6 April 1921

8th Parliament · 1st Session

The President (Senator the Hon. T. Givens) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.

page 7171



Camp Training of Citizen Forces

Senator EARLE:

– I ask the Minister for Defence whether it is the intention of the Government to provide for ten weeks’ consecutive military training for the youth of Australia ? If not, will the Minister say what term of continuous training is proposed?

Senator PEARCE:
Minister for Defence · WESTERN AUSTRALIA · NAT

– As announced by myself in the press last week, the consideration of an extended term of training for the Citizen Forces has been deferred by the Government until the return of the Prime Minister from England. With regard to the honorable senator’s second question, a Defence Bill will be submitted to the Senate at a later period, which will disclose the intentions of the Government in this regard for the immediate future.

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Assent to the following Bills re ported : -

Appropriation Bill 1920-21.

Commonwealth Bank Bill.

Electoral War-timeRepeal Bill.

Land Tax Bill.

Passports Bill.

Quarantine Bill.

Nationality Bill.

Aliens Registration Bill.

Air Navigation Bill.

Immigration Bill.

Sugar Purchase Bill.

Invalid and Old-age Pensions Bill.

War Precautions ActRepeal Bill.

Industrial Peace Bill.

River Murray Waters Bill.

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Royal Assent

The PRESIDENT announced the re ceipt of a message from His Excellency the Governor-General, intimating that the Navigation Act 1912-19, which was reserved for the ‘ signification of His Majesty’s pleasure, had been laid before His Majesty in Council, and ‘ that His Majesty had, by Order in Council dated 14th February, 1921, confirmed, approved, and declared his assent to the proposed law; and further, that in the Commonwealth Gazette, 3rd March, 1921, His Excellency the. Governor-General had caused the King’s approval of the proposed law to be published by proclamation.

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Shipbuilding Contract

Senator E D MILLEN:
Minister for Repatriation · NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1910; LP from 1913; NAT from 1917

– During the recess an interim report was furnished to His Excellency the Governor-General by the. Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works in connexion with an inquiry into the Kidman and Mayoh shipbuilding contract. In view of the very definite finding of the Committee, steps are being taken by the Government to recover from the contractors amounts paid to them under the contract. I lay the report on the table, and move -

That the paper be printed.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senator NEWLAND laid on the table a report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, together with minutes of evidence, relating to the shipbuilding contract.

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The following papers were presented : -

Commonwealth and State Land and Income Taxes - Collection by one authority, and uniform form of return - Reports of Board of Inquiry.

Economies Royal Commission - Final Report; together with Ministerial Statement to accompany same.

Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Hungary, together with Protocol and Declaration, signed at Trianon, 4th June, 1920.

Treaty of Peace between the Allied Powers and Turkey, signed at Sevres, 10th August, 1920.

Arbitration (Public Service) Act. - Orders of the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, and other documents, in connexion with awards or variations of awards in the following cases: -

Australian Postal Linesmen’s Union - Dated18th December, 1920.

Commonwealth Legal Professional Officers’ Association - Dated 17th December, 1920.

Commonwealth Postmasters’ Association and Australian Commonwealth Post and Telegraph Association - Dated 27th November, 1920.

Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association - Dated 17th December, 1920.

Line Inspectors’ Association - Commonwealth of Australia - Dated 18th December, 1920.

Professional Officers’ Association Commonwealth Public Service - Dated 17th December 1920.

Audit Act -

Regulations amended. - Statutory Rules 1921, No. 30.

Transfers of amounts approved by the Governor-General in Council - Financial Year 1920-21-

Dated 20th January, 1921.

Dated 2nd March, 1921.

Dated 10th March, 1921.

Commonwealth Bank Act. - Regulations amended. - Statutory Rules 1920, No. 269.

Conciliation and Arbitration Act. - Regulations amended.- Statutory Rules 1920, No. 99.

Contract Immigrants Act. - Return for 1920, respecting Contract Immigrants admitted or refused admission into the Commonwealth, &c.

Electoral Act. - Joint Electoral Rolls in South Australia. - Regulations. - Statutory Rules 1921, No. 32.

Electoral Act and Referendum (Constitution Alteration ) Act. - Regulations amended. - Statutory Rules 1920, No. 261.

Entertainments Tax Assessment Act. - Regulations amended. - Statutory Rules 1920, No. 218.

High Court Procedure Act. - Rules of Court -

Dated 27th July, 1920 (Statutory Rules 1920, No. 162).

Dated 1st February, 1921.

Immigration Act. - Return for 1920, respect ing persons admitted or refused admission into the Commonwealth, &c.

Income Tax Assessment Act. - Regulations amended. - Statutory Rules 1920, No. 258.

Industrial Peace Acts. - Regulations. - Statutory Rules 1920, No. 204.

Land Tax Assessment Act. - Statement showing relief from tax granted to taxpayers under section 66 of the Act.

Lands Acquisition Act.- Land acquired for Postal purposes at -

Branxholm, Tasmania.

Dee Why, New South Wales.

Fremantle, Western Australia.

Gordon, New South Wales.

Kalamunda, Western Australia.

Nedlands Park, Western Australia.

West Guildford, Western Australia.

Naturalization Act. - Return of persons to whom Naturalization Certificates were granted during 1920.

Norfolk Island. -

Census Ordinance 1920. - Regulations.

Ordinance No. 1 of 1921. - Executive Council.

Northern Territory. - Ordinances. -

No. 7 of 1920.- Lunacy.

No. 10 of 1920- Taxation.

No. 11 of 1920. - Examination of Enginedrivers.

No. 3 of 1921. - Early closing.

No. 2 of 1921. - Affirmations.

Papua. - Ordinances of 1920. -

No.6. - Supplementary Appropriation (No. 2). 1019-1920.

No. 7.- Supply (No. 1), 1920-1921.

No. 9. - Census.

Patents Act.-Regulations amended. - Statutory Rules 1920, No. 137.

Patents Act, Trade Marks Act, Designs Act, Patents, Trade Marks, and Designs Act, and Treaty of Peace Act. - Regulations. - Statutory Rules 1920, No.61..

Public Service Act -

Appointments, Promotions, &c -

Prime Minister’s Department - L. O. Brown.

Department of the Treasury - T. C. H. Powell, E. R. Halse, R. A. Whitelaw, A. J. Drummond, R. A. Crowe, J. W. Ryan, P. W. G. Bennett, T. A. R. Rooke, H. E. J. Woodland, C. C. Christie, P. S. McGovern, T. L. Lea, T. Goggin, L. V. Kennedy, G. A. Forster, H. F. Brodribb, W. R. Campbell, C. G. P. Edmonds, G. T. Evans, J. H. Shepherd, C. Clemenger, E. J. Cook, A. W. O’Hehir, N. D. McNally. P. M. A. Lantry, B. Stanley, C. B. Brown. C. F. Hill, B. H. Brown, W. E. Addicoat. C. Barnes, J. D. O’Meally, E. R. Norman, J. L. Cody, J. V. Stapleton. E. R. Scott. D. C. L. Payne, C. R. Lambert, A. H. Davey, A. J. Pickering, R. White, A. S. Murray, C. P. Shaw, I. G. Keating, L. Knibbs, A. H. Smith, H. Theggie. H. E. Tregaskis, W. M. Murphy, E. T. Domeney, C B. Hughes J. A. Wilson, H. Ti. Griffiths.

Department of Works and Railways - R. Dooley.

Postmaster-General’s Department - G. Apperley,J. G. Berry, E. Dean, L. H. Griffiths, J. A. McGlynn, L. H. T. Powell, M. H. Tait.

Regulations amended. - Statutory Rules 1920. Nos. 237. 238. 241. 263, 266: 1921, Nos. 29, 57, 58.

Service and Execution of Process Act. Regulations. - Statutory Rules 1920, No. 136.

Territory for the Seat of Government-

Ordinances -

No. 2 . of 1920. - Rates.

No. 3 of 1920.- Stock

No. 1 of 1921.- Stock.

War Gratuity Acts. - Regulations amended. Statutory Rules 1920, No. 217

Land acquired -

New South Wales -

Ashfield, Auburn, Banksia, Bathurst, Bowral, Burwood, Carlton, Chatswood (two notifications), Coogee, Corowa, Cremorne, Goulburn (two notifications), Granville, Hamilton (four notifications), Kogarah, Leichhardt, Lismore (three notifications), Longueville, Manly, Mascot (two notifications), Milton, Moss Vale, Parramatta ( three notifications ) , Penrith, Port Kembla, Stockton, Toongabbie, Waratah (four notifications), Waverley, Weston, Willoughby, Woonona, Woollahra (three notifications).

Victoria - Geelong.

Western Australia - Collie.

Revocation or partial revocation of notification of acquisition of land at -

Cheltenham, Victoria.

Geelong, Victoria.

Islington, New South Wales (two notifications).

Tighes Hill, New South Wales.

Waratah, New South Wales (three notifications) .

Weston, New South Wales (three notifications).

Air Navigation Act. - Regulations.- Statutory Rules 1921, No. 33.

Defence Act. - Regulations amended. - Statutory Rules 1920, Nos. 239, 242, 250, 252, 253, 254, 255, 260, 267, 268; 1921, Nos. 15, 16, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 34, 35, 36, 40, 41, 44, 53, 54, 55, 59, 60, 61, 62.

Defence Act and Naval Defence Act. - Regulations amended. - Statutory Rules 1920, No 269.

Land, Mining, Shares, and Shipping Act. - Regulations amended. - Statutory Rules 1920, No. 251.

Naval Defence Act. - Regulations amended, &c- Statutory Rules 1920, Nos. 72, 73, 100, 101, 131, 145, 155, 156, 157, 163, 190, 210, 211, 219, 229, 230, 231, 232, 248, 249; 1921, Nos. 1, 21, 56.

War Precautions Act, and Land, Mining, Shares, and Shipping Act. - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1920, Nos. 93, 95, and 172.

War Precautions Act Repeal Act - Regulations amended, &c. - Statutory Rules 1920, No. 257 ; 1921, Nos. 3 and 14.

Customs Act - Proclamations -

Dated 2nd December, 1920, revoking previous proclamation relating to the exportation of goods to Germany, AustriaHungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria.

Dated 20th January, 1921, revoking previous proclamation relating to the exportation of goods per parcels post.

Dated 16th February, 1921, revoking previous proclamation relating to the exportation of wool.

Distillation Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1921, No. 38.

Excise Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1921, No. 37.

Post and Telegraph Act - Regulations amended- Statutory Rules 1920, Nos. 158, 166, 173, 181, 182, 191, 202, 212, 213, 225, 226, 227, 240, 244, 245, 246. 262, 265; 1921, Nos. 5, 6, 8, 9, 18, 19, 20, 23, 42, 43, and 52.

Railways Act - By-law No. 19.

Trading with the Enemy Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1921, No. 47.

Trading with the Enemy Act, Treaty of Peace (Germany) Act. and Treaties of Peace (Austria and Bulgaria) Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1921, No. 10.

Treaty of Peace Act - Regulations amended -Statutory Rules 1921, No. 13.

Treaty of Peace (Germany) Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1921, No. 46.

Treaties of Peace (Austria and Bulgaria) Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1921, Nos. 45 and 63.

Wireless Telegraphy Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1920, No. 256.

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The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon T Givens:

– It is with very deep regret that I have to announce to the Senate that, on the 20th January last, as the result of a street accident, Senator Robert Storrie Guthrie died at the Melbourne Hospital. . A funeral service was held in the Queen’s Hall on the same day, and the body was then taken to Adelaide. Upon behalf of the Senate, I conveyed an expression of sympathy to Mrs. Guthrie and family, pending the more formal resolution of the Senate, and I journeyed to Adelaide to represent the Senate at the funeral. This course I pursued, feeling assured that it would meet the wishes of the Senate.

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– Pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution, I notified the Governor of the State of South Australia of the vacancy caused in the representation of that State in the Senate by the death of Senator Robert Storrie Guthrie; and I have received a communication from His Excellency the Governor-General enclosing a certificate of the appointment of Mr. Edward Charles Vardon as a senator to fill such vacancy.

Certificate read by the Clerk.

Senator VARDON made and subscribed the oath of allegiance.

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Senator E D MILLEN:
NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1910; LP from 1913; NAT from 1917

(By leave.) - I am assured that the Senate, being as deeply regretful of the occasion as I am, will in all sincerity join in passing the motion which I now beg to move -

That the Senate expressesits deep regret for the tragic death of the late Robert Storrie Guthrie, who was for many years a member of this Chamber, and places upon record its high appreciation of his great public services, and tenders its sincere sympathy to his widow and family in their sad bereavement.

Senator Guthrie, whose loss we mourn, rendered distinguished public service in the Commonwealth and the State for something over a quarter of a century. He rendered no less useful service outside the Parliaments of which he was an honoured member, in his association with the big industrial movement of which he was so conspicuous a leader. In that service, as we who were privileged to meet him here can bear testimony, he was at all times animated by the highest conceptions of public duty and patriotism. In the expression of his views, he was always frank and manly, and, above all, courageous. In dealing with his public service, I cannot refrain from a reference to that stupendous piece of legislation, the Navigation Act. Senator Guthrie, who was peculiarly equipped by his intimate knowledge of the subject, threw himself with tireless energy into the shaping of that measure, and followed it, clause by clause and line by line, during its very prolonged passage through this Chamber. Throughout the debates, which will remain in the memory of many of us, Senator Guthrie, by the knowledge to which I have referred, and by his broad and humane views, did much to secure in that measure provisions which made for the safety and the comfort alike of the public and of the crews of the vessels. His technical knowledge was of immense value to the Senate, and if he had rendered no other public service than the assistance he gave in the shaping of that measure, he did enough there to secure for himself a lasting monument in the thoughts and hearts of those whom he benefited by his work on that occasion. But there is another aspect in which Senator Guthrie’s memory will remain with us, and that is our private associa tion with him. Naturally, in Parliament, there are differences of views, but there was no difference of personal feeling towards Senator Guthrie himself. This Chamber consists of thirty-six members, and I venture the statement that thirtyfive of them were his very warm friends and admirers. I think I may go further and say that in the larger world outside Senator Guthrie had innumerable friends, and I doubt if he had a single enemy. The memory of Senator Guthrie, whom we were always delighted to call “ Bob “ Guthrie, is not merely that of a fellow legislator, but also that of a man whose friendship it was a privilege to claim, and that memory will remain with us, I hope, for many years to come. The latter portion of the motion refers to those he leaves behind. Our sympathy will go out to them. It will not account perhaps for much; but it may do a little to remove a shadow from a sorrowing home, and to lift a cloud of grief from hearts which are sorely stricken.

New South Wales

– In seconding the motion moved in such suitable and excellent language by the Leader of the Government in this Chamber, I. associate myself with the sentiments he has expressed. In common with . him, and with all the members of the Senate, particularly thosewho were associated with Senator R. S: Guthrie for. many years, I feel deeply and earnestly the severe loss the Senate has suffered by his sad and tragic end. It was my good fortune, in party and other places, to be very closely associated with the late senator. The Leader of the Government has fittingly referred to Senator Guthrie’s great labours on behalf of that industrial section of the community, the seamen, and it was to them, indeed, that one might say that he gave the best part of his life, working with a strenuousness, ability, and industry that we all, at all times, admired. When the news of his sudden death came, I felt it as a very great shock. I join with the Leader of the Government in everything that he has said about the late senator, and in his expressions’ of sympathy with the loved ones left behind. We here, who knew him, not only admired, but loved him. How much more greatly then will the loss be felt in that home which knew him so much better than we did? < Personally, I shall always look back with feelings of pleasure to Senator Guthrie’s more youthful days, When he was actively and strenuously engaged on behalf of that particular section of the working classes to whom he devoted so much of his life.

Senator LYNCH:
Western Australia

– As one who knew the late senator for some thirty-one years, I rise to support the motion moved by Senator E. D. Millen and seconded by Senator Gardiner.. When we recall the fact that at our last meeting in this chamber, Senator R. S. Guthrie was full of cheerfulness and abounding in life, with, I suppose, no thought in his mind that his end was so near, it makes us reflect upon the wellknown words of Edmund Burke: “What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue!” Since we last met here, a very notable figure, not only in the Senate, but in the public life of Australia, has been removed by Senator Guthrie’s sudden end. I was particularly struck by Senator Millen’s reference to Senator Guthrie’s early struggles, for the reason that I happen to know a little about them. Some thirty-one years ‘ago, the late .senator was an obscure figure in this country, but by virtue of the inherent qualities that it was well-known he possessed, he raised himself from that obscurity to one of the highest positions in the gift of the people. The contemplation of Senator Guthrie’s life, and of what he achieved by his inherent virtues, must bring home to us the boundless opportunities that exist in this country, and make us feel that it. is indeed a good country to be in, and that we are fortunate to be in it. When Senator Guthrie landed in this country he, as well as many others here, had neither a lengthy purse, social status, nor influential friends to help him forge his way along in life, but he possessed those rather rare and golden qualities which help to make a man amongst a Body of men. He therefore marched along, and as he progressed, stage by stage, in popular favour, he never, as Senator Millen has rightly said, forfeited the good-will of any person disposed to approach the consideration of his character with an unbiased mind. He helped, as I am aware, to raise the seamen of this country, that body of workmen with whom he was so long associated, from a lowly and unsatisfactory position to that which they now enjoy. Moreover, he assisted them, in an associated and collective sense, at a time when they were absolutely helpless. That was the condition of the seamen at a time when this great and good man, who has been removed from us, took their cause in hand with such satisfactory results. Their conditions have so improved that to-day they are the best paid and the most satisfied body of seamen in any part of the known world that I am aware of. Senator Guthrie’s appeal was always to reason; never to force. By virtue of his political sanity and the dispassionate manner in which he discharged his duties as a legislator, he was able to accomplish- so much for our seamen. He is mourned to-day,- and rightly so, .by all seafaring men; and although in his latter days he was thrust aside, as these new young men arose, I am satisfied that, when the time comes to assess properly the progress made by the Australian seamen under the leadership of a man who may be regarded as the Samuel Plimsoll of Australia and the progress under the leadership of these new young men, of whom I speak, the historian will record a heavy balance in favour of Senator Guthrie, otherwise known as “ Bob “ Guthrie. Of hie private life, I can only say that he was an exemplary figure within his own household. Socially speaking, as has been well said by the previous speakers, we all liked to’ meet him, for he had the sun shining in his eyes, and he earned nobody ‘6 ill-will. His opinions were always expressed in the straightest and most unequivocal language. I was pleased to be associated with him as a member of the Labour party, as a worker in the industrial arena , and pleased still more to meet him here on common ground as a member of this Senate. I re-echo all that has been said bv the previous speakers. The Senate has been much impoverished by his removal. In all sincerity I indorse -what has been previously said in regard to the loss which this country and the Senate have sustained, and I join in the message of condolence to his bereaved relatives.


– I desire to associate myself with what has been said, concerning the late

Senator R. S. Guthrie. It was my privilege to have his acquaintance for over a quarter of a century, and during that period I came to know something of the strenuous work he did on behalf of his fellow-craftsmen of the sea. As a member of the South Australian Parliament he worked just as strenuously in the interests of that section of the people to which he belonged, and, indeed, for the whole community, as he did during his later association with us in the Senate. As the Leader of the Senate (Senator E. D. Millen) has properly observed, one of the greatest monuments - possibly the greatest - that could ever be erected to his memory is to be found in our Navigation Act. It has been well said of the late Senator Guthrie that no one had any occasion ever to doubt where he stood. He. was always straightforward and candid in his criticism of those with whom’ he differed, as well as in his expression of confidence in those with whom he agreed. But whilst he ploughed that straight furrow, as it were, during the whole of his public life, I feel that I am quite’ safe in saying that he left not one single enemy behind him on earth. During recent years he and his family suffered sad bereavements in the loss of two sons at the war. This probably had something to do with his failing health, which; as we who were intimately associated with him knew, had not been so good of late years. I desire to express with the previous speakers, my sympathy with his widow and her family in their sad bereavement.I feel confident that as the years roll on the late honorable senator’s name will be honoured even more, if that were possible, than it was during the period of his public life in the Commonwealth. I join in the expressions of regret at his untimely end, and tru3t that anything that may be said or done here to-day will help to lighten the blow that has fallen upon those whom he has left behind.

Senator SENIOR:
South Australia

– With others, I join in supporting the motion that has been so ably submitted by the Leader of the Senate (Senator E. D. Millen). I was happy in being associated with Senator R. S. Guthrie at his best, and knew him; not as he may have been known here, superficially, but intimately as a comrade, a worker, and a fellow legislator.

Right through his life, he was a man who could be loved and trusted without reservation; a man who, as the years rolled on, seemed to grow broader and bigger. He was probably one of the biggest little men that we have ever had in Australian public life. The calamity that severed our happy friendship - that clouded our lives for the time being - struck deeply all those who were associated with him. His end was so unexpected, that it was hard to realize we should not see his cheery face again. His death came as a sad blow to all who knew him in South Australia. Nothing could have been more pathetic, as the funeral procession moved down towards the last resting place of the late honorable senator, than the spectacle of large numbers of seamen in Port Adelaide reverently acknowledging the loss which they had sustained by his death. We who were associated with him in the Senate know how unsparing he was with his help, and how devoted he was in anything he undertook to do. Those who had the pleasure of working with him as a comrade could never have wished for a more faithful or more generous helper. He was true to his mates, just as he was true to those with whom he worked in the larger sphere all through his life. To his wife and family we can do little more than convey our appreciation of the character he left behind, and associate ourselves with them in the sense that we feel his loss,’ and mourn his passage from us.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable’ senator’s standing in their places.

Senator E D MILLEN:
NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1910; LP from 1913; NAT from 1917

Mr. President, I am sure that, without any indication from me, you will follow the course usually taken, and forward a copy of the motion on behalf of the Senate to the widow of the late senator. I propose in a few moments to move the adjournment of the Senate out of respect to our late comrade.

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Business of Session

Senator E D MILLEN:
Minister for Repatriation · NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1910; LP from 1913; NAT from 1917

. -(By leave) - It is the intention of the Government that the session shall be primarily a Tariff session, and the Government will, therefore, limit the legislation it introduces to that’ subject, allowing, of course, for such contingencies as may arise, and may compel the introduction of other measures rendered necessary by such contingencies.

Some events have transpired in connexion with the War Service Homes Department, and a full statement will be placed before the Senate, I hope, tomorrow; but certainly within the next day or two.

Since the Senate adjourned, the mandates for the surrendered German Territories have been issued, and civil administration, approved by the Act passed by this and the other branch of the Legislature, has been completed by a proclamation issued to-day establishing the civil administration in place of the military administration hitherto controlling these Possessions.

During my visit to Great Britain, as honorable senators are aware, one of the matters intrusted to me was that of adjusting financial questions outstanding between the Commonwealth and the Imperial Government. I was successful in making an agreement on behalf of the Commonwealth with the Imperial authorities, and a copy of that document will be tabled to-morrow.

Honorable senatorsare possibly aware that a Conference has been called at which important matters will be discussed by Imperial Ministers and the Prime Ministers of the various self-governing Dominions in June next. It is the intention of the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) to make a full statement on that subject in another place to-morrow. Naturally, we shall take early steps to see that an. opportunity for discussing the matters disclosed by the Prime Minister is afforded this Senate.

The Government have thought it advisable to invite the Senate to consider the following measures during the time the other Chamber is dealing with the Tariff:- Air Force Bill, which has not yet been introduced ; an amending Public Service Bill, aDd’an amending Defence Bill. The last mentioned, I may say, is a machinery measure.

These are the proposals of the Government for the session, and in order to permit honorable senators, if they so desire, to have a general discussion, I lay the statement I have just made on the table, and move -

That the paper be printed.

Debate (on motion by Senator Gardiner) adjourned.

Senate adjourned at 3.46 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 6 April 1921, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.