9th Parliament · 3rd Session
Mr. Speaker (Rt. Hon. W. A. Watt) look the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.
Mr. CHARLTON. - Last week I asked the Prime Minister whether he had communicated with the Shipping Board asking for information in regard to its settlement with the seamen. The right honorable gentleman replied that he had doneso, but that up to that time he had received no reply. Has he yet received a reply from the Shipping Board, and if so, will he make its terms known to the House?
Mr. BRUCE. - I have received a reply from the Shipping Board, but it does not go into the position at all. It merely sets out in a few general sentences the action taken by the Board and the reasons which dictated it. I do not think that any useful purpose would be served by making it public.
Mr. JACKSON. - Some months ago there was a shipping strike, and when it had been in progress about a week, we were informed by the press that a judge of the Arbitration Court saidhe was not officially awarethat there was a strike. Is the Prime Minister officially aware that there is now a shipping strike, and if so will he see that Tasmanian industries are not jeopardized as a result of it?
Mr. BRUCE. - There have been developments in connexion with the shipping trouble, but I trust it is not going to develop into a general strike. In the event of such an unfortunate occurrence, the Government will take whatever action may be necessary to maintain vital services.
Mr. GREGORY.- Will the Government take action under the Navigation Act during the hold-up of shipping in Australia, and grant permits to British registered ships to trade and carry passengers on the Australian coast, and particularly between Western Australia and eastern ports?
Mr. BRUCE. - I think it is undesirable that we should anticipate a situation arising so serious as that which the honorable member’s question would indicate. In the event of such a situation coming about, the Government will give consideration to all methods by which the convenience and general requirements of the community can be met.
Mr. MARKS. - I ask the Prime Minister whether, in view of the serious transport position and the statement of Mr. Johannsen that the capital cities of the Commonwealth may be placed in darkness, the Government will consider the desirability of recalling H.M.A.S. Brisbane so that the personnel may co-operate in maintaining law and order should the occasion arise, conditionally upon the consideration of any Admiralty intimation that the two exchange ships Concord andBrisbane, now on the China station, are urgently required in Chinese waters?
Mr. BRUCE. - I think it is undesirable that it should be suggested that we arc going to be faced in Australia with an industrial upheaval of such a character as would require such drastic measures to be taken.
– I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Markets and Migration, whether he is aware that the buffalo fly pest has spread in Western Australia, from Wyndham to Derby? As there is danger that the pest may spread to the cattle in other parts of Australia, will he see that some one is appointed as soon as possible to visit the northern part of Western Australia, and make the investigations that were promised ?
-I shall bring the honorable member’s question under the notice of the Minister.
– Will the PostmasterGeneral make publicly known the exact policy of his department with respect to the sale of postage stamps on commission 1 Honorable members are receiving numerous letters from persons who have been selling stamps on commission, and who cannot learn just what the true position is?
– It is somewhat difficult to lay down a direct policy in this matter, but the honorable member may rest assured that licences will not be cancelled in the case of those selling stamps on commission whom it is in the public interest to retain. Each case must be dealt with on its merits.
– In connexion with the holiday which is to be declared for the reception of the visiting American Fleet, and in view of the fact that the Government is rightly spending a large sum of money to entertain our visitors, will the Prime Minister see that employees in Government dockyards are not deprived of a day’s pay for the compulsory holiday proposed ?
– I shall look into the matter.
– I have noticed in the press certain references to the projected visit to Australia of the Duke and Duchess of York. I ask the Prime Minister whether it is possible to arrange that these distinguished visitors, when they come to Australia, shall open the first session of the Federal Parliament at Canberra?
– I have had no official information with regard to the proposed visit.
– Has the Treasurer read the numerous references in the press to the projected Australian loan to be floated in New York ? Can the honorable gentleman give the House any information on the subject?
– The whole matter is at present under consideration. As soon as I have any definite information 1 shall give it to the House.
– I ask the Minister for Trade and Customs if he has noticed a paragraph which appeared in the evening newspaper in Melbourne to tha’ effect that Herr Werner Gravel, a young architect, arrived in Melbourne from Germany on a secret commission to superintend the building of a large factory, in which a new kind of German-made steel rivets will be used? If bo, can the Minister give the House any information with regard to the industry proposed to be established, and. say whether the new arrival has imposed any obligation of secrecy on the department?
– So far as the- Department of Trade and Customs is concerned, we have no information relating to the matter, except that contained in the paragraph to which the honourable member has referred.
– Is it a fact that serious financial irregularities in connexion with the Australian Commonwealth Shipping Line have recently been revealed, and that in consequence the Auditor-General has submitted a supplementary report?
– The Auditor-General’s report has been made available, and the honorable member knows what it contains, but if he wishes for further information on the subject I must ask him to place his question on the notice-paper.
– I understand that all taxpayers must lodge their returns with the Commissioner of Taxation before the 31st July. For Western Australia that period seems to me altogether too short, and I ask the Treasurer if he will use his influence to get it extended by another month ?
– I shall look into the matter and bring the honorable member’s request under the notice of the Commissioner of Taxation.
– In view of the wide spread disappointment at the delay in amending the tariff, and the increase in the importation of goods which are flooding the Australian market, can the Minister for Trade and Customs indicate when he will bring down his tariff proposals ?
– I have already intimated to honorable members that a busy Tariff Board, a busy department, and a busy Minister are all doing their best to prepare the tariff proposals of the Government, so that they may be submitted to the House as early as possible.
Bounty and Dumping Duties
– Is the Minister for Trade and Customs in a position to give me the information which he promised, respecting the amount of bounty paid on exported wire netting made in Australia ?
– Not yet.
– Will the Minister for Trade and Customs endeavour to have made available during this week the information for which I asked the week before last relative to the bounty on wire netting and the dumping duties collected on wire netting?
– I shall do my best to make the information available this week, but I should like to point out to my honorable friend that many inquiries made by honorable members necessitate communications with all the states, so that naturally there is sometimes delay in furnishing replies to questions.
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
Referring to the question of the honorable member for Hunter on 19th June last (Hansard, page 277), in connexion with the payment of child endowment to transferred taxation officers in Sydney, will the Prime Minister say when such payments may be expected by the officers concerned I
– On the 19th June I informed the honorable member that this subject was under consideration by the Commonwealth law authorities. Advice favorable to the officers has now been received. As the Government of New South Wales has refused to make the payments, it is necessary to make special arrangements to do so, and it is expected that the officers concerned will receive payment within a’ week or ten days.
Restriction of Cost
asked the Minister for Works and Railways, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow :. -
Map or Australia
asked the Minister for Works and Railways, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions arc as follow : -
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– No provision has been made to grant the benefits of the Superannuation Act to those persons who have acted as postmasters and postmistresses in semi-official offices. The benefits of that net apply only to permanent employees of the Public Service, and any extension in the direction indicated would jeopardize the solvency of the Superannuation Fund.
asked the Treasurer, upon notice -
In view of the reply given to the honorable member for Capricornia, on 9th July, that an additional 2s. (id. per week to old-age and invalid pensioners would involve an extra £2,000,000 expenditure, how does he arrive at this amount, seeing that at the end of June, 1024. there were 155,071 pensioners, which, at 2s. (3d. per week, represents £1,011,868?
– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows : -
The estimate was based on the position as at 30th June, 1925. At that time there were 102,350 old-age and invalid pensioners. An extra 2s. 6d. per week in respect of each of these would amount to £1,055,314. That experience has shown that an increase in the rate of old-age and invalid pensions is followed by a large increase of new claimants, due to the extra attractiveness of the higher rate. If pensions were increased to £1 per week, a larger number of persons than before would be attracted. In addition, the increase in the income limit which always accompanies an increase in the ra.te of pension would render eligible many people hitherto disqualified. As indicating the effect of the increase from 15s. to 17s. Cd. in September, 1923, it may be stated that thu expenditure for the last financial year was about £1,600,000 more than the expenditure for the year 1922-3. The increased expenditure resulting from the factors mentioned would, it is considered by the pension authorities, bring the total additional cost to the estimate already given, namely £2,000,000 per annum.
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow
asked the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -
What is the amount of preference per annum granted respectively by the United Kingdom and the Dominion of Canada on each primary product imported into each country from the Commonwealth of Australia?
– The information is being obtained.
Reduction of Temporary Officers
– On the 9th July, the honorable member for Brisbane (Mr. D. Cameron) asked the following questions : -
I now desire to inform the honorable member that the answers to his questions are as follow : -
Mission Trading Stations - S.s. “ Franklin.”
– On the 8th July, the honorable member for Richmond (Mr. R. Green) asked, amongst other questions relating to the Territory of New Guinea -
What trading stations are held by the various missions?
The reply to the honorable member’s question is as follows: -
No trading stations, as such, are held by any missions in New Guinea. The Lutheran Mission, however, holds twenty trading licences; other missions hold none. Trading licences enable the holders to trade on long lease and freehold land.
On the 2nd July, the honorable member also asked, amongst other questions relating to the Territory -
The replies to the honorable member’s questions are as follow: -
Railway Service - Construction of ro ads.
– On the 11th June, the honorable member for Eden-Monaro (Sir Austin Chapman) was informed, in reply to his question regarding the construction of roads and railways in the Federal Capital Territory, that a further statement on these matters would be furnished at a later date. I now wish to inform him that the Federal Capital Commission has now been advised by the Secretary, New South Wales Government Railways Commissioners, that the department has in mind the provision of railway services to and from Canberra during the time the Parliament is in session there, somewhat as follows : -
From Albury. - Special sleeping cars for Federal members, and, also, if warranted, special car for sitting passengers, to be attached to the Up Melbourne express. The special cars will be detached at Goulburn, and almost immediately after arrival there will be taken by special engine through to Canberra, arriving at about 10 a.m. Refreshments obtainable at Goulburn.
From Sydney. - Special cars (sleeping and sitting accommodation) to be attached to an additional train ex Sydney. These will be detached at Goulburn, and after arrival of Up Melbourne express will be connected to the special cars from Albury, and taken straight through to Canberra.
Return Journey. - Similar arrangements would apply to the return journey, and special cars would connect at Goulburn with the Down Melbourne express, and also with an Up train to Sydney.
A dining car cannot be put on the train as no such cars are available at present. It is possible that some will have to he constructed within the next two or three years.
As soon as definite time-tables are available, honorable members will be duly notified.
The Federal Capital Commission advises that improvements to road communication with Queanbeyan have been effected in order that it may be safe for traffic at all times of the year.
The following papers were pre sented : -
Australian Imperial Force Canteens Funds Act - Fifth Annual Report by the Trustees, 1st July, 1924, to 30th June, 1925 (including the Sir Samuel McCaughey bequest for the technical education of Soldiers’ Children).
Defence - Australian Military Forces - Report for the Inspector-General, by Lieut.General Sir H. G. Chauvel, G.C.M.G., K.C.B. (Chief of the General Staff), Part I., 31st May, 1925.
Munitions Supply Board - Annual Report from 1st July,1923, to 30th June, 1924; together with the Annual Report of the Commonwealth Government Clothing Factory for theyear ended 30th June, 1924.
Tariff Board - Report on Agricultural Implements, and Recommendation in connexion therewith.
Ordered to be printed.
Cattle Export Bounty Act - Return of Subsidies paid on Live Cattle exported from the Commonwealth to 30th June, 1925.
Public Service Act -
Appointment of F. H. Taylor, Department of Health.
Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1925, Nos. 106, 107.
Assent to the following bills reported : -
National Debt Sinking Fund Bill.
Export Guarantee Bill.
Debate resumed from 10th July (vide page 958), on motion by Mr. Bruce -
That the bill be now read a second time.
Upon which Mr. Charlton had moved by way of amendment -
That after the word “now” the following words be inserted : - “ withdrawn and redrafted to provide more adequate provisions regarding alien immigration, and for the reconsideration of the drastic proposals to deport Australian citizens.”
.- This is one of the most important bills that has ever been debated in this Parliament, for its object is to build up a great nation. “We have been reminded that for some years past this Parliament, with the almost unanimous approval of honorable members, has granted bounties and levied Customs duties to protect various industries; but it would appear that some people, in their anxiety to foster industries, forget that the first and most important thing to establish and protect is a desirable type of citizen. Industries will accomplish nothing, unless we have the right type of manhood, in this country. The people have shown a tendency, recently, to insist upon being protected from a threatened invasion of undesirable aliens. I contend that the character and morale of a people are the primary consideration in the buildingof a nation. We speak of Australia as being “ full of possibilities,” and as “ God’s own country,” and, while we look forward to accomplishing things as yet unthought of, we harbour men who decry this country, and whose sole aim is to make sound and sane government impossible. Differences of opinion must always exist between different individuals, for what is one man’s food is another man’s poison. We concede to one another the right, to differ on most subjects, but in the paramount business of nation building we must insist upon unanimity. In that matter we must stand unitedly behind a Government that is working for stability, and must get rid of the class of person who is threatening the home life of this young country. This Parliament has a duty to perform in preventing the immigration of undesirables, and I am therefore astonished that there ehould bc any opposition to the bill. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) is evidently satisfied with the first portion of the bill, for, in moving - his amendment, he contended that the Government already had the necessary powers to restrict the immigration of undesirables. Paradoxically, however, he seeks to amend the bill in the direction of making it a more effective instrument in restricting alien immigration. This measure is superior in many respects to any other bill of a similar nature that has ever been introduced, as it contains provisions which will further assist in ensuring the safety of the Commonwealth and the protection of the Australian people. I am in hearty accord with the action the Government propose taking in connexion with the deportation of undesirable persons, as under existing legislation it has insufficient power to control those whose sole object is to engender industrial strife and class warfare. In consequence of the actions of such men, whose presence is not desired even by those whose cause they are supposed to advocate, the prosperity of the country has been seriously retarded and industry has, in some cases, become almost stagnant. It is easy for honorable members opposite to jeer at those whose opinions are supported by a large majority of the Australian- people; but they, too, realize that this measure has been framed with the sole object of regulating immigration and of giving the Government the power to deport those who are a menace to Australia. Honorable members opposing the bill are not expressing the opinions of those who sent them to this Parliament to speak on their behalf, but are assisting the communistic section in Australia, which, fortunately, is very small. What can be the object of those who are supporting the principles of the communists and bolshevists in our midst? They are ignoring the wishes of the masses, and assisting those whose sole object is to destroy law and order, which are so necessary in a prosperous and well-governed community. It is gratify- . ing to know that the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce) and his colleagues have sufficient courage to introduce such a measure, under which it will be possible to take a careful stock of those in our midst, and deport persons who, after close investigation, are found to be a menace to the Commonwealth. Surely we do not wish our industrial life to be so disturbed that commerce will be practically at a stand-still. The workers themselves are not supporting this small section which is advocating industrial upheaval and general disorder; and it is regrettable that there should be an attempt vo blight the prospects of deserving citizens, and to engender class hatred on the part of a few men. Cannot honorable members on both sides of the chamber display an earnest desire to legislate in the interests of their fellow-men ? In my bumble way, I intend to assist the Government in passing the bill, as I am confident that in doing so I shall be complying with the wishes of the majority of Australian citizens. Although the bill lias been termed drastic by some, its early passage is imperative. Such legislation would not have been introduced if it were not needed. The Government has accepted the responsibility of introducing the bill, which, if passed, will prove of benefit, not only to the industrial section of the community, but to the whole of the people of this great continent.
.- I do x;ot think I can add very much to the excellent speech delivered by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton), which has been ably supported by other honorable members on this side of the chamber. I wish, however, to protest against the bill, and particularly some of the vicious provisions it contains. The honorable member for Henty (Mr. F. Francis) stated at the conclusion of his speech that the need for the bill was imperative, but he did not prove his assertion. He did not mention any existing condition which could not be dealt with under the laws already in operation. We must go afield to understand the purport of this bill. It is a measure to amend the existing Immigration Act, and its main purpose is to extend the deportation provisions of that act. Because I regard all the other clauses of the bill as but the setting for those main clauses, or as the trimmings which surround them, I purpose to speak chiefly of the proposed extension of the power of deportation. By this bill the Government proposes to add a new crime - that of striking - to the calendar of crimes punishable by the deportation of the offender. No previous government has ever sought to provide that a striker shall be deported from Australia simply because he is a striker. This bill not only provides for that; it goes further, and enacts that any one who is concerned in a strike may be deported from Australia. Undoubtedly this legislation is aimed at the industrial leaders of the country: it goes far beyond those individuals whose names have been mentioned during the course of this debate. Our defence of industrial leaders does not necessarily imply that we consider that they are justified in whatever they do, but that we shall stand, as this party from its inception has stood, for their liberty and protection. Not only does this bill add a new crime to the list of crimes punishable by deportation, but it places those men who are engaged in an industrial dispute in a class worse than that in which criminals are placed. It regards a striker as deserving of less consideration than one who advocates assassination, or is guilty of murder. That may seem to be exaggerated language, but the wording of the bill justifies it. I repeat that this measure denies to a striker that protection which is given to the worst assassin. Men who are engaged in industrial disputes are, under this bill, to be refused the trial that is granted to a murderer. Surely that cannot be the intention, of honorable members who sit behind the Government ! But that will be what they will vote for when they vote for this measure. In the act which it is sought to amend, provision is made for the deportation of men who advocate violence, force or assassination, or are guilty of criminal acts. Under the proposed legislation those men are still to he protected to the extent that their guilt must be discovered within a period of. three years from their arrival in Australia. This bill does not provide for their deportation if, after they have been here for three years, they are found guilty of the criminal acts referred to.
– If the honorable member will seek to amend the bill in that direction, he will obtain some support.
– Na suggestion has yet been made by the supporters of the Government who have spoken that the bill should be amended in that direction. Because of the prejudice and bias of those who are behind the introduction of this measure it is only strikers who can be deported at any time. There is no suggestion that criminals of the type who advocate violence or assassination should be placed on an equal footing with strikers. Industrial leaders are to receive worse treatment than that now meted out to criminals. Murderers and criminals of the worst type are given a trial; but there is to be no trial for men who have committed the “crime” of engaging in an industrial disturbance. There is, of course, the pretence of a trial; there is to be an investigation by a board. I invite any honorable member on the other side to explain the reasons for the appointment nf a board to deal with these men. The Prime Minister carefully evaded the slightest reference to that aspect of the question, and honorable members opposite have also been silent as to why these men should not be dealt with by the courts. Do they not trust the courts? Are they afraid that the courts of this country, and their judges, who are pledged to do justice to all, are not to be depended upon to deal -with these strikers as is desired ? While the argument has not yet been put forward in connexion with this bill, we know that one reason which was advanced for the drastic powers of the War Precautions Act was that while a man may be known to be guilty, it is frequently difficult to prove his guilt; that although witnesses are available to prove his guilt, it is not always considered wise to bring them to the courts to give evidence. There can be no other construction put on that argument than that there is a doubt as to the guilt of the accused person in such cases. It is a maxim of British justice that every accused person shall be. given the benefit of the doubt. But this Government and its supporters say that that fundamental principle of British justice should not apply when the accused is a person engaged in an industrial trouble.- A person accused of the most diabolical crime, or the most shocking offence, is given the benefit of any “ doubt that may exist, but a striker or a person concerned in a strike is not so treated. That is the kind of legislation which this Government proposes to place upon the statute-book of this country in the year 1925 ! The honorable member for Henty admitted that this measure is drastic. I say that it is vicious. The honorable member said that there is a clanger of an invasion of foreigners imbued with communistic ideas, who would’ advocate the overthrow of law and order by force and violence. If such people have been discovered attempting to enter this country for that purpose, what has the Government done in the matter ? The Government has power to prevent their entry into Australia. There is no need for further legislation to enable that to be done : the power already exists. That was made clear bv the right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. Hughes), who pointed out that the existing Immigration Act gave all the power that was necessary in this direction. The honorable member who followed the right honorable member for North Sydney introduced into his speech the ingenious argument that undesirable persons may not be discovered until after they have resided in Australia for a period of three years, and that consequently they could not be dealt with under the existing legislation. If that be so, I suggest that all we have to do is to amend the existing legislation to provide for a period greater than three years: But this bill does not propose to do that. It has been introduced specifically to include in the list of crimes that can be punished by deportation that of having engaged in an industrial dispute. That provision is not only vicious, but it is unsound. It is a denial of that liberty which for many years has been regarded as the right of the working man. The proposed legislation strikes at the root of the principle of trial by jury in the courts of the country, which is the right of every citizen of this great Commonwealth. We have been told that this extraordinary legislation is necessary because of an emergency which has arisen. The emergency indicated by ministerial supporters is the danger of a great shipping strike, likely to involve thousands of workers, and do a~ great deal of injury to trade and commerce in Australia. This impending catastrophe has confronted us for many months. No one regrets it more than I and other honorable members on this side of the House, and no one will do more to avert disturbances of that description. The bill now before the House will not prevent this industrial crisis. On the contrary, it will aggravate it. This has been the experience with all legislation of this character in the history of Australia. At the conclusion of his speech, the Prime Minister stated that any laws to ensure industrial peace would be of no avail without the cooperation of the leaders on both sides. With that statement I heartily concur. Strongly as I believe in the principle of arbitration, I have never held that it will solve all our problems, and bring about industrial peace. A complete understanding between the disputants is essential, and, if arrived at, will be more effective than any legislation yet devised. One would have thought that the Prime Minister, having made that profession, would live lip to it; but, instead of doing so, he definitely slammed the door against the leaders of organized labour, who have been striving for the last two or three weeks to arrive at a basis for industrial peace. In Victoria we have a body known as the Industrial Disputes Committee of the Trades Hall Council. Every honorable member with an intimate knowledge of industrialism in this state will agree that that committee has done more to maintain industrial peace in Victoria than any other institution or organization. The committee consists of a body of honest, earnest men, who, without thought of reward, have given much of their time to the. settlement of industrial troubles. Occasionally they have failed, but in the majority of cases they have succeeded in smoothing over disputes and keeping the wheels of industry going: A few months ago, in Adelaide, representatives of the disputes committee met the delegates of other industrial organizations of Australia, and, as this trouble was looming in the distance they created a disputes committee for Australia on the lines of the Victorian committee, which has been doing such good work in this state for so many years. Subsequently members of the newly-formed organization waited upon the Prime Minister, and requested him to summon a round-table conference with the ship-owners. They gave a definite undertaking that they would do all they possibly could to discipline any union, or the individuals in any union, that threatened to disturb any agreement arrived at by that conference. A more reasonable proposition was never put before the head of any government in any part of the world by the representatives of organized labour. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister spurned their overtures, and slammed the door on all negotiation. It was obvious that his reply to the deputation had been prepared beforehand, and that he was not in the mood to listen to reason or argument.
– He handed his reply to the press before delivering it.
– I heard that statement made, and. I was amazed at it. As an excuse for his attitude the right honorable gentleman declared that the Government stood by the principle of arbitration, and that as ,the Seamen’s Union had been deregistered he would have nothing to do with it. Subsequently he stated publicly that as the seamen were outside the court the Government .would fight them to a finish. Does the Prime Minister know what a fight to a finish with the great industrial movement of this county means ? These honest men, who have been earnestly striving for some means to avert trouble, said, in effect, that the onus would be on the representatives of organized unionism in Australia to honour the compact to ensure peace. This is the first time that such an undertaking has been given by the representatives of organized labour for the whole of Australia. By his refusal io grant their request, the Prime Minister turned down the best opportunity ever presented to ensure industrial peace in Australia. Is it suggested that the Arbitration Court is sacrosanct? As a matter of fact, there is no reason why men should be “ beyond the pale “ simply because they are outside the jurisdiction of the court.
- Mr. Hughes recognizedthat.
– Everybody does. Several big unions in Australia have never registered with the Arbitration Court, and still they are able to carry on negotiations for the peaceful conduct of their work. Of course, the Prime Minister’s excuse that the seamen must be fought to a finish because they have been deregistered is merely a bogy. It is well known that political forces opposed to the Labour party have never been unanimous in their support of arbitration. The only party that has been solid for that principle for the last fifteen or twenty years is the Labour party. I have always favoured arbitration. I realize that disputes are bound to occur in this buying and selling of human labour, just as in the buying and selling of commodities, and I prefer to see them settledby constitutional means, instead of by the resort to strikes and lockouts. Some years ago, I lost my seat in this chamber for having voted to extend the principle of arbitration. The honorable member for Hume (Mr. Parker Moloney), and several other honorable membersof the Labour party representing country constituencies, because they dared to vote for the inclusion of rural workers, were hounded out of public life by the people who support honorable members now sitting on the Treasury bench. We are told that, because the Seamen’s Union is outside the Arbitration Court, there can be no negotiations with them. Do honorable members supporting the Government stand for the principle of arbitration? What is the position of the honorable member for Forrest (Mr. Prowse) ? Does the honorable member for Swan (Mr. Gregory) champion it? What did the honorable member for Franklin (Mr. Seabrook) say in this debate? According to him, the Arbitration Court is the greatest curse in Australia.
– Of course it is.
– The honorable member is at least frank about it. When he was asked, by way of interjection, whether he would ad vocate the lowering of wages if the Arbitration Court could be got rid of, he replied “Yes.” The cat has been let out of the bag! Although the Prime Minister refuses to negotiate with the representatives of organized labour, on the paltry excuse that the Seamen’s Union is outside the jurisdiction of the court, an honorable member sitting behind the Government says that this court is the greatest . curse in Australia. A point that has not been stressed is that, immediately after the representatives of the organized unions had been rebuffed, they sought an interview with the ship-owners. The latter, also, courteously but firmly, refused them a hearing.
– I thought that the owners did meet them.
– Not at that time. The ship-owners eventually agreed to meet the union representatives after the Commonwealth Shipping Board had agreed to include in the articles the working conditions awarded by the court. Prior to that, however, when the time was opportune to strike a blow for peace, the door was slammed in their faces. The Prime Minister did not even ask the accredited representatives of organized unionism in Australia what they wished to discuss with him, but simply replied, “No; the Seamen’s Union has sought deregistration.” That statement, although it has been repeatedly made, is false. The union did not seek deregistration, but, on the contrary, it fought against it, and spent thousands of pounds to prevent it.
– The honorable member will surely recognize that this bill does not deal merely with the procedure and complaints of one union.
– I do, but I propose to show that, although the House and the country have been informed that this bill is legislation intended to deal with a. pending emergency, the grounds advanced for it are not sound, because, when the representatives of organized labour sought to deal with the particular emergency in question, their representations were ignored. The union repelled the application for deregistration in the first instance, but it was attacked on a second occasion, and it “would not have been deregistered had it not been for the application made by the ship-owners, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Shipping Board. On what ground was the application made? It was said that the union refused to man the Eromanga and the Dilga. That offence, we are told, justified the Government in refusing to negotiate with the representatives of organized labour, and justifies the present bill. I point out, however, that a sort of guerilla warfare has been going on between the Seamen’s Union and the Commonwealth Shipping Line for some time. There may be faults on both sides, but the fault mainly lies on the side of those who began the fight, and in this case it was the Commonwealth Shipping Line, which chartered vessels not observing Australian conditions. Three of the four ships chartered in Great Britain had coloured crews. The Volumnia had a white crew, who, when they became aware of what had been done, lived up to the best traditions of British seamen, and declared that they would not be made tools of to the detriment of Australians.
– Order ! I cannot see the relationship between the procedure adopted by the Commonwealth Shipping Line and the Immigration Bill.
– I submit that my remarks have a very strong bearing on the measure, but I bow to your ruling. The Government’s entire justification for the bill is that it is emergency legislation. I hope that what the Prime Minister refused to do a fortnight ago he will now do, even at this belated hour. He has said that disputes of this character may be settled if the leaders on both sides are willing to come together. I have pointed out ‘that the leaders of trade unionism have shown more than a desire to bring about industrial peace. The onus, therefore, is on the Government and their supporters outside to assist in bringing about a peaceful settlement of the present trouble. Had I been permitted to proceed with my argument, I should have shown that this bill, which is drastic and abrogates all the principles of British justice - -denying the protection of the courts of the land to industrial leaders, although it gives the benefit of the doubt to the vilest criminals - is not designed, as is claimed, to meet an emergency. Nor has it been introduced be cause of fear of any communistic bogy, one of many ghosts that the Labour party- has had to lay during the 25 years of its existence. Some twenty years ago it was alleged that the Labour party wasout to smash the marriage tie; Bolshevism, and communism had not been thought of at that time. The ridiculous assertion wasmade that infants were to be nationalized and taken from their weeping mothers tobe placed in a compound. Just as our opponents have continually changed the name of their party, so have they altered the bogies with which they have tried tofrighten the people. No ; this is not anemergency measure, and it has not beenintroduced for fear of the communist bogy. It is intended as a display of strength. The party opposite wishes toshow. that it has a strong Government, and that there is a Mussolini in Australia-, prepared to do things that no other PrimeMinister has been ready to do. I maintain, however, that the Government,, instead of making a display of strength,, has furnished an exhibition of weakness.. Big interests outside which honorable members opposite represent have issued the word of command, and the political! servants inside have rushed to obey. The divided ranks of the Government have been consolidated on this matter. Pacts and pools have been forgotten. The. tariff has been thrown overboard. Everything has been thrust aside to make a big political push against the ranks of organized labour. This is harsh legislation. Deportationmeans transportation, for life. In thecruel old days in the Old World, transportation for life was regarded asan alternative to hanging. Yet this is the punishment to be meted out under this bill to men who dare” to take part in an industrial dispute in this country. Honorable members opposite have said that it does not matterwhether a man dealt with under this bill1, has been here three years or 30 years-.. How little do honorable members think of the rights of citizenship when they speak like that. Men who have been herefor 30 or 40 years have been the pioneers! of Australia, and have blazed the track.. They have laid the foundations of this? country. They have long enjoyed citizen rights. They are citizens of the Commonwealth, and they are entitled to equal treatment under the law with any Australianborn citizen. It is because of their years of citizenship, because they have established their homes in this land, and because their family interests are rooted deep in its soil, that we protest against such persons being willy-nilly shanghaied out of the country which we love to speak of as a land of freedom. The honorable member for Henty (Mr. F. Francis) says that we should preserve law and order. I agree with that. I stand for the preservation of law and order. The party to which I belong stands for constitutional action. We want a change in the existing system, but we want that change made by constitutional methods. I say to the- Government, and honorable members who stand behind them, that if they wish to preserve law and order they must preserve respect for the law by making it just, and not harsh. Harsh and unjust measures always destroy respect for the law. This measure is harsh and unjust, and will destroy respect for the law. Oppression may make slaves of some, but it unquestionably makes rebels of many others. This measure will make rebels of men who have been good citizens. Honorable members on this side are not opposing the bill because of fear of its political consequences. If, as a political party, we were selfish, we should welcome this measure. Its passage will strengthen this party politically. But we are against it because it is unsound in principle, because it must be harsh in its operation, and because it will punish individuals for industrial offences, if their actions can be so described, by deportation from the land in which they have lived for many years. This bill will stir the trade unionism of this country into action. It will wake up the apathetic, and galvanize them into life. It will do no harm to the Labour party. Though individual unionists may to-day be condemned by their fellows, differences of opinion will be forgotten, unionists will be more determined than ever to fight for better conditions, and trade unionism will grow stronger, because of legislation like this. The history of the world shows that oppressive laws have never solved these problems. This bill will not reform anything. Under it a few may be punished, but it will provide no remedy for any existing evil. The only advantage of a permanent character that, in my opinion, is likely to arise from it is that it may be used as a relic to be shown to future generations as another example of the coercive laws which governments have introduced to keep the workers in subjection. Looking back upon the age-long struggle in which leaders of the working class have fought for economic and political freedom, it will be seen that when they encountered obstacles such as this, they surmounted them, and went on their way. In Ballarat there is an Old Curiosity Shop, and hanging on a wall of the building is a “miner’s right” that was issued in the fifties of last century. It is there as a relic and an example of what a harsh and despotic government can do. In the Art Gallery of the golden city there is preserved and treasured an old flag - the flag the revolting diggers hoisted at the Eureka Stockade. I say to the Government and to those who sit behind them to-day that they should ponder well the lesson to be learned from that old miner’s right and the old tattered flag of Eureka.
.- This bill is one of the most important measures discussed in this Parliament since the passing of the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901. It rightly gives the Government power to regulate the immigration of people of foreign nations, and it also gives a very definite power to deport aliens when the necessity for their deportation arises. So far the measure has been discussed under three headings : immigration, deportation, and industry. It has been stated that under the existing law the Government has ample power to deal with immigration. If that is so, honorable members opposite can have no great grievance against the bill iti that respect. But the provisions of the existing law dealing with immigration are not fair either to the immigrants or the Government. They give the Government power to apply the education test on the arrival of an immigrant. In fact, we say to the people of other countries, ‘ You are all welcome ; come along to Australia “ ; but when they arrive the Government, carrying out the provisions of the existing act, can apply the education test in any prescribed language, and may use the test as a definite bar to the admission of any person. But under the bill now before the House immigration is dealt with and regulated in such a way as to be perfectly fair. I am pleased that the Opposition has not discovered any serious ground of objection on which to challenge the provisions of this measure dealing with immigration.
So far as the deportation clauses of the hill are concerned, I may say that under the existing act persons may be deported under certain conditions, but not if they have been in Australia for three years or over. Under the existing law the average undesirable with the cunningness and shrewdness which characterize such people could lie low for three years after his arrival in the Commonwealth, and then begin to sow the seeds of discontent and become a menace to good government. His presence in the . Commonwealth might be very undesirable, but the Government would have then no power under the existing law to deport him. Under this bill the Government would have power by proclamation to deport for all time any immigrant alien or undesirable. I commend the Government for the ample provision made in the measure it has introduced to deal with this very important matter. No government could continue to exist if it exceeded its duty in the application of the deportation clauses of this bill. They are, in my opinion, absolutely necessary to maintain the good government of this country, and they are to be used only in the event of the necessity arising. Whilst honorable members opposite are entitled to their own opinion, others differ from them with regard to the power of deportation. I find that the Aliens Restriction Act of 1914 of the United Kingdom provides in section. 1 that -
His Majesty may at any time when a state of war exists between His Majesty and any foreign power, or when it appears that a case of imminent national danger or great emergency has arisen, make provision by Order in Council for the deportation of aliens from the United Kingdom.
That is a more drastic provision than the clauses of this bill, to which so much exception has been taken. In Canada, legislation more drastic than that ‘now under consideration has been carried. In that dominion persons proposed to be deported are dealt with by a board, as proposed in this bill. We all know what happened in South Africa quite recently. and there the power to deport is left absolutely and entirely in the hands of the Government. In New Zealand, under the Undesirable Immigrants Exclusion Act of 1919, the Attorney-General is authorized, if so* directed by the Governor-General in Council, to order the deportation of any person from New Zealand. Persons ordered to leave New Zealand may be arrested and detained pending deportation, and provision is made for the payment of such expenses in connexion with the deportation as the Attorney-General considers reasonable. There, it will be seen, the power of deportation is entirely in the hands of the Government, and there is no reference, as under this bill, to a board. In the United States of America, under the act of 1924 - it is to be found in the Federal Statutes Annotated Supplement, at page 46 - provides that any alien who at any time after entering theUnited States of America is found tohave been at the time of entry not entitled to enter, may be deported. In view of the fact that provision for the deportation of undesirable persons is made by the leading nations, of the world, I cannot understand the opposition of the Labour party to the provisions of this bill, which, in my opinion, are absolutely imperative. The deportation provisions of the bill may not be used, but still they are necessary, because they can be used in an emergency. Many laws on the statutebook would prove most unpopular, and, indeed, most unfair in their incidence if they were applied to the fullest extent.. If persons were constantly being arrested for most trivial offences, how long would such a condition of affairs be tolerated? Yet the policeman has unlimited powers of arrest. He does not exercise them to the fullest extent, nor will the Government exercise to the ‘ fullest extent thepowers given by this bill.
The position of Australia to-day is very much the same as that of America a hundred years ago. The people of America have bought their experience dearly, and we are profiting by it by taking immediate steps to maintain our racial purity and avoid all possibility of having undesirable immigration. America has now partly closed its doors against immigrants, and I fully believe that many of that country’s leading statesmen regret that such action was not taken long ago. Other nations are also closing their doors against people whom- they do not desire. The power of deportation may not have been needed in the past, but at the present time it is absolutely necessary, because it is probable that within the next 30 or 40 years, or even within a shorter period, Australia will have a great inflow of immigrants.
The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) says that, providing there is no unemployment in the Commonwealth, and providing that every person who conies here is provided with employment, he is quite prepared to assist immigration to the fullest extent. But it is within the memory of the oldest honorable member that there have always been unemployed in Australia, and if we adopt the policy advocated by the leader of the Opposition, I am afraid we shall have no immigration at all; because we shall always have unemployed in our midst. It is much more pleasing to me to contrast the views of another prominent Labour leader with the attitude of the Leader of the Opposition. While all honorable members appreciate the sincerity of that honorable member, we equally appreciate that of his brother Labour man whom I am about to quote. The
Age. of the 9th July last contained the following paragraph : -
The Premier, Mr. Collier, was accorded a public reception in Perth on Wednesday, and a state luncheon later. Notable features of the Premier’s utterances were his emphatic declaration in favour of well-directed migration, the possibilities of trade within the Empire, and the conservative tone adopted towards a borrowing policy. He did not think any large increase of population would increase unemployment.
Mr. Collier’s opinion is vastly different from that of the Leader of the Opposition, and should provide ample thought for all exCept those who are prejudiced and have made up their minds not to be convinced. It strengthens my opinion that we should have the fullest freedom to introduce immigrants in order to fill our waste -spaces. I wish also to contrast the opinion of the honorable member for Darling (Mr. Blakeley) with that of a, brother Labour mau, Mr. Theodore, ex-Premier of Queensland. The honorable member said, in effect, that if he had his way not another Italian would enter Australia. With all due respect to the honorable member, for whom every one has the highest respect, I think Mr. Theodore has an equal amount of intelligence. He has been living in that part of Australia where Italians are working, and he has been closely associated with them as settlers. According to the Brisbane Daily Mail of the 4th July, Mr.
Theodore, speaking at Cairns, dealt with the influx of foreigners, and said - that the Italian question was an important one which came within the realm of federal politics, because it was the Commonwealth Government which controlled migration. They fully agreed that in Australia an increase of population was imperative, and they could not hope to develop effectively, or hold this vast continent, willi a mere handful of 6,000,000 people. It would be a constant menace to the White Australia policy if they continued to occupy the country so sparsely…..
Britishers were certainly welcome, and for years past there had been a very liberal system of assisted passages, but unhappily the stream of Britishers under this system had been remarkably small, while that of Italians had been large. It was no good having racial prejudice on matters of this kind. Referring to the aggregation of foreigners in small centres, he said that in the Burnett they had some of the best land in Queensland or in Australia, amounting to 3,000,000 acres.
Here is a very significant statement by Mr. Theodore-
The first 14,000 blocks were opened in 1923. and the first 400 blocks had not yet been settled. … If the Italian went there, it would be a means of solving the problem.
Either the honorable member for Darling or Mr. Theodore is wrong. I am inclined to think that Mr. Theodore, in the way he has handled this very important question, is a great deal nearer the truth than the honorable member for Darling.
Unemployment has been touched on very frequently. As I understand the position, the unemployment which exists in Australia to-day is the result of high wages, shorter hours of work, and the unlimited opportunity for recreation the cities provide. In Australia half the population is to be found in the cities, and there is an increasing flow to them of the young sons and daughters of our farmers, who are so urgently needed in our effort to open up the country. They flock to the cities because the conditions of city life are so much superior to those of country, life. I know the reason for it. We have a Customs tariff that allows the manufacturer a market largely to himself. We have- wages boards and arbitration courts that fix wages in accordance with the cost of living. I do not contend that there is room for any reduction of wages until the price of commodities is reduced. As a matter of fact, high as the existing wage may appear, the wage-earner is compelled to live a hand-to-mouth existence. But we can pay high wages so long as we have efficiency. I am certain that there are some manufacturers in the Commonwealth who are fleecing the community, and that profiteering is as rampant in our midst to-day as it has ever been in the history of federation. And it is not all onesided, owing to the inefficiency on the part of workers. While workers in the factories are giving as little service as they possibly can, and while manufacturers are charging as much as they can, the rest of the community is bound to suffer. It is a problem that needs to be tackled in a non-party way by both sides of the House. I say without fear of successful contradiction that there is sufficient employment in the country for thousands of men, but not at the rates of wages paid in the city factories. The primary producer has to’ compete in the world’s market with the employers of sweated labour in other countries.
– The honorable member will surely find it difficult to connect his remarks with the bill.
– I am trying to connect my remarks with the provisions for restricting alien immigration. Under reasonable conditions there is room in this country for many more people, and I am endeavouring to show that the secondary industries in the cities receive preferential treatment.
– I am afraid that the honorable member cannot proceed on those lines in debating this bill.
– The only objection I have to the bill is that it is not half severe enough. I would give the Government power to deal with those persons whom the community feels are undesirables; it should get rid of them at the earliest possible moment.
An Honorable Member. - Hear, hear !
– I tell the honorable member who says “ hear, hear “ that, but for the pressure applied by the trade unions of this country, members of the Labour party would not be so uncompromising in their opposition to this bill.
– Do not talk nonsense.
– Let me give the honorable member some evidence of the pressure exerted upon members of Parliament by the Trades Hall in this state: -
On the motion of Messrs. H. C. Gibson and J. Fryer, the following resolution was passed by the Melbourne Trades Hall Council last night concerning the attitude towardsthe bill of a member in another place : -
That in the opinion of this council any legislator returned as a Labour member who supports or votes for the deportation clauses of the Immigration Bill now before Parliament is unworthy of being a member of the Labour party, and should be expelled.
Does any honorable member say “hear, hear “ to that?
Mr.Mathews. - Hear, hear !
– I am satisfied that most of the members of the honorable member’s party, if they were not subject to outside pressure, would endorse my view of the deportation clauses of the bill. I hope the bill will have a speedy passage, andthat amendments moved in committee will not make the deportation clauses of it less stringent. I support the second reading with pleasure, and shall vote for any amendments that will improve the bill.
– This bill has greater potentialities than any other bill I have seen. There is in its provisions power to destroy the goodwill existing between different classes of the community. I had the misfortune to witness in this chamber many years ago the forcing through by the State Government of a bill to deal with the great maritimestrike. The government that introduced that iniquitous measure was shortly afterwards expelled from office. It was the landboom in 1889 that led up to the maritime strike. Mr.H. M. Hyndman, in his book, Commercial Crises of the Nineteenth Century, shows that boom periods recur periodically, and, according to his theory, another boom in Australia is about due. During the maritime strike to which I have referred, the sailors, in loyal comradeship with the engineers, ceased work, and I shall never forget the misery and wretchedness that resulted. Two hundred of my friends lost their homes in the crash that followed the bursting of the land boom, and are now scattered throughout Australia. West Melbourne and North Melbourne then lost some of the finest workers those districts ever had. Financial institution after financial institution closed its doors. Men with deposits of £10,000 could not draw more than £200 or £300, and that only as a favour. Misery was general.
Landlords did not receive rent, but paid their tenants to remain in their houses. The Government to-day is standing, like Moses on Mount Pisgah, looking at the Promised Land. I believe that every honorable member wants to see Australia, our promised land, setting an example to the rest of the world in advanced legislation. The money power of the world has now more influence than ever it had before, and kings and ‘aristocracies have lost much of the power they once held. No king to-day, except, perhaps, an Eastern potentate, would dare to declare war without consulting his subjects. That is one benefit the world derived from the great war. I have never advocated a war or a strike, because behind every soldier. as behind every striker, I see the woman and the child, and I know how much they suffer. During the great maritime strike three loads of sheep’s heads were sent into Melbourne and carried free to the Trades Hall. They were made into soup, and any mother who wanted one could take it away with her. Auctioneers dared not sell distrained goods in Melbourne. A man who was as good as ever breathed the breath of life held under control every auctioneer in Melbourne who tried to sell goods seized under warrants of distress. When rent had not been paid for one week, a technicality of the law was invoked and the tenants’ goods were seized. All that was, however, eventually stopped. The memories of those times are terrible, but although many of the fathers and mothers who lived then have passed away, their children remember what they suffered. Under this bill we are dealing not with a state, but with a continent, and when it was introduced I could not help saying to the honorable member on my left, ‘ Shades of Gladstone ! What are we coming to ?” I have no time for Walsh and Johannsen, who have repudiated the Labour party. Just as the Labour party has no time for them, so they have no time for us. If the Parliament passes this bill there is no certainty how far it will reach. After the maritime’ strike, which was the most terrible in my experience, Victoria had a railway strike. It was caused by the then Premier, Mr., now Sir William, Irvine. On a certain night, in the hope that the parties would come together, I spoke in the House for five and a half hours. The workers suffered great misery, and suffered it unjustly. I met a number of them in South Africa recently. I am grateful to that dominion for providing a home for 4,000 or 5,000 deserving Australians who were driven seeking work out of this country. Honorable members from Western Australia know that refugees from Victoria went to that state in thousands. One day I stood in St. George’s-terrace for half an hour, and 35 Melbourne men came up and spoke to me. The men who had been forced to strike offered to accept a county court or supreme court judge as an arbitrator, but the strong man of the time, the so-called “ Iceberg,” crushed them. Two bills were brought down. 1 compared one of them, paragraph by paragraph, with the terrible bill passed by the British Parliament after the assassination of Lord Cavendish and Mr. Burke, and introduced on the night when the mortal remains of those men were buried. Does any one doubt that the British Parliament was severe? But it was not so severe a3 the Victorian Parliament at the time of which I speak. If honorable members doubt what I say, let them read in Hansard the severe indictment of Sir William Irvine by the Leader of the Opposition when he left the Victorian Parliament. For an offence for which Gladstone’s Coercion Act imposed a sentence of three months, the Victorian Parliament imposed a sentence of twelve months. If a few people stood together in the street they were liable to be arrested, and any one who assisted the women and children could be imprisoned. 1 told Parliament that, law or no law, I would help the women and children. By the second act, every public servant was robbed of the right to vote in the district in which he resided, because the Government knew that the public servants were opposed to it. Members of the Victorian Parliament agreed unanimously, in the Council and Assembly alike, to expunge that act from the Victorian statute-book. In this connexion let me recall the incident when Mr. Lloyd George - who was not then Prime Minister of Great Britain, although a Minister, and who was then more truthful than he is to-day - unveiled a monument at Tolpuddle, in Dorsetshire, to the memory of three men who were imprisoned for seven, five, and three years respectively because they asked that their working week should be reduced to 70 hours and their weekly wages increased from l1s. to 13s. The conditions in Great Britain were deplorable, and in Australia they have been such that we are glad to forget them. Mr. Harrison Ord, one of the finest men who ever controlled a” Government department, and who, unfortunately, died too early in nis career, was largely responsible for our present factories legislation and the improved conditions under which our people are working. In England even little children were employed in factories, and it was often necessary to thrash them to keep them awake. In Australia girls were employed at 2s. 6d. a week, and the records in the archives of our library bearing on Victorian factory legislation disclose the attitude adopted by Sir Alexander Peacock in giving effect to reforms which were advocated by men like the late Rev. Edgar, of Wesley Church, Mr. Samuel Mauger, the late Senator Barker, Mr. Sincock, Mrs. Muir, and myself. In connexion with an inquiry held into the conditions under which women and children were employed in Australian clothing industries, Mr. Harrison Ord stated that the employers - the “ kind “ employers to use his own words - paid girls 2s. 6d. on Saturday morning, an amount which they were compelled to return on the following Monday, as it was said that they wereb eing taught a trade. But owing to the activities of Mr. Ord and Miss Cuthbertson - one of God’s good women - who was then an inspector, and who, until recently, occupied a responsible position in the Myer Emporium, it was found that these girls were not being taught a trade, and that the wages paid were from 8s. 7d. to 10s. 9d. per week.
– I find it difficult to see how this can have a direct bearing on the Immigration Bill.
– I am showing that, owing to organization, the industrial conditions to-day are infinitely better than they were during the period which I have mentioned. Under a recent agreement between employers and employees in South Africa, men and women, whether white or coloured, must be paid the same rate. Will the Australian shipping companies tell their employees what their wages and conditions will be, and what hours they will be expected to work ? As wealthy shipping companies have paid me1s. a month for medical work done for them on board ship -1s. a month for looking after migrants who were being taken to Western Australia - can any one blame seamen who are forced to protect themselves for any action they may take to do so? Medical officers on Australian coastal vessels are paid £25 a month, but those serving on overseas vessels are paid only £15 a month,but many doctors give their services for as little as 1s. a month, simply because the medical profession is not sufficiently organized. Why should the shipping companies object to insert in the agreement with their men a provision setting out the conditions under which they are towork? Such quibbles and pinpricks lead only to industrial unrest, such as occurred during the maritime strike. I had to wait until 1903 to see one of the strongest opponents of the claims of maritime workers deprived of the right to sit in this Parliament. I bear him now no ill will, but I shall never forget the actions of two scoundrels who acted as his secretaries. Would any employer working under the Factories Act dare to do what the big shipping companies are attempting? They are out to destroy our Commonwealth shipping service, and so force our produce to be carried in vessels under their control. There are vague rumours - I hope there is not a scintilla of truth in them - that even the heads of the Commonwealth Government line are not above suspicion. and that they are acting in the interests of the Shipping Combine. I refer honorable members to the opinion expressed by the right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. Hughes), who,. I consider, put the position very clearly. I have no respect for men such as Mr. Walsh, who repudiates and disregards the policy of the party I represent. I cannot forget his wife and little children, who have a right to some protection. I shall closely watch how the votes of honorable members are recorded on the second reading of this bill, and I think I shall be safe in saying that a majority of those who support its passage will lose their seats at the next election. On the 1st December last, a scale of wages was introduced in South Africa which it is hoped will be the means of preventing strikes and industrial disorder. From the date mentioned the highest wage paid in the building trade was 2s. 9d. per hour, but in most districts it has since been increased to 3s. 4d. per hour. A genuine endeavour has been made to dispense with overtime, as it is recognized that it interferes with continuity of employment, which is essential to the welfare of the people. In connexion with the building trade in South Africa, it has been provided that -
Any person who is guilty of an offence under this act for which no penalty is expressly provided shall be liable to a fine of not exceeding £500, or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both fine and imprisonment.
An Australian millionaire, named McKay, is endeavouring to introduce women into the moulding shops of the establishment under his control. Will he pay them men’s wages?
– They are already there.
– One only needs to inspect the works to see the arduous nature of the employment, and to realize that 25s. per week is totally inadequate pay for it. Honorable members would do well to study the South African system, as it would do more to prevent strikes than legislation such as that which is now proposed. One is tempted to ask whether the money kings of the world are ruling Australia. As an old banker, I know that nothing will tend to create depression, or destroy credit, so much as unemployment. The raising of the rate of interest, making it difficult for bankers to advance money, has a similar effect. God knows that I do not want to see a big maritime strike in Australia. I remember the great upheaval that took place some years a.go, and I do not want to undergo a similar experience again. The ship-owners probably believe that, because of the great number of unemployed, they will be able to fill the places of the men who refuse to work; but I would remind them that the bonds that unite the workers are to-day more strongly welded than ever before. I have heard many election cries which came to nought, after the people had expressed their will at the poll. Have honorable members forgotten the Kyabram movement? Individually, Ministers may be estimable gentlemen, but as a body comprising the Cabinet of this country, I tell them that if they bring about this crisis, their names will go down to posterity as those of men who were utterly unworthy of their high office. Instead of introducing a bill which has as its object the deportation of a few men, why does the Government not tell the ship-owners to place in black and white in the men’s articles the conditions, wages, and hours of work that will apply to them?
– And the freights that they will charge.
– Will any honorable member contend that men should be engaged for work and not told the conditions pertaining to their employment? If honorable members could see what I have seen, not one of them would vote for this measure. Just as the common sense of the people of Victoria resulted in the repeal of the acts introduced into the Victorian Parliament by Sir William Irvine, so will it seal the fate of this Government if it persists with this measure. Ministers resemble the ancient Roman gladiators, who in the arena cried, “Hail Caesar: we who are about to die salute you.” The Government is in a similar position : it is about to die. I protest against this legislation; if it becomes law, I shall not consider myself bound by it until it has the approval of the people. There should be a referendum of the people on such an important matter; whatever the people decided, I should be prepared to accept. In this connexion, I desire to refer to a resolution of the Labour party of England, that -
No treaty or convention of any kind shall be binding on this country, or will be recognized as such by any future Labour Government, until it has been confirmed by Parliament.
I feel disposed to move, when the bill reaches the committee stage, the addition of the following words to clause 7 : - .
Notwithstanding anything contained in this act, or any other act, it shall be mandatory that when any profiteer, whether an individual or a company, has been proved to have made 100 per cent. profit on any food, drink, clothing or rent, he or they shall be deported; in any case in which any money-lender or financial institution has been proved to have charged as much as or more than 25 per cent. during any current year, he or they shall he deported.
– Will the honorable member apply that principle to doctors?
– I am a believer in the nationalization of the medical and legal professions. Who supports the profiteers. Honorable members on this side certainly do not. If we had the power, we would control every one of them. That profiteers and money-lenders are supported by honorable members on the other side was evidenced by the raising of the rate of interest by the Commonwealth Bank authorities without any protest from them. In his useful work, Commercial Crises of the Nineteenth Century, Mr. H. M. Hyndman, when dealing with the Baring crisis in England, said -
Not a single bondholder or shareholder was represented on this great committee, of which Lord Rothschild was the chairman, and the whole affair was arranged to the ruin of the investors so as to suit the pockets of those who sat with him round the table.
Mr. Hyndman refers to the Rothschilds, who took this opportunity to crush their rivals, the firm of Baring Brothers. If the Government persists in its present attitude, we shall have in Australia a crisis similar to that experienced in England in 1890. Honorable members must remember that in this dispute a whole continent is involved. I ask them, therefore, to pause before they record their vote for the bill. If men break the laws of the country, they should be punished, but not deported.
– The Government has adopted a policy of cowardice.
– As surely as the Government says,in effect tothose whom it wishes to deport, “ As we cannot allow you to remain in this country and punish you sufficiently, out you go,” so will the people of this continent, through the ballot-box, say to those now on the Treasury bench, “ Out you go.”
.- It is not my intention to say much about the first clauses of this bill, as their purpose is to provide Australia with a better class of immigrant.
– I draw attention to the state of the House.
– Legislation which will ensure a better class of immigrant is greatly to be desired. Honorable members know that among those who have migrated to Australia are many undesirables; anything that will bring about a better state of affairs in that connexion is to be commended. Honorable members of the Labour party have advocated the introduction of the quota system. I point out, however, that, while that system has its advantages, it also has many disadvantages. Once we arrange for. quotas, it will be difficult to alter them, and to prevent persons to the number fixed upon from entering Australia. While there are some people whom wo do not want in Australia at all, it is very difficult for us to say that we shall allow some to come here, and keep out others. We are not in a position to do that. If we can so arrange matters that we shall not be compelled to admit as citizens of this country people from some of the European states, we shall do wellto adopt that course. It is unwise for us to say anything derogatory about any nation, or its people, as such statements may cause much harm. We can take the stand that, if people do not conform to our standards, we shall not permit them to enter Australia; and we can do that while showing the best of feelings towards them. When I was a boy I worked for a man and lived in his house as a member of his family. I always thought that the mother of that family was the embodiment of common sense and common honesty - and when one says that of a person he says all that is necessary. On one thing she insisted, and that was that no one in her house should say anything derogatory of any one else. On one occasion, when her lad was playing with another boy, a dispute arose, and hot words were exchanged. The lad retailed the incident to his mother, who reminded him that he must not speak ill of his playfellow, who was God’s child just as he was. Then, the motherly instinct asserting itself, she said, “ But you must not play with him.” That is how it is with us as a people. We do not wish to say anything against the people of certain other countries. Indeed, we may regard them with the best of good feeling, but we do not want them in Australia; we do not want to play withthem. They may be quite as good as, and perhaps better than, we are in many ways, but since we cannot assimilate them in our population we do not want them in this country. It has been said that, because of our unemployment difficulties, we cannot absorb many immigrants. I do not think there is amore distressing spectre in the world than unemployment, especially when nien are willing to work but unable to find it. It would be extraordinary if a country like Australia, with an area of 3,000,000 square miles and a population of less than 6,000,000, could not absorb more people. This big country should produce millions of pounds’ worth of those commodities for which the world is hungering. To suggest that we cannot absorb many more millions of people is an admission of bankruptcy in statesmanship and co-operation. I have in my hand a pamphlet compiled by one of the ablest citizens of my state. The writer is one of our biggest and most successful farmers, besides having important financial interests in other directions. In this pamphlet he is asking the State Government to construct a railway to serve an area of 30,000 square miles of country, which he regards as some of the finest wheat-growing land in Australia. This man, who knows what he is talking about, declares that there is that vast area in one corner of Western Australia awaiting development. And. yet some people say that we cannot find employment for the comparatively few people in Australia and those who may wish to come to this country ! There is one class of migrant whose admission we cannot afford to limit by any quota; I refer to the Australian baby. The conditions in this country should be such as to encourage more births. Unhappily, the birth rate in the Commonwealth is- not onehalf of what it should be. Many reasons are advanced for this unfortunate condition of affairs. Perhaps the chief reason is that a great number of people think that they cannot afford to have larger families. There may be some truth in that. Imagine bread at ls. a loaf, and meat at ls. a lb., in a country that grows the finest wheat and meat in the world ! House rents are so high, and the necessaries of life cost so much, that it is almost impossible for men to rear larger families. Consequently, families are not coming along as they should. We want more young Australians.
Many reasons have been advanced in support of, and against, the deportation clauses of the bill. Some people say it is necessary to give the ‘Government this authority because of the industrial unrest that exists in the community. Many honorable members opposite have declared that the provisions are aimed exclusively at certain leaders of the Labour movement. I hope they are not. If I thought there were, I would not support the bill. I hope, also, that in its administration the Government will be absolutely fair and just. Others saythat the present industrial unrest has been brought about by the unfair tactics of the capitalists. There may be something in that. I do not say it is altogether untrue. There is not the slightest doubt that there is a great deal of industrial unrest and discord in Australia, and that anything may happen. I do not believe, however, that the position is as bad as some people suggest. I believe the good sense of the people will prevent an irretrievable disaster. Yet we cannot get away from the fact that, as a people, we are not working as unitedly as we should for the progress of Australia. It seems to me that we are all migrants in one great ship, sailing westward. It is a pity that we cannot agree better, and that there should be so much quarrelling as to who shall pilot the ship. For some time this national craft has been tossing about on troubled waters, and many of the passengers or migrants are wondering whether the right course has been set. Meantime there is much pitching and tossing, due, in some measure, to many of the passengers and crew trying to get hold of the helm. Not a few of the passengers are so seasick that to them it is a matter of no concern whether the ship goes on the rocks. Some people think that there will have to be a great deal of manoeuvring to get the vessel back on her course again. They fear that, unless the greatest care is exercised, she may strike an uncharted rock. In other words, they fear that, unless tilings are soon set right, we may experience all the horrors of internecine strife, That is the danger we should, if possible, avoid. These seasick passengers mustarouse themselves from their lethargy and demand that the vessel be navigated on a definite course. To do this it may be necessary to throw all pilots and would-be pilots overboard. If this is done, a lot of good brains may be lost to the service of the country. Now let me come ashore again. -I heard the Prime Minister say, not once, but several times, during his second-reading speech, that much of the trouble and unrest in Australia could be traced to the extremists on both sides. I think we may all agree with that statement. On some occasions, truth and wisdom fairly exude from the right honorable gentleman. 1 remember the same statement being put by an old lady in language quite as eloquent, if not so elegant. She said, “ We have some very dangerous elephants - meaning elements - in our midst to-day. We have these bolshewitches and arrocracks - she referred to the extremists among the wealthier people. These two classes are like cannisters - that is, cancers - eating into the fair face of our social system. We shall never have peace until we have civilized war.” There was more than a modicum of truth in the old lady’s statement. These two elements are causing a great deal of trouble in every democratic community. There are capitalists and capitalists. I suppose some people would call me a capitalist, although every penny I have is at work, so I am only a capitalist nominally. During and subsequent to the war it was part of my duty to try to rectify the grievances or troubles of soldiers or their relatives. Many incidents that then came under my notice fairly staggered me. In my commercial experience, extending over 30 years, I have been compelled at times, owing to the exigency of circumstances, to do things of which I did not approve, but during the time of which I speak, I came to a knowledge of things which I did not believe any human being could dp. I found that there were a few men who accumulated wealth and used it for the sole purpose of making other people miserable.
– I remind the honorable member that he is not discussing the bill.
– I believe that. in my own state I could count these persons on my fingers. We have also in our midst those who pretend that they are anxious to promote the welfare of the people, but are in’ reality enemies of the com munity. I agree with the Prime Minister that the two extreme elements are the cause of most of the industrial trouble, and it seems to me that a repressive measure such as this bill is necessary to deal with them. One of those elements may be described as a ghoul and the other as a vampire. Deportation is not too bad for them. To use a simple illustration, let us liken the community to a family. Suppose that a man living under my roof set out to make trouble. No matter how deep may be the affection between husband and wife, differences of opinion arise in a home just as in a community, and they can easily be magnified until they become important enough to cause disruption of the family. K a man living under my roof caused an estrangement between my wife and me, should I not be justified in ejecting him? Undoubtedly I should. But honorable members opposite, by their argument, say, “If he has done anything wrong why not take him to law.” Let me remind them that although such a man may not have violated the sacred chastity of the home, or stolen my goods, he may have destroyed something, more valuable than the wealth of Croesus, and may have taken from me that without which life would not be worth living. Honorable members opposite contend that if men were deported the community would object. If in the case I am putting the man were turned out, and my family had no more faith in me than to plead to have him. brought back, it would be because I was no longer fit to be the head of the household, or because I was wrong and he was right. But should an interloper be allowed to return and complete the mischief he had commenced ?, My contention is that all nuisances, whether on the side of commerce and finance or in the ranks of industrialism, should be eliminated, and there should be power to deport them. I have.no desire that the bill should be applicable only to a particular section of the community, nor do I wish it to be made retrospective. As in the case of a family, it is not desirable to turn out a son or daughter. The best method is to attempt reformation. But there is no reason why an interloper, bent on the disruption of society, should not be deported if he offends after the passage of this measure.
– Then the honorable member does not believe iri trial by jury ?
– I maintain that if a person seeks deliberately to create industrial discord and make community life impossible, he should be deported at once and no humbug about it.
– Without a trial?
– I have tried to show that in many cases it is impossible to bring a person within the pale of the law, even though he commit a wrong more serious than the breaking of any law of the land. But I suggest that after the board had decided in favour of deportation it should be necessary for the decision to be confirmed by two judges. The board might possibly be biased, but I do not think that any government would be mean enough to appoint such a body to suit its own ends.
I have a keen recollection of the terrible results of industrial upheavals. I particularly remember one disturbance that began as a strike, and ended as a lockout. It extended over a long period, and soon afterwards there was an epidemic of influenza. As one who was associated with the efforts to quell the outbreak I had the misery attendant upon the industrial trouble vividly brought home to me. Some people tell us that the workers would have made no progress had it not been for the weapon of the strike, and the employers, on the other hand, contend that they should have the power to shut down their works. There may be something to be said on both sides, but there is no doubt as to the misery suffered by the employees. In one home I saw the father of four little children, one a baby in arms, lying dead on a bed improvised from bacon boxes and bags. I saw the poor wife standing broken-hearted and almost stupefied. When I asked her if she had any food in the house, she replied, “ Nothing except a bit of bread.” In answer to further questions she explained that she did not like to make her plight known. She told me that her husband had been a good man, and that they had both been prepared to sacrifice everything for an ideal. She said that she had been trying to keep her home together by doing charing, but since her husband had been sick her plight had been terrible. During the previous six months she had sold all the furniture in the house in order to provide food. All that was due to an industrial upheaval. Surely in this twentieth century a better remedy can be found than was tried in that instance ? Many years ago at Daylesford I was associated with a strike, and also with a lockout, and it was claimed then that soon there would be ho necessity for further strikes, and no more misery for anybody. Forty-four years later I witnessed the scene that I have just described.
– The honorable member has, no doubt, had a wide experience, but I point out that his remarks do not bear directly on the bill.
– I claim that any outsider coming to Australia for the purpose of bringing about a state of affairs such as I have described should be deported.
– But not a man who has lived here for 40 years, and is British born?
– I have already intimated that I consider that the bill should apply only from the date of its enactment.
– Would the honorable member apply it to British subjects ?
– I would apply it to any man who deliberately caused industrial or social trouble. With the reservations I have indicated I shall support the second reading, hoping that, in the committee stage, amendments along the lines I have suggested will be incorporated. If injustice should be inflicted upon anybody as a result of the bill, I trust to the sense of fair play inherent in the people of Australia and I am sure that they will insist on the punishment of the culprit, and the making of reparation, if possible, for any act of wrong.
Mr.PARKER MOLONEY (Hume) [5.55]. - The honorable member who has just resumed his seat was most interesting when he assumed the ro1e of a prophet. He likened the Commonwealth to a ship in distress rolling and tossing about on a sea of trouble and turmoil, and he said that presently the seasick passengers would rise in revolt against the captain. He pictured the people of this country rising up and sweeping from the Treasury bench the real culprits who are responsible for our troubles at the present time. I tell the honorablemember that if the ship of state is in trouble the causes of it can rightly be laid at the door of one set of people only, and they are the people who occupy the Treasury bench and claim to be steering the ship. They are not steering it clear of the rocks; they are steering it on to them. When a ship is in trouble its captain is primarily to blame, and I venture to say that there never was a captain more to blame for the trouble into which the ship of state has been steered than the captain in charge at the present time. In his generosity the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Watson) said that there are extremists on both sides. When he said that he seemed to be regarding very closely the honorable member for Indi (Mr. Cook), who had just previously astonished him by his utterance that this measure should be twice as drastic as it is. While he had one eye on the honorable member for Indi, no doubt the other was on the honorable member for Franklin (Mr. Seabrook), who said that arbitration is the greatest curse this country has experienced. If the honorable member for Fremantle were looking for extremists he had them galore on his own side. He might have confined his attentions to honorable members on his own side, because he could not find in the speeches of honorable members on this side any such extreme opinions.
So many speeches have been made on ‘the bill that it is difficult now to avoid repeating observations that have already been made. The first thing that strikes one about legislation of this kind is that it is panic legislation in the extreme. That has already been said, but it cannot be too often repeated. The worst thing about panic legislation of this character is the great injury it does to the country. It is a bad advertisement for the Commonwealth abroad. In the eyes of the people of other countries, it is about the worst form of advertisement that could be given to Australia. What can be the impression on the public mind of people in other countries when speeches such as those of the head of the Government, the present captain of the Commonwealth ship, are cabled abroad, except that there is a seething mass of discontent in this country. Honorable members opposite are always harping about the necessity of keeping capital in this country, and doing nothing to drive it out. But I venture to say that panic talk and legislation of this kind do more than anything else to discourage the investment of money in the Commonwealth. I propose to contrast the speech made by the Prime Minister the other day, when he indulged in carping criticism of trade unionism in this country, with a speech he made before he assumed office, and hence before the time when he felt called upon to introduce legislation of this kind to draw the minds of the people from the sins of commission and omission of the Government. When the right honorable gentleman was a private member of this House, he spoke on the Industrial Peace Bill after his return from a trip abroad. He spoke then uninfluenced by the motives which are actuating him to-day, when he is trying to stir up the passions of the people and to divert their attention from the sins of his Government. He then expressed his surprise at the speeches made on the Industrial Peace Bill. The same wild statements were then made as have been made by the honorable members for Franklin and Indi on this bill. There were the same tirades of abuse directed against unionism, because of a condition of affairs for which trade unionists were said to be responsible. This is what the Prime Minister said then, as reported in Hansard for the 5th August, 1920, page 3329-
The problem of industrial unrest is worldwide. Any one who has been out of Australia recently knows that our industrial problems and troubles are small in comparison with those of nearly every other part of the world.
– That is as true now as it was then.
– That is so; but it does not suit the right honorable gentleman’s book to admit that now. Hewent on to say -
Early last year I visited Great Britain, the United States of America, France, and Canada. On my return I was surprised by what I heard said on public platforms, and in private conversations, and by what I read in the press concerning the conditions in Australia.
– Does the honorable member know that there were over 500 strikes in Australia in that year ?
– How manywere lockouts?
-N o matter how many strikes there were then, the party towhich the honorable member for Franklin belongs was in power, and consequently was responsible for them. I am quoting a comparison of Australia with other countries of the world, made by the Prime Minister when a private member. He said, further -
The impression was abroad that this country was a seething cauldron of unrest, and that it might be better to seek some peaceful land where industrial conditions were more stable. There never was a more absurd impression. We have our industrial troubles; but, as I have said, compared with those ofother countries, they are small. We possess a priceless asset in the fact that, generally speaking, labour here is organized and controlled.
He paid a tribute to the Commonwealth because of its comparative freedom from industrial unrest, and a tribute, also, to the great industrial organizations of this country.
– So he does to-day.
– If he does, then the industrial organizations cannot be responsible for the conditions which, professedly, this bill is introduced to remedy. Those conditions must be due to the party which has been in power since a Labour Government left office as far back as 1916. I can find nothing better to support my contention than the words of the Prime Minister when he was a private member. This panic legislation, and these tirades of abuse of the great industrial organizations, are calculated to do a great amount of injury to this country by misrepresenting its conditions to people overseas. The conditions existing to-day are the same as those which existed when the Prime Minister, as a private member, took to task those on his own side who were indulging in extreme statements such as those which are being made by honorable members opposite to-day. But the right honorable gentleman does not speak in the. same strain to-day, because to do so does not suit his political book. It suits the political book of the right honorable gentleman and those associated with him to-day to stir up the passions of the people and divert their minds from the real issue. The Prime Minister made a speech recently at Geelong. In order to stir up the enthusiasm so lacking on his own side, he referred to the great victories which were being achieved by Labour. This was prior to the New SouthWales elections, and he referred to the fact that Labour Governments had been returned to power in Western Australia, South Australia, and Tasmania. He then made this interesting statement, which bears out my contention -
Nationalism to-day has none of the great ideals which actuated us during the war period.
How like the Prime Minister and honorable members opposite that statement is! The trouble with them to-day is that they have none of those things which they call ideals, which helped them during the war period. To-day we are at peace, and the only meaning that can be read into the words I have quoted from the Prime Minister’s speech is that honorable members opposite feel that politically they will be in danger unless they can put some issue before the country on which they can appeal to the passions and prejudices of the people. We know that the minds of the people were inflamed during the period of the war. We cannot blame the people for that. They could not view things in their true perspective when their minds were inflamed by passions that are a necessary accompaniment of war. It was by the appeal to passion and prejudice that the Government was able to retain its position on the Treasury bench. But the day of the war has passed, and the Government is now trying to bring about a great industrial dispute in order that at the next elections it may divert the minds of the people from the real issues which will be before them. Among the most interesting features of this debate is the sudden conversion of some honorable members opposite to the principles of trade unionism and arbitration. It was amusing to hear the belated declarations of the honorable members for Wakefield (Mr. Foster), Macquarie (Mr. Manning),Corangamite (Mr. Gibson), Swan (Mr. Gregory), and others in favour of trade unionism and arbitration. The honorable member for Swan was about the most amusing of the lot. I quote him merely because he is typical of others who spoke on the opposite side of the chamber in favour of arbitration, because it now suits their political book to do so. In a lengthy speech he would have us believe that he was the life-long champion of arbitration. He said,”that arbitration laws had been passed and other efforts had been made to improve the conditions of the people, that both National and Labour Governments had by means of arbitrationcourts endeavoured to provide reasonable and proper conditions for the workers, yet there were persons who said that they would not abide by those laws.” The honorable member further said -
This bill should have been introduced months ago. The attitude of those people who endeavoured to get away from the Arbitration Court should not be tolerated any further. The Australian seamen should return to the Arbitration Court, accept its conditions and see that they are observed.
No one could have spoken with greater fervour on the principles of arbitration than did the honorable member. But compare these remarks of his with what he said when speaking on the Industrial Peace Bill in 1920. He was speaking then before the conditions which gave rise to this bill had come about. When it suited him to talk from the opposite point of the compass, he had no difficulty whatever in doing so. On that occasion he said -
We have had compulsory arbitration in this country for a fairly long time. I do not know whether honorable members generally will agree with me, but I am certainly of opinion that the operation of our compulsory arbitration law has been detrimental to the development of this country. I say, without fear of contradiction, that it has helped to embitter the relations between employer and employee. The very operation of our compulsory arbitration law tends to create dissatisfaction and trouble between the two parties in industrial disputes….. For many years in Kalgoorlie there never was an appeal to th« Arbitration Court. The mine managers welcomed the opportunity to make agreements with the Labour organizations. All matters in dispute were settled between the organizations of employers and employees without any appeal to the Arbitration Court. It is only in later days that appeals have been made to the court, and it has given rise to some of the bitter feeling that has grown up.
The other night the honorable member would have us believe that he had always been the champion of arbitration, yet in 1920 he said, in effect, “ Get away from the Arbitration Court to the round-table conference.” He should have been the first to condemn the attitude of the Prime Minister, who the other day refused to meet certain people who came before him to ask him to arrange for a round-table conference in order to settle a great industrial dispute threatening the country at the present time. Evidently it did not, suit the political book of the honorable member to do so. He says now, “Get away from the round table and back to the Arbitration Court,” yet, in 1920, he said, “ Get away from the Arbitration Court to the round-table conference.” When the honorable member was indulging in his tirade of abuse - I can call it nothing else - of the unions, and endeavouring to place on their shoulders the responsibility for all the turmoil in this country, I could not help thinking of his attitude upon another occasion. He painted a pitiful picture of the awful effects caused to the men, women, and children of Australia by disputes which he laid solely at the door of the working classes. For three years I sat with the honorable member on the Public Works Committee, and for the greater part of that time we were investigating a matter that was calculated to have far more dreadful effects on the lives of men, women, and children than anything ever done to them by any industrial dispute. I am speaking of the contract for the building of coffin ships.
– Order! Will the honorable member now confine his remarks more closely to the bill?
– I shall connect them with the bill. The honorable member for Swan says that industrial workers should be deported because of some possible sin committed against the wives and children of this country, yet in regard to. a case in which a crime was committed that might have involved the lives of many innocent men, women, and children going to sea on certain ships, he has never risen in his place to condemn those responsible or to claim that they should be deported.
– They should not be deported; they should be hanged.
– Does not the honorable member know that the Government not only refused to hang the persons responsible, or even to utter a word of castigation, but paid them £126,000 for what they did ? .
– The honorable member knows that, although there may be a loose line of connexion between his remarks and the bill, the connexion ought to be definite ; that is to say, he must discuss the bill.
– I bow to your ruling, but I hope that at the proper time the honorable member for Fawkner will have something more to say in regard to the crime I have mentioned, as I hope myself to have something to say upon it. The real purpose and effect of this bill must be to inflame the passions of the people. It has been frequently said that it will not have a deterrent effect on those who are engaged in industrial disputes. I do not understand why honorable members opposite have not even hinted that the proposed new section Sab should be applied to any one but the workers.
– To all law-breakers.
– I have not heard any supporter of the Government say that it should be applied to any one but the workers. The employers have committed offences that would bring them under this clause. If the bill had been law before the shipping dispute began, it could have been put into operation against the ship-owners, who applied to the Arbitration Court for the deregistration of the Seamen’s Union. I recently read an article written by the honorable member for New England (Mr. Thompson) in a journal which circulates in his electorate. In that article he did not attempt to conceal his belief that if the bill is passed it will be put into operation against members of the Seamen’s Union.
– Would it not be fairer for the honorable member to quote the article instead of making a general statement based upon it?
– I have read the article, and in it the honorable member said quite distinctly that the bill would be used against certain members of the Seamen’s Union. If honorable members opposite were trying to be fair, they would admit that in the present dispute those responsible were not the members of the Seamen’s Union, but the shipowners.
– Does the honorable member consider that the ship-owners should be exempt from the provisions of the bill?
– The honorable member for Forrest (Mr. Prowse) evidently does.
– I do not.
– It is clear that the object of the Government is to waste time with legislation which will inflame the minds of the people, while avoiding those contentious questions which create turmoil in its cabinet and caucus meetings. I can imagine what the honorable member for Swan says in a caucus meeting when he finds that the right honorable the Prime Minister has declared on a public platform that the only policy of value to this country is protection. The Prime Minister said it in a hesitating way, for he knew that it would not be endorsed by the honorable member for Swan, the honorable member for Forrest, and other members of the Country party. We could have no greater proof of the fact that the Prime Minister wishes to divert the minds of the people from the sins of the Government than the disappointment shown by him the other day when a partial settlement of the shipping dispute was reached. According to statements in the press, the Prime Minister demanded from the manager of the Commonwealth Government Line an explanation of why he had signed an agreement with the union, and obviously the right honorable gentleman was very angry with the members of the board controlling that line. The dispute will provide a very useful lesson. For as long as I can remember, the causes of industrial disputes have always been laid by honorable members opposite at the door of the Labour party. The shipping dispute should disprove that charge, because it can safely be said that if Sir George Fuller, instead of Mr. Lang, had been Premier of New South Wales, there would not have been even a partial settlement of it, and it is safe to say also that if the honorable member for Hunter (Mr. Charlton) had been leading this Government when overtures were made by the Seamen’s Union, a roundtable conference, such as the honorable member for Swan believed in in 1920, would have been arranged, and the same result would have been obtained as was obtained by Mr. Lang in Sydney. The remedy for industrial disputes in this country is to sweep the Nationalists from the Treasury benches and to put Labour into power.
Sitting suspended from6.3O to 8 p.m.
– The circumstances surrounding the latest industrial turmoil in Australia effectively dispose of the contention of our opponents who for years have been making political capital out of industrial disputes and using them as an argument for keeping the Labour party out of office. They seek to give the impression to those who do not take a very great interest in politics that there is more likelihood of industrial peace throughout the Commonwealth when a. Nationalist Government is in office than when Labour is in power, but our latest experience effectively dispels such a contention. Only the other day the Prime Minister (Mr Bruce) slammed the door in the face of certain delegates who came to Melbourne to ask him to assist in restoring peace in connexion with the shipping dispute. On the other hand the Labour Premier of New South Wales (Mr. Lang) brought representatives of the Commonwealth Shipping Line and of the Seamen’s Union together and in a little while their differences were settled. The only logical conclusion to be drawn from such an incident is that with a Federal Labour Government and Labour Governments in all the states industrial turmoil would cease.
– Give the men everything they ask?
– That may be the honorable member’s conclusion. It is interesting to note the words of Rear-Admiral Clarkson, chairman of the Commonwealth Shipping Board, who in a letter to the Premier of. New South Wale3 said -
That is a confirmation of the only conclusion at which one can arrive in regard to the shipping dispute, which is typical of others, and to which this measure would also apply. The attitude of the Prime Minister is in striking contrast to that of the Premier of New South Wales. In effect the Prime Minister said, “We do not want peace; we want war.”
– War to the knife.
– War to the knife. I would remind the House of the right honorable gentleman’s memorable speech at Geelong in which he said that to-day the Nationalist party has no great ideal such as it had in war time. We are, therefore, to assume that the ideals of the Nationalist party are incubated in times of war or during industrial turmoil.
– Who said that?
– The Prime Minister. Consequently the only conclusion to be drawn is that the right honorable gentleman and those supporting him realize that their only hope is in appealing to the passions and prejudices of the people. They do not want peace, but turmoil. The only effective way of disposing of conditions such as now exist is to place a Labour Government in power which would do in the federal sphere what has been done by a Labour Premier in New South Wales. If the Commonwealth Government Shipping Line had been developed as it would have been under a Labour Government not only would this dispute have been settled more expeditiously but our primary producers and those who had produce to ship would not have been placed at the mercy of the shipping combine as they had been-
– The honorable member must confine himself more strictly to the bill.
– I shall now refer to the argument used by practically nine-tenths of honorable members opposite who have spoken on the second reading of this bill, and who have said that this measure will strike at those people to whom they refer as communists. They have said that they do not wish to interfere with the rights of trade unionists. The most amusing of the speeches by honorable . members opposite was that of the PostmasterGeneral (Mr. Gibson) who, in denying that the bill was a blow at trade unionism, said that the object of the bill was to deport those who are killing trade unionism and the Labour movement. After giving utterance to that expression, the Postmaster-General suddenly ‘ collapsed. I suppose he pictured himself running around some of the outback places in the Corangamite electorate with a drawn dagger looking for the avowed enemies of the Labour movement, and the picture was too much for him.
– Why would he not get rid of these “ enemies of Labour “ in the same way that he would at one time have got rid of the profiteers?
– The Postmaster-General told us on one occasion that from an upstairs window in this building, facing westwards, he could shoot those enemies of the people, who are more responsible for industrial turmoil than are trade unionists. The honorable gentleman, however, under the influence of those by whom he is now surrounded, has forgotten all about the profiteers, and is looking for other enemies.
– The honorable member should quote me correctly.
– I do not wish to do the Minister an injustice. I am quoting from his speech in Hansard.
– That incident has been quoted on many- occasions, and sometimes incorrectly.
– As I have stated, nine-tenths of those honorable members opposite who have spoken have referred to the bogy of communism or bolshevism, which, as the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Scullin) said, was for twenty years spoken of as socialism. After the New South Wales elections the honorable member for Kooyong (Mr. Latham), in delivering a speech at one of those interesting little gatherings in which the ladies of his electorate indulge, said -
The Nationalist party will not gain anything by attacking Labour tor its association with communists. The result of the New South Wales election reveals the fact that the number of communists in Australia is negligible.
Honorable members on this side of the chamber have repeatedly pointed out that this talk of communism is a bogy, a scarecrow - used by the Government to divert the attention of people from its sins of omission and commission. The honorable member for Kooyong has said that the attack on Labour must be based on something else; that this cry will not serve their purpose. It has already been mentioned that the- total votes of those supporting the communistic candidates, who bitterly opposed the Labour party at the New South Wales elections, numbered only 800. I commend’ to the honorable member for Indi (Mr. Cook), the honorable member for Forrest (Mr. Prowse), and the honorable member for Swan (Mr. Gregory) the utterances of their associate, the honorable member for Kooyong, in connexion with this matter. The Government has evidently brought in this bill in a vain attempt to restore its lost prestige. The bill fails in the very object for which ifr has been introduced, and will do more to damage the Government in the eyes of the people than any of its past actions. This proposed legislation strikes a blow at a fundamental principle of British liberty - the right of an accused person to trial by a jury. The offence for which industrialists are to be liable to deportation is that they shall have the temerity to say what they will charge for their labour. The PostmasterGeneral and others sitting with him have at times expressed themselves strongly regarding those people who make undue profits from the sale of commodities, but the drastic penalties to be provided for industrialists who dare to go on strike are not to apply to those persons. The man who has, as it were, only his flesh and blood - his labour - to sell, is to be deported without first being tried by a jury. It remained for the present Government to strike this drastic blow at a principle of British liberty of which we so often boast.
, - My contribution to this debate will not be long. I should have thought that the speech of the Prime Minister, when he moved the second reading of the bill, would have left no doubt in the mind of any rational person as to the intention and application of the bill; but, for some reason best known to themselves, honorable members on the other side have deemed it politic to endeavour to throw dust in the eyes of the people, and particularly of unionists, as to its real purpose, scope, and application. Any doubt as to the intention behind the bill, which was not dispelled by the lucid speech of the Prime Minister, should have disappeared after the honorable member for Kooyong (Mr. Latham) had spoken. The honorable member analyzed carefully the provisions of the bill, and explained the reasons for its introduction. Opposition members, in a strenuous effort to camouflage the real purpose of the bill, have presented to us what are really the distorted fantasies of their fevered imaginations. Let us consider for a moment the real purpose underlying this bill. In our midst there is a body of men, mostly foreigners, who are utterly unable to appreciate the advantages of the freedom which they enjoy in Australia, or the benefits conferred on them by those democratic institutions under which they live in this country - a country in which 95 per cent, of the voters can, by no stretch of imagination, be described as belonging to the capitalistic class. Numbers of undesirables from other countries have found in Australia a safe refuge, but they are so little appreciative of the benefits which they enjoy that they have no hesitation whatever in taking advantage of their freedom to proclaim te the world their intention to disrupt the entire fabric of society. They are not only opposed to the employers .in our midst, whom they describe as capitalists or exploiters of the workers, but their hand is against every person in the community who does not accept their crude and fantastic ideas. Their intention is to destroy society and that not by constitutional means, but by force: Against the activities of those mischievous elements in our community this measure is directed. The first portion of the bill should have been in operation many years ago, when Canada and the United States of America were deporting undesirables who had been creating strife in their territory, and threatening the destruction of society there. New Zealand, realizing the situation, took steps to prevent their entry into her territory, with the result that many who had sought a landing there continued their voyage to Sydney, and were admitted to Australia without any questions being asked. It was only when, having permeated the industrial organizations of this country, they put into operation their declared intention nf “ white anting “ them, and taking the control out of the hands of those who governed them, that they came to be recognized as a real menace. While it is true that their numbers are comparatively small, we must remember that, as one bad apple in a case, if not removed early, will soon cause the whole to rot, or as one case of small-pox in a community of one million people, if not at once isolated and dealt with, will soon decimate the entire population, so will these forces, if not checked, undermine society.
– Why not vaccinate them?
–The object of the bill is to prevent their coming here, so that they shall not be able to disseminate their poison in our midst. They may be said to be affected with politico-economic small-pox; and their influence upon the rising generation, and particularly upon unthinking and unformed minds, is harmful. Let us con sider for a moment what is the nature of the doctrines that these people advocate, and then leave it to honorable members opposite to say whether they approve of those doctrines, or whether we on this side are not right in our contention that these people have no real place in the life of Australia, and cannot possibly be assimilated. They boast that they recognize no allegiance to any country. At the revolutionary activities of those types of immigrants the bill is aimed. Paragraph c of sub-clause 1 of proposed new section 3k proposes to exclude people who are deemed unlikely to become readily assimilated or to assume the duties and responsibilities of Australian citizenship within a reasonable time after their entry. while sub-clause gd of clause 3 applies to- - any person who advocates the overthrow by force or violence of the established government of the Coin,monwealth or of any state, or of any other civilized country, or of all forms of law, or who advocates the abolition of organized government, or who advocates the assassination of public officials, or who advocates or teaches the unlawful destruction of property, or who is a member, or affiliated with, any organization which entertains and teaches any’ of the doctrines and practices specified in this paragraph.
That exactly describes the people to whom I have referred; they are against every person in the community, whether he be a capitalist, a trade unionist, or a nonunionist. Instead of being fearful that this legislation will result in injury to trade unionism, every unionist in Australia should thank the Government for having had the courage to introduce this measure, and thus to save his organization from ultimate extinction. In a statement issued last June by the Communist Party in Sydney the following appears1 -
We believe that there can be no improvement in the lives of the workers until they take power in their own hands. The workers must, first of all, expropriate the big capitalists, the big financiers, land-owners, and industrialists. The small property owners they can leave alone until their forces are stronger. But all large property must be confiscated at once without compensation, since to buy out the capitalists, whoso power is money, is only to leave them in power.
It will be seen that not only do these people aim at the large capitalist, but that their efforts are directed against every property owner, including every working mau who owns a cottage, or is purchasing a home for himself and family. Nor must we lose sight of the fact that every man who has a shilling in the savings bank is a capitalist who, with every succeeding deposit, is endeavouring to make himself a bigger capitalist. An examination of many so-called capitalistic concerns reveals the fact that the majority of the shareholders are men of small means, and members of the working class.
– Will the honorable member show me the relevance of his remarks to the matter before us?
– Certainly ; they have reference to the very object of the bill itself. This bill is aimed at the checking of the destructive activities of the type of person to whom I have referred, who are a. danger, not only to unionists, but also to the whole community, their purpose being to overthrow, by force or violence, constitutional government. Because of their activities this bill is necessary. The first part is designed to exclude from admission into Australia, the second part to provide for their expropriation after they have become a menace here. Members of the Opposition have endeavoured to make it appear that instead of this legislation being directed against these mischievous foreign agents, it is intended as a blow at trade unionism. The statement by the Communist party, to which I have referred, also affirms that -
It must establish a state monopoly of foreign trade.
It must annul all debts, public and private.
It must take immediate steps to meet the housing shortage by rationing the existing accommodation among the population.
How is it proposed to bring about this change? Certainly not by parliamentary or constitutional methods, but by a programme of action, which is set out in what is termed the Communists’ Secret Bible, some extracts from which were published in the London Morning Post in February of last year. These tactics were embodied in a thesis contributed to that paper and accepted as the policy of action of the party at the last Lambeth Conference -
Thebasis of tactics …. is direct action of revolutionary masses and their organizations against capitalism. The gains of the workers are in proportion to the degree of direct action and revolutionary activity of the masses. By “ direct action “ we mean all forms of direct pressure of the workers upon the employers and the state; boycott, strike, street demonstrations, seizure of factories, uprisings, and other revolutionary activity which tend to unite the working class in the fight for socialism.
And so on. Further translations deal with the means by which the communists are to endeavour to seduce the military and naval forces, and also other practical elements of society. With regard to the deportation provisions of the bill, whilst I propose to vote for the second reading of the measure, I cannot say with the honorable member for Indi (Mr. Cook) that I shall do so with pleasure. On the contrary, I shall vote for it with very great reluctance, and only because present conditions make a measure of this kind necessary. It will be seen, however, by reference to the bill, that before any person can be deported certain action must be taken by the authorities. This point has been entirely overlooked by honorable members, whether inadvertently or deliberately I am unable to say. If they examine the proposed new section 8aa they will find this provision -
If at any time the GovernorGeneral is of opinion that there exists in Australia a serious industrial disturbance prejudicing or threatening the peace, order, or good government of the Commonwealth, he may make a proclamation to that effect, which proclamation shall be and remain in force for the purposes of this section until it is revokedby the Governor -General.
This presupposes that before a proclamation is issued it must be patent to all that there is threatening the peace, order, or good government of the country a condition of affairs of so seriousa nature as to justify its issue by the GovernorGeneral. Sub-section 2 of the proposed new section states -
When any suchproclamation is in force, the Minister, if he is satisfied that any person not born in Australia hasbeen concerned in Australia in acts directed towards hindering or obstructing, to the prejudice of the public, the transport of goods or the conveyance of passengers in relation to trade or commerce with other countries or among the states, or the provision of services by any department or public authority of the Commonwealth, and that the presence of that person in Australia will be injurious to the peace, order, or good government of the Commonwealth in relation to matters with respect to which the Parliament has power to make laws, may, by notice in writing, summon the person to appear before a board at the time specified in the summons and in the manner prescribed to show cause why he should not be deported from the Commonwealth.
The proclamation will apply to persons not born in Australia who may act to the serious prejudice of the people, and whose presence in the Commonwealth is deemed to be injurious to the welfare of the Commonwealth. This provision refers not to any particular class of person, but to “any” person. It is certainly not directed at trade unionists any more than at any other section of the community. I feel, with other honorable members, that a great deal depends upon the constitution of the board, and that the greatest care will have to be exercised so that the board may inspire the confidence of all sections of the people. No government, whether drawn from the ranks of the Nationalist, Labour, or any other political party, would attempt to put into force any order for deportation, unless it had the force of public opinion behind it. That is the great safeguard against deportation. Personally, I am not keen upon deportation, as it may tend to the creation of fictitious martyrs, and evoke a spurious sympathy with the deportees. I would prefer a different plan. We have before us a very great problem in the settlement of the Northern Territory, and I suggest that the extremists might try their communism there. The enthusiasm and fanaticism of people who hold communistic views cannot be doubted. Probably they sincerely believe the doctrine which they are endeavouring to promulgate amongst the people. I would not interfere with their activities or their freedom of speech if they did not advocate recourse to force and a total disregard of constituted authority. If by constitutional means they could convince the majority of the electors that their policy was right, they would be entitled to give it a trial. If they can persuade people to accept such an outlandish doctrine, and if they really believe that it will mean the salvation of the workers and lead to the millenium, let them collect all their forces, whether few or great, throughout Australia, establish a new state in the Northern Territory, and show the world what may be done there. We have in settled Australia the widest franchise in the world, and the voting power is in the hands of the great masses. So there is no need for violent coercive action. Ill-advised communistic enthusiasts over a quarter of a century ago set out with high hopes to establish a new colony in South America. They came back thoroughly disillusioned., Russia, more recently, has tried to set the rest of the world an example, and we know what a terrible failure it has proved. Let these enthusiasts who, by disseminating this false doctrine in our midst, are disturbing industry, trade, and commerce, take their courage in both hands, and go into the Northern Territory to show the world what can be done. There they will have no bloated capitalists to bar the way, nor will they be troubled by a complex system of production and exchange. Starting off from scratch, they will have a good opportunity to demonstrate the success of their theories. Their success would mean such an object-lesson to the rest of Australia that they need have no fear then as to the acceptance of their doctrines in the rest of Australia.
.- “ History repeats itself.” “ There are spots on the sun.” “ Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
Seven wealthy towns contend for Homer dead,
Through which the living Homer begged his bread. “ Laws are chains for the poor man, cobwebs for the rich.” If thy brother offend thee, forgive him “ until seventy times seven.” These, Mr. Speaker, are what I would like you to understand-
– Are the text.
– As the honorable the Postmaster-General has interjected, they may be regarded as the text for the few remarks which I am about to make concerning this bill. I give them because I really think they are accepted by all. In quoting them, I have said something already which will be accepted by my honorable friends opposite, even if they do not agree with the rest of my remarks. I may add that I should like to recite those very fine lines called “ Not Understood.”
– I do not think the honorable member would be inorder.
– The lines are quite in order, Mr. Speaker; but if I would be out of order in quoting them, I will spare honorable members. But perhaps you will allow me to quote the lines most appropriate to my remarks.
– I shall judge when I hear them.
– “O God! that men would see a little clearer.” That will be sufficient. I should also like to remind my honorable friends opposite of two other fine pieces of poetry, not quite so fashionable just now, “The Song, of the Shirt,” by Thomas Hood, and lines, “ The Cry of the Children,” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Honorable members opposite profess not to understand the reasons why the Labour party opposes this Bill. I do not think that I have heard any debate in which they have expressed to such an extent as in this case their inability to understand the reason for our opposition. This is not so much an immigration as an emigration bill, for the whole debate seems to have centred round the compulsory emigration clauses. After all, it seems to me not so important that the Government should bring down these restrictive clauses as it is that the administration by Ministers themselves should be efficient. I pointed out in this chamber some time ago that great inefficiency was shown in the management of immigration affairs, and that there was a grave danger of admitting mental defectives. I showed how, during the regime of this Government, a mental defective had been admitted into the country, and in my own electorate had committed a diabolical act on a child of five years of age. I might add that one of the last acts of another Nationalist Government, which recently went out of office in New South “Wales, was to liberate that man after he had served one year and nine months of his sentence- to liberate him again, not upon this society, but upon the society of the Old World, which should really be of equal importance to us in this ‘ regard. I also draw attention again to the startling facts which I recently gave concerning two notable families in the United States of America - the dreadful number of mental defectives that had descended from them, and the enormous cost they had been to the government of that country. These facts have been added to by the recent cases in New Zealand. I have no doubt that Ministers have had their attention drawn to this danger, and it should not be necessary to emphasize the desirability of keeping, mentally defective persons out of Australia. I come now to that part of the bill around which the greater part of the debate has raged - the compulsory emigration clauses. I think that I can understand the inability of honorable members opposite to appreciate the reasons for Labour’s opposition to the bill. One reason for our opposition to it is that the great body of workers in Australia known as the trade unions are emphatically opposed to it.
– Perhaps they do not understand it.
– Let me assure my honorable friend that members of the trade unions have a very keen appreciation of the economic position, and I could produce thousands of unionists who could furnish the honorable member with a most apt reply to his idea of segregating some of them in a particular part of Australia.
– I am referring to this bill.
– They quite understand the bill, too, and the danger threatened to the whole of the trade union movement, for it is a direct challenge to trade unionism. It has been called by the Prime Minister emergency legislation. Although it has been inferred by many in this House that the measure is directed only against a particular section of unionists, the gun is really levelled at the whole movement. If the Government intends this legislation to be directed only against a particular section, an awful mistake has been committed by them in making it appear to be directed against the whole movement. Why should one section suffer for the alleged misdeeds of the whole? I am afraid that the movement is not understood by honorable members opposite, any more than is our opposition to the bill, because they have not had the privilege of assembling with trade unionists generally. We hear them declare that they are not opposed to the principles of trade unionism, but I point out that the mere mental acceptance of trade unionism is not sufficient. Seeing that the movement has so woven itself into the social and industrial life of the community, it is. essential that the Government and their followers should thoroughly understand it. It is necessary to study the whole spirit of the Labour cause in order to understand our opposition to the bill; to inquire how and where the trade union movement originated, and to consider what it has done for the workers of Australia as well as for those of other countries. I should like to take a glance at it, because it seems to me that this is a challenge to the whole’ trade union movement. Any person looking at society with a critical eye must have agreed that if the conditions existing in Great Britain within the memory of living men had gone on as they were after the introduction of the present economic and industrial system without a corrective being found, society would have degenerated to a level much below that of the most savage races on the earth to-day. I need not dilate upon those black pages in British history and dwell upon the bent forms of the men and the emaciated bodies of the women and children that were to be seen in factories in the Old Country. Those melancholy conditions are depicted in the literature and art of the period. If honorable members opposite do not wish to see them there, they have only to go to the blue-books of the times to find them in black and white. Those conditions have obtained even in Australia, although to a less degree, certainly, because industries have not grown to such a magnitude here as- in Great Britain. But, Mr. Speaker, a corrective was found, and it expresses itself to-day in the trade union movement. It has done much for industrial society in the Old Country, and particularly in Australia. Wherever the growth of the movement has been most rapid, the results have been most effective, and I think they have been more rapid and thorough in Australia than elsewhere. These good results honorable members opposite cannot deny; they profess, of course, to accept them. They have meant a raising of the wages of the workers in general, and an improvement in their working conditions. The tone of the whole community, ethically, morally and physically, has been raised. When members of the Country party talk about the home market being their best market, let- them remember that the value of that market is due to the consuming capacity of our people being great on account of the progress of the trade union movement. The best thing those honorable members can do in the interests of the primary producers is to refrain from belittling this movement.
– We have never done so.
– That answer has always been given from the very initiation of the trade union movement. When its pioneers sought to improve the workers’ conditions, the reply was, “We are in sympathy with you, but, unfortunately, economic doctrines prevent us from assisting you.” Economic arguments, and everything in the intellectual line, even the Darwinian theory, were raked up to prevent the workers obtaining decent conditions, and to-day one hears the same old cries. If members of the Country party have not opposed us, they have not remained passive, for they - or, at any rate, the party behind which they stand - has at all times opposed the principles espoused by Labour. Instead of belittling trade unionism, instead of advertising throughout the world, that Australia has been ruined by trade unionism, they should let it be known that trade unionism has been the salvation of this country. Instead of being negligent of the international Labour conference, the Country party should recognize and make known the fact that the improved conditions of the workers have enabled them to be greater consumers than formerly of the primary products of Australia, and they should advise the people of other countries to adopt the same standard of wages and conditions as are enjoyed by workers in Australia, and thus increase the markets for primary products. But, blinded as they are to the necessity of improving the conditions of the workers, one cannot expect them to cast their bread upon the waters in the hope that it will return to them after many days. The success of this move- . ment is due to the workers themselves, to their system of intense organization, and to their determination to stand together in the face of spurious economic doctrines which were always written for a purpose. They determined that the work of man should have more recognition than some purely abstract doctrine, and they have shown for their cause and ideals a loyalty and devotion, and a readiness to sacrifice themselves, which I think has not been excelled, if equalled, by the devotees of any other cause. One of the guiding principles of unionism has always been “our union, right or wrong.” Experience has shown unionists that only by acting on that principle can they attain their end. If our country is involved in war, we are apt to forget the real and immediate issue, and accept the dictum, “ My country, right or wrong.” In the same way, the experience of the unionist compels him to accept and follow the advice of his leaders. I do not know whether honorable members will admit that, but they should not forget that unionists know their industrial history. They know that in past times the state has done nothing for them, that during the whole of the black period of the beginning of their movement the state did nothing for them, and that all the advantages they now enjoy in the shape of better industrial conditions, higher wages, and shorter hours have been secured through the work and instrumentality of the unions. We cannot condemn the unionist if, seeing that his union is so close to him, and has won for him such benefits, he at times puts it before his state. Personally, I agree that it is rather to be regretted that there should be a conflict between loyalty to a union and loyalty to a state. That conflict hasat times occurred, and has resulted in disaster to the unions and temporary disaster to the state; but I think no unionist can be blamed for it in the circumstances. Devotion to their organizations has been the cause of suffering to unionists in times of crisis. Honorable members, if they knew their political and industrial history, would agree with me that the records of leaders of race and religion are not greater or more to be admired than the records of the leaders of the cause and ideals of unionism throughout the world. I think that, although their graves may be more obscure, and they may not be sung in poetry or music, they are equally worthy of our admiration. All that I have referred to has been done in spite of the opposition of those who have on every occasion been opposed to every movement for the betterment of the workers’ conditions. Those who have represented the same political thought as honorable members on the other side have always been opposed to them, although they have eventually had to confess that the Labour movement has been one for the benefit, not of the individual, but. the whole race. One of the Prime Ministers of Great Britain - the late W. E. Gladstone - on a certain occasion, after showing opposition to measures of this kind, said something like this, “We should reflect that in nearly all the political controversies of the last 30 years the wealthy class, the leisured class, and the titled class have been wrong. It is well to remember that it is to the common man of the ordinary working class we are indebted to-day for almost all the political reforms which are now accepted by the world.”
– They hadto suffer for it.
Mr.F. McDONALD.- As the honorable member says, they had to suffer for it. Some of them suffered the extreme penalty. Many of them suffered deportation to this land, and many suffered in other ways. But the tribute I have recalled was paid to them, and when so much was done by the people of those days with their limited opportunities, we need not wonder that so much has been done in Australia, where the people have had better opportunities. Since our industrial and political history shows that what has been obtained by the worker hasbeen in spite of what has been said by honorable members opposite, or those who think with them, is it likely that to-day, when the Government introduces this bill and honorable members opposite profess to be the friends of trade unionism, those in the trade union movement will not understand or will believe their professions? They understand only too well, because their history shows them that- on every occasion when they have trusted the anti-Labour section they have been disappointed and deceived. Look right down the corridors of history and I challenge honorable members opposite to point to any occasion when the antiLabour forces have done anything at all to better the conditions of the worker or to improve the trade union movement. Can honorable members give me any instance of the kind ? I do not think they can.
– This is their opportunity.
– This is their opportunity, as the honorable member says. If they are able to point to any occasion upon which they have been the friends of the trade union movement or have tried to promote its advance, in their party or from their political platforms, let them speak now or for ever hold their peace.
– Does the honorable member think that under our democratic form of government any government would be likely to abuse the power provided for in this bill ?
– That is the very point to which the trade union movement is directing its attention at the present time - Can we trust the present Government to use the very wide powers which this bill proposes to’ give them?
Those in the Labour movement may know nothing personally of honorable members opposite, but the whole history of their movement shows that no national government and no anti-labour government can be trusted. The very recent history of New South Wales shows that while a national government was asking the trade unionists to fraternize with it, it was preparing to disappoint and deceive them. Honorable members do not deny that there was recently in New South. Wales a Labour government. The Nationalist party, desirous of getting into office, induced its one-time opponents to fraternize with it. It said to the trade unionists, “Vote for us and we shall guarantee not in any way to alter your conditions in regard to wages and length of working hours.” The trade unionists to a very large extent accepted the promise, fraternized with the Nationalists and placed them in power. But no sooner was the Nationalist party in power than it reduced the wages and lengthened the hours of the workers, after making the solemn promise not to do so from every hustings in New South Wales. I understand that the Federal and State Nationalist parties are one, and cannot honorable members understand that with such experience on the part of the trade unionists of New South
Wales they will not take any notice at all of promises made by honorable members on the other side.
– They have always been backed up by performances.
– They were not backed up by performances in the instance I have mentioned, but by deception. No matter how anxious honorable members opposite may be personally to keep the word they give in this House to-night we know that the charge they often bring against us of being coerced by outsiders to take certain action applies with greater force to themselves.
– The charge of not being free agents.
– Just so. Honorable members opposite should be prepared to admit that that charge which they bring against us can with very much better reason be levelled against themselves, and no matter what they may personally desire to do in this connexion, they will not be permitted to follow the dictates of their own conscience. They may not do so to the same extent as honorable members on this side, because within our conferences different views are freely expressed by members of our party.
– Is the honorable member in favour of deportation ?
– I was not in favour of it this morning, but, having listened to so many irrelevant interjections from honorable members opposite, I am beginning to favour it. I was showing that trade unionists cannot trust the promises of anti-Labour people. Let me give honorable members another instance connected with the one I have mentioned. A little while ago the Nationalists throughout New South Wales asked for the support of another large section of people, who in a way cannot be called trade unionists, inasmuch as they are not affiliated with the great Labour movement, but who have a registered association or union. I refer to the. teachers of New South Wales, the great body of workers with whom I was closely associated before I entered this Parliament. I suppose that they are the most hardworking body and the body most loyal to their work in New South Wales. For many years under the old principles which honorable members opposite espouse - freedom of contract, and so on - they suffered very severely. At last, by persistence and the worth of their cause they obtained the right to go to the Arbitration Court to have their wages fixed in order that they might not be any longer dependent upon the whim of a penurious Treasurer. The moment the Nationalist Government got into power in New South Wales it took away that right from the teachers after protesting from every platform that no section of the people would be deprived of it.
– Will the honorable member now come back to the question before the House ?
Mr.F. McDONALD.- I did not think that it would be necessary for me to move to get back to the question, because I thought I was right on it.
– The honorable member has walked wide of the line for several minutes.
– Then I shall endeavour to retrace my steps.
History has a habit of repeating itself, and it is because the great trade union movement knows that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom that it is so vigilant regarding the deportation clauses of this bill, which it believes to be directly aimed against it. Whilst all that I have said has been done by the trade union movement, I will not for a moment contend that it has made no mistakes. Very serious mistakes have been made - but there are spots on the sun. Errors of judgment have been made, but we should remember that, after all, the industrial battle is as keen as the military battle. The right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr.. Hughes), in one of his celebrated writings, said -
Many more are doomed upon the industrial field to death than are doomed upon the military field. The slaughter on the military field is nothing compared to the slaughter in the industrial field, and the suffering in the one is nothing compared to the suffering in the other.
The right honorable gentleman knew a great deal on this subject, although he is not to-day on this side of the House, and perhaps will not be on this side to-morrow.
– Thank God for that !
– The honorable member says “ Thank God for that,” and. while that may be so, I think I should say that while the right honorable “member for North Sydney was in the Labour movement, and held the views which we hold to-day, he rendered very great service to the trade union movement. Of course honorable members opposite, and people elsewhere who hold similar views to them, claim that they are largely responsible for the growth of trade unionism. After decades of opposition, they have come down to our way of thinking, and have assisted us, they say, in building up this splendid edifice. But if they are really in earnest in assisting the Labour movement, they should not be introducing a bill which proposes a complete change of system, and which is really a new gun trained on the foremost trench of trade unionism. Decade after decade trade unions have been slowly advancing trench by trench, sometimes gaining and holding on, and sometimes being repulsed.
– Mr. Walsh has been the man behind the gun all the time.
– The honorable member may know more about Mr. Tom Walsh than I do.
– Speaking for Tasmania, we know nothing but the effect of the gun.
– I agree with my friend that Tasmania has sometimes suffered from mistakes which I admit have been made, but if the honorable member looks at to-day’s paper he will see that the tradeunionists are so moderate that they declare that if they should be obliged to take certain action to secure their rights they will still maintain a continuous shipping service for Tasmania. They are very much more conciliatory in that regard than are honorable membersopposite.
– How long would that service be maintained ?
– I am not in a position to speak for the trade union movement in that respect. Our justifiable suspicion that this bill is but another move directed against the whole trade union movement is sufficient ground for our opposition to its deportation clauses. Trade unionists can see in these provisions a means by which a Government. if it likes, may deport their leaders. The honorable member for Reid (Mr. Coleman) asked the Prime Minister if he would deport a shipping magnate. The right honorable gentleman avoided the question to a certain extent by saying that the bill will apply equally to all citizens who break the law. We know that while the union leaders may easily be deported, all. the shareholders or directors of a company could not very well be treated in the same way, and that even if one or two directors were deported their agents would still remain behind to carry on the practices for which the directors were responsible. Therefore, the punishment will be unequal. No bill should discriminate in this way.
Another objection we have to the bill is that action is proposed to be taken in a way quite contrary to what we have always believed in, and that is in regard to the tracing and punishment of an offender. A court is to be set up which will have no resemblance to a court of justice such .as we know in Australia, or such as is known in every part of the British Empire. It will, have no resemblance to anything we have known in the past, unless it be the Star Chamber. It will be a political court, because it will be composed of the nominees of a political party, whether it be National or Labour. The procedure will not safeguard the person charged. It will not assure to him a fair trial, or justice, as justice is administered in Australia. I do not think honorable members opposite will challenge that statement. It is a very serious objection to the bill.
– Are the judges political ?
– If a judge is appointed temporarily to preside over these proceedings it will be a political appointment. In any case there will be two laymen on the board, and I suppose that the majority will prevail. The majority, in any case, may consist of the two laymen. If the Government is anxious to set up a judicial body, why does it -not appoint three judges ? The procedure of this court will be quite apart from the ordinary legal process we have known for the last 100 years. Honorable members opposite have scorned the mention of Magna Charta in relation to this matter, but Magna Charta laid down a principle of British justice which has not been departed from during all the centuries, except in the . case of tyrannical governments. Honorable members- opposite would depart from that principle, and set up a court which does not safeguard the rights of the accused. We have to remember that the temper and spirit of the trade unionism of Australia are no strong and so much to be admired that if the great body of trade unionists think that one of their leaders is suffering on their account, and is in the right, and if they find that he is deported, the whole of the movement throughout Australia will be aroused in opposition to the Government. I do not think that even honorable members of the present Government would like to see that happen. No one who knows anything about Australia and the spirit of the trade union movement would want to bring it into conflict with the industries of the Commonwealth.
Thus’ we object- to this bill, because it discriminates between one section and another, and because it is not to be carried out with the ordinary legal process. The trade union movement objects to this big gun being trained upon it. At any rate, this is not the time to have big guns trained on any section of the community. These are not the days of force. Honorable members opposite profess to believe in the settlement of international disputes by means of conciliation.
– And arbitration.
– We have in Australia today a dispute which is something like an .industrial conflict, but what evidence have honorable members opposite given that they want to have it settled by means of conciliation ? A little while ago a deputation representing a large section of the trade union movement in New South Wales came to Melbourne to see the Prime Minister. They came to say to him.’ “ Let us sit around a table and reason about this matter. Let us talk with one another and see if it cannot be settled.” Did the Prime Minister show himself to be in favour of conciliation? It is reported that metaphorically he slammed the door in their faces, and said, in effect, that there was to be no conciliation in this matter, and that- he wanted a fight to a finish. Such was his answer to those who wanted the matter settled in a conciliatory “way. On the other hand, a very large section of the trade union movement has shown itself to be prepared to settle the matter by means of conciliation or arbitration. When the Prime Minister refused to entertain the idea, the deputation returned to Sydney, where the Premier of the state (Mr. Lang) set about doing what the Prime Minister had refused to do. He called a conference, and with one section, at least, of. the shipping industry the strike was settled on just terms to the satisfaction of both parties.When this was done we expected to see the papers filled with telegrams of congratulation sent by the Prime Minister to unionists and Mr. Lang. But I have not yet seen those telegrams, nor heard of any jubilations. On the contrary - I speak subject to correction - a newspaper did report a telegram which the Prime Minister was supposed to have sent to the Shipping Board asking it to explain the extraordinary action it had taken in settling the shipping dispute by means of conciliation.
– Those are the honorable member’s words, and not the wording of the telegram.
– I say that I am open to correction. I have seen it in one of the papers.
– The Prime Minister has already given it a denial.
– If that is so, I am sorry that I have made a mistake. I do not wish to make an accusation which is untrue against the right honorable gentleman. I do not know the facts, and I accepted as truth what was printed in one of the Melbourne papers. In any case, my leader has just reminded me that the Prime Minister has asked for a report from the Shipping Board. Instead of sending a telegram of congratulation, the Prime Minister was evidently anxious to know more about the matter. He certainly was not as pleased with the settlement of the dispute as we thought he would be. The trade union movement has shown that it wants the matter settled by means of conciliation. This bill is by no means a conciliatory measure.It is an irritating measure. It is designed as a threat against the whole trade union movement. If it is emergency legislation, as the Prime Minister in his speech said it was intended to be, I want to know why it was not aimed against that section of the trade unions which has been irritating the Government, instead of being so designed that it may be used at any time against the whole of the trade union movement? It was a dreadful mistake, and the Government cannot expect the trade unions, with a full knowledge of history, to accept his assurance, and that of his supporters, that this is a gentle and innocuous bill. History has shown them that they cannot by any means accept those statements.
Much more might have been done to consult the members of these unions. Knowing the condition of industry in Australia to-day, I think that no greater crime could be committed than to neglect to take action to settle a threatened industrial dispute of such magnitude. If it is possible to settle the dispute by conciliation, and if the Government refuses to adopt that means of settlement and thereby involves the whole of Australia in an appalling industrial disturbance, no greater crime could be committed against Australia. The right honorable the Prime Minister was to a certain extent correct whenhe said that although people talk of his responsibilities in the settlement of strikes, a greater responsibility rests upon the leaders of industry on both sides. One side in this dispute has shown to the right honorable gentleman that it accepts that great responsibility, and is prepared to make every endeavour to save Australia from being involved in this conflict; but he refused to do his part, and, so far as we can see, his Government is doing nothing to avert this disaster.
The bill is an irritating measure, which is calculated to inflame all trade unionists. The Prime Minister is making a dreadful mistake. Can he not see that even if the trade unionists are acting wrongly, their loyalty and devotion to their own movement, and their capacity to sacrifice themselves for their fellows, show that there is much good in them, rough though their exteriors may be? If anything can be done, it should be done to show them that, af ter all, the welfare of the state and the nation is of more importance to them and to us all than the welfare of any union. If they have this capacity for loyalty and devotion to their own cause, and if they can be shown that the cause of the state and the nation is as worthy as their cause, we shall get from them as much devotion to the state and the nation as they now give to unionism. Everything, however, has been done to show them that the only protection they can look for is from their unions, and that the state and nation will do everything possible by legislation to take away the benefits obtained for them by their unions. When the men issued an ultimatum to the ship-owners, it was countered by a threat by the Prime Minister. We did not expect the Prime Minister to counter threat with threat. I do not believe in ultimatums. A tactical mistake was made in issuing that ultimatum, and in refusing to withdraw it. But we have to remember that the people who issued the ultimatum cannot be expected to have the same social ideas as the Prime Minister. They have not had the same advantage in getting close to literature, art, and other benign and ennobling influences, which are a great educational factor with some people. We cannot expect the man who works in a stokehold from week to week to be filled with the same social and national ideals as the Prime Minister. When we find that these men take a wrong step in issuing an ultimatum, and that it is followed by another wrong step by the Prime Minister and members of his Government, we can only come to the conclusion that the Prime Minister and his followers have not benefited by the benign and ennobling influences to which they have had access. We can also make no mistake by coming to the further conclusion that they are no longer worthy to govern the men who are supposed to be their inferiors. Do they expect these “ inferior “ men to reach an ideal which they, even with their greater opportunities, have not. reached ? I think they cannot. If some one happened to tread roughly and rudely on the Prime Minister’s corns - literally on hia corns - I do not think he would descend to vulgar abuse.
– He descended very rapidly to it the other night.
– I am speaking literally, not metaphorically. As he would not descend to vulgar abuse if some one trod upon his actual corns, neither should he descend to it when people tread upon his metaphorical corns. A conciliatory measure would appeal to the people, but this bill is by no means conciliatory. It is unjust in ite incidence, because, in the first place, it does not apply equally to all citizens of this country. It is wrong, in the second place, because it does’ not make use of ordinary legal processes, and it is wrong ‘in the third place because it is directed at a certain section of unionists as emergency legislation. The trade unions of Australia believe implicitly that it is directed against all of them, and for that reason they are opposed to it. It is wrong in every particular. Much as I am opposed to the principle of deportation, and to the processes by which it will be carried out under the bill, and much as I oppose the bill for other academic reasons, if people commit offences, for which the ordinary punishments are insufficient, against such a great humanizing and educational factor as the trade union movement of this country, and the Government can devise an effectual law operating through the ordinary courts of justice to apply penalties equally to the unionists and shipping magnates, which might include, in the latter case, a fine of £10,000 an hour during the- continuance of an industrial disturbance, I would agree to a severe form of punishment to meet the offence, and perhaps even to deportation.
.- It is interesting to hear from the honorable member for Barton (Mr. F. McDonald) that he regards those influences operating in the sphere in which the right honorable the Prime Minister and those who associate with him move as “ benign and ennobling.” That is quite a refreshing admission from a member sitting on that side of the House, and he seems to expect, having regard to those benign and ennobling influences, better things from the right honorable gentleman. I have listened very patiently to the debate on this bill, and I frankly confess that I am one of those who cannot understand the attitude of honorable members opposite. They seem to be labouring under an extraordinary misapprehension regarding the scope and design of the bill. If they really understood it their opposition to it would vanish. A most remarkable reason was given by the honorable member for Barton for the opposition of honorable members on his side of the House to it. He said, “ I oppose the bill because it is opposed by trade unionists throughout Australia.” That is a most extraordinary reason for an honorable member to give whose duty it is to subject a measure to criticism, and assent to it or reject it on its merits.
– I wish to raise a point of order. The honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell) has misquoted my words, and misconstrued my meaning.
What I did gay was that I was voicing the opposition of the trade unionists of Australia to this bill. I said I agreed with that opposition, but I did not give it as a reason for my opposition.
– The honorable member has been sufficiently long in Parliament to know that, although another member may misconstrue his remarks, that does not constitute a point of order. I am listening to the fortysecond or forty-third speech on this bill, and I have heard honorable members misconstrue many arguments advanced by previous speakers, but no points of order were raised on that account.
– Then I leave it to the honorable member’s honour.
– If it is a point of honour, that is purely a matter for the honorable member for Fawkner.
– I understood the honorable member to say what I have indicated, but if he says he did not say so, I accept his assurance without the slightest hesitation. He says that the bill is opposed by trade unionists throughout Australia, and I cannot help thinking that that opposition has had an influence on the representatives of trade unionism in this House. Let me quote from a speech delivered in the Socialist Hall, Melbourne, by the president of the Trades Hall Council last Sunday week. In criticizing the bill he said -
It is an organized attack by the Government upon the rights of the people.
– Hear, hear!
– That is endorsed. The speaker then went on to say -
It is a direct incentive to violence and force.
– Hear, hear !
– And that is endorsed. He then went on to say -
A challenge that must be accepted, and force met by force.
There is no endorsement of that, I am glad to observe. I also find that the secretary of the Trades Hal] Council, Mr. Holloway, wham we all respect, characterized the bill as “ a specimen of caveman legislation,” and proceeded to say -
Is a main who has been here in Australia for many years, who has brought up and educated a family, to be sent about his business to another country, to begin life over again, simply because he has rendered himself obnoxious to large business concerns?
These two utterances show a complete misapprehension of the provisions of this bill.
I cannot wonder at persons outside, who are not as conversant with the provisions of the bill as are honorable members, misunderstanding its scope, having regard to the fact that the right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. Hughes), in a remarkable speech on the measure, in which after drawing a lurid picture of the influence and action of such men as Walsh and Johannsen, weakly concluded by saying that he would be prepared to do everything in his power to put those men where they could do no harm, but he would not deport them because they held the opinions which they do on industrial matters. Those of us who have given the provisions of the bill the most cursory attention, know that it is not proposed to deport any man because of the opinions he holds, but because of deliberate acts. The Government are seeking power to deport men who are guilty of acts deliberately directed towards paralyzing the overseas and interstate trade of the Commonwealth, which is a vastly different thing.
– That is not in the bill.
– That is my reading of the measure. A man is not to be deported because of his opinions, but because of a deliberate act, the effect of which would tend to imperil the overseas and interstate trade of the Commonwealth. The honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan), in his interesting and what the honorable member for Wakefield (Mr. Foster) termed his charming speech, quoted with effect those well-known words of Shakespeare -
You take my life
When you do take the means whereby I live.
The honorable member for Batman applied those lines to the individual, but they are capable of a much wider application than that in which they were used by the honorable member. The community could also say -
You take my life
When you do take the means whereby I live.
This bill is framed to deal with the acts of men who seek to strike at the very life of the community. The burden of every speech delivered by honorable members opposite, including that of the honorable member for Barton (Mr; F. McDonald), has been that this bill is designed against the interests of trade unionists in Australia. It has been said that it is a conspiracy on the part of the
Government and those whom they represent outside to strike a blow at trade unionism. I do not believe that there is a member on this side of the House who would support the bill if that was its objective, or if they thought it would have that effect. When any honorable member on this side of the chamber suggests that he is interested in and believes in trade unionism, honorable members opposite jeer. We listened with interest to the speech of the honorable member for Barton (Mr. F. McDonald), in which he traced the history of trade unionism. No one can read the early industrial history of England without a blush of shame - without a feeling of degradation or repulsion, because it is a story of human greed, human rapacitY. taking advantage of the weakness of its fellow men. It is a history of capital in its strength taking advantage- of the weak, and grinding ‘ the poor for its own enrichment. The tyrannical acts of capital in the early days of the industrial history of England drove the workers into combination, and organizations grew from very little until they assumed tremendous dimensions.
– Human nature has not altered.
– I agree with the honorable member that it has not altered, and, because it has not, we have to do that which we are now seeking to do. Capital is greedy, and tyrannical, and it was when it exhibited those qualities and had driven labour to combine that we had the two great factors - on the one side, capital, combined, and on the other, labour, combined, too. Then began a trial of strength between the two forces. I admit that everything labour has achieved has been won as the result of struggle and self-sacrifice. Labour had to wring its rights from capital. And then a stage was reached at which the community said, “ We must put an end to this state of war between capital and labour. We have these two great beneficent forces, which, in a spirit of cooperation and mutual goodwill, could work great good to the community. But what are they doing? They are always at each other’s throats. When the demands of labour are not conceded, the men strike, and there is industrial war, with its attendant loss and suffering not only to those directly concerned, but to the whole community.” The ‘ community, there fore, deliberately adopted the principle of arbitration, and established the Arbitration Court in the interests not of capital, or labour, but in the interests of. the community, so that . when disputes arose between these two great opposing forces, they could’ be settled by judicial decision. Then we believed that the end of industrial war had come, and that industrial peace would be ushered in. No doubt, arbitration has done a great deal of good, but I would remind honorable members opposite that although a great deal has been said concerning the tyranny of capital, there is such a thing as the tyranny of labour. There is such a thing as the tyranny of organized numbers. Trade unionism, in its initial stages,’ in its aim and scope, beneficent, wrongly directed and controlled is capable of becoming so obnoxious . a tyranny as any that has ever cursed the human race.
– Bunkum !
– The word “Bunkum “ is unparliamentary.
– Have not we all witnessed in this community the tyranny of labour when a strike has taken place? The honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) claimed the other night that labour has a perfect right to dispose of its labour to best advantage. Certainly it has, but in so doing it has no right to say “ I . want so ‘ much for my labour, and if I do not get it I will take care that no one else takes the job at a lower figure.” It is a common occurrence to-day for individual workers, outside the ranks of unionism, to be afraid of the tyranny of organized numbers in the form of trade unionism. These . persons use physical force to prevent men, unless they happen to belong to . their particular union, from selling their labour at the price they think it to be worth. When organized numbers begin to feel their power, they are just as tyrannical as the individual despot. In fact, they are worse. We can remonstrate with a despot, imprison him, or, if necessary, destroy him. We cannot, however, deal effectively with the tyranny of organized numbers, which is tyranny of the most obnoxious description. When we established our Arbitration Courts we thought we had done with this trouble, and that all our disputes would be amicably settled.
At one stage of its development legitimate trade unionism was beneficent in its aim and scope, but an element bas entered into trade unionism, which unionism would fain rid itself of. It is that ele-ment that is tending to destroy unionism, to make it tyrannical and defy the law, and it is against this kind of thing that the bill is aimed. I desire as briefly as I can to examine the’ industrial situation as it is. Honorable members have been speaking of the industrial position as it might, could, should, or would be, but I want to look at the situation in Australia to-day as it is. We have heard a good deal concerning the general principles of communism in a somewhat vague way, but I propose to deal with them a little more specifically. The honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) sneered at the very idea of communism being regarded as a menace. He said it is a bogy. He adjured honorable members to dissociate themselves from the prattle about the foreigner and the communist, and said that the talk of the foreign element and war on society was so much humbug.
– Hear, hear!
– The honorable member for Batman evidently does not understand the situation. If the honorable member is right in saying that communism and war on society is mere humbug, I can quite understand him suggesting that there is no need for the bill. But is he? Let me direct honorable members’ attention to a few facts. Probably I cannot mention a single one that is not already known, but I shall try to collocate them in such a way as to show their real significance.
– And their relationship to the bill.
– Yes, there will be little difficulty in doing that. We are told that honorable members of this side are opposed to trade unionism, that communism is a bogy, and that legist tion of this kind is unnecessary. I am going to show that it is eminently necessary and absolutely essential that the Government should be clothed with the powers which this bill proposes to give.
– The honorable member for Kooyong (Mr. Latham) admits that communism is a bogy.
– I do not think he does. He said the number of communists in the Commonwealth was negligible. I call the attention of the House to certain facts that were established by a perusal of some documents that were discovered on the occasion of a raid on the 22nd August, 1922, made on the secret communist conference at Bridgeman, in the United States of America. I refer honorable members to a most interesting account of that raid in the Boston Transcript of the 16th September, 1922, in which the contents of the seized documents are set out. The following facts were clearly established : - That a scheme of world revolution is controlled and directed from Moscow; that legitimate trade unionism is the principal obstacle between communism and the objects that it hopes to attain ; that it is the duty of the communists to get into the trade unions with a view to capturing them ; that it is the duty of the communists to associate themselves with every working-class struggle; that in associating themselves with the workers in their efforts to better their conditions they should, wherever possible, incite them to violence, in order that they may become accustomed to the idea of violence as a means of obtaining their ends; that the policy of the communists is to ingratiate themselves with the masses, and to create a militant left wing in every Labour organization. I do not suppose that there is one honorable member on the other side who knows anything about communism that will be prepared to dispute that these are the communist objectives, methods, and policy. The next step in my argument is to inquire what evidence we have that this vile thing called communism is getting a grip of Australia. First, a communist party was formed in Australia in 1920; its secretary is Mr. J. S. Garden. I shall have occasion to refer to that gentleman a little later, but at present it is sufficient to say that he is, and from the outset has been, the secretary of the communist party in Australia. At the end of 1922 the communist party sent three delegates to the Third International at Moscow in the persons of Mr. J. S. Garden, Mr. Earsman, and, I think, Mr. Howie. They appeared before the Third International in Moscow, and Mr. Garden himself has given us an account of a report that he made to the conference. What are the outstanding features of that report? He told them that 1,000 communists in Australia controlled 400,000 workers.
– The honorable member does not believe “ Jock,” does he?
– I do.
– Why be so simple?
– I can always tell when my remarks are beginning to hurt; honorable members will have more to say before I am finished. Mr. Garden, in addition to saying that 400,000 workers in Australia were controlled by 1,000 communists, told the Third International at Moscow that the communists had a nucleus in every trade union in Australia, that nucleus comprising from two to twenty members.
– Does the honorable member believe him ?
– I do, and so does the honorable member. Mr. Garden also said that the communists in Australia had secured many of the prominent positions in. the trade union movement, and he boasted that of the twelve members of the Trade and Labour Council in Sydney eleven were communists. Do honorable members opposite believe that?
– Does the honorable member himself believe it?
– I do, and so does the honorable member. Mr. Garden also told themthat the communists in Australia would demonstrate to the workers that the Labour party could bring them no lasting betterment of their conditions by legislative action within the capitalistic state.
– Does the honorable member believe that?
– I believe that the Labour party will never bring about much good, either by that or other means. The report of Mr. Earsman appeared in the London Patriot, it being reprinted from the journal of the international bolshevik organizations in Berlin. Mr. Earsman’s report showed that the communists had gained entrance to the Labour party in two of the states of Australia, namely, Queensland and New South Wales.
– The honorable member’s remarks sound like a bed-time story. He should reserve them for timid old ladies.
– Honorable members should not speak too soon, as I have some more facts to present to the House.
I am not the only one who believes these things. In his report Mr. Earsman endorsed the remarks of Mr. Garden, and in an endeavour to sum up the position as it affected the trade union movement in Australia, he said that the communist party in Australia could not be charged with neglect of the trade unions. He added that the party was born within the trade union movement; that its roots were deeply and firmly embedded in it, and that all its activities were in and through that movement.
– Does the honorable member believe that ?
– I do, and I will prove it before I sit down. Mr. Earsman, who has not yet returned to Australia for the reason that he was not permitted by the Government to do so, in an interview with the London Sun of January, 1923, said that he had received from Mr. Lenin the honour of an appointment as an honorary commander of the Bed Army. He characterized the Bed Army as an unbreakable machine, not imperialistic, but there to help the workers of other countries when they should rise in revolt. Mr. Earsman at this interview also said that Lenin had informed him that in Moscow the communists were training a band of propagandists for subsequent service in foreign fields.
– “On horror’s head horrors accumulate.”
– They do and will, as the honorable member will find as I go on. Mr. Earsman also said that Lenin had outlined for him a plan of campaign for Australia.
– I rise to a point of order. I heard you, Mr. Speaker, tell the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Mann) last week that you could not permit him so go to China in discussing the measure. The honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell) has taken us to Berlin, and is now taking us to Moscow. I ask if he is in order in so doing.
– I am afraid that every honorable member who has spoken on this bill - and more than 40 have already spoken - has erred. A laxity of debate has developed notwithstanding the attempts ofthe Chair to confine honorable members strictly within the rules of procedure. The honorable member for Fawkner must show the relevance of his remarks to the subject before the Chair.
– I undertake to do so.
– I understand that the honorable member has undertaken to show that this bill is designed to cure the curse of which he is complaining.
– Yes, Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what I am endeavouring to do. I now ask, what is the attitude of trade unionism to this evil of communism in Australia? In the issue of The Worker of the 10th October, 1923, there appeared the following - I quote from memory : -
The time has come when members of the Australian Labour party must define their attitude to the Communist party.
– We did that at the last conference.
– The Worker went on to say -
There is an unbridgable gulf between the two parties of temperament and tactics. The leaders of the Communist party, in order to gain admittance to the Australian Labour party conference, made a false declaration, stating that they belonged to no other political party. The Communist party believes in the rule of the minority necessarily imposed by force, while the Australian Labour party is democratic to the core, and recognizes that the will of the majority is the only safe basis for any social system. It repudiates with loathing the principles of terrorism when deliberately inculcated as a method of government.. . . These communists use the dialectics of subterfuge and falsehood at the bidding of a foreign master.
This is the view of legitimate trade unionism in Australia concerning those elements in our industrial life which the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) suggests are merely a bogy. What is the attitude of the leaders of the Labour party towards the menace which this bill seeks to meet? We have heard a great deal about what Mr. Lang has done. He has been lauded to the skies because of his efforts recently in the cause of industrial peace. Before I quote Mr. Lang’s remarks, let me remind honorable members of the attitude of the Australian Labour party itself towards this socalled bogy - this ghost which some honorable members suggest we can afford to disregard altogether. At the 1923 June Labour conference, a motion was carried, on the casting vote of the chairman, agreeing to affiliation with the communist party. Subsequently, realizing the gravity of the step taken, the 1924 April conference reversed this decision. Recognizing that communists merely sought entrance into the Labour party for the express purpose of destroying it, the conference decided to exclude all communists. I come now to the attitude of the then leader of the Labour party in New South Wales. I desire to quote a statement by Mr. Lang in the columns of The Worker of the 5th March, 1924. With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and the indulgence of the House, I shall ask my friend the honorable member for Macquarie (Mr. Manning) to read extracts I have marked from Mr. Lang’s speech.
– Such indulgence is always granted. I assume that the extracts about to be read are relevant to the bill?
– They are, Mr. Speaker.
– While the quotations are being read, the honorable member for Fawkner may resume his seat without forfeiting his right to continue his speech at their close.
– The passages marked by the honorable member for Fawkner are as follow : -
The Australian Labour party is open to any one willing to comply with its rules. . . . Our rules are wide enough to admit any one desirous of giving a helping hand to the movement in the true spirit of unity. If the communists will not come in under the rules, they must have an ulterior motive to serve. This motive is to be found in the instructions they have received from their Moscow dictators.
A Message from Moscow.
The following statement was issued from
Moscow early in 1922, and it shows what the communists mean by a united front: -
There is a movement on foot in Europe to form a united front. It does not matter whether we are in favour or it or not, but we ask the communists all over Europe to take part in the united front, not for the purpose of making it effective, but for the purpose of strengthening the communists by direct propaganda inside the organization taking part in the movement.
Just so! The granting of affiliation to the Communist party would initiate a struggle for control over the whole field of the Labour movement. . .
Following the recommendation of Communist head-quarters to resort to falsehood and any other device to get into the leagues and unions and to stay in them, communists have gained surreptitious entrance to a few branches with the result that the transaction of useful business has practically been suspended at the meetings; An orgy of abuse and intrigue has taken the place of beneficial effort for the movement. Decent-minded people find it more and more difficult to face the meetings, which are gradually being abandoned to these gangs of blaspheming political cut-throats.
No Compromise with Communists.
No nationalist attack and no sectarian wile ever menaced the unity of the Australian Labour party to the degree that it is being menacedby these communist exponents of the united front.
– I rise to order. I do not object to the honorable member for Macquarie reading the extract for the honorable member for Fawkner, but I strongly protest against quotations which raise the sectarian issue.
– As to the disability from which the honorable member for Fawkner is suffering; every Parliament in the British Empire immediately grants such an indulgence as that which has just been extended to him. On the point of order itself it appears to me that some of the matter introduced in the extract is not strictly related to the bill. I do not want to chide the honorable member for Fawkner, but I urge him in concluding his speech - and for his information I mention that he has yet twenty minutes - to show the distinct relevancy of his argument to the deportation clauses in the bill. I am assuming that that will be done, and his remarks, therefore, will not be out of order.
– The passage marked by the honorable member for Fawkner continues -
One marvels that their efforts to get into the AX.P. to carry on their nefarious work of destruction should receive even a moment’s consideration. If a fanatic, armed with an axe, sought admission to an A.L.P. member’s home for the purpose of smashing up the furniture and fittings, no time would be lost in debating his request. And no time should be needed to -decide to give the right-about to the communist destroyers of the A.L.P., however profuse and seductive may be their professions of a desire for unity.
This is the close of the passage marked by the honorable member.
– Let me now say a. word as to the relevancy of my argument. As I pointed out at the outset of my remarks, the attack by the Opposition was directed to the point that the bill was a distinct and deliberate attempt to wreck trade unionism. I am endeavouring to show that the condition of affairs in Australia is recognized by the Government as such that a bill of this kind is necessary in the interests of not only the country generally, but also trade unionism itself. The responsible leaders of the Australian Labour party have been doing their utmost for the last two or three years to try to rid themselves of the. bugbear of communism, and therefore they ought to associate themselves with the Government in the attempt to stem this evil. That was the opinion expressed in March, 1924, by Mr. Lang, and in April the Australian Labour party went back on its old decision, and passed the motion to which I have already referred, excluding communists from its ranks. Mr. Lang, in his policy speech in May last, on the eve of the election, told the people ofNew South Wales that the Labour party had nothing in common with communism, and had nothing to do with communists, but excluded them from its ranks.
– One is reluctant to object to the remarks of the honorable member for Fawkner, but I must take exception to the way in which he is dealing with the matter. I contend that his remarks are most irrelevant. The bill is not a measure to deport communists. If it were, the Government would have said so.
– Unless anything has since occurred my previous ruling still stands. So far as the honorable member has gone he is not more out of order than other honorable members have been during this debate.
– This will be a handy ruling later on.
– The honorable member must not disregard the authority of the Chair, or interrupt it when it is addressing the House. If he does, he will incur the displeasure of the Chair. So far as I am able to judge from the trend of his argument, the honorable member for Fawkner is inorder ; but I hope that he will become more conclusive than he has been up to. the present moment in showing the relevancy of his remarks.
– The statement by Mr. Lang was replied to by Mr. J. S. Garden in the columns of the Workers’ Weekly on 8th May. He said that Mr.
Lang was desperately trying to dissociate himself from the communists, although his puerile efforts only roused the amusement of the Nationalists and the contempt of organized workers.
– The result of the election in New South Wales did not show that.
– Is the Leader of the Opposition simple enough to think that the number of votes polled for the communists directly at the last New South Wales election is a measure of their power?
– I am simple enough to think that the voting in New South Wales shows that the people approve of the Labour party and its platform.
- Mr. Garden, in the same article, said they would do their best to help put Labour in power, in spite of Mr. Lang. All through the piece we have seen the responsible leaders of labour doing their best to dissociate themselves from the communists. In every trade union there is a nucleus of from 2 to 20 of these people, and they are doing their deadly’ work. When we marshal these facts before our minds and consider the influence that communism is asserting on the labour movement to-day, what are we to think of the action of such men as the Deputy Leader of the Labour party in this House ?
– The honorable member has only ten minutes to go, but up to the present he has said nothing about this bill.
Several other Opposition members interjecting -
– Honorable members of the Opposition who object to the honorable member for Fawkner’s address by interjecting in this way know that their conduct is unseemly. If there is any protest against the ruling of the Chair it can be made in the appropriate way according .to the Standing Orders. In the meantime the honorable member for Fawkner is entitled to be heard.
– It is one of the most disgraceful episodes in this Parliament since you, Mr. Speaker, have been in the Chair. The remarks of the honorable member for Fawkner are in no way relevant.
– After what you yourself have said, Mr. Speaker, about the irrelevance that has characterized the debate on this bill, I think I am entitled to say that it is remarkable how honorable members opposite have, submitted to the irrelevancy of the speeches up to now.
-Order! I remind the honorable member for Fawkner that in my last appeal I asked him to become more conclusive, and. I now urge him to show the relevancy of his remarks.
– I am trying my best to show that every fact that I have given seems to me to have a direct bearing upon the attempt that is being made in this bill by the Government to pro- tect the community from such a state of affairs as I have depicted as existing in the Labour movement itself.
– Not in trade unionism.
– I say within trade unionism. I have to meet the attack that has been made upon this bill by the Opposition. It was made very persistently and repeatedly, and I am simply trying to repel it and to show the necessity for such powers as are sought to be conferred upon the Government by this measure. I was going to ask, having regard to Mr. Lang’s statement and the extract I quoted from the Worker to show how this poison is in the Labour movement, what are we to think of the action of a man like the DeputyLeader of the Federal Labour party (Mr. Anstey), who in a speech he delivered at Perth about eighteen months ago commended Russia for the way in which she had shaken herself free from her indebtedness. What are we to think of the action already referred to by another honorable member, of the Leader of the Federal Labour party (Mr. Charlton) in heading a deputation bearing banners on which were inscribed such phrases as “ Long live Russia,” “ Spread the way for revolution.”
– I rise to a point of order. I submit that the argument advanced by the honorable member has no relevance whatsoever to the question under discussion.
– I think that the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell) is already aware that a considerable section of the House does not
Bee the relevancy of his remarks. Judg ing those remarks from the Chair, I have considered that his whole argument is based upon the assumption that the bill is directed against the activities of communists in Australia. From that honorable members of the Opposition apparently disagree, but so long as that is a fair assumption from the reading of the bill, the honorable member’s argument is relevant to the measure, and I ask honorable members to allow him to conclude.
– I was going to refer to one other honorable member on the Opposition side, namely the honorable member for Darling (Mr. Blakeley). We have the Leader of a State Labour party saying in Parliament that communism is no good, that the party has nothing to do with it, and has nothing in common with it, and has excluded communists from its membership. But in his speech, made when the motion was before the conference to affiliate the communists with the Labour party, the honorable member for Darling took up the position that the communist party cannot function outside the Labour party ; it must come inside, and he went on to say that the platform of the Labour party was broad enough to accommodate the most extreme of the communists. I understand that at the time he said that, the honorable member was president of the Australian Workers Union. If these things are so, does not one begin to suspect that communists have got into the Labour movement ?
– I rise to a point of order. I again take the point that the honorable member is not in order, and has not been in order at any time during the last quarter of an hour.
– That statement is a distinct reflection on the Chair. I have given several rulings on a number of points of order respectfully submitted by members of the Opposition. The honorable’ for Darling is not entitled by any of the rules of Parliament to reflect upon the Chair, and I ask him to withdraw his reflection.
– I most certainly withdraw; but I understood you, sir, to say that the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell) was not. in order.
– 1 did not say so. I urged the honorable member to show the relevancy of his remarks, and I expect him to do so.
– I understand that you, sir, recognize that my argument is directed to showing that the bill is aimed at the communists who are within the Labour party.
– I recognize that the honorable member does not make the task of the Chair very easy.
– Then why, sir, do you not rule him out of order straightway ?
– Order I
– I do not quite understand the position, but I bow to the ruling of the Chair.
– The honorable member is giving us the same stuff as he gave to the old women in his electorate.
An Honorable Member. - The action of the Opposition is caddish.
– It is not half so caddish as what honorable members on the Government side are doing.
– Unless honorable members cease to disregard the authority of the Chair as they have done, I shall leave the chair until the House is restored to order.
– Let me remind honorable members of the statement made by Mr. Garden at Moscow, that the Labour party here could not bring about any permanent betterment in the conditions of the workers by legislative action, and the further statement that propagandists were being trained in Moscow for service here and elsewhere.
– I rise to a point of order, and I desire to quote one of your rulings, sir, during the debate on this bill. You said -
Order! The House is considering the Immigration Bill. I am afraid the honorable member’s argument has become one relating purely to arbitration.
I submit that if arbitration may not be debated under the bill certainly communism cannot be debated under it.
– I think honorable members are aware of the great difficulty of confining this debate. I have alluded to it on four or five occasions when I found it necessary to interrupt honorable members. I am giving the honorable member “%or Fawkner full latitude I admit. I have appealed to him, thinking that he would recognize that the House desired him to show the relationship of his extended argument to the bill, and particularly the deportation clauses, more conclusively than he has so far done.
– Suppose one of these propagandists who has been trained in Moscow in the policy and methods of the communists comes to Australia, and is found, having got into a trade union here, to be doing his dastardly work, to be concerned in acts inciting the people to lawlessness and acts which tend to paralyse interstate or overseas commerce here, what do honorable members opposite propose to do with a man of that kind ? I say this bill is designed to meet a case of that kind. I have been trying to show that this kind of thing is going on from one end of Australia to the other, and that much of the industrial unrest from which we are suffering is directly caused by these emissaries, either men who have come from Russia direct, or are inspiring those here who share the same views. I am exceedingly sorry that Mr. Speaker seems to think -
– I am sorry myself that the honorable member did not touch upon the bill.
– I had no intention when I rose of discussing the methods of deportation, because I say deliberately that with honorable members opposite it is not a question of the method of deportation. They are opposed to the principle of deportation.
– Hear, hear !
– Whatever the method may be they are against the principle. We on this side ask why consideration should be given to a man who is found guilty of the offence described in the bill.
– By a board.
– That is part of the method of deportation. I say if a man is found guilty of the offence described in the bill-
– A foreigner.
– Yes, a foreigner.
– A foreigner who may have lived here for forty years.
– A man who has lived here for forty years ought to know better. The longer he has lived here, the more heinous his offence. Unquestionably the action of honorable members opposite in this regard is dictated by per sons outside. Another honorable member has asked them to take their courage in. both hands, and I make an appeal to them. I ask them not to dance like a. troop of meek monkeys to the piping of a. gang of foreign revolutionaries, but rather to follow the dictates of their own good Australian horse sense and vote for the bill.
– Mr. Speaker–
– I move-
That the question be now put.
Question - That the question be now put - put. The House divided.
Majority . . . . 8
The division bells having ceased ringing, and the. honorable member for Barton (Mr. F. McDonald) being about to leave the chamber,
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Question - That the words proposed to be inserted he bo inserted (Mr.Charlton’s amendment) - put. The House divided.
Majority . . 8
Question so resolved in the negative.
Question - That the bill be now read a second time - put. The House divided.
Majority . . . . 8
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time, and committed pro forma.
Lady Davidson Home at Turramurra.
Motion (by Mr. Bruce) proposed -
That the House do now adjourn.
Dr.EARLE PAGE (Cowper- Treasurer)[11. 5]. - On Friday last, the honorable member for Reid (Mr. Coleman) directed attention to a statement made concerning the conditions at the Lady Davidson Home at Turramurra. I promised the honorable member that I would have inquiries made, and to-day I have received a communication from a patient at that home which I think I should place before honorable members. It is addressed to mo, and reads -
Dear Sir, - Our attention has been drawn to a paragraph in the Sydney morning papers of to-day’s date, referring to a statement made by a member of the House of Representatives to the House affecting this home. An extraordinary meeting of the sports club, which represents nearly all the patients in the home, was called, and the following motion was carried unanimously, and I was directed to acquaint you of the terms of the resolution.
That this meeting of the sports club of the Lady Davidson Home, Turramurra, emphatically denies the statement made by a member in the Federal House with re. gard to the alleged conditions in the home, and if any individual complainthas been made to any party not connected with the home, it was without the official sanction of the patients, who strongly resent the misrepresentation.
Further, that there is no foundation for the statement that any military discipline is enforced, or that the home is a glorified prison, and that the patients, generally speaking, are satisfied with the conditions existing in the home at the present time, and they firmly believe that any complaints which may be made from time to time can be rectified by the present administration.
It is to be regretted that the member in questionwas misled by some individual person whose state of health has led to exaggerated statements.
A copy of this resolution has also been forwarded to the Commissioner for Repatriation.
I desire to bring this matter before the House, because, as I stated on Friday last, every honorable member, and, in fact, every member of the community is deeply interested in the conditions under which our tubercular patients at that home are being treated.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
House adjourned at 11.7 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 14 July 1925, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1925/19250714_senate_9_110/>.