10th Parliament · 1st Session
The President (Senator the Hon. T. Givens) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.
– (By leave.) - I desire to inform the Senate that, on the 5th December, 1925, the Hon. Sir Littleton Groom, K.C.M.G., K.C., who has been AttorneyGeneral of the Commonwealth for many years, tendered his resignation, which was accepted by the Governor-General on the 18th. December, and the Hon. J. G. Latham, C.M.G., K.C., was sworn in as Attorney-General on the same date.
SenatorPEARCE (Western Australia - Minister for Home and Territories) [3.4]. - (By leave.) - In addition to the Department of Home and Territories, the Departments of the Prime Minister and Treasurer will be represented in this chamber by myself. The Minister for Markets and Migration (Senator Wilson) will represent the Departments of the Attorney-General, the Minister for Trade and Customs, and the Minister for Works and Railways in addition to his own department. The Departments of the Minister for Defence and of the Minister for Health and of the PostmasterGeneral will be represented by Senator Crawford.
– I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health -
– A satisfactory arrangement has been made with Dr. Smalpage, and a full statement concerning the matter is being made by the Minister for Health in another place this afternoon.
Assent to the following bills of1925 reported : -
Australian War Memorial.
Naval Properties Transfer.
Northern Territory Representation.
War Pensions Appropriation.
War Service Homes.
Invalidand Old-age Pensions.
Income Tax Assessment.
Excise Tariff Validation.
Customs Tariff Validation.
Supply (No.3) 1925-26.
The. PRESIDENT.- Pursuant to standing order No. 38, I hereby appoint the following senators to be the Committee of Disputed Returns and Qualifications: - Senators W; L. Duncan, Sir T. W. Glasgow, John Grant, J. F. Guthrie, A. A. Hoare, E. Needham, and the Hon. H. J. M. Payne.
– Pursuant to standing order No. 28a, I hereby nominate Senators Sir T. W. Glasgow, W. Kingsmill, J. E. Ogden, and W. Plain, a panel to act as Temporary . Chairmen of Committees when requested so to do by the Chairman of Committees, or whenthe Chairman of Committees is absent.
– I ask the Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) whether the members of the Government and its supporters were returned to the Parliament on a common policy? If they were, why do they meet in separate apartments? Are they going to continue this politicaltwin-bed policy; and, if so, does it indicate that steps will shortly be taken to obtain a political divorce)
– As I replied on a previous occasion to the honorable sena tor’s Leader (Senator Gardiner) it is always unwise to interfere in domestic matters. I can assure my honorable friend that the domestic relations of members of the Ministerial party are amiable and happy, and that we are in thorough accord. ‘ I can hold out no hope to the honorable senator of any discord in future.
The following papers were presented : -
Seat of Government (Administration) Act - Federal Capital Commission - First. Annual Report of the Federal Capital Commission for the period ended 30th June, 1925.
Ordered to be printed.
Air Force Act and Defence Act - Regulations . Amended, Statutory Rules 1925, No. 208.
Arbitration (Public Service) Act - Determinations by the Arbitrator, &c. -
No. 25 of 1925- Fourth Division Officers’ Association of the Trade and Customs Department.
No. 26 of 1925- Arms, Explosives and Munitions Workers’ Federation of Australia ; Amalgamated Engineering Union; Australasian Society of Engineers.
No. 27 of 1925- Commonwealth Storemen and Packers’ Union.
No. 28 of 1925- Federated Public Service Assistants Association.
No. 29 of 1925- Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association.
No. 30 of 1925 - Postal Overseers Union of Australia.
No. 31 of 1925- Amalgamated Postal Linemen, Sorters, and Letter Carriers Union of Australia.
No. 32 of 1925- Australian Postal Electricians Union.
No. 33 of 1925- ProfessionalOfficers Association, Commonwealth Public Service.
No. 34 of 1925- Professional Officers Association, Commonwealth Public Service.
Audit Act - Transfers of. amounts approved by the Governor-General in Council - Financial Year 1924-25 -
Dated16th September, 1925.
Dated 30th September, 1925.
Customs Act - Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1925, Nos. 186, 195, 218.
Defence Act - Regulations - StatutoryRules 1925, No. 221 - Regulations AmendedStatutory Rules 1925, Nos. 170, 190, 191, 209. 214, 220.
Electoral Act and Referendum (Constitution Alteration) Act - Regulations Amended- Statutory Rules 1925, No. 167.
Entertainments Tax Assessment Act - Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1925, No. 177.
Excise Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1925, No. 181.
Health- Report, dated 30th November, 1925, of the Royal Commission on Health, together with Appendices.
High Court Procedure Act- Rule ofCourt -Dated 4th November, 1925.
Income Tax Assessment Act - Regulations Amended- Statutory Rules 1925, No. 202.
Inscribed Stock Act: - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1925, No. 203.
International Labour Conference, held at Geneva 19th Hay to 10th June, 1925-
Report of the Australian Government Delegate;
Report of the Australian Employers’ Delegate;
Report of the Australian Workers’ Delegate;
Draft Conventions and Recommendations adopted by the Conference.
Invalid and Old-age Pensions Act - Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1925, No. 176.
Lands Acquisition Act - Land acquired -
For Defence purposes - Victoria: - Point Cook.
For Health purposes - Queensland - Townsville.
For Postal purposes - Victoria - Rainbow.
New South Wales - Hamilton; Smithtown.
Queensland - Maxwelton. Western Australia - Bridgetown.
For Quarantine purposes - Western Australia - Bicton.
Locarno Conference - Final Protocol of the Locarno Conference, 1925 (and Annexes), together with Treaties between France and Poland and France and Czechoslovakia.
Nationality Act - Return showing the number of persons to whom Certificatesof Naturalization were granted during the year 1925, and the countries whence the applicants came.
Naval Defence Act - Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1925,Nos.164, 187, 196, 222.
New Guinea - Ordinances of 1925 -
No. 43- Supply (No. 2) 1925-26.
No. 44 - Treasury (No. 2).
No. 45 - Uncontrolled Areas.
No. 46 - Administrator’s Powers (No. 2).
No. 47 - Explosives.
No. 48- Supply (No. 3) 1925-26.
No. 49- Appropriation (No. 2) 1923-24.
No. 50- Appropriation (No. 2) 1924-25.
No. 51 - Seamen’s Compensation (No. 2).
No. 52 - Police Offences.
No. 53- Supply (No. 4) 1925-26.
Northern Territory -
Crown Lands Ordinance - Regulations.
Ordinances of 1925 -
No. 17 - Darwin Town Council.
No. 18 - Commissioners for Affidavits Validation.
No. 19 - Plant Diseases.
No. 20 - Lights on Vehicles.
Northern Territory Representation Act and
Commonwealth Electoral Act - Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1925, No.. 175.
Papua - Ordinances of 1925-
No. 6- Supply. 1925-1926.
No. 7- Central Court.
No. 8 - Judgments ( Reciprocal Enforcement).
No. 9 - Samarai Protestant Church Grant.
No. 10- Customs (Export) Tariff.
No. 11- Cotton.
No. 12 - Supplementary Appropriation (No. 4), 1924-1925.
Papuan Oilfields - Reports of Commonwealth Representative for the months of August, September, and October, 1925.
Post and Telegraph Act - Regulations Amended- Statutory Rules 1925, Nos. 188, 189. 212, 213.
Proclamations, dated 3rd November, 1925, relating to the prohibition of exportation (except under certain conditions) of - Canned Fruits; Dried Fruits; Fresh Apples and Pears.
Public Service Act - Appointments -
Attorney-General’s Department - R. F. Bush, J. A. Gornall, A. McK. Nicol, P. H. Roberts.
Department of the Treasury - J. S. Dunbar.
Department of Works and Railways - D. G. McCalman, S. Mitchell, P. J. Money, G. Royle.
Postmaster-General’s Department - A. G. Howard.
List of Permanent Officers of the Commonwealth Service on 30th June, 1925.
Regulations Amended - Statutory Rules 1925, Nos. 168, 183, 184, 185, 193, 194, 199. 205, 215.
Second Annual Report on the Commonwealth Public Service by the Board of Commissioners, dated 9th December, 1925.
Quarantine Act - Regulations Amended - Statutory’ Rules 1925, Nos. 171, 192, 198, 217.
Railways Act - By-law No. 35; By-law No. 36.
Representations Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1925, No. 211.
Territory for the Seat of Government - Ordinances of 1925 -
No. 4- Leases.
No. 5 - Fish Protection.
No.6 - Interpretation.
No. 7 - Trespass on Commonwealth Lands.
No. 8 - Federal Capital Commission’s Powers.
No. 9 - Building and Services.
No. 10 - City Area Leases.
No. 11 - Leases (Special Purposes).
No. 12- Real Property (No. 2).
No. 13 - Dairies Supervision.
No. 14 - Gun Licence.
Treaty of Peace (Germany) Act - Regulations
Amended- Statutory Rules 1925, No. 201
War Service Homes Act- Land acquired in New South Wales at Armidale.
– I should like to know why copies of the Speech delivered by His Excellency the GovernorGeneral at the opening of Parliament yesterday have not been made available to honorable senators.
). - His Excellency’s Speech appears in the J ournal of the Senate, which was issued this morning.
– I understand also that copies of the Speech were included in the papers distributed to honorable senators this morning.
– I have not received a copy.
– I move - ‘
That the following Address-in-Reply to His Excellency the Governor-General’s Speech be agreed to : -
To His Excellency the Governor-General.
We, the Senate of the Commonwealth of Australia, in Parliament assembled, desire to express our loyalty to Our Most Gracious Sovereign, and to thank your Excellency for the Speech which you have been pleased to address to Parliament.
After listening to and carefully perusing the Speech which his Excellency the Governor-General was pleased to deliver at the opening of Parliament yesterday afternoon, it was borne in upon me that it forecasts a tremendous volume of work for the coming session. Honorable senators will agree with me that much of what we have to do is of vital importance to Australia, and brooks of as little delay as possible. This Parliament has a clear and definite instruction from the people to find some effective solution for the industrial troubles to which Australia is periodically subjected, and the Prime Minister has received a mandate to use any and every means to put down with no faltering baud the sinister activities of persons who, in order to promote revolutionary objects, pursue a policy of disturbance, class hatred, and unrest. What Australia needs and what its people desire ie industrial peace, and it is gratifying to have foreshadowed in His Excellency’s Speech legislation designed to adapt our system of industrial arbitration to the requirements of the present day. Our objective should be good’ wages, good conditions, and continuity of employment.
-With that achieved we should have no industrial trouble.
– Those honorable senators on the opposite side, who claim to have a special knowledge of the case for the workers, can give Parliament valuable help and guidance in making the proposed new legislation as nearly perfect as is humanly possible.
As a citizen soldier of the Commonwealth since boyhood, it affords me pleasure to learn that Ministers realize the vital importance of providing the greatest measure of defence compatible with the man-power and financial resources of the nation. I do not propose to speak at length on the highly technical and tremendously wide subject of defence, but, bound up with an effective defence scheme are such vital matters as the establishment of secondary industries - which we must have - the unification of our railway gauges, the completion of the North-South railway, the development of the empty north, a national policy of road construction, national health, and the immigration of selected new settlers. All these important considerations, which arc touched upon in His Excellency’s Speech, are part and parcel of a sound defence policy. Primarily our defence problem is a naval one. We must ever strive to promote and increase the efficiency of the Royal Australian Navy in close co-operation with the British Navy - that incomparable shield which has stood between us and worse things since Australia was first settled, and upon which our freedom is absolutely dependent. Aviation, which is also mentioned in His Excellency’s Speech, is a matter of first importance. In my humble opinion, we are sadly lacking in its development. We are behind the times. Air power is based on ability to function in the air; but, with one or two isolated exceptions, commercial aviation hardly exists in Australia, and our present equipment is woefully inadequate from a military point of view. Granted that we have the machines, we must have the men. A number of years have passed since the Great War, when we had, in the Australian Imperial Force, some of the most skilful pilots in the world. Pilots must have practical training, and I do not think these could be any better training than a service between Australia and the Island State of Tasmania. Such a service would provide excellent training for pilots. Mid-way between the mainland and Tasmania,- in a sort of no-man’s land, we have King Island, which has excellent landing grounds for aeroplanes, and suitable facilities for accommodating seaplanes. On the land side we are doing all we can with the resources at our disposal. I regret, however, that universal military training, which I heartily support, is, unfortunately, not being carried on as it was in pre-war days. In quite a large number of centres training areas have been closed. In pre-war days I was particularly struck with the value of universal training as a means of impressing upon the rising generation - lads in their teens are at a very susceptible age - their responsibilities as well as their rights as Australian citizens. Universal training has also a good moral effect. Our Australian youths are, in a sense, extraordinary, and under leaders of high character almost anything can be done, with them. Practically nothing is impossible to our young manhood. That was proved over and over again during the Great War. Given the right leaders - leaders who will appeal to the best that is in them, and not encourage anything that is low or unworthy - our boys will give good service every time. From the standpoint of making good citizens universal training is well worth while, and is of great value to the nation.
It is mentioned in His Excellency’s speech that only three States have as yet adopted the new migration agreement. That is very disappointing. It is useless, however, to endeavour to secure a large increase of population until we have increased our power of absorption. .After the war we were told that we must produce, that we could not over-produce, and that there would always be a market for all our produce ; but, apparently, we “ fell down on the job,” for in many instances, products, when produced, could not profitably be disposed of. Until we have developed markets in which we can satisfactorily dispose of our surplus production we cannot absorb large numbers of the right type of new settlers. The development of markets and of migration must go hand and hand, and it is pleasing to me to note in His Excellency’s speech that the Government’s policy for the more orderly and efficient marketing of our products is to be proceeded with. The creation of a Department of Markets and Migration was a step in the right direction, since Australia’s whole economic system is dependent upon primary production. I do not wish to weary honorable senators with figures of which we had a surfeit during the recent election campaign. There are, however, a few which I desire to quote. The total primary and industrial production of Australia in 1923-24 was valued at £392,000,000, of which agricultural, pastoral, dairy, and forest products accounted for £238,000,000, or 60 per cent, of the total. The figures in regard to our export trade for the year ended 30th J une, 1925, are even more startling, since we find that of the total trade, which was valued at £160,000,000, 96 per cent, consisted of primary products. Wage earners, manufacturers, and traders will be assured of prosperity if the pastoralists, farmers, and fruit-growers can find a profitable outlet for their produce. Our primary and secondary industries must go hand in hand. There is no better market than the home market, and by building up our secondary industries we shall obtain that market; but even under the best conditions, I think it is obvious that this wonderful Australia of ours will always have a large exportable surplus of primary products. The British market for our foodstuffs is almost unlimited, but as has been pointed out by the Minister for Markets and Migration (Senator Wilson), our success in that direction depends first upon the establishment and maintenance of a very high standard of quality, and secondly, upon a system of orderly marketing supported by adequate finance. Tt is pleasing to learn that a portion of the revenue derived from customs and excise has been set aside to assist our producers in competing in the overseas markets. Legislation already passed has given the dairy, meat, and fruit producers control over the marketing and financing of their products, the importance of which is shown in the fact that the value of the exports of these commodities for the year just closed’ amounted to £22,000,000. It is safe to assume that the number of Australians engaged in the production of these things and their sale and transport is, approximately, 2,000,000. During the short time, that the Department of Markets and Migration has really been functioning - I think it. is only some eight. or ten months - it has achieved much success for the primary producers, particularly in connexion with the dairying industry, which added to our national income last year to the extent of, approximately, £42,000,000. The Export Control Board which regulates the sale of our dairy produce has already effected a saving of about £20,000 per annum to the dairymen by a reduction in the rates of marine insurance alone. For the year ended 30th June, 1925, we exported 65,000 tons of butter worth £10,500,000. By the adoption of pasteurization and a national brand - the Kangaroo Brand, which, in my opinion, is an excellent one - our butter and cheese have obtained a reputation for excellence, and are to-day realizing the best prices in the overseas markets.
A great deal of excellent work has bee.i done by the Department in connexion with the disposal of dried and canned fruits and meat. We cannot bring to. Australia, and successfully absorb into our national life, people of our own race in any numbers until we have thoroughly exploited the markets in which we have to dispose of our surplus products. Unless that course is adopted, disaster is bound to follow. Immediately after the termination of the war Australia had regrettable experiences, when gluts occurred in ‘ certain of her products, and they had to be allowed to rot. I abhor waste; we should not waste anything. Driven into mc as a youngster was the lesson not to waste anything, and, above all, that we should not waste time. Ear be it from me, a raw recruit making a first appearance in this Chamber, to even appear to preach to honorable senators. I hope that they will not so regard my advice. But time, once lost, is irrecoverable. The same principle applies to employment. When a man neglects an opportunity to obtain work, that opportunity is gone for all time.
Nothing is too good for the man on the land. He requires all the help and support that we can give him, because, in the final analysis, he finds the great bulk of the products for our secondary industries, and enables employment to be provided for practically everybody.
I welcome the paragraph- in the Speech which relates to the reorganization of the Institute of Science and Industry, which,
I am glad to note, is to have advanced to it further substantial sums. After all, science is merely right-thinking. No one can foretell the discoveries that might be made by scientific research, or the manner in which many of our grasses - much of our fauna and flora - might be put to profitable use for the benefit of the nation. Those avenues must be fully explored. The brains of our young Australians are as good as any in the world. That has been proved over and over again. But we must use those brains to their utmost capacity. Money spent on scientific research is money well spent, and will undoubtedly return rich dividends.
As an Australian citizen, born in Tasmania and still residing there, I have derived much satisfaction from the paragraph in the Speech which reads, “ An investigation will be made into the circumstances of Tasmania.” That decision on the part of the Government will be welcomed by all Tasmanians. The disabilities under which the island State has laboured, are unique. Many of them are duc to its insularity. They have caused the people of Tasmania very grave, concern for a considerable period, but have, nevertheless, been very patiently borne. I hope that there will be no delay in having an investigation made, because it is necessary to act quickly. Another matter that peculiarly affects Tasmania is the operation of the Navigation Act. I trust that the action which the Government proposes to take in that respect will be taken quickly, because the apple season is approaching. Hobart possesses perhaps the best natural harbour in the world. I have never entered one that is finer. Naval experts and officers of tho, mercantile marine have declared that- it is one of the most magnificent in the world; but its growth has been deplorably hampered by the restrictions which have been imposed upon it by the operation of the Navigation. Act. The Prime Minister, however, has promised to have an investigation made into the whole question, and I have not the slightest doubt that that promise will be honorably observed.
– I second the motion with, feelings of pleasure, because the Speech of His Excellency forecasts the carrying out of the very fine policy which was submitted to the people of the Commonwealth by the composite Government. The definite mandate that was given by the electors of Australia to the present Administration is a complete endorsement of that policy, and legislative effect is now to be given to it. Prior to the election one of the greatest troubles with which Australia was faced was that of industrial unrest. The time has arrived when that unrest should cease. This is a fine country for the working man, and it is necessary that notion be taken to bring about industrial peace among the masses. With that object the Government proposes to introduce measures which, it thinks, will he of considerable assistance. It proposes, first of all, to give to the different organizations authority over their own administration, so that the rank and file will be able to say what shall he done when an industrial disturbance is threatened. If the rank and file are permitted to handle their own disputes, industrial unrest will be largely obviated. The Government also proposes to submit a measure providing for the granting of privileges which will enable industrialists and other tuen of small means to acquire their own homes, thus giving them a stake in the country. The repayment of advances will he extended over a number of years, and the conditions will follow liberal lines. This benefit, coupled with those that will be conferred by the proposed, unemployment insurance scheme, will remove from industrialists the horror of privation that now faces them when there is slackness iu employment. I feel sure that if these measures are placed upon the statute-book we shall have a contented Australia. If we are to progress satisfactorily, employer and employee must work together for their mutual good and be prepared to give each other a fair deal. Only in this way may We hope materially to promote the welfare of the Commonwealth.
The policy, enunciated by the Government for the benefit of primary producers is a very liberal one. We have in it a recognition of the fact that the man on the land is the source of all wealth, and that he should have every facility for the marketing of his products. As a means to this end the Government proposes to carry out a very extensive roads development policy. Already £1,250,000 has been advanced to the various states for road construction, and the Government now contemplates advancing a further sum of £20,000,000 over a period of ten years. This, I am sure, will very materially assist the prosperity of the Commonwealth, since improvement in transport facilities will enable our primary producers to market their products more economically and efficiently both locally and overseas. The Government proposes further to assist the man on the land by making advances against his products. By this means the primary producer, if faced with an adverse market due to over-production or other causes, will be enabled to hold his products until market conditions improve.’ There are in the East practically limitless possibilities for the disposal of Australian surplus products. Canada and the United States of America have already availed themselves of the opportunities presented there, and I believe that a good com,mercial agency representing the Com; monwealth in the East would do a great deal for the disposal of Australia’s surplus production.
Recognizing that the health pf the people is of supreme importance, the Government intends to introduce legislation . to give effect to the recommendations of the royal commission which inquired into that important subject. I respectfully, suggest that the Government should investigate fully the merits of the claim made by Dr. Smalpage, in connexion with his serum for the treatment of tuberculosis. Unfortunately this disease is very prevalent, in mining centres, particularly in the city, in which I live. From time to time spasmodic attempts have been made to. cope with it, but up to the present nothing very definite nas been achieved. Unhappily, very many miners have met’ an early death, because of the inability of the authorities successfully to. combat the disease. Some time ago an investigation into the cause of tuberculosis was made’ .by a well-known medical man. He examined about 1,400 men in the district in which I live, and came to the conclusion that the disease was very prevalent amongst miners; but, unfortunately, his investigations were not followed up by any more definite action on the part of the authorities than the installation of an X-ray laboratory for the further investigation of the great white plague. I earnestly hope that the Government will evolve a policy the effect of which will be to stamp out the disease’ in Australia.
I do not altogether agree with the remarks made by the mover of the motion (Senator Sampson) concerning the immigration polity of the Government. We cannot hope to become a great manufacturing country, because, in addition to the fact that we are far removed from the markets of the world, the operatives in our secondary industries are very properly enjoying a higher standard of living than that which prevails in any other country, and our manufacturers, for these reasons; cannot compete in. the markets of the world. We have therefore to depend on the primary producer. There is room in Australia for thousands of able-bodied producers of the right stamp, and the more we can do to assist the primary producer the better. All immigrants should be required to undergo a careful medical examination before they are allowed to enter Australia.
– What about Italians and Southern Europeans generally ? They are not required to pass a medical examination before entering Australia.
– They are.
– The best immigrant, of course, is the Australian baby. Well-filled cradles are a national asset.
The Government proposes, also, to make liberal advances ‘to settlers for the purchase of wire netting to combat the rabbit pest and other vermin. For this purpose the sum of £3,000,000 will be made available to the various States over a period of six years. The rabbit is a good socialist - he believes’ in owning the land and everything on it, and if he is unchecked the unfortunate settlers ia many districts will have ‘ to hand over their land to him. It is encouraging, therefore, to know .that the Government intends to advance the amount mentioned to the various States for the purpose of dealing with the rabbit and dingo pests
Having regard to the population and financial resources of Australia, the Government has a very progressive defence policy, and that policy has my hearty endorsement. We can best secure peace by being prepared for war.
– Did Germany find that so «
– The Germans, in the end, found that they were- up against better men. a
– If Britain had been prepared, there would have been no war. .
– I feel sure that if honorable senators opposite study carefully the Government policy as outlined in the Speech delivered by His Excellency the Governor-General yesterday, they will find in it something for all classes of the community. Every section is catered for, and I am confident -that if effect be given to it we shall have a very progressive regime, with peace and prosperity, through the industrial arena. I have very great pleasure in seconding the motion.
Debate (on motion by Senator Gardiner) adjourned.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) agreed to-
That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn until 11 ‘ o’clock to-morrow.
Senate adjourned at 4.-3 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 14 January 1926, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1926/19260114_senate_10_112/>.