16th Parliament · 1st Session
The President (Senator the Hon. J. B. Hayes) took the chaw at 3 p.m., and read prayers.
Presentation to the GovernorGeneral.
– Accompanied by honorable senators, I, this day, waited on the Governor-General and presentedto him the Address-in-Reply to His Excellency’s Speech on the occasion of the opening of Parliament, agreed to by the Senate on the 27th November, 1940. His Excellency was pleased to make the following reply: -
I desire to thank you for the Address-in- Reply which you have just presented to me. It will afford me much pleasure to convey to His Most Gracious Majesty theKing the message of loyalty from the Senate of the Commonwealth of Australia, to which the Address gives expression.
– Will the Minister representing the Minister for Air state why the work of establishing an air training school at Southern Cross has been stopped, and where, in Western Australia, it is intended that the school shall now be established ?
– The work was stopped because it was considered by the Department of Air, which was responsible for the selection of the site, that Southern Cross was unsuitable for the purpose of an air training centre. The school will be transferred to Geraldton. It is stated by the department that, on account of the dusty conditions at Southern Cross, the engines of aeroplanes would be likely to suffer damage. As the Minister for Air pointed out yesterday, the rainfall at Southern Cross has been abnormally low, which has made the conditions, which are always bad there, very much worse. In view of the report received from the head of the Department of Air, the Government considered that it would be unwise to continue the work at Southern Cross. I understand that some of the work already done may be useful, if a civil aerodrome is required there.
– Last week Senator Amour asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Army, upon notice -
The Minister for the Army has now supplied the following answers: -
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. J. B. Hayes). - During this session the Principal Parliamentary Reporter, Mr. J. S. Weatherston, has retired from his official duties, and I consider it fitting for me to refer to the matter. Mr. Weatherston commenced his career as a journalist when he joined the staff of the Melbourne Evening Standard in 1894. In 1896, he went to Western Australia, and spent two years in the service of newspapers circulating on the Murchison gold-fields. From 1898 to 1903, he filled various positions on the staffs of the Perth Morning Herald and the West Australian. It is worthy of comment that two of his confreres on the Perth Morning Herald are eminent politicians of the present day. In August, 1903, he was appointed as a reporter on the Hansard staff of the Western Australian Parliament. In June, 1913, he became a reporter on the Commonwealth reporting staff. On the retirement of Mr. W. M. Admans on the 28th September, 1932, he was promoted to the position of second reporter, and on the 13th September, 1933, he succeeded Mr. C. H. P. Robinson as the Principal Parliamentary Reporter. I am sure that honorable senators would wish me to refer to his long and valuable service to the Commonwealth, and to wish him long life to enjoy his retirement.
Honorable Senators. - Hear, hear !
– by leave - I support the remarks made by you, Mr. President, commending the work of Mr. Weatherston, who has severed his official connexion with the Commonwealth Parliament. Several years ago, when the Senate was dispersing for the festive season, and some rather fulsome remarks were made about the services rendered by the Hansard staff in making our speeches move presentable than they might otherwise be, I took exception to some of the things that were said, because I was, perhaps, more or less new to parliamentary work. I have not altogether repented of my sins in that regard, because, although it may be necessary for some of our statements to be revised by the Hansard staff, I think that it would be better if the unpleasant truths we utter sometimes were brought before the public in all their unpleasantness. With the passing of the years, however, I have learnt to appreciate the manner in which the Hansard reporters perform their onerous duties. The manner in which they get through the mass of work that accumulates in a long sitting, and have proofs of our speeeches ready for us next morning, often surprises me. The career of Mr. Weatherston has been quite a picturesque one. He began in a small way in the field of journalism - a field which has provided opportunities to many gifted persons - and I understand that, when he first filled the editorial chair of one of the newspapers with which he was associated, he was probably the youngest editor in the world. That is an achievement. I do not know whether the stocks of that newspaper have improved or deteriorated since, but it is a matter of great interest that, before reaching the age of 21 years, Mr. Weatherston was a newspaper editor. There is another rather picturesque feature of his journalistic career. In his earlier days, Mr. Weatherston was employed as a journalist on the gold-fields of Western Australia, where conditions were anything but pleasant and comfortable. From those early beginnings, his experience ripened until, in 1913, he won a position on the Commonwealth Hansard staff. I use the word “won” advisedly, because the vacancy was advertised from, one end of Australia to the other. Mr. Weatherston really entered an Australia-wide competition, and succeeded in winning it. By gradual promotion, he rose in the parliamentary service, and he leaves us to-day having filled the high and honorable position of chief of the Commonwealth Hansard Staff. As I have said before in this chamber when we have been saying kind things about other men who have passed out of the life of the Parliament, those who have rendered meritorious service are entitled to full recognition while they are yet with us to hear what is said. For that reason, I have taken this opportunity to say a few words regarding the life and work of a distinguished public servant. Probably nothing that Mr. Weatherston has done in a journalistic capacity has been of greater value than his publication entitled Commonwealth Hansard Its Establishment and Development. It is a wonderfully interesting book, and I am glad that facilities were made available for its publication. I am very pleased to have it. 1 am sure that I am voicing the opinion of every honorable senator when I say that I hope Mr. Weatherston will enjoy many years of health and happiness in his retirement.
– by leave - I join with you, Mr. President, and the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) in expressing appreciation of the splendid work that Mr. Weatherston has done, first, as a member, and later as chief, of the parliamentary reporting staff. I endorse all that has been said, especially the wish that Mr. Weatherston will enjoy a long and happy period of retirement.
– by leave - As a senator from Western Australia, I desire to add a few words to what has been said regarding the services of Mr. Weatherston. I was in the Western Australian Parliament when Mr. Weatherston was a Hansard reporter there, and in that capacity he displayed the same efficiency, knowledge and courtesy as he has exhibited so repeatedly here. Every member of the Parliament of Western Australia regretted Mr. Weatherston’s promotion to the higher realm of public service under the Commonwealth. He has a host of friends in Western Australia, both inside and outside political circles, and I am sure that they would wish to join with us in wishing him a long, peaceful and well-earned period of retirement.
– Will the Minister for the Interior take steps to expedite the construction of the large military hospital that has been approved for Northam?
– Can the Minister representing the Minister for Commerce say when the additional 3d. a bushel which is to be paid on wheat delivered to the No. 2 Pool will be paid, and will he take steps to expedite payment ?
– I shall obtain precise information as to the date of payment, and will endeavour to see that it is as early as possible.
Report and Balance-sheet.
– I desire to inform the Senate that a copy of the report of the directors and of the balance-sheet of Commonwealth Oil Refineries Limited as at the 30th June, 1940, have been placed on the table of the Library.
asked the Minis ter for Munitions, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as follows : -
The above figures do not take into account the many thousands employed throughout the Commonweal till directly or indirectly upon work connected with the production of munitions and aircraft components carried out by firms under contract or sub-contract arrangements, as information under this category would be difficult if not impossible to collate.
asked the Minis ter representing the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -
– The Minister for Trade and Customs has supplied the following answers - 1 and 2. The Department of the Navy has advised that approval has been granted for the payment of £9,000 to Walkers Limited, Maryborough, Queensland, and £6,500 to Poole and Steele Proprietary Limited, Sydney, New South Wales, for building berth equipment in connexion with the construction of vessels for naval defence purposes. A request from Evans, Deakin and Company, Brisbane, Queensland, for a grant of £20,000has been received, and is now under consideration. The conditions of the approved grants are that the equipment is to remain the property of the Commonwealth, the shipbuilders are to maintain it, to have the right of user and the option of purchase at a price to bo agreed upon. Insofar as merchant ships arc concerned, provision is made under the Ship Bounty Act 1939 for the payment of a bounty on the construction in Australia of iron and steel ships exceeding 100 but not exceeding 1,500 gross tons. So far, no company has indicated to the Government its intention to build ships subject to bounty under the act.
asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General, upon notice -
– The AttorneyGeneral has supplied the following answers : -
asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Army, upon notice -
Will the Minister make available to the Senate a copy of the attestation paper signed by trainees called up under the compulsory national service training scheme?
– The Minister for the Army has made four copies available.
asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The Prime Minister has supplied the following answers : -
Sales and Prices
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Commerce, upon notice -
– The Minister for Commerce has supplied the following answers : - 1 and 2. Quantity of wheat and flour sold during October for shipment overseas, with details of purchasers : -
Greece. 3,733,000 bushels; Japan, 1,866,000 bushels; China, 748,000 bushels; Palestine, 410,000 bushels; New Zealand, 45,500 bushels; Egypt, 45,000 bushels; India, 3,700 bushels; total quantity, 5,851,200 bushels. The price for bulk wheat was 3s. 9¼d. per bushel f.o.b. and for bagged wheat from 4s. l¾d. to 4s. 3d. per bushel f.o.b. 44,900 short tons were purchased by China at the equivalent of £ A. 9 4s. per short ton.
asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The Prime Minister has supplied the following answers : - 1 and 2. The Marconi School of Wireless is not a Commonwealth technical school, but is registered as a firm in New South Wales and is owned by Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia ) Limited, under whose control it has operated since 1913.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Army, upon notice -
– The Minister for the Army has supplied the following answers : -
Reinstatement of Employees
asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Army, upon notice -
– The Minister for the Army has supplied the following answers : -
asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Amy, upon notice -
– The Minister for the Army has supplied the following answers : -
Conditions of sick leave for garrison battalions and other home service units are as follows: -
Forces (other than first Australian Imperial Force) performing fulltime duty are granted sick leave on thesame conditions as apply to the Permanent Forces; that is to say -
Fourteen (14) days on full pay;
Ten (10) days on half pay;
Seven (7) days on one-third pay for each twelve months’ service. Half of this amount may be taken during the first six months’ service and credits may be accumulated for future years. When a member has exhausted these amounts, he may be granted sick leave without pay. Dependants’ allowance is considered as part of a member’s pay when applying these conditions.
asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The Prime Minister has supplied the following answers : - ] mid 2. At a conference between Commonwealth and State Ministers in March, 1939, a common policy to be followed by the Commonwealth and State Governments in planning for air raids precautions was agreed n] ion. As a result of the conference a Director of Civilian Defence and State Co-operation was appointed in the Department of Defence to co-ordinate planning and this officer has been in active collaboration with the State Government authorities in the completion of their air raid precautions plans.
The general policy in relation to air raids planning is at present under review by the Commonwealth Government.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing and Sessional Orders suspended.
Bill (on motion by Senator MCBRIDE -read a first time.
.- I move- ‘
That the bill be now read a second time.
Supply Acts Nos. 1 and 2 provided funds to carry on the services of the Government until approximately the 30th November, 1940. The present measure provides for a period of one month from that date when it is expected that the Appropriation Bill will have been passed. The Treasurer (Mr. Fadden) in his budget speech outlined the financial proposals for the current year. The intention is to ask the Senate to consider the ‘budget and to pass the necessary appropriation hill before Parliament rises. In the meantime further supply is required to carry on essential services.
This bill makes provision for an amount of £2,896,000 to meet expenditure under the following main heads : -
The amounts included in the bill are based on the rates of expenditure approved in the appropriation for 1939-40, except in the case of Defence, in respect of which it is necessary to make increased provision to meet war conditions. No provision has been made in the bill under the head “ Treasurer’s Advance “ as it is anticipated that the amount of £5,000,000 already granted this year will foe adequate.
[3.35 . - I draw the attention of the Senate to clause (2) of regulation 20 of the National Security (War Service Moratorium) Regulations, made on the 10th September, 1940, which provides that any member of the forces, parent of a member or female dependant of a member may require the owner of a dwelling-house which is vacant, or is about to become vacant, to let the dwellinghouse to him or her at a reasonable rental, and the owner shall, unless he has reasonable cause for refusing so to do, let the dwelling-house accordingly.
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. J. B. Hayes). - The honorable senator will not be in order in discussing that subject at this stage. He could have raised it on the first reading of this bill.
– I rose to discuss the matter on the first reading.
– Honorable senators are entitled to raise any subject on the first reading of a Supply Bill. I put the question very deliberately, but no honorable senator rose to speak. The honorable senator will have an opportunity to discuss the matter when the budget is under consideration.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without requests or debate.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing and Sessional Orders suspended.
Bill (on motion by Senator McBride) read a first time.
.- I move-
That the bill be now read a second time.
The bill provides for raising £2,000,000 by loan for expenditure on postal works. An additional amount of £1,176,000 is to be provided from revenue, making a total of £3,176,000 for postal works. During the financial year 1939-40 the expenditure on such works was £3,177,000. An amount of £20,000 is provided for the expenses incurred in raising the loan, and that amount covers such items as stationery, advertising, &c, but such expenses will be kept at a minimum. Honorable senators will agree that expenditure on postal works is necessary in order to provide adequate facilities for Australia’s growing population, and to enable the Postal Department to keep abreast of modern technical developments. This expenditure will provide assets which will more than repay interest and sinking fund charges, and for that reason it may be regarded as a desirable form of loan expenditure. Having regard to our huge war commitments, £3,176,000 is the maximum sum which can be made available in 1940-41.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
Clauses 1 to 5 agreed to.
– The schedule includes an item of £29,000 for “national broadcasting service “. Will the Minister (Senator McBride) supply the committee with details of that item?.
– That sum is to be expended on technical broadcasting equipment. I could give further details if the honorable senator so desired, but I can assure him that the item is not directly associated with the work of the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
– It is for work done by the Postal Department.
– Yes, it is for expenditure on technical broadcasting equipment.
Schedule agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.
Bill read a third time.
Debate resumed from the 28th November,(vide page 247), on motion by Senator McBride -
That the papers be printed.
– I take this opportunity to make a few comments upon the budget of 1940-41 which undoubtedly will inflict great hardship on all sections of the community. The taxation proposals contained in the budget are likely to defeat the object which the Government has in view. There is a limit to the taxes which can be borne by the community without causing deflation and chaos in industry. At first glance the taxation proposals foreshadowed are staggering, and are even more so when examined closely. Compared with the year 1939-40 the proposed Commonwealth taxes represent an increase of £6.9 per capita, and bring the total of Commonwealth taxes to approximately £19 per capita. In 1938-39, the amount was as low as £10 13s. per capita, so that in two years, Commonwealth taxation per capita has been almost doubled. I am afraid that in future, many persons, particularly among the lower paid sections, will have to go without the necessaries of life. Men with large families will have to pay a large proportion of the indirect taxes imposed. Probably the Minister (Senator McBride) will say that many necessaries of life are exempt from the sales tax, but I would remind him that that tax is imposed on almost every article of clothing worn by men, women and children. For instance a man with a wife and six children has to pay sales tax on at least eight pairs of boots and socks.
– There is no sales tax on boots and socks.
– I understood that boots had now been included.
– The sales tax is not imposed on boots.
– I ask the Minister to name any article of wearing apparel that a family requires, apart from hoots, on which sales tax is not imposed. A man with six children is called upon to pay sales tax on the articles required for a family of eight, and the strain on his budget, great as it is at present, will be considerably increased during the ensuing year.
Australiahas a population of only 7,000,000, and it will not be suggested that we can continue to hold this country unless the population is increased. The best way to add to the population is to increase the birth-rate, but we shall not encourage the people to do that if sales tax is imposed on every commodity required to establish a new home.
– Which political party first imposed the sales tax?
– I am not dealing with that matter. The tax has been increased time after time, and it imposes a heavy burden upon any young couple entering matrimony. In many homes, parents have taken out insurance policies, either for themselves or their children, and they have kept up the payments of the premiums for many years ; but under the present proposals of the Government the cash required for these payments will now be extracted from them in the form of increased taxes, and, in many cases, the extra burden imposed will result in the forfeiture of the policies.
Members of the middle classes have a limited amount of income. They may use their money by engaging in farming pursuits, or by building homes for themselves ; but the increased taxes now to be imposed will place such a burden on them. that they will be unable to carry out the financial programme previously contemplated by them. Does the average primary producer save any money? If he has a balance of £600 or £700 in one year he may barely manage to balance his budget in the following year.
– That applies to every body.
– But the primary producer cannot be expected to cope with a heavy increase of taxes not contemplated by him, and of which he has received no notice. As the law stands to-day, income taxes must be paid within a limited number of days, and, in the event of a tax payer failing to pay them, he is charged an extra 10 per cent. If he cannot satisfy the claims of the department, a policeman calls at his home, and, eventually, legal action is taken to enforce payment of the tax.
– If he is unable to pay, the tax cannot be taken from him.
– He may have a small property, the sale of which would result in the loss of his means of livelihood.
– Can the honorable senator furnish an instance of that?
– Yes, I can always back up my statements with proof. 1 know a person who, when a tax was demanded of him, wrote to the Commissioner of Taxes and asked for an extension of time in which to pay. In reply, he received a demand for payment of the tax within seven days, and, failing payment, he was threatened with prosecution.
– Was he a primary producer ?
– I doubt it.
– The honorable senator need have no doubt on the matter. I happen to be the individual to whom I am referring. When I received the demand from the department for payment, I did not have the money, and therefore I asked for an extension of time. Being allowed only seven days in which to pay the tax, I was forced to sell something thatI actually needed. Otherwise, I could not have met the demand of the department. If the Government survives the present crisis and its budget proposals are implemented, I hope that taxpayers will be treated more leniently in the future than they have been in the past, when their financial position has made it impossible for them to pay the taxes demanded within the period allowed. The Government talks about the cutting down of profits, but there is no greater profiteer than a government that takes advantage of an unfortunate taxpayer who has not the necessary money with which to pay his taxes.
Indirect taxes fall heavily upon the working classes, and particularly upon the invalid and old-age pensioners. I understand that, in order to appease the pensioners, the Government proposes to raise the old-age pension by1s. a week, but, in view of its taxation proposals, what it will give with one hand it will take away with the other. Its action is not in conformity with the policy it placed before the people at the last elections, when it said that equality of sacrifice was necessary in the prosecution of the war. As soon as the budget proposals were presented, the people generally realized that they involved inequality, rather than equality, of sacrifice.
The Government contemplates borrowing about £93,000,000 in the coming year for the prosecution of the war. I do not wish it to be thought for a moment that I, or any of my colleagues on this side of the chamber, object to any expenditure required for that purpose. Although I agree that every penny raised will be needed, and probably much more will soon be required, if the people are to be called upon to pay interest on borrowed money, the Government is heading this country for chaos.
– How would the honorable senator raise the money required for the prosecution of the war?
– The method adopted by the Government merely defers the burden that the people will ultimately be called upon to bear. If the money is to be raisedby means of taxes, let it be done now, but that is not the method I prefer. There are other ways of obtaining the money required for the defence of Australia. Senator Spicer, like his colleagues, refuses even to investigate those methods, or to take advice from the hand-picked royal commission, appointed by his own party, that investigated the monetary and banking systems at a cost of £20,000. The policy which the Government is pursuing will crucify future generations.
– What about the people who are now living?
– The honorable senator’s interjection reminds me that there are many selfish people in this country. Their motto is “I am all right; to the devil with you “. The honorable senator is all right to-day, and therefore he is not concerned as to what his children, or his grandchildren, may have to suffer in the future because of the misdeeds of the Government of to-day.
– That is a foolish statement.
– We on this side are concerned about the future of the Commonwealth. Australia is a country about the size of Europe, but, instead of containing a population of approximately 200,000,000 people, its population is only about 7,000,000. That small population has the responsibility of defending and developing a huge continent, and to that end it is producing and exporting various products required by the Old Country, and, in addition, making armaments and munitions for use in various parts of the Empire. The 200,000,000 people of Europe are in a better position to find money for war or other purposes than are the 7,000,000 inhabitants of Australia. It can truly be said that the people of Australia will find difficulty in meeting even the interest on the loans which will have to be raised for the defence of this country. As I have said, there are other ways of obtaining the money. They have been explained time after time by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) and other honorable senators on this side.
– Honorable senators opposite have not shown that it can be done successfully.
– Not many years ago Germany was practically a bankrupt nation. On many occasions Hitler has told the German people that when he was elected he had nothing but what he stood up in, and that Germany had no foreign credit and no gold; but he rejoiced that the nation had been willing to produce and had, in fact, produced so much that it had become strong.
– He raised loans.
– I do not deny that some loans were raised, but most of Hitler’s financial programme was carried out under a system of internal credit. If Germany has become strong by the use of the nation’s credit - so strong indeed that the flower of the world’s manhood will be lost before Germany is defeated - we must adopt similar methods.
– Does the honorable senator suggest compulsory loans ?
– The Government has not hesitated to introduce compulsion in other spheres. Under the national security regulations some men are compelled to undergo military training, whilst others must remain in their present employment or carry out whatever duties are assigned to them. I do not say anything against that, but I ask the Minister, who agrees to such compulsory measures, whether he will also agree to compel the wealthy section of the community to make available for the use of the nation some of their wealth that now lies idle. This section has more to lose from a German victory than has any other section.
– I do not know that any wealth is lying idle, but I do know that the Government? is compelling these people to contribute some of their wealth to the nation.
– On the hustings, the Minister advocated equality of sacrifice. I should like to see effect given to his words, also I am concerned about the development of Australian industries, so that this country may be in a position to defend itself. Almost daily our newspapers contain evidence of the havoc wrought by German U-boats on vessels conveying goods between the dominions and Great Britain. The authorities in England are at their wits’ end to know how to combat this menace, and maintain adequate supplies of food for the people in the Homeland. The drastic food rationing which was recently announced is evidence of the danger that exists. Australia, like Great Britain, depends on many imported products for the carrying out of its armaments programme. The position is already grave, but the time may come when sufficient vessels to carry products to and from Australia may not be available. Oan the Government say that it has done its utmost to provide against such an emergency ?
– Has not the honorable senator heard of the Government’s shipbuilding programme?
– I have heard of it. I have also heard of the refusal of the Government to give an order to a company in Hobart which offered to build ships. In both Hobart and Melbourne influential companies are prepared to engage in shipbuilding if orders for ships are given to them. The Minis ter for Supply and Development is silent. He knows that overseas trade is endangered, and that the people of Great Britain are to be subjected to more severe food restrictions. He knows also the degree to which Australian interstate shipping has been interfered with. Why is it, therefore, that Australian companies which are prepared to build ships are refused permission to build them? Should there be any serious interruption of Australian shipping, the position of Tasmania would be grave indeed, because 75 per cent, of the products of the island State are exported, and a large proportion of Tasmania’s requirements has to be obtained from the mainland of Australia and other countries. Even before the recent sinking of two vessels by enemy mines in Bass Strait the Emu Bay Railway Company had at its Burnie workshops only sufficient coal to meet requirements for a fortnight, because shipping facilities for its carriage were not available. A. severe dislocation of the shipping services between Tasmania and the mainland would mean that within a few weeks the people of Tasmania, like their fellow Britishers in the Old Country, would be forced to use food ration tickets. These conditions exist at a time when in one State of the Commonwealth 40,000 persons are unemployed, and in another State the number of persons out of work is between 20,000 and 30,000. Had the Government made a real effort to develop Australian industries, that huge army of unemployed would not exist, nor would companies which are prepared to build ships be refused permission to build them. At a time when Australian companies cannot find markets for their products similar goods are being imported from other countries. I refer particularly to the production of magnesium in Australia. A Tasmanian company which is willing to produce magnesium has asked the Commonwealth Government to purchase its output, but it has failed to give a satisfactory answer. It would appear that the Government has received advice that magnesium may not be produced economically, but it is significant that none of its advisers has ever visited Tasmania to ascertain whether that is so. The only conclusion that I can come to is that vested interests elsewhere in Australia do not want the magnesium industry of Tasmania to be developed. I go further, and say that some Ministers would rather see the industry develop in other parts of the Commonwealth than in Tasmania. They are not concerned with the cutting off of supplies to our war industries. The company to which I have referred is prepared to proceeded forthwith with the development of this industry; but before doing so it seeks a guarantee from the Commonwealth Government to buy its product and negotiate sales of any surplus production. So far, the Government has refused to give any such undertaking.
The development of other industries in addition to the magnesium industry, is long overdue. I refer particularly to the shale oil industry, especially in Tasmania, where there are deposits of shale which, on analysis, have shown a high percentage of crude oil, the production of which, is vital to the propulsion of mechanized army units. I have heard it said that those deposits are tied up by the Labour Government of Tasmania, but that is not true. The industry there could have been developed long before the need for petrol rationing ever arose. It is ludicrous to say that this Government, or any other Commonwealth government did not know that war was imminent, or that production of liquid fuel is necessary in Australian economy. Successive Commonwealth governments for years have talked about the extraction of oil from shale and coal; but they stopped at talk and did not lift one finger to do anything until the shells began to burst. The Tasmanian shale deposits could bc developed even at this late stage to obviate the need for petrol rationing, which is likely to throw commerce into chaos. Those deposits are not tied up by the State Government. They are open for development by any company, or by the Commonwealth Government itself, provided a guarantee is given that the fields will be developed. The State Government, however, is not ready to lease the field to a major oil company which would tie it up for ever. Apparently the allegation that the State Government will not allow the development of the Tasmanian shale had its genesis in that Government’s refusal a couple of years ago to give a lease to a company which was acting for one of the major oil companies and which purposed the stifling of any development on the field. When the proposition was put before the State Government it refused to have anything to do with it, its attitude being “A lease will be granted only on condition that you produce oil or forfeit. “. That offer stands to-day and I commend the State Government for not allowing the great oil companies to take charge of the area and prevent its development. Either the Commonwealth Government has lacked foresight or the influence of the major oil companies has been responsible for its inaction.
While this war is being waged we expect the best effort from every individual in the community, and we deprecate any action that will stop the wheels of industry or have any other detrimental effect on the war effort. The Prime Minister does not believe in direct action ; neither do we. The right honorable gentleman has often criticized trade unions for resorting to direct action in order to have grievances redressed. But I blame the right honorable gentleman himself, as well as his colleagues, for any dislocation of industry that has occurred, because the Ministry has failed in its duty to provide the necessary machinery to have grievances investigated and settled as they arise. A snowball rolled from the top of a mountain achieves huge dimensions before it reaches the bottom. Industrial disputes are analagous and, if they are not attended to at once, their seriousness grows with every day of delay.
Although the Prime Minister professes to be so bitterly opposed to direct action, he is one of the greatest direct actionists that we have in Australia. I make that statement because he went to the people pleading for a national government. Then, after he had done all that pleading, a budget vastly different from that which we should have presented had we been returned to power, was brought before Parliament. The election left the Government and the Opposition sharing equally the confidence of the people. Yet the right honorable gentleman said : “ If I cannot get my own way and cannot get my own budget through as presented, regardless of what you say, although you represent half the people, I will resort to direct action and go back to the country “.
– “When did the Prime Minister say that?
– The newspapers in the last few weeks have contained statements by the Prime Minister to that effect, and they have not been denied. He said in the House of Representatives when the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Curtin) submitted proposals containing only a small proportion of Labour’s policy, “No; I accept the amendment as a direct challenge. I shall sink or swim and, if I am defeated, I shall seek a dissolution of the House”.
– He made no such statement in the House.
– If he did not make it in the House, he made it to the press. The press is generally acquainted with the Prime Minister’s intentions before members of Parliament.
Subversive activities occupy a good deal of our attention. The Government depends for advice as to the best methods of defending this country upon experts, yet in Melbourne, Sydney, or any other capital city, oil storage tanks, mounted on stilts and painted white, present a most wonderful target. With the naked eye they are visible for many miles, and I should say that from aircraft an observer with a good pair of field glasses would be able to see them from a hundred miles away. Those tanks-contain the life blood of this country. Yet they are erected, and are still being erected, in such a way as to provide a conspicuous target for the enemy. If that policy is being applied on the advice of the Government’s experts the records of those experts should be scrutinized, regardless of what position they hold. The Government should use its own eyes and commonsense.
Also under the heading of “ subversive activities “ we find the advocacy by the president of the New South Wales Branch of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia, Mr. L. A. Robb, who has high social standing, of a dictatorship in this country. That gentleman, at the returned sailors and soldiers’ congress at Canberra, advocated the very thing that we are all called upon to make sacrifices in order to overthrow! If it were not for dictatorships we would not be at war. Mr. Robb made a disloyal statement when he said that it was time that we had a dictatorship under Mr. Menzies. Yet this Government, which has all the powers of the National Security Act at its command, refuses not only to take any action against that gentleman, but also to investigate his remarks.
– He is only a temperamental fool.
– He was putting out a feeler. Probably his record would show that he was a member of the New Guard in New South Wales, which was created in other times of stress to throw aside law and order. I am pleased to see, however, that the returned soldiers have denounced him and have repudiated his statement.
– That is not correct.
– It is correct. The honorable senator is attempting to incriminate the returned soldiers who are the most loyal men in Australia to-day.
– I do not challenge the loyalty of returned soldiers, for whom 1 have more respect even than the honorable gentleman himself, but I do say that they are divided on this matter. Foi instance, the Grafton branch of the Returned Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia has carried a resolution of confidence in Mr. Robb.
– I refuse to accept a statement from Senator Dein that the returned soldiers are divided on this issue. I refuse to believe that -any returned soldier would join with Mr. Robb in order to establish a dictatorship.
– Did Mr. Robb say that he wanted a dictatorship?
– Of course he did. It was not until three or four days after the report had appeared in the press that he made any statement about it.
Another matter which I wish to raise deals with the treatment of members of garrison battalions who fall sick or are incapacitated through accidents in the course of their duties. In reply to a question which I asked on this matter, the Minister for the Interior (Senator
Poll) explained that a big proportion of the members of garrison battalions who are not exAustralian Imperial Force men, and who do not come up to the Australian Imperial Force medical standard, are classified as class 2 on enlistment. These men, who have volunteered to serve in our defence forces for the duration of the war and twelve months thereafter, are often called upon to serve in districts where the most trying climatic conditions prevail. In many cases they have relinquished good jobs in civil life. Nevertheless, should their services be dispensed with by the military authorities as the result of sickness, or accident, during their period of service, they find themselves practically penniless. I know of districts in certain parts of Tasmania where sleet and snow fall for eight months of the year, and where climatic conditions generally are so severe that they would test the health of men who are perfectly fit physically. These men are employed on guard duties for two hours on with four hours off. These conditions apply in snow districts such as Tarraleah, “Waddamana, Shannon and Myena. Should any of these men take sick, and they could quite easily contract pneumonia in such a climate, they are allowed full pay for seven days, half-pay for five days, and one-third pay for three and a half days. In order to qualify for this rate of allowances, they must serve at least six months in a. garrison battalion. The point I make is that should any of this class of men contract sickness from which they fail to recover within a fortnight they are practically obliged to starve. They are thrown upon the State as paupers. The defence authorities also refuse to make any provision for their families. The Government should be ashamed of this treatment of men who volunteer to defend this country at some of its most vulnerable points. I appeal to the Government to reconsider its attitude on this matter, and to do the fair thing by these men when they fall sick, or are incapacitated through an accident met with in the course of their military duties. Ex-members of the Australian Imperial Force serving with garrison battalions are entitled to allowances covering the whole of their period of sickness or incapacitation. I contend that as the class 2 men are performing services equally valuable, from a defence point of view, they should be treated on the same basis as are their ex-Australian Imperial Force comrades. Should they become ill, all members of garrison battalions, irrespective of their classification, should be paid allowances until such time as they make a complete recovery, and then they should be reengaged in their former duties.
.- Every one agrees that all must bear a like share in paying what might be termed Australia’s premium for safety. In order to meet our huge war bill, people must make sacrifices and forgo peacetime luxuries. The sacrifices, which the budget calls upon the community to make, are small compared with those of our sailors, soldiers and airmen who are risking their lives for us. The budget has already brought home to many easygoing citizens the stern fact that Australia is at war. We are now involved in a long and costly war. The proposed new taxation is a challenge to our patriotism, and a test of the loyalty which the nation has been proclaiming since war was declared fifteen months ago. For the vast majority the amounts to be sacrificed in taxes will be the first real taxes they have yet paid. During the week-end I have spoken to many such people on this subject. Philosophically, the answer of one trade unionist was, “ Ah, well, it is better to be poor under the Union Jack than a slave under the Swastika “. That is the attitude, in a nutshell, of most people.
The average Australian citizen is not alarmed by the budget proposals. They were expected. Many are surprised that the impost is not heavier. At the same time they definitely demand that the money be expended to the best advantage in our war effort. Are we sure that the avenues of expenditure have been so well policed that undue profits are not made by contractors and others engaged in the production of war equipment? In that respect the man in the street has grave doubts. The Government has the power to check profiteering, but the measures taken in that direction are not sufficiently swift and drastic. The taxpayer demands the closest scrutiny of defence expenditure. Last week I asked a question in this chamber regarding the cost of a number of cartridge gauging machines. I did so at the request of two of my friends who are qualified to make an estimate, and quick to detect any signs of profiteering. The departmental reply did not give a definite indication of close supervision in the course of manufacture. How can an accountant sitting in an office keep a close eye on mounting costs ? “We need to police the job from start to finish. Many citizens would willingly give their services voluntarily as official inspectors. The more prying the eyes of supervision of government contracts, the less will be the chances of profiteering. This applies to big industrial establishments as well as to small firms. The man in the street wants to know whether a big firm which sublets a government contract to smaller firms also receives 4 per cent, on production costs? The Minister for Supply and Development might enlighten the Senate on that point.
The opinion is general that a drastic curtailment of the activities of the Department of Information, or its abolition, is overdue. The re-hashing of stale news and comments on the war by so-called experts must cost the department thousands of pounds. I do not read one-half of its pamphlets, and neither does the average citizen. That is an avenue where economy could be practised.
I have already drawn attention to the possibility that the actual fighting units of our Home Defence Army, on mobilization, will prove insufficient in numbers, and, later, short of trained reinforcements. A drastic overhaul of the whole of our man-power is necessary. The revised list of reserved occupations recently issued only touches the fringe of the subject. I venture the opinion that three out of five males of military age, 18 to 45 years, are exempt either because they are engaged in the production of war equipment, or included in the various categories of reserved occupations. In addition, a very considerable number of active service eligibles are engaged in administrative and other “ back area “ duties. Unless a drastic overhaul be made the Home Defence Army, and the Aus tralian Imperial Force overseas, will suffer numerically. Great Britain is contemplating training unfit personnel for work in the factories and workshops, and proposes to make more use of ex-service men in order that the British Army may be strengthened by fit and eligible men now engaged in certain reserved occupations. Lord Winterton, in foreshadowing this in the House of Lords recently, prefaced his remarks by saying -
The main enemy strength the Empire has yet to meet is the land forces of Germany. It is no use blinking at the fact that the hardest and stiffest fighting has yet to come. Mechanization means many more men employed in industry. In spite of that the British Army must not want for recruits.
A well-known British military writer, endorsing Lord Winter ton’s advocacy for a stronger army, said -
The Royal Navy no matter how magnificent cannot invade Germany. The Royal Air Force may destroy, but it cannot hold ground. Artillery and tanks may help but they are useless without infantry. The war will be won when the glint of the British and Dominion bayonets in the Unter der Linden marks the end of savagery in Europe, with freedom and liberty for all.
I agree entirely with that view. It was the Greek infantrymen who hurled the Italians out of Greece, and now look like driving them out of Albania also. A Dunkirk in the Adriatic may have widespread repercussions. The authorities are over-emphasizing medical fitness. The highest standard is necessary for the actual fighting units, but a modified standard should meet requirements for the personnel of units far removed from active operations. The question of final medical examinations for the Australian Imperial Force calls for the closest attention of the Minister for the Army (Mr. Spender). I cite the case of a young man who, after a medical test, was accepted on the 7th May last, and later posted to the 2/14th Battalion. He became a sergeant. Just prior to his unit leaving for overseas, he had a second test and was discharged on the 10th October after 159 days’ service. The second test gave the same result as the first test on the 5th May. At the second examination he was informed that if he did not hear from the medical authorities within a few days, he could consider himself fit for active service.
Having been drafted to the reception camp at Caulfield race-course, this young man naturally assumed that he was justified in settling his private affairs. After 159 days’ service he was surprised to be told that he had to be discharged. Fortunately, he was able to resume his former civil occupation a week later. What would have been the predicament of any other young man not so fortunately placed ? His chances of reemployment would have been ruined. I can give to the Minister this young man’s name and number so that the case can be inquired into.
I take this opportunity to say how much growers of fruit for canning purposes appreciate the Government’s efforts in persuading the British Government to acquire the surplus of the 1940 pack. Three months ago the outlook was anything but attractive. Recently about 1,000,000 cases of canned fruit, the whole of this year’s surplus, was bought, and now awaits shipping space. The persistence of the Department of Commerce and the assistance of the High Commissioner in London has resulted in this very satisfactory deal. In addition to the 1,000,000 cases, a large quantity of which represents orders for the British troops in the Middle East, this year the department has supplied demands from the Near East. Fruit-growers in the Goulburn Valley, Victoria, where, at Shepparton, the largest fruit-canning establishment in the southern hemisphere is located, are naturally pleased, but they contend, and rightly so, that Australian canned fruits should have priority in the United Kingdom market. Shipping space has had to be taken into account in this year’s negotiations, but when space is no longer a consideration, will the British Government still continue to purchase four-fifths of its requirements from California? I am afraid that- it will, unless the Commonwealth Government strongly urges the claims of this unit of the British Empire. The United Kingdom should agree to take at least 2,000,000 cases annually. Were such a market assured, it would be possible to settle on good fruit-growing land hundreds of our men upon discharge from the Australian Imperial Force. I trust that the Government will plan for such an increase of export from the industry. Soldiers who are fighting for the Empire, should at least be offered a livelihood. Britain can offer to them no more suitable “reward than to purchase the products of their labour. Australia, and not California, should supply the United Kingdom with the bulk of its -requirements of canned fruits, not only now, but also after the war. Meanwhile, the disposal of the surplus 1941 pack is the immediate problem. The recent statement by the British Minister for Food is most disturbing. The ban on canned fruits entering the United Kingdom for the next twelve months may not affect the big orders for the fighting services in the Middle East and in the Near East. Canned fruit is a food, and pot a luxury.
Before concluding I should like to make a plea on behalf of returned soldier artisans temporarily employed in the Postmaster-General’s Department in Victoria. Approximately 100 of these men in the various sections of the department have completed seven or eight years’ continuous service, and, I understand, their efficiency is favorably reported on. These men are approaching 51 years of age, after which no temporary official can receive permanent status. Recently the Government has raised a number of returned soldier linemen and mechanics in the Postmaster-General’s Department from temporary to permanent rank. Liberal treatment of such artisans would be a reward for service to their country in the Great War, and also for service in the Postmaster-General’s Department. There is much apprehension among these men that they will be discharged on reaching 51 years of age in order to make way for artisans in the Australian Imperial Force who may seek employment upon demobilization.
I also support Senator Aylett’s plea for sick pay for garrison men. The honorable senator put his argument clearly. Instances similar to that which he cited have come before my notice, and I urge the Minister representing the Minister for the Army (Senator Foll) to look carefully into this matter to see whether something can be done in the direction indicated by the honorable senator.
– It is time that the people of Australia were aware of the fact that the budget of the Treasurer (Mr. Fadden) is a most extraordinary and unbusinesslike document. Indeed, it is a dishonest document. It is merely a statement of revenue and expenditure and does not take our assets into account.
– I rise to a point of order. I think it unfair that an honorable senator should say that the budget is a dishonest document. I ask that the honorable senator withdraw the remark.
– I intend to give reasons for my statement.
– The honorable senator cannot justify it.
– Not dishonest, incorrect.
– I did not hear Senator Darcey use the expression to which exception has been taken by Senator Gibson; but if it were used it is disorderly and I ask that it be withdrawn.
– I withdraw the word “ dishonest “ and shall substitute the word “ incorrect “.
– I direct your attention sir, to an interjection by Senator Cameron. I believe that he also used the word “dishonest”, and I ask that the word be withdrawn.
– I deny emphatically that I suggested that the budget is dishonest, I said that it is incorrect.
– Imagine a public company conducting its affairs in the manner in which this Government is handling its finances. What would a board of directors say to a secretary who placed before it an annual statement of revenue and expenditure, and completely omitted the assets, thus making it obligatory upon the company to borrow increasingly large sums in order to balance its accounts. That, in effect, is what the Government proposes. Obviously the board of directors would call a halt, because such a policy would land the company in bankruptcy, and the directors in jail. Yet, that is the way in which this nation is being financed, and, in fact, the way in which every Australian State is being financed. The Commonwealth Government, in spite of the tremendous asset that it has in the producing power of its people, is forced to play the part of a mendicant govern ment, begging and borrowing for the means to carry on the nation’s business.
The irony of this humiliating spectacle is heightened by the fact that sovereignty over the issue of money is the undisputed prerogative of the central government. That is nothing new. It was said nearly 100 years ago, and it applies with equal force to-day. The greatest of all Americans, Abraham Lincoln, once said something concerning money that is never quoted in orthodox newspapers in America or in any other country. None has ever charged that great emancipator with being what we term a radical, but his idea of the relation of money to humanity was, from the reactionary point of view, exceedingly revolutionary. In one of his famous speeches he said -
Money is the creature of the law, and creation of the original issue of money should bc maintained as an exclusive monopoly of the national government.
I have made a similar statement over and over again in this chamber. The statesman continued -
The monetary needs of increasing numbers of our people advancing towards higher standards of living can, and should, be met by the government. Such needs can be served by issuing national currency and credit through the operation of a national banking system.
We have a national bank - the Commonwealth Bank - which is the only one of its kind in the world. Lincoln further said -
The circulation of n. medium of exchange issued and backed by the government can bc properly regulated and redundancy of issue avoided by withdrawing from circulation such amounts as may be necessary, by taxation and in other ways. The Government, possessing the power to create and issue currency and credit as money, and enjoying the right to withdraw both currency and credit from circulation by means of taxation and otherwise, need not, and should not, borrow capital at interest, as the means of financing government work and public enterprises. The government should create, issue and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of consumers.
Honorable senators will recollect that I have consistently advocated such a system to finance the war. I continue the extract from Lincoln’s speech -
The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of government, but it is government’s greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles, the financing of all public enterprises, the maintenance of stable government and ordered progress and the conduct of tlie treasury, will become matters of practical administration. The people can and will be furnished with a currency as safe as their own government.
If these principles are understood, those who talk of inflation and restricted credit have no case at all. The passage concludes -
Money will cease to be the master and become the servant of humanity. Democracy will rise superior to the money power.
At present democracy is completely under the power of money, and has been so for many years.
I have given copies of Australia’s National Balance Sheet to honorable senators and to members of the House of Representatives. That balance-sheet supports my contention that the Treasurer’s budget is incorrect, because it disregards our national assets, which are quite capable of meeting the requirements of the war. Australia’s assets and liabilities are set out in the balancesheet that I have circulated, a footnote to which reads - it will be seen that by a proper use oi our national credit we could pay all out government expenses, meet our interest bill, spend fl52.000.000 on charity and relief, and still have £1,000,000,000 with which to finance the war.
An honorable senator recently elected to this chamber asked how it could be done, and 1 had the pleasure of placing in his letter box a book entitled Victory Without Debt.
– I am still unconvinced.
– Nothing hurts a conservative mind so much as a new idea. I should like to see the honorable senator go into this matter thoroughly. If he wishes individual instruction I shall be only too pleased to place my services at his disposal.
This is the first time in the history of federation that members of the Common wealth Parliament have had a copy of Australia’s national balance-sheet placed in their hands. It is compiled from the Australian Year-Booh by a man whose reputation is held very highly in Australian financial circles, and who occupies a high position with the South Australian Government. When a remark was made to me by a Government supporter, I replied, “ If you can find a figure in the statement which you can challenge from an accountancy point of view, I shall give £50 to any charity that you like to name “.
– Has that statement been passed by an auditor?
– These figures are taken from the Commonwealth YearBooh.
– But have they been audited?
– Is the honorable senator suggesting that there should be an audit of Dr. Roland Wilson’s statistics? These figures are compiled from the Commonwealth Year-Booh, No. 32, 1939, and surely should not be questioned.
– I am not questioning them. It seems that some of the extracts are from the Year-Booh and that some are not.
– I challenge any honorable senator opposite to find fault with these figures. Apparently the Government does not understand the value of Australian citizens. It will be recalled that on one occasion Mr. W. Peabody, of Boston, charged the Government of the United States of America with selling the honour of America for dollars. That was a serious statement, and one to which every American felt it was his duty to give attention. Mr. Peabody took the value of the soldiers lost by Great Britain and France between the time America declared war and the time when the American forces actually went into battle, and proved that the Allies actually owed America nothing at all.
Australia’s national balance-sheet assesses the value of Australian citizens at £4,018,000,000, and the total assets at £5,880,000,000 making a grand total of £9.S9S,000,000. The nation’s liabilities’ are assessed at £1,802,000,000 leaving a credit balance of £S,036,000,000. The reason for fixing the value of Australian citizens at the high figure of £4,01S,000,000, or £578 per head of the population, is that each man is regarded as a productive unit, and, therefore, as a great national asset. Some ask “ How can Ave use the national credit?” The answer is that it can be used, and should be used right up to the capacity of our citizens to produce.
– What has the author of Australia’s national balancesheet set down as the value of posterity?
– That is not on the balance-sheet. Any one who asks what i3 the value of posterity is obviously making a joke of the matter.
– The honorable senator is failing in his logic.
– Because of our cumbersome financial system posterity lias always been saddled with a huge burden. The practice to-day is to charge all borrowed money to posterity. The adoption of the financial policy for which the Government stands will place upon posterity the great burden of this war, as was done in the last war. The policy which I advocate - that of making full use of the credit of the nation - could have been adopted from the inception of federation. When Sir Denison Miller was Governor of the Commonwealth Bank he saved the Commonwealth a good deal of money because at that time the private banks wore getting a commission of £6 per cent, for raising loans overseas. The Commonwealth Bank charged less than 6s. per cent, for a similar service, hut it could have done
Still better for the community had it departed from orthodox methods of finance.
Treasury-bills and debentures to the amount of £7S,000,000 are now held against the Government. A treasury-bill is an undated I 0 U. Even the measure passed by the Senate this afternoon shows how the Government is empowered to borrow. When inscribed stock is sold, nobody can ascertain who has bought it unless the permission of the buyer is obtained ; but the issue of treasury-bills is the biggest racket of all. When a private bank takes these bills it has the right to draw bank note;, which go into the bank’s cash reserves, and the bank is able to lend from eight to ten times the amount of such reserves. Thus the Government provides the capital whereby the private banks can lend money back to it at 3i per cent.
I regard the Senate as the political High Court of Australia. If measures received from the House of Representatives are considered to be in the interests of the people of this country, we pass them, and they become the law of the land; but I contend that the action now being taken will lead to financial ruin. We are told that the Government proposes to use central hank credit. I maintain that, strictly speaking, Australia has no central bank. A central bank operates in the interests of the private banking system, but the Commonwealth Bank is the very antithesis of a central bank. Treasury-bills are a great “ throwin” for the private banks.
From time to time Senator Dein has made reference to the breaking by Mr. Lang of the Government Savings Bank of New South Wales. That bank was operating in a magnificent building that cost over £1,000,000. If its directors had been working in the interests of the people, they would not have given to the Commonwealth Bank long-term government securities to the value of £29,000,000. They would have obtained treasury-hills, which could have been easily turned into notes. When the politicians and the private banks put their heads together and decided to break the Government Savings Bank of New South Wales, it was doing the biggest business of the kind in Australia. Mr. Lang should have dismissed the whole of the directors and the management. The Royal Commission on Monetary and Banking Systems declared that the Commonwealth Bank should go to the assistance of any bank in order to save it from bankruptcy, yet the Government Savings Bank of New South Wales was forced to close its doors.
– Could it have obtained treasury-tolls for the asking?
– I think so; the other banks can do so. Treasury debentures now on issue total £78,000,000. I stated last week that the manager of the Bank of New South Wales remarked, shortly after the war .broke out, that he was sorry to have to report to his directors that that bank could obtain a commission of only 10s. per cent, on treasurybills in London. It was then getting £1 15s. per cent, from the Commonwealth Government, and last June it generously lowered the rate to £1 10s. per cent.
The people desire to know how this war could be financed without further taxation. I point out once again that it could be done by using the national credit, “which now stands at £1,000,000,000. The present Government is not carrying out the wishes of the people, because, as I have said previously, resolutions by parties which support the Government have been passed in four of the States, urging that the Commonwealth Bank, should utilize the national credit in order to finance the cost of the war. “When I presented to this Parliament a petition signed .by thousands of electors expressing views on similar lines, the Government took no heed of the request. Why does the Government decline even to discuss the findings of the Royal Commission on the Monetary and Banking Systems? That ‘body was appointed by a United Australia party government, but its recommendations have been ignored. Hundreds of public meetings have been held throughout Australia, and resolutions in favour of utilizing the credit of the nation have been forwarded to the Prime Minister, yet he describes advocates of the use of the national credit as monetary cranks. The greatest financial authorities in the world support the views that I have advocated. I have never suggested that interest-free money could be raised to an unlimited extent. Abraham Lincoln financed the American civil war with money created by him. He said that he had two enemies - one was in the south, towards which he was advancing, and the other was behind him. That was the money power, which he regarded as the greater enemy. Before the present wai” began, the Commonwealth was in debt to the amount of £1,300,000,000 although it has a population of only 7,000,000. That debt was double the national debt of the British Empire in 1914. We were told that there was no danger in investing money in loans raised during the last war, ‘but I am afraid that many of those who take part in the present war will also have to share the financial burden resulting from it. The private banks lend against their cash deposits.
– The honorable gentleman has previously said that they do not lend money.
– They create credit against their cash deposits. When the Government issues treasury-bills they are taken by the private banks, and exchanged for notes. As I have already said, the private banks lend up to eight or ten times the amount of their cash reserves. The Australian Mutual Provident Society always has £1,500,000 ready to put into a government loan. The manager merely instructs his banker to apply for that sum, and he draws commission to the amount of £3,750 on that one cheque. Has the society cash reserves amounting to £1:500.000 ready to be put into a loan? Of course not.
– That is money paid for premiums, and the society merely invests it.
– The banks hold the bonds until overdrafts are satisfied. That is why they advance 80 per cent, of the loans. Every trading company in Australia is working on an overdraft.
– If it is so easy, why do the banks stop at £1,500,000?
– They need not stop at that figure. When Mr. Casey was Treasurer, there was a proposal to float a loan of £9,000,000, but the banks provided only £4,850,000. When they stopped, no other money was available. I asked how much of that money was bank-created credit, and the sum mentioned in reply was £3,750,000. We are told of the loyalty of the banks to th* new loan, but there is no evidence in the newspapers that any of the private hanks has lent any money at less than 3 per cent. I have suggested to various business concerns in Sydney and elsewhere that every Government contract should contain a provision compelling contractors to use the Commonwealth Bank to finance their undertakings. If that were done, tendering would noi cease, but hundreds of thousands of pounds could be raised towards the cost of the war. The people of this country should be taught to use their own bank. I recommend this proposal to the Government. The business concerns whom I have approached in this matter have promised to consider it, but I fear that the war may be over before they do anything. According to the newspapers, a system of central bank credit is in operation. What is meant by that statement? Apparently, it relates only to the issue of treasury-bills, because no interest-free money has been issued by the Commonwealth Bank. The nation’s credit is not being used, although the people are being told that it is used. The Government refuses to tell me what proportion of the money invested in recent loans’ has come from the Commonwealth Bank and what proportion has been provided by the private banks. Honorable senators have a right to know these things. There was a time when the Government answered my questions on finance, but now I cannot obtain any information in reply to questions. The only way to carry through the war to a successful conclusion is by the use of the credit of the nation. The danger to Australia to-day is that the people who know this, do not care, whilst the people who care, do not know. Honorable senators cannot say that they do not know the truth, because I have presented it to them on many occasions. The tragedy is that they know, but do not care. They are so wedded to the old financial system that they refuse to recognize where it will lead us. It is truly said that “ the King reigns, Parliament governs, but money rules “. In times of peace, the adoption of a wrong financial policy does not matter so much as now when a nation is at war. It is impossible to pay back all of the loans that have been floated; hut so long as the Government is able to place the interest bill on the shoulders of the taxpayers, the banks will lend as much money as is asked for. I want to know the total amount of treasury bills issued since the war began, because that is the way in which short-term loans are being raised. I do not think that we are fighting to defend democratic principles, because there is no real democracy in the world to-day. The. people who govern are the people who get what they want. It is a logical assumption that if the people really governed, there would he no wars. The people generally do not want wars, depressions, malnutrition or unemployment; but as these things exist, it is evident that the people do not govern. The real democracy for which we are fighting does not exist, and it will not exist so long as governments are controlled by money as they are to-day. Reginald McKenna said that those who control the nations’ credit, hold the destiny of the people in their hand. That money can make or unmake governments was shown clearly in Ramsay MacDonald’s time. The question arises whether a real democracy is possible. I answer that question in the affirmative, because the Australian Constitution provides for the control of the pursestrings. Australia can become a real democracy if the people demand it. It is indeed a fact that what is physically possible is financially possible. Money is only a ticket. If we can produce in a year goods to the value of £700,000,000 - and that is approximately the value of Australia’s production - it should be possible to purchase that production. The only thing that justifies production is consumption. The private banking system works to the detriment of the country. Small companies cannot get sufficient finance from the banks to enable them to make a great war effort. By the time that the banks supply the needs of governments, no money is left for investment in industry. I remind the Senate that the heavy taxes which are to be imposed on the people will have to be paid in cash. Do honorable senators realize that that means that deductions will be made from a man’s wages every week? Yet we can finance the war by utilizing the credit of the nation, and without interference with the purchasing power of the people. It is possible to provide useful employment for every man and woman of this country. Every unemployed person is an economic loss to the country in which he lives. It is possible to provide the people with better means of education, better housing, and better medical and dental treatment at lower cost. At present, these things are not available because of the wrong financial system under which Ave live. I have shown repeatedly how this war can be financed without increasing taxes or materially adding to the national debt; it can be done by utilizing the credit of the nation, as was clearly shown by the Royal Commission on Monetary and Banking Systems.
.- I wish to direct the attention of the Government to the danger to Australia from raiders which are not merely alleged to be operating off certain parts of the Australian coast, but are known to be there. The Minister for the Navy (Mr. Hughes) said recently in an interview that a patrol of Australian waters was being maintained, and that everything possible was being done to protect Austraiian waters, but notwithstanding that declaration, he has admitted, according to this morning’s newspapers, that nineteen mines were swept up in Bass Strait in one week, and that in the previous week six mines were found. I desire to know what precautions were taken against the laying of those mines by raiders. As mines have been laid in Bass Strait, other mines have probably been laid elsewhere in Australian waters. As I believe that criticism is not helpful unless accompanied .by some constructive suggestion, I recently made it my business to interview a captain of a deep sea vessel. He told me what we all know, namely, that Australia has lost S0,000 tons of shipping during the last couple of months, and that included in those losses were vessels equipped to carry frozen meat, butter, cheese and other perishable commodities. If that rate of destruction be continued - and in the absence of information as to the adequacy of the measures to prevent it, I see no reason why it should not continue! - our efforts to supply food to the people of .Great Britain will be seriously hampered, if not rendered useless. The captain told me that a raider which is equipped with diesel engines can remain at sea for from four to five months without having to call at any port to replenish supplies. I am alarmed to know from this captain that a mine-sweeper followed his ship and three other vessels out of Sydney Harbour on the 27th November. That the mine-sweeper did not precede those vessels is an indication of the way in which this important department is administered. If the report be true, an explanation should be demanded of those responsible. If they are not sufficiently awake to let the Government know that patrol vessels are not properly equipped to perform the service required of them, or that the personnel is not sufficient to carry out its duties, something ought to be done in the matter. In its anxiety to help Britishers overseas, the Government appears to have neglected Britishers in Australia. The Minister for the Air (Mr. McEwen) admitted recently that for eighteen days prior to the sinking of two vessels in Bass Strait ‘by enemy mines, no air patrol of the Strait had been made. It is much worse when it is realized that these raiders are not near the coast, and can intercept our ships, because w.e have not any planes with a range sufficient to enable them to search for them.
– How far would they be from the coast?
– They may he as far as 3,000 or 4,000 miles out to sea. The alarming factor is the length of time which they can spend at sea. Ships are leaving Australia as isolated units, whereas they should be in convoy - fast ships in fast convoys and slow ships in slow convoys. They should certainly not leave without protection. The Minister may say “ “Where would you get an escort from ? “. If, as I understand, all the vessels of the Australian Navy are in the Mediterranean or Far Eastern waters, sufficient units should be brought back to do the convoy work in the interests, not only of this country, but also of Great Britain itself. The people of Great Britain have once again been put on “ iron “ rations - “ iron “ rations at a time when the men, women and children there were never in greater need of nourishment. The export of our produce is important to us. but its safe delivery to Britain is of overwhelming importance to the people there.
– Does the honorable senator think that that has not been considered ?
– It may have been considered, but my information is that nothing has been done. I shall give the facts to the Government and they can be checked by the records of the Harbour Trust. On the 27th November four ships left harbour and the minesweeper went out some hours afterwards. If that -be so, some one was guilty of bungling.
– The minesweeping may have been done on the previous night.
– The expert tells me that that is not enough, seeing that in
Bass Strait, in spite of the fact that minesweepers were available, an enemy craft entered and laid 31 mines without the Department of the Navy knowing anything about it.
– The minelaying was done under the cover of darkness.
– That is no excuse, and it does not provide an escape for the falsity of the Government’s claim that this country is being adequately protected. One of the important jobs of this country in this war is to keep open the sea routes between here and the Old Country, If our ships are all away it i3 the Government’s duty to bring some of them hack to undertake this vital work. “We do not ask that the Government should disclose all the information it possesses, but we do seek an assurance that these matters will have attention. What I have disclosed warrants the ‘ most sweeping overhaul of the Naval Department. As a layman I was not satisfied with it; my dissatisfaction has increased since I have been fortified by facts given to me by a man of experience. I have other facts which I shall submit to the Minister for the Navy for detailed discussion by his officers.
The Empire’s shortage of shipping is likely to be intensified. It is officially announced that the losses have totalled 67,000 tons a week, and that in one week they totalled 120,000 tons. Something might be done to offset the loss of overseas shipping by transferring vessels from the Australian coastal trade and using the railways to carry the freight formerly carried by the coastal boats. In the last war England had for escort purposes not only the vessels of its own navy, but also the services of the fleets of Italy, Japan and France. On this occasion the Empire has to rely on its own resources. Shipbuilding, therefore, is a subject which must receive serious consideration. The work could he spread all around the coast - at Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne and every other main port. Some weeks ago I accompanied the honorable member for Corio (Mr. Dedman) to Queenscliff, a watering-place in Port Phillip, to witness the launching of a small vessel. It was 74 feet long and was in every way an excellent job. It had been built by seven local men for the fishing industry in Hobsons Bay, one of the most treacherous bays in Australia. When the work was started only one of those men was skilled in ship construction; but under his tuition the six unskilled men attained such proficiency as to turn out one of the neatest craft that I have seen. That emphasizes the futility of the argument that this country does not possess a sufficient number of skilled artisans to engage in shipbuilding on a scale which would, to a great degree, help to offset the shipping losses that we must inevitably incur. Sufficient skilled hands could be combed from industry in Australia. It would not be of great consequence if. they had to be transferred from other war industries, because, in spite of the fact that the Government is doing an excellent job in producing munitions and aircraft, the labour market is filled with unemployed. At the Melbourne Federal . Members Rooms I can show any Minister, who is sufficiently curious, a long list of men who are capable of doing good work and who are not able to find it, even at this time when no hands should be idle. Senator Cameron could do the same.
– The position is similar in every city.
– Exactly. We must pull together on this. I welcome the appointment of a Minister for Labour and National Service. The Assistant Minister (Senator Leckie), a business man, would be a suitable man to go through the labour bureaux of Australia to see what men are registered and to ascertain their specific value as war-workers. Some of the unemployed have lost heart, and it would be a good thing to say to them, “ Here is a new class of work for which we shall train you and pay you a decent wage while you are being trained “.
– I thought that that was the purpose of the man-power register.
– I too thought that it was, but it has not been applied to that degree so far.
Every one realizes that money has to he found to fight the war. The method of finding that money will be debated on both sides of this chamber. Senator Darcey has dwelt again on the release of credits. That is in the Labour platform. Loans are also in the Labour platform, but not loans for the purpose of paying for the defence of this country. Tine Labour platform definitely provides for some .taxation, heavy taxation if necessary. Certainly, we should not make the taxable minimum so low as to render the poorest-paid section liable for the payment of income tax. So much rubbish has been uttered by university professors, price fixers and alleged industrial experts, as to what is a sufficient wage for a family to live on, that to-day the basic wage throughout Australia averages only £4 4s. a week. Things have come to a shocking pass in the trade union movement when we find industrial leaders agreeable to any political party, be it the Labour party or the parties supporting the Government, accepting the notion that a. living wage is purely a matter of arithmetic. The Government proposes not only to tax the poorer-paid section, but also to increase the rate of sales tax, thus placing an additional burden on the shoulders of that section. At the last election the Labour party undertook to relieve the wage-earner of the burden of the sales tax. The decision of the electors, however, was inconclusive, the Government and the Opposition parties being returned in almost equal numerical strength. We also undertook, if elected to office, to increase the soldiers’ pay. It is shocking that our soldiers, the majority of whom have given up jobs in which they earned on an average £5 a week, should be paid only 5s. a day, out of which in the case of married men there is an allowance of 3s. a day for their wives. The most the wife of a soldier can receive is £3 7s. a week. Recently, I was interviewed hy two soldiers’ wives who reside in my district. They informed me 01 at they paid £1 10s. a week rent, which means that they have little more than £1 10s, a week on which to provide for themselves and their children while their husbands are serving in our fighting forces overseas. It is outrageous to suggest that a rate of 5s. a day to a man who enlists in any arm of the service is sufficient to enable him to provide for his wife and family during his absence.
– It is not fair to say that the soldiers’ rate of pay is 5s. a day ; it is 7s. a day.
– I said that £1 15s. a week is the rate for a single soldier.
– It is £2 9s. a week.
– I said that the maximum is about £3 7s. a week, assuming that the soldier has a wife and a couple of children. That rate is outrageous. Had the Labour party been elected to office, it would have increased the soldiers’ rate of pay.
The most nauseating feature of the budget is the Government’s proposal to raise £5,000,000 by taxing the incomes of the poorest-paid section of the community.
– How does the honorable senator reconcile his statement that a Labour government would have increased the soldiers’ rate of pay with the Labour party’s policy of opposition to sending soldiers overseas?
– The Minister is out of date. The Labour party stands for the adequate defence of Australia, and at its last convention it declared definitely that Australian troops should be utilized in the defence of those parts of the Empire nearest to this country. Had our party been returned to office we should have despatched Australian soldiers immediately to those portions of the Empire in the Pacific zone which are threatened with invasion. The Minister is fully aware of that fact. However, at the moment I am not discussing the merits of military service at home or overseas. I have already said that in respect of naval defence the Government is not doing its job. However, I have repeatedly admitted that in respect of munitions manufacture and defence organization generally it is doing excellent work. I make that admission in all fairness to the Government, because I have made it my /business to inspect personally those aspects of our war effort.
At a time like the present the Government could be expected to give proper recognition to social services. Whilst we all agree upon the necessity to make a full war effort, we must also have regard to the needs of the community as a whole. The Labour party is cognisant of the inherent needs of the people. It is a little refreshing to hear a man of such political courage and business experience as the honorable member for Henty (Mr. Coles) stressing the importance of initiating a liberal child endowment scheme, as he did in the House of Representatives yesterday. He pointed out that while our social conditions are allowed to remain as they are at present our married women are justified in their fear of having children. The Labour party looks forward to the day when the mothers of the nation will be prepared to rear families in the knowledge that they will be able to take care of their little ones. At the last election the Labour party advocated a scheme of widows’ pensions. Such a scheme would involve at the most an expenditure of £3,000,000. I should like to hear any honorable senator opposite tell me what is wrong with such a scheme. Is it not preferable to maintaining the present conditions under which a woman with a family, whom death deprives of the bread-winner, is forced to go and work in order to provide for her children? The aim of the Labour party is to apply, on a nation-wide basis, the widows’ pensions scheme now operating in New South Wales. That scheme excels anything of its kind to be found elsewhere in the Empire or even in Soviet Russia, a country which is over-boomed, and about whose achievements so much flapdoodle is uttered. Only by adopting such a scheme as now operatesin New South Wales can we save our country from the effects of race suicide. We should do everything to encourage the peopling of Australia with native-born persons. The Government, however, has made no provision in the budget for social services of this kind. I ask leave to continue my remarks at a later date.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.
– I move -
That the Senate do now adjourn.
Several days ago Senator Armstrong asked -
Is the Postmaster-General aware of the decision made by the Australian Broadcasting Commission to dispense with the services of Jim Davidson’s Dance Band? Are we justified in assuming that the economy drive against Mr. Davidson is to offset the loss of £37,000. incurred by the Australian Broadcasting Commission journal in the first seven months of its publication? Will the Minister see that the Australian Broadcasting Commission dance band is retained at full strength in view of its great popular appeal?
I take this opportunity to reply to the honorable senator as follows : -
The Australian Broadcasting Commission has had two dance bands for some time, one being Jim Davidson’s. The latter band was originally engaged on 5th October, 1936, for a two years’ contract with an option for a further six months, which was exercised. At the expiration of that contract the engagement was continued on a three-monthly basis. The engagement has thus been for a much longer period than was originally intended, and the Commission states that by it? decision, which is not related to the operations of the A. B.C. Weekly, it will be in a position to give engagements to other dance bands not now regularly broadcast.
– I draw the attention of the Senate to regulation 20 of the National Security (War Service Moratorium) Regulations passed on the 10th September last. It, reads -
That regulation applies not only in all of the States, but also in the Australian Capital Territory. Recently a lady, who resides in Canberra, applied to the Department of the Interior for the tenancy of one of a number of houses being constructed in a suburb of this city. She made personal application on the 26th October to Mr. Chapman, an officer of the department. He asked her what right she had to makesuch an application, and told her that if this concession were made to her, wives of soldiers would flock to Canberra from all of the States. She received the following letter, dated the 26th November, from the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Mr. Carrodus : -
I duly received your letter concerning your desire to obtain the tenancy of a house in Canberra.
The houses now under construction, some of which arenearing completion, are being erected for the specific purpose of accommodating Government employees.
In view of the large number of waiting applicants, who come within this category, it is regretted that it is not possible to allot you a tenancy at present, but your request will receive careful consideration should a suitable opportunity present itself at a later date.
It will be noted that whilst the department stated that it was not able to let a house to this lady it might find it possible to do so at a later date. On the 29th November, the lady wrote the following letter to Mr. Carrodus: -
Your communication of the 26th inst., folio No. T.L. 4255, was received by me this day. and I thank you for same.
Referring to paragraph two of your letter, I desire to point out to you that the house in Henty-strect, for which I applied on the 26th November, 1940, was occupied by a member of the fighting forces up to and including the 26th November, 1940.
As I lodged my application on the date the previous tenancy expired, and my husband is also a member of the fighting forces, I respectfully submit that I should be granted the tenancy of this house.
Two hours after she had forwarded that letter she received the following letter from the department: -
I am in receipt of your letter dated 26th November, in which you make application for the tenancy of the residence in Henty-street Braddon -presumably Block 6, Section 58.
It is regretted that the house in question cannot be made available to you as it has already been allotted.
I interviewed the Minister for the Interior (Senator Foll) in regard to this matter. He admitted that the position had been accurately explained by the lady in question, but stated that these houses were being built for public servants, and the Government was not prepared to allow the wives of soldiers to move into them. This matter was the subject of the following comment, which appeared in a recent edition of the Sydney Daily Telegraph : -
A soldier’s wife looks like beating 100 public servants for an unoccupied house in Canberra.
This is because of a loosely-worded regulation under the soldiers’ moratorium.
The moratorium regulation provides that, if a soldier or his dependants apply to the owner of a private house, they must be permitted to occupy it at a reasonable rental.
The regulation was intended to apply to private landlords, but it does not say so.
At the moment the Department of the Interior has a number of new homes just erected in Canberra for public servants being transferred there.
A soldier’s wife has applied for one of the houses and, under the act, is insisting on her claims.
It is feared that, if the regulations are complied with,the department will be flooded with applications from other soldiers’ families.
The department is hoping to find some solution, but the only way out seems to be to amend the regulation.
A long article also appeared in the Truth newspaper on the 27th October.
The Minister’s statement is incorrect. It cannot be denied that members of the Royal Australian Air Force have vacated houses in the Australian Capital Territory. Several houses have been occupied by other than public servants. We are aware that the Government promulgates regulations which are subsequently amended in such a way that the services of a King’s Counsel would be needed to interpret them. However, the Government has not yet caught up with this regulation. This case has been taken to the Crown Solicitor, who has not ruled that the house must not be let to the person in question. Such aruling could not be given, because the original regulation is stillin force. Whilst the Commonwealth may claim that it is not the landlord, and that it merely erects the houses, the house in question has not been let. If the Minister continues to show landlords ways in which they may disregard the legitimate claims of soldiers’ wives, the people will have little respect for a government which will not observe its own regulations. This lady has applied for a house, but not for the purpose of testing the Government’s sincerity in the matter. She has a son four years of age who is suffering from asthma, and while he lives in Sydney he has to spend most of his time in the Children’s Hospital at Camperdown. When he is brought to Canberra the complaint is not so pronounced, and his health improves. The lady lived in Canberra prior to her husband’s enlistment, but, unfortunately, he enlisted in Sydney and not in Canberra. When members of the Royal
Australian Air Force occupying houses in the Australian. Capital Territory are transferred to other stations, their houses are vacated. I know that there is a long list of public servants awaiting homes, and that their legitimate claims must be considered; but the case of this person should receive sympathetic consideration. If there are insufficient homes for the public servants, additional houses should be erected. The lady, whose name is Baxter, lives at Braddon. I suggest that in this case the house should be let to the applicant, and that the regulation be amended in order .to avoid embarrassment in the future. “While the regulation remains operative, the Government is liable to do something which apparently it is not prepared to do. I do not suggest that if Mrs. Baxter establishes her claim to a home it should be taken as a precedent. This is a genuine ease, which I have examined very carefully. If a mistake has been made, the Attorney-General or the officer of the Attorney-General’s Department who. drafted the regulation is responsible. The officers of the AttorneyGeneral’s Department should have known whether the Government intended to exclude the Australian Capital Territory from the scope of the regulation, and, if so, a provision to that effect should have been inserted. Had the regulation clearly stated that it was not applicable to the Australian Capital Territory, all this trouble would have been avoided.
I urge the Minister to arrange that Mrs. Baxter be allotted a home in Canberra so that her son will have an opportunity to regain his health.
– Senator Amour is quite correct in saying that he brought this matter under my notice some time ago. The case presents a difficult problem. I am sure that it was not the intention of any of the officers of my department to be discourteous to Mrs. Baxter, and if she considers that she has not been treated fairly in that respect, I shall arrange that the matter be taken up with the officer concerned.
The regulation in question has created a very difficult problem for the Department of the Interior. It is the policy of my department to provide homes for public servants who come to Canberra to work in government departments. Our building programme is not as extensive as we desire, and the department is unable to .provide houses in Canberra for all who wish to reside here. We have a waiting list of hundreds of public servants, many of whom, with their families, are living under most unsuitable conditions in hotels and guest houses. These people should have homes provided for them. Senator Amour understands the department’s difficulty, because he suggested that in this case the application be granted and the regulations amended so that others may not take advantage of the position which exists. That is not an unreasonable request, and I shall give it the fullest consideration. I admit quite frankly that I am opposed to this regulation covering all such cases, because it would he impossible for the department to grant all the applications that would be made. I feel sorry for the lady in question, because she came here in good faith believing that she was entitled to a home. Senator Amour was incorrect in his reference to the legal position. I have sought the opinion of the Solicitor- ‘ Genera] by whom I have been advised in this matter, that the houses which are being built in Canberra by the Commonwealth Government for Commonwealth public servants, do not come within the scope of this regulation. In Mrs. Baxter’s case it may be possible to find some private dwelling, or, in view of the special circumstances, a Government home may be provided for her. Sympathetic as the Government may be towards the dependants of soldiers, it cannot see its way clear to allow this regulation to operate in the Australian Capital Territory to the detriment of public servants who are transferred to Canberra, and who, in view of the present housing shortage, are now living in hotels and boarding-houses. Were the regulation to embrace cases such as that mentioned, the department’s building programme would be quite inadequate. It is not now the practice of the department to provide homes for every one, as was the case some time ago. Probably. I was partly responsible for the policy that preference must be given to public servants. It is the responsibility of the Government to ensure that its servants in Canberra are able to live under such conditions aswill enable efficient service to be rendered. It is not the intention of the department to he unduly harsh in its treatment of Mrs. Baxter, who finds it necessary to live here for the reason which Senator Amour mentioned. In view of the special circumstances which have arisen, I shall do my best in the matter, but I repeat that I am opposed to this regulation being applied generally to all houses in the Australian Capital Territory.
On the 27th November, Senator Amour asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Army, the following questions, upon notice -
The Minister for the Army has furnished the following replies: -
This fine was not in respect of actual shortweight deliveries to the Army.
The Army contract for bread provides for weighing bread in bulk, and payment is only made for actual weight received.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
The following papers were presented : -
Commonwealth Public Service Act -
Appointment - Department of Health -
C. I. Warner.
Regulations - Statutory Rules 1940, No. 229.
Customs Act - Proclamations prohibiting the exportation (except under certain conditions) of -
Iron and steel scrap (dated 27th Novem ber, 1940). Pearl-shell (dated 27th November, 1940).
Lands Acquisition Act - Land acquired at Toorak, Victoria - For Postal purposes.
National Security Act- National Security (General) Regulations. - Orders -
Taking possession of land, &c. ( 81 ) .
Use of land (23).
Navigation Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1940, No. 260.
Northern Australia Survey Act - Report of the Committee appointed to direct and control the Aerial, Geological and Geophysical Survey of Northern Australia, for the period ended30th June, 1940.
Ordered to be printed.
Sales Tax Assessment Acts (Nos. 1-9) - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1940, No. 258.
War. Service Homes Act - War Service Homes Commission - Report, together with Statements and Balance-sheet, for year 1939-40.
Senate adjourned at6.15 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 4 December 1940, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1940/19401204_senate_16_165/>.