11 June 1925

9th Parliament · 3rd Session

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

page 41


Senator PEARCE:
Minister of Home and Territories · WESTERN AUSTRALIA · NAT

– During the recess the creation of a new department and portfolio and the re-arrangement of several portfolios were effected. Following upon the creation of the Department of Marketsand Migration, Senator the Honorable Reginald Victor Wilson was appointed Minister of State for Markets and Migration. On account of ill-health the Honorable Eric Kendall Bowden resigned the appointment of Minister of State for Defence. The Honorable Herbert Edward Pratten also resigned his appointment of Minister of State for Health. Major-General the Honorable Sir Neville Reginald Howse, V.C., K.C.B., K.C.M.G., was appointed Minister of State for Defence and Minister of State for Health. He is also administering the Repatriation Act. The Honorable Charles W. C. Marr, D.S.O., M.C., V.D., was appointed a member of the Executive Council and Honorary Minister.

page 41



Senator PAYNE:

– I ask the Minister for Markets and Migration has the report of the committee appointed to inquire into the hop industry been received and considered, and, if so, what action does the Government propose to take in connexion therewith?

Senator WILSON:
Minister for Markets and Migration · SOUTH AUSTRALIA · NAT

– The report has been received, and I have read it, but it has not yet been fully considered. The Government will, as early as possible, do what it thinks right in the matter. I can assure the honorable senator that there will be no unnecessary delay.

page 42


The following papers were presented : -

Forestry - Federal Programme - Report, together with maps, by Mr. C.E. Lane-Poole, Commonwealth Forestry Adviser.

Northern Territory - Report of Administrator for year ended 30th June, 1924.

Ordered to be printed.

Arbitration (Public Service) Act - Determinations by the Arbitrator, &c -

No.61 of 1924 - Postmaster-General’s Department, State Heads of Branches Association.

No.62 of 1924 - Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association.

No. 63 of 1924 - Arms, Explosives, and Munition Workers’ Federation of Australia; Amalgamated Engineering Union; and Australasian Society of Engineers.

No.64 of 1824 - Arms, Explosives and Munition Workers Federation of Australia.

No. 65 of 1924- Professional Officers’ Association, Commonwealth Public Service.

No. 66 of 1924 - Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association.

No. 67 of 1924 - Australian Postal Assistants Union.

No. 68 of 1924 - Commonwealth Storemen and Packers Union of Australia.

No. 69 of 1924 - Australian Postal Linemen’s Union.

No. 70 of 1924 - Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association.

No. 1 of 1925 - Professional Officers Association, Commonwealth Public Service.

No. 2 of 1925 - Federated Public Service Assistants Association.

No. 3 of 1925 - Federated Public Service Assistants Association.

No. 4 of 1925 - Commonwealth Public Service Artisans Association.

No. 5 of 1925 - Australian Postal Linemen’s Union.

No. 6 of 1925 - General Division Officers Union of the Trade and Customs Department.

No. 7 of 1925 - Commonwealth Public Service Artisans Association.

No. 8 of 1925 - Commonwealth Storemen and Packers Union.

No. 9 of 1925 - Professional Offlcers Association, Commonwealth Public Service. .

No. 10 and 11 of 1925 - Australian Letter Carriers’ Association.

No. 12 of 1925- Postal Sorters Union of Australia.

No. 13 of 1925 - Postal Sorters Union of Australia.

No. 14 of 1925- Professional Officers’ As sociation, Commonwealth Public Service.

Nos. 15, 16, 17 and 18 of 1925 - Amalgamated Postal Linemen, Sorters and Letter Carriers Union of Australia.

Audit Act-

Transfers of Amounts approved by the Governor-General in Council - Financial Year 1924-25-

Dated 12th November, 1924.

Dated 3rd December, 1924.

Dated 14th January, 1925.

Dated 4th February, 1925.

Dated 11th February, 1925.

Dated 11th March, 1925.

Dated 1st April, 1925.

Dated 29th April, 1925.

Dated6th May, 1925.

Dated 13th May, 1925.

Dated 19th May, 1925.

Beer Excise Act - Regulations Amended -

Statutory Rules 1925, No. 61.

Cattle Export Bounty Act- Regulations - Statutory Rules 1924, No. 157.

Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act - Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1924, Nos. 156, 164. Commonwealth Bank Act - Aggregate Balance Sheet of Commonwealth Bank of Australia at 31st December, 1924, together with Statement of Liabilities and Assets of the Note Issue Department; and Auditor-General’s Reports thereon.

Commonwealth Bank Act - Regulations Amended- Statutory Rules 1925, No. 74.

Contract Immigrants Act - Return for 1924.

Crown Leases - Report of Royal Commission on Method for determining Unimproved Value of Land held under Crown Leases, together with Appendices.

Customs Act and Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act -

Regulations - Statutory Rules 1925, No. 25.

Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1925, Nos. 62, 65.

Customs Act-

Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1924, Nos. 163, 170, 183, 185, 192; 1925, Nos. 22, 29, 33, 50.

Proclamaation, dated 26th November. 1924 prohibiting exportation (except under certain conditions) of Live Pearl Shell Oysters.

Defence Act -

Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1924, Nos. 152, 153, 154,159, 176, 180, 191, 200, 201, 202; 1925, Nos. 19, 20, 26, 34, 53, 56, 66, 81, 82.

Royal Military College of Australia - Report, for year 1923-1924.

Distillation Act - Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1925, Nos. 9, 27.

Electoral Act and Referendum (Constitution Alteration) Act - Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1924, No. 206.

ExerciseAct- Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1924, Nos. 182, 193; 1925, Nos. 7, 60.

Export Guarantee Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1924, No. 165.

High Commissioner for Australia in the United Kingdom - Report for year 1924.

High Court Procedure Act - Rule of Court -dated 12th November, 1924.

Immigration Act - Return for 1924.

Income Tax Assessment Act - Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1924, Nos. 166, 181, 194.

International Labour Conference -

Sixth Conference, 16th June to 5th July, 1924 - Report of the Employers’ Delegate.

Recommendation re Utilization of Workers’ Spare Time, adopted at 6th Session, held at Geneva, June-July, 1924.

International Postal Congress, held at Stockholm, July and August, 1924 - Copy of Convention, Regulations, and Protocols signed at the Congress.

Lands Acquisition Act - Land acquired -

For Defence purposes -

Victoria - Laverton; Seymour (2 notifications) ; Western Australia. - Carnarvon, Fremantle.

For Federal Capital purposes -

Queanbeyan and Tuggeranong, in the Territory for the Seat of Government.

For Postal purposes -

New South Wales - Kandos.

Tasmania - Cygnet; Hobart.

Western Australia - Burracoppin, Kulin, Spearwood.

Land Tax - Report of Royal Commission appointed to inquire into statements made by Mr. Scullin, M.P., in House of Representatives on 7th and 19th August, 1924.

League of Nations - Protocol for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, adopted by the Fifth Assembly of the League on the 2nd October, 1924, with Appendices.

National Insurance - First Progress Report of Royal Commission (Casual Sickness, Permanent Invalidity, Maternity, Oldage).

Nationality Act - Return of persons to whom naturalization certificates were granted during 1924.

Nauru - Report on the Administration during the year 1924 - Prepared for submission to the League of Nations.

Naval Defence Act -

Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1924, Nos. 155, 171, 179; 1925, Nos. 2, 3, 12, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 69, 70, 71, 75, 85.

New Guinea -

Ordinances of 1924 -

No. 34. - Lands Registration (No. 3).

No. 35.- Supply (No. 3) 1924-25.

No. 36.- Goods.

No. 37.- Land (No. 2).

No. 38.- Native Labour (No. 3).

No. 39.- Supply (No. 4) 1924-25.

No. 40. - Arms, Liquor, and Opium Prohibition.

No. 41. - Arbitration.

No. 42. - Intoxicating Liquors.

No. 43.- Medical.

Ordinances of 1925 -

No. 1.- Supply (No. 5) 1924-25.

No. 2. - Laws Repeal and Adopting.

No. 3. - Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments.

No. 4. - Companies.

No. 5. - Criminal procedure.

No. 6. - Prisons.

No. 7.- Land.

No. 8. - Lands Registration.

No. 9.- Supply (No. 6) 1924-25.

No. 10. - Treasury.

No. 11. - Companies (No. 2).

No. 12. - Native Labour.

No. 13.- Medical.

No. 14. - Appropriation 1924-25.

No. 15. - Public Service.

Norfolk Island -

Ordinances of 1925 -

No. 1. - Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments.

No. 2. - Executive Council.

Northern Territory -

Ordinances of 1924 -

No. 21. - Encouragement of Primary Production.

No. 22. - Inspection of Boilers.

No. 23. - Plant Diseases.

No. 24. - Income Tax.

No. 25. - Licensing (No. 2).

Ordinances of 1925 -

No. 1. - Early Closing.

No. 2. - Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments. No. 3. - Licensing.

No. 4. - Meat Industry Encouragement.

No. 5. - Slaughtering.

No. 6. - Lotteries.

No. 7. - Groote Island Bees.

No. 8. - Weights and Measures.

No. 9. - Crown Lands.

No. 10. - Income Tax.

No. 11.- Public Service.

Encouragement of Primary Production Ordinance - Regulations.

Tin Dredging Ordinance - Regulations.

Income Tax Ordinance - Regulations.

Papua -

Ordinances of 1924 -

No. 7.- Customs (Export) Tariff (No. 2).

No.8. - Mining.

No. 9.- Native Taxes.

No. 10. - registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

No. 11. - Navigation.

No. 12.- Health.

No. 13. - British New Guinea Development Company Limited (Ordinance Amendment).

No. 15. - Mercantile.

No. 16. - Appropriation, 1924-25.

No. 17. - Supplementary Appropriation (No. 2), 1923-24.

No. 18.- Land.

Ordinances of 1925 -

No. 1. - Supplementary Appropriation (No. 1), 1924-25; together with Supplementary Estimates (No. 1).

No. 3. - Supplementary Appropriation (No. 2), 1924-25; together with Supplementary Estimates (No. 2).

Patents Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1924, No. 115.

Post and Telegraph Act - Regulations Amended-Statutory Rules 1924, Nos. 172, 184, 190; 1925, Nos. 6, 11, 42, 48, 49, 54, 77.

Postmaster-General’s Department - Fourteenth Annual Report, 1923-24.

Public Service Act-

List of Permanent Officers of the Commonwealth Service on 30th June, 1924.

Appointments -

Home and Territories Department -

W. B. Rimmer.

Department of Health - J. A. Broben, N. M. Gutteridge, W. E. George, G. V. Rudd.

Department of the Treasury - L. M. Clayton, S. Macdonald.

Department of Works and Railways -P. G. Taylor.

Postmaster-General’s Department - A. A. Lorimer, R. B. Mair.

Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1924, Nos. 161, 162, 174, 175, 188, 189; 1925, Nos. 1, 4, 30, 31, 32, 41, 45, 46, 47, 51, 52, 58,67, 68, 72, 78, 79.

Quarantine Act - Regulations Amended - StatutoryRules 1925, No. 64.

Railways Act - By-laws, Nos. 32, 33, 34.

Reparations - Agreement between the Governments of Great Britain, Belgium, France, Italy, Japan, the United States of America, Brazil, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Roumania, The Serb-Croat-Slovene State, and Czecho-Slovakia, regarding the Distribution of the Dawes Annuities, signed at Paris, January 14, 1925.

Superannuation Act- Regulations Amended -Statutory Rules 1924, No. 195; 1925, No. 84.

Territory for the Seat of Government -

Ordinances of 1924: -

No. 8. -City Area Leases.

No.9. - Building and Services.

No. 10. - Church Lands Leases.

No. 11.- Cattle Testing.

No. 12. - Federal Capital Commission’s Powers.

No. 13. - City Area Leases (No. 2).

Ordinance of 1925 - No. 1. - Real Property.

Building and Services Ordinance - Regulations (Canberra Building Regulations; Canberra Electric Supply Regulations; Canberra Sewerage and Water Supply Regulations) .

City Area Leases Ordinance - Regulations (City Area Leases Regulations).

Parks and Gardens Ordinance - Regulations.

Treaties of Peace (Austria and Bulgaria) Act - Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1925, Nos. 16, 17.

Treaty of Peace (Germany) Act - Regulalations Amended - Statutory Rules 1925, Nos. 15, 21.

Treaty of Peace (Hungary) Act - Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1925, No. 18.

War Service Disabilities - Assessment of - Report of Royal Commission.

War Service Homes Act - Land Acquired in NewSouth Wales at - Earl wood; East Gresford; Lidcombe; North Sydney; Parramatta; Wollongong.

Wine Export Bounty Act -

Regulations - Statutory Rules 1924, No. 150.

Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1925, No. 57.

page 44




– Will the Minister for Migration (Senator Wilson) inform the Senate if the extraordinary influx of Southern Europeans into Australia is the result of his assumption of office? If it is, will he cease his efforts in that direction until he has made inquiries into the consequent displacement of Australian labour in the Queensland cane-fields ? Will he also confer with Senator Foll, and ask him to pay some slight attention to the needs of the state which he represents, and take a little less notice of what is said by Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, the Leader of the British Labour Party?

Senator WILSON:

– The honorable senator wishes to know if any impetus to Southern European immigration has taken place since I assumed office. My reply is that I have never assumed office with respect to that matter. It does not come within the scope of my department.

Senator FOLL:

– Has the Minister seen the statement in the press by Mr. Theodore, the ex-Premier of Queensland, glorying in the fact that a large number of immigrants have lately arrived from Italy, and has the Minister ascertained whether Mr. Theodore was speaking as a member of the Queensland Parliament, or as the future Leader of the Federal Labour party? His remarks, I notice, are endorsed by the present Labour Premier of Queensland, Mr. Gillies.

Senator WILSON:

– Yes, I have noticed the report.

page 44



Senator GRANT:

– Has the Minister for Home and Territories (Senator Pearce) received the first quarterly report of the Canberra Commission, and does he intend to furnish copies of it to honorable senators?

Senator PEARCE:

– The particular reports of the Commission which are to be presented to Parliament are specified in the act constituting the Commission, and such reports as are required by the act to be laid before the Senate will be placed before it.

page 45


Senator PEARCE:

– I desire to notify honorable senators that the Ministerial representation of departments in the Senate will be as follows: - The departments of the Minister for Home and Territories, the Prime Minister, and the Treasurer will be represented by myself; those of the Minister for Migration and Markets, the Attorney-General, the Minister for Trade and Customs, and the Minister for Works and Railways, by Senator Wilson ; and those of the Minister for Defence, the Minister for Health, and the Postmaster-General, by Senator Crawford.

page 45


Automatic Telephone Exchanges

Senator REID brought up the reports of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, together with minutes of evidence, relating to the proposed establishment of automatic telephone exchanges at Brisbane (Central) and Toowong, Queensland.

page 45



Positionof Senator Drake-Brockman


– Has the attention of the Minister for Home and Territories been drawn to a report that the executives of the Primary Producers Association and the United partyof Western Australia have concluded a satisfactory arrangement for the running of two representatives of the United party, and one of the Primary Producers Association, for the coming Senate elections ; and that Senator Drake-Brockman, one of the three Nationalist senators, has offered not to seek re-election on these conditions, so that a united front may be shown to Labour candidates? Further, has the Minister’s attention also been drawn to a statement by the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce) as to the necessity for the appointment of an Australian Ambassador in London? Has the generous withdrawal of Senator DrakeBrockman any connexion with the suggestion of the Prime Minister, and does the Government intend to appoint Senator Drake-Brockman as Australian Ambassador in London ?

Senator PEARCE:

– The first part of the question, I suggest, relates to a family matter in which it would not be wise for the honorable senator to intrude. It certainly is not a matter for the Government. Respecting the second part of the question, the Government at present is not considering the claims of any honorable senator for the position of Ambassador in London. If it were doing so, I should say that Senator DrakeBrockman would have a very strong claim for the position.

page 45


Motion (by Senator Pearce), by leave, agreed to -

That during the present session the days of meeting of the Senate, unless otherwise ordered, be Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of each week; and that the hour of meeting, unless otherwise ordered, be 3 o’clock in the afternoon of Wednesday and Thursday, and 11 o’clock in the forenoon of Friday.

page 45


Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -

That a message be sent to the House of Representatives requesting the House of Representatives to resume the consideration of a bill entitled “ A Bill for an Act to amend the Northern Territory Representation Act 1922,” which was transmitted to the House of Representatives for its concurrence during the last session of the Parliament, the proceedings on such bill having been interrupted by the prorogation of the Parliament.

Debate (on motion by Senator Gardiner) adjourned.

page 45


Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -

That a message be sent to the House of Representatives requesting the House of Representatives to resume the consideration of a bill entitled “ A Bill for an Act to amend the Lands Acquisition Act 1906-1916,” which was transmitted to the House of Representatives for its concurrence during the last session of the Parliament, the proceedings on such bill having been interrupted by the prorogation of the Parliament.

Debate (on motion by Senator Gardiner) adjourned.

page 45


Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -

That a message be sent to the House of Representatives requesting the House of Representatives to resume the consideration of a bill entitled “ A Bill for an Act to amend the

Nationality Act 1920-1922,” which was transmitted to the House of Representatives for its concurrence during the last session of the Parliament, the proceedings on such bill having been interrupted by the prorogation of the Parliament.

Debate (on motion by Senator Gardiner) adjourned.

page 46


The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon T Givens:

– Pursuant to standing order No. 28a, I hereby nominate Senators W. L. Duncan, Sir T. W. Glasgow, W. Kingsmill, and J. E. Ogden a panel to act as Temporary Chairmen of Committees when requested so to do by the Chairman of Committees, or when the Chairman of Committees is absent.

page 46



-Pursuant to standing order No. 38, I hereby appoint the following senators to be the Committee of Disputed Returns and Qualifications: - Senators A. Gardiner, J. Grant, W. M. Greene, J. F. Guthrie. E. Needham, the Hon. J. V. O’Loghlin, and the Hon. H. J. M. Payne.

page 46



Senator J B HAYES:

– I move -

That the following Address-in-Reply to His Excellency the Governor-General’s Opening Speech be agreed to : -

May it Please Your Excellency,

We, the Senate of the Commonwealth of Australia, in Parliament assembled, desire to express our loyalty to Our Most Gracious Sovereign, and to thank your Excellency for the Speech which you have been pleased to address to Parliament.

I do not think there could be any debate upon the literal meaning of the motion; it is one that will be agreed to by all honorable senators. Every one desires to express his allegiance to the Throne, and to thank His Excellency for the Speech he was pleased to address to Parliament. My experience, however, has taught me that debates upon AddressesinReply serve a very definite and useful purpose. They enable the representatives of the people to express at the beginning of a session of a Parliament their opinions regarding matters that are most vital to them and - as this Speech mentions at the outset - vital to the welfare of Australia. Such debates also enable us to bring to one another’s notice happenings during the recess whilst we have been moving amongst our constituents to ascertain their requirements, but more especially to bring to the notice of the Government those matters which vitally affect our respective states. This is one of the few opportunities which honorable senators will have during the session to engage in a general discussion, and to suggest to the Government points upon which it may formulate its policy. Reading the Speech, that which first arrested my attention was the statement that the Government, when dealing with the report and recommendations of the royal commission that is inquiring into the effect of federation upon the finances of Western Australia, intended also to have the position of Tasmania examined. If that statement means what I think it means, and what I hope the Government intended it to mean, it will give a great deal of satisfaction to the residents of Tasmania, and will go a long way towards soothing the feeling of unrest that for a very long time has existed in that state.

No doubt honorable senators have done excellent work in framing laws for the whole of Australia, but sometimes these laws press unduly harshly upon the people of some of the states. To have a prosperous Commonwealth we must also have a contented Commonwealth, and we cannot have a contented Commonwealth unless we try to alleviate the burdens and difficulties of the people. There are manypersons in Tasmaniawho say that on account of the undue hardship the state suffers because of the operation of several Commonwealth laws, it would fare better out of federation. I do not subscribe to that view, but at the same time I deeply sympathize with the people who, probably, from want of proper knowledge, make that declaration. The better course for us to pursue is not to criticize them harshly, but to get right down to the bedrock cause of the unrest that makes them speak in this way, and try to remove it. We must not lose sight of the fact that owing to their physical features certain portions of the Commonwealth require special laws and special treatment. What may suit most of the states may notbe applicable to all the states. As honorable senators are aware, Tasmania, which I have the honour to represent, is a small state with wonderful possibilities. It possesses a fair proportion of good land. Its scenery and its climate cannot be equalled. It has extensive latent hydro-electric resources which some day with proper treatment will make ib one ‘of the largest manufacturing centres in the Commonwealth. But for various reasons Tasmania, like Western Australia, has dropped behind financially, and although this Parliament has rendered it assistance in the past, it will go under unless it gets further assistance. I have already said that one of the chief factors in malting a prosperous federation is to make all of the people contented, and get right down to the bedrock causes of” discontent. I am sure that the proposed royal commission will get right down to the bedrock causes of the discontent of the people of Tasmania. Already the State Government is preparing its case. It is only by appointing outside commissions to take evidence on oath, and examine a case in a deliberate and impartial manner, that the truth can be ascertained. I believe that when the commission makes its examination the people of Tasmania will be able to put up a good case to show that they are entitled to assistance to tide the state over its present depression.

In framing legislation some endeavour should be made to diminish geographical difficulties as much as possible. One law which presses particularly heavily upon Tasmania is the Navigation Act, a portion of which Senator Ogden is endeavouring to have repealed. Because the people of Tasmania were able to put up a good case for investigation this Parliament appointed a select committee, which was afterwards converted into a royal commission, to inquire into the effect of the Navigation Act. I have no desire to comment upon the recommendations of that commission further than to say that a majority, five members out of eight, thought that in some form or other relief should be given to Tasmania. They differed as to what the nature of that relief should be, but I hope that before this session closes the reports of the commission, together with Senator Ogden’s proposal, will be debated in this Senate. It is absurd that people should be debarred from travelling on British ships plying between the ports of Australia. I know the arguments in favour of this embargo, but Tasmania is an island state, and the best transport facilities are not too good for its people. If you lived in Hobart, as I have, and were anxious to go to the mainland, you would be told that you could not secure a berth on an ocean liner lying at the wharf notwithstanding that half her berths were empty. The Navigation Act prevents you from doing so. Of course, in summer time, which is strike time, you can get into any sort of boat, and travel as best you can.

Senator Gardiner:

– Does not the honorable, senator think the fault lies with those ship-owners who do not pay decent rates of wages and provide good conditions as required by the act?

Senator J B HAYES:

– One could easily start a debate as to where the fault lies. I would go further than Senator Ogden. I would repeal the coastal provisions of the Navigation Act as applying to Tasmania, because the best means of communication we can get are not too good for us. One object in passing the Navigation Act was to build up an Australian mercantile marine. Yet the evidence given before the royal commission shows that Australian-owned shipping is 60,000 tons less than it was when the act came into force. It is a stupid act.

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon T Givens:

– An honorable senator must not refer in disrespectful terms to an act of this Parliament unless he is moving for its repeal.

Senator J B HAYES:

– I had no intention of speaking disrespectfully of any act of this Parliament, and, although I have made use of the phrase outside, I withdraw it unreservedly so far as this Parliament is concerned. When the matter comes on for debate later on, I shall endeavour to find some other term to apply to this particular legislation. I may say, however, that the Navigation Act has struck a staggering blow at Tasmania’s tourist industry. We term the tourist traffic an industry in Tasmania. It is vital to the welfare of the state. I suppose that all states have tourist industries, but in most of them it is only a side line, whereas in the state I represent it probably brings in as much revenue as is earned by most of the other industries. Therefore, I am correct in saying that it is striking a staggering blow at the state when people are debarred from enjoying one of the most pleasant methods of reaching or leaving Tasmania. The most common route followed by the tourists and business people is by the Bass Strait ferry service. During the summer there is almost a daily trip, and large numbers of tourists and business people cross the strait every week. But year after year, right in the midst of the tourist season, we have had strikes, causing a discontinuance of that service. The losses occasioned during the last tourist season I cannot put into figures, but they were tremendous. In fostering the tourist traffic, which is their means of livelihood, many people in Tasmania spend large sums of money to provide accommodation for visitors, and they have only three or four months of the year in which to secure a_ return for their expenditure. Yet, almost with unfailing regularity, in the midst of those three or four months, strikes have occurred, and ships have ceased to run, with consequent heavy losses to the people of the state. It is the duty of the Commonwealth Government and of this Parliament to see that a regular service is maintained. If Tasmania were part of the mainland,” instead of being separated from it by Bass Strait, there is not the slightest doubt that the Government would insist on the establishment of communication by railway with the other States, as was done in the case of Western Australia, and, more recently, in the improvement of railway communication with Queensland by authorizing the construction of the Kyogle-Grafton line. It is essential that something should be done to ensure regular trade with Tasmania. It has been suggested that the Government should buy ships and put them on the run. I prefer that the Government should sell ships instead of buying them

Senator Duncan:

– That is what the Tasmanian Labour Government did.

Senator J B HAYES:

– The Tasmanian Government sold some ships and retained others. It sold vessels that had been employed carrying goods to the mainland, but retained the vessels necessary to maintain communication with King and Flinders Islands, which are state dependencies. Tasmania is in the same relation to the mainland states of the Commonwealth as King and Flinders Islands are to the State of Tasmania, and it has ‘the same right to communication with other parts of the

Commonwealth that the islands mentioned have to regular means of communication with Tasmania. I do not advocate the purchase of ships, but something must be done to maintain communication even at the cost of buying ships, and to give the people of Tasmania confidence in the future. I am sorry that there is no reference to this important subject in the Governor-General’s Speech, but I presume that Ministers have it in view, and that before the session closes definite action will be taken to ensure a regular shipping service between my state and the mainland. I referred just now to the succession of strikes on vessels engaged in the trade. The Arbitration Act has failed to prevent such disputes. Although I do not wish to say anything disrespectful of the act, I cannot help thinking that, so far as Tasmania is concerned, it has not achieved its purpose, because strikes occur from year to year and interfere with trade between Tasmania and the mainland.

Senator Duncan:

– The act has prevented some strikes.

Senator J B HAYES:

– But not all, and something must, be done to improve the position.

I am pleased that the Government intends to introduce legislation to ensure the more satisfactory functioning of the Arbitration Act in the interests of trade and industry, but’ I do not intend, at this stage, to argue the merits of the many disputes that have arisen.

Senator Hannan:

– Is it the intention of the Government to introduce legislation to prevent strikes, or to stir up strife ?

Senator J B HAYES:

– I take it tha.! the intention of the Government is to ensure the enforcement of Arbitration Court awards. In my opinion, only such industries as . are purely federal in character should come within the scope of the act.

Senator Hannan:

– In other words, the honorable senator does not believe in the amendment of the act, but favours its abolition 1

Senator J B HAYES:

– No ; but I believe that Federal arbitration awards should only be made where the industrial conditions in the several states are similar. In cases where they are not, the industrial machinery should be controlled by state legislation.

In another part of the Speech a surplus is, I understand, predicted, and it is stated that the income tax legislation will come before Parliament for review, and, no doubt, amendment. The Federal Government should retire from the- field of income taxation altogether, leaving this source of revenue to the states, which, by that means, would find their finances much easier.

Senator GRANT:

– Hear, hear!

Senator J B HAYES:

– I note Senator Grant’s approval of my references to the income tax. I can assure the honorable senator that I thoroughly disapprove of land taxation altogether.

Senator GRANT:

– That is because the honorable senator has to pay it. It is the fairest of all forms of taxation.

Senator J B HAYES:

– I differ from the honorable senator. In many instances it means double taxation. Takethe case of two men : The one may elect to enter a profession, and accordingly, he spends his money on education and acquiring knowledge to fit him for his life’s work. He escapes land taxation. But not so another nian who decides to make his living on the land. He is called upon to pay land tax, and, in addition, way have also to pay income tax. I know that all the states have imposed this form of taxation for financial reasons, but it has very little to recommend it.

The prosperity of Tasmania depends very largely upon its agricultural products, and, unfortunately, producers in my state have been doing very badly in recent years. In the opinion of many people the farmer is a man to be envied. They picture large fields of wheat put in and taken off cheaply; or, in the case of pastoralists, large sheep runs and high prices for wool. As a matter of fact, farming in Tasmania is a difficult business. The land is good, but expensive to work. It is hard to clear. In many cases a man may spend his lifetime clearing his land, and unless he maintains it in its improved condition, the scrub will soon grow again. For a long time now farm products have been bringing low prices. Probably one of our most important sources of revenue is the export of chaff, but owing to the increasing use of motor vehicles, the demand has fallen away, and prices have declined. Potatoes also are largely grown in my state. In the year before last, we exported £1,000,000 worth of tubers, but unfortunately potatoes last year fell in price to a level that did not pay to dig them. The dairying industry gives some return also, and I welcome the paragraph in the Speech which states that satisfactory results have followed the action taken by the Board of Control. At present our dairy farmers are not getting a. living wage. They have to work long hours, and under conditions that would not be tolerated in many other industries. I should like to see the adoption of the scheme, introduced in another place by Mr. Paterson, because it should have the effect of stabilizing butter’ prices at a somewhat higher level than is ruling at present. I know, of course, that there may be an outcry about raising the price of butter to the local consumer, but we have no right to expect cheap dairy products if. they are produced under conditions that would not be countenanced in other industries of the Commonwealth. I do not know what the position is on the mainland, but in Tasmania, at all events, if a producer wishes to raise money, and approaches his banker, he is told very often that finance is difficult, and that money is hard to get. Rightly or wrongly, many people attribute this position to the internal borrowing policy of Australian Governments. This year weshall have loans falling due to the amount of £68,000,000. Some time ago the Treasurer invited investors who wished to be repaid to make application, but there was only a small response to the amount of about £2,000,000, suggesting that the investors, being satisfied with the security, were prepared to convert when the loans fell due in December. Nevertheless, it is obvious that a great deal of new money will be required, and since ‘we have reverted to the gold standard it should be possible to get it from Great Britain. I hope that this course will be adopted, thus allowing Australian banks to have sufficient for developmental purposes.

Senator GRANT:

– The Commonwealth Bank has about £24,000,000 now.

Senator J B HAYES:

– I do not know how much the Australian banks have, but I do know that people who a few years ago had no difficulty in getting accommodation from their banks, are to-day being met with refusals. All this is hampering trade very considerably.- I am sure that if, when the loans fall due at the end of the year, the Government .will obtain all new money abroad, the policy will have a very beneficial effect upon Australian rural and secondary industries.

Discussion took place last session on the subject of rural credits, and it was contended that the Government should lend money directly to the producers. I do not advocate the lending of Government money on bad security, but it would be possible for the Government to see that good security was obtained. It is very difficult at the present time to obtain money from the banks even on the best security, and there would be ample justification for the Government to advance grants to rural producers just as the State Savings Bank Commissioners do in Victoria. Under the Credit Foncier system the borrower pays a fairly reasonable rate of interest, and also 1 per cent, towards a sinking fund, with the result that after a certain number of years he is in the happy position of having substantially reduced the principal. This system would be specially advantageous to farmers, whereas at the present time, in nine cases out of every ten, rural borrowers are getting into a worse position than ever. The Ministry stated last session that the establishment of rural credits would be considered during the recess, and I have no doubt that, before the close of the present session, something tangible will be done.

Another matter which has been diecussed in this chamber on numerous occasions is the position of the hop industry in Tasmania. Although relatively small, it provides employment for a considerable number of people who stand most in need of it, but at the present time the industry is down and out. I believe that it could be put on a satisfactory basis by a method that would not involve the Government in any large expenditure. I refer to a compulsory pool. I do not desire to go into this matter at any great length at the present, stage, since the Government has instituted an inquiry with regard to it. Some time ago, on the recommendation of the Board of Trade, the Government offered to lend £84,000 to the Tasmanian State Government for distribution among the hop-growers, and a condition of the offer was that the State Government should be responsible for the money. . This is the only loan, so far as I am aware, that has been offered to any class of producers where a State Government has been asked to take the responsibility of it. The offer was of no value, because the State authorities might just as well have obtained the money from private financial sources. It was not to be expected that the Board of Trade, no matter how estimable- the gentlemen composing it might be, could furnish a valuable report on a landed industry in Tasmania without visiting that part of the state in which it was carried on. The Government has very wisely appointed an independent body to inquire into the matter, and take evidence from those concerned in Tasmania, and, when its recommendation is received, I hope that it will be- one to which we can all agree.

It seems to me that, when the Senate is considering rural subjects, it does not receive such information as it ought to have. I take no exception to the attitude of Ministers who introduce these matters, for I realize that they provide honorable senators with such information as they can obtain, but I point out that they have no machinery by which to secure the advice to which the Senate is entitled.


– This is not a federal matter.

Senator J B HAYES:

– lt was a federal matters when we voted £180,000 to the dried fruits industry last year. While I do not regret that I voted in favour of that proposal, I must say that when I visited the dried fruits areas, subsequently, I secured for myself considerably more information than was made available to honorable senators. It would be a good idea to have a committee to inquire into such matters, and report to Parliament. The information it could supply would be of value to Ministers and to Parliament generally. When a public work, involving an expenditure of £25,000 or upwards, is proposed an investigation is first made by the Public Works Committee. We may not agree with its finding, but the committee visits the district concerned, takes evidence on the spot, and furnishes its recommendation. Similarly, financial questions are investigated and reported upon by the Public Accounts Committee, and other matters are referred to the Board of Trade. I think, therefore, that there should be an Agricultural Committee composed of men who understand agricultural subjects.

Senator Duncan:

– A splendid suggestion.

Senator J B HAYES:

– It is not my own idea; the ex-Minister for Works and Railways (Mr. Stewart) first suggested it. When I visited the fruit-growing districts, on the river Murray, I asked a good number of questions of the settlers, and I elicited a good deal of information, but I should have liked to examine some of them on oath. Although I was very favorably impressed with the industry, a committee of competent mert might have been able to make an investigation and submit recommendations of the greatest benefit without entailing any great expenditure at all. I have asked whether there is to be a compulsory pool for the hop industry, because although I do not favour pools generally, this seems to me the one industry in Australia which could be satisfactorily controlled under that system. There is talk now of limiting the output of hops, but while one grower might be willing to grub out half his plantation, his neighbour might decide to take advantage of him by extending his fields. We cannot limit the . output by act of Parliament, but, with a compulsory pool, we could make it obligatory for the growers to accept a common price, and that would automatically limit the output, and place the industry on a satisfactory basis. If not in this Parliament, I hope that in the near future the Government will decide to appoint a parliamentary committee of men who understand rural matters, for I am sure that they would be able to furnish reports of inestimable value. I make no reflection on the agricultural officers. In some cases they are deserving of higher salaries than they receive, but a committee such as I have indicated would be of great benefit.

Another matter in which I am vitally interested, and one which concerns the whole of Australia, is the intimation in the Governor-General’s Speech that the Government intends to continue its policy of making annual grants for roads. My own opinion - and I think that I can count on a good deal of support from honorable senators - is that if it is proposed to grant a similar sum to that made available last year, the amount should be increased. A new era in transportation has dawned. Railway traffic will be largely superseded by road trans port because of the advent of the petroldriven vehicle. The railways, which have served a very useful purpose, are ceasing to be productive on account of the increase in road traffic. It would have been much better if roads had been built instead of recently constructed railways, and I hope that the Government will provide a largely increased grant for this year. The road policies of the various states were framed to suit the varying conditions under which the roads were built, and no particular set of conditions can meet the jreq.uireim.ents of every state. N)aturally the federal officers wish to have a large voice in the expenditure of the Commonwealth grant, but they cannot possibly know as much about the requirements of the states as the state officers concerned. Under the conditions of the grant, money can only be spent on a new road if no road at all is in existence there. In Tasmania, there are long stretches of roads which are necessary owing to the geographical and physical features o’f the country. There are about 7,000 miles of highways in my state, but they are necessarily of light construction. They met requirements when built, but they now prove to be too light for the present heavy traffic. If two districts require to be connected and have no road at all, the federal grant can be used, but towns in Tasmania are usually linked up by 12-feet roads, with 5 inches of metal and 2 or 3 inches of gravel, and the federal grant cannot be used in maintaining them. It is provided under the conditions that not less than £1,000 must be spent on any one road. I quite understand that the Federal Government wish to see a tangible result for the money voted, but in a state like Tasmania a great deal of good can often be done to a road by the expenditure of less than £1,000. The engineers in my state have had to search for places that will fit the federal conditions instead of looking for roads where the money can be spent to the advantage of the greatest number of people. I have framed several road schedules in Tasmania, and Government grants as low as £50 have been made. In the larger and richer states expenditure of that nature would be regarded as a matter for the shires. During one financial year I. as the responsible state Minister, cut ‘out the £50 grants, but I had to return to the previous practice, because I found that in a great many cases the expenditure of £50 on a road was sufficient to enable men to get their produce to market. I do not say that the Federal Government should make grants as low as that amount; but I contend that in the case of Tasmania permission to expend less than £1,000 on one road would be very beneficial. Most of the states have their Roads Boards, in whose hands this work might well be placed. The Road Board in Tasmania consists of representatives of the Government, the municipalities, and the motor-car owners. If the allocation of the grant were left in the hands of this body the money would not be wasted. These Roads Boards are representative of the same class of people that we represent, and they have a special local knowledge which would enable them to expend the money to the greatest advantage. The Federal Government would be well advised to allow money granted for roads to be handed over to the Roads Boards in the various states, to be spent in what appears to them to be the best possible way. I urged last session that at least half the federal grant should be spent on the maintenance and reconstruction of main roads, but that practice has not been allowed. The result is that, in some of the states, including Tasmania, we are spending money in constructing out-back roads which could have been held back for the time being, while roads constructed with borrowed money are going from bad to worse, because the municipalities and the Government have not the funds available to repair them.

I wish now to refer to the unsatisfactory position in which the timber industry finds itself. In most of the Australian states, and especially in Tasmania, we have timber equal for certain purposes to anything in the world. Tasmanian blackwood, Queensland maple, and our hardwoods generally, are equal to, if not better than, any grown elsewhere. In Tasmania half the mills are idle. In the district in which I reside, in the north-east of Tasmania, there are over 70 mills, and over 40 of them are idle. These mills are owned and controlled by expert bushmen, who are familiar with every branch of the industry. The men who were employed in these mills, including probably some of the best bushmen in the world, are now either out of work or are accepting work that is uncongenial. And yet no less than 365,000,000 superficial feet of timber was imported into Australia last year. In other words, 1,000,000 superficial feet of American timber is being imported into Australia every day, keeping American timbergetters in employment, while our own workmen, for want of a little more protection, remain idle.

Senator Graham:

– Is that why the Tasmanian mills are idle - lack of sufficient protection ?

Senator J: B HAYES:

– I think so. I have gone into the question with sawmillers themselves, who assure me that increased protection would not mean an increase in the price of Australian timber. They are willing to give a guarantee that if the protection which the industry needs is imposed, the price of Australian timber will not be raised. They ask for a sufficient duty to prevent an undue quantity of oregon being imported into Australia.

Senator Hannan:

– They ruined the reputation of Australian timbers by the sale of unseasoned timber. Look at the War Service Homes! Millers ought to be prosecuted who put unseasoned timber on the market.

Senator J B HAYES:

– It is merely the saw-miller’s job to cut the timber and sell it. The seasoning of timber is not his job. If a small miller had to season timber, he would require to keep at least £5,000 worth of it on hand. It is not the small saw-miller who is at fault in the matter.

Senator Hannan:

– The fault is with the big companies that control the Australian timber industry.

Senator J B HAYES:

– The fault is with the man who puts unseasoned timber in a house. The man who builds a house of green timber is a fool: If a man builds a house he should see that green timber is not put into it. The Government employs inspectors to supervize its buildings, and it is their duty to see that unseasoned timber is not used. A private person usually employs an architect to look “ after his interests. The saw-miller’s job is to cut the timber, and get rid of it as quickly as possible. The large shipments of foreign timber that are coming here show that our saw-millers are not getting a fair deal. In an illustrated paper the other day was a picture of a ship that brought 5,000,000 feet of oregon to Sydney. The timber was actually unloaded in the stream to save wharfage. Costs are cut down in every direction possible by these timber importers. The Australian workmen reap no advantage from such imports. Meantime our own mills are idle, and our men are out of work.

Senator GRANT:

– Would the honorable senator favour the total exclusion of

Oregon from the Australian market?

Senator J B HAYES:

– No, because there are certain purposes for which

Oregon must be used.

Senator GRANT:

– Then the honorable senator wants Oregon to come in here?

Senator J B HAYES:

– I want our own timber to be used as much as possible.

Senator Graham:

– Has not Tasmania softwoods that could take the- place of

Oregon ?

Senator J B HAYES:

– At present no softwoods are grown in Tasmania.

Senator Reid:

– There are plenty in Queensland.

Senator J B HAYES:

– No doubt we shall have some in years to come. It is said that our Australian forests are being depleted. My reply to that is that in Tasmania we’ could cut twice our normal output without depleting our supplies. That information was given to me by an expert forester in the employ of the Tas.manian Government. With reasonable forestry conditions we can soon commence cutting our timber indefinitely. Under a proper system of reafforestation, allowing the timber to grow again after being cut, the cutting out taking place over a number of years, there will be no danger of depletion.

We are told in His Excellency’s Speech that the Government have secured the services of an eminent authority to report upon the ports and harbours of the Commonwealth. There are certain harbours in Tasmania to which I wish in this .connexion to call the attention of the Government. Derwent, in the south, is probably one of the best harbours, if not the best, in the world, but I would refer specially to the Tamar - to the harbour which is at present in the making at Bell Bay. I hope the Government will send their expert there, since it has been said that because of its proximity to the mainland it may eventually be the distributing centre for the whole of Australia. It is a splendid harbour, with 60 feet of water, and the Government should assist in its development. When the visiting expert is at work I hope that the two harbours I have mentioned will not be overlooked.

I notice with pleasure that the Government intends to help the primary producer. I myself am specially interested in primary production, and will welcome any assistance the Government may give - and they have given much - to the primary producer. It is’ essential that settlers should have supplies of wire netting to help them to combat the rabbit and dingo pests. Up to the present the conditions under which grants for wire netting are made have, unfortunately, not been very beneficial. The idea of making grants for vermin-proof fencing was, no doubt, a very good one. I do not know of any pest that has done so much damage to industries of the land as the rabbits have, and the Government undoubtedly took a step in the right direction in granting a sum of, I think, £500,000 for wire netting. But the object in view is lost, to a great extent, by making the grant by way of loans to the states. The State Governments might just as well have been left to seek a loan from the banks or elsewhere, because none of them is in such financial difficulties as not to be able to obtain a few thousand pounds for wire netting. I recognize that, in the case of Tasmania, the Commonwealth has been lenient, giving us every assistance, and we are getting the netting at the present time. The scheme is a good one, for it means increased production; but the man who really needs the wire netting most of all very often cannot obtain it, because he has not the necessary security. If the Federal Government would be content to accept the guarantee of, the State Governments that they would see that the money was expended efficiently and economically, the position would be much improved. Such a guarantee should be sufficient.

According to the Governor-General’s Speech, the royal commission appointed to advise upon the method of assessing war pensions has handed in its report. In the matter of pensions, the Government of Australia has acted liberally to returned soldiers. But, despite this, it is almost inevitable that there should be cases of hardship. Some men who do not really deserve pensions have obtained them, while others, in every way deserving, have obtained small pensions or none at all. I do not want to unduly criticize the Department. It has no doubt done its best, but there are certain cases which still require special consideration. Many young men who returned from the war did not receive a thorough medical examination before their discharge. It was probably their own fault. Their one desire was to get into civilian clothes as quickly as possible, have a holiday, and then return to their ordinary avocations. Complications have since arisen. In many cases these men have .since developed diseases due to war service; but it is with the greatest difficulty that the connexion can be established between the war service and the disease which has probably developed after ia term of years. I know of one young fellow in my own district who did not seek any assistance from the Government when he returned from the war. He obtained a position, worked for three or four years, and then contracted pneumonia - which he and all his friends knew was the result of his having been gassed - and died, leaving a wife and young family. That case has not been reviewed by the Government, because, so far, it has not been placed before it, but there is relatively a large number of similar cases in Australia, and the Commonwealth is sufficiently wealthy to make provision for them. If a man has done his bit at the front, and, as in the case I have mentioned, has subsequently died of a disease, even if that disease cannot be specifically connected with his war service, provision should be made for his widow and family.

Senator Pearce:

– The royal commission was composed of expert medical men, and the particular point upon which it was asked to advise was whether the methods adopted in determining that factor were fair and reasonable. It found that they were.

Senator J B HAYES:

– I have not read that finding. I know that in the case that I have mentioned very great difficulty will be experienced in establishing any connexion between the cause of death and the man’s war service. If a man has for a number of years given the very best services of which he is capable, his widow and family, at his death, should not be left in circumstances in which we should not like to see any of our kith and kin placed. Leniency ought’ to be extended in such cases.

I have touched upon a few of the matters in which I am particularly interested. As we shall have ample opportunity of examining and discussing those matters that the Government intend to bring forward, I shall reserve for a future occasion any further remarks that I have to make.

Senator Sir THOMAS GLASGOW (Queensland) [4.37]. - I have much pleasure in seconding the motion that has been moved by Senator J. B. Hayes. As honorable senators are aware, I have always taken a keen interest in matters of defence. It is pleasing to me, as I am sure it must be to every thinking Australian, to read of the proposals relating to defence that have been forecast in the Governor-General’s Speech. The establishment of a naval base at Singapore is of particular interest to Australia. Singapore is situated in such a strategical position that the establishment of a base there will enable a British Fleet to protect not only our shores .but our trade routes. It is also pleasing to notice that provision is being made for a self-contained naval unit in Australia. Two cruisers and two ocean-going submarines are ‘ to be constructed, and the necessary docking facilities provided. I consider that any naval unit should be organized in such a way that it will be able to act not only independently, but in conjunction with the British Fleet. Honorable senators are aware that at the termination of the war an organization was provided in Australia based on the organization of the Australian Imperial Force - five infantry and two light-horse divisions. That organization also followed the lines of the British organization. The Government is now setting up factories to provide necessary supplies of small arms and ammunition, and is creating small nucleus factories for the manufacture of rifles, machineguns, wagons, and ammunition. That is a move in the right direction. The Government is also having prepared plans for supplementing the output from those factories by the conversion of private factories from peace time manufactures to the production of munitions. That, I think, is essential. Being isolated from the great manufacturing centres we should, in the event . of our being attacked, be as far as possible self-contained. Despite the excellent fighting material which is furnished by the manhood of Australia, it is necessary that provision should be made for as much training as the resources of the country will allow. It is most essential that we should have an efficient and highly-trained staff. The staff at present at head-quarters is a highly trained and experienced one. An effort should also be made to train officers’ and noncommissioned officers. At present we possess a very capable lot of young officers and noncommissioned officers, but in the past the Government has not provided a sufficient amount of money to enable them to receive the training necessary to fit them to command the excellent fighting material that is available. I hope that in future sufficient funds will be available to enable those officers and non-commissioned officers to undergo a sufficient course of training. An important factor in the defence of any country is its man power. As our population is so small compared with the vast area of Australia, we should do our utmost to attract to our shores immigrants who will assist to develop our latent resources. I am not in favour of indiscriminate immigration. In the early days only a self-reliant man or woman left the Old World for Australia, or any outlying portion of the Empire. The hardships that were encountered on the voyage out, and the difficulties that had to .be faced after arrival, were very severe. It was not then necessary to make a close selection of the types that offered. Transport facilities, however, have changed considerably, and now one is able to travel much more comfortably. I, therefore, think it is essential to have a proper selection of the emigrants who propose to leave the Old World for Australia. We should as far as possible confine our immigration activities to the people of Great Britain. At the present time the population of Australia is largely British, and I hope that at least the present percentage of Britishers will always be maintained. In order to ‘ absorb the immigrants that are coming here it is necessary for us to develop our primary and secondary industries. In Queensland big areas of country are already tapped by railways, and are capable of absorbing large numbers of immigrants, who could make a living from rural pursuits. We should also make an effort to develop our secondary industries. With that object the Government should endeavour to attract to Australia people with a knowledge of secondary industries and sufficient capital to set them up in Australia. They should be afforded such protection as would enable them to obtain a fair start, and to give their employees the conditions that exist in other industries that are already established. That policy would benefit the primary producer. A fortnight ago I travelled in a train with a gentleman who owns a large meat works in Victoria. He told me that when he erected the works twenty years ago he treated 2,000 fat bullocks a week, -of which the greater number was exported. Conditions have so altered that now he can treat only about 400 fat bullocks a week, and that quantity is absorbed locally. The local consumption has increased to such an extent, and the price paid by the local butcher has risen: so greatly, that he is unable to compete in oversea markets.

Senator Guthrie:

– Prices have not advanced; beef at the present time is fetching only a little over 30s. per 100 lb.

Senator Sir THOMAS GLASGOW.It is not profitable to pay that price, and export the meat. In Queensland cattle are worth about 24s. per 100 lb. at the works. At present Victoria does not produce a sufficient quantity of beef to meet its own requirements. Increased population confers a benefit upon the primary producer because he is thus given a better local market, which is the most profitable market he could have.

Senator Hoare:

– We are paying ls. 3d. per lb. for steak in South Australia. That price is too high.


– The Speech refers to the more effective occupation of northern Australia. If honorable senators study the map they will notice that the problems confronting the whole of the area in the northern part of Australia bounded on the east by a line running due south from the southeastern portion of the Gulf of Carpentaria to the 20th parallel of latitude and thence extending westerly, right across the continent are very similar. At present it is a pastoral area for the most part, and there is a certain proportion of mineral country. but it is suffering sadly from want of means of communication. In fact, the greatest portion of it is a long way from any seat of government. I believe that its outlet should be northward to the nearest point on the coast. It will be very interesting to see what the Government propose, but I am of opinion that one authority only should undertake the provision of means of communication for this country in the shape of railways and roads. In the past communication in Australia has suffered a good deal by the interference of state boundaries. People living on either side of a state boundary have been deprived of proper means of transit. The Commonwealth Government will be quite right if they attempt to solve the problem of communication in the northern portion of Australia. Our friends opposite may say that it is necessary to establish a new state there, but surely the first problemis to get sufficient people in the north to justify the formation of a new state. We cannot get people there unless we provide them with facilities of communication.

Reference is made in the GovernorGeneral’s Speech to the development of national railways. There are very often railway lines which may be the concern of one or two states. For instance, a line has already been marked out on the map, and * its construction will be of immense importance to at least three eastern states. I ‘refer to a proposed railway north from Bourke, in New South Wales, to Camooweal, in Queensland, on the border of the Northern Territory. That line would run to the west of the termini of the three Queensland railway systems.

Senator Foll:

– Would the honorable senator prefer such a line to the OodnadattaDarwin route?


– I think so. It would tap very fine country in which cattle are now being raised, but which, with a railway, could be brought under sheep, and, consequently, made much more profitable to the land-holder and to the states and the Commonwealth. It would also be of great economic value by preventing loss in time of drought. Sometimes for a period of two years cattle in this area cannot be moved, with the result that the holdings become overstocked, and the pastoralist suffers great losses.

Senator Hoare:

– Would the honorable senator say that the line he suggests would open up more country than would the north-south railway?

Senator Sir THOMAS GLASGOW.It would open up much more good country, or country capable of being settled. Honorable senators no doubt recollect that, two years ago, New South Wales and Victoria were, so short of fat cattle that the Melbourne and Sydney markets had to be supplied with fat cattle from New Zealand, a thing previously unheard of. A railway such as I propose would enable fat stock to be moved from the country to the south of the Gulf of Carpentaria and in the western portion of Queensland to the markets in Sydney and Melbourne.

I agree with the mover of the motion (Senator J. B. Hayes) that it is a most excellent proposal to continue granting assistance to the states for the construction of main developmental and arterial roads. There has recently been a marked development in mechanical means of transport. Railways are becoming more expensive to build and run. If from existing railways roads were built into small areas capable of development, not only would the railways be assisted, not only would the country be opened up. more cheaply than by the construction of railways, but also the producer would get his produce more cheaply to the market, and would be a great deal more independent of the railway systems. Like Tasmania, Queensland has special difficulties to face in building roads. The coastal country is particularly hilly, and we have very heavy rains. Although the Queensland Main Roads Board has only been in operation for a few years, one is pleased to notice in going through the country the excellent class of work it has done; but to do all’ that is required a great deal of money will be needed. We have a very large area of country in Queensland, and it is essential that more money should be provided to enable the further construction of roads to proceed.

Another matter mentioned in the GovernorGeneral’s Speech will, I am sure, meet with the approval of honorable senators generally. That is the proposal to make advances to the states to help woolgrowers and others to purchase rabbit and dingo-proof wire netting. In portions of Queensland the ravages of the dingo have been tremendous, and the assistance proposed to be afforded to wool-growers will enable them to keep down the pest. Rabbits are also steadily moving northward, and this assistance will enable selectors to limit the ravages of this particular pest.

I am pleased to note that it is proposed to re-organize the Institute of Science and Industry. .It is to be hoped that the reorganization will enable the institute to do more effective work than it has done in the past. There is every necessity for paying attention to the more practical side of science. Assistance should be given to pastoralists to enable them to cope with the various pests which are largely responsible for keeping down the numbers of our flocks and herds. For instance, the blow-fly pest is largely responsible for the very slow increase in our flocks of sheep. A fortnight ago I received a letter from the manager of a pastoral station, who said that he had a very fine lambing. He had 25,000 lambs on the station, and the fly had not been very active, but if it became bad he said lie would lose a large number of these lambs. It is quite customary tofind that shortly after the lambing season the flies become bad, and a large percentage of the lambs is lost’.

Senator Guthrie:

– It does not only affect the lambs. The fly pest is causing Australia to lose from £4,000,000 to £5,000,000 annually at the present time.


– Another trouble the pastoralist has to face is the cattle tick. The loss through death of cattle by the disease brought about by the tick is not very considerable, but the tick is responsible for greatly increasing the cost of handling stock, and very often prevents cattle from fattening in a season. The knocking about, the cattle sustain through having to be dipped owing to the tick pest delays the fattening of the beasts. The frequent dippings which are necessary are responsible for a very large extra cost in raising cattle.

Senator Needham:

– Is the pastoralist compelled by law to dip his cattle?

Senator Sir THOMAS GLASGOW.It is not compulsory for the pastoralist to dip his cattle, but it is in his own interests to do so, because if he does not dip them he is likely to lose them. When ticks are bad in Queensland the cattle are very often dipped every three weeks in the hot months and every two months in winter.

Reference is made in the GovernorGeneral’s Speech to the necessity for increasing production. In Victoria the application of science to the wheat-growing industry has brought about a large increase in the wheat yield. Scientists have bred a wheat which has proved suitable to the soil and the climate. They have -tested the soils, and found that by the application of certain manures .the products on can be largely increased. That has also been done in South Australia and Western Australia, and I believe also in !New . South Wales. Queensland’s wheat production has not hitherto been very considerable, but it is growing. If the people in that state could go m for dry farming, and if the farmers were instructed in the best method of cultivating the soils in the wheat areas, the output of wheat in Queensland should be largely increased. In many industries there is loss of revenue because up to the present it has not been found possible to utilize waste products to the best advantage. The Institute of Science and Industry could lend valuable assistance in this direction. In connexion with our waste forest products, for example, there is an almost limitless field for research work, which should be of immense value to Australia.

Another matter that should engage attention is the overseas marketing of Australian products in their most attractive form. We should seek improvement in the meat export trade. It is quite erroneous to think that Australian frozen’ beef is inferior to frozen beef from the Argentine. As a matter of fact, it is infinitely better, because in the Argentine the practice is to chill first quality beef, and market second quality beef in a frozen state. In Australia* first quality beef intended for the British markets is frozen. It is ‘sold in competition with second grade Argentine frozen beef, and, strange as it may appear, it is only in recent years that our exporters have been able to realize prices equal to those paid for Argentine second quality frozen beef. I have it on the authority of a large exporter that Australian frozen beef is better in quality than the Argentine product marketed in the same way, and I am sure that the Australian producer only wants a little encouragement to induce him to improve the quality of his herds. Cattle produced in Australia on natural grasses are, I believe., the equal of any cattle grown under similar conditions in any other part of the world ; but in the Argentine fat stock are grown on artificial grasses, chiefly alfalfa. As a result, probably they mature earlier, and produce somewhat better beef for the overseas market.

Senator Kingsmill:

– And they are always topped off.

Senator Sir THOMAS GLASGOW.As the honorable senator states; the Argentine cattle are topped off close to the meatworks. They are marketed under rather better conditions, but I am sure that if attention is given to this aspect of the business, Australia will soon take its rightful place as a beef producer for overseas markets.

Turning now to soldiers’ pensions, I should like to say that my own experience - and I have no doubt that of other honorable senators - is that the repatriation legislation passed by this Government has been very liberal, and that it has been administered sympathetically. In certain instances some time has elapsed before returned soldiers have been medically examined, so it is difficult, when such cases come up later for review, to establish a claim that disability has been due to war service. I am confident that all such claims, and particularly from men suffering from tuberculosis, will . receive most sympathetic treatment.

Senator O’LOGHLIN:

– They are not getting that now.


– I cannot agree with the honorable senator.

Senator Crawford:

– Numbers of tubercular cases are being accepted every week


– Generally speaking, the treatment by the Repatriation. Department has been- very sympathetic, and, as I have stated, the legislation is more liberal than in any other part of the world.

Senator Guthrie:

– The soldiers’ organizations admit that.

Senator O’LOGHLIN:

– They do not.

Senator Wilson:

– Has the honorable senator any complaint to make?

Senator Hoare:

– Yes. Representations have been made, and have been turned down on nearly every occasion. Men are being treated most unfairly.


– It appears to me that the time is ripe for a great move forward in the development of this country. If we are to take full advantage of our opportunities, we should endeavour to cultivate a national conscience. I firmly believe that the best asset which any nation . can claim is its national character. And the national character of Australia, as disclosed during the recent war, is certainly of a very high standard. If that character is to be maintained, the employer should see to it that, he is equipped with the most efficient organization, and should also spare no effort to hold the respect and goodwill and ensure the co-operation of his employees. For the latter, I should say that their responsibility is to render good and loyal service to their employers, and in this way help forward the development of the Commonwealth. This may b;e an ideal, but if we can achieve it I am sure that this country will be worthy the Empire of which it forms a part, and we, its people, worthy of its courageous pioneers, and of the men of the Australian Imperial Force, who made such great sacrifices during the recent war. If we can bring about this happy state of affairs, Australia, with its wonderful resources, will never look back, and every individual in the community will prosper.

Senator NEEDHAM:
Western Australia

, - I congratulate the mover and seconder of the Address-in-Reply upon the able manner in which they handled the various subjects mentioned in the Governor-General’s Speech. When one realizes the poor material upon which they had to work, one must admit that they acquitted themselves very creditably indeed. If the Government had in view the production of a document in ‘which quality was sacrificed for quantity, then undoubtedly it succeeded; because honorable senators have had presented to them a very bulky legislative programme, containing very little that is new. There is so little in the Speech that it is not the intention of the Opposition to discuss it. The doors “of this Parliament have been closed for the last eight months. They were opened yesterday. If the Government has any real business to bring forward, we on this side of the chamber intend to give Ministers the opportunity to produce it forthwith.

Senator PEARCE:
Western AustraliaMinister for Home and Territories · NAT

– I shall be as brief as the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Senator Needham), and I avail myself of this, the earliest, opportunity to congratulate him on his appointment to that position. If, during the session, speeches from the other side are as brief as that made by him on the AddressinReply, we shall make good progress with the legislation. I have only to say that, whilst it is true that Parliament has” not been functioning for the past eight months, during that time the

Government has carried out very many important acts of administration. Ministers have now come before Parliament, and in the Speech of His Excellency the Governor-General direct the attention of honorable senators to those acts of administration. Having placed that record before Parliament, together with a statement of our intentions during the coming session, we invite the Opposition, whose duty it is to criticize administrative acts, to express their opinion. It is evident that honorable senators opposite have vainly searched the Governor-General’s Speech for one single act of administration which calls for criticism, and so they are silent. I have been 24 years in this Parliament, and I can say that the attitude of the honorable senators opposite on this occasion is the finest compliment that has ever been paid to any Government by members of an Opposition.

Senator PAYNE:

.- There are a few matters’ mentioned in the Governor-General’s Speech that I wish to refer to. I have no intention to weary honorable senators, and, following the excellent example set by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, I shall be as brief as possible. I endorse to some extent the remarks of the honorable senator who- moved the adoption of the AddressinReply (Senator J. B. Hayes). I thoroughly support his references to the disability under which Tasmania is suffering owing to her insular position. We have on the Commonwealth statute-book an act placed there with the best of intentions, but which has proved to be very detrimental to the welfare and development of my state. For many years, Tasmania has catered for a large number of tourists from the mainland during holiday periods, but owing to the operation of the Navigation Act this trade has been seriously interfered with, thus causing heavy loss financially to that state. It has been suggested’ that the coastal provisions of the Navigation Act should be eliminated. I am aware of the difficulty of adopting that suggestion, but in all earnestness I urge the Government to realize how valuable Tasmania is to the Commonwealth, and how any injury done to Tasmania must be an injury to the Commonwealth. Surely there is some way out of this difficulty by making pro vision for British-owned ships to carry passengers during a certain period of the year to and from Tasmania and the mainland.’ Senator J. B. Hayes pointed out that the beautifully furnished overseas vessels that call regularly at Hobart during the summer for apples leave for the mainland with their passenger space perhaps only half filled. It is unjust that the people should be deprived of facilities previously enjoyed for travelling between Tasmania and the other states. Another important phase of the disability is one that I desire to stress. Up to a few years ago it was found that the Tasmanian fruit-grower was enabled to make a failaverage return over the season for his fruit by the fact that the mail steamers found it worth their while calling at Hobart for apples by reason of the increased passenger service created, and the fruit disposed of early in the season invariably realized a high price. The growers have now lost the opportunity of getting the benefit of high rates for the initial shipments, because the vessels do not call at that particular period of the year owing to their inability to sufficiently supplement their earnings by additional fares for the apple trips. Tasmania will be denied its erstwhile privilege until an amendment of the Navigation Act to meet its needs is made. I hope that the Government, with as little delay as possible, will have this grave injustice removed.

Many important matters are referred to in the Speech of the Governor-General, and the first that attracted my attention was the reference to the war loans, amounting to £68,000,000, falling due in December of this year. Rightly or wrongly, there is a strong impression throughout the state that I represent that the retarding of our industries, especially the primary ones, has been brought about largely by the internal borrowing policy pursued by the Commonwealth Government in recent years. I do not suggest that I am a financial expert. In all probability the Government has consulted the greatest financial authorities in Australia, and the Ministry may be able to show Tasmanians that they are wrong in their premises; but the fact remains that, the raising of loans internally appears to have so embarrassed the men on the land that they find it almost impossible to raise the necessary money on loan to further develop their holdings. I know many rural producers in Tasmania, and E am constantly meeting people who tell me how embarrassed they are because the banks will not advance them money, and because private individuals have invested their spare funds in Government bonds.

Senator Hoare:

– We raised approximately £300,000,000 in Australia during the war. Why cannot money be raised now ?

Senator PAYNE:

– Borrowing can be carried on to a certain extent, but when that huge sum was obtained outside borrowing was out of the question. The time has now arrived, seeing that the exchange problem has been largely solved, when we should consider whether it would be detrimental or advantageous to continue the policy of internal borrowing.

Much has been said regarding the decision of the Commonwealth Government to purchase two cruisers, and I am pleased to be able to say that I believe the Government did right, in view of all the circumstances, in placing the orders abroad. It has been shown that an additional expense of at least £820,000 would have been incurred if an Australian tender had been accepted for the building of one of the cruisers in this country. Last session an honorable senator on the Opposition side stated that even if it cost £10,000,000 extra to build a cruiser in Australia, the Government would be justified in constructing it here in order to provide work for Australians, notwithstanding the fact that the life of a cruiser was only ten years. If such a policy were persisted, in, this country would soon be on the rocks. The importance of expeditious delivery had to be considered, and it would take a much longer period to build a cruiser in Australia than in the Old Country.

Honorable senators may not fully realize how much has been done by the PostmasterGeneral’s Department in recent years in increasing postal and telephonic facilities, particularly in country districts. Even its political opponents must realize that the present Government has done a great deal in that direction. It has been gratifying to me to find that in the last two or three years the settlers in outlying parts of Tasmania have been brought into touch with the larger centres by means of telegraphic and telephonic communication, and the department is deserving of credit for what it has done. It seems to me to be a backward step, however, to increase the financial burden on the outback settler rather than lighten it. 1 have in mind the increase in the opening charges of country telephone offices. Prior to a few months ago the charge that a postmaster or postmistress was entitled to make for opening a country telephone office after hours was ls., and it has now been increased to ls. 6d. I was inundated with letters and deputations protesting against the added impost, and I found that the department, while ready to listen to the objections raised, contended that relief had been given to the people rather than an additional burden placed upon them. It was pointed out that a flat rate had been established as the opening fee. Formerly the charge was ls. in the country and 2s. 6d. in the cities, whereas there was now a reduction to a flat rate of ls. 6d. I pointed out that this so-called reduction did not apply in many instances, particularly in the agricultural belt on the north-west coast of Tasmania. Ulverstone, Devonport, Burnie, Wynyard, Stanley, and Smithton each have continuous telephone services, and no opening fee can be charged, but the settlers inland from those towns, who occupy the most thickly populated and the richest agricultural district in the state, are penalized to the extent of 50 per cent, of the previous opening charge if they desire to use the telephone after hours. The so-called reduction is a myth.

Senator Hoare:

– The department does not get the opening fee.

Senator PAYNE:

– No; it is paid to the postmaster or postmistress. I am not at all satisfied with the answer given by the department. Instead of relief having been granted, an additional fee of 50 per cent, has been imposed on dwellers in the back-blocks, and I hope that the Minister will have the matter fully investigated. I am glad that arrangements have been made to give further facilities in regard to the hours during which the offices are open, but without those facilities the telephones will be useless, because the average worker on the land cannot conveniently use the telephone during office hours.

Some time ago my attention was drawn to a serious impost on the rural producers, of not only Tasmania, but also the whole Commonwealth. I refer to the extraordinarily high price that was demanded and obtained by the purveyors of cornsacks. Last year sacks reached, I think, as high a price as 17s. 6d. a dozen. At the same time, the price of potatoes on the north-west coast of Tasmania, which- is the principal potato-producing area in that state, dropped to 35s., and even as low as 30s. a ton. The position of the potatogrower was that he had to pay for containers almost the price he received for his product. The general impression was that the ring controlling the jute business had forced up the price of cornsacks. It was then suggested that the tremendous wheat crop during that season had been responsible for the increased cost of the sacks. I remember, last June, reading in the Argus a statement that a certain steamer had arrived in Australia on the 2nd January laden with cornsacks, and that these would be ready for delivery on the 7th or 8th January at 16s. a dozen. Fortunately, as the result of the stern fight put up by the wheatgrowers of Australia, the price dropped to 12s. 9d. a dozen. The latest information that I have received relates to the earnings of the jute mills in India. I find that many of the companies there have been, reaping dividends on the capital invested ranging from 30 per cent, to 100 per cent. I learned that the average dividends of ten companies were 55$ per cent. I communicated with the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce) and asked him to’ investigate this matter with a view to taking action to relieve the position.

Senator Guthrie:

– It was a great tax upon Australian producers.

Senator PAYNE:

– Realizing that, it did appear to me that it was a reasonable suggestion for the Commonwealth Government to make an investigation, with a view to obtaining control of a mill in India, or by some other arrrangement, ensure to the primary producer containers for his produce at a price commensurate with cost of production plus a reasonable profit. I received the following reply from the Prime Minister : -

Your suggestion that the Commonwealth Government might establish a Commonwealthowned or controlled mill in India has also received very careful consideration, but as it is problematical whether such a mill .would be able to supply cornsacks economically nt prices. lower than that at which they are obtainable from outside sources, and as a large amount of capital would be involved in the project, it is not considered advisable to take any steps in the direction of making an exhaustive investigation into this question.

I object to the last sentence. I am convinced that it is most advisable that the Commonwealth Government should do its utmost to overcome the difficulty of obtaining cornsacks at a reasonable price. Very seldom is there very much margin of profit left to the primary producer when his produce is sold. I again ask the Government, in the interests of the primary producer, to take action on the lines that I have indicated.

It will be remembered that during the war certain ill-advised individuals in Australia held up certain transports when it was absolutely essential, in the interests of our men fighting abroad, that they should leave these shores. The vessels were held up and shipping disorganized. Fortunately volunteer workers were available, and their prompt action alone prevented from being placed upon the name of Australia a stigma that would have been fatal to her future welfare. A short time ago this body of loyalist workers was practically disbanded and became unrecognized as a union. The Commonwealth Government, in its wisdom, compensated these men for their loss of employment. Unfortunately, several loyalist workers who lost their employment at Burnie received no compensation. One of these men - a married man - has suffered considerably. When the appeal was made for volunteer workers, he left his employment on a farm and worked for several years on the wharf at Burnie. He has a wife and family to support, and is now out of employment. This man should receive the same treatment as was meted out to the men in Sydney and Melbourne. He was told that he would have an opportunity of joining with other volunteer workers on . the wharf at Burnie iii unloading a vessel, which work would be continued after 12 midnight by unionists employed on other vessels during the day. He went to the wharfinger and applied for work, hut was told that if he were employed in the day-time unloading the vessel the unionists would refuse to work the ship after midnight. I wrote to the Prime Minister’s Department, and the reply I received was that the man had the opportunity of joining the union. I know very well that if he joined the union his life would not be worth living. This man was just as loyal to Australia as were the men in Sydney and Melbourne, and should receive ‘the same treatment. I am particularly interested in this case, as it is a hard one, and there were other men in the same position; but I urge that this loyalist worker should receive compensation for loss of work.

I am pleased, indeed, to ascertain that the Government intends to fully investigate the position of Tasmania in conjunction with the consideration of the report and recommendations made by the Royal Commission on the effect of federation upon the finances of Western Australia. Most of us know the state of Tasmania’s finances. Unfortunately, since federation her condition has been growing steadily worse. The reason is not far to seek. No country is able to progress when its people are unduly taxed. Tasmanians to-day are suffering from a crushing burden of taxation. That state, with one exception, on the basis of ability to pay, is the heaviest taxed state in the Commonwealth.

Senator McHugh:

– Why not boom Tasmania rather than decry it?

Senator PAYNE:

– I am not decrying it. The present condition has been brought about to a large extent by federation. Tasmania is isolated, and there is no regular communication with the mainland.

Senator Guthrie:

– It is mainly due to continuous strikes.

Senator PAYNE:

– The frequent strikes have helped to a great extent to bring about the present position. Tasmania has a population of about 220,000. During the last two years taxation has increased to a surprising extent, due mainly to the demand made by the Federal Treasurer that additional taxation should be levied in that state before a Commonwealth grant would be forthcoming. According to the Commissioner of Taxation’s latest report, there are only 5,216 persons in Tasmania in receipt of over £350 a year, and in complying with the Federal Treasurer’s demand for extra state taxation, a further burden of £130,000 a year has been placed upon them.

Senator Pearce:

– There was no demand that the extra taxation should be placed on those people.

Senator PAYNE:

– The Commonwealth Treasurer demanded that additional taxation should he levied.

Senator Pearce:

– He did not say that it should fall upon those 5,216 persons. That occurred under the state law.

Senator PAYNE:

– A Government, when imposing taxation, cannot tax below the bread line. Few wealthy people reside in Tasmania, and yet that state is one of the finest in the Commonwealth.

Senator Guthrie:

– The honorable senator is not making out a very good case for Tasmania.

Senator PAYNE:

– And why not? Tasmania’s present position has been brought about largely because under the Commonwealth Navigation Act people on the mainland are not permitted to travel to Tasmania except by certain boats, and yet that state has to contribute to the Commonwealth revenue through the Customs to the same extent as have other states. I am very gratified that the Government has recognized the necessity to examine the financial position of Tasmania, and I hope that the investigation will prove beneficial.

From the point of view of the Treasurer, Australia is very prosperous. In view of the high cost of living, and the fact that there will be such a big surplus at the end of the financial year, I think that the Government should increase the old-age pension to £1 a week. I am acquainted with many old-age pensioners, and I realize what the additional amount would mean to them. At a time when the Commonwealth is prospering we should make those who are dependent upon a pension as happy and as comfortable as possible. I do not think it is yet too late to suggest that the Government should seriously consider the possibility of increasing the pension.

I was pleased to find in the Speech a reference to the necessity for giving attention to the development of the agricul tural industries of Papua and the Mandated Territories, and to learn that measures will be introduced providing appropriate means for increasing the production and encouraging the importation of articles grown in those Territories. I hope that effect will be given to that policy. I do not know in what way the Government proposes to encourage production, but I know from personal investigation, and from information gleaned from those who arc qualified to furnish it, that there is scope for a very large increase in the production of the Territories. At present, the majority of the plantations are under the control of the Expropriation Board, and an effort is being made to dispose of a number of them . In the Mandated Territories today there is a number of high-spirited, fine men who served during the war and who have lived there for some years. They know all the ramifications of tropical agriculture and the conditions that exist in the Territories. If they can be made permanent residents, they will prove exceedingly helpful to their development. I appeal to the Minister for Home and Territories (Senator Pearce)to give special consideration to the urgent necessity for having the Mandated Territories peopled by men of the right type. I was astonished to find such a keen desire on the part of many men who are in the full vigour of manhood to remain there. They have grown up with the development that has taken place during the last four years, and have had practical experience of the working of the plantations. But, as their capital is limited, they are likely to be shut out from the possibility of acquiring properties for their own use, and thus becoming permanent residents.

Senator Hoare:

– What does the honorable senator consider that the Government should do?

Senator PAYNE:

– It could give more liberal terms and still safeguard its own interests. Liberal terms given to the right type of man would be more beneficial than receiving a large deposit from the wrong type. I do not want any of these men to leave the Territory and go to other places to follow similar occupations.

Senator Guthrie:

– I understand that an applicant for a block is asked to state what he is prepared to pay.

Senator PAYNE:

– I am told that a certain deposit is required when a tender is put in for any property, returned soldiers being given the concession that they may make a smaller deposit than that stipulated in the case of other tenderers. The present deposit is too large for those men to whom I have been referring. I believe that the Government could retain control of the land in a way that would ensure the payment within two or three years of the amount of the deposit.

Senator Crawford:

– The deposit is equal to 10 per cent. of the value of the property.

Senator Guthrie:

– That is very generous.

Senator PAYNE:

– That means that a man has to find £2,000 or £2,500. If he is in the full vigour of manhood, and has an irreproachable character, surely the Government ought to accept £1,000 if he is unable to make the deposit required.

Senator Guthrie:

– That deposit entitles him to possession. When land is purchased from private persons, a greater amount than 10 per cent. must be paid.

SenatorH. Hays. - Would it not be desirable to limit the area, so that such a large sum would not be involved?

Senator PAYNE:

– To he successful, a certain area must be held. I believe that these men are unable to find the amount necessary for the area they need.

I endorse the suggestion that greater use should be made of the Institute of Science and Industry, but especially the proposal that the Institute should pay particular attention to the utilization of many of our waste products, which could he made valuable if scientific methods of treatment were applied to them. In England, there havebeen numerous instances of municipal and other expenditure havingbeen obviated because of the application of scientific methods to waste products which previously were destroyed.

I hope that in this, the last, session of the present Parliament, the work of the Senate will be of great use to Australia. The united wisdom and effort of all political parties is necessary to bring about contentment and prosperity.

Debate (on motion by Senator Guthrie) adjourned.

Senate adjourned at 6.3 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 11 June 1925, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.