14th Parliament · 1st Session
The President (Senator the Hon. P. J. Lynch) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.
The following papers were presented: -
Canned Fruits Export Control Act - Regu lations amended - Statutory Rules 1936, No. 124.
National Debt Sinking Fund Act - National Debt Commission - Thirteenth Annual Report, year ended 30th June, 1936.
Orange Bounty Act 1935 - Report upon the working of the Act, together with return showing the amount of bounty paid.
Science and Industry Endowment Act - Auditor-General’s Report on the Science and Industry Endowment Fund for the year ended 30th June, 1936.
Wine Overseas Marketing Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1936, No. 125.
Wool Tax Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules1936, No.96.
Commonwealth Public Service Act - Appointment - Department of the Interior - J. E. Morrow
– I ask the Acting Leader of the Senate if it is the intention of the Government to proceed with the Crimes Bill?
– The honorable senator is aware that it is not customary, in answer to questions, to state the intentions of the Government with regard to legislation on the noticepaper.
– I ask the Acting Leader of the Senate if, owing to the increasing traffic on the transcontinental railway, and the newspaper reports that many passengers have to wait a considerable time to obtain seating accommodation on the train, he will make representations to the Minister for the Interior with a view to increasing the number of trains from two to three a week?
– I shall see that the suggestion embodied in the honorable senator’s question is brought under the notice of the Minister for the Interior.
– Will the Acting Leader of the Senate ask the Treasurer to prepare a return dealing with the annual sinking fund payments clue by each of the States under the Financial Agreement Act towards the reduction of their deficits, and also include in the report a table of the amounts actually paid by each State for the last nine years?
– I have just laid on the table the annual report of the National Debt Commission. I think that it embodies the information asked for by the honorable senator ; if it does not, I shall see that the information is supplied to him.
Assent to the following bills reported : -
Supply Bill (No. 2) 1936-37.
Financial Relief Bill (No. 2) 1936.
– I have to inform the Senate that I have received from Mrs. Mauger a letter of thanks for the resolution of sympathy and condolence passed by the Senate on the occasion of the death of her husband, the Honorable Samuel Mauger.
asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as follows: -
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as- follows: -
asked the PostmasterGeneral upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as follow : -
asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice -
– The Treasurer has supplied the following answer : -
The information is being obtained, and will be furnished to the honorable senator later.
asked the Minister representing the Minister directing negotiations for trade treaties, upon notice -
– The answer is as follows: -
As I informed the honorable senator on tha 10th September, any treaties concluded by Sir Henry Gullett with European countries will be submitted to Parliament for approval during the current session. In the meantime, it is not considered necessary to add anything further to that reply.
asked the Minister in charge of Scientific and Industrial Research, upon notice -
In view of the continued grasshopper plague in the north-eastern wheat belt of Western Australia, and the reported successful destruction of these pests in other parts of the world by spraying from aeroplanes, will the Government co-operate with the State Government in applying this moans of destruction in the affected areas, and particularly on abandoned farms?
– The answer to the honorable senator’s question is as follows: -
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is carrying out investigations with a view to the control of the grasshopper pest, but the work is at present only in its initial stages. It is understood that experiments in destroying the pest by dusting, but not by spraying, from aeroplanes have been successful in South Africa where the conditions are, however, different from those in Australia. If the Government Entomologist in Western Australia will get into touch with the chief of the council’s division of economic entomology, the council will be glad to give all possible help and advice, and to co-operate in appropriate measures with a view to the control of the pest.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice -
– The Minister for Defence has supplied the following answer to the honorable senator’s questions : - 1 and 2. A decision has not been reached as to what town will be the Australian terminus for the proposed air service between Australia and New Guinea. A ground survey of the route along the Queensland coast is at present in progress, and a decision will be made as early as possible on completion of this survey.
asked the Minister representing the AttorneyGeneral and Minister for Industry, upon notice -
– The AttorneyGeneral and Minister for Industry has supplied the following answers to the honorable senator’s questions: -
The Government delegate was authorized to vote in favour of the 40-hour Conventions, provided he set out the following views of the Commonwealth Government: -
The Commonwealth Parliament can legislate as to the working hours in the Commonwealth Public Service; and the Commonwealth Arbitration Court (but not the Commonwealth Parliament) can deal with the question of working hours when it is raised in an industrial dispute. The State Parliaments, however, can legislate upon this matter. 2 and 3. The honorable senator is informed that draft conventions are adopted by the Conference on a two-thirds majority of the votes of government, employers’ and workers’ delegates. The adoption of a convention at Geneva is not binding upon the governments whose delegates vote for it. The obligation of State members of the International Labour Organization is that they will, within a period of one year, or at most eighteen months, from the closing of the Conference, bring a draft convention before the authority or authorities, within whose competence the matter lies, for the enactment of legislation or other action. If a draft convention fails to obtain the consent of such authorities, no further obligation rests upon the member State. The subject-matter of the 40-hour week conventions falls mainly within the jurisdiction of the States, and consequently a prerequisite for ratification from the point of view of the. Commonwealth Government is that the provisions of the convention are covered by Commonwealth und State legislation. The attention of the honorable senator is invited to the discussion on the subject at the recent conference between Commonwealth and State Ministers iu Adelaide.
Bill read a third time.
Bill read a third time.
– I move -
That the bill be now read a second time.
The purpose of this bill is to appropriate £600,000 for works chargeable to the loan fund. The total of the Loan Estimates for 1936-37, as set out in the budget, is £3,107,339. Full details of all the proposed works chargeable to the loan fund will be found on pages 290- 295 of the Estimates. The £3,107,339 proposed to be expended out of the loan fund this year is for the following purposes : -
It is unnecessary to ask Parliament to appropriate the full sum of £3,107,339, because many of the amounts included in the proposed expenditure have already been appropriated in earlier sittings of the Parliament under special acts, such as those relating to farmers’ debt adjustment, the Port Augusta to Port Pirie railway, unemployment relief works in the States, and grants to the States for mining and forestry. The only amount included ia the proposed loan expenditure which has not already been appropriated is a sum of £600,000 for postal works. This bill accordingly provides only for the appropriation of that amount.
As was explained in connexion with the proposals for new works expenditure from revenue, the total amount to be provided for post office, telegraphic, and telephonic works in the present year is £2,353,000. Of that sum, £1,750,000 is provided for in the new works votes from revenue, and £603,000 is included in the Loan Estimates. Of the £603,000, the sum of £3,000 was provided in an earlier appropriation. All the postal works will be of a reproductive character and are urgently necessary to meet the increasing demands of the public for better postal, telegraphic, and telephonic facilities.
– This appears to be an appropriate opportunity to discuss the advisableness of reconstituting the parliamentary standing committees, particularly the Public Works Committee which, T understand, were suspended in 1931.
– There are too many committees now.
– There are not enough of them. The committees were suspended in 1931. on the ground of economy.
– There are already too many committees doing jobs for which Ministers are paid.
– How can the honorable senator reconcile that statement with the views expressed by Mr. Scullin in the House of Representatives in 1931. Speaking on the second reading of the bill to suspend the operation of the parliamentary committees, he said -
Both committees serve a useful purpose, anil I do not think it would be advisable to abolish them.
Yet the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) now contends that we have too many committees. Mr. Scullin continued -
These are not governing measures in a strict sense; they cover a matter which comes under the control of Parliament, and are being introduced to enable Parliament to declare its views upon it. Personally, I think both committees should be retained.
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. P. J. Lynch). - I presume that the honorable senator is developing the argument that more information should be supplied to the Senate.
– That is so. Speaking on this subject at the same time, Mr. Lyons said -
It is anticipated that the suspension of the operations of the Committee of Public Accounts will result in the saving of approximately £3,000 per annum. That estimate is based on the actual expenditure of the committee during a normal year.
During the last four or five years of their existence the annual expenditure on those two committees rarely exceeded £3,000, and on no occasion did it exceed £5,000. I suggest to the Acting Leader of the Government that the time is now ripe for the reconstitution of these committees. In my opinion, the reports presented by those committees regarding the advisability of entering into proposed works were of much value to honorable senators. The public works programme for this year is estimated to cost £3,000,000; in any ordinary year it is rarely below £2,000,000. What is an expenditure of £5,000 to ensure efficient, control and investigation and consider the wisdom of spending £2,000,000 a year in comparison with the possible loss that might arise from unwise expenditure? Even in times of economic stress the expenditure involved in setting up these committees is justified; but the recent period of economic stress in Australia is definitely at an end.
– What sort of check was substituted for that imposed by the parliamentary committees?
– None whatsoever. The recommendations of departmental heads were accepted, and thus power was again concentrated in the hands of the Executive. I suggest that we could well reconstitute the system of inquiry and report by parliamentary committees, particularly by a works committee. The Works Committee in the past did extremely valuable work, particularly in connexion with the Hinders water supply, and saved the country many thousands of pounds. We should profit by the lessons of the past and reconstitute these committees. No great additional expenditure would be involved, and the reports would promote the more efficient working of the parliamentary machine, and the wise expenditure of public moneys.
– I am glad that Senator Hardy has brought this matter under the notice of the Senate to-day.
– I rise to a point of order. Is the honorable senator in order in discussing the advisableness of reconstituting the Public Works Committee? I suggest, sir, that honorable senators should be asked to confine themselves to the bill itself.
– Strictly speaking, the .wisdom or otherwise of reconstituting these committees is not relevant, to the discussion of the second reading of this bill. As, however, the matter has a bearing on the need for the Senate to have fuller information regarding proposed expenditure on public works, k may be referred to incidentally.
– All that Senator Hardy has done so far is to express a desire that, when a bill involving expenditure of such magnitude comes before the Senate, honorable senators should he given more information than that which the Minister has supplied.
– The honorable senator does not trust the Minister?
– Until the suspension of the parliamentary committees, it was the practice for many years for individual works projects costing more than £25,000 to be referred to the Public Works Committee for inquiry and report. Having regard to the improved financial position of the Commonwealth, I think that the time has now arrived when that system of investigation should be restored. I am not in a position to oppose the expenditure for . which authority is sought under this measure, because the only details we have are those supplied by the department. In order to secure the best results a proper investigation into all public works should be made, and a full report submitted to Parliament. The amount of £600,000 mentioned in the bill probably includes some public works the estimated cost of which exceeds £25,000. Had a public works committee been in existence, works exceeding that cost would have been investigated, and a report submitted to Parliament. I trust the time is not far distant when both the Public Works Committee and the Public Accounts Committee will be reconstituted. As a member of the Public Works Committee for some years, I am conversant with the close investigations made by it, and I can endorse all that Senator Hardy has said regarding the value of its work. I trust that the Government will decide to reconstitute the two committees mentioned.
– Although I have not any direct knowledge of the work carried out by the Commonwealth Public Works Committee, I am conversant with the valuable service rendered to the Parliament of New South Wales by a similar committee in that State. The New South Wales committee has been abolished largely in response to the demand for economy, and because it was thought that certain members of Parliament were receiving additional remuneration for the service they rendered. The consequence is that in recent years many millions of pounds have been expended ‘on public works on the advice of departmental officers. Such works should have been investigated by a parliamentary committee, and a report submitted to Parliament. The Commonwealth Parliament made a mistake in abolishing the Public Works Committee, because many of the large public works proposed to be undertaken should be scrutinized in order to see if economies cannot be effected. I trust that the Government will invite the Parliament to restore these very valuable adjuncts to Commonwealth administration. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) should realize that the superstructures of some of the buildings which he says should be built would now be visible had the projects been investigated by a public works committee.
.- Having been at different times a member of both the Public Works Committee and the Public Accounts Committee, [ feel that the Government would be well, advised if it reconstituted the two committees. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) suggested by ‘ interjection that the appointment of such committees indicates that Ministers cannot be trusted. In Queensland a parliamentary committee has investigated the construction of an extension of the railway to Camooweal, and has presented a report to Parliament. Such an investigation does not suggest that the Ministers in that State cannot be trusted. The inquiry was held in order to ascertain whether the railway was a reasonable proposition, and to insure that full particulars could be available to members of the Queensland Parliament. The Leader of the Opposition knows that all railway extensions in Queensland are investigated by a parliamentary committee. On one occasion the Commonwealth Public Works Committee investigated a water supply for the Naval Base at Flinders in Victoria. The departmental officers favoured a proposal involving the expenditure, of a very large sum of money, but after investigation the Public Works Committee recommended an alternative gravitation scheme which reduced the cost, enabled adjoining town: to obtain a water supply at a reasonable cost, and Flinders Naval Base to obtain water free of cost. That recommendation involved a saving to the Commonwealth of over £66,000. The committee also investigated the construction of wooden ships by Kidman and Mayoh, and as a result of its recommendation the Commonwealth was saved £114,000. Senator Sampson has said by interjection that savings up to £20,000 have been effected in respect of aerodromes. Valuable work has also been performed by the Public Accounts Committee. The fact that these committees were in existence had a restraining influence upon departmental officers.
– The honorable senator does not trust any one.
– It is not a case of not trusting anybody.
– Why appoint an Auditor-General? That is the logical extension of the argument raised by Senator Collings.
– That is so. Why have auditors in every concern? It is no reflection on the board of directors of a company that the shareholders appoint an auditor. Supervision of building construction by an architect is not a reflection on the contractor. If Senator Collings would take the trouble to read the annual reports of the Public Accounts Committee and of the Public Works Committee, I do not doubt that he would be just enough to take the view that, oven if a few thousand pounds were expended on travelling allowances to the honorable members and senators who constituted the committees, the money was well spent, because of the great savings in public expenditure that were effected as the result of their investigations. I can speak freely on this matter, because in the event of the reconstitution of the committees I should not be an applicant for a position on either of them. These committees did a good job of work whilst they were in operation. They saved this country a lot of money, and the Government would be well advised to reconsider their reconstitution, perhaps not on so large a scale as formerly, but in such a way as to represent all parties in both Houses of the Commonwealth Parliament.
– I am very glad that this matter has come before the Senate this afternoon. I mentioned it last year on the Appropriation Bill, and I take this opportunity to express my hope that before long the Public Works Committee will resume operations. Such a committee provides a valuable safeguard; that has been proved by experience in all States of the Commonwealth and also in the Commonwealth. I cannot speak with personal knowledge of what great’ savings have been effected as the result of the committee’s work in the Commonwealth sphere, hut I oan speak with authority of the savings that have resulted from the operations of the South Australian committee. That State, even during the depression, kept its Public Works Committee going, and that may bc one of the reasons why that State was the first to balance its budget.
– I ask the PostmasterGeneral (Senator A. J. McLachlan) the meaning of the expression, “ Telephone exchange services “ as used in this bill. Does it apply to telephones generally throughout the Commonwealth, or to any specific exchange, or the extension of telephone services? I have in mind an extension of telephone services which honorable senators representing Western Australia have urged upon the Government on several occasions. An extension of the telephone service from Ajana to Carnarvon is urgently required, because the people in those areas have no means of communication with the southern portion of the State, except by means of steamer services, the air route, or the telegraph system. In that respect Western Australia is different from Queensland, which enjoys all the blessings of civilization. 1 urge the Postmaster-General again to give consideration to the provision of telephone communication into the districts I have mentioned.
– I have in my possession a letter from the Rockhampton Town Council urging the replacement of the manual telephone service in that city by the automatic service. I believe that the Postmaster-General has already received a copy of that letter.
– At any rate Rockhampton does have telephones.
– There is no Western Australian town, other than Perth, which has a population comparable with that of Rockhampton. This letter presses for an automatic telephone exchange for Rockhampton and asks that the Government give early consideration to the claims of this large and important city. The Rockhampton people do not talk about it very much hut the city is the capital of an area of about 217,000 square miles. I hope that it will grow a lot bigger. Automatic telephone exchanges are being installed in various parts of the Commonwealth and I hope that the Postmaster-General will be able to give to this matter the consideration that it deserves.
With others, I met a deputation of South Brisbane men, who are urging the need for a new post office in that suburb. The people there are not asking for an expensive or ornamental building; all they seek is a plain post office. There is a post office in Stanley-street, South Brisbane, hut it is not so good for business purposes as it used to be. Not nearly so much business is done there now as was done formerly and in other ways the site is hot suitable. The site proposed for the new building is centrally situated and was recently acquired by the Commonwealth Government for about £5,000. It is not a large area, but it is large enough for a small building. This site is near two railway stations, one the terminus of the KyogleSouth Brisbane railway, on which the main interstate railway business is conducted, and the other the Melbournestreet station, from which a branch line goes to the seaboard town, of Coolangatta and thence to Sydney. I have examined both the present site and the proposed new site, and I am satisfied that the latter is the better. I ask the PostmasterGeneral and the Government to proceed with the erection of the new post office as soon as possible. That this is a matter requiring urgent consideration is shown by the fact that the Government has actually bought the land and has thereby approved of the idea that the postal business in South Brisbane should be transferred from its present unsuitable location in ‘Stanley-street to the very busy site near the railway stations. This site becomes more and more central, and therefore more and more suited for the requirements of South Brisbane.
As to the proposed reconstitution of the Public Works Committee, I disagree with the few comments voiced by Senator Collings. As Leader of the Opposition, Senator Collings has on his mind more than the average private member and I think that his first impulse when this matter was raised was to express the Opposition attitude - “Beware of commissions, particularly when they are brought forward by our opponents when in power.” I personally do not favour commissions which are appointed merely to shoulder the responsibilities of the Government. I am not levelling this charge against the present Government because 1 know that it is too noble to do such a thing, but governments generally have the habit, when faced with an irksome task, of transferring the responsibility to a commission which may wander around for two or three years before making a report. Not infrequently the appointment of commissions and committees provides for a government a convenient way out of inconvenient situations. I, therefore, think it probable that my leader (Senator Collings) had this in his mind when he interjected this afternoon. For my part, I would welcome the re-constitution of the Public Works and Public Accounts Committees, which rendered useful service to the Commonwealth for many years prior to the onset of the depression, when the acts constituting them were suspended. My knowledge of the work done by parliamentary standing committees goes back about fifteen years, to the time when Mr. Gillies, then Premier of Queensland, appointed a standing committee on public works similar to that in New South Wales, with which Mr. Gillies was familiar, having come originally from that State. But my experience of their work is not limited to Queensland. For many years I followed my profession as a journalist in Victoria. On several occasions I was called upon to write summaries’ of reports furnished by the “Victorian Railways Standing Committee, a body having functions similar to the Commonwealth Public Works and Public Accounts Committees, and I was impressed by the value of the services performed for the State by that body. Some critics of the proposal to re-constitute these parliamentary committees suggest that their chief purpose is to provide additional jobs and extra fees for members of Parliament. I can assure them that the extra emoluments paid are well earned by reason of the savings which the committees have effected. As evidence of the valuable information which members acquire in the course of their work on such committees, I may mention, without disclosing any party confidences, that I was impressed by the admirable address delivered this morning by the Leader of our. party (Mr. Curtin), who displayed an expert knowledge of the financial relations of the Commonwealth and States - a knowledge which he acquired because of his close association with the Commonwealth Grants Commission. As honorable senators, may remember, he was entrusted with the responsibility of stating the claims of Western
Australia before the commission a few years ago. The reconstitution of the Public “Works and Public Accounts Committees would mean that a number of members of both branches of the Parliament would serve on them and would acquire a more accurate knowledge of the works proposals and financial activities of the Government. This information would be at the disposal of the Parliament, and would facilitate the discussion of the various proposals submitted. I agree with Senator Poll that on many occasions the Public Works Committee prevented the unnecessary expenditure of public money on works proposals, and I have no doubt that it was also an effective cheek upon any attempted jobbery. For these reasons I would cordially support a proposal to re-constitute these committees. There is no doubt that if the Government could see its way clear to do this, the work which the committees would do would increase the confidence of the people in proposals undertaken by the Government.
.- I find it difficult to reconcile the explanation of the Postmaster-General (Senator A. J. McLachlan) with the single provision in the bill to appropriate £600,000 for telephone exchange services. Notwithstanding the Minister’s observations I have not a clear understanding of the measure. I trust that, in his reply, he will give more precise information. I also suggest that some honorable senators who spoke this afternoon are somewhat behind in their advocacy of public works. I hoard Senator J. V. MacDonald complain about lack of telephone facilities at Rockhampton; other honorable senators spoke about the needs of comparatively small towns in their States. Their grievances may be well grounded; but I remind them that Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, with over 1,000,000 people, has not yet the advantage of an automatic telephone exchange for the centre of the city, where a great proportion of the business is done. I hope that the Minister will be able to assure me that some proportion of the £600,000 to be appropriated under this bill will be set aside for improving the telephone facilities in the city of Melbourne.
. - in reply - I give Senator J . V. MacDonald an assurance that his observations concerning the re-constitution of the Public Works and Public Accounts Committees will be brought under the notice of the Prime Minister, and I have no doubt that they will have the attention which they deserve. But I remind the honorable gentleman that discussion of his proposal is outside the scope of the bill, which appropriates loan moneys for certain specific purposes. However, not one item in this bill would have been referred to the Public Works Committee had that body been in existence. As honorable senators will remember, only works costing £25,000 or over were referred to that committee. In my second-reading speech I mentioned thatprovision for telephone exchange services for the current year would absorb £1,502,850, and that, of this amount, it was proposed to appropriate £600,000 from loan. The balance of the expenditure will be from revenue. The item, “ telephone exchange services “ covers all new works expenditure associated with telephone exchanges, exchange equipment, cables, conduits and aerial wires for local exchange services, subscribers’ instruments, private branch exchanges and public telephones. Under this heading it is not competent for honorable senators to discuss either post offices, telephone exchanges or buildings; but I may say, for the information of Senator J. V. MacDonald, that plans are being drawn for the proposed building at Rockhampton. Provision for the post office at South Brisbane is not contained in this bill. It will be dealt with elsewhere. I remind Senator Allan MacDonald that this bill does not deal with trunk line services, broadcasting or buildings. Provision for such services will be contained in the works appropriation bill to come before the Senate shortly. It will interest Senator Leckie to know that the requirements of Melbourne have not been overlooked. I have before me, in broad outline, the expenditure proposals for that city.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
In committee :
Clause 1 agreed to.
Clause2 (lssue and application of £600,000).
– In pursuance of my promise to give details of the expenditure proposed under the heading “ Telephone Exchange Services “, I point out that the sum of £1,502,850 is provided under this heading for the current year. As the expenditure last year was £1,218,270, the proposal for 1936-37 represents an increase of £284,580. The item covers all new works expenditure associated with telephone exchange equipment, cable conduits, and aerial wires for local exchange services, subscribers’ instruments, private branch exchanges, and public telephones. Owing to the rapid development whicb has taken place during the last two years, and the fact that during the depression years little additional plant was provided, the reserves in many localities are almost exhausted. Indeed, for some time past, the department has had to institute relief measures in order to avoid the refusal of applications. It is essential to proceed immediately with a number of works which are vital to the normal expansion of the service. During 1933-34 local calls totalled 396,684,056, whilst for the current years the number is estimated at 500,000,000. Compared with 1935-36, the increased revenue from local calls and rentals is estimated at over £300,000. After allowing for cancellations, the increase of the number of subscribers is expected to reach 32,500 this year; last year there were 30,945 additional subscribers, and in the previous year 30,975. Development has been greatly restricted by plant limitations, especially in some residential areas in metropolitan districts, where there is a steady demand for telephonic facilities. If the position in this respertcan be improved in the near future, it is anticipated that the progress will he at an evVn greater rate than has been estimated. Some of the principal works to be undertaken during the current year are new automatic exchanges at North Sydney, Petersham, Hurstville, Tamworth, Carramar, and Pendle Hill in New SouthWales ; CityWest, Melbourne,
Brunswick, and Preston in Victoria; Nedlands in Western Australia; and Sandy Bay in Tasmania.
– Hughes. - What about South Australia?
– South Australia does not appear keen to have automatic exchanges.
– A good many country towns in that State would like to have them.
– Automatic units have already been installed in 29 rural areas, and provision is made for 52 more such units. The sum of £50,000 has already been made available for this purpose, and a further £25,000 is now being provided.
Schedule and title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.
Debate resumed from the18th September (vide page 297) on motion by Senator A. j. McLachlan -
That the bill be now read a second time.
– Like many other measures which come before the Senate, this bill is one for consideration in committee, and I shall therefore leave any remarks that I have to make until the committee stage is reached.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
Clauses 1 to 3 agreed to.
Proposed vote, £60.
– A sum is provided for the erection of a National Library at Canberra. I understand that it is intended to build up a collection of mementoes and souvenirs showing dif ferent phases of Australia’s history, and industrial development, and that already a. souveniT of the troublous times during the shearers’ strike in the early ‘nineties, in the form of a policeman’s baton suitably inscribed with gold lettering, has been donated. In view of the industrial peace which now exists throughout the Commonwealth, due largely to the present Government’s progressive policy, I should like to know if the baton is to be kept as a reminder of the more strenuous times in 1892.
– Surely it is an historic memento.
– It could scarcely come under the heading “New Works “.
Proposed^ vo to agreed to.
Prime Minister’s Department.
Proposed vote, £45,500.
– I congratulate the Government on the inclusion of the sum of £17,500 for the purchase of a vessel for the development of the fisheries industry. The provision of this vessel should greatly assist an industry which has been neglected for a long time. Notwithstanding that the waters off the Australian coast abound in fish, this country imports fish and fish products to the value of £1,500,000 a year. In my opinion, the men engaged in the fishing industry should be relieved of that portion of the petrol tax which is imposed for the development of roads in the Commonwealth. As most of the fish is transported over comparatively short distances it seems that the fishing industry derives little benefit from the petrol tax levied for the upkeep of main roads. I suggest that it would be possible to authorize retailers of petrol whose premises are situated on the waterfront to grant to approved fishermen a rebate of the tax on all petrol used in connexion with their operations.
– It is with a great deal of pleasure that I notice that the sum of £17,500 is to be made available for the purchase of a vessel for the development of the fishing industry. This industry is not being exploited in a manner worth while at the present time. In yesterday’s issue of the Daily Telegraph it is pointed out that at least £1,000,000 a year is expended in the importation from New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and other countries of canned fish of kinds which we already possess in our own waters. Though they contain greater numbers of fish than any other part of the waters surrounding the Australian coast, the far northern coastal waters of Queensland are not being adequately exploited.
– Why is that field not exploited by private or governmental enterprise ?
– I am not interested in that phase of the matter except to the extent that I believe that the Government should undertake the development of our fishing resources. That, however, is contrary to Government policy, I rose merely to emphasize the importance, of this matter. The following article appeared in the Sydney Daily Telegraph yesterday under the most appropriate title “ Catching our own fish”:- !
Although Australians are a seaboard people, the 13 lb. of fish they cat per head annually is only about one-fourth of the Japanese quota and one-third of the British.
Meat is cheap and fish is dear.
I am particularly pleased that the Government is making a start towards the development of this industry. I understand that fisheries experts are on their way to Australia from Great Britain, and that officers of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research are abroad investigating the possibilities of the successful establishment of the industry in Australia. There can be no doubt that the development of the fishing industry in Australia will be a step in the direction of making this country more self contained.
– Has the Government any particular vessel in view to carry out research work, or is it intended that a new vessel shall be constructed?
– The tender of the Melbourne Harbour Trust has been accepted for the construction of a new vessel.
– I trust that the Government will profit by the experience of the State Governments in their effort* to establish the industry in Australia. Many years ago the Government of New South Wales attempted to establish the trawling industry-
– It is not proposed to engage in trawling. The vessel is to be used for research purposes.
– I am leading up to the . experiences in connexion with a similar vessel constructed for the Government of New South Wales. Senator Collings referred to the advantages of governmental control as opposed to control by private enterprise. I remind the honorable senator that some years ago during an inquiry held into the working of the New South Wales Public Service it was learned that the Government of New South Wales had constructed a very trim vessel, fitted with refrigerating machinery, to be used as a tender to the trawling fleet. It was discovered, however, that when the vessel was driven at high speed there was insufficient steam to keep the refrigerating machinery in action, and that if more power were applied to the refrigerating machinery loss of speed resulted. For this reason the vessel was considered unsuitable, its use was discontinued and for many years it was lying idle at Milson’s Point wharf. It seems to me that the Government of New South Wales made a very serious mistake in connexion with that vessel though the matter was not ventilated to any extent. I hope that the Commonwealth Government will profit by that experience of the New South Wales Government.
– I take it that all the Government proposes to do is to carry out investigation and research into the fishing industry and not, as Senator Collings suggested, to enter into commercial fishing. I should have thought that the experiences of the Governments of Queensland and New South Wales in the fishing industry would have been sufficient to convince Senator Collings of the undesirability of Government participation in commercial fishing. If Senator Collings desires that the industry should be developed by governmental enterprise,- it is, I think, a responsibility devolving upon the States and not upon the Commonwealth. I agree, as every other honorable senator will agree, that, as fish are plentiful on the coasts of Australia, every effort should be made to. develop the industry; but at the same time it is desirable that public taste must be considered and the people must have the choice of using fresh fish from our coastal waters or canned fish supplied by Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain and other countries, which are good customers of Australia; after all, such trade is only an exchange of goods between one country and another. I commend the Government for taking this action, but at the same time I do not say that we should restrict our people to the use of Australian fish exclusively.
– I commend the Government for its decision to construct a research vessel to investigate the possibilities of the fisheries industry in Australia. Senator Abbott has referred to the fact that an attempt was made by the Government of New South Wales to establish the fisheries industry in that State, and that a vessel was constructed to explore the coastal waters; but that attempt waa in the nature of an investigation of the possibilities of the successful commercial development of the industry. As the honorable senator has said, that attempt failed, and brought about something in the nature of a scandal. It is high time that the Commonwealth commenced a scientific investigation of the possibilities of exploiting the fisheries industry within tho waters under its control. I think it was Senator Payne who said that while on shipboard one night on his recent voyage to the Far East he thought he saw in the distance a modern city lit with a myriad lights. He was informed by one of the ship’s officers that what he saw were merely the lights of a large Japanese trawling fleet. He was astonished to find that each boat which was electrically lighted was operating in conjunction with a highly modernized aerial fleet used for locating the fishing grounds. That is sufficient to show that the Japanese, who eat more fish than flesh, and to whom the industry is most essential, have a highly developed industry. Australian waters contain some remarkable fish, and the fishing industry has not been developed as it should he. It is probable that the fish to be found in Australian waters are not of the same quality as those in cooler regions, such as in the North Atlantic, or off the coast of Great Britain, but they have a definite value, and should be utilized.
We have been informed that Australian waters are teeming with pilchards, and that they are so numerous that they could be canned and also used as a fertilizer. An Australian named Abbott waa responsible for the introduction of the dehydrating process under which the nutritive qualities of fish are extracted and used in the production of a powder which is perhaps quite as beneficial as a food as is the fresh fish. With scientific aid this product is being commercialized, and is being sold even in the East, where fish is plentiful.
– It is largely a matter of price.
– Yes, coolies cannot purchase fish at ls. per lb., but they can pay1d. or½d. for fish powder. A Sydney man named Russell has for the last ten years been directing attention to the wealth which the sea can produce in the form of food, oil and fertilizers. When we realize that such men as Abbott and Russell have been trying for years to get the authorities to realize the value of sea products it is pleasing to find that at last the Government proposes to do something to develop the Australian fishing industry.
– I should not have risen at this juncture had it not been for the remarks of Senator Herbert Hays, and an interjection by Senator Sampson. When speaking previously on this subject, I suggested that the Government should see the job through.
– Which Government ?
– This Government; the only government which we have any chance of influencing, and the one to which I presume the honorable senator was addressing his derogatory remarks. It is true that Queensland governments have embarked upon State enterprises such as have been operated successfully by other governments including the Commonwealth Government. There are State enterprises operating in every State of the Commonwealth, and no government or private concern dares to interfere with them. Honorable senators who live in the past should be sufficiently alert politically to realize that control is rapidly being taken from private enterprise because it has fallen down on its job, and has brought ruin in its train. Because it has brought the world to the condition in which it is to-day governments have found it necessary to exercise a greater measure of control. During a state of national emergency governments do not dare to allow private enterprise to control national activities. They always intervene to ensure effective service, to protect humanity, and to prevent profiteering. I have already complimented the Government upon its decision to undertake the construction of a fisheries research vessel, and I am particularly pleased to have the Minister’s assurance that it is to be built in Australia. I remind those hypercritical honorable senators who have referred to governmental activities in Queensland that everything in the nature of a government enterprise that has been undertaken in tbat State has been an undoubted success. A Queensland government which established retail fish shops also controlled a fish market, and supplies were made available to over 300,000 persons in the metropolitan area at prices much lower than those charged when private enterprise was in control. Eventually the fish market was placed in charge of a commission on which the fishermen, merchants and distributors were represented. The commission was not under the control of the Government, and as a result only those who were exploiting the public were satisfied. Within the last few months the suppliers who were so dissatisfied with the exploitation practised again requested the Government to come to their rescue. It has always been the practice for the Commonwealth Government to bear all the initial expenditure of establishing industries, and then to allow others to reap the benefit therefrom. Investigations are conducted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and other similar bodies, sometimes at great cost, and when an industry appears to be producing profitably the Government hands over all its experience to others, who are then allowed to exploit the public. I have spoken on this subject, because I believe that the Government can do the job more effectively than, private enterprise. No one suggests that the Postal Department or our railway systems should be controlled by private enterprise.
– I take this opportunity to bring before the Government the need for the erection of a laboratory in the north-west of Western Australia to investigate and advise upon the various diseases affecting the cattle in that portion of the Commonwealth. Last year I visited the Commonwealth laboratory near Townsville, and was permitted to inspect the results of investigations by the Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research into the diseases of Queensland cattle. There are many diseases in that State which fortunately are not prevalent among the cattle in the north-west of Western Australia. Nevertheless, there exist in that portion of my own State several serious diseases, notably pleura. If anything is to come of the negotiations conducted by the Minister for Commerce (Dr. Earle Page) with the British Government with a view to increasing the Australian quota for the export of beef to Great Britain, tho investigations of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research will have to be extended. We cannot possibly hope to fulfil a greater quota of export beef until the pests and diseases which exist in the north-west of Western Australia have been brought, under control. I. urge Senator A. J. McLachlan, as Minister in charge of development, to look very favorably upon the request for a research laboratory in that. area, as 1 have made it as the result of collaboration with Mr. M. P. Durack and Mr. John Forrest, both of whom are largely interested in and have made a life study of the Western Australian cattle industry. Numerous admirable sites for a laboratory exist, and if one is erected ample opportunity for work will be presented to the investigating officers.
– The work of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has been accepted and approved by all sections of the community.
– Hear, hear !
– No one debates the wisdom of applying science to indus try. In my opinion, that is the soundest economic policy that the Commonwealth can pursue. I was particularly interested to hear some months ago, through the Prime Minister (Mr. Lyons), that a decision had been reached to extend the activities of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to the realm of secondary industry. Hitherto, the activities of the council have been concentrated almost entirely on the problems of primary production, and its achieve ments in that field have been notable. How far is the interest of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in the problems of secondary industries to proceed ? Year by year this Parliament is asked to vote funds to the council to enable it to carry on its investigations. Such work should not be dependent on an annual vote by Parliament, because the whole success of successful experiment depends upon the investigators having sufficient funds assured to them to enable them to carry out a long-range policy. There are in existence to-day vital experiments which necessitate the formulation of a progressive schedule spread over a long period, sometimes extending to eight or ten years. Is it not logical then, to give to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research reasonable financial security?
– The vote to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research rises year by year.
– That is so, but the only reason for that is that this Government realize* the value of the work that the council does. But can we assume that the vote would increase if there were a change of government, involving, possibly, a change of policy?
– Certainly, if a depression did not intervene.
– We formerly had a trust fund for the Coun cil for Scientific and Industrial Research.
– Yes, but there is need for something more than that. Senator Collings said that it was wrong for a Government department to conduct research and then allow the fruits thereof to be garnered by private enterprise. If the honorable senator follows that argument out to its logical conclusion he must oppose the existence of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, for the results of all of its research are made available to private enterprise. There is need to investigate whether it is possible to bring those engaged in private enterprises that are assisted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research into a contributory scheme. Why should it be wholly .the function of the Government to provide the funds for scientific and industrial research? It is a national work, and in that respect it bears some resemblance to a national insurance scheme, which would be based upon a system of compulsory contributions from the governments and the people who would benefit.
– It would be difficult to do as the honorable senator suggests.
– That may be so. but this council is doing important work for private enterprise .and private enterprise should bc called upon to make some contribution towards it. My objection to the continuance of the present system of financing the council is that if a change of government resulted in a change of policy towards the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, many of the long-range investigations now in process might have to he discontinued because of lack of funds. We must guard against that contingency.
– It is impossible to guard against what a future government may do.
– But it is possible to put the finances of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research on such a basis that, irrespective of changes of government, funds would be available for the continuance of its investigations.
– Before the matter of the fisheries research vessel becomes entangled in other subjects, I should state that the vessel is to he built in Australia. The need for scientific investigations of the fisheries of this country has been apparent for a long time. Conference after conference on this subject has been held .between representatives of the Commonwealth and the State governments. In 1928 we thought that agreement had been reached and that we were about to embark on a definite policy of research. But there has been an extraordinary neglect of this great wealth in the coastal waters of Australia, and it has become essential, in the interests of human, animal and plant life, that more of it be utilized. For instance, the quality and quantity of a large percentage of the animal stock of this country could be immediately improved by the feeding of fish meal. The methods which hitherto have been employed in the Australian fishing industry have been primitive and without guidance. The fishermen themselves eke out miserable existences and have had no means of being taught how to go about their avocation. For instance, if a large catch is made, there is no market for a big portion of it and the surplus is thrown into the sea, whereas, if proper control of the industry existed, the surplus fish could be usefully employed for making meal and oil. Fish is a luxury for the rich in this country, whereas in Britain, fish is a staple item in the diet of the poorer classes. We have only to realize what Japan, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Great Britain, and Germany are doing towards tho development of the fishing industry, to realize the wealth and benefit that could be gained for the people of this country if similar .attention were given to ocean fisheries here.
I do not consider that the matter of the petrol tax paid by fishermen arises under the subject of new works. This bill does concern, however, the building of the fisheries research vessel which, as I have already intimated, will be built in Victoria. Before a contract could be let, safeguards had to be taken. I obtained from overseas plans of suitable vessels. The Government received offers of ships from Britain, but in its wisdom it decided that it would be better to build a vessel in Australia. Various engineers had to be consulted with regard to many difficulties that arose from time to .time. It is natural that difficulties would arise as the vessel is not of conventional design. It is to be a dual purpose vessel, operating both purse-seine or ring nets and Danish seine nets, and its equipment will include various aids to research as well as a refrigeration plant. Another point which caused the Government concern was the necessity to safeguard the lives of the crew and the scientists who would be on board the vessel.
Some honorable senators may remember the tragic fate of the Endeavour. The new vessel will be only 82 feet long, but I cannot say off-hand what its tonnage will be. I have been subjected to a good deal of criticism for the delay in placing an order for the construction of the vessel, but I emphasize that the delay has been in the best interests of the industry. The Government wanted the job to be well done. One honorable senator referred to the fact that certain gentlemen are coming to this country from overseas for the conduct of research operations. There is nobody in Australia who has practical knowledge of the new methods employed in the exploitation of piscatorial wealth. There are in Sydney and Melbourne firms which are doing efficient work ; one man travelled abroad to obtain the very latest ideas about refrigeration. By the use of dry ice and quick freezing, fish is being sent into the distant interior of Australia. Every hospital in ‘Victoria is supplied from Melbourne with fish almost as fresh as it is when it is taken from the sea. This very desirable state of affairs is duo to the use of dry ice under modern conditions of transport. These are the problems which are being dealt with. Professor Dakin is overseas on his own business, but the Government has availed itself of his services to examine various methods that are being adopted in other countries. “ Good enough “ should not be the motto of any Australian industry to-day. Out secondary and primary industries must be conducted on the most approved lines. We have invited applications, which, I understand, closed to-day, from Australians having the necessary seafaring experience to take charge of the fisheries investigation vessel. We are hoping to secure the services of a young man who will be sent to British Columbia and Newfoundland to acquire first-hand information of the methods being adopted there, and, if time permits, he will go further afield in order to obtain the widest possible knowledge of all phases of the work done by these vessels in. other countries. On the research side, we have secured the services of Dr. Harold Thompson, of Newfoundland, whose ability and experience are vouched for by the highest authorities. Already we have had experience of the possibilities in connexion with the production of fish meal and artificial manures. The vessel proposed to be built will be used for educational purposes, and it is hoped that its work will give to private enterprise a more complete understanding of the habits of the fish in Australian waters, and also help fishermen and others to overcome the difficulties which they encounter in their business. In this way, we aim to develop the fishing industry until it becomes an important branch of Australian industrial activity. A statement is being prepared, at the suggestion of the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings), covering the whole field of operations over a somewhat lengthy period, lt will be my endeavour to make it as complete as possible in order that honorable senators may understand what is being done in this matter.
Senator Allan MacDonald has urged the establishment of a research station in the north-west of Western Australia to carry out work similar to that being done by the research station near Townsville, in Queensland, his desire being, I understand, to further the investigation of contagious pleuro-pneumonia in cattle. The honorable gentleman knows, pTo- bably, that the Townsville Research Station has been conducted in conjunction with the Queensland Government, and with the assistance of the Empire Marketing Board. I regret to state that the Marketing Board is not now functioning, owing to lack of financial support from the British Government; but we are hoping to come to an arrangement with the Queensland Government for the continuance of research at Townsville into tropical diseases, and the results will be available to the stock raisers in the northern State. The Townsville station has made investigations into pleuropneumonia, tick fever, and pegleg. The services of a Commonwealth officer well versed in animal health have been placed at the disposal of the Queensland Government, in order to carry on this useful work. Some aspects of animal health are dealt with at the McMaster Laboratory in Sydney, and we are now in cooperation with the Melbourne University, proposing the erection there of premises in which Dr. Bull, who is head of the division, will carry out investigation of diseases that are peculiar to the lower latitudes of Australia.
I agree with Senator Hardy that, for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to function properly, it should be able to formulate a long-range policy of research. This was the original intention, but lack of money during recent years has interfered with it, and but for the urgency that has arisen in regard to another matter that transcends in importance even scientific research, I should have pressed strongly for a certain amount of the surplus of the last financial year.
– With a view to placing it in a trust fund ?
– Yes. No government can fail to recognize the value of the work done by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Contributions of approximately £70,000 a year from people who know the value of its work are tribute to its worth. Provision is being made for the expenditure of £20,000 on buildings to be erected in the grounds of the Melbourne University, where research will be carried out in co-operation with the university authorities. The arrangement is, T think, an excellent one.
– Apparently the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) believes that all forms of Government enterprise have been successful. That is not the case. The national debt, Commonwealth and State, includes millions of pounds that have been lost in State enterprises. He points to the financial position of the post office and the railways as examples of successful Government enterprises. He should remember that the buoyant condition of post office revenue is dnc largely to the continuance of postage rates, that are probably the highest in the world, to the fact that it costs1s. 4d. to send a telegram of oven two words from an office in Victoria to an office in another State, and to the further fact thattelephone charges in Australia are higher than in most other countries.
– Which country has a lower telephone charge than Australia ?
– Great Britain.
– The honorable senator is wrong.
– The postal department has a monopoly in this country.
– That is true, and the department charges what it likes. But I am afraid that I am digressing. I note that divisions 2 and 3 of the Prime Minister’s Department, contain separate provision for buildings, works, and sites for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Does that mean that there is dual control?
– It appears to me, as a business man, that if two Ministers control the activities of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research a clash of authority is inevitable and the work must suffer. Undoubtedly the underlying purpose of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is good, and its work ought to be good; but I cannot help remarking that while every one seems to take it for granted that the work done by the council is good, no one is able to say precisely what good thing it has done.
– Has not the honorable senator read the journals published by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research?
– I am seeking information, and I want to know if we are getting full value for the public money which is being expended in connexion with this governmental activity. I should like to see the results of its work clearly defined. 1 understand that hitherto its investigations have been confined to problems confronting our primary industries, and that, for the most part, that woTk has been completed. At all events there is a lull and now, so we are informed, the council is about to undertake the investigation of problems associated with secondary industries. At this stage, it is important to note, Senator Hardy says it is time that industry contributed towards the expenditure for scientific research. That surely is a remarkable position to take up when the investigation of the primary industries is ended, and those concerning secondary industries are just ‘beginning. In its investigation of problems relating to secondary industries, the council is about to tackle an entirely different and, I suggest, a much bigger job. Its research into primary industries troubles wa3 restricted to two or three dozen different problems, common to Australia; its work for our secondary industries will be much more diversified, because of the greater divisions of industry and the numberless difficulties encountered in all of them.
If I may offer a suggestion I should say that its investigation of secondary production problems should be confined at the beginning to the establishment of new industries that are needed for the carrying on of existing industries. I have in mind particularly the manufacture of aluminium .and certain alloys that are necessary for the manufacture of motor and aircraft engines. I am afraid that a fair amount of suspicion will bo engendered amongst manufacturers if the Council for Scientific and ‘ Industrial Research attempts to interfere too much in the working of their businesses. Manufacturers guard their secrets pretty carefully, and would not care to have them become the common property of their competitors. From what I have said it will be apparent that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research will require to use a fair amount of tact in its investigation of the problems of secondary industries in order to ensure the co-operation of manufacturers generally. Their attitude will probably be determined by the manner in which the work is carried out. I do not wish to depreciate the value of the work done by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, hut I have not seen set out in detail what it has done. Now that it is about to investigate the wider field of secondary industries, more provision is being made for buildings. I hope this does not mean that the entire organization is going to be duplicated.
– The buildings occupied by the council in Melbourne are a disgrace. The work of the Division of Forest Products, in Albert-street, has already meant thousands of pounds to Australia.
– I am glad to hear that.
– In four years, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research boosted the timber industry of
Victoria from 1,000,000 to 50,000,000 feet in 1936 as a result of its work in connexion with the seasoning of timber in kilns.
– Surely the honorable senator is mistaken. Timber had been seasoned in kilns long before the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research was established.
– The council improved the methods previously in use.
– Millions of feet of timber had been seasoned in kilns long before the institute was formed. I have no desire to depreciate the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, but I do not wish its work to be expanded unless there is a definite object in view. I repeat that its investigations in relation to secondary industries will prove much more difficult than those already undertaken in connexion with primary production, and that the officers of the department will require to exercise considerable tact if success is to be achieved.
Senator A. J. McLACHLAN (South Australia - Postmaster-General) [5.22Q . - All architectural services, rental of buildings, acquisition of property, and similar matters for all departments are controlled by the Department of the Interior. The sum of £23,S50 for buildings, works, and site for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is for the acquisition of property.
Senator Leckie spoke as if the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research were about to embark on a policy of intrusion into secondary industries; but I remind him that, so far from regarding the activities of the council as an intrusion, the Associated Chambers of Manufactures, and the presidents of the Adelaide and Sydney Chambers welcome the proposed co-operation. The council has by no means completed its investigations into problems affecting primary production. For instance, the dairymen of Australia have given thousands of pounds for research into bovine mastitis. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has rented a farm near Berwick, in Victoria, where its officers will carry out investigations into one of the most difficult problems confronting veterinary science. That work will continue for several years.
– There is also the problem of contagious abortion.
– Yes. Investigations into the blowfly and other pests are still proceeding. There is no ground for the suggestion that the council is seeking jobs to do. It is thought, however, that its officers can assist secondary industries along somewhat similar lines to those followed by the Standards Association. There is no intention to probe’ into the secrets of manufacturers, but it is hoped that research by the council will overcome problems and improve methods in secondary industries.
Senator Leckie said that timber had been seasoned in kilns long before the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research came into existence. I do not doubt the accuracy of his statement. Australian manufacturers have made boots for many years, but only comparatively recently has the quality of their footwear approached the standards which are desired. Similarly, the methods now adopted for seasoning timber are different from those of even a few years ago. Men like Mr. Grimwade do not give large sums of money for the erection of wellequipped laboratories unless they believe that the investigations thereby made possible will be of benefit to the country. Before the end of the year, I hope to open the new well-equipped laboratory at Melbourne, which is the result of the generosity of Mr. Grimwade, who gave £5,000 for its erection. It is proposed to work along similar lines in other directions, and it is not intended to do anything which might cause the institution to fall foul of interested parties. The job before the council is to help Australian industries, not to harrass them. No « definite plan has yet been evolved. A committee, under the chairmanship of Sir George Julius, who is also chairman of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, has been set up with power to co-opt others. Last week Sir George Julius visited South Australia in this connexion, but I do not yet know with what results. The only desire of the Government and of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is to assist manufacturers to solve the problems which confront them.
.- I thank the Minister for his enlightening remarks, and hope that his optimism will be justified. Last year, no sum waa voted for buildings, works and sites for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
– But nearly £8,000 was expended.
– This year, £28,000 is to be provided, and I am glad that the council is being given an opportunity to become even more effective than it now is. The wretched building now used by it in Melbourne is not at all suitable, and I am glad that better provision is being made. I do not agree that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has solved all the problems associated with primary production which it has attacked, and I do not expect that it will be free from the necessity to face new problems for a great number of years. For a long period, the council will find ample work for its officers. I appreciate what it has done, and rejoice in the success which it has achieved.
I wish the Government’s venture in assisting the fishing industry every success. I take it that the Government’s purpose in purchasing a vessel is to test the possibilities of Australian waters as fishing grounds, and to encourage the investment of sufficient capital to establish a worth-while industry. A great deal has been said about the value of the fishing industry. Other countries have realized its value to the fullest extent, but so far we in Australia have not done so. Only recently I read in the press that Japan had sent an expedition to inquire into the fishing resources of waters situated outside the 3-mile limit of the coast of the United States of America and Canada. Much to the disgust of those engaged in fishing operations in those two countries, the Japanese officers in charge of the research vessel sent an invitation to the authorities in Canada and the United States of America to discuss the need for the imposition of a quantitative limit in respect of fish trawled outside the 3-mile limit of their respective coasts. I mention this to illustrate that the Japanese people realize to the fullest extent the desirableness of securing the highest efficiency in the fishing industry in order to make possible the supply of fish at prices within the reach of the mass of the people. Recently legislation was passed through this Parliament to control whaling in territorial waters, and countries all over the world are more and more jealously guarding their natural fisheries and breeding grounds. Honorable senators would do well to pause before giving expression to their thoughts in regard to matters such as this without due consideration. Senator Arkins suggested that the countless numbers of small fish which abound in our coastal waters should be netted and used for the manufacture of fertilizer. These fish, however, provide the natural food for whales. If the honorable senator’s suggestion were adopted, what would become of the whaling industry? The present state of affairs in connexion with the fishing industry in Australia is lamentable. While fish ought to be cheap, the high prices demanded for it place it out of the reach of nine out of every ten people. At present a large quantity of fish is destroyed in the southern portion of Australia in order to limit the quantity placed on the market, and prices are thus maintained at such a level that only the well-to-do can afford to pay them. Only recently I saw fish for sale in a window in Melbourne at 2s. 6d. per lb. If the fishing industry were properly organized and con- trolled, and no restrictions were placed on the quantity made available in the Australian market, it should be possible to purchase it for a quarter of that price. I am glad to see that this provision has been made in the bill, and feel sure that much benefit will result from it.
– Will the Government give favorable consideration to affording greater encouragement to young men to take up the study of veterinary science? If there is one thing more than another which the primary producers of Australia need to-day it is the services of men skilled in veterinary science. I know that many veterinary officers are attached to the State Departments of Agriculture, but nevertheless greater encouragement should he given to young men to take up this profession. The demand for the services of qualified veterinary surgeons is always very great, and the National Parliament should do everything possible to foster the study of this science. Although the States have not neglected this branch of science, great difficulty is experienced, even by the State governments, in securing the services of veterinary officers to give advice in country districts. The Government might well consider the provision of a subsidy or the granting of scholarships as a means of encouraging more young men to enter the profession. I should like the Minister in his reply to say whether the Government has given any consideration to this matter, and, if not, how far the Government is prepared to promote this desirable objective.
– I am sorry that I had not studied the fishing industry sufficiently to have realized that the utilization of sardines and pilchards would rob whales of their natural food. However, I am not greatly perturbed by the remarks which have been provoked by my statement, because in some of the waters of the world, though pilchards and sardines have been harvested for centuries, they are still present in large numbers. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) has asked why private enterprise should be given the benefit of the research carried out by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and Senator Leckie has said that industrialists to-day are very jealous of the secrets of their particular industries. It is true, .however, that over the last 25 years a great change has been taking place, due, perhaps;, largely to the attitude adopted by Mr. Henry Ford, who has never kept a secret in his industry. Immediately Mr. Ford discovered some revolutionary process in connexion with his vast activities the door was thrown open to all his competitors to witness its operation and, if they thought desirable, to adopt it. One of the aims of industrialists at the present time is to protect the worker from injury. Modern engineering establishments employ huge machines capable of crushing a worker or amputating his limbs, and frequently heavy weights are moved about which, if anything went wrong, would be likely to injure employees. Therefore, it has become increasingly necessary that adequate measures should be taken to protect the worker against accident. Recently, I had an opportunity to go through one of the most remarkable manufacturing plants in Australia - that controlled by Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited. In several of the machines which I examined in the works of this firm, protection was automatically afforded to the operator with the movement of the machine. I said to the works manager that I thought it remarkable that I had never seen such a device before. He replied that the use of that sort of mechanical protector was confined to Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited, and that that firm had for many years been investigating devices designed for the protection of its employees, being guided in this policy largely by the necessity for introducing a degree of safety which would permit a man to concentrate on the particular job on which he was engaged. The safety of the operator, however, was regarded as the first principle. I asked him if the device was covered by patent rights; he replied that it was not the policy of the firm to cover such devices by patent rights, and that, as a matter of fact, the firm had offered the design to the Department of Labour and Industry of New South Wales, so that it could be utilized by any firm. He pointed out that Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited was not interested in any profits which might be derived from the sale of the device. That attitude, I might remark, is quite a new development in industry, and worthy of commendation. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is doing much good work, though, as Senator Leckie has said, probably honorable senators are unaware of much that it is achieving.
Senator Hardy referred to the research work conducted into means for combating the blowfly pest. It is a remarkable fact that the most outstanding contribution made to the successful elimination of the blowfly pest has been made by a layman, Mr. J. H. W. Mules. Sir
Frederick McMaster, who gave £20,000 to the University of Sydney for the establishment of a laboratory to conduct research into animal health, said that, although the means suggested by Mr. Mules for the elimination of the blowfly pest were revolutionary, a statement upon which the experts agreed, he proposed to use them as a preventive measure in connexion with many thousands of his sheep. I refer to this merely to show that suggestions which have practical value are not always made by scientists. We should not be over-influenced by the academic mind. Though we should get from science all we can, we should not overlook the assistance which may como from the layman. It must be remembered that the layman usually arrives at his opinions after years of practical experience. Throughout the ages, however, there has always been conflict between the layman and the academic expert. I have already referred to what has been achieved by Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited. One of the men most prominently associated with the success of that company is Mr. Fisk. Mr. Fisk has taken out of the universities of Australia young men with scientific training, and has utilized them at his works; but, at the same time, he has placed alongside them men of practical experience. In other words, he has seen the need for leavening the scientific loaf. The academic man travels only the road which he knows. The layman traverses the same road but he is willing to explore a new path, and in that way he becomes a pioneer. A few weeks ago I read a book in the Parliamentary Library, entitled The Microbe Fighters, giving the lives of men who had spent the greater part of their lives in fighting diseases common to mankind. The hook shows that in every instance they are opposed by the scientific or academic mind. One has only to sec the moving picture or read the story of the life of Pasteur to realize the remarkable opposition shown to men who wish to explore a new trail. The steam locomotive invented by Stephenson was ridiculed by so-called experts, and his locomotive had been running on a short line at Kenilworth for ten years before engineers admitted that it would- actually do what was claimed for it. That error has persisted, with the result that the centenary of the introduction of steam locomotives was celebrated a few years ago, 110 years after the day on which one was first used by its illustrious inventor.
– Government geologists condemned the Broken Hill mining field.
– Exactly. I admit that scientists have made some wonderful discoveries, hut so also have laymen, and the value of the practical mind should, never be discounted. We should impress upon the scientists that in many matters the opinions of laymen should be considered most carefully. As learning becomes more general, laymen can give even greater assistance to scientists.
– Is the honorable senator comparing the untrained mind with the trained mind?
– I am referring more particularly to those who receive their training in universities or similar institutions, and will not admit that knowledge of equal value to the community may also be possessed by laymen. There should be an admixture of the practical and the scientific minds. Some men engaged in primary production have made wonderful discoveries.
– If primary producers had been left to their own devices they would not be in the satisfactory position some of them are in to-day.
– I do not deny that. I admit that more money should be made available to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to conduct research work, but we should see that the information which laymen can impart is not disregarded. History discloses that much of the progress made is due to the adoption of revolutionary ideas. I trust that the several points I have brought under the notice of the Minister will receive the earnest consideration of the Government.
– Although edible fish are obtained in fairly large quantities in southern waters, there is a greater variety in Queensland waters. The need for a vessel to engage in research work has been mentioned for some time, and it is pleas ing to find that the Government has now. decided to construct such a vessel. Japanese vessels have been found operating in Australian waters, but if Australian vessels encroached on Japanese waters international trouble would soon arise. Senator Herbert Hays is always interesting, but he is amusing when ha attempts to attack the policy of the Labour party, and particularly the alleged failure of Queensland State enterprises. 1 admit that some socialistic enterprises have failed, not only in Queensland, but also in Western Australia and Tasmania. Those opposed to State entery rises would not favour handing over our railway systems to private companies.
– The railways have a monopoly.
– The Midland Railway Company operating iu Western Australia made a profit last year of £180,000, but the State railways showed a loss.
– Wai the private railway operating in competition with the State system?
– I do not think that there is direct competition between that company’s line and the State service. The circumstances in Western Australia arc exceptional. Often private enterprise has failed where State enterprises have succeeded. Honorable senators who suggest that private enterprise is always a success should remember that thousands of farmers, business men, and others fail.’ It is unreasonable to condemn State enterprises when, owing to exceptional circumstances, they are unsuccessful. I have known mcn with a good knowledge of farming conditions in Great Britain to come to Australia with £5,000 or £10,000, and lose their all. They have lined the pockets of agents and other land sharks and have then been compelled to go on the pay sheets of State enterprises such as our railways. When the State cattle stations in Queensland failed the conditions were so bad that the beef barons, who were on the verge of ruin, were compelled to go, cap in hand, to the Government. The Melbourne Age directed attention to the fact that these men had joined the long list of mendicants. The failure of State enterprises is sometimes due to the unfair competition of private enterprise, and to unsatisfactory management. A comparison between private enterprise and State undertakings shows that the latter are increasing in number. In the Federal Capital Territory hundreds of thousands of acres have been taken from the control of private enterprise and the land now belongs to the nation. In the foundations of the proposed permanent administrative block, the quantity of cement used by private enterprise was less than that stipulated in the specifications, and, in consequence, thousands of pounds have had to be expended to rectify this fault. A retired public servant informed me that the disclosures he could make were so startling that they should be ventilated in Parliament. He’ was prepared to give me full information, but I did not wish to be associated with a scandal. Some have said that the construction of a vessel to engage in research work suggests that the Commonwealth Government proposes to embark upon a socialistic enterprise in which the Governments of Queensland and New South Wales are alleged to have failed, but that is not so. We import annually fish and fish products valued at £1,500,000. While the present Government is opposed, largely on principle, to such enterprises, it is to some extent proceeding to repair the omissions of private enterprise. One instance of this is the decision to build the fisheries research vessel and to show private companies bow to market fish on a large scale so that we no longer shall pay in tribute overseas more than £1,500,000 annually for certain fish requirements. For another instance I invite honorable senators to study the provisions in this hill covering the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. What is that institution if it is not a socialistic enterprise? It is a socialistic undertaking by the whole of the Commonwealth to repair the omissions of private enterprise.
– It is an attempt to gain scientific knowledge.
– It is a collective action by Australia for the purpose I have stated. At one time Australia did not have this council.
In Brisbane a couple of months ago I met a man who had an invention to save sheep from the ravages of the blowfly. After having interviewed some members of the House of Representatives he approached me and wanted to know whether financial assistance could be afforded to him to put the invention on the market. I worked as a boy in minor capacities on sheep stations, and I also worked on a farm where a few hundred sheep were included in the stock. I assured the gentleman that I did not have £20 or £30 to put into a company for the marketing of the invention, but 1 told him that I could take him to a place where he could get expert assistance and advice. I took him to the Brisbane office of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. I bless the Government which founded this council, for it enabled that man to satisfy himself as to the commercial possibilities of his invention. Whilst on the subject of inventions, I must say that if it were not for the 100 persons who invent foolish things we would not have the one hundred and first person who invents something useful. It is a well known fact that more than 99 per cent, of all inventions are worthless. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is a valuable organization, and it is expanding. It cannot be gainsaid, however, that it is a socialistic enterprise. I could cite a number of cases where the conservative element in the Parliaments of this country, acting under the impulse of public opinion, and spurred on in recent generations by the party whose leanings are naturally towards things which are socialistic, has profited by the realization that private enterprise has its limitations. Admittedly there have been failures of State enterprises, but are we going to wipo out democracy because there are such men as Hitler and Mussolini? Democracy has been on trial for thousands of years.
– Order 1 The honorable senator has exhausted his time.
– Earlier this afternoon I said that the output of kiln seasoned native timbers in Victoria had increased from 1,000,000 feet in 1930 to nearly 50,000,000 feet in 1936. I shall read to the Senate a letter which has reached me from the Australian Federated Sawmillers Association -
It may be of interest to note that the output of kiln seasoned native Victorian timber in 1930 was approximately 1,000,000 super feet, whereas it now stands at 50,000,000 super feet per annum. Such remarkable progress, made without any government assistance, is entirely the result of tariff protection.
I do not say that that increase has been entirely due to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. As a matter of fact the main reason for the increase was the tariff, but one of the factors in the increase has been the educational policy pursued by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in regard to the treatment of timbers and the establishment of kilns.
.- 1 do not dispute Senator Hardy’s figures, but I suggest that a comparison between the years 1930 and 1936 is unfair. Everybody knows that in 1930 the building industry was at a standstill. The industry recently has gone ahead by leaps and bounds. A comparison of 1936 with 1926 or 1927 would be more to the point.
I did not mean to create the impression that the Chambers of Manufactures are ‘ antagonistic to the proposed extension of the activities of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. As a matter of fact they welcome it, but I do not need the Minister to tell me what the Associated Chambers of Manufactures and the Victorian Chamber of Manufactures are thinking, because I am a member of both and am in weekly conference with them. “When the committee to investigate secondary industries was formed, of the ten members only two represented secondary industries. The others were outsiders. That is why the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research will have to use a good deal of tact to satisfy itself that it is on sound lines. Senator Arkins spoke about inventions, but I would remind him that although Stevenson invented the steam engine a long time ago, at the same time he invented the whole of the deficits of Australia in the last few years.
Proposed vote agreed to.
Departmentof the Treasury.
Proposed vote, £6,365.
.- I shall be glad if the PostmasterGeneral will give to the committee some information with respect to the amount of £1,800 for the erection of a cottage for the taxation officer at Darwin. The amount seems to be exceedingly large for a building of that type, unless it is intended also to be used as an administrative building.
– I am informed that the whole of the material has to be transported from Brisbane or one of the southern capitals, and also that other building costs in Darwin are exceedingly high.
Proposed vote agreed to.
Department of the Interior.
Proposed vole, £399,594.
– I direct attention to the item, £120,000 for expenditure under the River Murray Waters Act. I assume that this is part of the progressive development of the River Murray waters scheme, which embraces 26 locks and the Hume dam. No water conservation scheme in Australia is of such a high potential value as the Hume Reservoir. Every honorable senator who has seen it must have been impressed by the magnitude of the work. The original proposal was to impound 2,000,000 acre feet, but construction work ceased when the weir impounded 1,250,000 acre feet. Is it intended to raise the dam to a sufficient height to impound 2,000,000 acre feet within the next few years? The allocation of the River Murray waters is a vexed problem that has given rise to a good deal of controversy. The average citizen believes that there is sufficient water under the control of the River Murray Commission to meet the whole of the requirements of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia; but I am informed by Mr. Shaw. ex-Commissioner for State Rivers in Victoria, that actually the amount available is limited and is not sufficient to meet all the requirements of the users in the three States. Perhaps the Minister can throw some light on this matter, and I should like to know definitely if a fixed proportion of the available water is reserved for each riparian State, or if that State which displays the most initiative in the development of its irrigation proposals has allocated to it the largest quantity. This is a matter which has been causing a good deal of concern to a number of people on the New South Wales side of the Murray.
Senator A. j. McLACHLAN (South A ustralia - Postmaster-General) [8.6] . - As Senator Hardy has said the capacity of the Hume Reservoir is 1,250,00 acre feet, whereas the original proposal was for a dam impounding 2,000,000 acre feet. It is not the present intention to increase the capacity of the dam beyond the point at which construction ceased and the road was built across the top of the weir. The allocation of the available water is provided for in the river Murray agreement, and whilst difficult questions of law may arise - I trust they will not arise during my time - T am assured that the agreement ensures ample supplies for ail the States concerned.
Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) [S.8 . - I notice that expenditure this year under the War Service Homes Act, to be paid to the credit of the War Service Homes Trusts Account, is £200.000. Last year the vote was £11.5,000. If I am in order I express the hope that, in this item, the Government is making provision to ameliorate the conditions of many occupants of war service homes, from whom recently there came an urgent request for relief by a revaluation of their properties. We all know that the majority of war service homes were erected at a time when all building costs were exceedingly high. Many places costing from £800 or £1,000 could to-day be built for much less. Therefore, it is unfair to penalize the occupants. In view of the difficult financial position of so many returned soldiers there should he a revaluation of their properties. They should not be expected to carry an undue burden of interest and repayment due to excessive building CostS
– Is the honorable senator referring to time payment purchases and mortgages, and doss he suggest that in each case there should be a revaluation?
– I do not think there should be any differentiation.
– Thematter which the honorable senator hat mentioned has nothing to do with this bill.
– I should like to know if there is any connexion between the increased vote proposed this year and the request which has been made to the department for a revaluation of th« homes ?
Senator A. j. McLACHLAN (South
Australia - Postmaster-General) [8.10] . - If relief is contemplated, provision must be made in another measure. Tha amount of £200,000 includes loans to purchasers to connect sewerage, £28,000; loans to purchasers to provide extra accommodation, £38,000; renovations to homes of purchasers who are unable to maintain the properties as provided in th« act, £4,000; loans for the erection of homes, £50,000 ; and loans for the acquisition of existing properties, including the discharge of onerous mortgages, £S0,0O0.
Senator HARDY (New South Wales) [8.12 J. - 1 should like some information about the proposed expenditure of £30,000 on the Australian War Memorial at Canberra. I do not criticize the amount set aside for that purpose; on the contrary 1 think that we should pay proper tribute to our worthy dead. But the item suggests to me that we ought to make provision for a memorial, not only to Australian soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War, but also to other national heroes - such men, for instance, as the late Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and the late C. T. P. Ulm. We should erect a memorial in which, from time to time, we could place tablets to the memory of distinguished leaders, who, in science, politics, or any other sphere of public activity, helped in the development of the nation and furthered the welfare of the people. It would be a good thing for Australia to have a Hall of Fame. The idea is not new; other countries have such places in which they perpetuate the memory of their ‘great men; so it is only fitting that we should honour in some way distinguished Australians whose services have been of an outstanding character. At present, if this is desired, it means the erection of separate memorials to individual citizens; a Hall of Fame, in which we could place tablets to the memory of our distinguished citizens, is a much better idea. I believe that the Government proposes to erect a memorial to perpetuate the memory of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Mr. C. T. P. Ulm, and I ask it to consider my suggestion.
. - I agree with Senator Payne that there should be a revaluation of war service homes. The Government of the day was generous to the returned soldiers who
Bet out to acquire homes. Unfortunately some of the returned men have not proved good tenants, but others have been satisfactory in every respect. They bought their homes when prices were at the peak, but subsequently found it impossible to meet their liabilities. The Government could well write off some thousands of pounds in respect of these homes. A man who has kept his home in good repair, and proved himself a home lover, but has fallen on evil times through no fault of his own, should he granted some assistance. It is true that among the civilian population there are many who have had to face similar difficulties, but the Government has a special duty to the returned men. I know that generally they have been treated with leniency; but in some cases justice has not been done. I trust that the Government will do something for these men.
– Senator Hardy’s reference to memorials to illustrious men and women reminded me that when in Auckland, New Zealand, recently, I saw one of the most beautiful memorials it has been my lot to see. The Auckland memorial is a museum situated on a hill overlooking the city. On entering the museum a paved courtyard is crossed, and here every visitor is required to remove his hat and observe silence. He then enters a circular hall inside the museum, where the atmosphere gives rise to feelings of the deepest reverence. The whole place is most inspiring. On tablets around the circular hall are inscribed the names of the national heroes from New Zealand who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War. Both within and without the memorial is beautiful. This afternoon I looked towards the Australian War Memorial from the window of the Senate clubroom, and I must confess that in its present condition the memorial is not an *° ornament to the city. It does not harmonize with its beautiful surroundings. I am happy to notice that £30,000 is to be provided this year for the memorial, and that the estimated further liability in respect of it is £146,000. The environment calls for a ‘building architecturally beautiful.
– The complete plans visualize a beautiful building.
– I hope that something will be done to make the existing building harmonize more perfectly with its beautiful surroundings.
– The proposed vote of £30,000 includes £16,000 for the completion of the initial section of the building which was commenced about two years ago, the balance of £14,000 being required for other work, including the Hall of Memory. The completion of the work will involve an expenditure of approximately £160,000, to be spread over the years 1936-37, 1937-38, and 1938-39. I assure Senator Abbott that the design for this memorial has had the most careful consideration . of various governments. An examination of the plans for the complete building, which may be seen in the Library, will reveal that it will be chaste in design, and worthy to he regarded as Australia’s Westminster Abbey. The further work to be undertaken includes the facing of the whole building with granite or other stone. I ask honorable senators to forbear judgment of a building which in its present state does not express the aim of either the Government or the architects who designed it. Honorable senators will remember that the accepted design was the result of an architectural competition, and was agreed upon only after much thought. The complete memorial will include cloisters and memorial tablets and the development of the surrounding grounds.
Senator Hardy’s idea of a Hall of Fame is an excellent one. His suggestion is along the lines of what has been done in England and some other countries. As time goes on, Australia will probably have a similar place. The building now under construction is, however, exclusively * a war memorial.
Mention has been made of one or two distinguished aviators whose memory it is thought should be perpetuated in some special way. Probably other names could be added.
– Such as William Farrer.
– And Bert Hinkler.
– The Minister for Defence (Sir Archdale Parkhill) proposes to perpetuate the memory of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith by naming after him one of our principal aerodromes. The suggestions which have been made by honorable senators will be brought before Cabinet.
The Minister in charge of War Service Homes and Repatriation (Mr. Hughes) is having a review made of every reported case -of hardship in connexion with war service homes. Purchasers of war service homes have been classified as deserving, non-deserving, or particularly deserving. Certain recommendations have been placed before Cabinet, and honorable senators can rest assured that these men will be treated fairly.
– If a discussion of such subjects as the erection of a Hall of Fame and the . perpetuation of the memory of certain distinguished airmen is to be permitted, a very wide field of discussion will be opened up. Instead of praising Sir Charles Kingsford Smith after his death, the Government would have done better had it treated him differently while he lived. Rather than expend money on the erection of a Hall of Fame, or in perpetuating the memory of certain persons, we should give to the common people decent homes and better living conditions, and so set up the best possible halls of fame. It is not right that persons not qualified to pass judgment should criticize the war memorial, seeing that it is only partially completed. Surely we can trust the Government to see that any memorials it erects are worthy of those whose memory they seek to perpetuate. In my opinion, it will be a sad day when individual members of this Parliament are allowed to set themselves up as authorities on subjects of which they know nothing. Competent architects have been engaged on the design for the war memorial, and if they have proved incapable, as has been suggested, it is useless for us, who are less qualified, to criticize their work.
Can the Minister supply any information as to when the construction of the new Commonwealth offices in Brisbane is likely to bo completed, or at least advanced to such a stage that Queensland members of the Federal Parliament may be accomodated in something like decency? We are not asking for the erection of a Hall of Fame, but we are entitled to something at least better than the rabbit warren in which we are now expected to interview our constituents. We ask this, not so much for our own personal convenience, as to remove the general stigma which the present accommodation imposes on all federal members in the eyes of their constituents.
An amount of £6,530 is provided for “ Governor-General’s establishments - non-recurring works. “ I should like to know exactly what this amount is to cover.- If one penny is to be expended to provide a residence for the GovernorGeneral outside Canberra, it is a standing disgrace to the Government and a fraud which should not be perpetrated on the taxpayers of this nation.
– What does the honorable senator mean by fraud ?
– Exactly the meaning given to a simple English word in any dictionary.
– 13 it permissible, Mr. Chairman, for the Leader of the Opposition deliberately to accuse the Government of committing a fraud..? When I interjected as to what the honorable senator meant by fraud he said he meant the meaning given to the word in the dictionary, that is to say, that the Government is committing a misrepresentation to the people. That is entirely wrong.
– Nothing of the sort! What I said was - and I repeat it now deliberately despite the fact that 1 shall incur Senator Hardy’s disapproval - that if one fraction of the provision of £6,530 under this item is to be used to provide additional accommodation for the Governor-General outside the palatial accommodation already provided for him in Canberra, it is a fraud on the taxpayers of this country. I repeat that statement with all the energy and enthusiasm that I can command. I should like to know exactly what it costs to keep an imported Governor-General in his establishments in this country. The accommodation provided for him in Canberra is excellent indeed, though no more than his position warrants. I am delighted to see so much already provided for him here; but if. the Governor-General desires to leave Canberra, he should have no better conditions than other public men, who leave residences provided for them and seek accommodation elsewhere, f ask the Minister in his reilly to give honorable senators some idea of what is actually proposed in connexion with the two items to which I have referred.
– I am pleased to have the assurance of the Minister in charge of the Senate that the War Memorial, when completed, will be a very pleasing structure. I feel sure, however, that its most generous critic could not say that there is anything artistic in the building in its present stage of construction.
A provision of £120,000 is made for “ Expenditure under River Murray Waters Act 1915-1934”. The vote for this item for 1935-36 was £120,000, of which £83,500 was expended, leaving a balance of £36,500. Will the unexpended balance of the vote for 1935-36 be added to the provision for this financial year?
– No; the vote for 1935-36 lapses.
– I greatly regret that no provision has been made in the list of new works for the construction of rock catchments in the north-eastern wheat belt of Western Australia. Last year, as the result of a disastrous drought, the wheat-farmers in that area were placed in a very difficult position; it was to inquire into their plight that the Assistant Minister (Mr. Thorby) visited Western Australia, and it was expected that water conservation work would be undertaken by the Commonwealth in con junction with the State Government. It is possible that the State Government may divert some of the moneys received from the petrol tax for the purpose of undertaking works of this kind, and I hoped that the Commonwealth Government might supplement that money by a grant for the purpose of constructing rock catchments in that area. There are no large rivers, such as the Murray, in the hinterland of Western Australia, but that country is blessed with thousands of acres of granite outcrops, around which cement walls can be placed, thus making natural reservoirs, and providing the cheapest form of water conservation in Australia. The country in that part of Western Australia is excellent in every respect; it is first class land, but unfortunately, is very porous, and does not lend itself to the successful construction of dams.
– The honorable senator is not in order in discussing this matter on this bill. I suggest that it would be more appropriate to raise the matter on the motion for the adjournment of the Senate.
– Am I not permitted, Mr. Chairman, to suggest new works ?
– No; the honorable senator must confine himself to the works already provided for in the bill.
.- An amount of £8,500 is pro vided for “ Erection of Memorial at Canberra to Hi3 late Majesty King George V.” A footnote discloses that the total estimated cost of the proposed memorial is £20,000. Not long ago, the Leader of the Government (Senator Pearce) brought this matter before the Senate, and said that the Government proposed to appoint a committee consisting of three or five gentlemen possessing artistic knowledge of the requirements for such a memorial. If I remember rightly, in reply to Senator Brand, the right honorable senator said that, as the memorial was of national or Empire significance, it was desirable that designs should be submitted. At the time, I suggested that a competition should be arranged which would enable artists throughout Australia to submit designs.
I regarded it as a mistake for the Government to appoint such a committee, as its members might not consider the submissions of young artists who had not achieved fame. I hope the Minister will be able to inform us if the Government has made any change of plans in this respect which would permit the consideration of designs submitted by artists from all parts of Australia. I remind the Minister that artistic conceptions are continually changing, and that Australia is on the threshold of a remarkable artistic era. Young artist3 should be encouraged, and they should be afforded every opportunity to submit, in competition with others, the artistic creations of their brains for perpetuation in a national memorial.
Something more than the appointment of a committee is needed. The Leader of the Senate (Senator Sir George Pearce) said that he would consider the suggestions made by Senator Brand and myself, and, if possible, Australian artists should have an opportunity to submit competitive designs.
– Can the Minister (Senator A. J. McLachlan) say if the Government has decided upon a site and a design for the proposed memorial to His late Majesty King George V.
– I wish to deal briefly with Senator Hardy’s suggestion for the erection of a Hall of Fame. The selection of those honored in most countries, particularly in Great Britain and Australia, seems to have been haphazard and unplanned. Those who know anything concerning the history of the Australian States know that men whose names ought to have been perpetuated have not had memorials erected to their memory. On the other hand names of persons who had no real claim.” to recognition are. perpetuated. In these matters the Government should proceed slowly. It is a good policy not to consider the erection of a monument to any person until ten years after his death.
– Why not one hundred years?
Sen a tor DUNCAN-HUGHES .-That period would probably make it much easier. Ten years would be sufficient for the purpose, otherwise men who pos sessed attractive personalities and supported popular proposals, but who otherwise had no claim in a deeper sense, would bo recognized. When their friends and contemporaries are asked whether they will subscribe to a memorial they usually agree. The late Lord Forrest was, I believe, the greatest man that has been associated with Western Australia, but when the erection of a memorial to him was suggested, there was the greatest difficulty in raising the few hundred pounds necessary to carry out the work. He was the man who placed Western Australia on the map. In England there are Westminster Abbey and the National Picture Gallery. Memorials are also scattered all over the continent. Many of the men whose names would find a place in a Hall of Fame might never have been to Canberra. They would be identified with particular States in which already their memory had been perpetuated. It is not sensible or desirable to erect memorials in a haphazard way. When the National Library in Canberra is completed we shall have an admirable collection of portraits of outstanding figures in Australian history, including explorers and sailors. Without any desire to minimize the value of what has been done, I again suggest that this is a matter in which the Government should proceed slowly, otherwise we shall find ourselves surrounded with pictures and memorials of men who, 25 years after their death will be completely forgotten. I am not disparaging Senator Hardy’s suggestion that Sir Charles Kingsford Smith’s services should be recognized. That is totally different from his suggestion for a Hall of Fame. There is still much work of a more urgent character to be done in this young country.
– Countries are often built on traditions.
– I agree with the honorable senator, but only those who have rendered real service to Australia should bc honoured by memorials in the National Capital.
I was sorry to hear the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings), who, as a federalist, believes in the Commonwealth, refer in the way he did to the proposed expenditure in connexion with the Governor-General’s residence. The Governor-General, as .His Majesty’s representative in the Commonwealth, should have every reasonable facility that we can offer him to do his work so that it may redound to the benefit of Australia. I say without qualification that it is essential that the Governor-General of the Commonwealth should not only live in Canberra but that he should also have the privilege of living in other capitals and of travelling throughout Australia. He should be permitted to become familiar with Australian conditions, and should not bo embarrassed by having to find accommodation in hotels. T do not think that the Governor-General should have a residence in every State, but he should have one in Sydney and another in Melbourne.
– What of the other capitals ?
– If the Leader of the Opposition were a true federalist he would realize that if residences were provided in the two cities 1. have mentioned it would be of benefit to the Commonwealth and every one associated with it.
– I cannot agree with that.
– The amount involved is relatively small. Many overseas visitors have to be entertained by His Excellency.
– What is he here for?
– Primarily as the personal representative of the King. He is also regarded by every one as the head of the Commonwealth, and as such ought to he given every reasonable facility to carry out the work of his high office.
– Does the honorable senator suggest that the facilities provided in Canberra are inadequate?
– Surely the honorable senator does not say that the Governor-General should live in Canberra all the time, and that when he visits Melbourne or Sydney he should transact official business and entertain guests at an hotel?
– Members of Parliament are provided with facilities for doing their official work in capital cities
– Yes, and in the States, apart from those which they represent, the volume of official business, which they are required to do is not great. The GovernorGeneral has important duties to perform wherever he goes. He never knows what his duties are to be, and has practically no respite. The Leader of the Opposition suggests that he should live at an hotel. Is that the way to treat a Governor-General?
– He should have to pay his way, and if he requires official residences in capital cities, he should purchase them.
– Is it suggested that he should purchase a large official residence, which he would have to vacate in three or four years’ time?
– That is his business.
– It is unreasonable to expect any one holding an important position to purchase an expensive residence which he would occupy for only a short period^ If the Leader of the Opposition would read Gyles Turner’s First Ten Years of the Australian Commonwealth he would find an interesting story of the treatmentmoted cut to Lord Hopetoun, our first Governor-General. It is a record of which we cannot be, proud.
There is also an appropriation for the purpose of providing meteorological buildings concerning which the Minister should give us some information. Seeing that there are meteorological buildings and staffs in every State he should outline the general position in respect of meteorology. We have also a solar physics observatory quite independent of the other observatories. Can the Minister say whether there is any unnecessary overlapping? Inquiries into this expenditure might be made by the Public Accounts Committee if it were reconstituted as was suggested this afternoon. I do not think that any useful service can be rendered by having the Commonwealth and the States operating in the same field.
– We must have a national meteorological service.
– The solar physics laboratory is on a different plane. Its functions are different from those of other observatories. On a previous occasion in reply to a query by me the Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) said that buildings are required “ for observing meteorological changes due to electrical discharges from the sun, and the state of the spots on the sun which indicated those discharges.” At any rate, function of the solar observatory at Stromlo is quite distinct from the functions of the other six. Four years ago, conferences between the Commonwealth and the States had come to the point of practically determining that there should be only two meteorological observatories in Australia, one in the cast and one in the west. The Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) answered inquiries by me in November, 1932, by saying that the matter was still in the air. Is it still in the air or has it como down to ground?
– Concerning establishments for the Governor-General I support what my leader (Senator Collings) has said. I do so because, in addition to the Governor-General, Australia supports six State Governors, some of whom have reached the dignity of being earls or lords. Some of them are very distinguished men, but up to the present time all have been content with one Government House.
– So was Sir Isaac Isaacs.
– I believe so. For 35 years we have had a number of distinguished gentlemen occupying the post of Governor-General. T do not propose to go over the list, but one of them was Lord Tennyson, who was a sou of the poet. All of those gentlemen were satisfied with one official residence, and for the life of me I cannot see why the Governor-General should have establishments ad lib maintained by the people.
– Prior to the establishment of the Federal Capital at Canberra, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth was provided with a House in Melbourne and with Admiralty House in Sydney.
– Canberra is now the national capital, and this is where we want the Governor-General to live. There should be only one personal link with the Crown, and he the Governor-General. The time is ripe when we should appoint as State Governors, if they be necessary, either native-born Australians or those who have cast in their lot with us. I think that the Australian sentiment is that the crimson ties could be represented by one gentleman from England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales. When the Governor of Queensland is touring, as he frequently is - indeed he is more often in the country districts than he is in Brisbane - he is not supplied with official residences wherever he goes. I have never heard it claimed that he should be, but if the Governor-General is to be given homes in the capital cities of Australia, there is no reason why the Governor of Queensland should not be given residences in Toowoomba, Rockhampton, and Townsville, as well as in Brisbane. This bill provides too much luxury even for a Governor-General and money could be spent on more important things than the provision of homes in the capital cities for that gentleman. We could abolish the Molonglo Settlement, which disfigures this city. As a matter of fact, we could provide for ourselves in this capital better than we do. No provision is made here for homes, or decent resting places, for members of Parliament. Indeed, we are sometimes refused accommodation. That was my lot when I came here to work before the session opened. I telephoned to two or three hotels, but they were either full or they did not want politicians. I found it difficult to get a place in which to live, and it seems that in order to assume ourselves of accommodation, we must book weeks, or even months, ahead. The fact is, the hotelkeepers of Canberra do not want politicians. If politicians had not the fear of public opinion, what I am now advocating would have been provided for 30 years ago.
On the question of the Australian War Memorial the first thing that I should place in a Hall of Memory would b« something like the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in other lands. I do not mean the common soldier only, but also the noncommissioned officers and junior officers who took their lives in their hand3 and died in tens of thousands in the performance of service to the country. I have not seen that suggested. “Without any disrespect to Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, Mr. C. T. P. Ulm and Mr. Hinkler, I submit that the proper place for their commemoration is some building associated with aviation. At the Sydney Cricket Ground, photographs of prominent cricketers and footballers are hung. Similarly in the halls of aviation should the. memories of distinguished aviators be perpetuated. Senator DuncanHughes has rightly said that there has been a lack of planning in the erection of public memorials. Some men who are really great have been missed, and others have been made wonderful to the eyes of men although historians have not- justified the honour. In Westminster Abbey this is especially noticeable. When in London I was surprised to find in front of the Houses of Parliament the statues of two men who, I consider, should not have been so perpetuated in memory. One statue was of Richard Coeur de Lion; no doubt he was a great soldier, hut his principal job was to neglect England, from which he was almost continuously absent.
– He could not even speak English.
– That is so. He spoke a kind of NormanFrench. The other statue was of a gentleman named Cromwell, who has been described as England’s greatest man of action, but whose principal action was the closing of the Parliament of England.
– Will the honorable senator connect his remarks with the bill,
- Senator Duncan-Hughes referred to the lack of a plan in connexion with public memorials, and when he was speaking I suggested that before any memorial was put up there should be ‘ a wait of 100 years. I think it was Cato who said in regard to the statues of Rome that they were so numerous that it was more honour to be without one.
– That has nothing whatever to do with the War Memorial.
The names to be placed in the memorial are not in question.
– Estimates of the virtues of public men change with the passing of time, and there should be no hurry in filling any hall of fame with statues in memory of those whom their friends and contemporaries may regard as great.
– The only names to be put in the memorial will be the names of those, who by virtue of war service, have the right to that honour.
– I hope that that is so. I also hope that there will be no hurry to put up statues. I think that we should adopt the system of the Melbourne War Memorial where the names of the commemorated are inscribed in books, which may be inspected by those interested.
I join with Senator Collings in urging that Commonwealth offices in Brisbane should be completed as soon as possible. The existing offices are not fit for the purposes for which they are used. If one enters the federal members’ rooms in Brisbane at the present time, he is forced to become almost a telephone clerk. I understand that the situation is worse in Adelaide, where only two rooms are provided for federal members. The vote for this year is £18,564, the balance of the original estimate of £111,000. It seems, therefore, that it will he some time before the work is finished, but I urge expedition because federal members in Queensland would welcome the new accommodation.
– I assure honorable senators who have made comments regarding the Commonwealth offices at Brisbane, that the amount to be voted covers the final expenditure on the work, which was commenced in 1934 and is now nearing completion. The completion of the work now in hand will enable the transfer of departments from the offices they now occupy, and will also provide for the accommodation of honorable members.
– - When will the accommodation for federal members be ready? During the last eighteen months we have been told various dates.
– According to departmental advice the transfer will be made in October or November of this year.
The amount of £13,000 for the erection of meteorological buildings has been mentioned. The proposal to erect a building in Brisbane for the accommodation of the meteorological bureau has been under consideration for a number of years, but in view of the financial position no action has been taken. An alternative proposal to house the bureau in the Commonwealth office building which is now nearing completion, has been carefully examined, but has been found to be impracticable as it would involve the total abandonment of the site used for meteorological purposes for a considerable number of years in favour of one involving unknown and probably serious differences in the observations required to determine the current weather and climate of Brisbane. Moreover, it is desirable to have a block of grassed land with sufficient open space around the bureau to give satisfactory exposure for instruments recording temperatures, humidity, rainfall, solar radiation, &c. The existing accommodation in Brisbane is unsatisfactory. Recently it was referred to by the Commonwealth Public Service Arbitrator, in the following terms : -
There is one comment I would like to make as a result of my visit to Brisbane and also to Adelaide. That is that the officers in charge of the meteorological bureau in both States are carrying on their work in very disadvantageous circumstances. The accommodation provided for the officers in both those States is obviously quite inadequate, and quite out of keeping with the importance of that particular class of work to the general community. There is urgent need for more commodious premises in both Adelaide and Brisbane.
Provision was made in the original draft Estimates for the current financial year for the erection of buildings in Adelaide and Brisbane, but in view of the request received for a reduction in the estimates, the amount of £13,000 included under this division would be sufficient for only one of these buildings, and it is proposed to erect the Brisbane establishment, it being the more urgent. The estimate of £13,000 will cover the whole of the expenditure involved in connexion with the erection of the bureau, including the necessary engineering services on the existing site, which is a transferred property on “Wickham-terrace.
My right honorable leader (Senator Pearce) is more familiar with the conditions at the Stromlo Observatory than I. am. I understand that it is not so fully equipped as scientists would desire, but there is valuable equipment there and good work is being done. Recently there has been a review of Commonwealth meteorological services with a view to the prevention of overlapping, and we are endeavouring to bring ali stations into line. This is considered desirable in order to ensure a better meteorological service, which is necessitated by the development of air services in Australia and other countries.
Approximately £2,000 has been set aside for improvements to Government House at Canberra, and provision is made for renovations at Admiralty House, Sydney, which will be the residence of His Excellency the GovernorGeneral when he is in that city.
The proposal to erect a memorial to his late Majesty King George V. has engaged the attention of a sub-committee of the Cabinet for some time. The site is immediately in front of Parliament House, and I think that honorable senators have been, informed, from time to time, of the progress that has been made. In March last Cabinet approved of the erection of a memorial and decided to invite the three Australian sculptors, Paul Montford, “W. L. Bowles, and G. Raynor Hoff, A.R.A.C., R.S., A.R.B.S., to submit drawings from which a selection would be made.
– I understood the Leader of the Senate to say that the designs would be submitted to the Senate.
– The honorable senator must have misunderstood my colleague and leader. The Government, in inviting the selected sculptors to forward designs, set out for their guidance details to be observed in connexion with the designs and the completion of the sculpture and architectural work. The main feature of the memorial will be a statue or a group of statuary in bronze, the common subject to be a statue of King George V. in state robes and without headdress, standing on a pedestal with inlaid bas-relief bronze panels on each face or as otherwise suggested by the sculptor. ‘ The bas-relief panels will symbolize the association of the late King with the birth and the first 25 years of federation, the growth of Empire unity as a Commonwealth of Nations owing allegiance to one Sovereign, and, by means of panels or bas-reliefs associated with the statuary, the main events of Australia’s national life such as, for instance, the first Federal Convention, the King as Duke of York opening the first Federal Parliament, Australia’s participation in the Great War, and the opening of the first Parliament in Canberra by the present Duke of York, will be commemorated. Granite is to be used for the main pedestal and fundamental of design, but hardstone may bc used for steps or other substructure or other architectural features. The superstructure will include the principal feature of the memorial, namely, a statue of King George V. with panels of a symbolic nature as previously mentioned, inlaid in the base of the pedestal or otherwise designed. The sculptor, in submitting his design, is required also to submit a typed statement giving the estimated cost of the full-sized design in plaster with duplicate, and also the estimated cost of casting in bronze by an approved foundry in England. The sculptor will also be required to indicate the time anticipated for the delivery of the complete bronze work at Canberra, will be responsible for the proper completion of the monument, and for the payment of all expenses incurred in its erection. He will also, bo required to insure his life. The date for the submission of the preliminary drawings will be the 1st December, 1936. The vote of £8,500 is to cover the payment, in advance, to the successful sculptor of one-third of the estimated cost of the whole work, and fees of £150 each to the other sculptor’s submitting drawings. That is a brief outline of the negotiations to date. We shall have to wait until December before anything further is done in the matter.
– I support the remarks of Senator Duncan-Hughes in regard to the work of the solar observatory at Canberra. I understand that its chief function is to trace the relation between Bun spots and weather conditions in Australia, and I should like to know if this is still the accepted theory of leading meteorologists. We are expending considerable sums of money in Australia on meteorological services. The provision in this bill is approximately £30,000, and I should like to know what steps are being taken to supply the missing link in the chain of meteorological stations, namely, the much.talkedof station in the Antarctic. There has been considerable expenditure by the British and Commonwealth Governments on expeditions to the Antarctic, and we have been told, from time to time, that the establishment of a meteorological station there would give valuable information concerning weather conditions in Australia. The rest of the world is linked up by stations which give information that is available immediately to all governments. The absence of a station in the Antarctic is a definite gap which should be filled, because of the general belief that conditions there affect or govern conditions in Australia, and reliable information from such a station might make possible long-range weather forecasting in the Commonwealth.
Proposed vote agreed to.
Department of Defence.
Proposed vote, £1,117,772.
– Recently I w,as informed that some new ideas with respect to the building of aerodromes, one of which originated in Australia, had been rejected by the Defence Department, notwithstanding that an engineer and an architect of Sydney, one with war experience, and the other a well known authority on modern building, had said that it was a reasonable proposal. There are complaints that the Defence Department is loath to accept new ideas submitted to it. The proposal which I have iu mind related to aerodromes. It, was of arch design and suitable for camouflage purposes, because it did not throw a shadow. I ask that the Defence Department be instructed to give careful consideration to all suggestions submitted to it. The Minister knows that the army tank, which proved so useful in the Great “War, was originally rejected as being of little value. I do not want to see a repetition of such mistakes.
– The honorable senator’s representations will be brought under the notice of the Minister for -Defence.
– Large sums of money are being spent in the development of aerodromes near the capital cities, whereas aerodromes in country districts are neglected. The essential feature of any aerodrome is that it should possess a ground surface on which aeroplanes can land in all weathers without fear of becoming bogged. I have in mind particularly the aerodrome at Winton, which is on the main air route between Brisbane and Darwin, and has been gazetted as a stopping place in the air mail contract. The Winton aerodrome is 126 miles from Longreach and approximately 200 miles from Cloncurry, but the boggy condition of the landing ground was such between the 28th May and the 11th June this year that it could not be used. Last month the air mail from Cloncurry was forced to return to that place, because of the unsatisfactory nature of the aerodrome at Winton. An officer of the department, who visited Winton some time ago, suggested that the local authorities should construct an all weather .road from the town to the aerodrome, a distance of about one and a half miles, and stated that it was useless having an all weather aerodrome without a similar type of road. This road has now been constructed by the council at a cost of £1,200. The people of Winton ask that gravel runways, which would not cost more than about £3,000, be constructed.
– The sum of £3,000 has been provided in these Estimates for the construction of a runway at the Winton aerodrome.
– In Australia civil aviation is still under the control of the Department of Defence, whereas many other countries including Canada, have found it advisable to transfer it to the Department of Commerce, because it is believed that civil aviation should be free to develop along commercial,; rather than defence, lines. I am aware that it may be argued that civil aviation is subsidiary to defence; but the same -argument could be used in favour of placing the mercantile marine under the Defence Department. The Government should give this matter its most earnest consideration, in view of the strong body of public opinion in- favour of transferring civil aviation from the control of the defence authorities to some other department such as the Department of Commerce.
.- I should like to know whether the item “machinery and plant for manufacture of ‘munitions “ refers to machinery actually used for the manufacture of munitions or to plant used for making lipstick holders and other articles in competition with private manufacturers. Some time ago it was said that the Government intended to co-operate with private ‘manufacturers in plans for the making of munitions. The manufacturers do not want to make materials of war and hope that the day will never come when their factories will be turned into munition-making plants. They are, however, prepared to set aside a portion of their floor space and to train men in the making of these requisites, so that, almost at a moment’s notice, munitions may be manufactured if required. The Australian Government seems to be strangely neglectful in this respect. We all know what happened in England during the Great War, and that it was not until Lloyd George organized the supply of munitions in 1915, that there was any regular supply of guns and materials to the armies at the front. Britain is organizing against a recurrence of such happenings, and Australia would do well to do likewise. Some time ago the Government appointed a gentleman to interview manufacturers in this connexion, but after about a fortnight he was suddenly withdrawn, and nothing has been heard of him for three or four months. I should like to know the reason. I know that in the munition factories there is a tremendous amount of jealousy. The factories turn out articles, which are not munitions of war, including a vast quantity of lipstick holders, axles and other things, in competition with the manufacturers of Australia. That is not fair.
– What about gas masks?
– I should like to know if this trade has been stopped. To my mind, it is rather remarkable that the potentialities of Australian factories for the production of munitions are being ignored, in view of the fact that the British Government is actively engaged in organizing the whole of the factories of the United Kingdom, so that, at a moraent’3 notice, they can he brought into full operation. _ The manufacturers of Australia do not want to turn out materials of war in times of peace, but at the same time they want to be able to play their part and turn their factories and the experience of their trained men to the service of their country during a period of emergency.
– I agree with the remarks made by Senator Leckie. When we consider what is being done in Great Britain and tn other parts of the world, we fmd that Australia is lagging far behind. For instance, Czechoslovakia has tabulated the whole of its primary and secondary industries. If such a tabulation has not been carried out in Australia the authorities responsible should be ashamed of themselves. It is vital and essential that these facts should be known, and unless we follow the lead given by other countries in regard to this matter we are surely travelling the road to disaster. I compliment the Govern.ment for what it has done so far, but I urge upon it the desirableness of undertaking a complete tabulation of all industries which may be utilized in time of war. I agree with Senator Leckie that manufacturers do not want to produce munitions for war purposes, but, at the same time, they realize that Australia is in a position of isolation, and that adequate supplies of munitions constitute a very necessary form of preparation. We cannot fight without munitions of war, and we cannot produce them expeditiously unless every skilled man who could be employed in their production is tabulated and ready to be pressed into service in emergency. If, unfortunately, Australia should ever be engaged in a war, it will undoubtedly come upon us like a bolt from the blue. There will be no warning. The peaceful security of Australia can only be assured by preparedness for war. Let us not leave this very necessary tabulation of the industrial resources of the nation to the very last. We should profit by the experience of England during the war, when it was found necessary to withdraw soldiers skilled in the manufacture of munitions from the fighting forces in France and put them to work in. the factories in England. Let us be prepared. The greatest preparation can he carried out in the factories and workshops in Australia.
.- I should like to take Senators Leckie and Arkins to the munitions establishments at Maribyrnong and Footscray to see what is being done there. I do not suppose either of them has ever been there, and I am sure that they do not know of the developments which have taken place in these factories. Senator J. V. MacDonald, by way of interjection, said that the factories are not turning out gas masks. As a matter of fact, the facilities exist for gas masks to be turned out by thousands when required. As for lipsticks, they were manufactured in those factories during the depression period. The factories are now engaged in turning out 6-in. and 8-in. shells and all types of munitions required by a modern army. In regard to the statement by Senator Arkins, that no tabulation has been made of the various private factories throughout the Commonwealth, when I was the responsible officer at Victoria Barracks, Melbourne, a complete tabulation of all factories, showing what each was capable of producing was in course of preparation. All that the last speaker has said is bunkum. I invite honorable senators, when next in Melbourne, to go cut to the factories at Maribyrnong and Footscray, and see the plant there, the number of men employed, the amount of local raw material used, and the national work which is being done.
Senator ARKINS (New South Wales) f9.54]. - In reply to Senator Brand, I said at the outset that, if the Government had not taken these precautions, it should be ashamed of itself. I can only say now that, if precautions have been taken, I am pleased to know it. Senator Leckie, who is one of the best known men in manufacturing circles in Victoria, however, has told us a different tale.
– I can assure honorable senators that the whole of the appropriation of £132,934 for “Machinery and plant for manufacture of munitions” is to cover various items of machinery. There is a long list of requirements for the munition factories at Footscray and Maribyrnong, the small arms factory at Lithgow, and the munition supply laboratories at Maribyrnong, and provision is also made for the purchase of testing equipment for the inspection branch and additional facilities and equipment at Port Wakefield, South Australia.
Regarding the tabulation of Australian factories, there is, as Senator Brand has said, a complete register in the Department of Defence of what the various factories can do. I am not quite familiar with what has been done during the last few weeks, but the matter has certainly had the consideration of the Minister for Defence (Sir Archdale Parkhill), who is watching the position very closely indeed. I know that up to a certain point of time, the Defence Department had the whole of the information, and would have been able, in the event of any unpleasantness arising, to attach to the department several factories that could produce all that would be necessary for the time being.
– I notice that the total provision for the Department of Defence is to be reduced by an amount of £1,952,008, which is to be provided from the Defence Equipment Trust Account, leaving a balance of £1,117,772. I take it that that amount will be provided from loan funds. Can the Minister inform the Senate of the total funds standing to the credit of the Defence Equipment Trust Account?
Senator A. J. McLACHLAN (South - The provision in this bill for the Department of Defence is not to be financed from loan, but from revenue. The sum of £1,952,008, deducted from the total estimated expenditure, represents approximately the balance at the 30th June, 1936, of an amount paid in previous years into the Defence Equipment Trust Account for defence equipment. In other words, that amount of money was ear-marked for defence purposes. It has now been brought into account as a deduction from the total provision for the Defence Department, and £1,117,772 represents the amount of the charge against revenue in the budget for this year.
– That absorbs the whole of the amount?
– Yes ; in 1934-35 the Government placed the sum of £4,160,000 into the Defence Equipment Trust Account.
Proposed vote agreed to.
Proposed votes - Department of Trade and Customs, £43,045; Department of Health, £25,000 ; Department of Repatriation, £123,000 ; Department of Commerce, £32,373- agreed to. commonwealth railways.
Proposed vote, £174,000.
.- Will the PostmasterGeneral (Senator A. J. McLachlan) give the Senate some information concerning the proposed vote of £169,415 for the trans-Australian railway and £3,735 for the Central Australian railway?
– The amount of £169,415 is required for the following services: -
Prior to the close of the last financial year approval was given for the expenditure of £142,500 on the purchase of express locomotives, subject .to. a saving of at least £50,000 on the construction of the Port Augusta-Port Pirie railway, and the spreading of the expenditure of the new” railway construction over as long a period as possible. These conditions are being complied with, and a contract has been let to Messrs. Walkers Limited, for £141,109 as follows : -
The delivery of these locomotives will synchronize with the completion of a new section of the railway. The provision of £67,500 for ballasting will enable the continuation of the ballasting programme which has been in progress since 1931-32. This provides employment for a large number of men, and ballasted track permits increased speed of trains, as well as added comfort for passengers. Savings are also effected in track maintenance and the upkeep of rolling-stock. The estimate of £67,500 covers the supply of ballast under the existing contract from a quarry at the 634 miles post, the “ running out “ of the ballast, and the lifting of the road in connexion with the supplies under that contract. The opening up of a new quarry, with a view to reducing the running-out mileage, is also provided for. An amount of £11,500 .covers the installation of air conditioning plant in the lounge and two dining cars. This feature is being gradually introduced on the Australian railway systems, with marked success.
Improvements to the permanent way on the Central Australian railway represent £1,200, and include the purchase and installation of plates on sharp curves on the Port Augusta-Quorn section and the provision of minor waterways. Improvements to rolling stock, supply of a covered wagon to cope with the greater amount of traffic to Alice Springs as tho result of increased mining activities at Tennant’s Creek, and minor service to rolling stock will absorb £1,340. Expenditure on workshops plant and machinery will cost £500, and miscellaneous minor works £695, making a total of £3,735.
.- Provision is made for the expenditure of £100 on the Federal Capital railway. Will the Postmaster-General (Senator A. J. McLachlan) say if the Government intends to extend the present railway into the city so that the railway station may be nearer where the people live?
– The amount mentioned is required for various small works. It is not proposed to extend the railway at present.
Proposed vote agreed to.
P OST mast er-Gene ra l’s DEP PARTME n t.
Proposed vote, £1.750,000.
– Under the heading of “ National Broadcasting Service “ provision is made for the appropriation of- £89,870. A few days ago I asked a question relating to the number and location of broadcasting stations in Queensland. The information supplied disclosed that there are sixteen stations, eleven of which are either on or near the coast; three are within a distance of roughly 200 miles of each other, and two are in the south-western and western portion of the State. I wish to know if an amount is to be appropriated for- building, preferably, a regional station to benefit listeners in the far west of Queensland, an area of roughly 400 miles by 400 miles? At present, owing to static interference, particularly in the summer time, the coastal stations are of little use to listeners in the area mentioned. The only station erected in Queensland within the last twelve months is a B class station at Longreach. Statistics show that the number of listeners in Queensland: is lower than in any other State. At the 30th June, 1936, there were approximately 236,000 homes in Queensland, and a population of 973,905, but only 83,230 licence-holders. The ratio of population to 100 radio licences is ,8.66 compared with New South Wales, 11.8; Victoria, 14.31; South Australia, 14.80; Western Australia, 11.16; and Tasmania, 10.5. The ratio for all Australia is 12.22. The small percentage of listeners in Queensland is to some extent due, I suggest, to defective reception. Many of the people living in the far west of. Queensland are entirely dependent on radio services for the latest market reports dealing with the disposal of their products, news of the day, and general entertainment. Many of them receive only one mail a week, and some only one a fortnight. I strongly suggest that they are entitled to a better service than they are getting at the present time.. If a regional station were erected in the centre of the district mentioned, the reception would be much better than it is to-day, and the number of licences would increase. Queensland, which has an area of 676,500 square miles, has sixteen stations; New South “Wales, with an area of 310,372 square miles, 29 stations; and Victoria, with an area of 87.884 square miles, 20 stations. The stations of New South “Wales and Victoria are interwoven between the two borders and listeners can obtain reception from either State. ‘ But “Western Queensland is flanked by South Australia and the Northern Territory, and no wireless station is situated near those borders. Consequently, listeners in that region are obliged to depend to a large extent upon reception from the coastal or South Australian stations. I suggest that not only for the benefit of the people resident in those distant parts, which is my principal objective in raising this matter, but also to promote the manufacture and distribution of radio, this position should be remedied. It seem3 extraordinary that the percentage of radio licences to population should be smaller in Queensland than in the other States of the Commonwealth. In my opinion the comparison shows definitely that the reception in those parts is most unsatisfactory. If it were improved, I am quite sure that the great majority of the people in far Western Queensland would be owners of radio sets. I therefore ask that funds be made available to the PostmasterGeneral’s Department at an early date for. the purpose of erecting a regional station in the area referred to. “ Senator BADMAN (South Australia) [10.12]. - In connexion with the- provision of’ £89,870 for- national broadcasting services, I ask the- Postmaster-General (Senator A. J. McLachlan) whether this is an additional amount allowed to thiAustralian Broadcasting Commission apart from approximately £500,000 which that body derives from listeners’ licence fees; From each licence which is taken out in the Commonwealth, the commission receives 12s., and the total number of licences in force at the 30th July last was 842,000. In South Australia the number was 88,000. The cost of a licence for zone 1 is £1 ls. and for zone 2 15s. I might explain .for the information of honorable senators that zone 2 is constituted by listeners who are beyond a 250 miles radius of a regionalor an A class station. The Australian Broadcasting Commission receives 12s. from each listener’s licence. The balances of 9s. in the case of fees derived from zone 1, and 3s: in the case of fees derived from zone 2’ aTe paid into the revenues of the Postal Department. If honorable- senators make a simple arithmetical calculation on the basis of. each licence- fee- yielding 12s., they will discover that from the 842,000 licences in force, the Australian Broadcasting Commission has a revenue exceeding £500,000, In view of this large income I fail to understand why the Postmaster General’s Department should provide an. additional £89,870’ for building construction purposes in order to assist the broadcasting services. In my opinion broadcast listeners in Australia- are not receiving a fair deal at the present time. My experience in South Australia and other States convinces me that not more than 10 per cent, of the licence-holders to-day tune into the A class stations, from which the Australian Broadcasting Commission derives such a substantial revenue. The cost of a listener’s licence should bereduced.; the fees in other parts of the world are considerably less than they are in the Commonwealth. I regret that broadcasting is fast becoming a taxing machine; the Government should give listeners some relief from that tax.
– The Australian Broadcasting Commission does not receive the full amount of money paid in licence-fees.
– I have ex: plained that, but the Commission derive* about £505,000 from that source. Surelysuch a large sum of money is sufficient to enable it to carry out such constructional work as may be necessary, to engage celebrated oversea artists, and to maintain a high standard of entertainment. The revenue enjoyed by the Commission is considerably in excess of what is necessary to provide the service that listeners are now receiving. I repeat that only approximately 10 per cent. of the holders of listeners’ licences in Australia tune in regularly to the A class stations.
– The percentage might not be so high as that.
– What is the honorable senator’s authority for those figures ?
– The B class stations collected the information.
– In my opinion, there is no means of obtaining accurate data.
– The A class, stations do not provide the essential services which we might expect for the payment of £1 ls. Another reason why the licence-fees should be reduced is to be found in the rapid increase of the number of listeners; shortly it will reach the million mark. I hope that the PostmasterGeneral will be able to- explain why the Australian Broadcasting Commission is to receive an additional £89,870 from the Postal Department in addition to the revenues it already has at its disposal.
– I am not permitted to discuss such matters as a reduction or an increase of’ broadcast listeners’ licence-fees under thi6 measure; but, in answer to the honorable senator, I point out that this vote and’ similar ones to which the committee has already agreed, are for works, the provision of which is the obligation of the Postal Department. For instance, technical services rendered to the Australian Broadcasting Commission have, under the act, to be provided by the Post Office.
– Is not a charge made for telephones and similar services?
– I refer now to highly technical work which only the skilled staffs of the Post Office, and probably organizations such as Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited and Standard Telephones and Cables (Australia) Limited Gould render: Under the arrangements which have been’ entered into, such services are the obligation of the Post Office. The department supplies the technical services, but for the use of telephone wires, &c, for broadcasting the commission must remunerate the department.
– Is not the commission asked to pay for the construction of buildings and to carry out renovations ?
– The provision of studios is the responsibility of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. I emphasize that the item under discussion refers to technicalengineering, services which are rendered by the department. The construction of studios for the broadcasting ofprogrammes is the obligation of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. The honorable senator has probably noticed in the last report and balance-sheet of the commission that, sums of money are being conserved for the purposes of? constructing up-to-date studiosat Perth, Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney. What proposals have Been formulated in regard’ to the fair city of Adelaide, I have- not heard. I understand that the accommodation in Queens.land is quite satisfactory and according to reports there is no difficulty in this respect in Adelaide. At present the Australian Broadcasting Commission has representatives overseas inquiring into these matters which are most important-, not only to the commission itself, but also to those who listen to the entertainment” from A class stations. We have constructed a good” many A class stations in the year just ended. New regionat stations were installed at Grafton (New South Wales),. Sale (Victoria), andKelso (Tasmania). When honorable senators, inspect these stations and see the class of work that has Been done they will realize that it was no mean feat to complete the work last year. At one station a mast 620 feet high, surmounted by a plateau 60 feetin diameter, was erected. Imagine the difficulty of securely cabling that to the earth! The work has been done, and it has been done well. We hope to open another regional’ station at Townsville in Queensland. I wish to direct the attention of Senator Cooper to the intention to install regional stations at Cumnock (New South Wales), and at Broken Hill. It has been decided after scientific examination of the conditions that the Broken Hill station will render good service to western Queensland.
– It is SOO miles away. .
– It doe3 not matter how many miles a station is from the persons who listen in. The quality of the reception depends on the conductivity of the earth and on the synchronization of the earth ray and the sky ray. On that point, reception at Canberra has been mentioned, and one honorable senator referred to the density of the A class stations of Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia. In this city distance does not matter much. I understand that the ‘reception in (Jan.berra of Station 7NT Launceston is excellent.
Canberra presents special difficulties, but although I do not like making promises, I can promise better reception here iri the near future. In conclusion, I wish to assure Senator Cooper once more that from the reports we have received from our scientific advisers, it is apparent that the western districts of Queensland will be efficiently served by the Broken Hill station.
– I was glad to hear the Minister (Senator A. J. McLachlan) say that it was not competent for him to discuss the points raised under this particular heading. There is a good deal to - bc said regarding the services which have been given by the Broadcasting Commission, but I agree that this is not the proper occasion for such a discussion. Some extravagant things have been said, but I shall take an opportunity on another bill to reply.
– There is an urgent need for a new post office at South Brisbane-
– That matter would be better discussed on the budget. I rule that references to it are out of order on this measure.
– -Thisbill proposes to expend £89,870 on equipment for the national broadcasting services, but the question arises as to whether it is worth while for the Commonwealth Government to spend that amount of money if the people are not. satisfied with the services they are getting. The Broadcasting Commission has an annual revenue of about £500,000 but, for some extraordinary reason, it seems to get a little wild in the making of disbursements. In the last twelve months nine appointments have been made, and the salaries payable in respect of those appointments total more than £7,000.
– Order ! This item does not relate to salaries; it deals with masts and plant. The honorable senator must connect his remarks with the item.
– Surely I am in order in asking whether it is worth’ while for the Government to spend this money on the particular works mentioned in the bill in order to supply a service which is not adequate?
– The honorable senator will be in order so long as he confines his attention to the item under discussion, but he will bc out of order if he roams over the whole subject of broadcasting. I suggest that a better . opportunity for him to address himself to the point he has raised will be presented when the budget papers are under discussion.
– This item provides for the expenditure of money on certain works for services of the Broadcasting Commission. I seek to know whether, in spending that money, we can confidently expect that the work of the Broadcasting Commission will he improved.
– I rule that a discussion on broadcasting generally is not relevant to this item.
Proposed vote agreed to.
Proposed vote, £93,000.
– I should like to know from the Minister what works are included in the item, “Buildings, works and sites, £68,000” in connexion with the Northern Territory. Is any provision made for necessary improvements to the Darwin wharf ?
. –The amount of £68,000 is required to cover the estimated expenditure during the present financial year on a certain programme of works. Services, in the nature of improvements to stock routes, water supplies, and “roads, other than roads in the townships of Darwin and Alice Springs, have been provided for under the votes for developmental services and assistance and development of the metalliferous mining industry. Revotes in respect of uncompleted works at the 30th June, 193C, totalled £17,470 in the northern section, including £8,000 for the dredging of the Darwin harbour, £7,098 for a bituminous road to the aerodrome at Darwin, and other small amounts, of which the largest is £1,136 for the Timber Creek police station. In the southern section, the revotes are all of small amounts, the largest being £1,736 for the Conistan police station. The new items in the northern section include the construction of Commonwealth offices at Darwin, £6,500; construction of new kitchen at Government House, Darwin, £600; erection of concrete wall, enclosing the Darwin gaol, £5,000 ; construction of a new office for the Administrator, £1,400; new aboriginal compound, £6,050; new police stations at Wave Hill, £2,800, Brooks Creek, £2,300, and Roper River, £2,800 ; electric light installations at Katherine, Tenn ant’s Creek, and Pine Creek hospitals,. £1,350; reclamation and draining of swamp near the Darwin aerodrome, £1,800 ; and £26,649 towards the cost of the Darwin water supply. At Alice Springs, the new works include a gaol, £8,500; hospital, appurtenances and equipment, £26,000; and housing, £3,500. The total in respect of revotes and new services is £122,740, of which it is estimated that £54,740 will remain unexpended, leaving a balance of £68,000. It is very difficult to make an estimate in connexion with the Northern Territory because, during the wet season of the year, it is impossible to proceed with any works.
.- I listened with interest .to what the Minister had to say, because I wished to ascertain whether provision had been made for a hospital at Alice Springs.
– The amount of £26,000 is provided for hospital, appurtenances and equipment.
– Out of the £68,000?
– I am glad to hear that. Instead of criticizing, 1 congratulate the Government. This is a belated move, but I am pleased to learn that at last the work is to be put in hand. When in Alice Springs a few weeks ago, I found that the hospital provision is entirely inadequate. The building is the hostel of the Australian Inland Mission, which permitted it to be used for its present purpose. Its dimensions are small, there is no permanent doctor, and no adequate surgery. The present population of Alice Springs is something like 300 or 400 persons, compared with a previous population of 30 persons. The whole of the arrangements are sadly deficient. There is a doctor in Alice Springs, but he has no control over the hospital, which one can understand is not convenient from his view-point. One can also understand that the nurses are rot anxious to be under the control of a medical man who has no real authority over them. I could see at a glance, and my impressions were strengthened by what I heard, that the provision of adequate hospital arrangements is of very great importance to Alice Springs. I have reason for saying that the Australian Inland Mission is only too anxious for the Government to build a hospital so that the hostel may be devoted to the purpose for- which it was intended. The thanks of the community are due to the mission for having provided a stopgap during the years when the Government had not a hospital. The intention to erect one and thus fill a longfelt want will be a matter for gratification over a very wide area.
.- Out of the £93,000 to be expended in the Northern Territory, is provision made for additional batteries at Tennant’s Creek? Is it correct that the Government has already provided a batterythere and that difficulty is experienced in getting the ore to it?
Senator A. J. MCLACHLAN (South Australia - Postmaster-General [10.39] . -Included in the sum of £25,000 for the assistance and development of the metalliferous mining industry, is an amount of £15,500 for the purchase and installation of batteries, maintenance, &c. I am assured that the batteries are on order.
– In what way is thebalance of the vote allocated?
– An amount of £5,000 is provided for the development of the mining industry by means of advances to companies and prospectors, or miners; £2,000 for drilling plants and their maintenance and operations; and £2,500 for water supplies to mining fields. In addition, £20,387 is available under loan for the assistance and development of metalliferous mining industry in the Northern Territory.
Proposed vote agreed to.
Federal Capital Territory.
Pro posed vote, £363,631.
Sensitor COLLINGS (Queensland) [10.42].- I shall be obliged if the Post- master-General (Senator A. J. McLach- lan) will inform the committee what provisionis made this year for additional accommodiation for people who have to live here, and others who may desireto visit Canberra. Can he say howmuch money is setaside for improved housing of people who at present are living at Molonglo and the Causeway, whether provision is made for the 300 people who are unable to obtain proper accommodattion; andwhat is being done to rprevent the objectionable overcrowding atGorman House? It is essential that anadditional buildingshould be erected to accommodate at least 60 of the lowerpaid officers now resident at this hostel.
I havenocriticismto offer concerning theGovernment’s proposals for expendi- ture in the FederalCapital Territory. I am delighted that the works contemplated are being proceeded with.
. -The item “architectural services, £84,812;” includes the cost of erecting ten brick cottages at Kingston, ten cottages at Griffith, 21 brick cottages at Ainslie, and £25,000 for the erection of cottages for present applicants. This expenditure will relieve some of the congestion of which the honorable senator has complained.
– Am I to understand that practically nothing worth while is being done by the Government to deal with the serious overcrowding problem in Canberra? The proposal is to bring more people here, and the erection of 40 or 50 cottages will not meet the difficulty. Unless the Government does something to provide more accommodation the situation will become woTse in the near future.
– Senator Collings has Taised a question of more than ordinary importance to ‘the community. The Government has some obligation to provide accommodation for people whowere obliged to come here, and I contend that it has carried out its undertaking; but it owes nosuch duty to other people. Is it suggested that the Government should provide housing for all the people who come to Canberra, and become almost the sole landlord?
– Does the Government want people to come here?
– Of course it does, but is it suggested that the Government should build all the houses? Why do not more of the people who come here buildtheir own homes?
– Because they cannot get the freehold ofthe land.
– The Commonwealth has adopted the policy of leasehold which, I venturetothink, isthe principal trouble, with some people. Iwish it to be clearly understood that this is merely my personal opinion. The Government cannot undertake the responsibility of becoming the universal landlord at Canberra. I submit that it ‘has done tolerably well, and it will endeavour to fulfil faithfully all its obligations. The Government should not be expected to build all the houses required for people who come to Canberra.
– I should like some information concerning; the item;. “ Engineering Services, £74,285 “’. This expenditure, added1 to. the £84,812 for architectural services; some details of which have been supplied by the Postmaster-General, makes a total of £159,000. Will the Minister give further information concerning this proposed expenditure ?
– It was not. my intention to withhold any information which honorable senators might want, but I did not read all the details,, because I wished to spare honorable senators the tedium of listening to them. However, here are the items of more than £1,000 included in this division -
The honorable senator also asked for particulars regarding engineering services’ for which the allocation is £74,285 The principal items on this list are as follows: -
The architectural services included in the development programme to which reference has been made, and which it is proposed to commence during the our rent financial year, are as follows : -
Proposed vote agreed to.
Schedule agreed to.
Preamble and title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment; report adopted. ,
Senate adjourned at11 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 23 September 1936, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1936/19360923_senate_14_151/>.