30 November 1937

15th Parliament · 1st Session

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The Senate met at10.30 a.m., pursuant to the proclamation of His Excellency the Governor-General.

The President (Senator the Hon. P. J. Lynch) took the chair.

The Clerk read the proclamation.

The Deputies appointed by His Excellency the Governor-General for the opening of the Parliament - the Eight Honor- able Sir John Greig Latham, G.C.M.G., Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, and the Right Honorable Sir George Edward Rich, K.C.M.G., a Justice of the High Court of Australia - having been announced by the Usher of the Black Rod, entered the Chamber and took their seats on the dais.

The Senior Deputy (the Right Honorable Sir John Greig Latham), through the Clerk, directed the Usher to desire the attendance of the members of the House of Representatives, who being come,

The SENIOR DEPUTY said- gentlemen of the senate and gentlemen of the house of representatives :

His Excellency the Governor-General, not thinking fit to be present in person at this time, has been pleased to cause letters patent to issue under the Great Seal of the Commonwealth constituting us his deputies to do in his name all that is necessary to be performed in declaring this Parliament open, as will more fully appear from the letters patent which will now be read.

The letters patent having been read by the Clerk,

The SENIOR DEPUTY said- gentlemen of the senate and gentlemen of the house of representatives :

We have it in command from the Governor-General to let you know that, as soon as the members of the House of Representatives shall have been sworn, the causes of His Excellency calling this Parliament will be declared by him in person at this place; and it being necessary that a Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be first chosen, you, gentlemen of the House of Representatives, will retire to the place where you are to sit and there proceed to the choice of some proper person to be your Speaker; and thereafter you will present the person whom you shall so choose to His Excellency at such time and place as he shall appoint. Sir George Rich will attend in the House of Representatives for the purpose of administering the oath, or affirmation, of allegiance to honorable members of that House.

The Deputies and members of the House of Representives retired.

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The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. P. J. Lynch). - I have to inform the Senate that I have received through His Excellency the Governor-General, from the Governors of the respective States, certificates of the choice, at the election held on the 23rd October, 1937, of certain senators to fill casual vacancies.

The Clerk laid on the table certificates of election of -

William Patrick Ashley - New South Wales,

Benjamin Courtice - Queensland

James Cunningham - Western Australia

I have also to inform the Senate that, pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution, I notified the LieutenantGovernor of South Australia of the vacancy caused in the representation of that State in the Senate by the resignation, by letter, of Senator Badman, and that I have received through His Excellency the Governor-General a certificate from the Lieutenant-Governor of the choice of Philip Albert Martin McBride as a senator to fill such vacancy.

Certificate laid on the table, and read by the Clerk.

Senators Ashley, Courtice, Cunningham and McBride made and subscribed the oath of allegiance.

Sitting suspended from 10.50 to 3 p.m.

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NOR-GENERAL entered the chamber, and, being seated, with the President on his right hand, a message was sent to the House of Representatives intimating that His Excellency desired the attendance forthwith of honorable members in the Senate chamber, who. being come with their Speaker,

HIS EXCELLENCY was pleased to deliver the following speech : -

Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives -

You have been called together to deliberate upon matters of importance to the well-being of the Commonwealth.

The principal aim of the foreign policy of my Government continues to be the preservation of peace and the promotion and maintenance of friendly relations with all countries. My Ministers consider that peace can best be assured by a respect on the part of all nations for the terms of international agreements and by a universal acceptance of the view that international differences should be settled by methods of conciliation and consultation. It was for these reasons that my Government associated Australia with the action taken by other States Members of the League of Nations in the present Sino-Japanese dispute and that Australia., as a signatory of the Nine Power Treaty of February, 1922, is represented at the Brussels Conference convened to seek a peaceful solution of the dispute.

My advisers would welcome a cordial understanding between the British Empire and the United States of America. In consultation with other Empire countries they will examine the difficult questions involved and will be prepared on behalf of Australia to play their part in the conclusion of a satisfactory understanding, provided they can be sure that the best interests of Australian industries and of Australia as a whole are adequately safeguarded. Full opportunity will be given to the representatives of Australian primary and secondary industries to express their views with regard both to the revision of the Ottawa agreement and to any proposed trade treaty with the United States of America. My Ministers feel that by co-operating in the American negotiations they will assist to stimulate world, trade and by so doing will improve the prospects of increased trade with foreign countries. They will continue to carry out their policy’ of encouraging Australian industries and of making, wherever possible, further trade treaties with other countries.

As a result of negotiations with His Majesty’s Government in Canada added protection was given: to certain Australian manufacturing industries, while reduction of the Canadian duties was arranged on a number of Australian export commodities including meats, fruit products and wines, which will materially benefit Australian producers and exporters.

My advisers propose to press on with the further strengthening of the defence of Australia along lines already laid down. Their plans provide for full cooperation with other parts of the Empire in measures for common’ defence against aggression, and for the full development of Australia’s resources to provide for its own security.

Negotiations between His Majesty’s Governments in the United Kingdom and Australia for the inauguration of an Empire air-mail scheme have now substantially been concluded on a satisfactory basis, although minor details are still receiving attention. The scheme provides for a thrice weekly service between England and Australia. Bills dealing with the ratification of the agreement will be submitted to Parliament.

Negotiations are proceeding between the Governments of the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand in regard to the conditions underwhich an air-mail service may be established between Australia and New Zealand to form a further link in the Empire service.

My Ministers will immediately proceed to frame appropriate legislation and to set up a suitable administration for national health and pensions insurance. In this task the Government will have the best expert advice available. In the formulation of the necessary details full opportunity will be taken of consultation with the friendly societies, the medical profession and other interested bodies or persons.

Officers of the Commonwealth and State Governments have made an exhaustive examination of various financial and administrative aspects of unemployment insurance. Having received a report on the results of this examination, my advisers will again approach the State governments with a view to arriving at a satisfactory solution of this problem.

Commonwealth and State loans to the extent of approximately £70,000,000 will mature in December, 1938. My advisers, through the Australian Loan Council, will, in due course, take such steps as are necessary to carry out the conversion of the maturing obligations.

It is proposed to introduce a bill to provide for the appointment of an Interstate Commission. Meanwhile the term of appointment of the members of the Commonwealth Grants Commission has been extended to 30th June, 1938.

My advisers have examined the recent report of the Royal Commission on the Monetary and Banking Systems in Australia, and will submit legislation to Parliament. In the first instance, a bill to establish a mortgage bank department of the Commonwealth Bank will be placed before Parliament.

The committee recently appointed to consider the problem of small loans to men in work is expected to complete its investigations and furnish its report at an early date.

With aview to providing relief to persons out of employment at Christmas time, my Ministers propose to ask Parliament to appropriate a sum of £100,000. It is intended that this money shall be used to enable the Commonwealth to undertake a number of minor works of such a nature as will provide employment for the greatest possible number of workers.

Consequent upon the volcanic disturbance in May last at Rabaul, the capital of the Mandated Territory of New Guinea, my advisers caused an investigation to be made by experts as to the possibility of future volcanic disturbances at Rabaul, with a view to arriving at a decision on the advisability of retaining Rabaul as the administrative capital of the territory. A report on the matter has now been received by my advisers who have given consideration to it, and have decided that, in view of the terms of the report, the administrative head-quarters must be removed from Rabaul. The report will be laid before both Houses of the Parliament.

My advisers propose to introduce a bill to regulate life and fire insurance throughout Australia, in an endeavour to. render uniform the legislative control which is at present exercised by the various States.

A bill will be submitted to provide for the liberalization of the law relating to maternity allowances.

My advisers will submit proposals for the appointment of a select committee representing both Houses of Parliament, to investigate and report upon the method of electing the Senate.

My Ministers have had under notice the condition of the aborigines of Australia. It is proposed to invite the Premiers of the States to confer with the Commonwealth with a view to the adoption of measures for the promotion of the well-being of the aborigines.

My Ministers propose to deal with the question of migration. Assistance will Bo given to British people nominated by their friends or. relatives in Australia, and child migration under organized schemes of representative bodies will be encouraged.

The fall in the birth rate and the loss in recent years by emigration of persons of British stock present a very serious problem, which is receiving the earnest consideration of my advisers.

A bill to provide for the adoption by the Commonwealth of the relevant portions of the Statute of Westminster will be introduced.

A bill to provide for the consolidation and amendment of the law relating to patents will be introduced. , A small committee is at present investigating the law relating to trade marks with a view to consolidating and amending legislation on that matter.

A bill to amend the Conciliation and Arbitration Act will be submitted to Parliament.

An amendment of the Seamen’s Compensation Act designed to bring the provisions of that legislation into line with modern conditions will be introduced.

My advisers will submit for your consideration a measure amending the Australian Soldiers’ Repatriation Act to provide that a wife married or a child born to an incapacitated soldier since 1st October, ,1931, and on or before 30th June, 193S, shall be eligible for consideration for a grant of war pension.

My Ministers propose to proceed with their programme of works for the extension of postal, telegraphic and telephonic services in the Commonwealth.

Plans are in preparation for the improvement and expansion of the national broadcasting service.

My Ministershave under consideration proposals for affording to the licensees of B class broadcasting stations a greater measure of security of tenure. Legislation on this matter will be submitted to Parliament.

An inquiry into the conditions of employment in allowance post offices is proceeding.

The estimates of expenditure for the present financial year will be submitted for your consideration forthwith.

In the earnest hope that Divine Providence may guide your deliberations and further the welfare of the people of the Commonwealth, I now leave you to the discharge of your high and important duties.

His Excellency the GovernorGeneral and members of the House of Representatives having retired,

The President (Senator the Hon. P. J. Lynch) took the chair, and read prayers.

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Representation in the Senate.

Senator A. J. McLACHLAN (South

Australia - Postmaster-General). - by leave - Consequent on the retirements of Senator the Right Honorable Sir George Pearce, the Honorable Sir Archdale Parkhill, the Honorable T. Paterson, M.P., Senator the Honorable T. C. Brennan and the Honorable J. A. J. Hunter, M.P., certain changes have been made in the Ministry, which is now constituted as follows : -

Prime Minister. - The Right Honorable J. A. Lyons, C.H., M.P

Minister for Commerce and Minister for Health. - The Right Honorable. E. C. G. Page, M.P

Attorney-General and Minister for Industry - The Right Honorable R. G. Menzies, K.C., M.P

Minister for External Affairs, Minister in charge of Territories and Vice-President of the Executive Council.- The Right Honorable W. M. Hughes, K.C., M.P.

Postmaster-General - Senator the Honorable A. J. McLachlan.

Minister for Trade and Customs. - The Honorable T. W. White, D.F.C., V.D., M.P

Treasurer and Minister in charge of Development and Scientific and Industrial Research. - The Honorable R. G. Casey, D.S.O., M.C., M.P.

Minister for Defence. - The Honorable H. V. C. Thorby, M.P.

Minister for the Interior. - The Honorable J. McEwen, M.P.

Minister for Repatriation and Minister in charge of War Service Homes. - Senator the Honorable H. S. Foll.

Minister without portfolio assisting the Minister for Trade and Customs and Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral in the House of Representatives. - The Honorable J. A. Perkins, M.P.

Minister without portfolio assisting the Minister for Commerce. - Senator the Honorable Allan N. MacDonald.

Minister without portfolio assisting the Treasurer and Minister representing the Minister for Repatriation in the House of Representatives. - The Honorable V. C. Thompson M.P.

Minister without portfolio assisting the Minister for Commerce. - The Honorable A. G. Cameron, M.P.

In connexion with the foregoing announcement, I desire to inform honorable senators that, in addition to acting as Postmaster-General, I shall represent, in the Senate, the Departments of the Prime Minister, Attorney-General, Treasury, External Affairs and Industry. Senator Foll, in addition to acting as Minister for Repatriation and War Service Homes, will, represent the Departments of Trade and Custom? and Defence. Senator Allan MacDonald, Assistant Minister, will represent the Departments of Commerce, Health and Interior.

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Leave of Absence

Senator A J McLACHLAN:
Postmaster-General · SOUTH AUSTRALIA · NAT

by leave - With the concurrence of the Government, His Excellency the GovernorGeneral, Lord Gowrie, proposes to proceed to England on six months’ leave commencing about the 20th March, 193S. During the absence of Lord Gowrie, His Excellency the Governor of Victoria, Lord Huntingfield, will administer the Government of the Commonwealth.

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Senator A J McLACHLAN:
Postmaster-General · SOUTH AUSTRALIA · NAT

by leave - I move -

That this Senate expresses its deep regret at the death of Major-General the Honorable Sir Granville de Laune Ryrie, K.C.M.G., CB., V.D., a former member of the New South Wales and Commonwealth Parliaments, Assistant Commonwealth Minister, and High Commissioner for Australia in London, places on record its appreciation of his . distinguished public service, and tenders its profound sympathy to his widow and family in their bereavement.

Since last we met, death has claimed a distinguished Australian in the person of Sir Granville Ryrie, who died in Sydney on the 2nd October last. The late Sir Granville had a record of service to his country, both as a soldier and as a public man, of -which any person might well be proud. Born some 72 years ago at Michelago, the late Sir Granville was for many years connected with the pastoral industry.

In 1906, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales as member for Queanbeyan, and held that seat until the expiration of the Parliament in 1909. In 1911 he entered the Federal Parliament as member for North Sydney, and was re-elected for that constituency in 1913, 1914, 1917 and 1919. He was elected, unopposed, for the new division of Warringah in 1922, and was again returned in 1925. From February, 1919, to February, 1922, he was Assistant Minister for Defence in the Hughes Ministry. In January, 1926, he was appointed a member of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts, and later became the chairman of the committee. In 1927, he was appointed High Commissioner for Australia in London in succession to Sir Joseph Cook.

His record of military service is equally distinguished. He served in the South African War in 1900 and 1901, for which service he received the Queen’s Medal with four clasps. Soon after the outbreak of the Great War he received an appointment as colonel in the Australian Imperial Force to command the Second Light Horse Brigade, head-quarters. A little later, he was appointed a brigadiergeneral. He saw active service in Egypt, and Palestine and on Gallipoli, being twice wounded and mentioned in despatches on five occasions. His Majesty the King conferred on him the honours of C.M.G., in 1916; CB., in 1918; and K.C.M.G., in 1919.

Such is a brief account of the late Sir Granville’s record of public service. On the personal side, too, he left a name that will be cherished by all who were privileged to know him. A typical Australian, his geniality and spirit of loyalty won for him many friends wherever he went. His courage and cheerfulness inspired his comrades in arms in the many battles in which he took part. In mourning his loss, we remember his widow and family, and offer to them our deep sympathy in their great bereavement.


– I second the motion. Members of the Opposition agree with the remarks of the mover regarding the distinguished services rendered to his country by the deceased gentleman, and join most sincerely in condoling with those of his family who are left to mourn his loss.

Senator HARDY:
New South Wales

– On behalf of the- members of the Country party, I desire to associate myself with the remarks of the Leader of the Senate and the Leader of the Opposition.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable senators standing in their places.

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Assent to the following bills reported : -

National Oil Proprietary Limited Agreement Bill 1937.

Australian Soldiers’ Repatriation Bill (No. 2) 1937.

War Service Homes Bill 1937.

High Commissioner ‘Bill 1937.

Science and Industry Research Bill 1937.

Superannuation Bill 1937.

States Grants (Fertilizer) Bill 1937.

Defence Equipment Bill 1937.

Customs Tariff Validation Bill 1937.

Customs Tariff (Exchange Adjustment) Validation Bill 1937.

Customs Tariff (Canadian ‘ Preference) Validation Bill 1937.

Excise Tariff Validation Bill 1937.

Papua and New Guinea Bounties Bill 1937.

Apple and Pear- Bounty Bill 1937.

States Grants (Youth Employment) Bill 1937.

Citrus Fruits Bounty Bill 1937.

Wine Grapes Charges Bill 1937.

Dairy Produce Export’ Charges Bill 1937.

Commonwealth Public Service Bill 1937.

Dairy Produce Export Control Bill 1937.

Dried Fruits Export Control Bill 1937.

Therapeutic Substances Bill 1937.

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The following papers were presented : -

Arbitration (Public Service) Act - Determination by the Arbitrator, &c. - No. 16 of 1937 - Postal Overseers’ Union of Australia.

Commonwealth Bank Act - Treasurer’s Statement of the Combined Accounts of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Commonwealth Savings Bank . at 30th June, 1937, certified to by the AuditorGeneral,

Commonwealth Public Service Act -

Appointments - Department of -

Attorney-General - G. P. Falls.

Health- H. M. Franklanda, K. R. Gay, C. S. Graham, and 3: 3. M. Kenny.

Interior - P. T. Dale, L. J. Dwyer, H. J. Gates. J. N. McRae, A. E. Maguire, H. F. Newell, N. J. Reynolds,J. W. Rodan, F. G. G. Rose, and E. M. Shackell.

Parliamentary Reporting Staff- - J. R. Odgers.

Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1937, No. 100- No. 103.

New Guinea Act - Ordinances of 1937 -

No. 25 - Appropriation (No. 3) 1936- 1937.

No. 26 - Administration and Probate (No. 2).

No. 27 - Administrator’s Powers.

No. 28- Motor Traffic (No. 2).

No. 29 - Oriminal Code Amendment.

No. 30 - Forestry.

No. 31 - District Courts.

No. 32 - Appropriation 1937-1938.

Patents Act - Regulations amended - Statu tory Rules 1937, No. 101.

Wireless Telegraphy Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1937, No. 102.

Defence Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1937, No. 99.

Naval Defence Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1937, No. 100.

Canned Fruits Export Control Act - ‘ Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1937, No. 98- No. 105.

Lands Acquisition Act - Land acquired at - Bankstown, New South Wales - For

Postal purposes.

Burwood, Victoria - For Postal purposes.

Chowder Bay, New South Wales - For Defence purposes.

Coffs Harbour, New South Wales - For Defence purposes.

Concord, New South Wales - For Postal purposes.

Cooktown, Queensland - For Defence purposes.

Essendon, Victoria - For Defence purposes.

Oodnadatta, South Australia - For Defence purposes.

Meat Export Charges Act- Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1937, No. 97.

Navigation Act - -Regulations - Statutory Rules 1937, No. 104.

Northern Territory Acceptance Actand Northern Territory (Administration) Act - Ordinances of 1937 -

No.6 - Licensed Surveyors.

No. 7 - Aboriginals (No. 2).

No. 8 - Alice Springs Administration.

Seat of Government Acceptance Act and Seat of Government (Administration) Act - Ordinances of 1937 -

No. 15 - Canberra -Community Hospital Board (No. 2).

No. 16 - Canberra Community Hospital Board (No. 3).

No. 17 - Advisory Council.

Public Health Ordinance - Regulations amended (4).

Rabaul - Reporton Vulcanological and Seismological Investigations at Rabaul by Dr. Ch. E. Stehn, Director of the Netherlands Indies Vulcanological Survey, and W. G. Woolnough, D.Sc, Geological Adviser to the Commonwealth Government.

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The PRESIDENT(Senator the Hon P T Lynch:

-I have to report that, for greater accuracy, I have obtained from His Excellency the Governor-General a copy of the Opening Speech which His Excellency was pleased to deliver to both Houses of Parliament.

Ordered -

That the consideration of the Speech be an order of the day for the next day of sitting.

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Motion (by Senator A. J. McLachlan) agreed to -

That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn till to-morrow at 3 p.m.

The Senate adjourned at 3.43 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 30 November 1937, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.