15th Parliament · 1st Session
The Senate, on the 16th June, 1939, adjourned till a day and hour to be fixed and to be notified by the President to each honorable senator.
The Senate met at 3 p.m., pursuant to the notification of the President.
The President (Senator the Hon. J. B. Hayes) took the chair, and read prayers.
– I have received the following communication from His Excellency the Governor- General : -
By proclamation dated 2nd September, 1939, issued in pursuance of section 46 of the Defence Act 1903-1939, I have, with the advice of the Federal Executive Council, called out the Citizen Forces for war service, and pursuant to that section I communicate to the Senate that the reason for calling out the Citizen Forces was the existence of danger of war.
– I lay on the table of the Senate the following paper : -
Text of Documents exchanged between the United Kingdom and German Governments from 22nd August, 1939, to the outbreak of war. 3rd September,1939, and move -
That the paper be printed.
These documents illustrate, with the greatest clearness, the main stages in those fateful two weeks. As will be seen from their perusal, they set, in high relief, the strenuous and wholehearted efforts of the British Government to arrest that drift to war which grew suddenly in rapidity from the beginning of August onwards. They show with equal clarity the arrogant methods, and the tortuous and deceitful diplomacy, which have for long marked the policy of the National Socialist Government in Germany, and which reached a climax in the attack on Poland, without warning, at dawn on the 1st September.
I need not go back into the origins of the particular dispute between Germany and Poland, which has been made the pretext for this German aggression. We know that the status of Danzig as a free city and the creation of a Polish corridor to the sea, represented in the eyes of those who made the peace treaties, a fair settlement of the tangled questions in this region. It was a settlement which, in course of time, no doubt, could have been made the subject of some. modification by agreement with the main parties concerned, if modification had been found necessary.
In March of this year, however, the German Government, flushed with its successes in the seizure of Austria, Czechoslovakia and Memel Land, suddenly presented Poland with a demand for the outright return of Danzig to the German Reich and the cession of territory in the Polish Corridor. When we remember that the seizure of Czechoslovakia was undertaken in direct contradiction of assurances given by the German Chancellor in September of last year, and that, every enunciation of German policy at that time revealed the doctrine of living space for Germany as a definite menace to the independence of all Germany’s neighbours, it is understandable that the Polish Government should have regarded these demands with the greatest caution.
The Polish Government felt that any initial concession to Germany of this nature might be used as a lever for a future attack on Polish integrity, and that German assurances to the contrary were not to be trusted. The Polish Government, however, put forward counter proposals which might reasonably be expected to lead to eventual negotiation. It was the first intimation of the methods to be followed subsequently by Germany, that this attitude was proclaimed by the German Government as an obstinate rejection of a fair German offer.
At the end of March, the British Government, in the closest co-operation with France, was engaged in forming a system of defence in eastern Europe against the further exercise by Germany of the methods of violence employed by it against Czechoslovakia. When there appeared some reason to fear that German demands against Poland might also be backed by an attempt at intimidation, the British Government, in advance of a general arrangement contemplated, made a particular guarantee to Poland that it would receive British support in defence of its vital interests against aggression.
This was a step which reflected the strong movement in British opinion, and in opinion here and in other parts of the British Commonwealth, caused by the German actions of March. It was on the 23rd March that Mr. Chamberlain, in a speech that marked the turning point in British policy, declared that if it was proved that Germany was attempting the domination of Europe by force, then that attempt would call forth strenuous resistance by Great Britain and other countries. It was only a week later, on the 31st March, that this determination on the part of Great Britain was given its first expression in the guarantee to Poland.
In the months that followed, nothing could have been clearer than the insistence of spokesmen of the British Government that this guarantee would be honoured if the necessity arose. To leave no possible doubt, it was more than once emphasized that the guarantee covered also the particular case of Danzig and the Corridor. If, as it did, the Polish Government considered this question vital to Poland, then Poland was assured of British support in the defence of its interests against attack.
As to the Commonwealth, the Prime Minister said explicitly in May that British efforts to build a front against further aggression in Europe had the support of Australia, and that if, in consequence of the obligations undertaken, Great Britain were involved in war, Australia also would be at war.
It was the opinion of the British Government nevertheless, and of the Commonwealth Government also, that there were no questions between Germany and Poland which could not be settled by direct negotiation. Coming to the most recent period, in particular, the period covered by this White Paper, we find that this view was put forward time and again in the proper quarters with the utmost emphasis. Throughout the months from March to August, German-Polish relations remained at a deadlock, but as August drew on, it became evident that the German Government was resolved to have a solution at an early date. We see in the communications which passed between London and Berlin from the 22nd August onwards the hope, and the firm determination of the British Government, that this solution should, if humanly possible, be a peaceful one. In his personal letter to Hitler of the 22nd August, Mr. Chamberlain said -
I cannot see that there is anything in the questions between Germany and Poland which could not, and should not be resolved without the use of force.
He also said in the plainest words which diplomacy can command that there should be no misunderstanding of the position of the British Government if Germany should resort to other than peaceful methods.
What was the nature of the German reply? First, the German Chancellor declared that his demands with respect to Danzig and the Corridor could not be the subject of compromise. Secondly, in a hardly disguised attempt to buy off Great Britain from her obligations, the Chancellor made the proposition that once German claims against Poland were satisfied he would offer the British Empire his friendship, would negotiate on colonies, and would accept some limitation of armaments. The price, it was clear, was to be a British inducement to Poland to surrender.
I need not at the moment traverse the ensuing communications between the German and British Governments except to say that this offer, if it was an offer, on the part of the German Chancellor was rejected on the terms which he put forward. The British Government, he was told, would not, for any advantage offered to itself, default on its promises.
I wish to speak briefly now of the final stage in these exchanges. On the 30th August, the German Government accepted the British suggestion that it should undertake direct negotiation with Poland. It was stated that proposals were being drawn up and would, if possible, be communicated to the British Government prior to the initiation of the direct discussion in which, it was understood, the British Government would arrange for the Polish participation. In pursuance of this understanding, the British Government got in touch with the Polish Government, although it considered unreasonable, and said so in Berlin, the German demand that a Polish representative should attend in Berlin on the following day. the 30th August.
At midnight on the 30th, however, the British Ambassador in Berlin was informed verbally by the German Foreign Minister of the German proposals and told that as a Polish representative had not by that time arrived, the German Government considered the proposals to have been rejected.
On the following evening, although the Polish Ambassador in Berlin had meanwhile got into touch with the German Government, the proposals were given out publicly over the German official wireless station. That night the German armed forces were set in motion across the Polish frontier.
Looking back on this astounding episode, we find that the German proposals, whether or not they might have been regarded as a basis for negotiations, were not communicated to the British or Polish Governments in time for their consideration with that purpose in view. The conclusion is inescapable that they were not drawn up in good faith and that, as before, when the German Government spoke of negotiation, it had nothing in mind but the enforced acceptance of terms dictated by itself.
Here, undisguised at last, was the doctrine of force, of dictatorial arrogance applied to an independent people, a doctrine against which Great Britain and the democracies associated with it had striven to erect a barrier since the true colour and meaning of National-Socialist Germanyhad become plain in March. It is a doctrine which we and all free peoples who believe in decent, reasonable and humane intercourse between nations are bound to resist and bound to overcome, unless we also in our turn are to perish.
– The Senate has re-assembled to-day in probably the most sad and solemn circumstances in which it has ever met. Yesterday His Majesty’s Opposition met in caucus in this building. Every member of the Opposition in both branches of the legislature was present. At that meeting - although the Opposition has a policy relative to the very serious problems that confront the world at the moment - we thought it right and fitting that we should declare briefly where we stand at the present juncture. This is our declaration, which I now place on record -
The Australian Labour parly affirms its traditional horror of war, and of its belief that international disputes should be settled by arbitration.
It deplores the fact that force instead of negotiation and discussion has plunged the peoples into war. It believes that resistance to force and armed aggression is inevitable if attacks on free and independent peoples are to be averted.
In this crisis, facing the reality of war, the Labour party stands for its platform. That platform is clear. We stand for the maintenance of Australia as an integral part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Therefore, the party will do all that is possible to safeguard Australia and, at the same time, having regard to its platform, will do its utmost to maintain the integrity of the British Commonwealth.
As to the conduct of Australian affairs during this unhappy period, the Australian Labour party will preserve its separate entity, lt will give support to measures having for their object the welfare and safety of the Australian people and of thi British Commonwealth of Nations.
We take the view that these measures should include the immediate control by the Commonwealth Government of all essential raw materials, and the resumption by the Government of the factories associated with the production of munitions and war equipment.
There must be a rigid control of commodity prices and house rents, so that war profiteering will become impossible. Interest rates must be kept within bounds, and the monetary system re-adjusted so that the national debt bo kept as low hp possible.
The democratic rights of the people must be safeguarded to the maximum. The very minimum of interference with the civic liberties of the people should be the objective of the Government in carrying through its measures for national security. To ensure that this is to be done, it is essential that the Parliament of the Commonwealth should remain in session.
Those are the exact terms of the declaration which we make this afternoon to the Senate, and to the people of the Commonwealth. Briefly, our declaration means that we have declined to become a part of the suggested national government. We do that, not because wo underestimate the seriousness of the problem confronting the nation, but because we believe that we can contribute our greatest measure of support to those things which are essential to the preservation of the integrity of the Australian Commonwealth by keeping intact our position as an Opposition, supporting those actions of the Government of which we approve, and questioning, in an endeavour to improve them, those matters -with which, at the moment, we may find ourselves not in complete agreement. Nobody, I think, will suggest that we arc wrong becausewc nsk that every effort should be made to protect every citizen of the Commonwealth from any kind of profiteering in respect of the needs of the nation during this period of national emergency. That surely cannot be questioned. That policy and the opinion that Parliament should be kept in session, are the main points of our declaration. Of the actual defence policy of the Australian Labour party there is no need to say anything. That policy has been stated in this chamber and throughout the Commonwealth very freely in the years in which Australia’s defence hae been under consideration.
I repeat that this is a sad and solemn occasion. For a few moments I should like to put some thoughts before the Senate which, I think, it essential, fitting, and proper that we should consider. Almost twelve months ago we met in this chamber at midnight when the stress was very serious, and we were afraid almost to speak. We were afraid to read what the morning newspapers contained : we feared that the very thing -that has happened during the last few days would happen then. We were relieved, therefore, by the action then taken. There may be differences of opinion as to the value and wisdom of that action. I said on that occasion, and I repeat now, that the present leader of the United Kingdom government made a splendid attempt to reach a solution of the difficulty by negotiation rather than by an appeal to arms. Differences of opinion exist as to the wisdom of that action. It has been said that we paid too big a price for peace ; but I suggest that we should now ask ourselves rather what price we shall always have to pay for war. Of that, I shall have something further to say later.
Thisis a sad occasion. After two thousand years Christianity appears to have failed. But Christianity has not failed; real Christianity has never been given a chance. Nor has democracy failed ; real democracy has never been tried. If I leave one thought in the minds of honorable senators to-day which I consider to be of greater importance than any other it is this: governments have tried right down the years to avoid the catas- trophe of war, but have failed. Therefore, it is obvious that, not this week, not next month and probably not next yearwe cannot know for how long this conflict will last - but at some time, somewhere, somehow, somebody must get back to fundamentals and find a way out of this terrific problem. Even those of us who feel most deeply on this subject find it. almost impossible to conceive of the magnitude of the disaster which is upon us. One cannot believe in the Fatherhood of God without immediately accepting the tremendous responsibility of the brotherhood: of man. So, I repeat, at some time, somehow, somewhere, somebody must evolve a method whereby international brotherhood will become a possibility, if forno higher reason than the salvation of civilization and everything it stand’s for from final and complete extinction. For a few moments I wish to pursue that thought. We boast of our civilization, but just a little below the surface we are savages yet. Probably this is not the best opportunity to allocate blame or even to diagnose the disease,, let. alone suggest a remedy. But we must face the realities of the situation. Without reservation I say that whatever criticism may be levelled against the
British Commonwealth of Nations, whatever defects some may see in existing conditions, we, at least, must admit that in the British Commonwealth of Nations there exist impelling motives of policy, more or less obvious according to the times, towards a greater measure of liberty and freedom than exists in some countries outside- that group. In respeet of that, we in Australia should feel not only gratitude but also pride. At least in this, country we can have our organizations, political, industrial, economic; we have at least a parliament elected on a universal suffrage by which every unit in- the community is equal at the polling booth ;. we have at least liberty to express our opinions, however misguided or objectionable, to others they may be ; we have the right of association; we have in numerous other directions freedom - not perhaps so great as some of us would like, but still immeasurably greater than exists in other countries. Because we are enjoying those liberties and. that comparatively greater measure of freedom, we have built up over the years in Australia a democracy which we all agree, despite our criticism of it. at times, is equal to, if not better than, the democracy of any other part of the world. However, there is still much for us to do. We must he careful, as the Labour party’s declaration which I have just read sets out, that during the serious times ahead we save, by united action and co-operation, as much as we possibly can from the wreck. I believe that a man whose life has been worth while leaves behind at his death an example and memory that will give encouragement and guidance to his successors; and in this great struggle, during which we shall be unable to escape the burial for a long time of many of those things we hold dear, we must at least save as much from the wreck as we possibly can. To that end’ I assure honorable senators sitting on the Government side and you, Mr. President, that we of the Opposition will be ever watchful. We believe that out of the struggle we must learn wisdom for the future, particularly when we remember that in the short space of the lives of the younger members of this chamber we have had to go twice through the ordeal of war. I, in my longer life, have had more than two such experiences. Therefore, we must resolve to learn from the bitter experiences of the past ; while keeping our minds on the objectives we have set ourselves in this great struggle, we must at the same time gather knowledge and wisdom so that immediately peace is restored, we may set about the building of a new world. It is one of the horrors of the futility of war that it settles nothing and destroys much, and that when it is all over we must get back to what we- ask for at the beginning - peace by negotiation. Let us make up our minds, difficult though that be, while we are faced with the terrible realities of the situation, that when we reach the stage of negotiating peace, those of us who are left and are then in positions of responsibility will set ourselves to build a. new world on a new basis - a new order in which it will be impossible for this dreadful thing ever to occur again.
I should like for a moment to return to the phases of the declaration that I have read. One is the keeping down of the national debt to a minimum. I realize that the Government would not countenance what I in more favorable time would suggest as a means of financing this titanic struggle, but I still think that it is fitting that I should remind the Government that there will be years after the war, when the reconstruction period will be upon us. The Government has an illustrious example, if it will follow Great Britain in the matter of finance. In the Times weekly edition of Wednesday, the 19’th April last, the following suggestion was made by J. M. Keynes, who speaks with some authority on financial matters : -
It would be well for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to announce that in no circumstances will he offer loans carrying a rate of interest in excess of 2 J per cent. In the first instance, a large addition to the volume of treasury bills will be right and probably inevitable. Thereafter loans of varying maturities might be offered with rates of interest rising according to maturity from to 2) per cent.
I thought it appropriate to mention that, because in our declaration we state definitely our attitude to the problem of finance. May I be excused also if at this stage I say something about the cost of war, and also about what we might do if we were prepared to pay the same price in money for peace as we are apparently always prepared to pay for war? It is well known to every honorable senator that the Opposition has never objected to the amount of money which the Government has sought to provide for defence. The Opposition may at times have been critical of the direction in which particular sums were being expended, but it has never cavilled at the actual amount which the Government has stated to be essential for the protection of the Commonwealth. Nor will the Opposition cavil at such expenditure in the future. A tremendous responsibility rests upon the present Government, and any government in office at this juncture would have to take the steps considered essential for the defence of our people.
I desire this afternoon to stress a point which I may not have an opportunity to emphasize again until this war ig over. I refer to the fact that the reconstruction period must come, and that we must then build a new world, because the old order has failed. We must have a different system if we are to bring about different results. Let me state briefly what the last world war cost, and what may be done in the ‘ way of reconstruction if there is a moral or, if you will, a spiritual regeneration of each individual. If every one of us, regardless of political alignments, will determine this afternoon that as the old system has failed a now one which the world has not tried before must be evolved, we must come to the conclusion that in. building a new order we must be just as lavish in our expenditure as we are to-day in destroying the existing one. That is actually what it amounts to, . because for months, and probably for years, all that is best in human thought will be trampled under foot. Whilst we pray that right may ultimately triumph, it will not triumph unless we as individuals, as communities and as nations are right. The figures relating to the cost of the last war are staggering. The cost to all the belligerents from 1914 to 1918 was £37,000,000,000. The total value of destroyed property, the monetary loss through the death of soldiers and civilians, the losses in production, the losses sustained by neutral countries, and the expenditure on relief works during the war period reached the colossal sum of £67,569,000,000.
According to the best statistics obtainable, the world war cost 30,000,000 lives and destroyed property worth £80,000,000,000. With that amount, a house costing £500 and containing furniture worth £200 could have been placed on 5 acres of land worth £20 an acre, and given to every family in the United States of America, Canada, Australia, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, Belgium, Germany andRussia. After that had been done, there would have been enough money left to give to each city of 200,000 inhabitants and over, in all of those countries, a library costing £1,000,000, a hospital of similar value, and a university costing £2,000,000. Even then, out of the balance there would still have been sufficient money to set aside a sum which, at 5 per cent. interest per annum, would have paid, for all time, a salary of £200 each to 125,000 teachers, and an equal number of nurses. Having done all that, there would still have been left, out of the £80,000,000,000, enough to buy all of France and Belgium and everything of value in those countries - farms, homes, factories, churches, railroads, street cars, &c. - at the valuation placed on them in 1914. The authority for that statement is E. L. Bogart, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: it is contained in Preliminary Economic Studies of War, No. 24, and in the Congressional Records of the United States of America, dated the 13 th January, 1928, page 1446. I have cited those figures, because I hope that out of all this disaster good results will come; that right will triumph, and that when the struggle is over and when this National Parliament has again to devise a national policy for Australia, as an integral part of the British Commonwealth of Nations, its members will remember the price paid for the war of 1914-18 and also the cost of this present war. Those who then will have the wonderful privilege and opportunity to devise a national policy for Australia will need some new thinking in order to build a new and better world order. I hope that we shall make up our minds now to learn the lesson, and profit by our experiences, in order that we may gain the wisdom necessary to guide us in the future.
There can never be any glory in war. In the existing circumstances, war may be right; but there is nothing glorious about it. On the contrary, it is a bad and horrible business. But we have to go through with it. That is the position at which we have arrived. At this stage, it is useless to talk about what might have been, for we are faced with the tremendous reality of war. I am not unmindful of the difficulty of clear thinking at a time like this, but I am trying this afternoon to express views which I believe ought to be expressed. T. do not want to be a pessimist, to preach disaster, or even to think of failure; but I do want that each of us shall come to the conclusion, to which I came a long while ago, that the methods which have been adopted by the world have inevitably led to the position in which we now find ourselves, and should be reviewed and revised. I want each of us to determine now that things cannot go on as in the past.. Everything that is worth while in life, except, perhaps, the facing of the final loss of liberty and freedom, is in jeopardy. The disaster is here. Surely it must be obvious that similar circumstances must never arise again, if human ingenuity, thought, wisdom, and culture, are worth anything at all. Before concluding, I wish to read the following statement by Bertrand Russell: -
The world that we must seek is a world in which the creative spirit is alive, in which life is an adventure full of joy and hope, based rather upon the impulse to construct than upon the desire to retain what we possess or to seize what is possessed by others. It must be a world in which affection has free play, in which love is purged of the instinct for domination, in which cruelty and envy have been dispelled by happiness and the unfettered development of all the instincts that build up life and fill it with mental delights. Such a world is possible; it waits only for men to wish to create it. Meantime the world in which we exist has other aims. But it will pass away, burnt up in the fire of its own hot passions; and from its ashes will spring a new and younger world, full of fresh hope with the light of morning in its eyes.
I make a final appeal to men who, like myself, are old. We shall not be in the world to see its regeneration ; but we can visualize it now, and we can work forit now - that newer, younger and better world, full of fresh hope and with the light of morning in its eyes.
– Every honorable senator will thank the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) for his ennobling words. In this darkest hour in the world’s history, any man in a position of responsibility who has the courage to do, or to say, anything that will lift the level of thinking by the people of his own country and, indeed, of the world generally, is rendering no slight service to humanity. Words such as those of the honorable senator must contribute to that better order which he visualized, notwithstanding that in the meantime the world seems to be destined to pass through another Gethsemane. It seems to be almost a rule of Nature that man can learn only from his sufferings.
– Not always.
– As my honorable friend has reminded us, man refuses sometimes to learn the lesson even from his sufferings. Probably the recurrence of the horror of war is the result of our refusal to learn the lesson that conflict between the nations threaten all that we hold dear.
I was impressed by the words used by the Leader ofthe Opposition in opening his speech, because last Sunday evening, in an address on the need for better international understanding, which I delivered to a congregation in a large church in Sydney, I used the same phrase that those who prate about the Fatherhood of God cannot deny the brotherhood of man. I believe that very many people, no matter how conservative they may seem to be in the eyes of our friends opposite, are in agreement, with the honorable gentleman, that it is our duty as citizens of the Commonwealth tostrive at all times to better the conditions of the people. We may at times differ as to the methods to be adopted; we may not perhaps agree with the honorable senator and some of his colleagues as to the wisdom of rapidly achieving the desired goal, hut we none the less, I hope, hold the same ideal and we none the less realize that it is due entirely to the level of thinking of the present, and, perhaps, past generations that we now have to face the terror and fear of war with all that it means to all the people involved in it.
I said on an earlier occasion in this chamber that I remember well the man who was credited with having been the father of aviation. I refer to the late Lawrence Hargrave. I was privileged to know him, and frequently saw him at work upon his models of flying machines. I very clearly remember the scepticism with which people regarded his experiments. I have no doubt that if he had said that one day men would fly in machines, nine-tenths of the people would have shaken their heads sympathetically and have suggested that Hargrave was just a mild lunatic. But the idea which Hargrave had in mind has become an accomplished fact. Machines such as those flown by the winner of the Victorian centenary air race have since become death-dealing bombing aeroplanes in war.
If only such wonderful inventions as aeroplanes and other benefits of science could be regarded by mankind as instruments to improve the friendly intercourse, commerce and understanding between the peoples of the world, instead of as a means to destroy human lives, the happiness of people, and the beautiful edifices erected in the principal cities of all countries, what a different world this would be.
I have frequently advocated that an earnest attempt should be made . to bring about a better international understanding. Because there has not been a genuine desire to use scientific achievements in this way, the world now is full of mistrust, fear, suspicion, hatred, greed and envy. The leader of one nation, lustfiil for more power, seeks to dominate and subjugate neighbouring nations. As a consequence, we in this country, as the Leader of the Opposition has told us, are now fighting for the very existence ofthis democracy. We must not deceive ourselves. We must not blind ourselves to the fact that if we go down in this dreadful struggle we shall lose all that we value most. We shall lose the right to the free expression of public opinion, a right in which my honorable friend so properly rejoices; . we we shall lose the right to stand up in this chamber to criticize political opponents freely and without fear that our relatives or friends may be liable to suffer or be penalized because of the opinions we hold. Every man’s conscience is an attribute of God himself. Every man has the right to the free exercise of that conscience. It is because of this threat, that we are to-day unitedly, I hope, prepared to fight in defence of our liberties, as we fought twenty years ago in order to end war and make, this world safe for democracy. I believe that we appreciate more highly the liberties which we enjoy under our democratic system when we hear of the pitiful cramping of the. lives of people in other countries. We have been told by some of those unfortunate refugees who lately have made their homes in the Commonwealth that even in this country they dare not tell us of their trials and tribulations in their own land because of the fear that if they do, word will be sent back to their countries and friend’s or relatives left behind will be made to suffer. Let, us thank God that in this time of trouble we have in Great Britain statesmen with the spirit of British freedom and courageous enough to tell the aggressors that this state of things must be brought to an end.
In the struggle upon which we have entered we must, not fail. I think I speak for every member of this chamber when I. say that, failure is unthinkable. But if. alas, we should fail, life would not be worth living. In this great struggle, the forces of right must triumph over the forces of evil. Though the struggle may be a bitter one, in the end right must triumph.Recognizing the principle that the brotherhood of man is but a small portion of the brotherhood of mankind, let us stand shoulder to shoulder in the firm resolve to endure every sacrifice, individually and collectively, that may be necessary in order to ensure final victory.
There is just one other thought which I should like to express. It was hinted at by the Leader of the Opposition. I should like to suggest to the Government, to the people and to the press of this country that our ability to suc ceed in this war depends upon our determination to deal fairly with all sections of the people in the Commonwealth, and to see that all are contented, as far as that may be possible in these unhappy circumstances. We must not permit a repetition of the unhappy economic conditions that obtained at the end of the last war. Our people must be properly housed, clothed and fed. To this end we must, during this crisis, avoid needless party disputes and prejudices which in the heat of debate sometimes get uppermost in our minds. We must, as I have said, stand shoulder to shoulder in our determination to ensure the welfare and contentment of the Australian people, realizing that only in that way can we put up- a sound and fearless fight in defence of democratic institutions which are so dear to the hearts of all our people. SoI commend our country, as the Prime Minister has said, to the help of Almighty God in complete confidence and trust that the underlying principle which governs the whole universe or universes, call it what we will, the principle which makes for harmony, mathematical precision, and welfare rather than disorder, disruption and disharmony, will be on the side of those, who are fighting for what is right. It is not merely patriotic clap-trap to say that we conscientiously believe that in this war our nation and the great French nation are fighting side by side in order that right may prevail in the world.
.- The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) has stated the attitude of the Opposition in this grave crisis. I agree with the manifesto which he read. I remind honorable senators that less than a year ago, in my comments on the financial order under which we live, I said that the present financial system had brought the world to a condition of poverty and chaos and was rapidly edging us into a war that would destroy our civilization. Unfortunately, that statement has come true. To-day, Australia is faced with the most grave crisis in it’s history. The manifesto read by my leader declares that interest rates must be kept down and the monetary system re-adjusted so that the national debt may bo kept as low as possible-. My leader also cited the views of Mr. J. M. Keynes, the noted English authority on finance, who said -
Loans issued by the British Government should not bear interest in excess of 2½ per cent.
Whilst that may be all right in England, it does not follow that we should do the same in Australia. England has never had a bank established on the lines of the Commonwealth Bank. A great many people believe that the Bank of England is controlled by the British Government. That is not so. The Commonwealth Bank is the only institution in the history of the world that was established by the people for the definite purpose of functioning in the interests of the people. The royal commission which inquired into our monetary and banking systems a few years ago stated quite definitely that the Commonwealth Bank could issue interest-free money to the Government. On more than one occasionI have urged that this should be the policy of the Government with regard to all loans in connexion with war expenditure. Prior to the Christmas vacation, I asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister if an opportunity would be given to discuss the finding of the royal commission before the Senate adjourned for the recess, and was informed that such an opportunity would be given to us. That promise was not fulfilled. We have not yet had a discussion on that report and the Government is continuing to employ orthodox methods for the raising of money.
– The honorable senator has himself discussed the report on several occasions.
– I have compared the financial systems of Great Britain and Australia, but I have not had an opportunity to discuss the report of the commission. I am showing what should be done. It is necessary to continue to remind honorable senators of their responsibility to the taxpayers. The Commonwealth Government proposes to borrow £78,000,000 for defence purposes.
– Who said that?
– That statement was made in this chamber last year.
– It was not.
– Already the Government has appropriated £10,000,000 under the old orthodox system which means that the standard of living of those who have to pay the interest bill will necessarily be lowered. Already the Commonwealth is paying £1,000,000 a week in interest, and to-day our national debt is approximately £1,300,000,000 or nearly twice as great as the national debt of Great Britain, with a population of 40,000,000 persons, prior to 1914. The policy of this Government is to increase Australia’s national indebtedness by additional borrowing for war purposes. It has been stated that the Government proposes to expend £78,000,000 on defence.
– Previously the honorable senator said that the Government proposed to borrow that amount; there is a difference between borrowing and spending.
– What is the use of borrowing money if it is not expended ?
– Some of the money proposed to be expended for defence purposes will be raised by means other than borrowing.
– I am more concerned with the manner in which the money is to be raised than the way in which it is to be expended. We cannot afford to be extravagant and pay an interest rate of 4 per cent. on scores of millions of pounds when all the credit we require can be made available free of interest through the Commonwealth Bank.
– What amount would the honorable senator’s bank he prepared to loan?
– I have complained previously in this chamber of the levity displayed by some honorable senators and Ministers concerning matters of national importance. Honorable senators will recall that the late Prime Minister said “My Government will not listen to any unorthodox methods of finance in regard to war expenditure “. Last year the national debt was increased by over £10,000,000, and so far we have borrowed only one-seventh of the £78,000,000 that is to be expended for defence purposes. It is true that the people of Australia will provide some of the money by means of taxes. The Government will soon know something of the cost of war if it borrows at 4 per cent, when it has the power to obtain the credit it requires through the Commonwealth Bank free of interest. I have asked on several occasions whether that statement is true and no member of the Government has denied its accuracy. We have heard flippant remarks; but no one has denied the accuracy of what I have said concerning finance. It may be necessary to raise money in England in the orthodox way, but it is not necessary in Australia. The Royal Commission on Banking said that credit could be made available to the Commonwealth through the Commonwealth Bank free of interest. The chairman of the Royal Commission on Banking and Monetary Reform, who was a judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia, said that if at any time there is a difference of opinion between the Commonwealth Government and the policy of the Commonwealth Bank Board, there should be frank discussion between the two authorities. Should the difference be irreconcilable the Government could tell the Commonwealth Bank Board what to do, and that the Government could take full responsibility for its action. Some time ago I asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister why the Prime Minister would not instruct the Commonwealth Bank Board to issue sufficient credit to meet the cost of the adequate defence of Australia and I received only a garbled reply, through the then Postmaster-General, to the effect that the Prime Minister was not prepared to instruct the Commonwealth Bank Board to issue credit free of interest”. The condition for the adequate defence of Australia was left out. That statement, which was not an answer to my question, was made before the outbreak of hostilities, but the nation is now at war. I ask whether the present Prime Minister is prepared to instruct the Commonwealth Bank Board to issue to the Commonwealth credit free of interest. The Commonwealth has adequate constitutional and legislative power to do so. How can we have democratic government if the power of the Parliament is strangled and the Commonwealth Bank Board is stronger than the Government?
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. J. B. Hayes). - I remind the honorable senator that the subject before the Senate is the text of certain documents which have passed between the Government of the United Kingdom and the German Government. I do not wish to interrupt the honorable senator, but I would suggest that a more appropriate occasion will occur for him to deal with the subject of finance.
– I have said previously that countries are ruled not by statesmen, but by financiers whose power is stronger than Parliament. A report issued by the Secret Service of America Government to the French Government regarding the activities of high finance, stated that the financial firm of Kulin Loeb and Company in New York financed the Russian Revolution. I have always maintained that the statesmen are not the rulers. There is a sinister influence over every statesman. We have not yet got down to fundamentals regarding the cost of wars. A few months ago, I read a statement in the Senate which I believe to be the most important that had ever come before this chamber ; but not one line of it appeared in the press. Personally, I do not care what the newspapers do or do not publish, but not one Australian newspaper gave that important pronouncement one line. That is only a part of the plot to keep from the people the fundamental causes of war.
– Perhaps they thought it was not worth a line.
– This is a serious matter to me. It is very important to know how the money to be used for war purposes is to be raised. Some honorable senators treat this problem very lightly. I am an old man to come all the way to Canberra in order to express the faith that is in me. I do not mind if I am laughed at and my suggestions ridiculed; but do honorable senators realize the onerous position which we occupy, and the far-reaching effects of our deliberations in this chamber ? We are assisting to make laws under which millions have to live. The laws may be good or bad, but the people have to take the consequences. On another occasion I shall have more to say concerning the way in which money should be raised for financing war..
– The war now being waged in Europe has its origin mainly in the economic conditions under which we live. Competing imperialisms having developed, one of two alternatives must be adopted. These imperialisms mustuse their surplus wealth either to raise the cultural level and social status of their people or for the purposes of war. In this instance, the ruling power of Germany has chosen to use its surplus wealth for war purposes. Herr Hitler has said that Germany must expand, and from the point of view of Germany that is perfectly true. Unless; an international war be waged by Germany, that country will be faced with a civil war within its boundaries, and in my opinion Germany will in any case be f aced by a civil war as one of the results of the present conflict. The last Great War acted as an accelerator in industrial and sociological development, and in Germany, and to a lesser degree in other countries, the effect was to improve the technique or the methods of production almost beyond recognition, and in many instances to reduce the status of millions of skilled artisans to the level of semi-skilled workers and also to reduce the status of millions of professional men, shop-keepers, and small farmers to that of wage-earners. In the last war an enormous quantity of blood was spilled and millions of lives were destroyed at the terrific cost referred to by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings). That was made possible by the credulity of the people generally who accepted the policy of their rulers.
– Their sacrifice was thehonorable senator’s shelter.
– Had I been resident in a European country, I would have been involved to the same degree as those who lived there. The present European war will also act as an accelerator, and I prophesy that one of its results will be that the working people of the nations involved in future will not tolerate the conditions to which they have had to submit. The reconstruction to which our leader referred will be a reconstruction due to their determination to improve the conditions under which they live.
– To which country is the honorable senator referring?
– I am referring at the moment to most of the European countries now engaged in war.
– Cannot the honorable senator differentiate ?
– I am differentiating in this respect: Germany has taken the initiative. An appeal was made by the British Government that the matters alleged to be in dispute should be settled by negotation and arbitration; but force was chosen by Germany. War is now being waged and none can say how long it will last, but I am prepared to prophesy that as a result of the conflict, the workers in Europe, including those in Great Britain, will not tolerate conditions that operated before this conflict commenced.
– Does the honorable senator say that that applies, to Germany?
-Yes. I believe that Germany was confronted with either a civil war or the war in which it is now engaged, and, as rulers of countries have done in the past, Hitler preferred the international war. No country can increase its capital expenditure to the degree to which Germany has done without increasing the burden placed upon the shoulders of the working population, and this can be done only within limits. The time always’ arrives when the quantitative differences as the result of this burden bring about qualitative change through revolution.
– Does the honorable senator believe that those conditions existed in Germany up to a week ago?
– Yes, and I base my observations on authoritative information. A strong underground organization has been operating in Germany from. the very moment when the trade unions were suppressed. Naturally enough, thousands of the younger generation who are educated in the school of Nazi-ism, and who theoretically adopt the precepts of their teachers, after leaving school and working for a few months in the factories rebel against the form of government, which formerly they were taught to accept. My information, which I have received from a most reliable source, is that just before the war broke out 250,000 Germans were in concentration campsMost of these were young Nazis who rebelled against the intolerable conditions under which they were forced to work in factories. As a consequence, they were sent to concentration camps where they were treated in a most inhuman manner if they challenged the rulers to whom they wove subject. The war of 1914-18 acted as an accelerator in bringing about industrial and sociological changes. I have described how the professional and skilled workers generally have been reduced to the level of ordinary wage workers. Furthermore, the control of industry has been centralized in the hands of fewer monopolistic owners. From this position has emerged that political superstructure known as fascism, which is a rigid form of dictatorship. The theory underlying this development is that the community starts off on a democratic basis, but the democracy gradually hardens into rigid oligarchy which ultimately splits and is reformed. The acceleration to which I have referred is bringing into being in every country, including Australia, oligarchic, or dictatorial, control to a far greater degree than existed previously, and the result of the present war will be the break up of these oligarchies. The Leader of the Opposition referred to the need for reconstruction after the present war. That reconstruction will take place, but not merely as the result of a pious wish; it will follow as an economic and ethical necessity. The people will be forced to accept methods which for the most part will be in conformity with those set out in the Labour party’s platform. Instead of private monopolistic ownership of the means by which we live, we shall have a more democratic form of ownership, under which the controllers of industry will not have the same power as they enjoy to-day to starve and coerce the workers into war. Reference has been made to Australian democracy. I submit that in this country we have not 100 per cent, democracy. The tendency nowadays is towards dictatorial rather than democratic forms of control. As this war proceeds, I shall not be surprised if more dictatorial forms of govern ment are advocated, and, if possible, enforced, whilst at the same time the more democratic forms of government are resisted. In fact, we cannot claim that in Australia we have a democracy when so many thousands of our best men and women are denied the right of a decent livelihood and the privilege of earning decent wages. Since this Parliament last met we have witnessed a big increase of unemployment, throughout Australia generally, and particularly in Victoria, notwithstanding the enormous sums of money which are being expended on defence. The number of unemployed in Victoria in that period has increased by 4,000. We cannot claim that in reality we are living under a democracy when so many thousands of men like ourselves, who are entitled to the same rights and privileges as we claim, art> denied the right to earn a decent livelihood. Twelve months ago I directed tinattention of honorable senators to th« necessity for doing more for those men m the event of war taking place. Rut nothing wa3 done. Something will now be done, because the Government will have to do it. To-day 5,000 young men from the ages of eighteen to twenty who are living on Ils. a week and thousand? of others dependent upon relatives and friends, with no prospect of a job., no training for industry, and no encouragement to better their position, will, if the war proceeds and the necessity becomes more acute, hu better fed, better clothed, and better looked after generally, because the Government will be forced to make a virtue of necessity. That will apply to the unemployed generally. Nothing worth while was done by either this Government or any of the State governments until this catastrophe threatened. Therefore. [ am hoping that now that we are engaged in this war, which all of us wish to seu fought to a successful finish in order that we shall be able to continue to improve -the conditions under which we live, honorable senators will bv guided, as was suggested by the Lea de iof the Opposition, by our experiences. I am hoping that something more will hu done in order to give to all mcn and women the opportunity to which they arc entitled to become better qualified, not only to defend this country, but also, when the war is over, to take part in the social reconstruction to which the Leader of the Opposition referred. It seems to me that the people of Australia, as is the case in all other countries, are educated more as the result of bitter and costly experience than by the process known as abstract reasoning. In this respect, the position in Great Britain is similar to the position existing in this country. According to authoritative reports, before the war thousands of people in Great Britain were living in the “ black areas “, under conditions as bad as any that exist in Asiatic countries such as India.
– To what reports is the honorable senator referring?
– I do not believe that honorable senators opposite are interested in this problem to the extent to which it should be studied, because what I have said concerning Great Britain applies also to Australia, but in a less degree. I have read from my position in the Senate reports of the appalling conditions under which men, women, and children were living in slum areas, and I cited the high death-rate and the malnutrition of our children. In the face of such evidence, it is no exaggeration, to say that such conditions exist in Australia. Now a war is on, and it is the duty of the Government to see that the manhood and womanhood, upon whom it relies for the defence of this country, are given the opportunity to prepare themselves in order that they may do the job that is to be done in the best possible way. I trust that the Government has derived some benefit from the lessons of the last war. Does it realize that, approximately, for every £1 that a returned soldier or his dependantsreceive by way of pension, the money lenders get about £2 4s. 3d. as the result of the way in which the war was financed ? I submit that the men who do the fighting . should get the maximum and not the minimum sum that we can pay them. Under existing conditions, those who lend money for war purposes will receive a great deal more, man for man, than the soldiers on whom we must rely to do the fighting. The soldiers risk and even sacrifice their lives, whilst the money lenders, or most of them, risk neither their lives nor their capital. If there is to be equality of sacrifice, each of us should “ do his bit”, but there will be no equality of sacrifice in paying men like Mr. Clapp £4,000 a year or LieutenantGeneral Squires £3,500 a year, when £1,000 a year would be sufficient. The payment of huge salaries and enormous interest bills, whilst the payments to soldiers are reduced to a minimum, is not the best way to secure the desired results.
– Who said it is?
– I say without reservation that the Government, by its actions, has stated emphatically that, in its opinion, that is the best way. Up to the present time the Government has been financing the preparations for war on the same basis as that adopted between 1914 and 1918. I desire the Government to take more effective action than it has up to the present time, and to do something that will attract the best of our men to come forward and assist in the colossal task ahead.
– They are already coming forward.
– They are doing so with reservations. Returned soldiers have been on the dole for years and others have been denied an adequate pension. There are thousands of such cases.
– That is a gross exaggeration.
– My statement is quite true. When an opportunity offers, I shall join issue with the Minister on this matter. Many thousands of returned soldiers have been reduced to the dole level when they should be earning decent wages.
– I repeat that that is a gross exaggeration.
– It is nothing of the kind. I have been in close association with these men since 1931, when the depression was being accelerated, and my remarks are based on personal observation. I appeal to the Government to change the financial policy which has resulted in the creation of a colossal war debt that may never be liquidated, so that the men on whom we must depend to do the fighting will receive the maximum payment which the country can afford. Then, I believe, the manhood of Australia would rise to greater heights than on the occasion of the last war.
– I congratulate the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) upon his speech. He handled a very difficult subject in a most dignified manner. We in. Australia are fortunate in being practically removed from the firing line, and our knowledge of the fact that the centre of operations is a long way off should make us careful in our criticism of what is being done at headquarters. Yet that distance should not make us forget that this country is directly at war. We are but a unit of the great British Commonwealth of Nations, and our future depends entirely on where Britain will stand when the conflict is ended. As members of this National Parliament it is our duty to do whatever we possibly can to educate the people to a sense of their responsibilities. We should urge the fullest collaboration with Great Britain and our sister dominions. I sincerely regret the response made in the British Parliament to the appeal by Mr. Chamberlain for a national government.I give Mr. Greenwood all credit for the work he is doing, but, if he had agreed to join a national ministry, the psychological effect upon the world in general would have been most beneficial. I should like to see a national government formed in Australia.
I agree with the Leader of the Opposition that, at a time like this, our place is here in this Parliament; but, if the Government finds that owing to the pressure of its defence work it cannot keep Parliament in session, we must bow to its decision. If Messrs. Hitler and Stalin, the two most direct opposites to be found in the world, can form an alliance for the purpose of doing away with all law and order, and substituting the mailed fist as the dominant factor in international life, surely the parties in this Parliament can combine for the preservation of our liberty. Therefore, I urge the Opposition to come to terms.
– Our advice is free.
– We want, not the advice, but the help of the Opposition. During the coming years the
Government will have to do many unpopular things. Within a day or two certain emergency measures will be submitted to the Parliament. The people will be placed practically under military rule, and in all probability many things burdensome to the people will have to be done; but it should be realized that the emergency legislation is necessary to implement the defence policy, and that those refusing to obey the law will be acting contrary to the best interests of the people. The Leader of the Opposition has re ferred to the evil of profiteering, and in that regard I am with him up to the hilt. At a time of war, undue profits in the supply of either munitions or the necessaries of life should be prohibited. Taxes will, no doubt, be increased in two ways. There will be increases in respect of both wealth and service. When citizens are asked to contribute more of their wealth for the defence of the country, they should ask themselves of what value their wealth would be if the Empire lost this war. A similar question should be addressed to those who may object to being called upon to increase their services to the community. If we lost this country we should lose everything we have, and, therefore, it behoves every citizen to do all that lies in his power to serve the best interests of the nation. I hope that the governments of the various States will cease the bickering that has occurred in regard to the allocation of the available finance. They should realize that money expended in the defence of the country will be used for the benefit of the people generally, and not of particular sections. This afternoon we heard from the Leader of the Opposition some remarks on the subject of reconstruction after the war, whilst other honorable senators spoke on the subject of employment. I agree not only with what the Leader of the Opposition said, but also with many of the remarks of the last speaker, although some of them were rather exaggerated. This, however, is not the time to talk of reconstruction. We have a bigger job on hand at present. We have first to defend this country, so that there will be something left to reconstruct when the war has ended. The best way that we can do that is to pull together as one people, with the object of winning the war.
.- Having in mind that other legislation will be introduced at an early date to deal with certain aspects of the war in which we are engaged, I purpose confining my remarks on this occasion to the attitude of the Labour party in the struggle facing Australia to-day. If the Labour party were in power, it would bring forward a programme similar to that of the Menzies Government. This afternoon the Leader of the. Opposition (Senator Collings) read a declaration, based on the federal platform of the party, which set out the unanimous view of the Australian Labour party. If ever there was an occasion on which the Labour party was interested in an overseas war it is now, because it is vitally concerned with the overthrow ot that system which has plunged the world into this Armageddon. Hitler and his party have brought the world to its present position. He is the mouthpiece of the movement that brutally crushed the trade union organization of Germany, and ground the workers underfoot. Last September, I said that I was not greatly concerned with the diplomacy exercised by Mr. Chamberlain, but that I believed that his efforts to avert war on that occasion would receive the support of every member of this Parliament. At the present time, the Menzies Government is in charge of affairs in Australia. I absolve that Administration of any blame for the present conflict. I believe that it did what the Labour party would have done in an attempt to prevent war. However, war has been forced upon us, and Australia faces the future as a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. That Australia is an integral part of that Commonwealth of Nations has been the view of the Labour party since 1890. The position confronting the world to-day is frightful to contemplate. What the end will be no one knows. But we do know that the world has witnessed the most amazing mixing of oil and water, in the coming together of Fascism and Communism in an organized attempt against the British Empire and other countries. The declaration read to-day by the Leader of the Opposition is sound in that it deplores that bv resort to force, instead of negotiation and discussion, the peoples of several nations have been driven into war. We on this side stand behind that statement, as does every honorable senator who supports the Government. Facing the reality of war, the Labour party stands for the maintenance of Australia as an integral part of the British Commonwealth of Nations, and will do its utmost to safeguard Australia, for the good and sound reason that the Labour party is an Australian party. That is clear from a study of its platform, which is available to any one who wishes to understand it. The Labour party does not favour the formation of a national government. That has been the party’s policy .since its formation. What other parties do is not our concern. When other legislation, which has been forecast, is before Parliament, the Labour party wi.1.1 endeavour to ensure that its administration will not cause the hardships that resulted from the administration of some of the war legislation passed in 1914 and succeeding years.
Some of the honorable senators who have spoken referred to profiteering, particularly in foodstuffs. That is a serious aspect of the war and will have to he dealt with. I notice, however., that the regulations which have been issued by the Government give to the ministry ample powers to prevent profiteering, and I believe tha t the Government will exercise those powers., in which event it will do a great deal to consolidate public opinion in the prosecution of the waa:. I believe that the control of profiteering will be an early care of thu Government. The efficacy of the legislation designed to prevent profiteering in armaments will he tested in the days that lie ahead.
I shall not enter into a discussion of financial matters beyond saying that the existing monetary system must be revised. At the present time Australia owes £1,245,000,000 and the interest bill represents a colossal sum. That indebtedness may be doubled, or trebled, as the result of the present conflict. However, the financial aspect of the war will be the subject of separate legislation which will come before us later.
It is interesting to read of the attitude of other countries towards this momentous struggle. The Labour party in New
Zealand, as in Australia, is pledged to the British Commonwealth of Nations. I notice that the English Labour party, while whole-heartedly supporting the Government in the prosecution of the war, has decided not to join a national government. Probably its experience in the war of 1914-1918’ lies behind that decision, for honorable senators will recall that the action of the party then very nearly resulted in its destruction. A loyal Labour party can be of more value to the nation as a watchful Opposition than in attempting to mix with other parties holding opposing views on many subjects.
Senator Cameron expressed the hope that when this fearful business is over, the men who have fought will be given satisfactory treatment by this country. In my opinion, Australian returned soldiers, taken collectively, have not much cause for grievance ; but individual cases call for more generous treatment. The majority of the men I have in mind have developed illnesses since their demobilization and the act does not, contain any provision to meet their cases. I have appeared before the several tribunals which have been set up to deal with the claims of returned soldiers, and in some instances I have had a measure of success. I have in mind the claim of the widow of a man who had given good service to his country, but the departmental doctors would not admit that his illness was due to war service.
Motion (by Senator McBride) agreed to-
That General Business, Order of the Day No. 1, be postponed till after the furtherconsideration of the motion moved by Senator McLeay in relation to the printing of the text of documents exchanged between the United Kingdom and German Governments.
– Returned soldiers who are not members of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia, and have not a very carefully prepared brief when they appear before the tribunals, have practically no chance of success.
– What about the veterans of the South African war?
– Representations on their behalf have been made by Senators Brand, Cameron and others, but so far nothing appears to have been done for them. I cannot see why they should be treated differently from the men who fought in the war of 1914-18, seeing that they left their jobs to fight for the Empire, and lost their health in so doing. They are entitled to compensation. In my office in Melbourne, I interview as many returned soldiers as does probably any other man in that city, and I know the nature of their claims. Many of them are in respect of disabilities which appeared many years after the termination of war service.
With the several causes of the struggle in which we are now engaged I shall not deal now. The important fact before us is that this country is at war, and it is our job to see that the war is conducted as. effectively as possible, and with due regard to economy. I believe that the fullest information should be made available to members of this Parliament as soon as it is safe to do so.
I agree with Senator James McLachlan as to the duty of the State governments in the matter of defence expenditure. With. Senator Cameron I predict that if the war continues for any considerable period, work will be found for many men who are now unemployed. That may give some satisfaction to the individuals concerned, but I believe that there is some justification for the complaint relating to the handling of this important problem. Before the Senate adjourned for the recess, the Assistant Minister (Senator McBride) informed me that defence works would absorb probably 5,000 men who were then unemployed. We did not. know then that, before the Senate re-assembled, the position of the country would be such that, many unemployed workers would soon be absorbed in the fearful business of war. This party will honour its declaration to the full, and will watch carefully to ensure that some of the evils associated with wartime legislation of the past are not repeated on this occasion. The Government’s war legislation has yet to come to this chamber. When it is before us it will have our most careful consideration. If Labour had been in power, similar measures would have been introduced to deal with the present situation in the interests of the Commonwealth and the Empire.
Senator ALLAN MacDONALD (Western Australia) 5.6 . - I have read carefully the White Paper laid on the table this afternoon by the Leader of the Senate (Senator McLeay). In it there is ample evidence that the British Government had no other course than to declare war on the Government of Germany. If only one-half of what is printed in the paper were true, war between Great Britain and Germany would have been inevitable.
Senator Keane, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, has mentioned that the Government of Germany, which is responsible for the terrible conflict that is now in progress, has done everything possible to prevent the working class organizations of Germany from functioning. Representing the political theory called national socialism, it has ruthlessly regimented German workers and German people generally, but so far it has done nothing to clip the wings of the large land-holders or check the old military spirit which originated in Potsdam. I cannot reconcile the ideal of national socialism with the facts. There is not the slightest semblance of socialism in Nazi doctrine, or in the working of the Nazi party.
– That is perfectly true.
Senator ALLAN MacDONALD.Therefore, the Government of Germany is alone responsible for this world crisis. When international disputes give place to conflict among nations, we are too prone to look for some other outlet for the expression of our feelings, and to say all sorts of unpleasant things about the world as it is. If, however, we examine the position carefully we shall have to admit that, with some patching up of differences between nations, it would not be necessary to continue the quest for that Utopia which has been the objective of idealists for thousands of years but which has never yet been evolved. Immediately after the depression the world was getting out of its economic shackles and the various countries were entering a period of what seemed to be reasonable prosperity. Had the then conditions been allowed to continue, I do not think that many people would have subscribed to the view that there was very much wrong with the world. Unhappily, we witnessed the rise of political extremists lustful for power.
– And with the desire to destroy.
Senator ALLAN MacDONALD.That is so. They were animated by the desire to destroy. But for this change 3 firmly believe that the various nations would have entered upon a period of reasonable prosperity and security. There were, of course, bad patches on the horizon, but none of the problems that presented themselves were incapable of being resolved by national leaders desirous of reaching a peaceful settlement. The cutting out of the Nazi cancer would resolve many European problems. As the result of this disruptive influence in world affairs, Australia, as part of the British Empire, is now. faced with the grim reality of war conditions and all that they mean. I am sure that the people will rally to the Empire and do all that is expected of them in this time of trial. The war upon which we have entered is not merely a struggle over the ultimate destiny of Danzig or the Polish Corridor. It is a war to vindicate our democratic institutions and ensure the maintenance of the British Empire which, for so long, has acted the role of an international policeman. As this conflict, in which we have Poland as an ally, may mean ‘the destruction of civilization, please let us have a clear view of all that the crisis implies. Let us not be disposed to examine critically individual phases of the conflict or what may appear to be undesirable acts of commission or omission by the Government in its high purpose to ensure our safety. Let us all pull together in order that the war may be brought to a victorious conclusion. I am convinced that all of the people of Australia will do their part in defence, not only of this country, but also of other parts of the Empire. I say this because I am convinced that the spirit of the Australian Imperial Force - those gallant men who volunteered in 1914-18 to defend Australia and the Empire - still lives. Their action reflected the opinion of the Australian people of that time, and I am sure that the people of Australia are to-day as firmly resolved to maintain the integrity of the British Empire as they were then.
– I have read carefully the White Paper presented this afternoon by the Leader of the Senate (Senator McLeay), and I have a clear understanding of the issue that lies before us. The present conflict will determine the future balance of power in Europe. On one side there are the democracies of Great Britain, France, and Poland, and opposing them is Germany, which is seeking by violence to strengthen its hold over neighbouring nations, and ultimately to dominate Europe. I am in accord with the statement read by my leader (Senator Collings), which sets out the attitude of the Australian Labour party in this crisis. In reply to Senator James McLachlan, who said that the Government looked at this time to the Australian Labour party for its support, I need only say that the leader of my party in the House of Representatives (Mr. Curtin) and my leader in this chamber have told the Government frankly that the Labour party will play its part in the defence of Australia as an integral part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. We have, I think, made our position clear.
A few matters arise out of the statement made by my leader this afternoon. There was no need for the Prime Minister to advise the people of Australia to face this crisis calmly. For the last twelve months the people have been passing through a very anxious time. On many occasions there has appeared the menace of war; now that it has come there is no evidence of hysteria. The news was received calmly and the people are ready to face the issue. We urge the Government to do likewise. We appreciate the h eavy responsibility resting upon ministers, and we hope that they will take all steps necessary for the effective defence of the Commonwealth. In the fulfilment of that purpose they will have a full-time job. We offer them our complete cooperation and we urge that, because of the gravity of the situation, Parliament should be kept in continuous session so that members of all parties may render the maximum of help. I remind the Senate that in Great Britain measures have already been taken for the control of commodity prices. Similar action is essentia] in Australia in order to prevent profiteering in food, commodities or raw materials. The Government should close every avenue of profiteering by those people who may be inclined to take advantage of the crisis to do much better for themselves than would be possible in peace time.
We have had an interesting discussion this afternoon. Most of the things that have been said had to be said. The people of Australia want to know where we stand. We, on this side, stand for the proper defence of this country. We say that action must be taken to speed up all works necessary for effective defence. We say also that the interests of all of the people must be safeguarded. The Government in this crisis is shouldering a very great responsibility. We look to ministers to discharge their obligations faithfully in the interests of the people and in order to ensure the safety of Australia as an integral part of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
.- The White Paper which the Leader of the Senate (Senator McLeay) laid on the table this afternoon sets out the communications which passed between the British Government and the Government of Germany prior to the declaration by Great Britain of the existence of a state of war. I remind the Senate that the British Parliament was in session when the fateful decision was made, and endorsed the announcement of the British Government. Before any public pronouncement was made regarding the attitude of Australia, the Commonwealth Parliament should have been summoned and the representatives of the people informed of what was actually occurring. The members of the Labour party believe that during the dark days that are undoubtedly before us Parliament should remain in session so that we shall have an opportunity to frame the legislation under which the country is to be governed, instead of many important governmental activities, involving the liberty of the people, being controlled by regulations. Any proposal involving the rights of the people should be brought before Parliament and not decided by an inner cabinet. If that be done, the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and those associated with him will be guided by Parliament, whose duty is to see that the liberty of the people is not restricted unduly. Some of my friends expressed surprise when they saw me in Sydney the day that war was declared as they naturally expected that Parliament would be sitting. The majority of the Australian people thought that the Prime Minister’s statement announcing the outbreak of war between Great Britain and Germany and Australia’s attitude in the crisis should have been made in Parliament. We are now in the throes of another great international conflict, and it is impossible for any one to say how long it will last; but I am sure that before long militarists and jingoists will be urging the Government to restrict unnecessarily the liberties of Australian citizens. The declaration made by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) on behalf of the Labour party states that the profits made by those engaged in the manufacture of war equipment should be restricted and that the Government should control such factories and the ra w materials they require because only in that way can profiteering be prevented. A statement recently appeared in practically every newspaper published in Australia to the. effect that the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited had accumulated such a huge profit that it proposed to present to each holder of 100 shares an additional 64 shares.
– That is not correct.
– It has not been denied. By doing so the dividend was reduced to 12½ per cent. The stock was watered so that the profit would not appear excessive. The Government should declare definitely that it will not allow any company engaged in the manufacture of war equipment to water its stock, and in that way appear to pay a lower dividend than it is actually paying on the subscribed capital. It is regrettable to find that in this respect the Government is not so deeply concerned as it should be. Possibly it is more interested in the number of men who will offer their services, and who may sacrifice their lives for a paltry pittance. We all know that blood will be spilled, but there are some who are happy in the thought that extra profits will be made. I agree with those who have said that those who may be called upon to serve should ho provided with better conditions than those who served in previous conflicts. One honorable senator said that it was ridiculous to suggest that many returned soldiers are unemployed, and that others are receiving inadequate pensions. Some time ago, I asked the Government to state the number who had appealed successfully to the War Pensions Entitlements Tribunal, and I know that when the information is supplied I shall find that the number is small. I trust that the Government will see that those who fought in the previous Great War receive better treatment, and that the profits of those engaged in the manufacture of munitions and war equipment will he rigorously curtailed.
– As the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) stated we meet to-day with sadness in our hearts. At the same time we have a sense of pride in the knowledge that all peoples of the British Empire are standing together to defend civilization and democracy. 1 do not think that there is any citizen in this great Empire who has not a horror of war. As one. of the younger members in this chamber, I recall hearing as a schoolboy of the outbreak of the Great War; later whenI left school I became a. soldier to participate in that conflict. I also recall the joy of all people when we learned that the war, which we believed had been fought to end war and save democracy was concluded. To-day we find the same determination of the peoples of the British Empire to do what is right, whereas those controlling other great nations wish to govern not by right but by brute force. The present war concerns not merely the fate of any one city or country; it is being waged to protect civilization. With a sense of pride we all stand behind the British Prime Minister, Mr. Chamberlain, in his fight for that which is right. We are also proud of Australia’s Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) for leaving no doubt in the minds of other nations that: this great Commonwealth will play its part in the defence of the Empire. What that pant shall be has yet to be decided. At the moment we appeal’ to be a long way from the scene of the conflict, but we do not know how long the present state of affairs will continue. Oan we assume for a moment that this country will not be attacked ‘( Had we been making a conjecture some months ago we might not have been so sure that the centre of activities would be so distant as it appears to be to-day. Does it not behove us to look ahead some months and possibly some years, and meanwhile see that everything is done to ensure the safety of Australia and the Empire. I feel confident that the Government will take such measures as are necessary. Ear be it from me to offer any criticism in this hour of crisis, but there are times when all of us ar« able to offer helpful suggestions. I should like the Government to consider whether it is not necessary that every man in this country should know how to defend himself. At the present time we have a militia force. The Government called for volunteers and the men of Australia responded in a manner that did credit to them. If a call should come for more volunteers, I am sure that thousands more will offer their services. But does that ensure that every man will be trained for the task that he may nave to perform? I urge the Government to consider seriously whether, in view of present conditions and dangers that may arise in the future, we should .not adopt a long-range policy and provide that every man shall be trained to defend himself and his country. I ask the Government to give consideration to the extension of our education system so that every boy at the age of eighteen years shall undergo, say, three months of military training, [f we adopt such means before it is too late, every man of military age will be trained in time to meet an emergency. Alongside that system the present militia system should be continued.
– The honorable senator wants to teach our young men war in order to make them love peace. Lt is because we do not teach them peace in our schools that we have war.
– Every Austraiian is prepared to defend himself and his country, and in order to he able to df so he needs to be taught how. As I haw been a member of the Militia for twelve months, I know to what extent training is necessary for this task. It is impossible to enable a man to play his par: in the defence of his country in less than three months of intensive training. In 1914, as Senator Allan MacDonald pointed out, volunteers were not considered to be adequately prepared until they had undergone eight months of training. What is going to happen i!’ within eight months we are faced with a major crisis nearer home? I ask the Government, therefore, to consider early whether the time has not arrived for the evolving of a plan by which every man will be in a position to play his part a? a trained unit in the defence of Australia and the British Empire.
– One rises with considerable diffidence to speak on an occasion such as the present, and an honorable senator has to he .somewhat careful of -what he .says lest his remarks be misunderstood and published to form the basis of an .attack upon ‘his party. “For my part I have no desire to say anything that might detrimentally affect, .the unity of the nation. On this occasion greater unanimity exists in the British Commonwealth of Nations in regard to the righteousness of our cause than was the case in 1914. South Africa may be an exception in that respect. We have had very little news from that country, but yesterday we were informed that the Hertzog Government had been defeated because its leader enunciated a policy of neutrality. In Australia, the outlook of our people is such that, although there is no enthusiasm for war, they realize that action must be taken in order to stem the growing tide of fascism on the continent of Europe. I am not one who holds that simply because our party is unanimously in agreement with the Government in regard to the defence of Australia and the British Commonwealth of Nations, we absolve .governments entirely from blame for their past conduct of affairs. I realize that this struggle is a light for economic dominance, and that action has been taken which is not in consonance with justice and righteousness and those sentiments which have been so ably expressed by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) and Senator Abbott. The history of the British Empire! contains many pages which we would be glad to forget. Unfortunately those particular episodes have been exaggerated by the propagandists in Germany, and have inflamed the minds of the German people to such an extent that to-day the majority of them are solidly behind their Fuhrer. Some people predict internal political reaction against the Nazi party, but I was informed recently by a German friend of long standing that at the present time, such has been the propaganda carried out in Germany by Goebbels and company, in dealing with the least favorable features of the development of the British Empire, that the German nation is now absolutely solidly behind Hitler. It is well to face the facts, and to realize that propaganda is carried on in certain countries in such a way that it is impossible for the common people thoroughly to appreciate the facts. Unfortunately the British nations did not counter this propaganda early enough. During the last 12 months, however, Great Britain has carried on by -wireless certain propaganda which has percolated into Germany and has done a certain amount of good.
– Percolated so far as it has been allowed.
– Yes. Any one who has read Reaching for the Stars will agree with me. This book, a best-seller, was written by a quakeress who lived for five years in Germany. In it she shows how those in authority in Germany prevent the common people from arriving at an understanding with the peoples of other nations. During her residence in Germany, where she lived with her husband, who is a New Zealander. she met Germans of the best and most cultured classes, and found that the pressure brought to bear on the people was such that it was impossible for them properly to understand the true relations between the countries which are now at war. She describes one occasion on which a number of people discussed international peace after dinner. Before doing so they plugged up the keyholes, placed rubbers against the doors, and disconnected the telephone. This book is well worth reading and its authoress is a person whose testimony can be believed. For the benefit of Senator A. J. McLachlan, I point out that for some months past numerous talks in German have been broadcast from Great Britain; these must have reached some of the German people. Furthermore, we read in yesterday’s newspapers that British planes distributed 6,000,000 pamphlets over the west of Germany in order to put Britain’s case before the German people.
– A lot of those broadcasts are jammed, and the German people are forbidden to listen in to foreign stations.
– I agree that efforts are being made to prevent the, truth from being told to the people of Germany. At the same time, however, the whole of the truth has not been told to the people of Australia, or England or the world. The cable news service to this country is practically a monopoly. A few years ago independent news services operated and it was possible to get . independent information and independent views concerning international affairs. There have been times when the peoples of the British Empire have been told only part of the truth. It is the view of the Labour party that if the truth had been told to the people there would not have been a war between Germany and the British Empire. The people of Germany do not want war, and, certainly, the people of the British Empire do not. In our modern civilization the common people have never gone to war, except when they have been aroused by the vile propaganda of those who Want to use the common people for their own dirty ends. I agree with the Leader of the Opposition and Senator Abbott that if we could have told the truth to the peoples of Germany and the British Empire they would not be at war to-day.
But the truth has been hidden. In a time like the present, if we would get the views of the German people and understand what they require, if we could put ourselves in their shoes and they could be put in ours, the international outlook would be very different. I recognize that in a time of war it is practically impossible to deal calmly and quietly with the facts of the situation. A tendency for mass hysteria develops and, consequently, if a man tries to set forth the situation fairly and squarely, many people allege that he is seeking to condone the actions of the enemy. But there is an element of truth and justice in the demands of certain people. The White Paper now before us states -
The present state of tension, with its concomitant frontier incidents, reports of maltreatment, and inflammatory propaganda, is a constant danger to peace.
One cause of war is inflammatory propaganda designed to rouse the people to such a pitch that they become madly desirous of fighting the other fellow, even to the death. In Germany certain dynamic economic forces are inducing the nation, willynilly, to spread outwards. I admit that sentimental talk of the time coming when, as the result of the radio, or the exchange of visits between the representatives of various countries, a better understanding between nations will be produced, does not overcome the problem presented by the fact that certain dominant economic forces are pitting nation against nation. If peace is ever to be established there must be a recognition by all countries of the operation of these forces. Senator Darcey has told us of the futility of the present financial system.
– Has he convinced the honorable senator?
– Men of the school of thought which Senator Darcey represents have done a great service to the community by drawing attention to the troubles that arise from the present monetary system. The declaration of the Labour party stipulates that interest rates shall be kept within bounds, and that the monetary system shall be adjusted so that the national debt may be kept as low as possible. Much of the conflict in the world to-day is due to an effete monetary system which the economic system has outgrown. Even if peace comes in a few years we shall be faced with the problem of evolving a monetary system that will meet the needs of the nation. Industrial capitalism and financial capitalism have aided in the economic development of the world, but there is now a tendency for the economic system to become static. There is need for a financial system adjusted to the economic requirements of the nations. As each country becomes more capable of producing the essential requirements of the people, the greater will be the need for a change of the financial system. After this war the nations, willy-nilly, will have to adopt a financial system based not on the financial aggrandisement of certain privileged groups, but on the economic needs of the people as a whole.
It is noteworthy that when a state of war exists the nation is united, and many problems are immediately solved. Recently the price of wool fell to less than 1s. per lb., but now, as the result of this war, we are told that the British Government will purchase the Australian wool clip, and that it will also take our meat, cheese and, possibly, wheat, with guaranteed profitable returns to the producers. If in time of war we can overcome marketing difficulties, surely we should be able to solve them in a time of peace. Prior to the last war, as a young man, I passed from workhouse to workhouse in the Old Country in order to obtain first-hand experience of how the poorest people lived. Many workers, under the pernicious system that existed, became hopeless paupers. When war broke out even these derelicts were found employment. Here in Australia we have had a serious unemployment problem, but no doubt work will now be found for all. Already 70,000 militia men have been called to the colors, and the effect will* be to provide employment for men who have had no work for years. This war will probably be the bloodiest struggle ever known, and, when it is over, the people will demand that since millions of money can be found for war purposes a system shall be instituted under which in time of peace the people can be adequately clothed and fed. Looking at Europe plunged in a maelstrom of madness, one feels inclined to agree with Bernard Shaw that the earth is merely a lunatic asylum for the rest of the planets. If honorable senators opposite want unity in this great conflict they should at least try to understand the point of view of the Opposition, so that there may be a common desire to improve the economic conditions and bring security to the people generally.
Debate (on motion by Senator A. J. McLachlan) adjourned.
Assent to the following bills reported : -
Supply and Development Bill 1939.
Invalid and Old-age Pensions. Appropriation Bill 1939.
National Healthand PensionsInsurance Bill 1939.
Supply Bill (No. 1) 1939-40.
States Grants (Youth Employment) Bill 1939.
National Registration Bill 1939.
Defence Bill 1939.
Aliens Registration Bill. 1939.
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon, J. B. Hayes). - I have received from the Honorable E. J. Ogilvie a letter expressing thanks for, and appreciation of, the. resolution of sympathy and condolence passed by the Senate on the occasion of the death of the Honorable A. G. Ogilvie.
– Has the attention of the Minister for Commerce been drawn to press reports of the. sale of the major portion of the Australian wheat crop to Great Britain? If so, can he give to the Senate any inf ormation as to the stage which the negotiations have reached, and an assurance that the price to the. growers will not be less than 4’s. a bushel ?’
– The Government has received advice that the Government of the United Kingdom will take a quantity of Australian wheat. The price is a matter for further negotiation. I shall supply to the honorable senator information on the subject as soon as possible - probably during the next few days.
Victimization in Postal Departmen t - Defence Contractor : Nonpayment of Wages.
Motion (by Senator McLeay) proposed -
That the Senate do now adjourn.
.- I bring before the Senate the case of a returned soldier, Leslie O’Neil, who has been victimized by the PostmasterGeneral’s Department at Launceston. This case has been represented by the honorable member for Bass (Mr. Barnard) and myself to the Post-master General (Mr. Harrison) on two occasions, and also to his predecessor, Mr. Archie Cameron ; both Ministers promised to investigate it. The facts are that Mr. O’Neil worked for the PostmasterGeneral’s Department in the district of Launceston for a period during which he was entitled to certain allowances in respect of overtime worked at week-ends. He was, however, not, paid for that work at overtime rates, and consequently he made application to the inspector in charge for payment. As the inspector did not make application to the department for payment on his behalf,. Mr. O’Neil subsequently wrote to the department and secured payment, thereby proving the justice of his claim. Because he wrote to the department, over the head of the inspector, he has not again secured employment in the department. At a later stage he asked me if I could find work for him, and I employed him. on my property. While he was there, a former fellow-employee of the Postal Department asked him. for a. certificate stating that he was not, concerned, in writing to the head of the department for payment for overtime worked. Mr. O’Neil gave to him the required certificate, thereby proving victimization by Mr. Smith, the departmental inspector. This roan has been victimized because he stood up for his rights, and the department has made no attempt to rectify matters. I bring these facts before the Senate in. the belief that it should know what is going on in the department, and in the hope that justice will be done.
– I shall bring this matter before the PostmasterGeneral (Mr. Harrison), and I hope to give a reply to the honorable senator to-morrow.
– I desire to direct the attention of the Minister For the Interior (Senator Foll), representing the Minister for Defence (Mr.Street) in this chamber, to a statement made by me on the 30th May, 1939, concerning a firm of building contractors named Cody and Willis,which has been engaged by the Defence Department on constructional operations at Victoria Barracks, Sydney. In the course of that statement I said -
I suggest that Cody and Willis should be forbidden from participating in any further Commonwealth Government contracts. A contractor, who engages asa sub-contractor a person who will not pay the wages earned by his men,should be indicted as a scheming rogue and thief.
Since that statement was made,I have had the opportunity to ascertain more accurately the facts, and to form an estimate of the character of the contractors referred to. As a result, I believe that I am entitled to assure the Minister that, the statement made by me was unfair and unjustified. Allhonorable senators will appreciate that, as a public man, my purpose is to redress an error. I wish to say that I am now thoroughly convinced that the firm of Cody and Willis is a reputable one, that its members, Mr. Cody and Mr. Willis, are men of the highest integrity, and well qualified competently to perform their duties as contractors for the Commonwealth Government. I trust, therefore, that with this frank adjustment of my former statement, the Minister will not allow any discrimination against this firm in respect of any Commonwealth Governmentcontracts for which it may tender. I take this action for the reason that it was a sub-contractor to whom I previously referred, and because I believe that the Minister has inherited something which took place during the term of office of a former Minister for Works.
– I appreciate the fair and courageous manner in which the honorable senator has made his retraction, and shall see that his remarks are forwarded to the right quarter.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
The following papers were presented : -
Commonwealth Bank Act - Balance-sheets of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Commonwealth SavingsB ank as at 30th June, 1939, and Statement ofthe Liabilities and Assets of the Note Issue Department at 30th June, 1939; together with Auditor-General’s Reports thereon.
Apple and Fear Tax Assessment Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1939, No.50.
Arbitration (Public Service) Act - Determinations by the Arbitrator, &c. -
No. 14 of 1939 - Arms,Explosivesand Munition Workers’ Federation of Australia.
No. 15 of1939 - Arms, Explosives and Munition Workers’ Federation of Australia.
No.16 of 1939 - Arms, Explosives and Munitions Workers’ Federation of Australia.
No. 17 of 1939 -Commonwealth Tele- phone Officers’ Association.
No. 18 of 1939 - AmalgamatedPostal Workers’ Union of Australia.
No. 19 of 1939 - Amalgamated Engineering Union ; Australasian Society of Engineers; and Boilermakers’ Society of Australia.
No. 20 of 1939- Professional Officers Association. Commonwealth Public Service.
No. 21 . of 1939 - Professional Officers’ Association, Commonwealth Public Service.
No. 22 of 1939 - Australian Postal Electricians’ Union; Australian Third Division Telegraphists’ and Postal Clerks’ Union; Commonwealth Telephone Officers’ Association; Federated Public Service Assistants* Association; Fourth Division Officers’Association of the Department of Trade and Customs; Fourth Division Postmasters, Postal Clerks and Telegraphists’ Union; Meat Inspectors’ Association, CommonwealthPublic Service; end Professional Officers’ Association, Commonwealth Public Service.
Commonwealth Grants Commission ActRegulations amended- Statutory Rules 1939, No. 56.
Commonwealth Public Service Act - Appointments - Department of -
Health - A. J. Gumley.
Interior - M. Fizelle and J. F.
Postmaster-General - J. M.Santamaria.
Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1939. No. 52- No. 59- No. 62- No.65.
Wine Grapes Charges Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1939, No.54.
Air Force Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1939, No.64.
Defence Act - Regulations amended, &c.Statutory Rules 1939, No. 51- No. 58- No. 73- No. 74- No. 75- No. 70- No. 77- No. 82.
Defence Act and Naval Defence Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1939, No. 63- -No. 70- No. 71.
Excise Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1939, No. 60.
Iron and Steel Products Bounty Act - Return for 1938-39.
Lands acquisition Act - Land acquired, at -
Ashfield, New South Wales- For Banking purposes.
Bullsbrook, Western Australia - For Defence purposes.
Darwin, Northern Territory - For Adraistrative purposes.
Darwin, Northern Territory - For Administrative and Defence purposes.
Darwin, Northern Territory - For Defence purposes (2).
Forest Hill, New South Wales - For Defence purposes.
Glenorchy, Tasmania - For Defence purposes.
Granville, New South Wales, For Posts I purposes.
Heidelberg, Victoria - For Defence purposes.
Irishtown, Tasmania. - For Postal purposes.
Newcastle, New South Wales - For Defence purposes.
Nowra, New South Wales - for Defence purposes.
Port Adelaide, South Australia - For Defence purposes-
Red Cliffs, Victoria - For Defence purposes.
Riddell’s Creek, Victoria- For Postal purposes.
Smithfield, South Australia - For Postal purposes.
Terang, Victoria - For Defence purposes.
Ungarie, New South Wales - For Postal purposes.
Motor Industry Bounty Act - Return for 1938-39.
National Registration Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1939, No. 55.
Naval Defence Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1939, No. 72.
Papua and New Guinea Bounties Act - Return for 1938-39.
Raw Cotton Bounty Act - Return for 1938- 39.
Seat of Government Acceptance Act and Seat of Government (Administration) Act-
Ordinance No. 6 of 1939 - Hospital Tax (No. 2).
Advisory Council Ordinance - Regulations.
Cemeteries Ordinance - Regulations.
Sulphur Bounty Act - Return for 1938-39.
Wine Export Bounty Act - Return for 1938- 39.
Post and Telegraph Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1939, No.57.
Post and Telegraph Act and Post and Telegraph Rates Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1939, No. 66.
Quarantine Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1939, No. 49.
Norfolk Island Act- Ordinance No. 2 of 1939 - Passion Fruit Industry Assistance Agreement.
Papua Act -
Infirm and Destitute Natives’ Account - Statement of transactions of Trustees for 1938-39.
Ordinances of 1939 -
No. 1- Supply 1939-1940.
No. 2 - Petroleum (Prospecting and Mining ) .
Senate adjourned at 6.19 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 6 September 1939, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1939/19390906_senate_15_161/>.