18th Parliament · 2nd Session
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Gordon Brown) took the chair at 8 pm. and read prayers.
– Oan the Minister for Trade and Customs inform the Senate what assistance is now rendered to the dairying- industry by the- Govern1’ ment, either” by’ subsidy or equalization payments ?’
– The equalization scheme is under the control of my colleague, the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture. The subsidy paid to the dairying industry was discontinued last year and no financial assistance is rendered to that industry by the Australian Government at present. State control is exercised with relation to milk.
– Can the Minister for Shipping and Fuel inform the Senate what quantity of iron and steel was shipped to Victoria between the 30th June, 1948, and the 31st December, 1948?
– I have not before me figures relative to shipments of iron and steel to Victoria between the dates mentioned. If the honorable senator will place his question on the notice-paper I shall cause inquiries to be made and furnish him with a reply in due course. I assure him, however, that the figures will show that, there has been a big improvement in relation to shipments of iron and steel to Victoria.
– Will the Acting Attorney-General say whether the Government will give consideration to the appointment of a royal commission to inquire into the ramifications of the building industry? I have been informed’ that in order to secure supplies of flooring boards, builders, must ako be prepared to accept from some timber-yards hardwood that is not up to the required standard. I have also heard complaints that builders, when estimating the cost of a building, include a charge of up to £100 to cover contingent delays in the receipt of material. They may also, include another £100 for other contingencies, in addition to wages for themselves. Costs lave increased in relation to the workers who secure the logs, the sawyers, railway freights;-
– The. honorable senator, should now ask his question.
– In view of the: increased Costa; will the Government’ give, consideration to the appointment, of a royal commission to’ inquire, whether1 the costs imposed on the workers and. the Australian people in general are warranted ?
– As the honorable senator knows, at the referendum that was conducted a little while ago, the Commonwealth lost to the States the temporary power that resided in it with relation to prices and costs. Prior to the referendum, the Australian Government made it clear to the people that the States would be in grave difficulties in controlling costs throughout Australia, and that warning has since been justified. The Commonwealth has no power in 2-ela- tion to building, which is controlled by the State governments. Whilst I sympathize with the difficulties that are facing the people to-day, particularly in relation to rising costs in such a vital matter as the building of their homes, both the control of costs and the control of building are matters that lie outside the federal ambit. I do not think that the Government would be prepared to consider appointing a royal commission to inquire into those matters.
– Will the PostmasterGeneral inform me what has been done in relation to the installation of radio transmitting and receiving equipment on ships trading to King and Flinders Islands in Bass Strait, and the establishment of radio-telephone, stations on those two islands?”
– On the 12th October, 1948, the department approved of Messrs. Holyman and Sons establishing private radio stations on King and Flinders. Islands and in certain of its ships trading thereto, in order to provide for direct communication between its offices and the vessels. I understand that the company is arranging for the service to commence in. the near future.
– Will the Acting AttorneyGeneral inform the Senate. whether it is a fact that Australia was the first country in the world to ratify the convention agreed to at the 28th Maritime Session of the International Labour Conference, held at Seattle in July, 1946?
– As I am not informed upon this particular point I shall make inquiries to ascertain whether Australia had the honour to be the first country to do so and later will supply the information which the honorable senator seeks. Many conventions of the International Labour Organization have very few signatories to them. Some little time ago I had occasion to survey the field and was astounded to find how few countries have seen fit to ratify the conventions of that organization.
Statement by Mr. L. L. Sharkey.
– Has the Acting Attorney-General examined the statement alleged to have been made by Mr. L. L. Sharkey, general secretary of the Communist party in Australia, that “ if Soviet forces in pursuit of aggressors entered Australia, Australian workers would welcome them”? If so, what action does he propose to take in respect of this treasonable utterance?
– I have not yet examined the matter to which the honorable senator has referred. All that is present to my mind is the fact that a statement has been reported in the press and has been attributed to Sharkey. The day has not yet arrived when the AttorneyGeneral’s office can launch prosecutions solely on the basis of newspaper reports. It is essential that proper inquiries be made upon which proper proof may be established. Yesterday, the Prime Minister was asked a somewhat similar question in the House of Representatives, and he intimated that he would ask me, us Acting Attorney-General, to investigate the statement alleged to have been made by Sharkey and determine what action should be taken. I am now having proper inquiries made, and when I have the facts before me I shall be in a position to make a recommendation. In those circumstances I am not able at this juncture to answer the second part of the honorable senator’s question as to what action is contemplated. Whether the statement is treasonable, or seditious, as the honorable senator has suggested, will possibly be a matter for determination by the court. It is not a matter upon which I would care to pass an opinion at the moment. I am sure that the honorable senator appreciates the need for independently establishing the facts before any action can be taken. I assure him that there will be no delay in making the proper inquiries.
– In view of the large number of requests received for telephones in Victoria can the PostmasterGeneral inform the Senate of the number of new telephones which were installed in that State last year? Is there any order of priority in which requests for telephones are granted?
– I am not in a position to say exactly how many telephones were installed in Victoria last year. I shall obtain that information and supply it later to the honorable senator. However, considerable progress has been made. Twice as many telephones have been installed as were installed during the pre-war years. The requisite material is arriving at a fairly satisfactory rate, and I hope that in the near future we shall be able to overtake the lag, not only in Victoria, but also in the other States. High priority is given to three classes of applications, namely, essential businesses conducted by exservice personnel, members of the medical profession, and homes where there is serious sickness, provided the application is supported by a medical certificate to that effect. Other applications are dealt with in the order in which they are received.
– I ask the Minister for Shipping and Fuel whether the ban imposed by the Storemen and Packers’ Union upon the removal of wool from stores has prevented the loading of 120,000 bales of wool valued at more than £7,000,000 into seventeen ships at Sydney and Newcastle? In view of this grave threat to the employment of thousands of people engaged in the industries affected by the ban, will the Minister indicate what action is being taken to settle this dispute?
– I am aware that a dispute has arisen with regard to the loading of wool at Sydney and Newcastle. The matter is being attended to by the tribunals which have been set up to deal with disputes of that nature, and the Government does not contemplate taking any other action in the matter.
– In view of the fears held by members of the Opposition parties concerning statements alleged in press reports to have been made by Communists, and as aluminium is most essential from the point of view of defence, will the Minister for Supply and Development advise the Senate whether a definite site has been decided upon for the establishment of the aluminium industry?
– Having regard to the various phases involved in the production of aluminium, it is somewhat difficult to answer the honorable senator’s question. The first stage of production is the conversion of bauxite into alumina, and the second stage is the conversion of alumina into ingot aluminium. The Aluminium Industry Act provides that the second stage of production shall be carried out in Tasmania. That will be done. A final decision has not yet been made with respect to the other phases of the industry. It has been decided to undertake the production of ingot aluminium at Native Point on the Tamar River. A new site has been selected a few hundred yards nearer to the city of Launceston than the site originally chosen because of the fact that the nature of the ground at the original site rendered construction operations difficult. The new site will be the permanent situation of the industry for the production of ingot aluminium in Tasmania.
– Can the PostmasterGeneral inform the Senate what progress has been made in the establishment of television in Australia?
– Tenders for the erection of transmitting stations fm television have been received and have been referred to the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. The Government will decide ite policy in the matter in the light of the recommendations it receives from that body.
Political Propaganda - Australias Broadcasting Control Board
– I ask the PostmasterGeneral whether the Australian Broadcasting Commission recently inaugurated a series of talks called “ What’s Your Solution to the Growing Social Problem “ ? Is it a fact that listeners were invited to apply to a Sydney General Post Office box number for material which would enable them, so it was said, to form listening groups to develop ‘”’ an informed public opinion “? Was the first speaker the president of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Labour party, Mr. J. A. Ferguson, M.L.C., who delivered a lecture on trade union policy? Did those who applied to the box number receive a pamphlet set out like a Labour party election leaflet which included material that did not even appear in. the verbatim text of the broadcast? In view of the political nature of this material, will the Postmaster-General order an immediate inquiry in order to prevent the Australian Broadcasting Commission from being used as a political propaganda organization?
– I have no knowledge of the Australian Broadcasting Commission being used as an organization for .political propaganda. Nor have I any knowledge of the alleged happenings to which the honorable senator has referred. If he will place his question upon the notice-paper I shall have inquiries made and supply him, as soon as possible, with the information he seeks.
On the 3rd March, the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Cooper) asked the Minister for Shipping and Fuel a question concerning the transfer of Commonwealth departments from Melbourne to Canberra and the proposed location of the head-quarters of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. My colleague answered the first part of the question and referred to me the inquiry regarding the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. The following is the reply to the honorable senator’s question : -
The permanent location of the head-quarters of the board has not been determined. Initially, at least, the efficient functioning of the board will require it to be situated in Melbourne, where the first meeting will be held on the 15th March, 1949, the date on which the board is to commence operations. I have requested that the board should give early attention to this particular matter and furnish a report for my consideration.
– I ask the Minis ter representing the Minister forWorks and Housing whether it is a fact that building workers living in government hostels in Canberra have refused to pay increased tariffs for their accommodation ? If so, can the Minister inform the Senate of the present position in relation to the dispute and whether any of the men concerned have left Canberra as a result of it?
– I shall bring the honorable senator’s question to the notice of the Minister for Works and Housing and obtain an answer for him as soon as possible.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice -
– The Minister for Civil Aviation has supplied the following answers to the honorable senator’s questions : -
Order of the Day No. 2 - Financial Statement 1949-50 - resumption of debate - discharged.
Motion (by Senator Ashley) agreed to-
That leave be given to bring in a bill for an act to amend the Seamen’s Compensation Act 1911-1947, and for other purposes.
Bill presented, and read a first time.
Motion (by Senator Ashley) put -
That so much of the Standing and Sessional Orders be suspended as would prevent the bill being passed through its remaining stages without delay.
– There being an absolute majority of the whole number of senators present, and no dissentient voice, I declare the question resolved in the affirmative.
– I move -
That the bill be now read a second time.
A few months ago the Commonwealth Employees’ Compensation Act was amended. That act, as its title indicates, covers employees of the Australian Government. Other workers are dealt with, for compensation purposes, by the various State acts dealing with workmen’s compensation, but there is a class of worker which is outside the scope of any of that legislation. I refer to the seamen engaged in interstate trade and commerce. To cover these workers, the Commonwealth Parliament passed the Seamen’s Compensation Act in 1911. It was amended in 1938, and again in 1947, and it is the view of the Government that it should be amended from time to time to ensure that it is not inferior to other similar laws. Accordingly, it has been decided to bring this act into line with the Commonwealth Employees’ Compensation Act, which in turn has been amended to introduce improvements made within recent years in State laws. Honorable senators will appreciate that it ia not possible to make the two acts identical in terms, but, by the bill now introduced, the benefits available to seamen and their dependants will be brought to the same scale as those provided in the Commonwealth Employees’ Compensation Act. In matters of administration and of detail there is necessarily some difference between the two acts.
Amongst the changes contemplated, and following the act just mentioned, it is intended that, whereas the amount at present payable on death of a seaman may not exceed £800, under the .bill a fixed amount of £1,000 will be paid to dependants. The additional provision for each dependent child is to be increased from £25 to £50. In case of incapacity, the existing provision of £3 a week or two-thirds of weekly wages, whichever is the less, is to be increased to a fixed sum of £4 a week. In respect of minors, the increase is to be from £1 10s. a week to £3 a week. The provision for a wife or female dependant will be increased from £1 a week to £1 5s. a week, and that for each dependent child under sixteen years of age will be increased from 8s. 6d. a week to 10s. a week. The present maximum of £800 for certain specified injuries, such as loss of legs, arms or sight, will be raised to £1,250 with proportionate increases of other amounts shown in the Third Schedule to the act. The maximum amount to which weekly payments of compensation may accrue will be increased from £1,000 to £1,250, but no maximum will be imposed in cases of total and permanent incapacity. Certain diseases in respect of which compensation is ‘payable are listed in the Fourth Schedule to the act. That schedule will he repealed and provision made for payment of compensation where incapacity for work is caused by any disease^ provided that it is due to the nature of the employment. “ Disease “ in this connexion will include the aggravation, acceleration, or recurrence of a pre-existing disease. The application of the act will also be widened. At present, the act applies in respect of “ personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment”; thus, two conditions have to he fulfilled before compensation is payable. It is proposed that in future the fulfilment of one of those conditions will be adequate. Weekly payments now being made, or due under the principal act will be brought up to the new scale now being enacted. The past practice of deducting weekly payments from lump sums payable for specified injuries, or, where death ensued, from amounts due to dependants, is to be discontinued. The provisions of the act regarding remedy against a stranger are also to be extended so that a seaman may receive compensation from his employer, and also take proceedings for damages, either against the employer or the third party, but any compensation paid is to be refunded from damages so received.
There are two other amendments contemplated in addition to those necessary to bring the Seamen’s Compensation Act into line with the Commonwealth Employees’ Compensation Act. The first is to provide that the word “ employer “ shall include the Crown in the right of the Commonwealth or a State. This is necessary because both State and Commonwealth Government ships engage in trade and commence, and it is the view of the Government that legal rights in regard to compensation on such ships should be the same whether the seamen serves a government or a private shipowner. The second is to exclude radio officers from the scope of the act so that in this connexion they will be in the same position as masters and deck and engineer officers. Such exclusion is the desire of the radio officers themselves, as, like the officers mentioned, they have an award provision which is more acceptable to them. The award provision, however, applies only where no other provision exists; hence the necessity, in their view, of removing the provision in the Seamen’s Compensation Act.
Apart from the two amendments last mentioned, it can be accepted, as I have already stated, that the present bill will merely have the effect of bringing the provisions of the Seamen’s Compensation Act into line with those of the Commonwealth Employees’ Compensation Act which was recently before the Parliament. I believe it will be readily agreed that it is logical that Commonwealth legislation, as expressed in those two acts, should, as far as circumstances permit, be uniform.
Debate (on motion by Senator Cooper) adjourned.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing and Sessional Orders suspended.
Bill (on motion by Senator Armstrong) read a first time.
– I move -
That the bill be now read a second time.
This bill is entitled-
A bill for an act to approve the placing of the Territory of New Guinea under the international trusteeship system, and to provide for the government of the Territory of Papua and the Territory of New Guinea, and for other purposes.
A bill for the foregoing purposes was introduced into the Parliament and read a first time on the 18th June, 1948. That bill, however, had not been carried to the later stages at the time the Parliament was prorogued and was consequently removed from the business-paper. During the time that has elapsed since that bill was introduced, copies of it were made available for information to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations. The provisions of the bill were examined by the Trusteeship Council at its third session at Lake Success. The council was particularly interested in the provisions of the bill relating to the proposed administrative union of the trust territory of New Guinea with the adjoining Australian Territory of Papua, and requested that certain provisions of the bill be reviewed in order to place beyond doubt that the identity and status of the trust territory of New Guinea would not in any way be jeopardized by the administrative union. Although particular care had been taken in the original bill to ensure that the separate entity of the trust territory of New Guinea would be preserved, the Government agreed to consider the requests of the Trusteeship Council, and has decided that the following alterations relating to the status and identity of New Guinea as a trust territory should be made to the bill as originally presented to Parliament : -
In addition to the foregoing alterations further examination of the provisions of the proposed bill has disclosed that a number of amendments could with advantage be made to the bill and this has been done in the present draft. I mention, incidentally, that in its observations on the administrative union issue, the Trusteeship Council noted with appreciation the action of the Australian Government in submitting in advance of final legislative action its detailed proposals for the administrative union of the Territories of Papua and New Guinea. The Australian representatives, of course, made it quite clear that consultation with the Council did not, in any way, detract from the undoubted right of the Australian Government under the terms of the trusteeship agreement, to reach a decision itself on all aspects of the administrative union and its duty to determine finally the entire character of the proposed legislation. The Minister for the Army (Mr. Chambers), who is acting for the Minister for External Territories, visited the territories of Papua and New Guinea to become acquainted with prevailing conditions and to meet the official and non-official residents of the territories. In January, he made an extensive survey of the territories during the course of which he visited Port Moresby and surrounding districts, Lae,Wau, Bulolo, the Markham Valley, the Central Highlands, Madang,Wewak, Manus and Rabaul.
For many years Australia has accepted responsibility for the administration of areas in the Pacific Ocean in which the people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government. Those areas include Papua and New Guinea, Norfolk Island and Nauru. Papua became a territory of the Commonwealth in 1906 and the former Territory of German New Guinea was placed under the authority of the Commonwealth Government by a mandate from the League of Nations which was effective from the 9th May, 1921. These territories have been administered as separate units as territories under the authority of the Commonwealth with separate administrators, separate legislative councils and separate public services. The Territory of Papua has received an annual grant of £42,500 from the Commonwealth Government hut no regular financial assistance has been given to the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. The administrations of both territories were suspended on the 12th February, 1942, in consequence of the Japanese invasion of the territories, and such functions of civil administration as were necessary in the areas not occupied by the enemy were vested in the Australian Military Forces. For convenience the territories were regarded as one administration area whilst under military control. In 1945 it was decided to restore civil administration to the Territory of Papua and the portion of the Territory of New Guinea south of the Markham River and the Papua-New Guinea Provisional Administration Act 1945 was passed by the Parliament to give effect to that decision. After the conclusion of hostilities, large areas of the Territory of New Guinea remained under the control of the Australian Military Forces and civil administration was not restored to the whole of the territory until the 24th June, 1946. The provisional administration was a tentative arrangement pending the determination of the future policy for the administration of the areas of New Guinea held under the League of Nations mandate. In accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations the General Assembly approved the terms of a trusteeship agreement for the Territory of New Guinea, in substitution for the terms of the mandate. The agreement designated the Government of Australia as the sole authority to exercise the administration of the territory. The text of the agreement is included as the fourth schedule to the present hill. It will be seen that articles 4 and 5 of the agreement recognize that Australia has the same powers of legislation administration and jurisdiction in and over the Territory of New Guinea, as it would have if that territory were an integral part of Australia. It has power to bring the territory into an administrative union with other dependent territories under its jurisdiction or control, if in its opinion it would be in the interests of the territory and not inconsistent with the basic objectives of the trusteeship system so to do. I quote these basic objectives as set out under Article 76 of the Charter of the United Nations -
This bill is designed to effect an administrative union between the Territory of Papua and the Territory of New Guinea, and to provide a permanent administration for these territories, which will in future be called the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. The experience under military administration and the provisional administration of working common services for the two territories, has demonstrated the distinct advantages of such an arrangement. That was indeed the period during which the arguments advanced previously in favour of administrative union were being thoroughly tested. Those arguments were so amply justified by results, that the Government determined that it was essential to have included in the trusteeship agreement an article specifically covering the question of capacity to implement the administrative union between the trust territory and the neighbouring territory. Such an article, it was realized, would finally remove any doubt that existed under the mandate concerning the Government’s capacity to carry out an administrative union.
The following general considerations influenced the Government in coming to the decision that the provisional administrative union between the Territory of New Guinea and the Territory of Papua should be continued : - The two territories are geographically united, the division between them being merely a line drawn on a map. The racialgroups are, broadly speaking, Negritos, Papuans and Melanesians and are scattered throughout the two territories. The problems involved in the raising of the living standards of the population of both territories which totals more than 1,000,000, demand the most efficient utilization of all resources and equally efficient execution of the policies evolved for the advancement and welfare of the inhabitants of the two territories. It is very difficult for services subject to different executive controls to do this. In the carrying out of these policies of development, it is essential that reliance should not be placed merely upon consultation and collaboration between the two different administrations. The fact is that whilst certain co-operation along these lines takes place, the degree of co-ordination effected in never entirely satisfactory. Furthermore, it is believed that through the establishment of a single public service greater opportunities are given for advancement and there is greater diversity of training and opportunity for gaining knowledge and experience. In consequence, a more efficient technical staff can be built up.
There should be little need to point to the advantage gained from the building up of the area comprising both territories as one economic unit. It will be possible to develop much more easily the communications between the two territories by air and by land and also communications with the outside world.
Apart from the provisions relating to the Trusteeship Agreement, the present bill follows in principle the Papua Act and the New Guinea Act, under which the former separate administrations functioned and performed notable achievements within the limits of the finances that were available to them. There are, however, significant departures from the provisions of those acts, the principal of which are -
Part IV., Division 3. - Provision for the establishment of Councils for Native matters and Native Village Councils.
Part V., Division 2. - Provision in the Legislative Council for three nonofficial members to be elected and for three non-official native members to be nominated.
The Legislative Councils for the former Territory of Papua and the Territory of New Guinea comprised only nominated members and no special provision was made for native members.
Division 3. - Interim legislative powers of the Governor-General.
Part VII. - Special provision for projects to promote the development of the resources of the territory or the welfare of its inhabitants.
Part VIll. - Provision for the training of staff for the specialized task of carrying on the administration of the territories.
I shall deal with those provisions of the hill in further detail at a later stage. I do not need to remind honorable senators that the territories were major battlefields in the Pacific war, that practically every settlement was devastated, and every public utility, including the small ships so vital to the island areas, was destroyed, and that there was a complete disruption of commercial activities and the organized life of the indigenous inhabitants on whose labour the whole of the economy of the territory is based.
The cost of reconstruction and rehabilitation over a period of many years will greatly exceed the total revenue of the territories. Although much has been achieved with the allocations that have already been made, it is apparent that to develop the territories expenditure must progressively increase and that it will be a long time before the revenues of the territories will be sufficient to support their developmental needs. In this connexion I refer to clause 11 of the bill which has been included as a part of our obligations in the acceptance of the Trusteeship Agreement. Under the organization proposed in the bill the administration will have the assistance of an Executive Council, thus reviving a prewar practice of both Papua and New Guinea.
A step towards the ultimate objective of self-government for the inhabitants of the area is being taken in the establishment of advisory councils for native matters and native village councils. The latter will be the nursery from which will be drawn the members of the advisory councils, which will function on a district, or perhaps, regional basis. In time, the advisory councils should provide native members for the Legislative Council, which will be empowered to make laws for the territory.
The legislative provision for the establishment of village councils and advisory councils for native matters is something entirely new for the territory, and the step has been taken as a result of experiments and trials over some years in the functioning of village councils. Since 1936, village councils have been operating to a very limited extent in New Guinea, mainly around Rabaul, and they have been watched very closely by the administration officers who attended meetings of the councils, and guided their deliberations. Village councils have been functioning in Papua for many years. As a result of that experience it is considered that the time has arrived when provision can ‘be made to vest such councils with some statutory authority. This will be done by ordinance, and it is realized that at the commencement and probably for some time councils with statutory authority will be possible only to a very limited degree.
The bill makes provision for the continuance of the existing laws of the Territory of Papua and the Territory of New Guinea. It is intended, however, that these separate laws should be unified progressively until there is one code of laws for the whole of the area covered by the administrative union. This is a task of considerable magnitude, but a start has already been made, and a group of qualified legal officers has been engaged for the purpose. In order that the Legislative Council for the territory should not be unduly burdened with the mass of legislation that will be necessary to bring about unification of the laws of the two territories, and for other reasons, the Legislative Council will not be constituted for at least one year after this legislation comes into operation, and during that period ordinances will be made by the Governor-General in Council vide Part V., Division 3 of the bill.
The proposed composition of the Legislative Council will ensure the nonindigenous community of representation, either by nomination or election, whilst for the first time the native inhabitants will have direct representation on the body that will make laws for the territory. The judicial system is in line with the practice which obtained in each terri tory before th& war, and ha9 been continued in the provisional administration. There is an important addition, however, namely, provision for the establishment of native courts and tribunals.
Part VII. of the bill has been included to emphasize the Government’s plans for the fullest development of the resources of the territory, and the advancement of its inhabitants. The Government is convinced that special efforts are necessary to achieve those objectives and thus provision is made in the bill to make it possible for projects to he undertaken by and at the expense of the Australian Government, which will have as its objective the acceleration of the development of the territory. It is essential too, that staff should be adequately trained for their specialized task of administering a dependent territory and for the purpose it is proposed to maintain a school which will meet this need.
The war created reconstruction problems common to the two territories, and the immediate task of the Government was the planning and organization of rehabilitation measures. The provisional administration provided a single headquarters, and the establishment of essential services including native affairs, medical and hospitalization, education, agricultural and transport services and public works on a common basis. The resources of both territories in man-power and materials have thus been used for the purpose of dealing with the most urgent reconstruction problems common to both.
The repair of destruction caused by the war in the territory will require considerable sums of money. Some of this money was forthcoming from the Australian war damage scheme, under which compensation was paid to non-indigenous residents of the territory for loss and damage to property during the war. Several millions of pounds have already been paid in this way, and it is expected that when final payments have been made for Papua and New Guinea, the amount of war damage compensation will total approximately £9,000,000. The natives of the territory were not included in the Australian war damage scheme, but, as they had suffered considerable losses, a special scheme was devised and funds were provided to enable compensation to be paid to them.
In addition to the payments made under the Australian war damage scheme, approval was given as a special measure of assistance for the payment, ex gratia, of additional amounts to cover the cost of clearing overgrown plantations and for other purposes that were designed to assist in the rehabilitation of the copra industry. It was realized that this industry could make a valuable contribution towards relieving the world shortage of edible fats and oils, and the AustralianNew Guinea Production Control Board was given the task of assisting in the reopening of plantations and the general restoration of this industry. Damage caused to plantations during the war is estimated to have reduced the potential output of established plantations, and the maximum output of copra from Papua and New Guinea will be about 60,000 tons per annum compared with a pre-war maximum “output of about 87,000 tons. Current output is already approximately 45,000 tons per annum.
The importance of the copra industry to the territory renders it imperative that measures be taken to ensure its future stability. Experience has shown that the price of copra is subject to considerable fluctuation, and even as late as 1941, copra, where saleable, returned only approximately £4 10s. a ton. To-day, because of the world-wide shortage of fats and oils, the price has reached a high figure. Negotiations are in the final stages for the conclusion of a long-term agreement for the sale of copra with a view to securing satisfactory returns for the industry in the future.
One of the most difficult tasks which hap confronted the Government has been that of providing adequate small ships to meet the coastal and inter-island transport requirements. Practically all of the vessels that operated in territorial waters before the war were destroyed by enemy action and many were lost in the service of the Allied war effort. However, immediately after the re-establishment of civil administration in October, 1945, the Australian Government took steps to secure ships, and a fleet of 30 vessels is now providing a service throughout the area. The possibility of extending the scope of the inter-island service of larger vessels is being explored. It should be remembered that Port Moresby was the only European settlement that was not completely destroyed during the war, and therefore, the provision of housing, administrative facilities, and public utilities has been a major problem. As has been the experience in Australia, acute shortages of manpower and building materials have been the principal difficulty standing in the way of speedy rehabilitation. Added to this, such war-time installations as were established by the allied forces were only of a temporary nature and a long-range works programme has to be faced to provide such facilities on a permanent basis. The former settlements are to be rebuilt in accordance with advances in townplanning and housing, taking into consideration the tropical conditions. Wharfs and other harbour installations are to be rebuilt, aerodrome facilities improved, and internal communications systems expanded to meet post-war needs. The road from the coast at Lae to Wau, which was built for strategic purposes during the war, is being maintained.
Valuable research is being undertaken at Government agricultural research stations which have been established in the territories. Experiments have demonstrated that cocoa, tea, coffee, rice and jute can be cultivated in certain areas. At Karavat, near Rabaul, 50 acres of experimental cocoa are under cultivation and tests are being made to determine the most suitable types. Distribution of seed to planters has already started. At this centre, other experiments are being carried out in the development of the best types of vegetables suited to different localities and for distribution amongst the natives.
At the agricultural research station at Aiyura, which is located in the central highlands, successful experiments have been carried out with the cultivation of tea and coffee. Tests have also proved that rice can be grown, but research is still proceeding to evolve a type strong enough to withstand mechanized farming, which is believed to be essential to establish the industry successfully. The natives are at present in a primitive stage of agricultural development, but it is believed that by education and instruction in improved methods of cultivation of such crops as coffee, tea, cocoa, cinchona, rice and fibres, they will reach a stage at which mutual trade relationships can be established on a profitable basis. In order to promote such development, the Department of Agriculture will undertake expansion of existing experimental farms, the establishment of new ones as areas are developed, stock-breeding and animal husbandry, native training centres and the provision of technical services, which will be available to natives and Europeans alike. Investigations have established that cattle and certain varieties of sheep and horses can also be successfully raised in certain of the highlands areas and fertile river valleys. The formation of native co-operative societies is being fostered to assist in the development of native enterprises.
Education will play a most important, part in raising the standards of living, and a scheme is now in operation designed to provide an education system adequate to the needs of the natives. At Sogeri the Education Department has established a centre for the training of native teachers to primary standard in a number of subjects which include English, arithmetic, geography and hygiene. Under the supervision of a European staff, the natives will be trained at this centre so that they may return to their native villages to take charge of village schools. In addition to training as teachers, natives will also be trained for employment in clerical and other positions in the Public Service and industry. During 1948, approximately 50 natives completed refresher teachers’ courses and were sent to native schools throughout Papua and New Guinea. In the past, much of the education of the natives was in the hands of the missions. Our present plans provide for a vigorous programme of education in the broadest sense controlled and directed by the administration. The missions have performed very valuable service in the field of education and can continue to do so within the framework of the educational programme that is now in operation. Many natives whose war service rendered them eligible are receiving training in arts, handicrafts, and trades under the Commonwealth reconstruction training scheme.
Expanded and improved health services have been inaugurated, and provision has been made for the necessary staff, embracing 41 qualified medical officers, including specialists in leprosy, malaria, tuberculosis, venereal disease and other sicknesses common to the tropics. Natives are being trained as medical assistants, orderlies and hygiene workers at training centres throughout the territory. It will be realized, therefore, that the Government’ has put into practical operation a policy designed to promote to the utmost the material and moral welfare of the inhabitants of Papua and New Guinea.
The bill provides the machinery to continue this policy under an administrative union of the two territories. Apart from the debt of gratitude that the people of Australia owe to the natives of the territories for the valuable assistance and co-operation rendered during the war, the Government considers it has a solemn obligation to further the welfare and advancement of the natives. It considers that this can be achieved only by providing facilities for better health, better education and greater participation by the natives in the wealth of their country and, ultimately, in its administration and government along the lines that I have indicated.
These aims are considered to ‘be of primary importance in the long-range plans for the betterment and protection of a primitive yet intelligent people who, during the war and the immediate postwar years, have become progressively exposed, to the impact of civilization.
– I am sure that honorable senators appreciate very much the information with respect to the development and general administration of the territories of Papua and New Guinea, which the Minister for Supply and Development (Senator Armstrong) has given in his second-reading speech. The object of the bill “is “to approve the placing of the Territory of New Guinea under the. International Trusteeship System, to provide for Government of the Territory of Papua and the Territory of New Guinea . . . “. As the Minister pointed out, Australia has administered the Territory of Papua . sinCe 1906 and the Territory of New Guinea under a Mandate of the League of Nations since 1921. Until the invasion of those areas by the Japanese in 1942 the administration of both territories by Australia was uninterrupted. This country has good cause to be proud of its record in those territories. The Mandated Territory of New Guinea actually became an Australian possession in 1914 when an Australian naval and military expeditionary force captured what was then known as German New Guinea. The League of Nations gave to Australia the mandate to control New Guinea mainly as the result of the advocacy of Australia’s interests at the Versailles Conference by the right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. Hughes). Both Papua and New Guinea formed a common battle-ground in World War II. when Australian, American and native troops stopped the onrush of the Japanese in those areas. The Japanese had hoped to make New Guinea a jumping-off place for their contemplated conquest of Australia. All of us are aware of the difficult period through which our troops and those of our allies passed at that time until eventually they pushed the Japanese back along the Kokoda trail over the Owen Stanley ranges. That victory saved Australia from conquest from that quarter, but our experience on that occasion revealed the grave danger of leaving undefended territories such as Papua and New Guinea in close proximity to this continent.
During World War II. both territories were placed under military control and their administration was united for that purpose whereas previously each had been under a separate civil administration. In December, 1946, the United Nations approved the control of the Territory of New Guinea by Australia under a trusteeship in substitution for the mandate which we had held from the League of Nations. The advantages of administering the two territories as one administrative unit became apparent during the war when that system was shown to be more efficient than the system of separate administrations, and the advantages of the new system have become even more pronounced under peace-time conditions. For instance, an opportunity is now provided for the development of an efficient public service. In addition, Papua and
New Guinea have common geographical interests. Indeed, the two areas were divided arbitrarily simply by drawing a line of demarcation on the map, no regard being paid to the community of interest of the natives of the two areas. Therefore, the Government is acting wisely in continuing to administer the two areas as one unit.
The population of the two territories is approximately 1,000,000. The measure also makes provision for the general care of the natives in respect of their health, education, housing and social well-being. I agree with those provisions, which are in accordance with the policy which ha” been applied in those territories during the last 30 years. A measure similar to the bill now before us was introduced into the House of Representatives on the 18th June last year, and I understand from the Minister’s second-reading speech that a copy of it was submitted to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations. Having regard to the importance of Papua and New Guinea to Australia from a defence point of view and realizing the implications of the Trusteeship Agreement now before us, I regret that members of the Parliament have not been, given full opportunity to make known their views to the Government on these vital matters. In view of that fact this debate to a large degree must be useless. As the Government has already submitted this measure to the Trusteeship Council and entered into an agreement with that body all that the Opposition parties can do is merely to voice their opinions knowing that they cannot influence the Government in any way to amend the measure. In effect, the Trusteeship Agreement has been signed, sealed and delivered. Therefore, it is virtually useless for the Parliament at this stage to discuss the merits or demerits of this measure. In order to reveal the keen interest which certain nation members of the Trusteeship Council are exhibiting; in Australia and in the action of the Council in placing the Mandated Territory of New Guinea under trusteeship to this country, I shall read to the Senate a few extracts from the report of the Trusteeship Council covering its second and third sessions from the 29th April, 1947, to the 5th August, 1948. That report reads -
In November, 1947. the Australian Government decided to make provision lor an administrative union of the Trust Territory of New Guinea with the neighbouring Australian Territory of Papua. The Trusteeship Council was informed of this decision in December, 1947, and at its third session was provided by the Australian Government with a statement of the reasons for this decision. To this statement was annexed for the information of the Council a copy of a bill for the purpose oi implementing the decision.
The bill is entitled “The Papua and New Guinea Act 194S “. It was presented by the Government of Australia to the Australian Parliament in July, 1048, but at the time of adoption of this report had not yet been considered by the Parliament. According to the bill the Territory of Papua and the Territory of New Guinea are to be administered jointly by a single administration.
Later, the report states -
Some members of the Council accepted the assurance of the Administering Authority that the proposed union would not. in practice lead to the impairment of the status of the Trust Territory as a separate entity. Other members, however, considered that the proposals of the Administering Authority envisaged a union that went beyond the kind of union contemplated in Article 5 of the Trusteeship Agreement, in that it would provide not merely for a customs, administrative and fiscal union, together with common services, but for a complete fusion that extended entirely to the executive, legislative and judicial organization. They considered that the proposed union would be contrary to the basic aims of the International Trusteeship System, in that it would lead eventually to the disappearance of the separate identity of the Trust Territory and to its annexation.
Some members of the Council considered that the proposed union was not in the best interests of the inhabitants of the Trust Territory, and therefore was not in accordance with the basic objectives of the International Trusteeship System.
I quote those passages in order to show that certain nations represented on the Trusteeship Council appear to have been anxious to put every possible obstacle in the way of Australia being granted trusteeship of the territory on terms that would be in the best interests of the territory. The report further states, on page 1 6 -
PROPOSED Administrative Union.
The Council, having devoted a prolonged and significant debate to the question to the proposed administrative union between the Trust Territory of New Guinea and the Australian Territory of Papua, takes the position that the establishment of the union is a highly important problem of serious consequence. .
The Council considers that, insofar as the problem - as to whether or not the proposed union is within the terms of the Trusteeship Agreement approved by the General Assembly - is partly juridical in nature, it might to that extent be resolved by recourse to the appropriate juridical body, the International Court of Justice.
Had the matter been referred to the International Court of Justice, a long delay would have occurred before Australia could establish a workable administration in the territory. The report continues -
Those are the views of most of the members of the Trusteeship Council. Soviet Russia went so far as to make a minority recommendation entirely at variance with the aims of Australia. That report stated -
In view of the fact that this Bill actually means a fusion of a colony and a Trust Territory; in view of the fact that this Bill gives no opportunity, no possibilities for the population of a Trust Territory to develop along the way set forth under the International Trusteeship System of the United Nations, and because this Bill does not provide for any organs of self-government for the native population; in view of the fact that this Bill does not admit the native population to the administration of their own Territory, it is considered that this Bill does not reflect the basic aims and purposes of the trusteeship system. For that reason, the Bill cannot be considered as appropriate and acceptable for New Guinea, and the unification of the Trust Territory of New Guinea and the colonial Territory of Papua should be considered as inconsistent with the Charter and the trusteeship system.
The Australian people should have been fully informed through their Parliament of what was involved in the trusteeship of New Guinea before they were committed to the agreement. The bill should have been submitted to the Parliament so that the Government could obtain the views of all members and senators before submitting it to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations. The Minister has informed us that the original bill, which was introduced in this Parliament in July, 1948, was automatically removed from the notice-paper because it had not been dealt with when the Parliament was prorogued. That is true. But it is also true that the bill now before the Senate was debated by the Trusteeship Council in another part of the world when it should have been under consideration by this Parliament. I understand that finally the whole matter was left in the hands of the Minister for External Affairs (Dr. Evatt) to raise before the General Assembly of the United Nations. Evidently that was done by the Minister. The bill now before us has been accepted by the Trusteeship Council, and nothing that we may say or do can alter it.
I shall name the various nations that are represented on the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations, because it is interesting to consider what knowledge they are likely to have of the Territory of New Guinea, or even of Australia. They have shown by their actions that they are ignorant, at least, of New Guinea. There are twelve members of the Trusteeship Council. Amongst these are Australia, Belgium., France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Those six nations are already administering trust territories. The members mentioned by name in Article 22 of the Charter, which do not administer trust territories, are China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The members elected by the General Assembly are Costa Rica, Irak, Mexico and the Philippines. China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics are large countries whose territories lie to the north of Australia’s shores, and, therefore, their governments may be justifiably interested in what Australia intends to do in New Guinea. However, I submit that their special interest is in the uses to which Australia may put the territory for its own defence. The elected nations, with the exception of the Philippines, have no particular interest in New Guinea, Australia, or the Pacific area in general. I wonder whether their attempt to refer the case to the International Court of Justice arose so much from interest in the development of New Guinea as from an objection to the future progress of Australia. We must ask ourselves that question, in the light of the disturbed state of the world to-day. Article 8 of the agreement, which is quoted in the Fourth Schedule to the bill, states -
The Administering Authority undertakes that in the discharge of its obligations under Article 3 of this agreement -
It will co-operate with the Trusteeship Council in the discharge of all the Council’s functions under Articles 87 and 88 of the Charter.
That covers a very wide field. The powers and functions of the Trusteeship Council, us set out in Article 87 of the Charter, are as follows: -
The General Assembly and, under its authority, the Trusteeship Council, in carrying out their functions, may:
consider reports submitted by the
That reads well, but it gives a tremendous scope to the member nations of the Trusteeship Council. They not only have the right to obtain the fullest possible information about the territory, but also are entitled to make periodical visits to it, though admittedly at times agreed upon with the administering authority. What would be the position of the Australian Government if it refused to grant permission to the Trusteeship Council to send a mission to the territory, such as that which visited African territories recently? Australia would immediately be placed in a very invidious position. That difficulty could have been overcome had the Government wanted to do so. It could have had a trusteeship agreement on a basis vastly different from that to which it has agreed. The fulfilment of all the conditions of the agreement will involve much more than dual control. The officers in charge of the various Public Service departments in the territory will have to make their reports to the Administrator who in turn will report to the Minister for External Territories. The Minister for External Affairs also is linked with the matter through the Trusteeship Council. He too will have a say in the administration of the territory. Finally, reports on Australia’s administration of the ter ritory will have to be sent to the Trusteeship Council. That is more than dual control, and the result will be detrimental to the efficient administration of the territory. We all know how difficult it is to serve more than one master. Here, it is proposed that the Territory of Papua, and New Guinea shall have four or five masters. That undoubtedly will lead to interference in Australia’s handling of the Territory. I am confident that under the trusteeship system there willbe much greater opportunity for outside interference than there was under the mandate system. It is true that an annual report had to be forwarded to the League of Nations on the administration of mandated territories, but beyond that, the League did not seek to interfere.
I am in full agreement with the principles of this measure. In general they are the principles underlying the Trusteeship Agreement. The aim is to educate native peoples to improve their knowledge of primary production, and to raise their living standards, with the ultimate object of self-government. We can all support such aims. In fact, those principles have been consistently supported, not only by the Commonwealth of Australia in its administration of territories under its control, but also by Great Britain for many hundreds of years in its relationships with its colonies and other possessions. In the relatively short period during which Australia has administered New Guinea and Papua, those principles have been rigorously observed. The following is an extract from the annual report by the Australian Government to the United Nations on the administration of the Territory of New Guinea for 1946-47 : -
Australia carried out its task under the League of Nations Mandate for New Guinea both in the spirit and to the letter of its obligations and to the satisfaction of the League of Nations. In doing so, the Territory was entirely unguarded from a defence point of view and the Japanese took full advantage of the position with the result that New Guinea and the greater part of Papua were overrun before the Allied forces, at a cost in lives that is only too well known, stopped the invader about 35 miles from Port Moresby. The limitation of the Mandate, so far as fortifications and defence measures are concerned, is not repeated under the Trusteeship Agreement and the Administering Authority in future will be in a position to take whatever measures it considers necessary for the defence of the Territory.
Under the League of Nations mandate, Australia was prohibited from fortifying New Guinea, even for the defence of that territory itself. Under the existing Trusteeship Agreement, Australia will be able to establish defence undertakings there. The defence of New Guinea is vital to the defence of Australia. New Guinea lies in. the path of any likely invader of this country. There is little possibility of an invasion of our shores from the south. Events of the pa3t twelve months indicate the possibility, although not necessarily in the immediate future, of an attack upon this country, and to my mind it is essential that, in co-operation with the Dutch in the Netherlands East Indies, we should establish a strong defence system in the area to our immediate north. New Guinea can be regarded as our first line of defence. I remind the Senate, however, that under the Trusteeship Agreement, Australia is bound to report to the Trusteeship Council what is being done in New Guinea and that territory will be open to inspection by the representatives of countries which are members of the Trusteeship Council. By placing New Guinea in the hands of the Trusteeship Council we have given to a group of nations, some of which have little understanding of our way of life, control of the ultimate destiny of that territory. Some member nations of the Trusteeship Council may be potential enemies; .yet we are permitting them to know exactly what we are doing in a territory, which, * 1 I have said, is vital to our defence. ‘ der the League of Nations mandate, we exercised virtually sovereign rights in New Guinea although, as I have said, an annual report on our administration had to be supplied to the League. We are now surrendering those rights. Within the last twelve months the Australian Government has proclaimed its right to the use of Manus Island for defence purposes. Manus Island is now recognized as a part of Australia’s northern defence system, and I maintain that New Guinea also is vital to our defence. Article 7 of the Trusteeship Agreement supports the opinion that I have expressed about the establishment of defences in New Guinea. It states -
The administering authority may take all measures in the territory which it considers desirable to provide for the defence of the territory and for the maintenance of international peace and security.
It is not clear whether the word “ territory” includes Australia itself. If it. includes the Commonwealth, that should be expressly stated. The article could be altered to read -
If those words were added, I should have no obpection to the proposals other than that countries which are members <-< the Trusteeship Council will be able to insist upon inspecting the Territory of New Guinea, and that Australia will bc obliged to report to the Trusteeship Council on its administration of New Guinea.
I shall now state what I consider should have been done. The area in question could have been declared a strategic area, and a special trusteeship could have been sought on that basis. Trusteeship agreements are not thrust upon the administers ing powers, but must first be sought by the powers which desire to act as trustees. Therefore, if the Australian Government did not seek a trusteeship of New Guinea as a strategic area, the fault for the kind of trusteeship conferred upon Australia rests with the Government itself. I point out that under article 88 of the United Nations Charter, the United States of America obtained possession of the Caroline, the Mariana and the Marshall Islands, which lie to the north of New Guinea, and are not nearly so la rare as New Guinea or nearly as thickly populated, under a form of trusteeship for those islands as strategic areas. The Commonwealth of Australia could have sought a similar trusteeship for Now Guinea, and it would have been able to advance a very strong case in support of its claim. The Minister for Supply and Development (Senator Armstrong), who represents the Minister for External Territories in this chamber, should tell the Senate whether the Government at any time sought a trusteeship agreement of the kind that I have indicated. If the Government did not do so it is idle for it to contend that it was not practicable for it to make such an arrangement. It is hardly necessary to point out that the lack of proper defence of the territory could result in the loss of our own country, and the safety of Australia must at all times be the paramount consideration aud take precedence over all other considerations. I am convinced that if the Government had stressed that point sufficiently before the Trusteeship Council we should have received a trusteeship similar to that granted to the United States of America.
– I do not think that the Leader of the Opposition need worry about the defence of Australia, because it is in good hands.
-Up to the present the Government has failed badly in the matter of providing adequate defence. It would have been far better for it to have obtained a trusteeship agreement which set out clearly our rights and obligations than to have accepted obligations of a vague undefined character such as those which characterize the present arrangement. For my part, I regard the agreement which was made as limiting Australia’s right to defend New Guinea, although we may defend Papua in any manner we choose. However, the weakness of relying on a stronglydefended line when the area adjacent to it is vulnerable was tragically illustrated by the manner in which the Germans by-passed the Maginot Line in World War II. Australia should be able to regard New Guinea, at least for the purpose of defence, as an integral part of Australia. I assume that all measures taken for the defence of the territory will have to be detailed in the annual report that we are required to submit to the United Nations, and that representatives of other nations which are members of the United Nations will be entitled to inspect the defence measures. What an intolerable position in which to place future Australian administrations ! However good the present trusteeship agreement may appear in theory, I believe that the security of Australia must come first, particularly when such a vital matter as the defence of North Australia is involved. I have already shown that the principles of the United Nations Charter have been carried out in respect of the native population of New Guinea and Papua. Furthermore, it is undisputed that the League of Nations wasperfectly satisfied with our administration of the Mandated Territory of New Guinea.
– The natives of New Guinea and Papua receive better treatment than the Australian aborigines receive in this country.
– I would not go so far as to say that. Speaking of the aborigines in the State of Queensland, which I represent, I am convinced that their treatment is excellent, and could withstand investigation by the representatives of the United Nations or any other nation.
I see nothing objectionable in the proposals to improve the lot of the natives that are contained in the bill. However, as I have already pointed out, other considerations arise in the matter of defence. Because of the tremendous sacrifice made by Australia in two World Wars to defend New Guinea we should regard the territory as our own. The territory should have been declared a strategic area so that we could defend it as an integral part of Australia, and could collaborate with the Dutch in improving its defences. The passage of the bill will undoubtedly interfere with the development of the defences of Northern Australia, because the defence of this country is inextricably, interwoven with the defence of New Guinea.
– The purpose of the bill is to advance the welfare of the natives of Papua and New Guinea and to place the territory under the trusteeship of the United Nations. As such, I believe that it is a very wise measure. New Guinea lies within an important area of the Pacific, and therefore it is incumbent upon Australia to set an international example of the democratic way of treating subject territories and their populations. We should strive to make our administration of the territory a guiding light tothe people of Asia. Since the war there has been an awakening of the people of Asia to the need for improving their standard of living. They rightly consider that they are entitled to some benefit from the
The introduction of the present measure, which proposes to bring under a central authority the administration of Papua and portion of New Guinea, is timely because the rest of the Pacific islands are uniting in groups. Recently representatives of a number of Asiatic nations met in conference and reached agreement on several matters, and those agreements are intended to operate to their mutual benefit. This measure is a part of the general pattern to give to the native races some measure of self-government and independence. Whilst it is true that Australia held certain sovereign rights over the territories in question before the war, we undertook certain specific obligations concerning the future development of the territory under the United Nations Charter, and it is incumbent upon us to fulfil those obligations. It is also necessary that we should give a lead in developing the area not merely along national lines, but also along international lines, because that accords with the basic aims of the Charter. In the last report on the administration of New Guinea presented by Australia to the United Nations, and also in the report for the year 1946 emphasis was laid upon the fact that we were endeavouring to achieve the maximum development of the territories and to foster the social, political and economic advancement of the inhabitants. That statement of our intentions was a cardinal point in the case which we placed before the General Assembly of the United Nations in support of our application for the grant of a trusteeship over the territory. We had to convince the members of the General Assembly of our sincerity and it was necessary for Australia to set an example to other countries by showing that we were prepared to give up, in favour of the native people, the sovereignty that we nominally possessed over that territory before the war. We
The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Cooper) said that the people of Australia had not been sufficiently informed of the administration of these territories. I agree that very little is known of these territories by the people of this country. This is a matter that should be given the close attention of the members of the Parliament, some of whom should visit New Guinea to see for themselves at first hand how that country is being administered.
– The metropolitan press would oppose members of the Parliament leaving Australia, even if their mission were for the benefit of Australia.
-I have very grave fears about the attitude of the press towards anything that this Government does. However, I am convinced that it. would be well worth the while of members of the Parliament to visit New Guinea for that purpose. The 1947-48 report that I have mentioned contains this interesting reference to the social advancement of the inhabitants of New Guinea -
Existing social welfare measures for the benefit of the inhabitants are conducted by the Administration and the various missionary bodies operating in the territory. These social welfare measures are part of the normal activities of most departments of the Administration, more particularly the Departments of Public Health, Agriculture, Stock and Fisheries, Education and District Services and Native Affairs … A Social Development Planning Committee has been formed with the object of formulating a plan for co-ordinated future social welfare work amongst the indigenous population. This committee is considering such aspects as -
The drawing up of a long-range programme including the submission ofrecommendations regarding the establishment within the Administration of a Bureau of Social Welfare ;
The establishment of permanent local social welfare committees which would be representative of administration departments, mission bodies and public-spirited citizens;
The provision of recreational and leisure interests;
The social welfare and advancement of women and girls;
Housing and improvement of domestic conditions in relation to family and social life;
Citizenship - the individual’s relation to his family or social group;
Industrial welfare - activities of a social, cultural and recreational nature associated with modern industrial employment;
Social services - provision for insurance, pensions, &c. ; and
Community life - maintenance of a harmonious pattern of native relationship through organized activities and institutions.
A plan such as that is designed to get right down to the fundamentals necessary for the advancement of the native peoples. Although we consider it our duty, as far us possible, to introduce our way of life to these people, I point out that from the international point of view they should not be compelled to pay allegiance directly to any sovereign state or country. They should be permitted to develop along international lines. By their being given a wider field for development under the Trusteeship Council, they will feel that they have got away from the previous policy under which they were considered to be a dependent colony or trusteeship of the Australian Government. The present laws of the territory that will be incorporated in the trusteeship provisions provide in certain ways for the development and expansion of the human rights of the natives, but there are numbers of provisions in the laws of the territory which are discriminatory against the native people. From our point of view there are certain rights that the native people are not yet sufficiently advanced to enjoy. Generally speaking, however, the whole idea behind the trusteeship will be gradually and progressively to develop the status of the natives. From the point of view of defence I agree that it is most necessary for us to maintain very close relationships with the peoples of the areas bordering the northern part of our continent. “We need to have a better understanding with all Asiatic countries. In that connexion the trusteeship system will be useful. Under this measure there will be a fusion of the laws of both territories, and their accepted customs will be brought to a more practical level under the international trusteeship system. The administration of both of these territories will be placed on a firm footing.
This legislation is a definite development of the attitude of the United Nations towards the native populations in the Pacific. As was pointed out during the Minister’s second-reading speech on this measure, the replacement of villages and areas that were devastated during the war is essential. Damage amounting to approximately £9,000,000 was caused, and it is essential that the Australian Government should assist the natives to replace the villages and other places that were destroyed.
The Minister also referred to the necessity for replacing the ships that previously traded between these small islands. Very few people realize that there are approximately 600 islands in this group, and that most of the trade and commerce is carried on as the result of the activities of small ships. There is a big job ahead in assisting the residents of those islands to replace the vessels that were captured or destroyed as the result of enemy action, or have worn out.
The development of agriculture and the natural resources of the islands is of great importance. It is indeed pleasing to note that the native population will be protected and that there shall be in New Guinea a total absence of forced labour. The New Guinea Act of 1935 prohibits the use of forced labour there, and provision is made in the native administrative regulations for the compulsory performance of certain duties that are considered essential to the well-being of the native population. Arrangements have been made for the training of a limited number of native medical practitioners in Fijian technical schools, and provision has been made atRabaul and other centres for the training of natives as artisans and other skilled workers. This is an important development because the natives must be given a sense of social responsibility. As a result of the assistance for which provision is made in this measure, opportunity will be afforded to these native peoples to advance their self-determination.
Matters relating to public health in these areas are administered by the
Director of Public Health at’ Port Moresby. This paragraph of the report relating to public health is of particular interest -
The functions of the Department are to maintain and promote health amongst all the inhabitants of the Territory, to establish hospitals, to proven t and control epidemics by quarantine measures, and to educate the native people in all health matters. The Headquarters of the Department consist of officers whose duty it is to initiate policy, maintain supplies, stall’ and equip institutions and provide a statistical record of diseases. The curative services are established as hospitals, clinics, aid posts and isolation institutions which come under the direction of Medical Officers or Medical Assistants. With the division of the Territory into administrative districts, Medical Officers are posted as District Medical Officers who advise the executive head of the District in all technical medical matters. In the main centres of European population there arc established hospitals for Europeans under the direct supervision of a Medical Officer.
The development of the public health scheme in these territories is of very great importance particularly in view of the fact that close relationships will be maintained between Australia and New Guinea. It is most important that we should see that the public health system in these areas is fostered and progressively advanced under the trusteeship system. My opinion is that we can safely leave this vital matter in the hands of the trustees of these areas.
Since the cessation of hostilities in the recent war considerable attention has been paid to the educational advancement of the natives. The programme laid down was very broad in its scope. As honorable senators will realize, there were enormous tasks to be faced, because, in the main the natives are illiterate. Very few of the inhabitants of these areas can read or write. One of the main principles governing the educational programme is that the education of the native people should be developed within their own environment, and should include aspects of native culture, arts, music and handicrafts. Although a certain influence of :the white civil population will bc impressed upon the natives, it is imperative that the arts and culture of the native races should be maintained as far as possible. Portion of the section of the report relating to educational advancement reads -
There arc two sets of educational organizations in operation in the Territory, conducted respectively by Missions and the Administration. There is close co-operation and understanding between the two organizations, bused on the recognition of a common purpose. Plans provide for the supervision of the secular educational institutions and activities of the Missions by education officers of the Administration with a view to some uniformity of educational methods and content. To this end, the Administration proposes to approve of the appointment and assist in the maintenance of European specialists in particular fields of education within each Mission. The Department of Education is a branch of the Administration under the Director of Education, who is responsible to the Administrator for matters within the prescribed field of the Department.
The object of the plan is to provide educational facilities for the European and Chinese inhabitants of the territories as well as the natives. I am convinced that this most important part of the administration will be maintained, and developed under the trusteeship.
Considerable progress has been made in the expansion of the medical, cultural and educational services in these territories, and the re-establishment of the population since the end of the war. There has been an all-round improvement in communication services amongst the indigenous workers. Last year, 25,924 natives were employed in the territory. Cooperative activities have been gradually extended among the indigenous population. The development of the cooperative idea can play an important part in advancing the interests of the natives. Indeed, right throughout Asiatic countries there is now a movement towards co-operation because it enables those huge native populations to combine their energies and forces for their mutual advancement. Therefore, I am pleased to learn that every encouragement is being given to co-operative activities among the natives in these territories. The Education Branch, of the administration i; continuing to expand its operations. At the close of the last financial year, 38 administration schools were operating, thirteen of them having been established during that year. There were 26 schools for native children, two for part-native and Malay children and five each for
European and Chinese children. In addition, the missions now conduct schools having a total enrolment of 60,000 native students. In order to assist the missions in their educational work, the administration has provided them with professional advice and certain items of equipment and textbooks. The activities of the medical service were also expanded during the last financial year, when a total of 52,350 native people were admitted to administration hospitals. During the same period the services provided by the administration’s Department of Agriculture, Stock and Fisheries were extended and the foundations for future progress were firmly laid. The importation of livestock from Australia was continued, and a commencement has now been made in supplying district agricultural stations with high-class progeny for further breeding and distribution among the villages.
It is very pleasing to observe these developments, which are in keeping with the Australian Government’s policy for the welfare of the peoples of these territories. Now, we are to embark upon a new phase. The control of those territories will be exercised under the Trusteeship Agreement under which the administration of both territories will be combined. I have no doubt that the Government will honour its obligation to further the welfare of the native peoples of Papua and New Guinea. It can do so only by developing the present administrative machinery. Its long-range plan for the betterment and development of these native peoples will demand the closest attention of those charged with its implementation. This measure provides a framework within which we can give expression to the principles of the Atlantic Charter and the United Nations Charter, which guarantee to member countries, great and small, the right to self-determination and selfexpression. I commend the Government upon introducing the measure. I believe that it will be of lasting benefit not only to the people of Australia, Papua :md New Guinea but also to the peoples of the Pacific area as a whole.
– This measure is of particular interest to me. I listened carefully to the speeches made by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Cooper) and Senator O’Byrne. In order to understand fully the needs of the peoples of Papua and New Guinea, and to appreciate the merits of this measure, one requires to know, at first hand, the conditions existing in those territories. I have visited those areas on several occasions and I believe that I can claim to know as much about them as can any other member of the Parliament. When World War II. broke out each of those territories was controlled by a separate administration until the military authorities assumed control of Papua on the 12th February. 1942, and of New Guinea on ti… 23rd June in the same year. *A ** that time the Japanese invaders weI > moving down from the north, and had! practically overrun the two areas. Mem bers of the administration staffs who were not able to escape were imprisoned in Japanese camps. In 1941 there were 3,070 Europeans and Asiatics and about 29,000 natives in Papua, whilst at that time there were 6,329 Europeans and Asiatics and approximately 791,000 natives in New Guinea. In 1942 governmental revenue in Papua amounted to £1S9,000, and expenditure to £189,57S, whilst in New Guinea for the same year revenue and expenditure amounted to £432,792 and £432,750 respectively. Thus, in both territories the administration budget was practically balanced, and the administration staffs in each of the territories were approximately proportionate to the budgetary figures I have just cited. However, the laws, organization and methods of local government varied considerably between the two areas. I have gone to’ some trouble to compare the position which existed in 1942 with that existing to-day in both territories from an administrative point of view. In each instance, regulations relating to the general administration and also to such services as the medical a.nd postal services were previously antiquated and involved considerable overlapping. In addition to possessing vast agricultural potentialities, New Guinea has considerable mineral wealth whereas Papua, for the most part, is undeveloped, and its mineral wealth is much less than that of New Guinea, although it, too, has considerable agricultural potentialities. All honorable senators are familiar with the development of Bulolo and Wau and know how the companies interested in those goldfields have overcome the difficulties presented by the terrain of the country by resorting to air transport for the conveyance of machinery and personnel from the coast. Practically everything that exists at Bulolo to-day has been transported to that centre by air. When native pack trains were the only’ means of transport the journey from the coast to Bulolo occupied many weeks, whereas to-day the distance can be covered by air within a few hours.
Papua and New Guinea have grown in importance not only from the point of view of the defence of this country but also from an economic point of view. I see no reason why the two territories should not eventually become the seventh State of the Commonwealth. New Guinea is one of the largest islands in the world and its strategic importance from the point of view of the defence of this continent is obvious. Much of the country is undeveloped and unexplored. During World War I. other countries evinced considerable interest in those areas. The Germans were the first to realize their strategic importance and were not slow to develop the excellent harbours of Madang and Alexishaven as naval bases. Alexishaven was the headquarters of the German South Seas fleet under Vice-Admiral Von Spee, whose unit included such well-known warships as Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Dresden and Goeben. It made full use of the inlets and harbours on the north coast of New Guinea for naval training purposes. J:j World War II. the same facilities were utilized by the British, American and Australian naval forces. At Madang and Alexishaven I saw the Allied fleets assembled in preparation for the invasion of the Philippines. Those fleets, which consisted of hundreds of units, were comfortably accommodated in’ the harbours in that area. New Guinea, in addition to possessing great natural resources, is of tremendous strategic importance in Australia’s defence strategy. The Dutch also control a large area of the island of
New Guinea. At Hollandia and on the Vogelkop Peninsula they achieved a great measure of development, whilst on the south-west coast they established the port of Merauke, which some years ago was the port of entry for all political prisoners exiled from the Netherlands East Indies and other Dutch colonial possessions. From that port these prisoners were taken inland to the lakes at Tanamareah. I had an opportunity to study the operation of the Dutch penal system in that area, and from what I saw, I do not wonder that they are having trouble with the Indonesians to-day.
I intend to be somewhat critical of the administration of both Papua and New Guinea at the present time. I base my criticism on evidence which I have gained at first hand during my visits tn those areas. They were not fly-by-night visits by air. During the period of ray war service in those areas I had tinopportunity whilst serving on small ship.to study conditions from the Fly River right up to Hollandia. The impression I gained of the present administration of postal and telephonic communications was most unfavorable. During th<recent war all those facilities wenorganized and controlled by the military authorities. At present, however, postal and telephonic facilities in both. Papua and New Guinea are restricted, being staffed by a few European and native officers under the direction of the Treasury. Postal and customs facilities are administered on. a joint basis. Telephone services in Papua are very limited. Only one European officer is employed part-time on the telephone services. After the war, two experts of the Postal Department were sent to New Guinea to organize postal and radio communications and they presented a very sound report. They established schools at Port Moresby and other centres for the training of natives as linemen and for other post office work. The natives proved to be adaptable and rapidly became efficient. However, the communications organization is now under the control of the local administration instead of that of tha Postal Department, and has become loose, haphazard, and inefficient. The telegraph services are functioning under the direction of the Treasury. That is a remarkable state of affairs, considering the technical nature of the work involved and the very high degree of skill and knowledge required to organize and direct a telecommunications service, especially in the light of the tremendous strides that wre being made in the development of new techniques. The treasurers of both territory administrations have been appointed as chief postmasters, and they exercise full control of postal and telephone services within their areas. Radio communication services are provided on a point-to-point basis in both territories i,V Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited under a licence issued by the Postmaster-General. However, the company provides only essential services to meet specific needs and doe3 not cater for the requirements of residents. A special agreement between the company and the Postmaster-General provides that the company shall receive an annual grant to offset the considerable financial loss that is involved. The company has also established, operated and maintained a point to point service as a commercial enterprise under the authority of the Postmaster-General. No co-ordinated telecommunication plan exists in either of the territories for the purpose of interterritorial or international communication. In other words, residents have no national broadcasting service such as is provided in Australia. However, Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited operates and maintains a small commercial station, 4PM, at Port Moresby.
The civil administration resumed control in Papua on the 30th October, 1945, on the mainland of New Guinea on the 1st March, 1946, and in New Britain, New Ireland and Bougainville on the. 24th June, 1946. I was at Lae when civil administration officers first took over from the Army in an area south of the Markham river. Gradually district officers and other civil authorities resumed control of all of the administration services in the territory. While the Army was in control in New Guinea it exercised complete control over missionaries, traders, and representatives of large firms which were re-establishing their interests in the territory. Such persons had to obtain permits to enter certain areas, and the general control exercised by the Army was very good. The entire system of communications was maintained by the Australian Corps of Signals, even after the war ended and before civil administration was restored, with army equipment and facilities. As soon as the Army moved out of the area, a chaotic situation arose with regard to stores and equipment. Neither the Commonwealth Disposals Commission nor the administration had enough technical officers to check defence equipment that was available for use by the administration. Because of that, the administration sacrificed a wonderful opportunity to acquire large quantities of equipment and materials that could have been used in the territory. I have seen valuable technical equipment abandoned in the jungle to the ravages of the tropical climate, deteriorating rapidly because of the absence of protective cover. Large concentrations of mechanical equipment, including bulldozers »nd even small ships, were left behind by the troops. There seemed to be no coordinated effort by the authorities to collect and make use of such valuable material. The Commonwealth Disposals Commission or whatever body was responsible let the Commonwealth down very badly by neglecting to ensure that all such equipment would be made available as soon as the war ended to the New Guinea administration or to people who could have used it for the development of their properties in the territory.
Lists of equipment prepared by Army units prior to their evacuation wert found to be inaccurate in most instances. Hence, much valuable equipment was lost, stolen or left abandoned where climatic conditions caused such deterioration as to render a great deal of apparatus and plant useless before recovers could be effected. Many of the items that were collected were sold to commercial interests, principally because the administration was not aware that they were available. Burns Philp and Company Limited, W. R. Carpenter and Com pally Limited and other trading organizations, being aware of what equipment wac available and being anxious to rehabilitate their plantations, sent representatives to the territory and actually operated in the islands before the armed foi ces left. I took numbers of such men to various plantations in army areas in the small ship that I commanded. They surveyed considerable quantities of equipment which could have been usefully employed by the administration. Unfortunately the administration was not seised with the importance of getting to work quickly and the commercial enterprises got in first.
– Equipment- worth millions of pounds was missed by the administration.
– That is quite true. Private enterprise acquired millions of pounds worth of material at a mere fraction of its original cost. I could direct honorable senators to huge dumps of marine stores, including anchors, anchor chain, cable, metal fittings, piping, tanks, and goodness knows what else. When the parliamentary delegation to Japan visited Finschaven in August last year, I saw equipment which could have been taken over by the administration and used for the benefit of the territory still deteriorating in the jungle.
There has been a lack of planning for the rehabilitation of New Guinea. 1 am npt attacking the Minister for External Territories (Mr. Ward) on that account. I am merely referring to things that have happened. No Minister could direct the development of a territory like New Guinea and Papua efficiently without visiting the territory and seeing conditions, for himself or sending responsible representatives as observers on his behalf. If the Minister is too busy to go to the *ritory, members of this Parliament are available to he appointed to a select committee, such as those which are appointed in the United States of America, to make inspections and submit reports. One of the difficulties in the way of such a proposal, of course, as Senator Sheehan has pointed out, is that any movement by members of the Parliament is usually characterized as “joy riding”. I consider that any travelling by members of Parliament that would enable them to secure factual information to assist the Government should be encouraged. Movements of that sort should be authorized without hesitation. Busy Ministers frequently have to rely upon reports and advice which are not factual. I know the territory and I know people who live there and am in communication with some of them still. I know the facts and I assure the Senate that the bill will go a long way towards rehabilitating and developing the territory. Members of this Parliament must realize the importance of New Guinea to Australia, strategically and in many other ways.
One of the principal weaknesses of the administration of New Guinea and Papua at present arises from the lack of professional officers. Key executive men with wide experience of public administration, accounting procedure and engineering are badly needed. The lack of knowledge of public works engineering in the territory is deplorable. A great deal of reconstruction must be done in the 190,000 square miles of New Guinea, and we need the services of the best available men to expedite the work. Many major war-time installations could have been absorbed by the civil administration for its own purposes. For instance, large stores and barracks could have been used to provide accommodation for labour farces. A plan should have been prepared before the war ended so that surplus native labour which had been engaged by the Army could have been diverted to civil reconstruction. The work could have been undertaken as soon as hostilities ended. The Government may not be aware of some of the things that have happened in the territory recently. I have received disquieting information concerning the organization of the police force. The training of an efficient native force requires a great deal of knowledge of the natives and their conditions and the ability to command natives efficiently. It is the sort of work that cannot be carried out by anybody who has gained information only from books. Practical experience mUst be acquired first, and that process takes a long time. An appointment was made to the New Guinea police force recently. A minor police official from South Australia was sent to the territory and he immediately promoted himself to the rank of full colonel. He also condescended to grant the rank of lieutenant to his two subordinate officers, who had been working in New Guinea for many years. Appointments of that kind indicate a weakness in the administration. The native police boys in New Guinea are very efficient. They understand local conditions and have done a remarkably good job. I have been informed by correspondents that there is a considerable degree of unrest and dissatisfaction in New Guinea as the result of some appointments that have been made to the administration. Such a state of affairs appears absurd; nevertheless, it has existed. As the result, one hears of an officer^, suspended by one department, being transferred to a position, quite often of a higher classification, in another department. There are no public service regulations in New Guinea.
– Surely a police officer could not promote himself to the rank of colonel !
– It has been done. L do not mean a colonel of the Army, but a colonel of the Police Force, which has an army establishment like the Salvation Army, with lieutenants, captains, colonels, and so on. Honorable senators will appreciate, from what I have said, that, in matters relating to staff welfare generally, the administration has been weak and little interest has been shown in morale or the provision of amenities for .Europeans. A classification committee consisting of Messrs. Buttsworth and Burns visited the territory and investigated some of the matters which were causing so much dissatisfaction. My object in bringing this matter to the notice of the Senate is to urge the Government to ensure that the Administrator at least shall have the right to hire and fire. He does not exercise that prerogative at present. “We must have in New Guinea men who have the ability to get on with some of those jobs. The senior postal officer in New Guinea at present is only the equivalent of a senior teletechnician here in Australia. My remarks to-day are based upon investigations made by people on the spot who know New Guinea conditions. I pas9 on my suggestions to the Senate for what they are worth, in the hope that they will be brought to the notice of the appropriate Ministers.
Much has been said about bringing New Guinea under the control of the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations. The prime consideration, I contend, is that our representatives on the council shall be in a position to ensure that no action shall be taken to alter the control of that territory. I assume that in sending this measure to the United Nations for discussion, the Government acted with the best of intentions and motives. New Guinea is of prime interest to Australia, but it is also of interest to other countries represented on the Trusteeship Council. I believe that the Australian Government, seized as it is with the defence importance of New Guinea, will ensure that Australia’s views shall be strongly represented to the Trusteeship Council should an attempt be made by an obscure nation, such as Peru, to interfere in Pacific affairs generally, and with the administration of Papua-New Guinea in particular.
I am particularly pleased to see provision made in the bill for representation of the New Guinea natives on the Legislative Council. I have had some experience with the New Guinea natives, and, although many of them have a knowledge of pidgin-English, the language most used by the Papuans is Motuan. “With a little practice, one can get by with pidgin, but Motuan is a separate language. The natives are of high intelligence, and are capable of acquiring knowledge rapidly. At one stage I had command of about GO “ boys “ and I found them most apt, particularly those from the coastal areas. During the war large numbers of them signed on with the Australian Army, which they served very well indeed, but we should get away from the idea that they are merely “ fuzzy-wuzzies “ who did a good wartime job. “With skilled training, they could be of great assistance, and I have no doubt that they would again render valuable service to this country in the event of another disturbance in the Pacific. They proved their loyalty in various campaigns in World War TI., and I hold them in the highest regard, particularly those whom I had with me. It is only right that they should be given a certain measure of self-government as this bill proposes. Not only are there to be native village councils to safeguard the welfare of the natives, but also the Legislative Council is to have three nonofficial native members. Consider the rapid strides that were made in New Zealand years ago with the Maori people. That is an example that we could well follow in New Guinea. The Maoris are a fine intelligent race. They have been of great assistance in the development of New Zealand. Many members of the Maori race have been honoured by the King. Some have been knighted and Maori infantry battalions served with distinction in the two world wars. The New Guinea. natives are capable of similar achievements. In World War II. the New Guinea infantry battalions and the Papuan constabulary performed most efficiently as trained soldiers and policemen. To understand the life, living conditions and ambitions of the New Guinea and Papuan natives thoroughly one has to live in those territories. The mere reading of books is not sufficient. New Guinea depends mainly upon sea communications. Roads are practically non.existent, with the exception of a few in the vicinity of Port Moresby, and the one between Alexishafen and Madang. Sea communication, therefore, is most important. Years ago big business undertakings such as Burns Philp and Company Limited, W. R. Carpenter and Company Limited, and Island Traders, realized the potentialities of New Guinea and Papua and established enterprises which made substantial profits. They acquired enemy expropriated territories, and not only grew copra but also transported it. In the past they have had a big influence on the administration and development of New Guinea. They are the biggest holders of New Guinea properties. I have seen in New Guinea ports many Burns Philp vessels, including Merkur, Malatia, and Neptuna, which was later bombed and sunk at Darwin. I have also seen Suva, belonging to W. R. Carpenter and Company Limited lying off-shore loading copra from barges and small surf boats.
Sitting suspended from 6 to 8 p.m.
– When the sitting was suspended, I had stressed the para mount importance of the Government’s proposals for New Guinea. Two world wars have demonstrated that the territories of Papua and New Guinea are vital to the security of Australia, and that in those territories we have the wholehearted support and enthusiastic support of the natives. The present measure represents an attempt to coordinate control of administration, which should have been done many years ago. I have dealt with the part played by the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations in examining the Government’s proposals and making recommendations to the Australian Government. Some of those recommendations have been incorporated in the present measure. The two territories concerned are inextricably linked with the future of Australia, and they might be regarded as potentially the seventh state of Australia. It seems strange, therefore, that small countries in middle Europe and in Latin America should have a voice in the administration of the territories. Of course, I realize that Australia is represented on the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations, and that body, no doubt, maintains a watchful eye on the future of those two territories. However, I repeat that it seems odd that Australia’s control over New Guinea should be subject to review by countries on the other side of the world, and that those countries might choose to interfere in the internal administration of those territories.
I have seen a great deal of New Guinea, and, although the country itself and its short history of white civilization may appear enigmatical to those who are not acquainted with it, two outstanding features must impress themselves on the minds of those who have spent any time there. In the first place, there is an urgent need for proper co-ordination of aerial and marine transport. It must be borne in mind that there are scarcely any roads, and no railways at all in New Guinea. The principal air service to New Guinea is supplied by Qantas, which operates the “Bird of Paradise” service from Australia to New Guinea, New Britain and other islands. In addition, feeder services are provided throughout the territory. The people of New Guinea, including the natives, have become air-minded, and even the movement of native labour by air has become a commonplace. The development of the goldfields at Bulolo and Wau, some years before the war, which necessitated the haulage of vast quantities of machinery, demonstrated what could be achieved by aerial transport. Industrial plants which it would have taken months to move over the mountain trails were moved in a matter of days, and sometimes of hours. Of course, the production of gold is vitally important to New Guinea, and the large quantity of gold which has since come from New Guinea is attributable very largely to the enterprise not only of the gold-miners but also of the air transport operators. Even years before the war much of the machinery was moved by tri-engined metal Fokkers. To-day, aerial transport is the accepted form of transportation, and aircraft are utilized wherever possible in New Guinea. From Merauke to Hollandia, right up to the extreme end of the Vogelkop peninsula, the islands of Karkar, Manus and many others - all of which are inhabited by natives - are under cultivation and producing copra and food for the natives. T have seen the result of the work of the missionaries, many of whom moved into areas formerly under military control as soon as the army moved out. Certain areas are set apart for particular denominations. For many years before the war the German Lutherans operated in the Madang, Finschhafen and Wewak areas. Milne Bay was served by the British and Foreign Bible Society, while further south the Australian Board of Missions and many denominational missionaries operated. The missionaries have done a fine job in New Guinea. They have improved the health of the natives and endeavoured to educate them. The spiritual guidance and material assistance provided for the natives has also ‘been very considerable. The zeal and promptitude of the missionaries, who were quickly on the job as soon as the military authorities vacated any particular area, provided a lesson in efficient administration. They have made the maximum use of abandoned materials. Millions of pounds’ worth of building materials and munitions of war were left lying around when the military authorities vacated New Guinea. During the war, and more so after it had ended, I thought that some plan should have been prepared so that as soon as hostilities ceased we could have made the maximum use of the abandoned material. I emphasize that the various matters that I particularly mentioned in my speech before the suspension ‘of the sitting require immediate attention in order to avoid wasteful duplication of services.
Before the war concluded the missionaries were anxious to get possession of surplus military small craft, and in Madang my services were enlisted to o’btain small craft for them. Ultimately, they obtained some fine craft, which served to replace many of their old vessels, and they now have the services of a number of small craft that were specially built for the island trade. In particular, they were able to purchase a number of Army landing barges, which are particularly useful to them. Incidentally, even before* hostilities ended we were using those craft to bring back copra, which is a basic material and was given priority number 2 in the movement of troops and material. As honorable senators are aware, copra has many uses, not the least important of which is the part that it plays in the manufacture of margarine and other foodstuffs. For that reason it was particularly sought after for the starving peoples of Europe. The military unit which 1 commanded at the time was engaged in rehabilitating copra plantations and ‘before long a number of those plantations were again producing copra. Many thousands of tons of copra were handled by the Army, and I consider that the troops who were engaged in that work, which was more of a commercial enterprise than a military occupation, should have received some added remuneration for their hard work, which ultimately proved of great value to the starving peoples of Europe. There are tremendous potentialities in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea and in Papua. I have in mind particularly, the areas around Port Moresby, Samarai and Milne Bay. Samarai is the “ pearl of the Pacific “, and during the war it was used as a rest and rehabilitation centre for the United States servicemen. Milne Bay has one of the finest anchorages in New Guinea, most of which are under the control of Lever Brothers, which is the largest soapmanufacturing combine in the world. Quite a number of plantations in the places I have mentioned were producing copra even before the Army moved out of the areas. Everyone knows of the importance of gold to New Guinea, but it is not generally known that just inside Dutch New Guinea, 4,000 barrels of oil are produced daily from one area. Any one who is familiar with the topography of Borneo and the Malayan Archipelago must realize that New Guinea is located in one of the world’s greatest oil belts, and I forecast that in future years discoveries of oil will be made in New Guinea that will prove of tremendous importance to Australia. Because of the present shortage of dollars and the need for oil we are all aware of its great economic importance, and the recent world war served to impress upon every one the vital necessity of oil to a nation’s war effort. However, apart altogether from oil, there is a vast store of potential wealth. On the island of Karkar some of the finest cocoa in the world is grown. It is even superior to the cocoa grown on the Gold Coast of Africa and Accra. The cocoa grown on Karkar is eagerly sought by MacRobertsons. CadburyFry.Pascall and other big manufacturers. Kapok, which went off the market during the war, is now being produced near Madang, and in the vicinity of the Ra coast. Further north more kapok is already being planted. Rubber, which is ako an important strategic material, is being grown at Koitaki, which is in the vicinity of Port Moresby. “With coordinated control I think that we could eventually make ourselves independent of American and other overseas suppliers of strategic materials. One of the finest sources of potential wealth in New Guinea is the Bena Bena Plateau in the hinterland, far removed from the coast. The area, which is situated at a height of 4,000 feet is free of malaria. Commodities such as potatoes grow there, and English roses and gladioli flourish. The Mount Hagen natives of that area, who possess outstanding physique, are the finest natives in New Guinea. There are about 60,000 natives in the area, and during the war I visited the camp established by the Royal Australian Air Force, which was operating a rest and rehabilitation centre, particularly for the recuperation of victims of skin disease, who could not hope to recover on the coast. To those who know New Guinea the Bena Bena Plateau is a most important area, which, as I have already pointed out, has extraordinary potentialities.
After the cessation of hostilities, and while we were awaiting embarkation to the mainland, one of the small vessels under my control was commissioned to take members of the War Damage Commission around New Guinea, and we visited a number of areas that had been devastated by war. Some of them had been wilfully destroyed by the Japanese. Nine million pounds has already been paid in compensation and towards the rehabilitation of some of the plantations. At Mililap, near Madang, a plantation of 1,000,000 palms belonging to Burns Philp Proprietary Limited was damaged very considerably, and much of that damage was caused, nor by military operations, hut by deliberate sabotage by the enemy. The jungle reclaims land very rapidly, and in a short space of time all sorts of creeping weeds and jungle undergrowth crawl up and become entangled with the palms and do untold damage to them. However, because of special experimentation carried out on some of the most modern plantations a creeping weed of nitrogeneous substance known as centre.caemia, which curls along the ground and absorbs nitrogen from the soil, rots with the undergrowth and forms fertilizer for the palms. One pest which has to be combated is the buffalo beetle, which eats the young palms. Another pest is the giant snail, which was brought to New Guinea by the Japanese during the war to provide food for them. This snail at times measures 6 inches to 9 inches across the back, and has a hard shell. If at night time a light is shone on the palms, these giant creatures can be seen crawling around. They are very hard to eradicate. Our school of tropical medicine should figuratively get its teeth into this matter and do its best to eliminate this pest.
Nature endowed New Guinea richly with food. The natives did not have to work hard for food because there were available in abundance coco-nuts, paw paws, sweet potatoes and other foodstuffs. They also raised a few chickens and pigs. However, the Japanese destroyed the food sources of New Guinea and Papuan natives, and had it not been for supplies of army food and bits and .pieces “ scrounged “ from the troops, the natives would have had a very bad time. For many months, the Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit sent men into the villages and kept many of the natives supplied with food. Had this not been done they would have perished by starvation, because their crops, chickens and other foodstuffs were taken by the Japanese. From the point of view of climate, New Guinea is very similar to Ceylon and therefore I am astounded that more has not been done, particularly in the higher altitudes of New Guinea, to grow tea. Some years ago, the Australian Government brought a tea expert from Ceylon. I should like to know the result of his efforts, and where he is now. lt may be that he is still here. I understand that a small area of land was planted with tea, hut apparently it ha3 been overlooked. I do not know whether the tea project was pursued or not.
The medical services of Papua and New Guinea have not been forgotten in the bill. It is considered that the future of the native population of the territories can be assured only if they are moulded into a healthy, intelligent and industrious people. Much requires to be done before the natives will be healthy, although their health is improving. During the war they did not obtain essential vitamins, and they suffered considerably from tuberculosis, various forms of skin disease, tropical ulcers, and other complaints associated with tropical areas. I understand that it is, the intention of the new administration to provide adequate health facilities and other amenities for the natives. They deserve it. Although the work involved will take a long time, the foundations have been laid for a health service for the territory which should bring about the desired result. The Australian parliamentary delegation, on the way to Japan, called at
Finschafen and inquired about the work being done by the natives who had been trained by the medical practitioners there. They are doing an excellent job. We were introduced to one of the head boys, who had gained quite a reputation in obstetric work. His services were much sought after in the villages. We also met another boy who had been trained to administer ether and chloroform, and was a very good anaesthetist. During the war the doctor boys worked through the villages with the Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit. They were taught the rudiments of hygiene and how to treat simple strains and certain diseases. They were issued with a considerable amount of methylated spirits for this purpose. In some instances, however, Australian soldiers taught them to drink the methylated spirits, and in order to overcome the trouble aniline dye was added to the methylated spirits which burnt the tongue. Any native who complained of having a burnt tongue or showed traces of the dye was in for trouble. Apart from that the native boys did a good job.
It is understood that one of the objects of the administration will be to lay the foundation of a properly co-ordinated plan for native education. I have seen the work of some of the native linemen performing postal and telecommunication duties, as well as the work of the doctor boys. These men are naturally intelligent, and a great deal can be expected from them under proper control and by the provision of proper educational facilities.
The rehabilitation of the natives ha? not been forgotten. During the period under review the minimum native wage rose from 5s. a month in New Guinea and 10s. a month in Papua to a minimum of 15s. a month in both territories. Ar improved diet has to be provided by thi1 employers of native labourers, and th» hours of employment have been reduced from 50 and 55 in Papua and New Guinea respectively, to 44 hours a week throughout the territory. This is quit; a good feature, because these men had been exploited by various industrial concerns, as is evidenced by the growth of such firms as W. R. Carpenter and Company Limited, Burns Philp and
Company Limited and Island Traders Limited. In 1939, before the war, the price of copra was £8 10s. a ton. It is now £41 a ton in the territory, which is an increase of over 500 per cent, in price. In 1939 rubber was ls. per pound ; it is now about ls. 4d. per pound. These prices vary from day to day. There has not been a big increase in the price of rubber because the rubber-bearing areas in the Federated Malay States are still bearing well, and there was a considerable accumulation of rubber there. The price of cocoa in New Guinea in 1939 was from £26 to £28 a ton. It is now £246 a ton. The quality of the New Guinea cocoa is very good. Another item that provides considerable revenue for the natives of New Guinea is the trocus shell. This was greatly sought after by agents in Australia, who shipped it to Germany, New York and other places, where it was made up into bracelets, buckles, and all sorts of ladies’ jewellery. Great changes have been brought about in the economic circumstances of New Guinea. I cite these figures relating to the basic industries to show what is happening with regard to the products of New Guinea.
In my opinion there are excellent opportunities for the re-establishment of exservicemen there. Many have already been established on the land, and in business in Australia. I consider that some of the plantations offer excellent prospects for a very good and comfortable living for ex-servicemen, provided, of course, that those plantations have been surveyed and got ready for them.
– Will the honorable senator tell us something about the climatic conditions of New Guinea?
– Whilst some areas of New Guinea enjoy a very pleasant climate, others are not so fortunate. [Extension of time granted.’] I shall not occupy the time of the Senate very much longer, but I point out that, although a great deal has been done, much has yet to he done in New Guinea. One action of a public-spirited citizen of Sydney, Mr. Hallstrom, is worthy of comment. He donated 1,000 sheep, and arranged for them to be taken by air to the higher areas of New Guinea for breeding purposes, to establish flocks, and to provide meat for the natives in those areas. That was a magnificent gesture. Whilst some areas in New Guinea are very unhealthy, others are not as hot as Townsville, Cairns, and other places in north Queensland. It is realized, of course, that this bill embraces a very large subject. Those who know anything about New Guinea should give the Senate the benefit of their knowledge. Although we realize that the Ministers in charge of departments are doing their best, if a thing is wrong, those who know for a fact that it is wrong should say so, and let the Ministers know what they think about it. I think that the reorganization of the two territories should take place as soon as this measure becomes law. There should be coordination of control. If there had been a coordinative plan, blue-printed and ready to be put into operation as the Army moved out of New Guinea, millions of pounds’ worth of valuable equipment and gear that was lying in the jungles could have been utilized in hospitals and for rehabilitation purposes. That would have been preferable to allowing that equipment to become the property of the highest bidder, and those who had the foresight to send men to New Guinea to “ pick the eyes out “ of what was available before the Army moved out. The result is that we are now actually forwarding to New Guinea goods similar to those that have been allowed to be overgrown by the jungle.
Having seen these things, and knowing something about conditions in New Guinea, I consider that whenever there is an opportunity, members of the Parliament should go abroad and get around and see things for themselves. I believe that one look is worth a hundred sayings. A much better understanding is obtained by actually seeing conditions first hand than by reading about them or hearing about them. Although, occasionally, members of the Parliament are criticized by the press and our political opponents because we go overseas, my opinion is that we do not go overseas often enough. The more that we get around and see’, the more we know. I support the bill.
– I listened with great interest to the most informative and interesting speech that was delivered by Senator Murray. I find myself almost’ in complete agreement with the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Cooper), who delivered a very constructive speech. I also regret that NewGuinea has not been made a territory of Australia outright, as was done in the case of Papua. 1 consider that New Guinea is a very vital area to Australia from both defence and production points of view, particularly as it produces commodities that Australia needs. We can rest assured that the Minister for External Affairs (Dr. Evatt) put up the best possible case in the interests of Australia, and that our failure to gain outright possession of New Guinea cannot he attributed to any fault on his part. Under this measure the Government is setting out on the tremendous task of educating and reorganizing the natives of Papua and New Guinea with the object of raising their standards of living to such a degree that they will realize that they have a place in the world worth fighting for. No doubt, the task of achieving the standards which the Government has in mind for the natives will take many years, but we realize that success in that task will make of the 1,000,000 people in those territories, allies of great value to Australia should this country again be attacked from the north. Taking the other side of the picture, it is obvious that if these territories were controlled in the interests of a nation which applied with success the policy which the Australian Government is about to implement, those native peoples would present a grave danger to us in the event of that nation becoming an enemy of Australia. However, the policy of the Australian Government is to make real friends of the native peoples of these territories by raising their educational, social and economic standards to such a degree that they will feel that their interests are linked with those of this nation. The Minister for Supply and Development (Senator Armstrong), in his second-reading speech, indicated one way in which that goal can be achieved, when he said that the measure will give effect to the following basic objective of the United Nations: - To promote the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the trust territories and their progressive development towards self-government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned, and as may be provided by the terms Of each trusteeship agreement; lt is possible to educate the natives of Papua and New Guinea to a standard that will enable them to accept the responsibility of local government in their villages. If we can achieve that objective the natives will be of service to themselves and will win a place in the world which will be worth defending. Papua and New Guinea must be developed mainly through the efforts of the natives themselves. After listening to Senator Murray nobody could say that they are not an intelligent race. With patience and the use of proper methods they can be educated to a standard which will enable them to accept the basic responsibilities of citizenship. If we can do that, we shall, as I said earlier, make an ally of over 1,000,000 natives who will be of .great assistance to Australia should an aggressor again descend upon this country from the north. We shall never make our northern defences secure unless we win the goodwill of the peoples of Papua and New Guinea. Indeed, I can see no reason why, if the Government pursues the policy embodied in this measure, the natives, themselves, will not actively participate in the defence of their territories and of this continent should we be attacked at any time in the future. However, since Australia captured the Territory of New Guinea from the Germans, until the outbreak of World War II., due to the outlook of anti-Labour governments in this country, the natives of New Guinea were regarded merely as slaves and lackey3 in the service of vested interests. During that period nobody in authority seemed to worry about their welfare. We did not come to realize their real worth until they were responsible for saving the lives of thousands of Australian soldiers during the recent war. I entirely endorse what Senator Murray has said. My son, who served in the armed forces in that area during the recent war, will not hear one word spoken against the “ f fuzzy-wuzzies “ of Papua, and New Guinea. He is of opinion that the “ f fuzzy-wuzzies “ were the best friends the Australians had during their campaign in New Guinea.
I repeat that the development of the territories must be achieved largely through the efforts of the natives themselves. Those territories are rich producers of rubber and copra. I cannot see why New Guinea could not grow sufficient tea to supply the whole of Australia’s requirements, or why the natives could not be educated to operate their onn plantations. Probably it will take many years before they can be educated to that standard. However, those territories can be enabled to produce tropical products which, very often, we find it so difficult to obtain in this country. We must inculcate the idea of self-government in the native mind. If we can make them feel that the responsibility for their own welfare and that of their fellow men largely rests upon themselves, we shall be enabled to educate them to higher standards ten times more quickly than if we merely organize their education on a military pattern under which those in charge would merely endeavour to impose their own wills upon the natives. This measure is a step in the right direction. The raising of the educational, economic and social standards of the natives of Papua and New Guinea must necessarily be a gradual process. During the recent war Australia found itself seriously short of rubber for war purposes. Is there any reason why rubber production in New Guinea could not be increased tenfold, or, having regard to the fact that Australia’s timber resources are being seriously depleted, why timber production in that territory could not be increased to a like degree? New Guinea also possesses immense mineral wealth. Recently a responsible officer of one of the major oil companies who was my companion on a train journey claimed that New Guinea was virtually floating on oil which was only waiting to be tapped. But he said that no attempt would be made to tap it until the oil wells in Borneo and other sources of oil became exhausted. The mineral wealth of New Guinea has been allowed to lie dormant over the years, and to-day it simply awaits development.
If Australia does not press forward with the development of that territory other countries which are inclined to cast envious eyes upon it will welcome the opportunity to. do so. New Guinea possesses resources which are capable of yielding many of the commodities which are essential to the defence of Australia in a time of emergency. That wealth is lying at our northern doorstep, but between the two world wars we failed to realize the value of that territory from either an economic or a defence point of view. I am astounded that administrations during that period did not so much as lift a finger to develop those resources. The policy of those governments was merely to exploit the natives and the natural wealth of Papua and New Guinea for the benefit of a favoured few. I agree with Senator Murray that the sooner this measure is implemented the greater will be the benefit that Australia will derive from it. I have no doubt that the Australian Government will do its duty as the Trusteeship Council expects it to do. Even though Australia, under the Trusteeship agreement, is obliged to report every year to the Trusteeship Council upon its administration of its territories, we need have no fear that the Council will interfere with any action that the Australian Government may deem it necessary to take to- strengthen the defences of New Guinea for the protection of both of the territories as well as of Australia itself. Papua is completely an Australian territory, and we should be justified in providing for the defence of New Guinea should that course be necessary in order to ensure the security of our own territory. Consequently, I fail to see that . any handicap will be placed upon Australia in that respect because it has entered into this Trusteeship agreement. I am confident that the United Nations would raise no objection on that score so long as we could show that any defensives measures we might take were absolutely essential for our own security. If the Government can achieve its object, it will be the New Guinea natives who will prepare those defences and man them, because they will feel, as we feel to-day, that they have some stake to fight for against any aggressive nation that may send its forces against them. The kernel of my argument is that a force of 1,000,000 people will be added to our population to be brought into play for the defence of the Territory of New Guinea and of Australia in the event of foreign aggression. Should war break out, the natives of New Guinea would fight, not to save Australia, but to protect their own country, and we Australians could rush to their aid and at the same time fight for our own country in that front line. Unless we can achieve that objective,, the time will come when some other power will come south, as Japan did in recent years,, and fling its forces against Australia before we realize what is happening. We should aim to achieve full control of New Guinea as part and parcel of Australia in the near future. We should not be content with a trusteeship. We should have full control of New Guinea as a territory of Australia, because it is vital to Australia.
This plan for the natives of New Guinea could well be used as a pattern by some other Ministers for their treatment of the natives of Australia. A vast area in central and northern Australia is populated, in the main, by aborigines. If we can successfully carry out the major project in New Guinea that is envisaged, by this bill, why can we not do likewise for our own aboriginal population and so develop another line of defence in the northern part of Australia, which is so important to us? We have vast tracts of territory bursting with wealth and still populated by the natives whose forebears lived there probably hundreds of thousands of years ago. What have we done towards the education and uplift of those aborigines? During World War II., some of them enlisted in our armed forces and one in particular gained a commission and held a position of command over other Australians. If natives have sufficient intelligence to rise in the ai-my to the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant and captain, they are not so dull that they would not respond to a scheme of development similar to that which is proposed for New Guinea. We own the northern part of Australia. It is not held under any trusteeship agreement. It is a part of the nation. An attempt was made to barter it to the Japanese in order to gain their support for the allied forces during World War I., hut fortunately Australian statesmen scorned that proposition, which was submitted by some so-called statesmen in Great Britain However, the threatened loss of the territory did not awaken Australian governments to the necessity for developing the region and embarking upon a programme for the welfare of the natives. Very little has been done for the- aborigines. The rate of progress to-day would not make any marked impression upon their conditions if it were to continue for the next 500 years. Now that the Government has very properly engaged in an enlightened programme for the development of New Guinea, it should frame a similar plan in the interests of our own natives. We are crying out for population. We eulogize the Minister for Immigration (Mr. Calwell) for the work that he is doing in bringing from other countries immigrants whom we badly need. I. hope that the time is not far distant when we shall be able to eulogize the Minister for the Interior, who controls the north of Australia, for introducing a scheme for the development of that area and for the education and improvement of the lot of the aborigines. When that day comes, we shall be approaching something like the status of true nationhood. We should continue with our immigration programme, but at the same time we should not lose sight of the potentialities of our native peoples. They can be of great value to the nation. We propose to educate the natives of New Guinea and make them feel that they have some stake in the world worth defending. We should do likewise for our own aborigines. 1 hope that we shall soon be able to rise in this chamber and give our support to a bill that will bring decent condition? to Australian natives.
– Some of them have the franchise now.
– To give the Australian native a vote without giving him some stake in the country and helping to educate him is absolutely useless. There are big stock-owners in the northern par’ of Australia who would not be able to exist there without their Australian aboriginal “ slaveys “. If it is possible ti. educate New Guinea natives to wor their own properties profitably, it must hu possible also to educate the aborigines to work small holdings. We should subdivide some of the huge station properties and develop dormant land that is not owned by anybody so that the aborigines may have their own small plots and field* and feel that they are a valued part of the Australian population. If we do that, the aborigines will feel that they have a responsibility to vote and something to vote for. They have nothing to vote foi to-day. Those who are granted the franchise may vote for a certain candidate, but they will not feel that they have any stake in the country. They are just hunted about and have no pride in themselves. I conclude by repeating my fervent hope that the time is not far distant when the Minister for the Interior will introduce a bill providing for the development of that vast area of Australia, which is not held under trusteeship hut belongs to us, in the interests of the people who rightly belong there and whose forebears lived there long before white men came to Australia.
– It has been indicated by previous speakers that -this bill can well fall under two main headings. One part of it asks the Parliament for its approval of the action that was taken by the Minister for External Affairs (Dr. Evatt) in December, 1946, in placing the Mandated Territory of New Guinea under trusteeship of the United Nations. The other part of it provides for the amalgamation of the administrative control of the Territories of Papua and New Guinea. It is wise and proper that the administrations of Papua and New Guinea should be amalgamated. The amalgamation will be in the interests, not only of us, as the people responsible for the administration, but also of those who are subject to the administration. Greater efficiency will be achieved by having a common administration. I have pleasure, too, in expressing the hope that some of those pious provisions delineated in Article 76 of the Charter of the United Nations will be achieved, at least in part. For instance, clause 6 of the article is designed to promote the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the inhabitants of trust territories and their progressive development towards self-government or independence as the case may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of each territory and. its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned, and as may be provided by the terms of each trusteeship agreement. We are able to provide for the gradual development of the natives who are under our control until they reach the stage of complete enjoyment of a fuller and freer life without throwing the mandate into the trusteeship of the United Nations.
I trust that, in the interpretation and implementation of the noble ideal expressed in the article, those who are responsible for the administration will be factual and realistic in their approach to and dealings with the problems that will arise from time to time for consideration and determination. For instance, I do not want us to be responsible for any natives of the territory coming to welcome us in loin cloths and top hats and with an Oxford bleat. Much better would it be if the attention of th, administration were directed along lines which the natives themselves would understand and appreciate. Let us carry on the work of dealing with malarial and other disease-carrying swamps which was started in the territory by the Army during the war. Let us improve the natives’ hygiene, give them a better sense of hospitalization, and by all means provide a standard of education that will not send them direct to Oxford but will give them a gradual appreciation of the benefit of what may be called, as it is developed, a liberal education. Better would it be if they were given the advantage of a scientific approach to the problems that confront them in the development of their own country. Very little has been done up to date to bring to their assistance the advantages of the scientific approach to the various crops that thrive so well in that very luxuriant part of the world. I support the general idea, as contemplated in the bill, of the administration doing something to discharge our responsibility to those natives so that they may enjoy progressively a. better, fuller and happier life.
The other part of the bill, in effect, seeks our approval of the action of the Minister for External Affairs in signing over the Territory of New Guinea to the trusteeship of the United Nations. lt is a great pity that members of this Parliament were not given an opportunity to debate the wisdom or otherwise of banding over the territory. Above all, we should have had the opportunity to discuss, first, whether it is wise to hand it over as a trusteeship and, secondly, the nature of the trusteeship. Under the United Nations Charter there are two types of trusteeship. Under Article 83 :it is quite competent for any administering authority to declare that the whole or any part of a particular trust property is regarded as being vital for strategic purposes. The United .States of America has done that in regard to the Caroline and the Marshall Islands, [f any part of the world is vital to any other part of the world for the purposes of defence, surely New Guinea is vital to Australia. It would be quite competent for us, if we ure determined to make New Guinea the subject matter of a trust, to let it be done in such a way that there would be no possible danger of our defences ‘being weakened in any way or destroyed either now or in the future. Under the terms of the trusteeship agreement set out in the bill, it will not be practicable or permissible for us to treat New Guinea hs a base for the defence of Australia. Only such steps as are considered necessary for the defence of the territory itself can be taken. New Guinea cannot be fortified as a base for the protection of Australia. Article 7 of the Trusteeship Agreement states -
The Administering Authority may take all measures in the Territory which it considers desirable to provide for the defence of the Territory and for maintenance of international peace and security.
Under that provision, Australia, as the administering authority, is not .permitted to do other than provide for the defence of the territory itself. The difference between the two classes of trusteeship, if not appreciated by the Minister for External Affairs, is certainly appreciated by the American people who have refused point-blank to have this type of trusteeship applied to the Marshall or Caroline Islands. It cannot be reasonably argued that, from the point of view of security or strategy, the Marshall or Caroline Islands boar anything like the relationship to the
United States of America that New Guinea does to Australia. Should any elaboration be necessary of the strategic importance of New Guinea in the defence of this country, I have only to remind the Senate of the Japanese invasion of that territory in World War II. Australia lost nearly 6,000 men in the defence of New Guinea and Papua.
– The Menzies Government was responsible for the state of unpreparedness in New Guinea.
– We do not remember our boys who died in New Guinea as members of any political party. To us they were just Australians. The aim of the Japanese was to use New Guinea as a springboard for an attack on the mainland of Australia.
– Mr. Menzies said that New Guinea was impregnable.
– And the present Minister for External Territories (Mr. Ward) said that it was silly to talk about defending New Guinea, hut that if it had to be defended it should be defended by the people of New Guinea themselves.
The “DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Nicholls). - Order! Interjections are disorderly, and the honorable senator must not reply to them.
-As I have said, nearly 6,000 Australians gave their lives in the defence of Papua and New Guinea, and in the ultimately successful attempt to throw the Japanese out of those territories. The importance of New Guinea as a bastion of Australia’s defence will be realized if we contemplate for a moment the bold bid that the Japanese made to occupy that territory, and the extremities to which we, with the aid of our gallant American allies, were prepared to go to throw them out. NewGuinea lies on the route of any invader of our shores, unless the invasion is to come from the direction of the South Pole. Contemplation of the events of -the past five years should be sufficient to convince any one who is open to conviction of the outstanding strategic importance of New Guinea in the defence of the Commonwealth. Therefore, I say that had the proposal to place New Guinea under
United Nations trusteeship been referred to the Australian people for an expression of opinion, at least the relatives of those who were associated with the defence of that territory in World War II. would have replied with an unhesitating, thunderous, “ No “. The retention of complete Australian jurisdiction over New’ Guinea would not have prevented the development of that territory in the manner contemplated under the United Nations Trusteeship Agreement. The natives could have been educated to the enjoyment of a full and useful life, just as easily under our flag as under an international flag.
I am not opposed to granting to the New Guinea natives of all that they are entitled to by morality and justice. As human beings, they have a rightful claim to a full and independent life; but I object most strongly to being asked to ratify - two years after the deed has been done - Dr. Evatt’s “ sell-out “ of this vital territory to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations. As I have said, I am sure that the Australian people, had they been consulted, would have given a definite instruction that the future of their country should not bo jeopardized by the handing over of control of New Guinea to an international body, whose attitude to this country is completely unpredictable. Reports on Australia’s administration of New Guinea will have to be made to the Trusteeship Council, one member of which is Mexico and another Costa Rica. Is it flattering to us that we, with our long tradition of proper and peaceful government, should be held accountable to the people of Mexico and Peru? Is that very complimentary to the Australian nation? Are honorable senators opposite prepared to confess to their electors that they have agreed to the Australian Government’s administration being judged according to the standards of Mexico and Peru? If that is the attitude of the Labour party, let it be known. Let the world know that, Labour has more confidence in the standards of governmental integrity of Peru and Mexico than in those of a British community. I am sure that such a proclamation would not find any sympathetic echo in the hearts of the Australian people. Again I protest strongly indeed against the Government’s action. Without consultation with members of thi? Parliament - I doubt whether even caucus knew about the proposal because apparently the Minister for External Affairs does not take caucus into his confidence very much - or with the Australian people whose sons, brothers and fathers shed their blood with that of our Allies in the defence of New Guinea, control of that territory has been handed over to an international body.
– This bill is designed to effect an administrative union between the Territory of Papua and the Territory of New Guinea, which will be known in future as the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. In view of what Senator O’sullivan has said it may be as well for us to examine most closely the history of the parts of the world with which this measure i* concerned. At present Australia controls two distinct territories, Papua and New Guinea. They are both part and parcel of the island of New Guinea. Prior to the 1914-18 war New Guinea was divided into British New Guinea. Dutch New Guinea and German New Guinea. There were also adjacent French possessions. Six years after the foundation of the Commonwealth of Australia, the British Government handed over to the Australian Government the control of the British portion of New Guinea, now known as Papua. Australia therefore holds Papua under the Crown. It is as British as is the Commonwealth of Australia itself. The King of Great Britain is the King of Papua just’ as he is the King of Australia. How did we come to administer New Guinea? That territory was placed under our control by the League of Nations after World War I. During that war, Australian troops had taken possession of Rabaul by defeating the German garrison. At the Peace Conference, it was decided that Australia should administer New Guinea under a League of Nations mandate. Until now, Papua and New Guinea have had separate administrations. Civil administration in both territories was suspended during the New Guinea campaign, but was restored at the end of the war and once again we are turning our attention to the development of New Guinea and. Papua. It has been decided to set up one controlling authority. Senator O’sullivan said slightingly that the Minister for External Affairs (Dr. Evatt) had done certain things. The honorable senator seems to have Dr. Evatt on the brain. In the eyes of the Opposition, of course, all that is wrong with Dr. Evatt is that he is a Labour Minister, a good lawyer, and an outstanding world figure. Recently, he was elected President of the United Nations General Assembly.
– He is also a companion of the French Legion of Honour.
– That is so, but in the eyes of the Opposition, the Minister for External Affairs has become too prominent in the councils of the world, and to try to detract from his prestige, they refer to him slightingly from time to time. I remind them, however, that Dr. Evatt was Australia’s representative at United Nations gatherings following World “War II., just as Mr. Hughes was Australia’s representative at the Peace Conference after World War I. As I have said, New Guinea was given to Australia under a League of Nations mandate. What could Australia do under that mandate to make New Guinea a defence bastion of the Commonwealth? Nothing at all. The fortification of mandated territories was not permitted. The Japanese violated the terms of their mandate over the Caroline Islands by establishing fortifications on them. It was because Australia had adhered strictly to the terms of the New Guinea mandate that Australian soldiers had to fight the Japanese in that territory without prepared defences. The result was, of course, the loss of thousands of valuable lives. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Cooper) and Senator O’sullivan suggested that this Government should have retained control of New Guinea. Why did not Mr. Hughes annex New Guinea for Australia after World War I.? Because no nation that belonged to the League of Nations would have sanctioned such action. Therefore, New Guinea was held by Australia under mandate. It did not belong to us. To the Allies, neither
World War I. nor World War II. was a war of conquest or territorial aggrandizement. What is the position of the trusteeship conferred on Australia in respect of New Guinea ? The real position is not that we have to report to Chile, Patagonia, or any other nation, concerning the defence of that territory as the honorable senator suggested. It is true that under the Charter of the United Nations we are required to report to the United Nations on the political, economical and educational development, as well as the general welfare and advancement of the inhabitants. Is it not only fair that an organization which has entrusted to Australia the trusteeship of New Guinea should require a report of our activities? Naturally, the United Nations Trusteeship Council is entitled to know what we are doing and what we propose to do for the inhabitants of the territory. I have a copy of the report submitted by Australia to the General Asssembly of the United Nations on the administration of the Territory of New Guinea from the 1st July, 1947, until the 30th June, 194S. That document contains a report of the accomplishments of the Australian Administration in New Guinea. I regret that Senator Aylett referred disparagingly to the educational activities carried on by Australians in the territory. It is obvious that the honorable senator is not aware of what has been accomplished by the Australian Government.
– I am quite aware of that, but I pointed out that our achievements so far are a mere bagatelle compared with what we have to do.
– Nearly ten pages of typewritten matter of the report which I have mentioned are devoted to recounting the details of Australian educational activities in the territories. The report points out that whilst it is regrettable that universal illiteracy still predominates in the territory, close understanding and co-operation between the various organizations concerned has now been created. The Department of Education is a branch of the administration under the director of education, who. is responsible to the Administrator for matters within the prescribed field of the department. Close liaison is maintained with other branches of the administration. The report continues -
The organization of the Department, for purposes of administration, includes: (a) General Division; (6) Technical (Industrial) Training Division; (c) Special Services’ Division; (</) Female Education Division. The four Divisions involve three interdependent sections of staff, namely: (i) Headquarters (Administrative and Specialist); (ii) Field Supervisory, e.g., Area Education Officers ; (iii) Instructional.
The General Division as well as being responsible for the organization and supervision of all non-technical schools, provides for prevocational training and higher education of : non-industrial nature, including teachertraining. The Technical (Industrial) Training Division provides for the organization and supervision of instruction in such subjects as: - (I) Carpentry (woodwork and joinery) ;
Sheet metal work and plumbing;
Engineering mechanics; (4) Electrical mechanics: (fi) Local industries. Training “‘here applicable in cane-work (furniture and basketry), mat making, wood carving, manufacture of articles from shell, pottery work, &c. 1 could continue enumerating the various activities of the educational authorities in the territory, including many services which have actually been implemented ns the result of , the Australian Government being granted a trusteeship by the United Nations. I remind honorable senators that it is on these matters that Australia will be called upon to report to the United Nations. I am happy to think that the progress made so far is such that Australia will be proud when its achievements are made known to the world. The nations of the world will be satisfied that Australia, has proved worthy of the trust handed over to it.
– The Nations did not hand over anything to us: we handed it to them.
– Senator O’sullivan is splitting straws. I have already stated that Australia held New Guinea, under a mandate. “We could have been called upon to surrender that mandate if we had not fulfilled our obligations. Does Senator O’sullivan suggest that if the former League of Nations had known what the Japanese were doing in the islands which they held under mandate that it would not have withdrawn those mandates? The League of Nations would certainly not have countenanced the action taken by the Japanese to fortify those islands. After the League of Nations had ceased to exist a new form of mandate was established, which is now known as a trusteeship. Under trusteeship we can do all the things that Senator O’sullivan stated that Americans are now doing in the islands which they occupy. We can establish in Papua or New Guinea any type of defence we require. I agree with the suggestion that has been made that New Guinea is the first line of defence of Australia, and in defending New Guinea against an aggressor we shall be defending Australia. We can set up fortifications of any kind.
– Then why is not some provision to that effect included in the bill?
– There is no need to do so.
– What defensive preparations were made in New Guinea during the twenty years which preceded World War II.?
– It would have been illegal for Australia to fortify any of the Mandated Territory.
– Of course. Because the Japanese violated the trust reposed in them, members of the Opposition want us to take similar action now.
– Yes, but Australians are not built that way. Under the trusteeship we are called upon by the United Nations to ensure that the inhabitants shall be given facilities that will enable them to develop, slowly but surely, their civilization until such times as they are able to achieve selfgovernment. That territory belonged to the natives of New Guinea. We have been appointed trustees, or guardians, of the natives and it is expected that we shall do the job entrusted to us.
– The Trusteeship Council is entrusted with the guardianship of the territory; Australia is merely the administrator.
– What else is a trustee but an administrator? If the honorable senator was appointed trustee of an estate he would administer that estate. Consequently, as administrators of the Territory of New Guinea we are also trustees of that territory.
Of course, the real reason for the criticism of this measure advanced by members of the Opposition is that the present Government is endeavouring to change the old order in New Guinea. Instead of natives being procured for a few pence a month, taken away from their wives and families and villages and denied the right to return to them, the present Government is insisting that the natives shall receive reasonable wages and enjoy reasonable conditions of employment. A native cannot be taken away from his village, or kept away from it, for more than twelve months at a time. At the expiration of that time he must be returned to his village or to his wife and family. He cannot be recruited again for a period of three months. I know that those who in the past have exploited the native labour in New Guinea do not welcome the introduction of such condit ions. Those who have amassed great wealth by exploiting native labour in the production of gold and the marketing of timber, copra and other commodities, which were mentioned by Senator Murray in the course of his speech this evening were quite ruthless and paid not the slightest regard to the welfare of the unfortunate natives. They absolutely disregarded the natives and treated them as mere beasts of burden. The Australian Labour party now entered the field and has declared emphatically that it will not tolerate a continuance of such exploitation.
When the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Cooper) in the course of his speech this afternoon referred to the defence of Australia be omitted all mention of an important point. When he stated that we were virtually alone in the Pacific, he overlooked completely the fact that we are connected with other white peoples who have substantial interests in the Pacific. The United Kingdom has possessions in the New Hebridies and other islands. The United States of America administers portion of Samoa and other islands in the South Pacific. New Zealand is interested in Samoa. France is interested in Noumea and Tahiti and the Netherlands is interested in Dutch New Guinea which it still holds. It is clear, therefore, that a number of white nations besides Australia are interested in the South Pacific and so long as that situation continues I should imagine that Australia’s stragetic position will he sound. Not only do we hold our own territory of Papua, which was originally given to Australia by the United Kingdom, but we also have physical possession of the important portion of New Guinea which has now been taken over under trusteeship. The passage of enlightened legislation for the territory such as thai which we are now considering, and the implementation of a sound and vigorous policy, will inculcate in the natives feelings towards Australia and Australians which will certainly be different from those which they entertained towards thiJapanese. An attempt has been made by Senator O’Sullivan to belittle what has been accomplished by the Australian Government through the United Nations. Does the honorable senator suggest that we should fly in the face of the United Nations? Why is the Opposition so condemnatory of everything that the United Nations does? In that organization I visualize a coming together of nations that believe in a free democracy. Of course, ,a struggle is ensuing because of two different lines of thought. In the Western Union, nations are striving for democracy, whilst in eastern Europe there is totalitarianism. That is the conflict that is being waged at present within the United Nations. We stand with the section of the United Nations that believes in democracy. We have frequently been challenged as being favorable to communism. The struggle that is in progress is between totalitarianism and democracy. The Opposition, although declaiming from the housetops what it would do with Communists and communism, alines itself with the section that is opposed to democracy. In effect, it is supporting the totalitarianism to which it so strongly objects. If the United Nations should go down as a result of the withdrawal of its component members, what would take its place? There would be nothing to prevent the totalitarianism of which the Opposition claims to be afraid, but which it assists by its tactics fmd action. from sweeping the world. Whatever the Labour Government or the United Nations does is wrong, simply because our friends opposite are in opposition and do not govern Australia. I am very pleased with the tactics of the Opposition, because I believe that those tactics will keep this Government in office for many years to come. The people will appreciate the efforts that are being made to do something in the interests of humanity. I suggest that honorable senators opposite object to the mandate or trusteeship which we now hold over this area merely for the purpose of belittling the Government. I believe that this bill is something of which we can be proud, and that it will bring about an amelioration of the conditions of the peoples close to us, who will be valuable to us in the preservation of the Australian continent in the future. I support the measure.
– In supporting this bill, it is hardly necessary for me to go into a mass of detail. One could go into quite a discourse on the possibilities and potentialities of the territory referred to in this bill. This measure is a logical proposal to co-ordinate the administration of Papua and New Guinea in the interests not only of the natives themselves but also of Australia. Apparently, Senator O’Sullivan doubts the wisdom of handing over New Guinea to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations. He quite ignores the fact that New Guinea has never belonged to Australia, and that Australia has never had an opportunity to hand it over. He apparently forgets, also, that the mandate under which we hold it, granted by the old League of Nations, has gone by the board.
SenatorO’SULLIVAN. - The honorable senator should read the schedule to the bill.
– Although the honorable senator criticized what he described as Dr. Evatt’s handing over of New Guinea to the United Nations Trusteeship Council, he offered no alternative. He must know that the only alternative would be the annexation of the territory.
– That is quite wrong.
– The honorable senator must also know that none of the Allied nations that participated in World War II. sought territorial aggrandisement. The honorable senator also dealt with the defence of New Guinea, and claimed that the only provision for the defence of New Guinea is embodied in the clause which makes it permissible to fortify that territory only in the defence of the territory.
– That is true.
– This indicates that Senator O’Sullivan knows very little about strategic warfare. If he did he would realize the obvious fact that if New Guinea were fortified for the defence of New Guinea, the defence of Australia would be automatically strengthened.
– Do not be silly.
SenatorSANDFORD.- That is perfectly obvious to everybody. However, it is extraordinary that whenever anything remotely connected with the United Nations is mentioned in this chamber, the Opposition seizes on the opportunity to denounce the Minister for External Affairs (Dr. Evatt). It is more than a coincidence that the most venomous attacks on Dr. Evatt are invariably made by the legal members of the Opposition, both in this chamber and in the House of Representatives.
– Because he knows too much for them.
– The most violent criticism of the Minister for External Affairs emanates from the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives (Mr. Menzies), “ Pistol-packin’ Percy “ - I refer to the honorable member for Warringah (Mr. Spender) - and from Senator O’Sullivan in this chamber.
– They are all good judges.
– Criticism is offered by those members of the Parliament solely because of professional jealousy. Had the right honorable the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives, the honorable member for Warringah, or any of the other legal men sitting in Opposition been appointed
President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, we should never be able to get him down from the clouds.
– What about Senator O’Sullivan?
– Compared with Dr. Evatt, he is only an embryo legal man.
– The honorable senator would be a good judge !
– Yes, particularly when comparing the honorable senator and his legal friends sitting in Opposition in the House of Representatives, with Dr. Evatt. However, I shall not enter into a discourse about the qualifications of legal members of the Parliament. Under this bill we are endeavouring to fulfill our obligations to the people of New Guinea and Papua. We are determined to establish for those territories an administration under which the native peoples will benefit considerably. We have indicated our earnest desire to implement one of the basic planks of the Atlantic Charter, that is, free and independent government of various peoples in their own way for their own benefit. We have got away from the old principle that was invariably adopted by the conservative parties throughout this country - the horse and buggy state of subject, abject, peoples. We realize that under this legislation the administration of Papua and New Guinea will be co-ordinated in the interests of the native peoples of those territories. It must be realized, of course, that there are over 1,000,000 people to be considered. The provisions of this bill merely embody the basic principles of democracy. From the point of view of the defence of Australia it is vitally important that we should develop the territories of New Guinea and Papua to the highest possible state of efficiency. We must remember the lessons of 1942. Admittedly we were not then in a position to fortify New Guinea because, as has already been mentioned, we held New Guinea at that time merely under a mandate from the old League of Nations. This measure will enable us to fortify the territory for the defence of the territory, and, automatically, the defence of New Guinea means the defence of Aus tralia. The natives of those territories will be enabled to improve their lot from the economic, cultural, and social points of view. I believe that that is an obligation that devolves upon any nation that is entrusted with the welfare of native peoples by the United Nations. It is a basic principle of democracy. Senator O’Sullivan stated that the native people should be educated by degrees. That reminds me of statements that were made by members of the Opposition in the House of Representatives when, under the Labour Government, payment to the natives of New Guinea was increased. Prominent members of the Opposition parties in the House of Representatives contended that the increases which the Government proposed to give to the natives were by far too much and would make them too secure. In effect, those honorable members said that the economic freedom of the natives should be achieved at a more gradual rate. When the administrations of Papua and New Guinea are co-ordinated we shall be enabled to provide the natives with all the amenities which the average modern community enjoys. After all, they are entitled to the best that we can give them. The Australian people are aware of the great help which they gave to the Allied cause during the recent war. For the first time in our history this measure makes provision for direct representation of the natives on the bodies that will make the laws to be applied in their respective areas. The judicial system which previously operated in each of the territories will be retained. The measure emphasizes the Government’s plan for the full development of the resources of both territories and the advancement of their inhabitants. The two territories are to be placed under the one administration. Under the new system the natives of both territories will enjoy equally the medical, hospitalization, educational, agricultural and transport services that will be provided by that administration.
Under this measure Australia will he answerable to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations in respect of the administration of these territories. That is an honorable undertaking. In the past Australia, in the exercise of control of territories under a mandate from the League of Nations, has been true to its word, and it will be found, particularly under a Labour government, that this country will honour its obligations under this trusteeship agreement. Such a provision is in keeping with the trend of affairs among all intelligent peoples who are realizing to an increasing degree that the world must get away from the old order and move towards a system under which every section of a community will be guaranteed economic and social security. Papua became a possession of Australia in 1906, and we assumed control of New Guinea in 1921 under the League of Nations mandate. In the meantime the territories have been under the control of separate administrations, but such a system, obviously, is not so efficient as is control by a co-ordinated administration. Of course, in 1942 when the Japanese invaded the territories their civil administrations were suspended. During the period of occupation they were under a unified military control. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Cooper) was a little concerned about maintaining the identity of each of the territories. In reply to his argument on that point I refer him to the following statement, which the Minister for Supply and Development (Senator Armstrong) made in the course of his second-reading speech : -
As the majority of the members of the Trusteeship Council felt that there might be a dancer of the boundaries of the provinces for which provision was made in clause 1 1 of the original bill being so defined under that section as to result “in the obliteration of the boundaries of the trust territory thus prejudicing the maintenance of its separate identity, the section has been omitted.
That means that the identity of each of the territories will be maintained although both will be administered by the one organization. The Trusteeship Council has entrusted these territories to the care of this country. Therefore, under this measure we are simply implementing one of the basic ideas of the United Nations organization by adopting democratic methods in the control of native peoples. We are taking another step towards the emancipation of these native peoples, another step towards - a new era of enlightened prosperity and security for all peoples, regardless of colour, class or creed. That is an indi- cation of the Australian Government’s earnestness in this matter, and it is particularly pleasing that the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, from which Australia receives its trust, is, himself, an Australian and a member of this Government. I commend the bill because it is in the interests of the peoples of Papua and New Guinea and the future development and the defence of Australia. It represents an advance towards that new era which embodies economic security for the peoples of the world.
– in reply - I thank honorable senators for the enlightening manner in which they have discussed this measure. I believe that as the result of this debate all honorable senators have learned something concerning a land about which, unfortunately, most of us know all too little. I have not agreed with anything more readily than I agreed with the statement made by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Cooper) that members of the Parliament should accept every opportunity to visit Papua and New Guinea in order to learn at first hand the conditions existing in those territories. Senator Murray also developed that theme. I say with proper humility that the people of this country know all too little about that great land which forms a bastion to our north. Therefore I urge members of the Parliament to accept the first opportunity to visit those territories in order to learn of their problems on the spot. I am grateful particularly to Senator Murray for his interesting survey of the possibilities of that great land. Generally speaking, all honorable senators who participated in this debate approached this subject in a very reasonable way. T noted a few minor exceptions - minor in the sense that no great weight of argument will be required to answer the points raised.
The Leader of the Opposition, whose speech was 90 per cent, in commendation of the measure, made the qualification that Australia should not have submitted proposals for the control of New Guinea to the consideration of the
Trusteeship Council, but, on the contrary, should have declared that territory to be a strategic security area as the United States of America has done in respect of all the islands in the Pacific which it took over at the conclusion of the recent war. However, the Government gave full consideration to that aspect. The position is that at any time Australia can apply to the United Nations organization and ask that that area be considered as a strategic security area. But having regard to all the facts the Government decided that it would continue to administer New Guinea as Australia has done since the conclusion of World War I. Instead of administering that territory under a mandate of the League of Nations, we are now to administer it under a trusteeship agreement. The objection of the Leader of the Opposition stems from the fundamental objection that because we are to administer a trust we shall be under certain obligations to the Trusteeship Council, and, through that body, to the United Nations. That is correct. One cannot accept a trusteeship unless one accepts certain obligations in respect of it. However, the obligations that we accept in this instance are not very onerous. The main objection raised by the Leader of the Opposition was that we shall have to open the area for inspection by member nations of the Trusteeship Council. That also is correct. He also pointed out that such nations could inspect even defence arrangements which might be made within the area and, consequently, it would virtually be foolish for the Australian Government to make any defence preparations in that area because, however secret they might be, they could be inspected and scrutinized and, therefore, revealed to the world. I remind the honorable senator that under the League of Nations mandate Australia was not permitted to fortify New Guinea in any way whatever. As Senator Sheehan pointed out, that fact gave rise to the great problem with which we were confronted in that area when the Japanese entered the recent war. We were obliged to move into that territory not, as Senator O’sullivan said, in order to defend New Guinea ; we moved into New Guinea, as we moved into Malaya, in order to defend Australia. The Opposition parties which were in office at the outbreak of the war strongly professed to believe that the further away from Australia we could do our fighting the greater would be the security of our people. We endeavoured to carry the fight as far from our borders as possible in order to minimize that threat. Unfortunately, however, the Japanese actually landed in these territories and bombed the mainland of Australia, and thus brought the war to our very door. It may be that one reason why the Japanese were given that advantage was because over the years Australia, under the League of Nations mandate, was not permitted to fortify New Guinea. However, under this Trusteeship Agreement an entirely new situation is created because under it we are entitled to defend these territories and to install any class of fortifications which we may deem necessary for their effective defence. Article 7 of the Fourth Schedule to the bill provides -
The Administering Authority may take all measures in the Territory which it considers desirable to provide for the defence of the Territory -
And this is the important provision - and for maintenance of international peace and security.
Senator O’sullivan suggested that under the trusteeship agreement we could fortify New Guinea only for its own defence. But everybody realizes that in any future war the defences of New Guinea would also be the defences of Australia. However, we can go to the United Nations whenever we may desire and have those places declared strategic areas, as the United States of America did in connexion with its trusteeship of the Caroline and the Marshall Islands. Who am I to say that that is the right thing to do and who are the members of the Opposition to say that it is the wrong thing to do? The decision was arrived at after very great consideration by the Government and particular consideration by that man who seems to haunt the dreams and worry the waking hours of the Opposition; I refer to the Minister for External Affairs (Dr. Evatt). The powers of the trusteeship are set down in Article 88 of the Charter of tho United Nations, and the Trusteeship Council is given no right to investigate whatever defence measures may be taken in the territory. Article SS provides that the Trusteeship Council shall formulate a questionnaire on the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the inhabitants of each trust territory and that the administering authority for each trust territory shall make an annual report to the General Assembly on the basis of that questionnaire. The military side of the trusteeship is completely ignored.
– The Opposition knows that.
– I suppose that honorable senators opposite believe that their task is to oppose and they endeavour to do so to the best of their ability with the means at their disposal. It is not our fault that their best is not so good as it might be. However, I am thankful for their efforts because only through opposition and free and open discussion can all the knowledge that honorable senators seek be brought before them in this chamber.
– What about inspections? The Trusteeship Council has the power to inspect.
– Only at times set out and under conditions laid down by the administration. At any rate, where the bill is silent, the administration will decide what will happen. The bill is silent about the military aspect of the trusteeship.
I shall take this question further because of the very trenchant criticism of the Trusteeship Council by the Leader of the Opposition and Senator O’sullivan. They were very critical of the fact that two of the member nations have some interest in this matter. They laugh at the fact that any problem associated with Australia should ever have to come before representatives of Mexico and Irak. That is a complete negation, first of the principles of the League of Nations, and now of the principles of the United Nations.
– But it is correct.
– I disagree. Because of the quality of the men whom Australia sends overseas to represent it at meetings of world organizations, we find that Australians have been selected for many such important tasks. For instance, an Australian was appointed as chairman of the committee that investigated problems in the Netherlands East Indies. Australians are also investigating problems in the Balkans and Greece. Others were interested recently in Tanganyika, and others again played a very prominent part in the Palestine troubles. Each nation sends its best men to the United Nations General Assembly, and all those that are permanent members of the Trusteeship Council have possessions under trust in some part of the world. Russia and China are permanent members because they are permanent members of the General Assembly. The other four have been elected for a period of three years, and they will be replaced at the end of that term. Thus, at the end of three years, Irak, Mexico, Costa Rica and the Philippines will move off the Trusteeship Council. The council might be described as a .judicial body, and I can see no more objection to those nations appearing on the council than I can see to Australia appearing on so many councils that are doing their best throughout the world to promote world peace and harmony.
One fundamental thing seems to have been forgotten by the Opposition in connexion with the New Guinea situation. That is the fact that it is a .trust. Senator Sheehan dealt very fully with that point. New Guinea does not belong to us. Papua, that territory which is vested in the Commonwealth, will be granted selfgovernment if and when its people are developed to a degree that will allow them to govern. Australia will then move out of Papua. That is the law of democracy and the law of God.
– That is not under criticism.
– What the Leader of the Opposition wants to do is to annex the territory. There is no question about that, although he carefully skirted the word in his speech. The whole argument- of the Opposition, which was very faintly supported even by one honorable senator on the Government side of the chamber, was that the territories should be annexed and become an integral part of Australia.
– That is entirely wrong. The statement is unworthy of the Minister.
– It is perfectly true. The honorable senator on the Government side whom I mentioned said that he supported the Opposition in making has declaration.
– The word was never used.
– That is what I have said. I said that the word was very carefully skirted. The trusteeship gives us very great responsibility. As has been pointed out, it affects a nation of 1,000,000 people, most of whom are of a very high standard and who can, with proper education, play a very important part ‘in world affairs in the years to come. There is no more reason why the native of New Guinea should not in the future play the prominent part that the Maori plays now. The mediator who has finally brought peace, between the Arabs and the Jews is a negro from the United States of America. A man from a degraded slave race imported to another country now stands as a world leader! Nobody has the right to say that within the next 150 years the natives of New Guinea, if they are properly developed, will not be able to take their place among the nations of the world.
– Some of them are already studying at universities.
– Yes. I think that everybody will admit that they have the ability and intelligence to do such tilings if the opportunities are presented to them. The Government hopes that, by means of wise administration in that territory, we shall give the natives the opportunity to educate themselves and to develop to nationhood.
I can understand the point of view and the arguments of the Leader of the Opposition, but I consider that any implication of annexation of the territory is wrong in principle and conflicts with our own history. We saw what Japan did under its mandate between the two world wars. It fortified every island that its leaders thought would be valuable to them when they marched southward. But that nation started a fire that spread throughout the world and finally consumed its originator. It lived by the sword, and it perished by the sword. Australia approaches these problems on an entirely different level.
– But did not former governments keep their word in relation to the mandate ?
– Why should the Minister accuse us of harbouring an ulterior motive now ?
– The honorable senator said, in very well chosen words, that governments which he supported had observed in the spirit and to the letter the mandate of the League of Nations, and that they could justifiably commend themselves upon the administration of New Guinea. I do not accept that wholeheartedly, but-
– Why does the Minister impute an ulterior motive now?
– There is a different situation now. A Labour government is in office. When anti-Labour parties are in Opposition and the mantle of responsibility does not rest upon their shoulders, their favourite game is to suggest that the Government should do the things that they were afraid to. do when they were in power. I have endeavoured briefly to reply to the speeches that have been made by honorable senators.
I believe that, although the work of development is almost always very slow, we shall see in the future a New Guinea that we can scarcely envisage now. The internal wealth of the country is such that, properly exploited, it will hasten the education and development of the natives. Having properly developed it, we shall so fortify it that it will he a bulwark against further aggression. Whilst we pray that aggression will never occur, we believe that we should he foolish not to learn the lessons of the years that have gone. Therefore, we shall take steps in those areas at Rabual and Manus Island so that, if we are again threatened from the north, we shall be able, we hope, to fight the battle victoriously. I cannot forget that the Japanese were beaten in battle for the first time during “World War II. in New Guinea on the Kokoda trail. After a forward march of thousands of miles, they took their first steps backward, within 35 miles of Port Moresby when they were turned back by Australian soldiers. We must not forget that. I agree with Senator Aylett, who said that if the people of New Guinea are developed properly they will be friends and comrades to us. In the days to come, if we are threatened again and if we have played our part as able administrators in that area, we shall stand shoulder to shoulder with them, as friend and friend, to face whatever forces may be sent against us. I commend the bill to the Senate. There has been a certain amount of delay in presenting it to the Parliament, but these things take time. Problems develop that have to be solved as they occur. The Government has endeavoured to place before the Parliament a document as complete as possible, a bill that will give to those who administer the territory full powers to make New Guinea and Papua something of which not only Australia but also the rest of the world will be proud.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
Clauses 1 to 4 agreed to.
Clause 5 (Definitions.)
– This clause defines an elector as “ a person qualified and enrolled as an elector of the territory in accordance with ordinance “. This clause should be read in conjunction with clause 36 (1) (c) which deals with the election of certain non-official members of the Legislative Council. I ask the Minister for Supply and Development (Senator A Armstrong) whether he is in a position to give to the committee any further information about the franchise at such elections. Is it intended that there shall be full adult franchise, or will only persons who have reached a certain educational standard be permitted to vote? I point out also that the elections are to be held under ordinance. Such an ordinance may be issued while the Parliament is in recess, and a Legislative Council may be elected without the Parliament having any knowledge whatsoever of the ordinance.
– It is true as the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Cooper) has said that an election could take place without the Parliament having had an opportunity to examine the ordinance. That point was raised in the House of Representatives, and the Minister has given an undertaking that the position will be watched carefully and such an occurrence prevented if possible.
Clause agreed to.
Clause 6 (Approval of placing of New Guinea under International Trusteeship System) .
– This is one of the most important clauses of the bill. I should like to know why the New Guinea trusteeship was not sought under Articles 82 and 83 of the Charter of the United Nations. I dealt with thi? matter in my second-reading speech.
Article 82 reads -
There may he designated, in any trusteeship agreement, a strategic area or areas which may include part or all of the trust territory to which the agreement applies, without prejudice to any special agreement or agreements made under Article 43.
Article 83 states -
All functions of the United Nations relating to strategic areas, including the approval of the terms of the trusteeship agreements and of their alteration or amendment, shall be exercised by the Security Council.
I understand that the United States of America was granted trusteeship over the Marshall, Caroline and Mariana Islands under these articles. Those islands, of course, are of considerable importance to the United States of America from a defence point of view, but they are no more important to that country than New Guinea is to Australia.. The Minister for Supply and Development (Senator Armstrong) implied during my second-reading speech that I was (suggesting virtually the annexation of the Territory of New Guinea, but that was not my intention at all. I merely asked whether trusteeship over New Guinea could be granted to Australia under Articles 82 and 83 of the United Nations Charter. Can the Minister provide ‘the Senate with any further information on this matter? If there was any justification for granting to the United States of America the right to fortify the Marianas, the Carolines, and the Marshalls, surely there was ample justification for Australia administering New Guinea under a trusteeship agreement which would permit similar defence work to be carried out in that territory.
– The situation could be retrieved if the need arose. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Cooper) has spoken as if the opportunity to declare New Guinea a strategic area had passed and would not return. That is not so. We can at any time approach the United Nations and have New Guinea declared a strategic area.
– Where is the authority for that?
– My information comes from an officer of the Department of External Territories whose duty it is to know these things.
– It is not in the Charter ?
– Australia may still, if it so desires, apply to the United Nations to have New Guinea declared a strategic area. This matter was given very serious consideration by the Government, and particularly by the Minister for External Affairs (Dr. Evatt). We were satisfied that under the Trusteeship Agreement contained in this measure, we could do all that we wanted to do in New Guinea. If problems arise in the future which lead us to believe that New Guinea should be declared a strategic area, we shall be able to ask that that be done, and my information is that there would be automatic acceptance of any such request. One of the Government’s main considerations in dealing with this matter was that, whereas under the terms of the League of Nations man date, we could not fortify the territory, under the Trusteeship Agreement we can do so. We believe that the agreement gives us all the power necessary to handle the situation. If times change, we can go to the United Nations and have New Guinea declared a strategic area.
– I am not quite satisfied with the explanation given by the Minister for Supply and Development (Senator Armstrong) . I do not presume to criticize the validity of the legal advice that has been given to him by a distinguished mentor, but I do criticize the advisability of relying entirely on the position as it has been explained to us. There must be some misunderstanding in the minds of members of this chamber who have spoken on the bill, as to how the present position has arisen. It has been stated that we could not do certain things while we held New Guinea under a League of Nations mandate; but the point I emphasize is that we have taken the initiative in placing New Guinea under the trusteeship of the United Nations. Nobody could have forced us to do that. The Trusteeship Agreement states : -
The Government of Australia now undertakes to place the territory of New Guinea under the trusteeship system, on the terms set forth in the present trusteeship agreement.
Therefore, we have taken the initiative, as the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Cooper) has pointed out. If we had to avail ourselves of the trusteeship system, why did we not do so on less disadvantageous terms ? The Leader of the Opposition also pointed out that, under Article 82 of the Charter, certain territories can be designated as strategic areas, and that over those areas, the United Nations has less control than it can exercise over ordinary trusteeship territories. For instance, there is no right of inspection, so that no unauthorized visitor may pry into defence fortifications. If the intention of the Government is merely to do its best for the liberation and emancipation of native peoples, surely that could have been achieved without throwing New Guinea wide open to inspection, supervision, and, if necessary, correction and reproof by representatives of whatever countries may from time to time constitute the Trusteeship Council. No satisfactory explanation has been given on that point. The Minister for Supply and Development has said that if at any time we wish to have a part, or the whole of New Guinea declared a strategic area, that will be merely a formality. If proceedings before the United Nations are as simple as that, the whole organization is a shocking racket. Under the Trusteeship Agreement, we have solemnly bound our country to do certain things in relation to New Guinea. If, as the Minister suggests, we can havethe agreement altered at will, and so destroy its whole character, what is the use of having an agreement at all? The time to decide whether New Guinea was or was not a strategic area in relation to Australia was in December, 1946, before the Minister for External Affairs, signed Australia’s name to the agreement which we are now being asked to ratify. I should like to know whether consideration was given to having New Guinea declared a strategic area, or whether the agreement was entered into without any serious thought, being given to that vital matter.
– The honorable senator has made great play on the fact that the Trusteeship Agreement can, with a wave of the hand, be swept aside.
– That is what the Minister has said.
– And that virtually is the position. Does the honorable senator imagine that in having certain Pacific islands declared strategic areas the United States of America had to do more than ask that that course be taken?
– That was before any agreement was made.
– However, the position remains unaltered. At any time which seems appropriate to the Government it can apply to have the terms of the present Trusteeship Agreement varied-
– Australia will have to ask for permission.
-. - Yes, we shall have to ask for permission. A lot of matters were purposely left undefined in the Trusteeship Agreement, but that document provides ample opportunity for us to approach the General Assembly of the United Nations to have the agreement changed.
– We shall have to go cap in hand.
– What is the difference between having to approach the General Assembly in that manner in the future and having been compelled to adopt a similar approach when we made our original application? I draw attention to Article 79, which should be read in conjunction with Articles 82, 83, and 85, all of which provide for making application for a change of status.
.- Senator O’Sullivan said that we should have applied for a trusteeship in a special form. Will the Minister for Supply and Development (Senator Armstrong) inform the Senate whether the trusteeship of any territory can be obtained by any other method than that adopted? I think that it should also be made clear to the Senate that the conditions under which the trusteeship of a. particular territory is granted to a nation provide that, subject to certain general conditions’, any nation may apply for a. trusteeship. Can the terms of the agreement made by Australia with the United’ Nations be altered upon application without altering the general conditions under which trusteeship is permitted by the United Nations? Under company law any public company is regulated by its memorandum of association and articles of association. Does the United Nations hold the memorandum of association, and the administering power hold the articles of association in these matters? I point out that the articles of association can be altered by the mere formality of making an application, provided always that the alteration, sought does not disagree with the terms of the memorandum of association. Can the Trusteeship Agreement which. Australia has made with the United Nations be altered with a minimum of difficulty, provided that the proposed alteration does not disagree with the fundamental rules laid down by the
United Nations for the granting of trusteeships? Could we apply for a special trusteeship such as that granted to the United States of America ? I believe that we could, provided that our application came within the general conditions laid down by the United Nations, whether the area be a strategic one or not. Members of the Opposition appear to imply that a different form of trusteeship can be obtained only by some other method.
– I appreciate the explanation furnished by the Minister for Supply and Development (Senator Armstrong), but I feel that a very grave blunder has been made. The Minister stated that it is quite easy to have the conditions of the trusteeship altered so as to permit certain areas to be designated as strategic areas. In the course of the speech which I made in the second-reading debate this afternoon I pointed out the grave difficulties that were encountered in the Trusteeship Council in persuading that body to agree to the union of the two territories, and to have New Guinea and Papua placed under a single administration. The representative of Russia emphasized his objection so strongly that a minority report was furnished. According to the verbatim reports of the proceedings of the council, which are available to the public, approximately 280 questions were addressed to Australia’s representative. Many of those questions were most embarrassing and difficult to answer. I suggest, therefore, that a grave blunder has been made by the present Government, which should have ensured, in the first instance, that the trusteeship granted to Australia was similar to that granted to the United States of America in respect of the Carolines, the Marshalls and the Marianas.
– So real is our democracy in this country that the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Cooper) and I can agree to disagree concerning his assertion that the making of the subject agreement was a grave blunder. I have already emphasized that the terms of the agreement received considerable attention by the Minister for External Territories (Mr. Ward) and the Minister for
External Affairs (Dr. Evatt). I do not want to repeat myself ad nauseam, but the Minister for External Affairs is probably the most eminent figure in international affairs to-day. No one has more detailed knowledge of the procedure of the United Nations than has the right honorable gentleman, and I am quite happy to rely upon his judgment. However, if the Leader of the Opposition does not agree with my point of view, the Government does not propose to take the honorable senator outside and shoot him, but will allow him to go to bed believing that it has made a terrible mistake. As I have already pointed out, the Government has considered the matter very carefully, and we are confident that even if we cannot obtain the results that we desire under the Trusteeship Agreement in its present form, we shall be able to have the territory declared a strategic area.
– But the Government had the greatest difficulty in persuading the United Nations ito agree to the amalgamation of the two territories.
– That was an entirely different matter. Concerning the reference made by the Leader of the Opposition Ito the alleged difficulty and embarrassment experienced by Australia’s representative on that occasion, who is said to have been asked 280 questions, I point out that I have been asked nearly as many questions this evening. Australia’s representative at the conference referred to was Mr. Halligan, who is present in the chamber now, and he informed me that he answered all the 280 questions correctly.
Senator Cooke inquired as to the conditions which regulate the grant of trusteeships, and in reply I refer him to that portion of the preamble to the bill which states -
And whereas, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter XII. of the Charter of the United Nations, the General Assembly of. the United Nations, on the thirteenth day pf December, One thousand nine hundred and forty-six, approved the terms of a Trusteeship Agreement for the Territory of New Guinea, submitted to it by the Government of Australia for approval, in substitution for the terms of the Mandate, which agreement designates the Government of Australia as the sole authority to exercise the administration of the Territory of New Guinea:
– No trusteeship can be obtained by any method other than by making application to the United Nations ?
– That is so. The present trusteeship was conferred upon Australia following our application to substitute a trusteeship for the existing mandate.
– And there is no other method of obtaining a trusteeship?
– I do not know of any.
Clause agreed to.
Clauses 7 to 12 agreed to.
Remainder of bill - by leave - taken by Parts.
Past IV. - (Administration).
.- Clause 13 refers to an Administrator of the Territory. Can the Minister for Supply and Development (Senator Armstrong) inform me where the administrative office will be situated? If it is located at Port Moresby, as I assume it will be, will provision be made for subordinate administrative officers to be stationed at Rabaul in New Britain and at Madang in New Guinea, or will the entire administration be subdivided?
– The site of the administrative office has not yet been selected, but when it has been selected the administration will be conducted from that place. District officers will operate from other centres.
– Under clause 25 it is proposed to establish advisory councils on native matters and native village councils. I understand that that is an entirely new proposal for the administration of native territories, and I should like the Minister for Supply and Development (Senator Armstrong) to intimate how many native village and advisory councils willbe established.
Senator ARMSTRONG (New South Wales - Minister for Supply and Develop
Opposition (Senator Cooper) has himself stated, the proposal is a new one, and it will be implemented gently. I am not sure how the proposed village councils will function, but it is not intended that there shall be many advisory councils. It is too early at present for me to attempt to outline a clear picture for the Leader of the Opposition, but the provisions of the clause willbe applied in the light of local developments.
– Will the proposed councils be subject to an ordinance?
– Clause 28 is as follows : - ( 1 . ) Minutes of each meeting of an Advisory Council shall be kept and copies thereof shall be forwarded to the Administrator. (2.) Copies of the minutes shall be transmitted to the Minister by the Administrator as soon as practicable after each meeting.
Apparently all of these minutes would go to the administrator, who would furnish a report, as in the past. Previously the yearly reports were circulated. They contained very valuable information. Will it be necessary for the full reports of every meeting to go to the Minister? That would entail a lot of extra work in the territory. Is there a special reason why copies of the minutes will have to be sent, to the Minister as well as to the Administrator ?
– As I have already mentioned, it is not considered that there will be very many advisory councils. There will be more regional councils. Although the details have not yet been settled, it is considered desirable that the Minister should get these minutes because of the distance from the Minister that these meetings will be held. It is very desirable that he should receive this information, otherwise things may run along for months without the Minister being aware of what is taking place. That information will give him a complete picture of the detailed administration, particularly during the first three years.
Part IV. agreed to.
Part V. - (Legislation).
– Sub-clause 1 of clause 36 provides -
The Legislative Council shall consist of twenty-nine members, namely: -
sixteen officers of the Territory (who shall be known as official members) ;
three non-official members possessing such qualifications as are provided by Ordinance and elected, as provided by Ordinance, by electors of the Terrritory;
three non-official members representing the interests of the Christian missions in the Territory;
three non-official native members; and
three other non-official members.
Apparently there are only to be three native members, unless it is intended that selected native officers shall be included in the sixteen officers of the territory. I wish to be clear whether of the twenty-nine members of the Legislative Council there shall be only three nonofficial native members.
– Whilst provision is made for only three native members, it is hoped that later that number will be increased considerably.
– I refer to the reference to “ electors “ in paragraph c of sub-clause 1 of clause 36. Can the Minister give an indication of the policy of the Government with relation to the extension or the limitation of the franchise? Will persons not of British extraction who have been living in the territory for a long time be allowed the privilege of the franchise, or will that be restricted to British people and the natives? A lot of planters have been there for many years.
– Before answering Senator O’Sullivan’s question, I should like to make some inquiries, so that I can supply him with a full answer.
The following papers were pre sented : -
Arbitration (Public Service) Act - Determinations by the Arbitrator, &c. - 1949 -
No. 18 - Hospital Employees’ Federation of Australasia.
No. 19 - Australian Journalists’ Association.
No. 20 - Hospital Employees’ Federation of Australasia.
No. 21 - Association of Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Draughtsmen of Australia.
Commonwealth Public Service Act - Appointments - Department -
Commerce and Agriculture - R. A. Sherwin.
Postmaster-General’s - P. I. Cox, A. D. Goode,R. E. Hartkopf, L. G. Boyle, B. P. Hunter, A. W. B. Quinn, A.E. Richardson, W.R. B. Waterworth.
Works and Housing - D. P. St. GeorgeGrambauer.
Commonwealth Shipping Act - Commonwealth Shipping Board - Cockatoo Island Dockyard -
Balance-sheet, Liquidation Account and Summary of Depreciation, together with Auditor-General’s Report thereon, for year ended 29th February, 1948.
Defence (Transitional Provisions) Act - National Security (Industrial Property ) Regulations - Order - Inventions and designs.
High Commissioner Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1949, No. 11.
Hospital Benefits Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1949, No. 12.
Lands Acquisition Act - Land acquired for Postal purposes - Mount Evelyn, Victoria.
War Service Homes Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1949, No. 13.
Senate adjourned at 10.54 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 9 March 1949, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1949/19490309_senate_18_201/>.