a man with a large sum at his back to go out and take up the land. If it were fit for close settlement in blocks of 160 or 320 or 640 acres, -it would probably be within the reach of the average person who came along, because the Crown could afford to grant very reasonable terms indeed. I desire to acquaint the Committee with the position in Queensland. The fact that for the last few years there has been a demand for land in the State has compelled the Government to purchase a large area, so as to be able to supply land to applicants. In his last financial statement the Treasurer gives a list of the estates which have been purchased, chiefly on the Darling Downs, and the amounts which have been paid for them. It may be of interest to honorable senators if I read it to them - {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- Over what period does this resumption of estates extend? {: .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator TURLEY: -- It extends from the nineties. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Has all this land been resold ? {: .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator TURLEY: -- A large portion has been resold. The Government of Queensland has lately been concerned in a big arbitrationcase, in which no less than £12,000 has been spent on law costs. The Government has taken Jimbour, which is, I suppose, one of the best estates in Queensland. It comprises an area of 150,000 acres, valued at £450,000. The "Government has also the right to spend annually *£500,000* in the purchase of land to supply the demands of immigrants or other persons. In the face of such truths, what is the use of **Senator St.** Ledger telling the Committee that in Queensland there are hundreds of thousands of acres on which persons can settle? That is the sort of information which has been transmitted to the other side of the world time after time. People have been induced to come to Australia by lying statements until to-day Queensland and the other States are practically misrepresented in the old country as not having the land which it was stated they had available for people coming here. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- But even then I think it can be truthfully said that in Queensland there are hundreds of thousands of acres that are more easily accessible than the land which is being rushed in Canada? {: .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator TURLEY: -- Yes. In Queensland there are hundreds of thousands of acres of land which can be made available, and the Government will, I think, do everything they possibly can to make available that land which is fit for settlement. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- One of the big difficulties in Queensland to-day is the inability to get sufficient surveyors to open up the land. {: .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator TURLEY: -- To some extent I admit the truth of. that contention. In North Queensland, where there is, I suppose, one of the finest scrubs in Australia, a demand arose for land to be cut up, but the Government were not in a position to get surveyors to do the" work.. Why ? Because, for five or six years after 1897, there had been practically very little work for surveyors to do. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- Does not the honorable, senator think that he is now getting away from the schedule of the Bill ? {: .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator TURLEY: -- I was only replying to the interjection, sir. Surveyors left Queensland, and now when their services are required they are not available, but that difficulty will, I think, be overcome. I do not believe in crying "stinking fish" about Australia. In my opinion, it is as good as, probably better than, any country on the face of this earth. In the Commonwealth, a man has a better chance and greater opportunities than he has in very many countries. At the same time, Australia needs to be governed in the interests of the whole people, so as to make available and accessible lands which are required for settlement. Then we shall have, not only the men on the land earning a living, but also work for a large number of persons in the towns, in fact, all over the continent. I propose to quote from a recent utterance of **Mr. Kidston,** Premier of- Queensland, who, I suppose, is in a position to know as well as any one what is the condition of things locally. Replying to some remarks by **Mr. Philp,** the leader of the Opposition, on the 31st July last, he is reported, .on page 71 of the Queensland *Hansard,* to have said - >Another matter about which the hon. member for Townsville had something to say was the poor way in which the Government are rushing in immigrants. It is . said that men cannot be got in the State, and that somebody could not get a man at Longreach the other day to chop wood. Here is a remarkable thing : When the men engaged in the sugar industry came to see me some months ago urging me to bring in farm labourers wholesale for that industry, and pointing out that if I did not do so they would be thousands of men short this year, I arranged with them what they themselves admitted werefair terms for bringing out men for them, and I do not think we brought out more than 600 men. Although they were getting the merv brought from Europe and landed on their farms without any cost except ^5 per head - the Government doing all the rest - yet the demand! for men, when it was limited by- that restriction,, petered down to 500 or 600. The half of those men are in Queensland now, and I should liketo know where is the great demand for men ? > > **Mr. Armstrong** : You withdraw the labour from the other industries. > >The PREMIER : The other. industries can get men on the same terms. If the other industries, can offer men in "England, Scotland, Ireland, or the north of Europe a wage sufficient to tempt them to come to Queensland, and will guaranteeto give them work when they come here, they can have men on the same terms as the men whohave been introduced for the sugar industry.. But I will be no party, in office or out of office, to the flooding of the labour market by an indiscriminate introduction of labour. > >Government ' and Labour Members : Hear,, hear ! > >The PREMIER : It is not fair to the men; who are here, and it is not fair to the men whocome here. When the soup kitchen was inWilliamstreet I have myself seen 200 or 300- men round the kitchen, and at the same time a couple of hundred men were being landed from, an immigrant ship at the wharf. Would anysane man who knows what he is about be guilty; of a policy of that kind? I think the Govern-^ ment are adopting a liberal immigration policy. Speaking on the 13th August last, the AttorneyGeneral, who, I think, has the best interests of his native State at heart, and will do everything he can- to see that it isfairly represented outside Australia, is reported, on page 271 of the Queensland' *Hansard, to* have made this statement tothe Legislative Assembly - >We have a policy of building lines to develop.that portion of Queensland wherein our mineral resources are; we have a policy of extending lines to agricultural centres ; and we ask assistance from all those who want to see Queensland' go ahead to carry out that system. We have *a* lands policy ; and, so far from the Minister for Lands being adversely criticised on that policy, I think - if he will pardon me for saying it - hedeserves eulogy for attracting a desirable class of people. We ha-ve attracted here a desirableclass - they are coming here, and Queensland isall the better for them. Queensland is advancing through their presence. And we are endeavouring to augment and increase the number of agricultural and dairy farms; and I venture to. think that the policy being pursued now will eventually result in making Queensland an ElDorado of settlement. > >Hon. R. Philp : In what way are you getting; farmers ? > >The ATTORNEY-GENERAL : . The hon. gentleman has only to turn to the records of thedepartment to find out from the statistics the; *Supply Bill* [13 November, 1907.] *(No.* 3). 5899 number of farms, and the method in which they arebeing got. We have a policy of attracting here the right kind of settler, and we have also a policy which I believe will be carried into effect, of encouraging the native Queenslander, encouraging the sons of the people who have come here and given of their best to develop this State. I hope that the time is not far distant when a proposal of that kind will be foreshadowed and put upon the table of the House. I have always had the belief, and always will have it, that native Queenslanders ought to be given facilities the same as any other people. **Mr. Keogh** : They have not had it. The ATTORNEY-GENERAL : They are being given, and will continue to be given that, and have, I hope, a. grant of free land as well. We have passed a Closer Settlement Act. I don't know how to speak of that matter - whether it will work satisfactorily or not. We are now endeavouring to adopt some method of conservation of water. In a State like Queensland, where there is in some places a paucity of rainfall - an irregular rainfall - it behoves us, as custodians of the public welfare, to endeavour to do something in the way of looking after the conservation of water, so that when the times come - if they do come again - when there will not be a bountiful fall of rain, we may have a sure water supply. We have also a policy of immigration, and let me say, very shortly, what my views on this immigration policy are. I am not one who believes in the indiscriminate introduction of immigrants into Queensland. I will be no party to any policy which does not carefully scrutinise those people who are coming here, and which does not see that before anybody comes here there is work ready for each individual when he comes. (Hear, hear !) I do not believe in flooding the labour market by introducing people here, and so cutting down wages. I believe in a steady and a regular flow of immigration to those districts which need men of a certain type to develop them, and as long as I have any voice or say in the matter I will support any policy of that kind. But it should be under proper safeguards and restrictions, and I am glad to say the Government is prepared to give the same facilities to ordinary individuals who may want labour as they have already given to other individuals. I want to point out that, although there has been a great cry for immigrants, up to the present time the supply has practically more than exceeded the demand - that the demand, at all events, when put face to face with concrete proposals, with definite offers of contract, has so shrunken in its dimensions as to be almost normal. Those are not the opinions of men who talk by and large, but of the Premier of and the Attorney-General holding office at the present time in Queensland. Statements were made by other members of the Queensland Parliament to the effect that thousands of immigrants were required. The Premier of the State said that the Government are prepared to spend money to assist immigration, and to make the State known as favorably as possible on the other side of the world. I can refer honorable members to the Queensland *Hansard* for 25th October, page 1438, where they will find that on another occasion **Mr. Kidston** said this - >The hon. member for Fortitude Valley said it was no use offering men at home a twelve months' engagement, as he would not get them to come to Queensland. He would just tell that hon. member, and other members who were displeased with the proposal of the Government, that the making of that agreement and the fixing of the wages were done for the advantage of the people who were coming here, and he believed that most of them recognised that that was a great advantage to them coming to a country 16,000 miles away, where they had no friends. They felt much safer if they knew that they had at least a year's work at a fixed wage. As a matter of fact, the arrangement had operated that way, for the Government could have got thousands more men than they took. > >Hon. E. B. Forrest : Why didn't you bring them ? > >The PREMIER : Because they were not ordered - because the hon. member would not pay *£5* down - would not show his *bona fides.* People went to him **(Mr. Kidston),** and said they wanted from 5,000 to 6,000 men. "Well," he said, " you can get them if you want them. Put down the *£5."* How many did they order? If the Government would bring out immigrants wholesale, 5,000 was the number- > >Hon. E. B. Forrest : They hadn't the money, and you know it. > >The PREMIER : But when they had to show their *bond fides,* 600 was the number. Were there not plenty of men here? > >Hon. E. B. Forrest : No. You have' been told over and over again there is not. That statement of the Honorable E. B. Forrest is the kind of thing we are being everlastingly told, and why? It is because certain people wish to secure a large reservoir of labour upon which they can draw at their own price. **Mr. Kidston** continued - >He induced the Minister for Lands to stop some public estate improvement work in the Mackay district a few weeks ago when he heard men calling out that there was no labour for the canefields in that district and in the North. He liberated some 40 or 50 men who were em- . ployed there, so that he should not be taking men away from the canefields. What was the result? Only work could be found for six of them in the whole district. What was he to believe under those circumstances? He had to start the work again. He did not want to do it, as he would rather have kept it for the slacker season. He held in his hand the last report of the Labour Bureau. These are the views of men holding responsible positions, and there can be no question of the truth of the statements they have made. Before the terms on which the Queensland Government were prepared to introduce immigrants were known, there was a demand for 5,000 or, 6,000 men to be brought out at the public expense and dumped down along the coast, 5900 *Supply Bill* [SENATE.] *(No.* 3). that they might be employed at any terms offered by the employers. But when the employers were asked to guarantee per head, although they were given the opportunity to appoint their own agents in the Old Country to select the men they required, and to have them landed almost where they were to work practically at the Government expense, their demands dwindled down to 500 or 600. This is borne out by a return which was placed on the table of the Senate only a little time ago. I asked some questions on the subject of immigration, and was asked by the Vice-President of the Executive Council to move for a return giving the particulars I desired. From that return I find that eleven persons sent in applications for immigrants - {: type="1" start="2"} 0. and (3). Pioneer River Farmers' and Graziers' Association, Mackay, 500 men; contract approved. Cane Farmers' Association of North Queensland, Cairns, 500 men; contract approved. (The permits granted in these two cases were transferred to the Colonial Sugar Refining Company, who were acting on behalf of the growers included in the Associations.) Mossman Central Mill Company, 50 men ; contract approved. Government of Queensland ; " general " approval. Mackay Labour Registration Association, 500 men; not approved as contracts for similar number in same district already approved. Drysdale Bros. and Company and Australian Estates and Mortgage Co. Ltd., 220 men; George Altoft, Macknade, 4 men and a " number of boys " ; E. Lyon, Macknade, 4 men and a "number of boys"; C. E. Lacaze, Macknade, 12 men and 4 boys; H. E. Lacaze, Macknade, 12 men and 4 boys; C. G. Sawyer, Macknade, 6 men and 4 boys. Not carried to conclusion by applicants. {: type="1" start="4"} 0. and (5). Three hundred and forty-one persons have been introduced under contract with the Colonial Sugar Refining Company for service with the two asociations mentioned above. Three hundred and fifty-six men have recently arrived for Queensland. These are understood to have been introduced by the Government of that State, in pursuance of the "general" approval given. (6), (7), and (8). The Colonial Sugar Refining Company, in advising the arrival of the 341 immigrants, intimated that they do not intend to avail themselves of the balance of the permits granted in their favour. These have accordingly been cancelled. Those statements truly describe the position. When they were asked to supply so many men, the Queensland Government requested the applicants to show their *bona fides.* They said, "We will bring these men out for you and land them on your farms if you agree to carry out the con tritions.'' But what has been demanded by numbers of persons who wished to secure labour at their own price, has been that the Government should spend the money of the taxpayers in flooding the markets of Australia in order that they might be able to employ them or. not, as they thought fit. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- Does the honorable senator conclude from all this that there is no room in Australia for additional men? {: .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator TURLEY: -- No; I do not. I believe there is room in Australia for millions of people. But we cannot dump millions of people down here to-day or to-morrow and expect to place them all at once. There is plenty of good land in Australia, although, unfortunately, much good land is locked up from settlement. In proof of that statement, I have only to remind honorable members that in nearly all the States the Governments have spent large sums of public money in repurchasing the land in order to sell it again to people who require it for closer settlement. In addition to this in -Queensland, a number of estates on the Darling Downs have been subdivided by their owners and sold to persons desiring to settle on the land. A considerable amount of settlement has taken place in that way. There are extensive areas of good land in other parts of the State still in the hands of the Crown. It is at some distance from railways, but railways are being built, which, I believe, will be the means of opening up a very considerable area of land, which the Queensland Government will throw open for settlement as soon as they can. We are not opposed to people coming to Australia. As a matter offact, the members of the Labour Party have never objected to people coming to Australia on the same terms as others who came here, whether at their own expense or with the assistance of the Government, prepared to accept whatever work they could get. But we do object to public money being squandered wholesale in the circulation of misrepresentations and lies in the older countries of the world concerning Australia, to induce people to come here. Shortly, the history of immigration in Queensland is that in that State we have spent *, £3,000,000* of public money in assisting immigration, or more than has been spent for the same purpose by all the other States of Australia put together. In the eighties we were bringing out large numbers of immigrants at the public expense, and the bulk of them, instead of remaining in Queensland, went south in the belief that they could better themselves. **Senator Millen** smiles, because he knows that a very considerable number of people brought out at the expense of the Queensland Government, went to New South Wales and Victoria in those days. We do not believe in continuing that system. Public money may be spent in various ways in letting people on the other side of the globe know the resources of Australia, and the opportunity afforded to better their condition bv emigrating to the Commonwealth. There will shortly be an exhibition held in London, and I have no doubt that public money will be spent by all the States Governments in advertising at that exhibition the resources of the several States. That will further the immigration policy quite as much as expenditure by the Commonwealth Government, whilst the States will have the advantage of being able to offer facilities which the Commonwealth Government are unable to offer, since they own no land. We have no objection to expenditure to secure the publication of reliable information concerning Australia in the older countries of the world, but we believe, at the same time, that no effort should be spared to see that the information given to the people whom we desire to attract to Australia is reliable, and not misleading. {: #debate-12-s41 .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART:
Queensland -- We are all agreed that Australia possesses great and important resources, that her population is much smaller than it. ought to be, and that we should strain every nerve to increase the number of our people as rapidly .as possible. We know that Australia cannot be properly defended, nor can her resources be properly developed, unless her population is very much augmented. For that reason it is desirable not only in the first place to make the resources of Australia available to people who are already here, but then to advertise those resources in other parts of the world. It appears to me, however, that if we are to publish statements in Europe with regard to Australia, they should be as near the truth as possible. Nothing should be suppressed; nothing should be exaggerated. The plain, honest truth should be told, and no one should be able to complain afterwards that he was brought here under false pretences. The Vice-President of the Executive Council has told us that it is the intention of the Government to purchase £600 worth of copies of a publication, a specimen of which 1 hold in- my hold. I do not know how this publication is to be circulated - whether it is to be placed in public libraries or handed round to people who wish to come to Australia. We have had no information on that point. But it is extremely desirable that we should know. It is an elaborately got up publication, but it is not one which the average immigrant would be likely to look closely into. It is not "a very handy document for circulation. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- It is only fit for the reading-room table. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- It is only fit for a library, or some place of that kind. My experience in the Old Country was that only a small proportion of the people whom we wish to attract to Australia either visit public libraries or have an opportunity of doing so. So that the probability is that if we buy a large number of copies of this publication, it will find its way into the hands of only a comparatively few people. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- The newspapers will get copies, and make extracts from it. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- They mav or they may not. If we do .go in for a publication of this kind, it should be got up in a much handier form-. {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- Let the Government issue a publication themselves. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- The Government should issue a reliable publication, telling the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- That would be open to the objection urged by **Senator Findley.** What one Government would consider to be reliable' another might think ought to be considerably altered. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- No doubt there is that difficulty.' But I think the Commonwealth Government ought to be able te issue a publication about the truth of which we should all be pretty well agreed. It is not wise to cry stinking fish. Australia is probably the finest country under the sun. But, whilst I say that, I have to admit that we labour under disadvantages peculiar to this country. We hear a great- deal about Canada, but I have just read in the *Statesman' s Year-Booh* that over 5,000,000 acres of free land were granted to immigrants by the Dominion Government last year - land, 160 acres of which would support a man and his family. Have we in Australia to-day 5,000,000 acres of land that we can cut up immediately into farms of 160 acres and hand over free of charge to immigrants, except as to the fee of about a dollar for transfer? The land is not available. What we need to do, as I said at the beginning, is to make available a very large proportion of the land that is at present lying idle. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- For free gifts? {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- I do not say that. {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator Keating: -- The Dominion Government absolutely owns all the public land in three provinces. But the Commonwealth Government does not own a single acre of land. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- The Dominion Government is in a much better position than is the Commonwealth Government in regard to promoting land settlement. The Commonwealth Government does not own an inch of land. But the Commonwealth! Parliament holds in- its hand the key which can open the door to every acre of unused land in the Commonwealth. It is a key which can open millions of acres of land for settlement. All it has to do is to turn that key in the right direction and the thing is accomplished. Let us take the case of Tasmania, that tight little island which is so efficiently represented by **Senator Dobson.** Tasmania has been losing population for a number of years. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- No; Tasmania has not been gaining very fast. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- Its young men and women have been drawn away to New Zealand and to the continent of Australia. Why? Simply because the best lands in Tasmania are held by monopolists. In South Australia we find prevailing exactly the same state of affairs. {: #debate-12-s42 .speaker-JXT} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Colonel Neild:
NEW SOUTH WALES -- Does the honorable senator think that land monopoly in Tasmania has anything to do with the repatriation of kanakas, or with advertising the resources of Australia, or with a mail service to the New Hebrides? {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- With all due respect to you, sir, and with every desire not to get out of order, I suggest that we are now discussing the voting of a sum of money to be used for the purpose of purchasing copies of a publication, a specimen of which I hold in my hand. It is intended to circulate this publication in the United Kingdom. I am contending that the whole truth about Australia's resources should be told in any statement which is made in Europe. I find a great deal in this publication about the huge areas of land available for settlement iii Australia. I think I am perfectly justified in pointing out that several States are losing population because of the artificial scarcity of land caused by a few persons monopolizing huge areas. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- My honorable friend ought to know that the Tasmanian Government, like the Governments of other States, is buying back private estates, and supplying the demand for land. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- I think that that is one of the most damaging statements that could possibly be made about any new country. Land is so scarce for settlement purposes that the States Governments are compelled to buy it back from private owners. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- Does not my honorable friend think that the large land-owners of the past have played a very useful part in the building up of Australia? {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- I am not discussing whether they have played a useful part or not. I am. trying to point out that in any statement about our resources which is circulated in Europe, we must tell the truth, and nothing but the truth; and the truth in that from each of the States that I have mentioned there has been an outflowing of population caused by land monopoly. {: .speaker-JVC} ##### Senator Dobson: -- No. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- I will give my honorable friend the figures. From the State of Victoria the exodus has been quite remarkable. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- In spite of the high Tariff? {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- I believe that if there had. not been a high protectionist Tariff in Victoria the exodus would have been very much greater. In fact, I believe that there would have been very few people in Victoria at all. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- Free-trade .New South Wales did not lose her. population. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- I ask the honorable senator not to go into that subject. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- From 1891 to 1901 Victoria lost by emigration 111,577 persons. In 1901-2-3-4. she lost 45,885 persons. That is to say, in fourteen years the total loss was 157,462 persons. It was not the old men and women who left Victoria, nor was it the young boys and girls. It was the flower of her population. Whydid they leave? Simply because they could not get land on which to settle in their own State. {: .speaker-KAH} ##### Senator Walker: -- Where did they go to? {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- A large number of miners, no doubt, went to Western Australia as the Victorian gold mines became more or less exhausted. {: .speaker-K8T} ##### Senator Trenwith: -- And a large number of them left good land in Victoria to go to cheaper land elsewhere. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- The fact remains that a very large proportion of the agricultural population of Victoria, men and women who were born and bred on farms, and who were accomplished in all the arts of agriculture, were compelled to leave their native State because land became so scarce that they were not able to buy it. Such is the case with regard to three States - Tasmania, South Australia, and Victoria. New South Wales is a very much larger State, about four times the size of Victoria, with huge areas of land not yet taken up. Yet, reading in the newspapers recently a report with regard to an estate called Brookong, I discovered that for fourteen small farms there were no fewer than 1,100 applications, and, on another occasion, 101 four farms there were 260 applications. That sort of thing has been repeating itself call over the State of New South Wales. {: .speaker-K8W} ##### Senator Turley: -- Was Brookong a private estate? {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- I think it was land resumed by the Government. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- There were so many applications, not applicants. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- - Those facts prove conclusively that something very like a land famine exists in New South Wales as well as in the other States. I believe that Queensland, from the agricultural, pastoral, mining, and timber points of view, is the premier State of Australia, but even there we find the trail of the land monopolist over all, blighting our progress, obstructing the development of the country, and clinging, like an old man of the sea, around the neck of the State. And all the while representatives of Queensland come here and tell us of the millions of acres of unalienated land there ! No doubt there are many millions of acres unalienated, but are those lands situated within the pale of cultivation? Are they near railway lines, or within the rain-belt? Are they such lands as men, more especially men from Europe, without experience, and probably with little capital, would care to settle upon? They are not, and every one of our Queensland represen- tatives knows it just as well as I do. The following is a list", on the correctness of which honorable senators may rely, of large estates in one small corner of the Darling Downs : - Jondaryan, 150,000 acres; Ellangowan, 90,000 acres; Rosalie Plains, 24,000 acres ; O.K., near Dalby, 1:1,000 acres; .Bowenville, 6-,000 acres; Daandine, 43,000 acres ; Harrow, 24,000 acres; Yandilla, 89,000 acres; Wyobie, 48,000 acres; Bon Accord, 35,000 acres; North Devon Park, 6,300 acres; Rosalie Plains,. 45,000 acres; Felton, 41,000 acres; Callandoon, 90,000 acres; Cecil Plains, 121,226 acres; and Kurrowale, 55,000 acres. In addition, an estate of 150,000 acres, named Jimbour, has recently been resumed by the State Government at an extortionate price. {: .speaker-KPE} ##### Senator Keating: -- Were not several of the estates mentioned by the honorable senator resumed and cut up? {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- Two or three of them have been resumed. Some are being cut up by private owners. {: .speaker-KAH} ##### Senator Walker: -- The honorable senator is wrong in saying that Callandoon is near the others. It is quite 200 miles away. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- They are all in the one district. The information I have ' given has been taken from the records of a Select Committee appointed in Queensland to obtain all the information possible when **Mr. Kidston's** Land Monopoly Tax Bill was before Parliament. It can therefore be relied upon. Although we have in Queensland a very large area which has not been taken up, it is land which we could not ask immigrants from Europe to settle upon. It would practically be condemning them to failure to send them out, new to the country, into those districts without experience and without capital. If we are really in earnest about adding to our population, and about getting our- land settled, the first thing we ought to do is to break up the land monopoly which undoubtedly exists in every one of the States. In Queensland the Government have been compelled to buy back from private owners nearly £1,000,000 worth of land. All, or a very large proportion, of that land has been resold in small areas, and the Government last year obtained power from Parliament to spend no less a sum than ,£500,000 per annum in repurchasing land from private owners upon which to place settlers, without any further reference to Parliament. I direct the attention of honorable senators to the serious situation which these facts disclose. Here we have a country practically in its infancy, with only 4,000,000 people, and a territory of between 3,000,000 and 4,000,000 square miles, or not quite a square mile to every man, woman, and child in it, and yet in every settled portion of the. Commonwealth we find the hand of the land monopolist holding in an iron grasp the resources of the country. I read with very much pleasure one portion of the speech of the Prime Minister at the Lord Mayor's banquet. He said that if the States would provide the land, the ' Commonwealth would find the people. I quite agree with the Prime Minister {: .speaker-JYX} ##### Senator Findley: -- The Prime Minister himself could help to supply the land by the imposition of a tax. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- -There is no doubt about that. When the States provide sufficient land for immigrants, no party in the Commonwealth will be more ready to spend public money, if need be, to bring the immigrants here than will the Labour Party. But we insist upon the first condition that the lands must be thrown open. Not a single State is preparing to throw open the land. The authority which- the Queensland Government have obtained from Parliament to spend £500,000 per annum in buying back land, instead of being likely to promote settlement, will rather have the opposite effect. What is the result when you find a buyer with half-a-million in his hands coming into the market every year? {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- It is not competent for the honorable senator to discuss the policy of closer settlement, although he will be quite in order in discussing the resources of Australia. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- The policy of closer settlement has an immediate bearing on the question of the development of the resources of Australia. The Prime Minister has announced his willingness to spend £200,000 a year in introducing immigrants if the States find the land. That ought to be made a condition precedent. When the States find the ' land, I shall be prepared to assist in finding the money to introduce immigrants, if money is necessary, but until the States do find the land, then, so far as I am concerned, not a single farthing will be voted by the Commonwealth Parliament for that purpose. The Prime Minister might have gone a little further, and said, " This is a great national question; although the Commonwealth does not own any land, it has the power to unlock the land if the States will not do it, and I am determined that, unless the States do it, the Commonwealth shall." If the Prime Minister took that stand, he would have behind him the united strength of the Labour Party, but when he takes up a half-hearted position, saying, "When the States find the land, we will find the money," there is very little business in the matter. The truth ought to be told about, not only the advantages, which are many, but also the disadvantages of Australia. {: .speaker-KAH} ##### Senator Walker: -- And they are few. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- They are few. Troublesome as the land monopolist is, serious as is the difficulty which he presents to the people of Australia, one consolation is that we can sweep him out of existence in. a very short time by a bold policy of legislation. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir Josiah Symon: -- He can be got rid of quicker than that, by hanging him. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- I do not want to do anything of that sort to him. {: .speaker-KAH} ##### Senator Walker: -- Even if the Commonwealth imposed a heavy land tax, the land would still belong to the States. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- But it would be unalienated. I do not know whether I should be in order in discussing the question of a land tax. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- I cannot allow a discussion on the land tax. {: .speaker-K7V} ##### Senator Sir Josiah Symon: -- The honorable senator might mention how much he would like to put on. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- I am not permitted to enter into details. I should put on enough to do the work. **Senator Sir Josiah** Symon. - To burst them up. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- Enough to burst them up, as the honorable senator says. If a penny would not do it, I should put 2d. on, and so on. I should experiment, and go as far as I possibly could, but I would accomplish the end which I set out to achieve. This is a most important subject, and I am sorry that my honorable friends on my right, more especially **Senator Walker,** do not see eye to eye with me and the other members of the Labour Party upon it. I had hoped that **Senator Walker's** association with us might have given him more intelligent ideas upon the subject; but I am afraid that he is past redemption. {: .speaker-KAH} ##### Senator Walker: -- I do not believe in confiscation. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator STEWART: -- Nor do I, and that is exactly why I am advocating the policy of taxation. The community-created land values are now being taxed by private enterprise, and I should very much like to. see that state of affairs put an end to. We all wish to see Australia's population increased, her land settled, and Australia placed in a position to defend herself against a possible invader. That can only be done by largely increasing our population, and the highway to an increase of population is to burst up the land monopoly, and multiply the means of getting employment for such persons as may come here. {: #debate-12-s43 .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS:
Queensland -- Suffering from a bad cold as I am, I did not intend to speak on this Bill. I agree with much that has been said. In connexion with the proposal to advertise Australia, it has been said that it has no land available for persons who may come here. I admit that in the closely-settled areas land is not procurable as easily as it used to be. I can remember the time when the lands to which **Senator Stewart** has alluded were procured very easily. {: .speaker-K7D} ##### Senator Stewart: -- That is a long time ago. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- Yes. There was no rush of buyers then. A vast number of those who bought the land from the Government had to sell it back to the Crown, and even if they were to charge interest, they would not get back what they paid originally. But, take the districts in north and central Queensland. If it is proposed to advertise Australia in the Old Country, let me point out that in the Burnett district there is a very large area of which a great portion is Crown land. Up to the present time, we have no railway through the district. It has been stated here to-night that all the pastoral lands are locked up. Year after year, leases comprising very large areas - as much as 200 or 300 square miles - are falling in. One-half of each area is allowed- to the lessee, while the other half, if not applied for by any persons, is held under an occupation licence from year to year. At the present time, millions of acres of land are held under that tenure in Queensland, But, aa **Senator Turley** has stated, it would be of no use to bring out from the Old Country immigrants with ,£100 or *£200* apiece, and expect them to go on that land and make a living, because it is necessary for a man. to have a capital of .£5,000 or £10,000 to take up such land. The Government get from 18s. to 25s. per square mile for land in that district. All the land which is held under occupation licence could be 'handed over to immigrants, but I am sorry to say that a large portion of it is not suitable for agriculture, and is only suitable for dairy farming. In the Burnett district a few years ago - from Bundaberg to Gladstone, and from Gladstone to Rockhampton - no such thing as a dairy farm existed, but at the present time there are hundreds of them, and there is room for thousands more of them. The district has a fair rainfall, but the further one goes north or west, the less the rainfall is. We want to induce immigrants to come to this country, but not to flood the market. An immigrant has to put up with hard times to a certain extent, because he is new to the climate, and to the conditions. **Senator Guthrie** has spoken of the immigrants who came out in the seventies. Long before the seventies, there were shiploads of immigrants arriving in Queensland every month. A great number of those persons were induced to come out by means of advertisements, in the Old Country. A great number of them went through very hard times. They could npt go and get work at so much per day. Some of them had to go on the land with very small means, and for the first five years they experienced great difficulties. But to-day I guarantee- that they are the backbone of Southern Queensland. We ought to be able to do something like that for the Commonwealth. I do not think that there is an honorable senator, no matter on which side he sits, who wishes to flood the country with immigrants, and leave them to shift for themselves. I believe that we would all like to see more people in Australia, and perhaps to have more liberal land laws. But we cannot get everything at once. It has been stated by **Senator Millen,** and the records prove, that in Queensland there has been a .want of men to survey the land as rapidly as it- has been required by the people. There are a great many applications for large areas. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Why does not Queensland import surveyors ? {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- Surveyors are not so numerous as the honorable senator appears tq think. Inducements have been held out to our surveyors to go to South Africa and to other parts pf the world. .1 believe that it is the intention of all .parties, in Queensland to try to open up its lands as quickly as possible. By the construction of a few railways on the. border of the central and southern districts, millions of acres of land would be made available for farming. In my opinion, the State has done very well indeed in having opened up its territory as it has done within a period of forty years. The squatter, who did not buy but leased the land, has had his use and his day. In those times it was very hard indeed to get persons to take up land. I remember the time when Rockhampton, in central Queensland, was the farthest outpost. Those who took up vast areas west and north used to . provide themselves with rations and go away for twelve months with* a few sheep. But they have had their use and their day. I believe that not only the Government of Queensland, but also the Government of the Commonwealth, will do their best to bring out persons to settle on the land, but not to allow them to flood the towns. No inducements should be held out by advertisement to bring out men for the latter purpose. If we can only create a slow but steady stream of immigrants who will settle on the lands, towns will grow up, and artisans and others, if the wages and conditions are favorable, will come out here at their own expense. When I was in the Queensland Parliament, I said I was prepared to go even farther than **Senator Stewart** is now. I said I would give the land to the immigrant if he would settle upon it, and establish a- home. That is the only way in which I think we shall get people to come here. Canada and other countries are pursuing that policy. In my opinion, Australia has better country than has Canada, but the climatic conditions are altogether different here. In Canada they have a regular rainfall, but we have not, and that is one of our drawbacks. I can remember the time when it was stated, not only by individuals, but by the press, that the land on the famous Darling Downs would not grow even a cabbage, and that it was of no use, except for depasturing sheep and cattle. The same thing may be' said of country in Queensland on which very few persons are settled to-day. But in the course of twenty-five or thirty years all that country will be turned to a useful purpose. The proper way in which to induce persons to come out to the Commonwealth is for the States Governments to resume the land required at a fair rate, and to allow the immigrants to pay the money in the course of twenty or thirty years. Let no lies about the States be published in the Old Country. Let every fair inducement ' be offered to persons to come here, but let the truth be told all the time. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- But the Legislative Council will not pass a Bill to that effect. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- The Legislative Council will be improved in time. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- In certain States, compulsory resumption Acts have already been passed. {: .speaker-K5F} ##### Senator SAYERS: -- Such a measure has been passed in Queensland, where we have a nominee Legislative Council, and I believe that in time South Australia will fall into line with the other States. We have heard a good deal about persons leaving one State in the Commonwealth and going to another. We know that from Victoria thousands have gone and are still going to Queensland and New South Wales, because in those States they can get land equal to that which they are leaving in Victoria for about one-tenth of the money ; that is, if I can believe what I have read in the press. AH the facts should be put before the people of . the Old Country by the Commonwealth Government, so that intending emigrants may know exactly the conditions with which they Will have to put up if they come here. Every possible care should be taken in order to insure that no false statements concerning the States shall be published in the Old Country. {: #debate-12-s44 .speaker-JXJ} ##### Senator NEEDHAM:
Western Australia -- I should like to ask whether, since I spoke this afternoon, the VicePresident of the Executive Council has received any information relative to the leakage which evidently has existed in the Postal Department in connexion with the publication of the report of the Board appointed to inquire into the adoption of a uniform Commonwealth stamp. {: #debate-12-s45 .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator BEST:
Vice-President of the Executive Council · Victoria · Protectionist -- I *have* made inquiries and received some information confirming the statement made by the honorable senator regarding the publication of the report of the Stamp Board. I understand that **Mr. Hull,** a member of the Board, and not a Government official, disclosed the information concerning the report. I may add that the Postmaster-General *Supply Bill* [13 November, 1907.] *(No.* 3). 5907 naturally feels very indignant about it, and is at present calling upon **Mr. Hull** for an explanation. Schedule and title agreed to. Bill reported without request; report adopted. Motion (by **Senator Best)** proposed - >That this Bill be now read a third time. {: #debate-12-s46 .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGREGOR:
South Australia -- Before the Bill is read a third time, I wish to call attention to a matter which is, I think, of great public interest. I saw an announcement in the newspapers the other day that it was proposed to make certain additions to the building known as the Commonwealth offices, at the corner of Spring and Collins streets. I had rather serious objections to the Common wealth Government improving the property -of private individuals, andI intended to raise the question when the votes for the Department concerned were under discussion ; but I made inquiries so as to shorten time, and I have been informed by the Vice-President of the Executive Council and' the Secretary to the Treasurer that the building referred to was bought by the Government of Victoria for the use of the Commonwealth. Therefore, any arrangement made for additions to the building will be made between the Victorian and the Commonwealth Governments. I think it Tight that the public should know this, and that is why I have referred to the matter. {: #debate-12-s47 .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I venture to ask what is the great hurry in passing this Bill. Why cannot the third reading be postponed until to-morrow ? {: .speaker-K0F} ##### Senator Pearce: -- The civil servants will want their money to-morrow. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Is it cut so fine as that? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- Yes. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Then there is something wrong. I regret that since we passed the last Supply Bill we have had no opportunity to discuss the way in which the Government are administering the affairs of the country. Here, again, we have a Supply Bill submitted practically with a pistol at our heads. The Bill reached the Senate only this afternoon, and to-night we are asked to pass the third reading, because if we do not, the civil servants will not be paid to-morrow. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Senator Best: -- So it has been since the beginning, and ever will be. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- We have had no sufficient opportunity to discuss the Bill. {: .speaker-KUL} ##### Senator Millen: -- I think honorable senators availed themselves of a fair opportunity to discuss matters to-night. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I have been astonished that **Senator Millen** did not do so. I thought that probably the Government had been in consultation with the honorable senator, and that that accounts for the attitude they are at present adopting. I think that everything should be done decently and in order, and before we are asked to take the responsibility of voting for the expenditure ' provided for in this Bill we should be given an opportunity to study the items. I protest against the third reading of such an important measure being passed when there are so few members of the Senate present. I do not say that there is not a quorum present, but I should say that there is barely a quorum. In the circumstances, I protest against honorable senators being asked to take a leap in the dark, and to deal with public money in a way in which we would not deal with our own. {: .speaker-KNB} ##### Senator Guthrie: -- We have passed the votes already. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- But in what way? They have been rushed through Committee. I have been looking to **Senator McGregor,** my leader, to. do something in the matter. {: .speaker-KTF} ##### Senator McGregor: -- I made inquiries. {: .speaker-K3G} ##### Senator W RUSSELL:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The honorable senator has evidently been in consultation with the leader of the Senate, and decided upon the policy of jettisoning the Bill that we may all get to bed. I think we should be given an Opportunity to discuss the Bill to-morrow. I have no desire to stonewall the measure. I hare never done that kind of thing, and could not do it if I would, but I complain that good reason has not been shown why this Bill was not introduced earlier, in order that the " clodhoppers," as men who come from the country have been described to-night by one honorable senator, should be given time to understand what it contains. Men whohave worked on farms and have followed the plough, naturally take longer to understand these questions than . those whose education has fitted them for work at the accountant's desk. Why should 'we not be given an opportunity to fully consider every measure before it is passed into law ? The Government has refused the opportunity in the present instance, and I am, therefore, opposed to the third reading of the Bill at the present time. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a third time. Senate adjourned at 10.42 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 13 November 1907, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.