10th Parliament · 1st Session
The President (Senator the Hon. T. Gi vens) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.
– Can the Minister for Markets and Migration tell me if it is a fact, as stated recently in the press, that, after considerable delay, which was quite unnecessary, the Government of Queensland, on the eve of a State election, has decided to sign the Immigration agreement? I should also like to know what States are now standing out, or whether the scheme can be gone on with now that the Queensland Government has displayed some common sense by signing the agreement?
– Order!. Questions should not involve inferences or statements of fact.
– Quite recently the Premier of Queensland informed me by telegram that he intended to sign the agreement, and accordingly it was forwarded . for his signature by the earliest mail. A few days ago I was pleased to learn through the press that he had signed it. The only States which have not yet signed the agreement are New South Wales and Tasmania, but I am very hopeful that, without much further delay, it will be signed by New South Wales, and wo shall then be in a position to get on with the necessary work of reconstruction in my department.
Senator Elliott brought up the report of the Printing Committee.
asked the Minister for Home and Territories, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are us follow : -
The following papers were presented: -
Defence Act - Regulations amended - Statu tory Rules 1926, Nos. 20, 21.
Public Service Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1936, No. 23.
Motion (by Senator Mchugh, through Senator Needham) agreed to-
That two months’ leave of absence be granted to Senator Grant on account of ill-health.
Debate resumed from 10th March (vide page 1457), on . motion by . Senator Pearce -
That the bill be now read a second time, upon which Senator Gardiner had moved by way of amendment -
That all. the words after “That” be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words : - “ this House is of opinion that the bill should lie withdrawn, with a view to redrafting, so as to eliminate the obnoxious clauses referring to industrial disputes, as such clauses associated with the Crimes Actare an unwarranted affront to the great bodies of organized labour.”
– Before we adjourned last night I was dealing with a point raised by Senator Barnes. The honorable senator, during the course of his speech, had made the assertion that there is ample provision in the existing law to deal with the people contemplated to be dealt with by this bill ; but I think I showed definitely that there is no provision in the Arbitration Act to deal with them. The assertion made by Senator Barnes has also been made by a great many other members of the Labour party, both inside and outside Parliament; but the honorable senator is the first man to my knowledge who has produced definite evidence on which to base it. The evidence he has produced is section 5 of the Arbitration Act, but a mere cursory glance at this section last night was sufficient to show that the honorable senator was entirely wrong in this- respect. It is rather amazing that a man with the honorable senator’s undoubted intelligence should seriously make such an assertion in this chamber, and expect honorable senators to believe it. I could understand his getting away with it when talking to a ‘ collection of uninformed people of the type over whom he usually presides, but that he should have the effrontery to ask honorable senators to believe such twaddle is . beyond my comprehension. The honorable senator’s speech was quite interesting. His delivery is attractive, and it is pleasing to listen to him. One can easily . understand- how he has attained the very high position he has reached in the industrial world, and readily recognize how he’ comes to exercise great sway in that arena. For that reason, it is incumbent upon him to be very careful in the statements he makos, both inside this chamber and in his union. A great responsibility rests on a member of Parliament who is the head of an organization comprising 130,000 Australian workmen. The men who listen to his statements are naturally not as informed on the. law as are honorable senators. They have not the opportunity that we have to obtain information, and, therefore, . they believe that the man who is at their head as presiding officer of the union is advising them correctly when he professes to be dealing with facts. The assertions made by SenatorBarnes and by other members of the Labour party, both in and out of Parliament, are deliberate camouflage to conceal the fact that they take their instructions from outside organizations dominated by communists. Whether or not honorable senators opposite are really at sea as to the real issue at the last election, is doubtful ; but we are assured by Senators Needham, Graham, and Findley, and other honorable senators that deportation was the main issue.
– The whole issue.
– Now the statement is repeated. Senator Graham went so far as to say that the deportation of Messrs. Walsh and Johnson was the sole issue.
– There is no doubt about that. The Government said that it could not carry on until those men had “been put out of the way.
– BROCKMAN. - There is a repetition of the absurd statement. In . order to ascertain what the real question was, one must turn to the Prime Minister’s policy speech, in which there was not a single reference to either Walsh or Johnson. Except in response to questions asked of the Prime Minister at the various meetings addressed by him, he never mentioned those individuals by name.
– Did he not accept the challenge of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) to go to the people on the deportation issue?
– Deportation was only part of the issue. To quote the words of the Prime Minister, the issue was as follows : -
The Ministry is determined to defeat the nefarious designs of the extremists in our midst, and, armed with the mandate of the people, will take all necessary steps to accomplish this end. Although under our Constitution there is a King’s peace of the Commonwealth which co-exists side by side with the King’s peace within each of the States, up to this date in the history of Australia there has been little need for the Commonwealth to take action .for its preservation. Generally speaking, the authorities and laws of the’ States have been adequate to deal with what may be generally regarded as breaches of the King’s peace. Recent happenings have clearly demonstrated the existence of actions prejudicial to the peace of the Commonwealth. The time has now arrived when the Commonwealth Parliament should exercise its powers and pass effective legislation to deal with offences against the peace of the Commonwealth, including action against those persons who are actively engaged in associations and propaganda work having as their object the overthrow of the Constitution, interference with Commonwealth activities, resistance to its laws, and generally taking part in unlawful action for the purpose of subverting external and internal commerce and intercourse in Australia. The paramount issue in this campaign is the maintenance of law and order, and the supremacy of constitutional government.
The’ issue that was placed before the electors of Australia was clear, concise, and definite. It was repeated by every Nationalist candidate from every platform throughout the country. The issue was not the deportation of Messrs. Walsh and ‘ Johnson - they were not important enough for that. The matter of those two men was merely incidental to the determination of the Government to deal with men of that type. The mandate given to the Nationalist party on that issue is being carried out in Parliament to-day. This bill has been introduced in- consequence of the undertaking given by the Prime Minister that law and order would be maintained, and constitutional government upheld. When the Government resolved to deport Messrs. Walsh and Johnson on account of their actions in Australia prior to the election, there was great consternation in the hearts of a great many persons dominated by communists. I refer in the main to the whole of the Labour party. So concerned were they, that at the instigation of their masters, some of the principal members of the party, both in Parliament and out of it, met in Sydney to devise means whereby they could defeat the law, and the mandate that the Government had received. Included among them was Senator Needham, who went- to Sydney to assist others in an attempt to defy the law, the Government, and the Constitution.
– I would do the same thing again to-morrow under similar circumstances.
– Yet the honorable senator tells up that he is not a communist.
– I am not.
– And he repeats it now. Mr. Walsh has also informed us that he is not a communist, but a member of the Labour party. We must judge them by their actions rather than their words. Anybody who is an avowed communist is ostentatiously thrown out of the Labour party ; but anybody who, while acting as a communist, refrains from declaring himself to be one. may remain in the party. The communist subscribes to the Labour platform, because the platforms of the communists and of the Labour party arn identical. The Labour party’s object.ive is the socialization of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, and the platfrom of the communists is stated in identical terms.
– That is not on the platform of the Labour party.
– That - is the whole of its platform. That is its objective, and to say anything else is. merely to quibble.
– Senator Pearce formerly subscribed tothat platform.
– It is unnecessary for me to go into the history of the changes in the platform ofthat party. The point I wish to make is that the objectives of the two parties, as declared by them, are identical. The only difference is that the Labour party avows that it will attain its objective by constitutional means, while the communists propose to attain it by any means, and particularly by force.
– They know perfectly well that it is impossible to attain it by constitutional means.
– Of course. This matter was dealt with very effectively by Senator Barwell some days ago. It is obvious to any intelligent person that this must be so. Senator Needham has declared ithat he is not a communist, but that he is quite prepared to use force to defy the law.
Senator Needham. - I rise to a point of order. Senator Drake-Brockman has put into my mouth words which I never used. I never said that . I would use force. I said that if, in my opinion, a law was unjust, I would not obey it.
– The honorable senator in not entitled to interrupt the speech of another honorable senator for the purpose of making a personal explanation.
– I say, deliberately, that if Senator Needham has not used those words, he has employed language to which no other meaning can be attached, and he has? clearly indicated that he is prepared to defy the law by force.
– I have said nothing of the sort.
– The honorable senator says that he is not a communist, but he stands condemned out of his own mouth. In due course he will be called upon to answer to the people of Western Australia, and I am sure that they will deal with him when the time comes. The honorable gentleman has stated that he is prepared to defy any law of the Commonwealth that does not meet with his approval. If that is not revolution, I do not know what is. Where would the honorable senator draw the line? If a man does not want to pay taxes, all he need do, according to Senator Needham, is to refuse to pay. Again, if a man does not like the law that provides penalties for stealing, he may with impunity defy it and steal another person’s goods. This bill, he tells us, manufactures crime. The action of the communists in Australia has produced a state of affairs that makes it necessary for this Parliament to again define a further series of crimes and prescribe the punishment. In this respect we are doing what every Parliament in the Empire has always been doing, namely, making new laws for the protection of the community. No public man should do anything to undermine the authority of the law. Unfortunately, that has been done in this chamber, which is the highest tribunal in theland, and by those who claim to be leaders of the workingclass movement in Australia. It is deplorable that leaders in the industrial sphere of the Commonwealth should give utterance to statements such as we have heard during the debate on this bill.
SenatorFoll. - I think Senator Needham is sorry now for the attitude he took up.
– He will have good reason to regret it by the time the electors of Western Australia have dealt with him.
– I shall stand by every word that I have said, and. shall be prepared to repeat my statements on every platform in Australia.
– Th e people who oppose this bill are anxious to set up in Australia the dictatorship of the proletariat - a political catchword culled from the speeches of certain political leaders in Europe, and intended particularly for the ears of the downtrodden people of the Old World.
– Has the honorable senator heard us use those words?
-BROCKM AN . - I have heard them used constantly. We have no proletariat, no downtrodden poor, in this country. Every person, poor or rich, is in the enjoyment of equal rights. And yet we hear this absurd talk about establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat. They tell us - I have heard it very often - that the poor have nothing to lose but their chains.
– The honorable senator is speaking an untruth. . I never used those words in this chamber or outside of it.
– Order ! Senator Needham knows very well that whilst he is entitled to correct Senator DrakeBrockman, he must not do so in unparliamentary language. I ask the senator to withdraw that statement.
Senator Needham. - I withdraw it, Mr. President, but I repeat that Senator Drake-Brockman never heard me, either inside or outside this chamber, use those words. Let the honorable senator be fair if he can.
– The honorable senator is entitled to make a personal explanation, but not to make insinuations.
- Senator Needham has just said (hat he never used the words which I have quoted . Perhaps he is right. I accept his assurance, but I have heard him on more than one occasion, quoting probably from Karl Marx, use words which, if not identical, have exactly the . same meaning.
– I have never referred to Karl Marx.
– Honorable gentleman opposite can hardly speak on certain subjects without quoting Karl Marx, though, perhaps, they are unaware of it.
Senator Needham. - The honorable senator is misstating the facts. . Karl Marx dead was a better man than Senator Drake-Brockman is alive.
– Th e honorable gentleman is now abusive. He and other honorable senators opposite are not in a very comfortable position over this bill. Perhaps they are entitled to our sympathy. I honestly believe that many of them are under instructions from elsewhere to oppose it against their better judgment. Some, I believe, are honestly opposed to it, but others are absolutely dishonest in their opposition. They understand its purpose, but, at the dictation of people outside, they are opposing it. Only now and again do we find a man, like Senator Ogden, with sufficient courage to state his views fearlessly. No new principle has been introduced into this bill. It is the fundamental right of every sovereign State to say who shall come into, and remain within, its terri tory. That principle has been in existence for many centuries. In Great Britain it has been in existence ever since there has been a definite form of government there. It can unquestionably be said to be the fundamental right of sovereignty. It is the right upon which our policy of a White Australia is based. We are certainly not going to lessen that right in any respect. It is the principle that underlay the objection that was taken by Australia last year to the Geneva Protocol. If honorable senators peruse the measures that are upon our statute-book they will find that one of them is the Immigration Act, which asserts this very right - a right that has been constantly exercised under it. It is a further fundamental right of the Commonwealth to enforce its laws and to exact penalties for any breach of those laws. It is, moreover, the duty of the Government to enforce the law. It is also the duty of Parliament to provide penalties for a breach of any law. That is what this bill proposes to do. Every citizen has the right to object to any law, and he may, ifhe wishes, endeavour to induce the people to agree to its alteration. So long as the Labour party takes - up that attitude, itwill be on firm ground. But immediately it begins to defy the law it will be on very dangerous ground. The Commonwealth has until recently invariably had the assistance of the States in its efforts to. enforce Commonwealth laws; the members of the Police Force in the various States were readily placed at the disposal of the Commonwealth until recently, when an appeal was unavailingly made to the Premier of Western Australia to allow the police officers of that State to assist in quelling trouble that occurred at Fremantle.
– The honorable senator was not here at that time.
– I was in Perth at the time.
– The honorable senator is again misstating the case.
– I was not referring to the trouble that occurred during my absence from Australia. My reference was to the occasion when the Premier of Western Australia did not respond to the request of the Commonwealth Government to supply police protection to enable the customs and quarantine laws of the Commonwealth to be carried out at Fremantle.
– There was no need for it.
– It is of no use for my friend to say that there was no need for it. The officials of the Commonwealth were unable to administer the law, because the Premier and the Government of Western Australia declined to supply the necessary police protection. The Commonwealth Government had been working upon the assumption that there was no necessity to have a distinct force of police to enforce Commonwealth laws. At this late hour these extraordinary people came along and said, “ Enforce your own laws.”
– -That was quite right. Do your own business. Why ask other people, to do your dirty work for you?
– If that attitude is persisted in it may be necessary to establish a permanent” police organization under the control of the Commonwealth Government. It would be deplorable if the citizens of Australia were compelled to shoulder that additional expense; but if governments of the type of those in Western Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland, continue along those lines, it will become increasingly obligatory upon the taxpayers of Australia to make that provision. We are told bv honorable senators opposite that it is proposed to provide for the imposition of a double penalty. I think I am right in saying that in the British Empire the act of deportation has always been a political and not a judicial act’. There have certainly been occasions in Great Britain when deportation has been a portion of the sentence of the judiciary. But my view, which” is accepted throughout the Empire, is that that is fundamentally wrong, and that deportation is essentially a political act that ought not to be one of the duties of judicial officers. An excellent illustration of’ that principle has been afforded in Western ‘ Australia and Queensland. During the course of the war the present Premier of Western Australia (Mr. Collier) was prosecuted for a breach of a Commonwealth law before a Mr. Walter, who was resident magistrate at Kalgoorlie. In the ordinary administration of the law, and upon the evidence that was adduced, he was found guilty and fined. He then announced that his turn would come, and that when it did he would dea) with Mr. Walter. In the course of time he became the Premier of Western Australia. One of his first acts, if not the first, after his accession to that office, was to sack Mr-. Walter, merely because, as a magistrate administering the law of the Commonwealth, he had performed his duty.
– It is a habit that they have.
– I could quote several similar instances which illustrate the principle upon which Labour politicians work. Of all the Labour Premiers in Australia Mr. Collier is the mildest. Yet he took that action. Notwithstanding that fact, honorable senators of the Opposition argue that deportation should be a sentence of a court, and not the act of a government. Any offences that are committed under this legislation will be dealt with, not by judges of the High Court, who have a life tenure, and cannot be interfered with by politicians, but by the lesser State courts. I ask honorable senators to picture the results to these unfortunate individuals who give effect to the law if they dare to carry out its provisions, in view of what happened to certain magistrates in Queensland and Western Australia because they had sufficient courage to . administer the . law. Seeing that we have governments of this type in Australia from time to time, it becomes our obvious duty, if we desire that the law of the Commonwealth shall be administered justly, to relieve the lower courts of the responsibility of interpreting and applying it; for they are usually presided over by magistrates not protected by life appointments, who are liable to incur the hatred of this great Labour party, which preaches against victimization and practises it on every possible occasion. Senator Needham was on firm ground in one statement that he made. He protested against the common practice of decrying everything Australian, and of alleging that Australia, being over-legislated for in her industrial arena, is in a constant state of industrial turmoil, and so is the happy hunting ground for strike agitators. It is true, unfortunately, that many people do decry Australia. It is also true that the prevailing opinion in Great Britain is that Australia is in a more or less permanent condition of industrial turmoil. This is accounted for by the fact that some public men and newspaper writers here, who disagree with our policy of compulsory industrial arbitration and the various schemes for preserving industrial peace that are subsidiary to it, give wide publicity to every disturbance that occurs. 1, personally, am a great believer in arbitration. Australia has set out on a great experiment in this regard. I do not assert that she has passed beyond the experimental stage, but I do say definitely that the success that has attended- her experiment so far” justifies her in persevering with it. So far from it being true that we have more strikes here than any other industrial country in the world, the fact is otherwise. We have less industrial turmoil than any other country, with one exception. - This fact justifies us in continuing to develop our arbitration policy. I wish to point out that approximately fourfifths of our industrial disturbances occur in the coal mining and transport groups.
– What is the percentage of the employees in those groups to the employees in the whole of our industries ?
– BROCKMAN . - About 20 per cent, of our unionists, but less than 10 per cent, of the total number of our employees, are engaged in these industries. I am sorry . that I have not; the exact figures by me, but I shall take the opportunity of quoting them on another occasion. The disturbances in these two groups alone have created the feeling that Australia is always in a state of industrial trouble, and it is in them that the communists have so strongly entrenched themselves. They have done so because these are key industries, the operation of which profoundly affects the whole of our commercial life for good or ill. The commnnists have not fastened themselves very firmly to any other group of employees. It was the obvious duty of the Government to take steps to counteract the activities of the communists. I have prepared a good deal more matter on this subject, but I shall not use it just now. I desire to say, in conclusion, that the Government, having a full knowledge of the circumstances in Australia, would have failed in its duty if it had not presented this bill to us, and the great Labour party will fail to discharge the solemn obligation placed on it by the people whom it purports to represent here if it continues its resistance to the passage of the bill.
.- As one who has been associated with trade unionism since it first took root in Australia, I regret very much that there is necessity for the introduction of a bill of this character. Honorable senators opposite have been very weak in their opposition to the measure.In fact, I cannot remember weaker resistance by them to any bill. The reason for it, of course, is that they have no faith iu their own arguments, and that they know the introduction of the bill is justifiable. No one believes more than I. do in the constitutional methods that Labour has used in the past to achieve its ends, and I regret, that those who lead the movement , to-day have a tendency to adopt other methods, which threaten to destroy the whole fabric of our society. In the early days, the trade union movement was subjected to severe criticism., and its leaders to much persecution. I have been surprised to hear some honorable senators on this side of the chamber speak iu such glowing terms of the high ideals and objects of the Labour party of a few years ago. If they had been as broadminded then as they seem to be now, affairs would never have reached the present deplorable condition. Years ago. the great majority of. leaders in the trade union movement were persecuted iu every conceivable way. I speak from a good deal of personal experience. We were told at that time t<> seek to remedy our trouble by political instead of strike methods. The workers took their advice, and went into politics, with the result that time after time Labour majorities were returned to Parliament. Another result was that a big endeavour was made to settle strikes by means of arbitration. It took many years to convince some of the unionists that they should adopt arbitration for the settlement of disputes, and it took much longer to convince the public of Australia that arbitration was necessary, but finally, after a great deal of agitation and trouble, Arbitration Acts were placed on our statute-books. What has been the result ? To-day, owing to the misuse of the power given under the Commonwealth Arbitration Act, we have a greater tyranny than previously existed in Australia. In the days of voluntarism there were few strong unions in Australia. The strongest was what is now known as the Australian Workers’ Union, but it had not anything like the numbers it has to-day. There was no union in Australia at . that time which embraced in its ranks all the employees in an industry. There were large numbers of free labourers or non-unionists - they were called other names, of course - and, until compulsory arbitration was instituted, all the strikes which occurred were broken by them. Through these strikes the workers experienced a great deal of suffering, with very little gain, and it was finally drilled into their minds, that they could obtain salvation only through the ranks of political Labour. When compulsory arbitration was provided for by law, it was followed by compulsory unionism, with preference to unionists. The key to the situation is preference to unionists. If we deprived the unions of preference to unionists, they would fade away to the weak condition in which they existed before compulsory arbitration. The unions owe their present strength to the legislation of this Parliament and other Legislatures in Australia, and not to their leaders, their organizers, or their numbers. It is the law which has built up the tyrannical organizations of to-day. Although I have been a unionist since boyhood, I have never been in favour of preference to unionists.I did not dislike joining a union, and I always did my best to persuade my fellow workers to join a union, but I have the strongest objection to the law stepping in and compelling me to do something to which I have conscientious objections. The whole trouble in the industrial world to-day has arisen out of the fact that, under the law passed by this Parliament, judges have given preference to unionists. No one can remain in a calling to-day unless he joins a union.
– The honorable senator is not correct in his statement. The Federal Arbitration Court has not given preference to unionists - at any rate, it has not given it to the Australian Workers’ Union.
– The Commonwealth Government first gave preference to unionists, and, although the court has not actually given preference to unionists in an award, preference to unionists has been obtained in another way. The court has declared that, before an individual can benefit under an arbitration award, he must be a member of a union.
– What is wrong with that ?
– What is that but preference to unionists ? Under our arbitration law every man engaged in an industry must become a member of a union, whether he likes it or not, and once he becomes a member he must continue in the union or starve. I do not blame the unions. Parliament has done this. The consequence is that inexperienced men, with no sense of responsibility, obtain the highest positions in the unions. In the early days the remunerationgiven to union leaders and secretaries was hardly a living, but to-day the officers of these organizations ride about in motor cars, and enjoy princely salaries, and because all the workers engaged in a particular industry are compelled to be members of their union they exercise a power greater than that of Parliament. They are responsible only to those who put them in their positions. Mr. Tom Walsh’s name has . been mentioned a good deal here. He did’ not organize the Seamen’s Union. I knew that union when Mr. George Sangster in Victoria, ex-Senator Bob Guthrie in South Australia, Mr. Jack Davies and Mr. Sam Smith, of New South Wales, and Mr. Charley Seymour, of Brisbane, were associated with it. That was before compulsory arbitration. The union did not then embrace half the seamen engaged on the coast, but now that the Arbitration Act compels every seaman or fireman to be a member of the union, Mr. Tom Walsh has become mightier than the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth. He can hold up the transport of this country in defiance of the law, and he gets the power to do so from the fact that this Parliament has passed an act which compels men to join unions or starve. Has arbitration prevented strikes ? It has not. Prior to the passing of the Arbitration Act there were not half the strikes there are to-day. Irresponsible men, wanting in sense and experience, lead their unions into strikes. Mr. Tom Walsh has declared his reason for doing so. He wants to break down the capitalistic system. He does not bother about wages or hours. He simply wants to paralyze the capitalistic system by strikes. And he gets the power to bring about a strike because every seaman on the coast must be a member of the Seamen’s Union. If a man dares to take the place of a striker, we know what happens to him. It is idle to talk of Australian liberty. Mr. Walsh got his power,not because of his innate ability or initiative, but because if a strike is commenced no one dares to take the place of the strikers. As soon as a strike is settled, the man who takes the place of the striker is wiped out. That has recently been proved in New South Wales. In 1917 a loyalist union was formed to load our transports and get our ships away with food for pur soldiers at the front, but the Labour Government in power in the State recently passed an act to wipe the members of this union out of existence. Where is the call for men to leave the ranks of their union even to serve the Government in a patriotic cause ? During the miners’ strike in New South Wales the Victorian State Government started a mine, but as soon as the strike was over the non-unionists who worked in that mine were thrown on the scrap-heap.
– What does the honorable senator think ought to have been done with those men ?
SenatorREID. - That does not matter. I am giving the facts. All the condemnation of the actions of the Labour party and the union is due to the laws passed by this Parliament. If we want to settle these troubles, and restore industry in Australia to the position it previously occupied, we shall have to abolish preference to unionists. There is no alternative. When a strike is declared a man cannot be compelled to work, although the effect of the Commonwealth arbitration law is to compel every employee to join a union. If a workman refuses to do so he is called a “ scab.” The- wharf labourers, simply because they were afraid of being called “ scabs “ if they did not support the seamen in their strikes,- were dragged at the coat-tails of Mr. Walsh year after year until they became sick of him. Many times, against their better judgment and against the wishes ofthe majority of their members, they were forced into that position. Therefore, this Parliament, and not the Labour party, is responsible for any success that communism has achieved in
Australia. I claim to know the opinion of the workers of this country, and I am not afraid of the communistic bogy. It is good window dressing, of course; the fact is that the law has built up huge industrial organizations which compel the workers to join them, and the communistsare using the position to advance their own ends. I do not . believe that 5 per cent, of the members of unions are communists, although the latter cause a lot of trouble by attending the union meetings, and bully-ragging any decent man who expresses an honest opinion. The law is at fault, as I have already said, because its effect has been to compel men to join the unions.
– The law does nothing of the kind. The Federal Arbitration Court has never ‘ awarded preference to unionists. My union has applied for that, but has been unable to obtain it.
SenatorREID.- Although the Arbitration Court has not awarded preference to unionists, I believe that a workman must be a member of a union to enable him to obtain the benefit of an award of the court.
– All workmen, whether members of a union or not, ordinarily receive the rates stipulated in the award applying to their industry; but if an employer refuses to pay those rates, a non-unionist has no claim against him.
SenatorREID. - My contention stands. Unless a workman belongs to a branch of the Australian Workers’ Union, he cannot receive the benefit of the award granted to that organization. He must either starve or join the union. Senator Barnes, as president of that body, knows that organizers are employed at £8 a week to travel about in motor cars, making “ slackers “ pay their contributions to that union.
– Would the honorable senator allow a member of an organization to enjoy the benefits obtained by it, and pay nothing in return ?
– I appreciate that phase of the matter; but, on the other hand, the law makes it necessary for workmen, whether they like it or not, to join the unions. I know dozens of persons who are politically opposed to Labour, but who as workmen have to pay union fees. I repeat that the only way in which to overcome the difficulty is to abolish preference to unionists.
– My union has never obtained that.
– But. as I have already pointed out, arbitration awards have had that effect. I remember when the shearers were paid 15s. and 17s. 6d. a hundred. When they demanded £1. and succeeded in obtaining it, they thought they had scored splendidly.’ As soon as the Arbitration Court- gave the Australian Workers’ Union power to compel every shearer to join the union, the rate was increased from £1 to £2 5s. a hundred. That increase was obtained, not by virtue of the strength of the union, but because of the awards of the Arbitration Court..
– We obtained that increase because of the justice of our claim.
– I know the method that the Australian Workers’ Union adopted in the shearing sheds, and so does the honorable senator.
– It. even had a strike because certain men were members of a craft union.
– Yes. Parliament itself is responsible for the present’ situation. I am apprehensive because the communists in the unions are doing what they can to upset the capitalistic system. It is only a pretence to say that they have been turned out. of the Labour party. They are in the unions which represent the strength of the Labour movement in Australia, and the extremists who pull the strings are, for the most part, the unmarried and irresponsible trade unionists who came into the enjoyment of the franchise when they reached the age of 21 years. That was another mistake made by the legislature of this country. The Australian Workers Union, of which Senator Barnes is the president, has set a good example to all the other industrial organizations in Australia. It has always stood for arbitration, and, as far as the extremists have allowed it, the Australian Workers Union has never turned its back on that principle. The recent state of affairs in Queensland was referred to in the course of the debate yesterday. Gladstone for several weeks was the centre of a very serious industrial disturbance. Finally the primary producers took the law into their own hands, for the simple reason that constitutional government had failed, and, clearing the communistsout of the district, carried on the work themselves. The movement spread subsequently to Bowen and to Cairns. I should like to know where it is going to end.
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon.
Honorable Senators. - Hear, hear !
Mr. Fairbairn then entered the chamber, and was accommodated with a seat on the right of the President.
– Although the primary producers were under the necessity of protecting their individual interests, their action at Gladstone and other Queensland centres was an invasion of the rights of constitutional government, which was not strong enough to protect them in an industrial crisis.
– Does the honorable senator think that this bill will give that protection ?
– Undoubtedly it will if the Government enforces the law. I know of no other country where the workers are as well off as in Australia. I claim to know something of the means by which they have reached their present happy state, because in the earlier years of the Labour movement I worked for them. Everything was obtained by constitutional methods, and all rights and privileges now enjoyed by the workers of Australia can only be retained in the same way. I intend to support the bill, because I think it will strengthen the hands of the Government, and enable it to deal effectively with those extremists who are a menace, not only to the trade union movement, but to the Commonwealth. I realize that if left to themselves, the communists in
Australia would be harmless, but working through huge industrial organizations they succeed in appointing delegates to trades and labour councils, and thus exert an undue influence on Labour policy. Senator Barnes knows very well that one-half of the resolutions passed by the various trades and labour councils in Australia are moved by certain individuals who no more represent the Labour movement in Australia than Senator Barnes represents the extremists, who are the cause of so much trouble. The honorable senator knows also that the industrial leaders in Australia have nothing to fear from the bill so long as they keep within the law. I have not much to say about the deportation provisions of the bill, except that I would prefer to have, all offenders dealt with in Australia. Honorable senators opposite have stated that Labour’s objective has not been altered in recent years. I propose to read the objective of the party.,, so that honorable senators may judge for themselves. In 1915 the principal objective of the Labour party was stated as follows i -
The securing of the full results of their industry to all producers by the collective ownership of monopolies and the extension of the industrial and economic functions of the State and municipality.
In 1919 that objective was again altered to the following at the Trades Hall in Sydney : -
Emancipation of human labour from all forms of exploitation, and the obtaining for all workers the full reward of their industry by the collective ownership and the democratic control of’ the collectively-used agencies of production, distribution, and exchange. “ Exploitation “ is a full-sounding phrase that is calculated to make unionists wave the flag and yell “ Hurrah !” It is a nice piece of camouflage. I wonder who will provide a definition of “ exploitation “ ! I expect it will be provided by the proletariat. Subsequently the whole of the camouflage was removed, and a comprehensive, straight-out statement was made. In 1921, at the Trades Hall in Brisbane, a further conference of the party was held. Mr. Theodore, at that conference, made one of his famous speeches in opposition to the red-raggers. He had made similar speeches on previous occasions, but, when the screw was put on him, he became a rubber stamp. Throughout his career, although he frequently spoke against the red-raggers, he always gave them everything that they wanted. In passing, I should like to say that on one occasion he fought the parliamentary caucus, and a split occurred. He and his Ministers walked out of the party room, expecting that that action would induce his critics in the party to again fall in behind him. It had the contrary effect .; those who were left behind immediately proceeded to elect a fresh Cabinet. So alarmed were Mr. Theodore and his followers that they rushed back into the caucus and regained control of it. I was referring to the objective that was agreed upon in 1921. It was as follows: -
The socialization of industry, production, distribution, and exchange.
There is no camouflage about that.
– It is not on the platform of the Labour party.
– Senator Hoare knows as well as I do that the platform is so framed as to make that objective- possible at the earliest moment.
– Iu about 1,000 years’ time.
– I am not finding fault with it. If that is the objective of the party, and honorable senators opposite believe in it, I say to them, “ Go ahead.” But, in any case, I ask them to be true to their colours.
– Does the honorable senator agree with it?
– I agree with a good deal of it, because it appeals to my common sense. It would appeal to any one who was not blinded by political interests. Senator Hoare, Senator Findley, and Senator Barnes must sign that objective, because it is a part of thenplatform. It is no good their contradicting me, because I know too much about the matter. They may try to humbug other honorable senators, but they cannot humbug me.
– We do not sign it.
– The details - the platform - that they make available to the public are merely stepping-stones to the objective that they have at the head of their platform.
– Is there any one who would accept the honorable senator’s signature to it? They would take his word ; but would not accept his signature.
– The Leader of the Labour party would not get it, because I would not submit to their tyranny and take responsibility for their stupidity. 1 have given a lifetime’s service to the Labour movement. I left it of my own accord ; I did not wait until I was kicked out. I told the responsible officials the reason for my disagreement with them, and I walked out on the best of terms with them.
– But they call you a “ rat.”
– Only after the outbreak of the war, when I fought them upon the conscription issue did they apply that epithet to me. The reason for my leaving the party had nothing -whatever to do with that. I left because I honestly believed that they -were going astray.
– But you did “rat,” did you not ?
– I did not “rat.” Will the honorable senator tell me m what way I “ ratted “ ?
– That was told to the honorable senator in his own State. Why is the honorable senator not in the Labour movement to-day? I was in it before he name to this country, and I am still in it.
– I have just given the honorable senator the reason. I had the moral courage to give expression to my convictions. The experience that I had gained showed me that communists were entering the industrial movement, and white-anting it. They were becoming such a power behind the political party that it had not a soul to call its own. Mr. Theodore was compelled to back down whenever he put up a fight against them. The honorable senator cannot point to one Labour man in Australia to-day who has been sufficiently strong to fight the trade unions. I fought them right to the last, until 1 was beaten in the executive and in the committees. I then left them fairly and squarely. When the honorable senator “ ratted “ on this country during the war. I came into the open, and spoke mv mind. It was he who “ ratted “ not only on Australia, but on civilization and the Empire. I would fight him again on the same issue.
– Labour says that the honorable senator “ratted.”
– :I do not care what Labour says. I am not . beholden to Labour. The honorable senator, and others who think like him, tell me and my friend Senator Lynch, that the Labour party made us. I tell him that the Labour party did not make us, but that, on the contrary, we and others like us made the Labour party. I and mv family suffered because of our convictions. The honorable senator would not have had the moral courage or the backbone to do what we did. It was only a. few men, including the President of the Senate (Senator Givens) who made the Labour movement possible in Queensland. We suffered, and made the unions as strong as they subsequently became. It was our battling that paved the way for the passing of the Arbitration Act.
– I do not think that Labour regrets your having “ ratted “ upon it.
– I do not care whether it regrets my action or not. 1 do not regret having left it. On the other hand, I have no regrets for what I did on behalf of the Labour movement. It was a necessary movement, because of the tyranny of the employing classes in the early days. I am in favour of .every law that it placed on the statute-book. My great desire is to see the law administered and order maintained in a constitutional .way. If Labour departs from constitutional methods its opponents will’ also do it, and we shall have a state of chaos in the country.
– Did not the honorable senator years ago stand behind Mr. Higgs, who, when editor of the Brisbane Worker, set up the motto, “ Socialism in our time. Bread or blood.”
– Surely the honorable senator does not think that I was such a lunatic as to do that.
– That was the doctrine of the Queensland Labour party for years.
– Mr. Higgs was not in politics when he formulated that motto, and every member of the Labour party in Queensland at that time protested against it.
– But did not the honorable senator stand for “ socialism in our time.”
– That was all right; but none of us ever stood for “ bread or blood.” Mr. Higgs had a free hand as editor, and he was solely responsible for the motto. At the time he was leading the unemployed movement. He himself later deeply regretted having coined the phrase. In any case it had nothing whatever to do with the Labour party, and the honorable senator ought to know that.
I am in favour of the bill, because it will strengthen the hands of the Government, and help it to keep our friends opposite toeing the mark. If they, and the leaders of the Labour party generally, had stood up like men and resisted the communists in the Labour party and the trade union movement, things would be a lot better than they are to-day. Honorable senators opposite, including my friend Senator Barnes, admit in private that the communists are a danger not only to the Labour movement, but to the rest of Australia; and a huge majority of the working people of Australia are of the same opinion. Most of our working people own their homes, and have banking accounts. They realize that they are in a better position than the workers of any other country, and that revolution and confiscation of property will be of no benefit whatever to them.
– Apparently the communists have alarmed SenatorReid, but they have not disturbed me.
SenatorREID. - That the honorable senator will not admit the existence of danger shows his lack of foresight or his ignorance of the situation. I believe that in his heart of - hearts he knows that the communists are a danger. Their strength is in the fact that unionism in this country is compulsory. The communists are compelled to join trade unions in order to get a living, and they use the unions to serve their own ends, who frighten every Labour government in Australia. If the Labour party had the moral courage to denounce the communists, they would help trade unonism, and. this legislation would be unnecessary; but they lack the courage.
– Opponents of the Labour party said that kind of thing years ago in connexion with every strike that occurred.
– They did not. In the old days unionism was voluntary, but today it is compulsory. Every working man is- forced to join a union and contribute to its funds. If we were to abandon our policy of preference to unionists the whole thing would collapse. In consequence of the tyranny that trade union leaders are practising in some instances I think that there is a great likelihood that the people of Australia will some day rise up and sweep away preference to unionists. They are tired of the great public inconvenience that unwisely organized strikes cause throughout the country. The transport strike, a little while ago, paralysed’ industry throughout the Commonwealth just as the Queensland railway strike paralysed it in that State. I can well remember the time when there were hardly half a dozen unionists in the Queensland railway service. The only crafts that were represented were boilermaking and carpentry. But to-day the union movement has grown so strong under government protection that it is the “ boss “ of ibe Government. It dictated its own terms during the railway strike, and even named the date on which trains would resume running.
– The honorable senator should recollect that there was a railway strike in Victoria years before we had our arbitration methods developed which was far more disastrous than the Queensland railway strike.
– But it collapsed, whereas the strikers in Queensland compelled the Government to eat out of their hands. When the strike was ending in Queensland the union leaders, after having been granted all that they asked for in the way of stop-work meetings and so on, informed the Government representatives that a meeting of the committee would be called on the following Thursdaynight to decide the day on which trains would resume running. The men decided to begin work the next week. That was nothing but trade union tyranny. Hundreds of men who are now members of trade unions would never have come near the unions if they had not been compelled by law to do so. Among the Queensland railway strikers - I speak principally of the old employees, most of whom I know personally - there are many who were opposed to the strike. At first the public of Queensland was with the strikers. The members of the Cabinet entirely alienated the sympathy of the public, for, after having reduced their own salaries and the wages of the civil servants generally by 5 per cent., they restored their own emoluments to the full figure, and also those of the higher classes of the civil service, but did nothing for the poorer paid men. That is what a Labour Government will do. But the unionists entirely lost public support by the tyrannous policy that they adopted. They treated a weak Government and Premier with absolute contempt. The railway strike, and the shipping strike caused such widespread antagonism to the Labour party in Queensland that supporters of tins Government swept the polls, with one exception, at the election last November. Queensland returned only one Labour man, and if the campaign had lasted another month he also would have been defeated.
– Ifthe campaign had lasted another month not one of the Government candidates would have been returned.
– I arn surprised that Senator Barnes has made that statement. The position was that nine months before the election public sympathy was with the Labour party. Five of the six States had Labour governments. Possibly if the Federal election had occurred then a good many of us would have been defeated, but Walsh and Johannsen came on the scene, and they proved to be the best asset that the National party ever had.
– Now the honorable senator is talking sense.
– No one can deny that the doings of Walsh, and Johannsen caused thousands of people who have hitherto voted Labour to vote for the Government, with the result that the Labour party in Queensland, so far as representation in Federal politics is concerned, was almost wiped out of existence.
– Donald Grant helped in New South Wales.
– He was only a side issue. The people of Australia generally showed their common sense by voting for the National party. They knew that they had to do so in order to protect their rights. There was a large Labour majority on the Brisbane City Council, but when the Labour Government extended the boundaries of the city to a radius of 13 miles, and made the city the largest in the world in point of area, many property holders were in a terrible funk. They thought that there would be a Labour majority in the enlarged council, and that their property would suffer. Without being egotistical, I claim to know something about the workers of Australia, and I told the people I met in Brisbane just prior to the Greater Bris bane Council election not to worry. I pointed out that in politics the average Labour man always thinks he is going to get something from the fat man, and is always reaching out to get something for nothing, but that in municipal matters affecting his own little home, which is liable to be taxed on its unimproved value, he is not too anxious to allow taxation to b’e assessed by his fellow Labour men. The result of the elections was exactly what I thought it would be. Only four or five Labour councillors were returned. One of the greatest safeguards against revolution that we have is the fact- that the average worker is possessed of a little home of his own, and whenever Labour wants to put its hands into his pockets and take money out, there is trouble. That is the principal reason why nearly all the Labour candidates who sought election to the Greater Brisbane Council were defeated, and at the following Federal election every Labour candidate but one was defeated .
– I shall be very brief in my reply, but during the debate there have been one or two rather amusing incidents to which I wish to refer. First of all, we had Senator Gardiner discovering mares’ nests. In an endeavour to hold up the Crimes Bill to ridicule, he found a clause in it dealing with straying stock, and said, “ Fancy the Nationalist Government making that a crime !” Unfortunately for the honorable senator it was’ made a crime by a Government of which he was a member. The provision to which he referred was not in the bill, but in the principal act which ‘ was passed when he was Assistant Minister for Defence. Apparently, he had forgotten that interesting fact. Next we had Senator Needham saying that he did not believe in deportations. His words were echoed by other honorable senators opposite. Again they were unfortunate, because they were supporters of the. Government that passed the Immigration Restriction Act, which provides not only a penalty for certain crimes, but also for deportation in addition- to a penalty. That act has been on our statute-book for years. It was passed by a Labour Government. It declares that if a man within three years of his entry into Australia is convicted of a. criminal offence, he may be deported; and, under it, over 60 white people who have committed crimes against: the laws of the Commonwealth and the States have been deported, some of them by Labour Governments. Yet honorable senators opposite say that they are totally opposed to deportations. They have been quiescent for a long time. They have been a long time discovering that they are against deportations. They declaim against the imposition of double penalties; yet Labour Governments have been imposing them. Europeans have been dealt with by the courts and imprisoned, and, subsequently, deported by Labour Governments. Senator Needham has apparently forgotten this. He was also unfortunate in referring to the electioneering incident in which I took the opportunity to draw the attention of the electors of Western Australia to a photograph in which he figured prominently. The facts may be interesting to the Senate.
This was a photograph of members of a conference which assembled in Sydney, and I drew public attention to it because at the time Senator Needham was busy assuring the electors of Western Australia that he had nothing at all to do with Mr. Garden, that Mr. Garden was an opponent of the Labour party, and had as such stood at the recent New South Wales elections, at which he had polled only a very few votes. In reply I directed the attention of .the electors of Western Australia to the fact that this was a photograph of a conference at Sydney, the members of which had ..’iven it out to the press that they had met to draw up plans so that if the Nationalist Government attempted to give effect to a law, which had been passed by this Parliament, by deporting persons who were then instigating and carrying on the British seamen’s strike, its attempt to do so would be defeated. In the photograph appear Senator Needham, Mr. A. E. Green, the member for Kalgoorlie in another place; Mr. J. Beasley, president of the Sydney Trades and Labour Council, a declared communist; Mr. J. Garden, secretary of the Sydney Trades and Labour Council, also a declared communist; Mr. Holloway, of the Melbourne Trades Hall, and one or two others. I said to the electors of Western Australia that it was singular that Senator Needham should assert that he and his party -had no connexion with communism and refused to associate with communists, when this photograph, taken two months prior to the election, indicated that he and Mr. Green, two Labour members, were actively co-operating with communists to devise means by which the Commonwealth Government could be defeated. I am therefore rather surprised that the honorable senator should have mentioned this incident.
– I am surprised at nothing the right honorable senator does. Whatever he does is generally unfair.
- Senator Needham also said that we had a tendency on this side to exaggerate industrial troubles and make it appear that there was a tremendous loss of time in Australia arising out of industrial disputes. This sort of talk, he explained, would give Australia a bad name throughout the world. Senator Drake-Brockman has effectively dealt ‘with that agrument. He has pointed out that there is not a great deal of lost time, and that there are not many industrial disputes among the great mass of the trade unionists of Australia, but that the point we make is that an insignificant minority of trade unionists in this country is responsible for the overwhelming majority of the disputes and for most of the loss of time occasioned by them .
This bill is aimed, not at the great mass of trade unionists in Australia, nor at the trade union leaders of this country, but at that insignificant minority of revolutionary leaders - those law-breakers who have been responsible for the overwhelming majority of the industrial disturbances we have had in Australia during the last few years. Then we had Senator Findley saying that the mandate the Government was given at the last election was obtained by the unscrupulous tactics of the Nationalist- party. I should 3ay that we are the veriest novices, .as compared with our friends opposite, in the use of unscrupulous tactics. It is indeed a case of the pot calling the kettle black when our friends, who brought out that notorious Fascisti letter, with all its inaccuracies, which was so easily exposed because of its clumsiness, talk about unscrupulous tactics. Fancy the party responsible for the allegation about the raid on the Labour Daily newspaper office in Sydney talking of unscrupulous tactics !
– And then there were their allegations about the Geelong woollen mills.
– Yes; they declared we had sold them to our friends in Flinders-lane.
– They are still saying that.
– My friends opposite in their own interests would be wise not to raise subjects of that kind.
Senator Findley at times renders useful service to his party. This afternoon when Senator Drake-Brockman was dealing effectively with the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Senator Needham, did we not all admire the industrious way in which Senator Findley attempted to divert the attack. It reminded me of the story of a bull-fight. Senator Needham figured as the much distressed toreador. Just as he appeared to be in the greatest danger of being impaled on the horns of the bull, Senator Findley gallantly dashed into the arena industriously waving a red flag in an attempt to divert the bull’s attention to himself. Unfortunately for Senator Needham, Senator DrakeBrockman was so intent on making his point, and hoisting the honorable senator on the horns of a dilemma, that the frantic waving of the red flag by Senator Findley failed to divert him from his course, and Senator Needham was utterly discomfited.
I was surprised at Senator Reid saying that to some extent communism was a “ bogy.” To show honorable senators that it is by no means a. “ bogy,” I shall quote one fact only. One of the Labour candidates for the Senate in New South Wales was Mr. Donald Grant. He had formerly been a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, an organization stigmatized by Mr. Lang, Premier of New South Wales, as being 75 per cent, criminal. He had been convicted before a judge and jury of carrying out acts of sabotage, which are laid down in the plan of campaign of the Industrial Workers of the World, and he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Subsequently he was released on the report of a royal commission appointed by a Labour Government. This gentleman was chosen as one of the Labour candidates for the Senate at the last election. The Labour organi zation of the State issued an appeal to its followers to give their first preferences to Senator Gardiner. We all know that Senator Gardiner has been in the public life of Australia for very many years. He is the leader of the Labour party in the Senate, and I take it he is also deputy leader of the Labour party as it is organized to-day. Notwithstanding the appeal to supporters of Labour to give their first preferences to Senator Gardiner, more than 25,000 electors in New South Wales gave their first preferences to the ex-“ I.W.W.” criminal, Donald Grant, and not, as they were requested to do by the Labour organization, to Senator Gardiner.
– That is an astounding fact.
– With that astounding fact before us, I do not think that we can call communism a “ bogy.”
– A more astounding fact is that at the pre-selection Mr. Donald Grant nearly beat Senator Gardiner. For a long time Senator Gardiner thought that he was beaten for the first position in the selection ballot.
– Quite so.
– But Senator Gardiner was selected for the first position.
– And the “ red steer “ was next to him.
– The most dangerous feature of the communist menace is its international aspect, and that I wish to stress. Australia has .to fear, not only the danger from within, but also the menace from without.
– Does the Minister consider that the persons who voted for Mr. Donald Grant were convinced communists ?
– I do not know any other ground on which they would have supported his candidature.
– I do not, know him personally, but I am informed that he is an eloquent platform speaker. That fact, no doubt, had a lot to do with the large support he received.
– Ho would have to bc very eloquent to be a more attractive speaker than Senator Gardiner, than whom I do not know a more eloquent man in the Labour movement. To buttress my statement as to the international aspect of the communistic danger, let me quote the following from the London
Times of the 3rd July, 1924: -
Zinovieff, the Chairman of the Third (Com- . munist) International, in a speech lasting many hours at the Congress of the International in Moscow, devoted particular attention to Great Britain.
It was necessary, he declared, immediately to concentrate special efforts on every sphere of British activity, because the trade union movement had taken a revolutionary turn which recalled Chartism. This was not yet communism!, but it had created a favorable atmosphere for the infusion of communism, so they must seize the opportunity and adopt every possible means of creating a.’ really great British Communist party. The congress has formed a special British commission for the handling of British problems, with the Finnish communist, Kussinen, as chairman. The members of this commission include the most active of the Russian communists - Zinovieff, Bukharin, andRaskolnikoff - the Japanese Katayama, the Canadian Bruce, the Australian’ Monteliore -
I pause here to interpolate that a gentle man rejoicing in. the name of Montefiore attempted to enter Australia last year, but, because of information that had reached the Government in regard to him, he was refused his passport, and was not allowed to land. This incident has a bearing on the speech I am quoting - and representatives of Germany, France, Italy, Czecho-Slovakia, Norway, Bulgaria, and Poland. The task of the commission is to consider present British conditions in all their bearings and draft a special programme,, arrangements for the carrying out of which are to be made by the British delegates Stuart, Macmanus, Wilson, Douglas, and! others, under the direct, superintendence of. Moscow. Zinovieff informed, the congress that, in view of the present influence of Great Britain, “ when we have expanded the British Communist party to mass dimensions, we shall already have conquered half Europe.” The congress endorsed the view expressed by Zinovieff, and decided that the International must cultivate the fruitful, British, field more than any other until the British Communist party has- become a real power, dominating the trade unions and the whole of the Labour movement.
I remind honorable senators that the term “ British,” as there employed, covers the British Empire,, and not merely Great
Britain. That is indicated by the reference to the Canadian and Australian delegates, who were to look after those particular fields.
The communists must establish their own daily English communist newspaper -
We have one in Australia. Not a single advertisement appears in its columns. How is it subsidized ? - they must worm their way into the vital centres of trade unionism and create a revolu tionary left, wing; they must- make special efforts to influence British, working-class youth -
We have communist Sunday schools in Australia. and they must attack, the colonial question boldly, as becomes militant bolshevists -
They are certainly observing that injunction -
During the debate the British delegate Murphy pointed out that the recent unauthorized strike of railway shopmen was “ under the guidance of the factory committees, and the’ initiative came entirely from the communists.” The communists, although: few in number, were by their energetic efforts rapidly obtaining power within the trade unions. Murphy declared that the only way to conquer the British labouring classes was to work within the existing organizations of the Labour party.
Honorable senators opposite have submitted an amendment by which they wish to show that they are not against legislation dealing with unlawful associations, but are opposed to the rest of the bill. What a hypocritical attitude for them to adopt! The meaning underlying it is that, in order to save their faces, before the great electorate that has recently passed judgment upon the communists in Australia, they say-,. “ We are against unlawful associations, but we are not against unlawful acts:You can’ do- any of the things that the unlawful associations advocate doing, so long as, you do them as individuals. The only thing- that is wrong is to combine to do them. You can carry on sabotage^, and you can plot to overthrow the Constitution by force. We will not agree to make those acts crimes, nor will we penalize you for doing them. We will not favour deportation for those offences.”
– The Minister has strong imaginative, powers.
– That is the attitude of honorable senators opposite. What hyprocrisyr: If it is wrong to form an association to advocate the- overthrow of constituted authority by force, it is just as wrong to take that stand as an individual. If it is wrong in the one case, it is equally so in the other. Unlawful associations are at the back of the revolutionary strikes that have been experienced recently in Australia. The communists and! the I.W.W. . were responsible for the seamen’s strike. The Labour party will support the Government in legislating against unlawful associations, but it will not uphold it in dealing with individuals guilty of carrying out the principles advocated by unlawful associations.
Question - That the words proposed to be left out be left out (Senator Gardiner’s amendment) - put. The Senate divided.
Majority . . . . 17
Question so resolved in the negative.
Question - That the bill be now read a second time - put. The Senate divided.
Majority . . . . 17
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
Clauses 1 to 16 agreed to.
Clause 17 -
After Part II. of the principal act the following part is inserted: - 30c. Any person who by speech or writing advocates or encourages
The destruction or injury of property of the Commonwealth, or of property used in trade or commerce with other countries, or among the States, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for any period not exceeding two years,- and, in addition (if he was not born in Australia), to deportation by order of the Attorney-General, as provided in this act.
– This provision imposes the double penalty mentioned by Senator Pearce when replying to the secondreading debate this afternoon. In endeavouring to bolster up a weak case, he stated that Labour. Governments in Australia had imposed the penalty of imprisonment, and subsequently had deported certain persons.
– I said that the law had been administered by a Labour Government.
– This proposed new sub-section provides for imprisonment for any period not exceeding two years, and- if the culprit was not born in Australia, for deportation by order of the Attorney-General. The Leader of the Senate described our non-opposition to the provisions dealing with unlawful associations as hypocrisy. He said that, whilst we were objecting to punishment for membership of an unlawful association, we were in favour of individuals doing unlawful acts. The right honorable gentleman has a very fertile imagination. It appears to be futile for honorable senators on this side to reiterate that they are opposed, not only to unlawful association, but also to unlawful acts by an individual.
– Is it not unlawful to refuse to comply with the law? That is what the honorable senator said he would do.
– I repeat that if I think a law is unjust, I will break it, and take the consequences. I am not receding from the position which I took up in the second-reading debate, simply because of criticism this afternoon. We should have sufficient courage to deal with all offenders in Australia. Under our immigration law, we can prevent the entry of certain criminals and persons suffering from infectious diseases. Why should we unload our undesirables on the people of any other country? If necessary, we should impose a heavier penalty for offences against the law, but we should deal with law-breakers within Australia, and not by deportation.
– If a Labour Government came into power, it would release them.
– I am endeavouring to address myself seriously to an important issue. A distinction has been drawn between a citizen who was not born in Australia, and an Australian native. Why should a man who was born overseas be treated differently from a man who was born in Australia if they are both members of an unlawful association ? I cannot see any reason for it. Should not the Fascists be considered an unlawful association ? We are continually being told by the Government that it stands for law and order and constitutional government, and that it has received from the people a mandate to govern Australia along those lines. Can it not, therefore, function without the assistance of a semimilitary body such as the Fascists? Senator Pearce ridiculed the suggestion that the British Fascists have a command in Australia, and that its commanding officer, Mr. Hatcher, is a member of the Commonwealth Public Service. It may be as well for me to read the form of enrolment adopted by the British Fascists in Australia. It is as follows: -
Head-quarters: 71 Elm’ Park Gardens, Lond., S.W.
Temp. G.H.Q., Victoria, 482 Pt. Nepean-rd.,
Nth. Brighton, Vic
Member introduced by -
Badge No. -
Issued by -
All communications to Secretary, Walter F.
Dowling, 43 Clifton-road, Hawthorn. Phone: Haw. 4288.
Hon. Treasurer: J.O. Hatches, Trust A/c, 482 Pt. Nepean-road, North Brighton, Vic.
I, the undersigned, hereby promise, upon my honour, to uphold His Most Gracious Majesty, King George V., his heirs and successors, the established constitution of Great Britain and the British Empire.
I undertake that, without seeking personal advantage, I will render every service in my power to the British Fascists in their struggle against all’ treacherous and revolutionary movements now working for the destruction of the Throne and the Empire.
Date - (Complete form overleaf.)
Note. - Membership is confined to those of the
British Race and Christian creed. Funds are naturally required-, and each Member is ashed to subscribe what he or she can afford.
-(Senator Newland). - I point out to the honorable senator that the clause deals with unlawful associations. Does he intend to connect his remarks with it?
– I should not have introduced the matter had I not intended to endeavour to connect the Fascists with unlawful associations.
– The honorable senator has exhausted his time.
– I do not think that the honorable senator has given me anything to answer. The double penalty for which the bill provides is not different from that which is provided in the Immigration Restriction Act, section 8 of which reads -
Where the Minister is satisfied that, within three? years after the arrival in Australia of a person who wasnot born in Australia, that person -
has been convicted in Australia of a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer - or possesses certain other disqualifications, he may be deported. During the twelve years which ended on the 31st December last, no fewer than 48 white persons were deported under the provisions of that act. There were 27 Germans, 16 British, 1 Lithuanian, 1 American, and 3 Italians. The honorable senator will thus see that it is rather late in the day for him to take exception to a law which for years has been administered by Labour as well as other governments. It does not follow that everybody who has been found guilty of an offence will be deported. For a comparatively minor offence, there would not be deportation. Where a person was evidently an undesirable citizen, deportation would probably be ordered. I do not know what the British Fascists stand for, but if the members of that organization -contravene this law they will be as liable as members of the Industrial Workers of the World or the Communist party. The document which the honorable senator read indicated to me that it stands for the upholding of the Constitution, not for its disruption.
– If the bill ‘becomes law, the Government will be clothed with power to deal with unlawful associations that it considers are seeking the overthrow of constitutional government ‘by revolution or sabotage. That statement has been made by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, andby the Minister in charge of the bill in another place. It would not have been made if there had not been evidence which in the opinion of the Government was sufficient to justify it. I am astonished, therefore, that the Government did not long ago take steps to deal with those who are seeking the overthrow of constitutional authority in this country. I said during my secondreading speech, that the only evidence was that a man whose name began with “ Z “ had advocated openly that ail Russians should be linked up in Australia with the object of starting a revolution here, and, according to the Government, that man had been deported long ago. There cannot be many revolutionary Russians in Australia to-day, because, according to the Leader of the Senate, the Government has for some time prevented Russians with revolutionary tendencies from entering Australia.Under those circumstances, I regard the clause relating to unlawful associations as so much camouflage. The Government has to save its face, because it made so many incorrect and alarming statements during the election campaign.
– If this is camouflage, why is the Labour party making such a fuss about -excluding communists from its ranks?
SenatorFINDLEY. - Nobody should seriously concern himself about the possibility of a few men starting a revolution in Australia.
– Why, then, is the Labour party . seriously concerning itself?
– So far as I have been able to observe the industrial situation - and I claim, to know industrial trade unionism as well as, ifnot better than, most honorable senators - there is not the remotest fear of a revolution. Senator Ogden last night told us all about his membership of various trade unions, and what he had done for the Labour movement. I could set up a perpendicular “ I “ in the same way if I desired to do so-; but I shall content myself with saying that I believe as firmly as any man in industrialism, and I want toprotect trade unionism.
– Does the honorable senator desire also to protect his country ?
– Our country will never be in danger of a revolution while we maintain our present democratic franchise. Our adult population is too intelligent to allow revolutionary doctrines to overpower it. No responsible man that I know pf seriously suggests that a revolution is likely to occur in Australia. People who do say that are mentally deficient.
– Then why does the Labour party seek to exclude communists from its ranks?
– Simply because the programme of communism is not the programme of the Labour party. We are essentially a constitutional party.
– The communists may subscribe to the programme of the Labourparty.
– I do not know about that; if they accept it, why should they be excluded from the party ? It is quite clear, from the remarks made by the Leader of the Government (Senator Pearce), that, even if this proposed new sub-section becomes law, men and women may without let or hindrance continue to advocate communistic doctrines in Australia, without making themselves liable to punishment. It is only when they seek to use force that they will become liable. It seems to me to be ridiculous to suggest that, because a very small section of the community advocate the overthrow of our present social order by violence and sabotage, we are in . grave danger. Honorable senators opposite have seriously said in the last few days that, although the circumstances of the working classes in Australia are better than exist in any other country, and although many of our people own their own homes and have fairly substantial banking accounts, they are likely to join in a revolution that may result in dispossessing them of everything that they have struggled hard to obtain. Our people are not likely to throw away thoughtlessly the millions of pounds that they have deposited in our savings banks and to sacrifice the advantages that have been won through generations of effort. If honorable senators were to make those statements to any assembly of working men, they would be told to go home and develop some common sense. The working people of our community undoubtedly desire reforms; but they advocate the attainment of them . by constitutional means, and not by revolution. It is well known that in every organization there are a few wild spirits. They are associated indirectly with the National party as well as with the Labour movement. We have frequently heard it said by supporters of the Nationalist party that it would be a good thing for the country if all our parliaments were abolished.
– Does the . honor- . able senator intend to move an amendment to this proposed new sub-section ?
– I do not intend to be hurried. The unlawful associations that honorable senators who support the Government are so fond of talking about exist only in their imagination.
– Is the Communist party in New South Wales an imaginary organization ?
– The passing of this bill will not disband the Communist party.
– It will, if the party misbehaves itself.
– I have been trying to see the point that the honorable senator is driving at, but so far I have failed.
– That is ‘not my fault. I am endeavouring to point out that the unlawful associations which we have heard so much about are purely imaginary, and that, therefore, this proposed new sub-section’ is unnecessary.. Before the last election the Government sounded an alarm bell throughout Australia, and its supporters joined in a hymn of hate of the Labour party. They- created a false atmosphere. There are no unlawful associations that’ we need to worry seriously about, despite all that has been said in that regard.
-(Senator Newland) - The honorable senator has exhausted his time.
– The form of application for membership in the British Fascists contains the following headings: - Name, address, occupation, age, former service (with separate columns for branch of service, rank, period of service, and decorations), married, place of birth, nationality of father, nationality of grandfather, religion, do you own a car, can you drive a car, remarks, subscription, donation, signature, date. It also contains the following note: - Cheques,&c., payable to honorary treasurer, J. O. Hatcher, trust account. The imprint is “ Bussau and Company, printers, 289 Little Lonsdalestreet, Melbourne.” I suggest that if the Government has an earnest desire to disband unlawful associations it should deal with this semi-military body which has been formed, so we are told, with the object of assisting in the administration and enforcement of the law. We have been told that the Government has no power to disband unlawful associations, and it seems that it must be so, for the branch of the British Fascists that has been formed in Australia has not been interfered with. So far as I have been able to ascertain, it is formed on the same lines as the Italian Fascisti. Senator Pearce has pleaded ignorance of its existence, but his simplicity in the matter amazes me. As a matter of fact, I believe that he knows all about it. I understand that this body has been allowed to direct its members to obtain arms and munitions in order that they may be equipped to assist the Government if any trouble should arise. Senator Pearce has suggested that I am a communist because I . have* appeared in a photograph with Mr. Garden. Heunblushingly told the Senate that he had featured this fact during the election campaign. If a photograph of the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce) were taken–
– The honorable senator -cannot deal with that matter under this clause.
– If there are communists in Australia, and if they do anything by violence, they will, be dealt with under this provision. Is that not so?
– Well. I have been branded by Senator Pearce as a communist, and if I cannot reply to him now, when may I do so ? I am about to ask him whether he would brand Mr. Bruce as a communist if he were photographed in company with Mr. Garden.
– Yes; if he were attending a conference for the purpose of defeating the law of the Commonwealth.
– The conference I attended was endeavouring not to break any law of the Commonwealth, but to bring about industrial peace, which the Government made no attempt to do during the British seamen’s strike. Furthermore the law of which Senator Pearce is speaking has since been declared invalid, illegal, and unsound; and therefore the charge against me fails. I was busy at that time along with Mr. Green, the member for Kalgoorlie, and others in an attempt to bring about industrial peace.
– Along with Mr. Garden and- Mr. Beasley.
- Mr. Garden was in the photograph. In connexion with the same trouble, Mr. Garden, and members of the transport group of Sydney, came to Melbourne.
– I cannot allow the honorable senator to proceed further alone these lines. His . remarks must be relevant to the clause which deals with advocating or inciting to crime.
- Senator Pearce accused me-
– On the second reading.
– The honorable senator is referring to something which has not taken place in’ committee.
-All I have to say is that a photograph could have been taken of Mr. Garden conferring with Mr. Bruce about the settlement of the British seamen’s .strike, and Mr. Bruce, because of that, might have been branded as a communist. This provision deals with unlawful associations. There are no more unlawful associations in Australia to-day than there were six or soven years ago. If they are a menace to Australia, why has not the Government taken action against them long ago? Senator Pearce has admitted this afternoon that these associations are in existence. He declares that he knows their strength. It is a change of front on his part. A few days ago he was saying that Labour had not taken action in regard to communists, and yet he now admits that we have taken action against them. The right honorable senator knows perfectly well that at a conference held in Melbourne in October, 1924, it was determined that communists should not belong to the Labour party. He knows that similar action was taken by the State Labour conference in Western Australia, and by a conference of the British Labour party in 1925.
– I was replying to Senator Findley. In the face of Senator Findley’s assurance that communists do not exist in Australia, I asked why the Labour party took action against them?
– I said that their numbers were so small that they were not worth considering.
– The clause with which we are dealing also refers to free speech. I remember the time when Senator Pearce openly preached republicanism. He was not a supporter of a limited monarchy; he was a republican, and as’ big a red-ragger as there was in Australia at that time. A republic would mean the overthrow of the existing form of constituted government? If I were to advocate that we should cut - the painter, and have a republic in Australia, it would be unlawful on my part, and if I were a member of an organization that advocated the overthrow of constituted government in this way I should come under this provision of the bill. About twenty years ago Senator Pearce was advocating republicanism and the brotherhood of man.
– That is not correct, as the honorable senator knows.
– When the Boers were fighting. Great Britain, speaking from the place where I now stand, the right honorable senator said that we should not send more troops to South Africa, because we should not deplete the nation’s manhood.
– The honorable senator must confine his remarks to the clause.
– I am featuring some of the things that might be regarded as unconstitutional. Senator Pearce in those days was exercising the right of freedom of speech, which this bill will prevent. No Government worthy of the name should be afraid of the people of Australia speaking their minds. Advanced leaders of thought who spoke their minds freely years ago were the real founders of the social system of to-day and it is quite possible that there are today people of advanced thoughts who should be allowed to speak their minds freely with the object of still further improving our social system. Surely this Government with its great mandate does not need the flimsy pretext of a bill of this character to enable it to handle affairs. This afternoon Senator Drake-Brockman talked about camouflage.
– The honorable senator cannot refer to that.
-It has been said that statements made by honorable senators of the Opposition are camouflage. The finest piece of camouflage I have ever seen was the action of the Government in seeking from the people authority to do something which it already had obtained authority to do, but which after the election it found it had no right to do.
– The honorable senator has exhausted his time.
.- Senator Needham has drawn attention to the fact that a few years ago a gentleman who occupies a very prominent position in the public life of this country had the temerity to advocate a change in the system of government. In those days it was possible for men to express their opinions freely without running counter to the law. I need hardly say that I am referring to Senator Pearce.
– In that case, the honorable senator is just as wrong as Senator Needham was.
- Senator Findley is now repeating something which has already been said several times. I ask him not to refer to it again, otherwise I shall have to ask him to resume his seat on the ground of tedious repetition.
– Thank you. I thought it was possible, without using the same words, to say what has already been said. During debates that is often done. However, I- can refer to another gentleman who was associated with an organization a few years ago.
– It would be well for the honorable senator to confine his remarks to the clause under consideration.
– I am dealing with unlawful associations, and if you, Mr. Chairman, will permit me, I shall name the organization to which I was about to refer.
– The honorable senator knows that this bill is not retrospective.
– But surely I can point out . that what is considered unlawful to-day in Australia was not considered unlawful a few years- ago. I hope that I shall be permitted to point out that we are progressing backwards by this kind of legislation. Shall I be . in order in doing so?
– I shall remind the honorable senator when he is not in order.
– A few years ago we had a Republican League in Australia, and some of our most prominent ‘ citizens were associated with it. The head of it was the late Mr. J. L. Purves, Q.C., once president of the Australian Natives Association. If we compare this bill with the resolutions which were carried at a specially convened conference of this league at Albury we shall find that the objects of this organization, although it was not advocating sabotage or revolution as some people understand it, were revolutionary so far as Australia was concerned. We should have had a republic in Australia, as opposed to a monarchical form of government, if that organization had been successful. At that time the present High Commissioner in Loudon supported republicanism.
– (Senator Newland) - I ask the honorable senator to deal with the clause before the committee.
– Then I shall refer to. another portion of the clause. Proposed sectiOn 30f reads -
Any person who knowingly prints, publishes, sells or exposes for sale any book, periodical, pamphlet, handbill, poster, or newspaper for or in the interests of or issued by any unlawful association shall’ be guilty of an offence.
Penalty : Imprisonment for six months.
That iff a very drastic provision. A person might in all innocence offer for sale a publication containing something which, in the opinion of the Government, would make the primer and seller liable under this bill. We are informed that a paper known as the Workers’ Weekly is published in Sydney. It is alleged that it contains no- advertisements, and’ the suggestion ]m! aide by Ministers and their supporters is that that publication is financed from, an, outside source. The Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce), would have some people believe that it is financed from Moscow. I have seen that newspaper exposed for sale, but never having purchased a copy I am not ‘ conversant with the nature of the matter published in- it. Some members of the Ministry, and some of their supporters, however, boldly state that they regularly subscribe to it. Is their object to obtain information that will be of assistance to them, or axe they so interested in the articles printed in that journal that they are haK way to conversion to communism ? The bill contains nothing to prevent the pub:lication of that newspaper unless it advocates the alteration of the existing, social order by means of revolution or sabotage. Since Ministers, apparently, have kept themselves well informed regarding that newspaper, have they at any time noticed in its columns, articles advocating the overthrow of constitutional authority?
– The honorable senator is paying- it a great compliment by calling ifc a newspaper.
– But it is a news-, paper. I presume that it is registered.
– It must be, to enable it to pass through the post.
– Sureties for a large: amount have also to be found. The Government therefore officially recognizes the publication,, and it may be taken for granted that at no time has it contravened the law of the Commonwealth. If it has done so, the Government has been negligent of its duties. It is darkly hinted that in all- probability the . Workers’ Weekly is financed from Moscow; but I point out that money can only, be sent from Moscow to Australia through established financial institutions.
– How can the Government tell whether money has been sent in that way?
– Money cannot fly from Moscow to Australia, and it could not be carried’ by aeroplane without the Government’s knowledge.
– But it can be sent secretly, by the use of assumed names.
– I doubt whether members’ of the- Ministry and1 their supporters believe the assertions that have been made. The provisions in this clause are more drastic than any previously embodied iu a bill, even during the war period.
– They are almost a reprint of the Unlawful Associations Act.
– Not at all. During the war period a certain organization was, according to the government of the day, a menace to the peace, order and good government of Australia, and legislation was introduced to deal specifically with it. This bill, however, applies to all and sundry organizations-. One would think that constitutional government was within the danger zone. The Government, I know, has to present a bold front in order to justify itself in the eyes of the people. Ministers claim that the Government has a mandate for this class of legislation. I deny that claim. The provisions of this bill were never placed before the people of Australia.
– (Senator Newland). - The honorable senator has exhausted his time.
.. - I should like te know if the bill contains any provision, f or an appeal against the imposition of a penalty. Clause 10 states that amy proceeding in respect of an offence against the act, although declared indictable-, may, in certain circumstances, and with the consent of the defendant, be heard and determined by a. court of summary jurisdiction.. Under the sub-clause under discussion the person convicted may be imprisoned for a period not exceeding two years, and, in addition, if he was not born in Australia, may be deported. There should be the right of appeal. Recently a man was sentenced by one of the State courts to two years’ imprisonment for an .offence. After he had commenced to serve his term his counsel appealed to the Supreme Court, which quashed the conviction.
– There is no reference to the clause to the right of appeal. The honorable gentleman is now making a second-reading speech, which I cannot allow.
– Surely I am in order in asking the .Minister if the bill contains any provision for the right of appeal. I have no wish to disobey your ruling, Mr. “Chairman, but I submit that I am quite within my rights. Whilst I hold no brief for unlawful associations or members oi such organizations, I submit that there should be some court of final appeal against convictions recorded under this legislation. The Attorney-General should not have unquestioned authority to banish any person from Australia and separate him from his wife and children. It would appear that the Ministry has been seeing “ red “ lately.
Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 8 p.m.
Debate resumed from 4th March (vide page 1309), on motion by Senator Gardiner -
Ti at the bill be now read a second time.
– In opposing the bill on behalf of the Government, I call attention to the fact that Senator Gardiner’s plea for its acceptance was based, in the first place, upon one case; and in the second place upon a complete misunderstanding of the provisions of the principal act. In his second-reading speech the honorable senator said, in reference to the soldier whom he had in mind -
His widow could not get a pension because, under the present system, pensions are not payable to the widows of soldiers who lived a certain time after their return from abroad. . Later, he said -
If this man had died earner, his widow would have received a pension, but because he lingered a little longer than tha specified period, she has been deprived of. that right.
The act does not contain any provision of the nature alleged by the honorable senator. Regulation 89i provides that a living allowance may be granted to the widow of a returned soldier who has died from causes unrelated to war service within three years of his discharge. At the present time 165 widows - are receiving a living allowance under that provision. The widow of any soldier whose death was due to causes arising from his war service is entitled to a pension regardless of whether he himself was drawing a pension, and of the time that elapsed between his discharge and his death.
– Will the honorable senator tell me what is the amount of the living allowance ?
– It ranges up to £2 2s. a week. The pension payable to widows is fixed at not less than £2 7s. a fortnight, but it may be increased, at the discretion of the Repatriation Commissioners, to £A 4s. a fortnight, and the majority of the widows of soldiers are in receipt of that amount, in addition to a certain allowance for each child. Section 40 of the. act contains the provision that claims cannot be granted after the expiration of seven years unless the soldier was, at the time of his death, receiving a pension. The royal commission on repatriation recommended the amendment of that provision., and that has been done by regulation.’ It can, therefore, be said that there is not now any time limit, the only requirement being that the death was caused by disabilities due to war service. Senator Gardiner said that his proposal would not involve a very great sum. Anybody who1 gives the matter the slightest thought, however, must see that in course of time the additional expenditure would be considerable. Our experience would probably be similar ito that of the United States of America, which, according- to the latest figures that I have been able to obtain, is paying pensions to 362.277 civil war soldiers and ito. 286.080 widows of civil war soldiers, despite the fact that that war was fought 80 years ago. The article from which I have abstracted those figures states -
It is right that the old soldier should be
E reserved from want, and that the wife of is youth should be cared for if he is taken away.
It goes on to say -
Professor Hart’s reference to “ the wife of his youth “ points the contrast with the young adventuress who haunts the neighbourhood pf a soldier’s home until she can entangle gome veteran - perhaps at death’s door - into a marriage, and thus at one stroke provide for her livelihood for the rest of her life.
Girls of seventeen or eighteen years of age married veterans who had reached the age of 70 or 80 years, rendering it possible for them to draw pensions for 50, 60, and even 70 years. I am quite satisfied that a similar experience is not desired in Australia. Nobody begrudges the amount which the Commonwealth is paying by way of pensions. It may not be out of place to remind honorable senators that the expenditure on pensions is at present £7,000,000 a year, and on other repatriation benefits an additional £1,000,000 a year. Those sums represent one-eighth of the total expenditure of the Commonwealth. There is no doubt that if this amendment were made to the act our expenditure would increase enormously, and- continue for ‘ a greater number of years than it should. In dealing with claims the commission gives every consideration to widows. New claims are still being received, and in many instances granted, from widows whose husbands did. not claim a pension on .their own behalf. It is very difficult to deal with those cases where the presumption is either that the husband was not very ill, or that he had not a good claim. There are cases in which, for some reason or other, the soldier did not make a claim, and upon his death his widow found herself unprovided for, and had .to apply for a pension. Where it has been established that a soldier’s death was in any way due to his war service the claim has been admitted and the pension paid. T trust that the Senate will reject the. bill.
– I regret the opposition of the Government to the bill. The Minister has placed a wrong construction uponSenator’ Gardiner’s intention. That honorable senator did not want pensions to be given to widows ad- lib . , or to flappers of seventeen years of age who married elderly soldiers, and in a short while became widows. The object which he had in view was quite a simple one, and it should have the support of honorable senators. The bill proposes that every widow of members of the forces shall receive a pension of not less than £2 7s. a fortnight.
– Assuming that a soldier is knocked down in the street by a motor car, and killed, would not his widow receive a pension under this bill’
– That is not suggested. The Repatriation Commission can use its discretion when considering claims.
– Not under the bill.
– No man would be so rash as to make such a suggestion.
– Senator Gardiner made that suggestion.
– Either Senator Elliott did not hear Senator Gardiner correctly, or he is misinterpreting his speech. Many pf those widows who are at present receiving a pension draw less than £2 7s. a fortnight. Senator Gardiner pointed out that even £2 7s. is quite inadequate. With the addition of the allowance for children, to which Senator Crawford referred, a widow is not receiving too much. That is one of the points which Senator Gardiner had in view. The purpose of the act is to grant pensions to widows and dependants of soldiers under certain conditions. One provision is that the soldier must have died as the result of war ‘ disabilities. Trouble has been experienced in deciding what a war disability is. The commission itself has sometimes misconstrued the meaning of the term. Every man who enlisted for service overseas was, prior to embarking, medically examined and declared to be sound and in good health If upon his return to Australia he was in ill-health, surely that must have been the result of his war activities!
– That was not Senator Gardiner’s idea. He advocated that the widow of a soldier who returned in good health should receive a pension, no matter how long after his return he died, or from what cause.
– I think Senator Gardiner had one specific case in mind.
– In any event, it is the duty of the nation to provide for the widows of ex-soldiers, and the case that Senator Gardiner stated merits investigation. Another case that he could have quoted was that of Mrs. Adelaide Stevens, of 6 Shipman-street; Concord East, New South Wales. In stating her case, Mrs. Stevens said -
I am the widow of the late Harry Stevens, Munition Worker No. 1842. In answer to advertisements in the Sydney press from the
Federal Government calling for men willing to go as munition workers for England about Mardi, 1917, my husband applied and was accepted. He sailed 9th May, 1917, by the s.s. Ulysses; and he took ill off the West African coast, and was ill all the way to England; landed in England 29th July, and was taken to St. George’s Hospital, London, on 30th July, and died on 3rd August, and was buried at New Fulman Cemetery, aged 50 years, cause of death pernicious malaria.
After my husband’s death and no money coming in, I was compelled to sell most of my furniture at a loss. I frequently applied, but owing to my son helping me to the extent of £2 per week, see letter No. 2S753 from Mr. Trumble, 3rd June, 1921. Now my son is married nearly three years, and his allowance has stopped for a considerable time. He is paying off for a home for himself and has no money to give me. At present I. have only the invalid pension to live on. The loss of my £2 per week alters the whole of Mr. Trumble’; letter. He says my late husband was only a civilian, but lie went at his country’s call, and a munition worker’s widow should get something as well as a war widow; both sent their men to do their bit in the Great War. My husband never had a chance to make or save for a rainy day in England. I trust, sir, you will do your best to help me, as I am not in too good health and the terrible times I have gone through in my great trouble. My eldest son did four years at the war. My second son (IS) was in the wireless ready to go when the armistice came..
– That lady is not a soldier’s widow.
– She is the widow of a munition worker. Senator Pearce is now preaching a doctrine quite contrary to the one he enunciated during the war. It was said at that time that every man who went overseas to help the Allied cause, whether as a soldier in the ranks, or as a munition maker in England, would receive every consideration and assistance on his return; and that his dependants, in the case of his death, would be paid a pension. Surely every man who went yonder to make munitions helped to win the war. Munition makers were just as important as soldiers in the trenches.
– But even if Senator Gardiner’s bill were passed, it would not help the widows of munition makers, because the existing definitions in the principal act are not affected by it.
– If there is a technical error in the drafting of the bill it can be corrected. Senator Gardiner’s intention is quite clear. The men in the trenches would have been helpless without munitions.
– But the munition makers remained in safety, and got for their work twice as much as was paid to the soldiers in the trenches.
– I trust that we shall not go back on our war-time promise that every man who volunteered for any branch of war activities would be compensated for any injuries or disabilities suffered on service, and that in the case of his death his dependants would receive a pension. The number of men who enlisted and married abroad was 58,396.
– The. honorable senator might just as well bring under the provisions of the Repatriation Act the men who made khaki in our mills here as the men who worked in- munition factories abroad.
– What is his view of the position of men who made munitions in privately-owned factories? .
– My view is that every man who suffered a disability through war service should be compensated.
– But that is not the object of the bill. Senator Gardiner desires that the widow of every ex-soldier shall be pensioned, irrespective of the cause or time of her husband’s death.
– I pin my faith to the promises that were made during the war to the men who served the country abroad. According to a statement made by the then Minister for Defence (Senator Pearce) on the 19th March, 1918, there were something over 55,000 deaths among the 415,000 odd soldiers who had enlisted ‘ at that date. It is reasonable to assume that approximately 8,000 or 9,000 wives have since lost their ex-soldier husbands.
– And they are paid a pension if their husbands died from disabilities aggravated by war service.
– I consider that the munition workers were just as necessary as men in the trenches, and I hope that the day is not far distant when they and their dependants will get justice.
– Does the honorable senator intend to amend the bill so that it will apply to munition workers?
– I have no intention of moving to amend it, but if Senator Elliott does so I will support him. Our acceptance of Senator Gardiner’s proposal would not increase our pensions expenditure to any great extent, but it would do justice to a deserving class in the community. The honorable senator’s object in introducing the amending -measure was humane.
– Does the honorable senator think that the widow of an exsoldier who was killed, say, in a motor car accident after his return from the war should receive a pension?
– The object of the bill is to ensure that the widow of every man who- went abroad in any branch of war service shall receive a pension.
– As it is drafted, it does not achieve that object.
– I believe that I have a proper understanding of Senator Gardiner’s intention. I do not suppose that the second reading of the bill will be carried, but I hope it will be.
– The bill, in my opinion, is cruderly drafted, and I am surprised that an honorable senator with Senator Gardiner’s long political experience should have introduced it in this form. If I understand its purport, it is to pro- vide a pension for the- widow of every ex-soldier irrespective of whether his death was caused by war service, or a disability aggravated by war service. Returned soldiers claim fair, just, and reasonable consideration for their comrades in distress, but I do- not think that they have ever asked for or would favour legislation of this character. It is not fair, reasonable, or just. The intention of the Australian people in regard to pensions for soldiers- and their dependants was- generous, and unmistakable; and, although the working of the Repatriation Act has at times been slow, and cumbersome, on the whole our ex-soldiers have had a fair deal. I had hoped to get details of the specific case mentioned by Senator Gardiner in introducing, the bill, but I have been unable to do. so. May I suggest to the honorable senator that the best course for him to take to help- the person he had in mind is to refer the matter to the Returned Sailors and Soldiers’ Imperial League, of which I am proud to be a member. If the claim has any substance in it, the officers of the league will press it until justice is done. To ask the people of Australia- to pay pensions to the widows of all returned men, irrespective ‘of’ whether death was or was not due to war service, is preposterous. It would be just as reasonable to ask for pensions for the widows of every policeman and civil servant. Had Senator Gardiner moved to amend the Repatriation Act to provide for the’ payment of a minimum pension of £4 4s. a fortnight to the widows of ex-soldiers entitled to a pension, I should have supported him, for I have been fighting for that for a long time. At present the minimum pension ‘ is £2 7s. a fortnight, although I believe that in most cases it is brought up to £2 2s. a week. I have not had a lengthy political experience, but, if I may apply a billiards phrase to this bill, I would . say that it is a “ trap for young players.” I regret that the honorable senator introduced it in such a crude and unsatisfactory form. It is not a fair thing to ask of the people of Australia. The returned soldiers as- a body are not asking for it, and, for my part, I propose to oppose it. In doing so I am not to be understood as being opposed to my “ cobbers “ or their dependants getting a fair deal. I may be doing the honorable senator an injustice, and I have no desire to impute any motives to him, but I regard this bill as nothing but a political dodge.
– Order! The honorable senator is not entitled, to impute motives.
– Senator Sampson has suggested that this bill is rather crudely drawn, because of the extravagant wideness of its provisions. This, no doubt, he thinks was due to inadvertence, but if the honorable senator will peruse the speech delivered by Senator Gardiner in moving the second reading, he will see that it was deliberately designed to be as. wide as possible. Senator Gardiner justified this on the ground that the New South Wales Government proposed to pay a pension to all widows, and it was quite in consonance with that policy that the honorable senator should seek to- lessen! the burden on that Government by asking the Commonwealth to pay pensions to all widows of returned soldiers. It is, there- fore, quite by design that the bill has been made as wide as possible; but Senator Needham would go a step further. He would move an amendment to include munition workers in the definition of the word “ forces ‘’’ in the original act. Thatwould be going far beyond the provisions of the original act.
– Would the honorable senator support an amendment of that nature?
– Not at- present. The munition workers had comfortable jobs at high rates of wages, and were not exposed, to any hardship or danger that would tend to shorten, their lives.
– In most cases they were simply following their ordinary avocations.
– It is- difficult for a returned soldier to. oppose a measure which is intended to benefit the widows of men who, returned from- the war. because even those of us who had a comparatively comfortable time abroad had our lives shortened to an appreciable extent by the hardships we had to endure even under the best conditions in the field. But once you enter that aspect of the question you are confronted by considerable difficulties. Some men went to the war at eighteen years of age; others concealed their real age and went when they were nearly 60 It is hard to know where to stop. As Senator Crawford has pointed out. the United States act includes the widows, of veterans, whom they married in the last stage of their lives, merely for the purpose of getting a pension. That position was. no doubt, reached by sympathetic endeavours from time to time of the nature intended by this bill. In the administration of our Repatriation Act, for a considerable time great difficulty was experienced in having the claims of a widow recognized where the husband died after his return.. The attitudeof the department was. distinctly hostile to recognizing that a death in such circumstances was due to. war service, unless- a definite wound leading directly to the death could bo shown, or a continuation of illness down, to the date of death could be established. However, I am glad to say that there has been a tremendous improvement in this regard since the advent of the present Minister for Defence SixNeville Howse. I have had, recently/,, a very striking instance of this. A young man- joined nip with me- at thai very beginning, and by almost miraculous good luck served from the beginningto the end of the. war without getting a scratch. He did not miss, an engagement,and except for short periods of leave, was not absent from the firing lira© from the beginning to the end. Hie was- a little, over eighteen, years of age when he* joined-, and we- can well imagine the strain which the war imposed on the nerves of a young fellow like that. He was present at the landing atGallipoli, and f ought at Helles, Lone Pine, and all’ the other engagements on Gallipoli. He afterwards participated in the chain of fight’s in Prance. He married on his re.turn, and during his wife’s accouchement was worked’ up to such a pitch of worry and excitement that he went out of the house, walked into a dam, and drowned himself. Prom my experience I had not very much hope that the claim of his widow for a. pension would’ be recognized, but I narrated the facts of the case to the present Minister for Defence. I told him what that boy had been through, and that probably his experience had had such an effect on his nerves that he could not face his wife’s agony as a sane mam would. At Lone Pine that youth was a sergeant holding a post- similar to that which was held by Captain Tubb. and exposed to the same- attacks the repulse of one of which gained for Captain Tubb his Victoria Cross. He told me about the situation in which he found himself on that occasion, and I repeated his experience to. the Minister. The Minister had no hesitation in granting a pension to the widow and the child that was born and survived.
– His death was due to war service.
– To my mind, it undoubtedly was, but it is very difficult to convince a certain type of individual that in such circumstances the death of a man who has no visible injury, such as a wound, was due to war service. It was, no doubt, the graphic description that I was able to give of this, young man’s experience that helpedthe Minister to come to a decision. I merely mention this case as an illustration of the sympathetic attitude of the present administration of the department to the returned soldier. The provisions of the existing act are already wide, and as long as a definite connexion between the soldier’s war service, and his death can be established, the soldier’s widow and dependants can get the full benefit of the act. But this bill is aimed at something very far beyond that, and in its present form would admit those cases which Senator Crawford has instanced, cases in which men in their last days marry young girls whose only object is to become State pensioners. I have great sympathy with the suggestion made by Senator Sampson that the pension for widows should be increased, but in that case also we have to count the cost. The country is already paying between £7,000,000 and £8,000,000 a year for war pensions. It is a big burden, and it is questionable whether we should really benefit the community if we were to add to that amount to any large extent. To do so might hinder the expansion of industry, and thus hamper our efforts to establish the children of soldiers’ widows in businesses. All . these aspects of the question have to be weighed most carefully if we are to do the best for the country, which includes the soldiers who have suffered and their dependants. I do not think I need say any more than that I oppose. the bill in its present form.
Question - That the bill be now read a second time - put. The Senate divided.
Question so resolved in the negative.
.- I move-
That, in the opinion of the Senate, His Majesty’s Ministers of State for the Commonwealth should, after the prorogation of the present session of this Parliament, advise His Excellency the Governor-General to summon the next session to be held at Canberra, the Federal Capital.
I intend to be brief in submitting this motion, because I understand that the Government is anxious to dispose of other business this evening. My main object is to obtain from the Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) a definite statement as to when Parliament wil be summoned to meet at Canberra. Almost five years ago, I submitted a similar motion, which was carried unanimously in a slightly amended form, the Senate affirming that Parliament should assemble at the Federal Capital at the earliest practicable opportunity. The provision of accommodation for 111 members of Parliament and a necessary official staff could surely have been made in less than five years ?
– Why this hurry?
– I asked the same question in regard to the building of the north-south railway.
– That is a very different proposition.
– Yes; it involves a waste of money on a line running into a desert; but the transfer of the Seat of Government to Canberra is a matter of national importance. Honorable senators were told that they were bound to vote for the north-south railway because of an agreement entered into between the Commonwealth and the State of South Australia. Although there may have been some doubt upon that question, there is no room for doubt that, when the people of Australia voted for Federation, it was clearly understood that the Federal Capital was to be established at Canberra. Twenty-five years have elapsed, and this Parliament still meets in Melbourne. The people of New South Wales, are entitled to know exactly when the transfer will take place. If the Minister can state definitely that the change will be effected within the next few months, I shall be satisfied. Unless the Ministry is favorable to the early transfer of the Seat of Government, all sorts of objections to it may be raised. Five years ago the Ministers in the Senate were the Leader of the Government (Senator Pearce), the late Senator E. D. . Millen, and the late Senator Russell. Senator Pearce has always been favorable to the proposal, the lateSenator Millen was an ardent advocate of Canberra, and the late Senator Russell was always agreeable to the transfer. But the Ministers now in the Senate arcnot all so enthusiastic about the matter. I admit that Senator Pearce is still anxious to honour the agreement; but the Minister for Markets and Migration (Senator Wilson) stated five years ago that he had been to Canberra once, and never wanted to go there again. Senator Crawford, who is now a Minister, remarked at that time> “Let us go there in the sweet by-and-bye.’’
– I do not remember saying that.
– That is what he said. I read it in Hansard to-day. Senator Wilson enjoined the Senate to make haste slowly. It seems to me that if no more progress is made in the future than has been apparent in the past, the transfer will be long delayed. I have no doubt that Senator Barwell is most anxious to have Parliament summoned to meet at Canberra, because he is in favour of agreements between the Commonwealth and the States being strictly observed.
– The Prime Minister has made a most definite statement on this matter. Why worry about it now?
– Where was such a statement made by him ?
– It was published far and wide.
– But the Prime Minister is not in charge of the Senate. The Minister in this chamber, who’ represents the Prime Minister, might reasonably be asked to make a statement on this subject. Surely five minutes might be allowed for .its discussion. If the representatives of New South’ Wales had advocated the transfer to Canberra with half the zeal with which honorable senators from South Australia put forward their claims to the building of the north-south railway, Parliament would have been summoned to meet there long ago.
– I have great pleasure in seconding the motion. The summoning of Parliament to meet at Canberra is long overdue. Those honorable members who object to the proposal live in luxury and comfort in Melbourne, and they are particularly fond of preventing honorable senators from New South Wales and Queensland from catching their trains on Friday afternoons, thus compelling them to remain in Melbourne over the week-ends. On two or three occasions, I have missed my train on that account; but I hope to be able to retaliate when Parliament meets at Canberra. I should like to see some of those honorable senators on the Yass railway platform at 4.50 o’clock on a winter’s morning, with a good breeze blowing off the snow-capped mountains.
– There is not much brotherly love about that.
– It is a bad advertisement for Canberra.
– I am referring, not to Canberra, but to the railway junction at Yass.
– But one has to pass through it in order . to reach Canberra.
– Yes, and one must also pass through it in travelling by train between Sydney and Melbourne. If I’ had my way the transfer of the Seat of Government would take place forthwith. If the Government requires any assistance, I can obtain the services of gentlemen who will “ shift the whole out- ‘ fit” within 48 hours.
– The honorable gentleman must be referring to the communists.
– No. At any rate the next session of Parliament should meet at Canberra.
– I thought that the Government had, through Has Excellency the GovernorGeneral, made a very definite statement about the transfer of the Seat of
Government to Canberra. His Excellency’s speech, delivered at the opening of the present session, contained this reference -
My advisers have given further consideration to the question of the establishment of the Seat of Government at Canberra, and have decided that, in the interest of economy and efficiency, Be departments removed from Melbourne should ‘be established at the outset on a permanent basis with -& nucleus staff. After consultation with the Federal Capital Commission, arrangements have been made according to which the transfer -at the Seat of Government will be .effected in the early part of 1927.
The’ transfer of the Seat ‘of Government means the transfer of the essential departments, as well as the Parliament.
– What is meant by the “ early .part of the year “ ?
– The first part of the year means till June. As we shall require to remove sufficient of the departments to enable the government to function at Canberra., it will be necessary to arrange for the transfer of at least 1,000 officers. This means that we shall have to provide office accommodation, and also housing ‘for the officers, because we cannot expect them to camp in the bush. The transfer of the Parliament is a more important .undertaking than .Senator Thomas seems to think it is. This Government has taken definite action with this end in view by appointing the Federal Capital Commission. Every one who knows anything about the present position admits that the commission is doing all that is possible, and in the most business-like way, to expedite the removal of the Seat of Government.. It is impossible at this juncture to state what will be the arrangements for the sittings of Parliament in the present calendar year. We can only make a forecast. It is anticipated that the present session will continue until July or August, when Parliament will prorogue to enable the Prime Minister to leave in time to attend the Imperial Conference. It may be necessary, before the end of the present year, to have another session to deal with matters arising out of that conference. It is too early yet to say what may happen, but we should provide for such a contingency. If Senator Thomas’s motion is carried, it will be necessary for Parliament, in the next session, and perhaps before the end of the present year, to meet at Canberra .
That, as I have shown, will be absolutely impracticable, because the essential departments will still be in Melbourne. The removal of the Seat of Government has been thoroughly investigated by the Public Works Committee, and the Government, and it has been found that the transfer of Parliament without the necessary departments would be merely a camouflage removal. The Government proposes a genuine, not a camouflage, transfer, and it is endeavouring to effect the removal efficiently and economically. This will meet the wishes of the people of New South Wales. Any one who knows anything about administration will realize that the removal of the Seat of Government means the transfer, not only of Parliament itself , but also of .all the necessary governmental machinery.
– If Parliament sat in Canberra it would not be long before the departments also were transferred.
– The Ministry is making the necessary arrangements to transfer the Seat of Government in the early part of 3.927, and it is considering a proposal to open Parliament there on the 26th January. For historical reasons it is desirable that an effort should be made to do this.
– That would satisfy us.
– We are hoping that this will be possible, but it will be merely an official opening. Probably Parliament will then adjourn to allow of the transfer of departments in February and March, and Parliament will then reassemble, probably in April, for the conduct of public business.
– If the Minister will give me that assurance I .shall be satisfied.
– That is what we are endeavouring to do. Our plans are being laid on the assumption that this may be possible, and the Federal Capital Commission has been instructed accordingly. Honorable senators must realize that we are not exactly masters of the situation. Our plans may be upset by a number of causes at present unforeseen. We can only say that the Federal Capital Commission has been instructed to carry out a building programme that will enable Parliament to function at Canberra in the early part of 1927, .and for historical reasons, it is hoped to have a ceremonial meeting at Canberra on the 26th January, next.. ‘ In the circumstances, I appeal to Senator Thomas to withdraw his motion, otherwise the Government will be reluctantly forced to vote against it, because of the possibility of another session being necessary at the end of the present year to deal with matters arising out of the Imperial Conference.
.- Senator Thomas said that at the inauguration of the Commonwealth, 25 years ago, it was agreed that the Seat of Government should be established at Canberra. I am not as anxious as some honorable members appear to be to leave Melbourne. What fault have they to find with this city.
– No fault at all.
– Senator Cox said that we were living in luxury here, and that we were preventing senators from New South Wales and other States from reaching their homes for the week-end. How can the honorable senator better spend his week-ends than in this city of luxury? What reason is there for complaint concerning the treatment of Victoria in this matter?
– No complaint at all; Victoria has treated us very well indeed.
Senator FINDLEY. The people knew, when they voted for the Constitution, that part of the contract was that the Seat of Government should be in New South Wales, not less than 100 miles from Sydney, but the Victorian Government placed this magnificent building, rent free, at the disposal of the Commonwealth Government, so there was no reason why the removal should be made at express speed. During the recent trying weather we have been experiencing, there was no cooler place in the whole of Victoria than this legislative chamber, and I imagine that some honorable senators, who affect to favour the removal of the Seat of Government are not very eager to leave this comfortable building. I am not one of those who advocate the break ing of contracts. I supported the Canberra proposal at a time when it was not very popular to do so. It is my wish that the Seat of Government’ should be established there within a reasonable time,’ but the transfer should be carried out ‘in a business-like way. To remove the Seat of Government before all the necessary conveniences for governmental administration were available at Canberra would be the height of absurdity. Although, politically speaking, I have no respect for the present occupants of the Treasury bench, I think the Government has very fairly met the demand of the New South Wales members in . both this chamber and another place to remove Parliament to Canberra as speedily as possible. To that end, more practical work has been done within the last two or three years than in the - previous twenty years. I thought that we would approach the consideration of this subject in a broad national spirit, and that Parliament’ would meet at -Canberra in a fraternal atmosphere. I find it difficult, however, to support the motion wholeheartedly after the threat made by Senator Cox that when Parliament is removed to Canberra he and other honorable, senators, from his State would give us a dose of the medicine to which they had been subjected during their stay in this city. With great glee he pictured, the plight of those who had their homes in Melbourne, and arrived ‘ at Yass- on a cold winter’s morning with the temperature below zero. He said that in such circumstances he would be an extremely happy man. That is not fraternalism. If the honorable senator desires the Parliament to get to Canberra quickly he should refrain from making those threats. I shall vote against the motion if it is taken to a division.
– Although I am. not convinced that it . is impossible for Parliament to meet in Canberra, even this year, I recognize that the motion would be defeated if it went to a vote, because every honorable senator, except those who come from New South Wales would . rather remain in Melbourne than go to the Federal Capital. . I take it that I have the assurance of the Minister (Senator Pearce) that the Government, is doing its best to open Parliament at Canberra on the 26th January, 1927. I am, therefore, prepared to withdraw the motion.
Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
In committee (Consideration resumed, vide page 1517) :
– The proposed new subsection 30c makes provision for a term of imprisonment up to two years, and subsequently for deportation on the dictum of the Attorney-General. The law relating to ordinary offences provides that after a verdict has been given an appeal can be lodged with the Court of Criminal Appeal. I should like an assurance from the Minister that before the final act of deportation a convicted person will have the right of appeal to another tribunal.
– The rights which are conferred by the Judiciary Act will be retained.
Clause agreed to.
Clauses 18 to 24 agreed to.
Title agreed to
Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.
Senate adjourned at 9.25 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 11 March 1926, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1926/19260311_senate_10_112/>.