10 September 1952

20th Parliament · 1st Session

The President (Senator the Hon. Edward Mattner) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.


The PRESIDENT. - It is with very great regret that I announce to the Senate tha death of Senator E. S. R. Piesse, which occurred on the 25th August. On behalf of all honorable senators, I conveyed an expression of sympathy to Mrs. Piesse pending the more formal resolution of the Senate.

Senator O’SULLIVAN (QueenslandMinister for Trade and Customs). - by leave - Honorable senators will have heard with deep regret of the sudden and tragic death of Senator E. S. R. Piesse in Western Australia on the 25th August. Senator Piesse was first elected to the Senate for the State of Western Australia in 1949 as a member of the Western Australian Country party. He was again elected for that State at the election held last year, after the dissolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives. At the time of his death he was a member .of the Standing Orders Committee, and of the Committee of Disputed Returns and Qualifications. H. was a member of the State executive of tho Western Australian Country and Democratic League. The late senator was a farmer in the Katanning district of Western Australia, and had been studmaster at the Langaweira merino stud until it was dispersed. For a period of ten years he was president of the Katanning Agricultural Society. He served in tho First Australian Imperial Force. Senator Piesse was always a forceful speaker in debate. I feel that he will be sadly missed by all of us and we deeply mourn his passing. He is survived by a widow and one daughter. I move -

That the Senate expresses its deep regret at the death of Senator Edmund Stephen Roper Piesse, senator for the State of Western Australia, places on record its appreciation of his meritorious public service, and tenders its sincere sympathy to the members of iiia family in their bereavement.

Senator McKENNA (Tasmania Leader of the Opposition). - -On behalf of the Opposition, I second the motion. Every member of the Opposition was deeply shocked by lie news of the death of Senator Piesse, who, during his brief membership of the Senate, exhibited a very marked capacity for cheery friendship. Hig contributions to the debates in this chamber were objective and entirely devoid of spleen and rancour. His sudden death is a sobering and salutary reminder, oven to the very youngest amongst us, that there is very little time left, and that we should, as Senator Piesse did, spend our time profitably and well. Members of the Opposition will miss Senator Piesse. We deeply regret his passing, and we extend our profound and warm sympathy to his sorrowing wife and child.

Senator COOPER (Queensland - Minister for Repatriation). - I associate the members of the Australian Country party with the sentiments of regret that have been expressed concerning the untimely passing of the late Senator Piesse. I had the privilege of knowing Senator Piesse only for the period that he was a member of the Senate as a representative of Western Australia. However,, it was not necessary to know the late honorable senator for a lengthy period to realize his extensive knowledge and experience of country affairs. He was a man of quiet disposition and modest habits, and always took a keen interest in. any work that he undertook. He was a strong advocate for Western Australia and be also maintained a broad outlook on matters of national and international importance^ The members of the Australian Country party join with the Minister for Trade and Customs (Senator O’sullivan) and the Leader of the Opposition . (Senator MoKenna) in extending their deepest sympathy to the late honorable senator’s wife and daughter in their sad loss. .

Senator TANG:NEY (Western Australia). - As a senator from Western Australia I cannot lel; this opportunity pass without joining with the leaders of the various political parties in their expres sions of regret at the passing of. Senator Piesse. I knew the late honorable senator for many years. My acquaintance with him began long before he entered the Senate. His record of public service in the interests of Western Australia could scarcely be bettered by any of us. We regret very much the tragedy of his passing and his wife and child will have the sympathy of each of us in this great blow that has fallen upon them. The late honorable senator was a gentleman in the very finest sense of the term. He never allowed personalities to obtrude into his work nor did be show bitterness in any campaign in which he took part or in the debates in this Senate. His example could well be- followed by all who labour in the political field. I add my personal sympathy to that already expressed to Mrs. Piesse and her daughter in their great loss.

Senator SEWARD (Western Australia). - I associate myself with the sentiments of sympathy expressed by other honorable senators at the untimely passing of my friend and colleague, Senator Piesse. Death, whenever it occurs, is untimely; but. in the case of Senator Piesse it was particularly untimely because he had reached the age when the experience he had gained throughout his life-time enabled him to render service of sterling value to his country. After leaving school Senator Piesse took over the management of his father’s property at Katanning and also found time to take an active part in local government bodies and other institutions connected with the progress of his district. He was a member of the Katanning Roads Board - the local governing authority - for many years, and also chairman of the Agricultural Society for a lengthy period.. It was during that period of his life-time that he rendered sterling service to his district and the Great Southern part of Western Australia in arranging district produce exhibits which were a feature of royal agricultural shows in Perth for many years.

Politically, the name Piesse has been indelibly associated with the history of Western Australia for a period of 100 years. In 1850, Mr. C. A. J. Piesse was Colonial Secretary in Western Australia. He was followed by Mr. 3?. H. Piesse, who was elected to the first Parliament when responsible government was granted in 1890. He was a member of the State Parliament for twenty years during which he attained ministerial office. He was also a member of the convention which framed the Australian Constitution. He was associated with his brother, Mr. 0. A. Piesse, who represented a constituency in the Western Australian Parliament for many years and also attained ministerial rank. Mr. F. H. Piesse was followed by his son, Arnold, who also held a seat in the Western Australian Parliament for many years and was the father of the late honorable senator. Other members of the Piesse family were Mr. Alfred N. Piesse, who for twenty years represented the electorate of Toodyay, in the Western Australian Parliament, and Mr. H. V. Piesse, who also was a member of that Parliament for twelve years. In Western Australia the name of Piesse ranks first among those’ associated with the legislative farming and business interests in the south-west of that State. The late Senator Edmund Piesse had many admirable characteristics. He was an example to the young men of to-day in that, while he was actively engaged in his own personal and business affairs, he was also able to devote much time to organizations and associations upon, which the progress of the district and the State so much depend. I also wish to extend my deepest sympathy to his widow and daughter.

Senator FRASER (Western Australia). - As one who has known the Piesse family, including the late Senator Piesse and his uncles, for the last 40 years, I associate myself with the motion. I do not think any other family has served the State of Western Australia better than has the Piesse family. I simply desire, as a Western Austraiian, to express my deepest sympathy with his widow and daughter and the members of his family in their very sad bereavement

Senator COOEE (Western Australia). - I, also, wish to express my sorrow at the passing of our colleague, Senator Piesse, and to associate myself with the motion. I was associated with the late senator in the playing of sport, and en joyed his very manly friendship, the loss of which I shall miss very much. Indeed, I am sure that all honorable senators feel a very deep sense of loss. I extend to his widow and daughter my deepest sympathy in their sad loss.

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

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Minister for Trade and Customs · QueenslandMinister for Trade and Customs · LP

by leave - I desire to inform the Senate of the death of another member of the Parliament, Colonel R. S. Ryan, who was a member of the House of Representatives. Colonel Ryan died in Victoria on the 26th August. He was elected to the House of Representatives for the Division of Flinders in 1940, and represented that division till the time of his death. From July, 1941, to March, 1944, and again from July, 1944, to August, 1946, he was a member of the Social Security Committee. He was a Temporary Chairman of Committees from October, 1943, and Deputy Chairman of Committees in October and November, 1950. As a member of a parliamentary delegation he visited Japan in 194S. He was chairman of. the Commonwealth Immigration Advisory Committee from February, 1950. At the time of his death he was chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs that was appointed this year. He served in World War I. in the Royal Artillery of the Imperial Army, and attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. For his services he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, and was mentioned in despatches five times. He was Deputy High Commissioner to the Rhineland in Germany from 1920 to 1929. He was made a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in 1928. I move-

T1 at the Senate expresses its deep regret at the death of Mr. Rupert Sumner Ryan, C.M.G-., D.S.O., Member of the House of Representatives for the Division of Flinders, places on record its appreciation of his meritorious public service, and tenders its sincere sympathy to the members of his family in their bereavement.

Senator McKENNA:
deader of the Opposition · Tasmania

– The career of the late Colonel Rupert Sumner Ryan, which has been outlined by the Minister for Trade and Customs (Senator O’sullivan), was one of very distinguished service to his country. There is not one member of the Parliament who did not know, respect, and like, the late honorable member for Flinders. He was vigorous and forthright in debate, but always tolerant and courteous. With his tragically sudden death a fine gentleman has passed from this Parliament. I express the Opposition’s deep regret at his death and, on behalf of Opposition senators, I respectfully tender our deepest sympathy to the bereaved members of his family.

Senator COOPER:
Minister for Repatriation · Queensland · CP

– I desire to associate members of the Australian Country party with the sentiments of regret that have been expressed on the occasion of the death of the honorable member for Flinders, Colonel Rupert Ryan. I had the pleasure of working with Rupert Ryan for a number of years on various parliamentary committees, especially the Social Security Committee. I soon realized that he was a good friend with a kindly, tolerant and broad outlook on life which endeared him to all who knew him. He had travelled extensively and had a sound knowledge of world affairs. This experience and his views on current international matters made him a most valuable member of the Parliament. I join with the Minister for Trade and Customs (Senator O’sullivan) and the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna) in expressing, on behalf of the Australian Country party, our deep sympathy with his relatives.

Senator ARNOLD:
New South Wales

– I desire to associate myself with the motion. The late Rupert Ryan was one of the finest members of the Parliament that, it has been my pleasure to know. For many years I was associated with him on the Social Security Committee. He brought to the deliberations of that committee a very wide knowledge and a great tolerance. I feel that the Parliament has lost one who was at all times prepared to act with great tolerance and fair-mindedness in con sidering problems to the solution of which he contributed. We who were associated with him on the Social Security Committee were always impressed with the manner in which he met the various members of the committee, both his colleagues and his opponents. He approached all problems in a. fair manner and endeavoured to do what he could for the people. In his passing, this Parliament has lost a valuable member and the people of Australia a very good servant.

Senator TANGNEY:
Western Australia

– I should like to be associated with this motion of condolence because, like the Minister for Repatriation (Senator Cooper) and Senator Arnold, I was associated with the late honorable member for Flinders as a member of the Social Security Committee. For over three years we worked on that committee and, as previous speakers have stated, the late Colonel Ryan always brought the full weight of his experience to the deliberations with a sympathy which could have only been engendered by his understanding of the human problems which it was the work of the committee to discuss. I found him at all times a very tolerant and kindly man who, least of all, brought the party spirit to deliberations. All honorable senators on this side of the chamber regarded him as a very sincere friend and a - very courteous and kindly gentleman. We regret very much the suddenness and tragedy of his passing.

Senator MAHER:

– I had the privilege of sitting on the Foreign Affairs Committee with the late Mr. Ryan and it was a great shock to me to learn of his sudden death. He was a very fine and tolerant gentleman, a man of very wide knowledge and great experience which he had gained in the international field. He served his country, not only in these legislative halls, but in different parts of the world. As honorable senators know, he had. a splendid record as a soldier. The deceased gentleman was a man whose like we do not see very often these days - a man who was capable and willing to defend his country in the hour of crisis and who, in the days of peace was able to take his place with great ability as a representative of the people in this Parliament. In the Foreign Affairs Committee his experience of different parts of the world was of great value to us in our deliberations. One of Australia’s kindliest gentlemen has passed away. I associate myself with the motion, and desire to express to the members of his family my very deep personal sorrow at his death.

Senator GORTON:

– I, too, wish to associate myself with this motion expressing regret at the death of a man who was my friend. In the church -in Melbourne from which he was buried it is a custom to place at the foot of the order of service two lines of poetry which express the key to the life of the man who is to be buried. For Rupert Ryan, who was a man of war, and a distinguished one, these were the lines chosen -

His ways were ways of gentleness, And his paths were paths of peace.

Those words can truly be applied to him. I am sorry he has died.

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

Sitting suspended from 3.22 to S p.m.

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Senator SPOONER:
Minister for National Development · NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– I lay on the table of the Senate the following paper : -

Estimates of Expenditure for Defence Services for the year ended 30th June, 1953.

When the Estimates of Expenditure for the year 1952-53 were presented to the Senate on the 6th August the provision of £200,000,000 for defence had not been allocated by the Defence Department. Consequently, the Defence Estimates were shown as a lump sum. The allocation of the £200,000,000 has now been made, and full details are set out in the Estimates for Defence Services which are now tabled for the information of honorable senators. I emphasize, however, that there has been no alteration of the total sum provided in the 1952-53 budget for defence. That sum remains at £200,000,000. Printed copies of the Defence Estimates are available and will be distributed to honorable senators.

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QueenslandMinister for Trade and Customs · LP

by leave - It gives me great pleasure to inform the Senate that advice has been received that Her Majesty has been graciously pleased to approve of the appointment of Field Marshal Sir William Slim, G.C.B., G.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., as Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. I am confident that Sir William Slim’s great ability, force of character, and superb military record and experience will commend him to all Australians. The present GovernorGeneral will continue in office until Field Marshal Slim is sworn in. It is expected that the new Governor-General will leave for Australia early in the new year.

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Senator SHEEHAN:

– I rise to order. I should like to know whether the Senate has carried any resolution to depart from the normal procedure laid down in Standing Order 66 which provides -

The Senate shall, unless otherwise ordered proceed each day with its ordinary business, in the following routine:- 1. Presentation of Petitions. 2. Giving Notices, and Questions without Notice. 3. Questions on Notice. 4. Formal Motions. 5. Postponement’ of Business. C. Motions and Orders of the Day, or vice versa, as set down on the Notice paper.

I should like to know why that procedure has been departed from to-day?


– I view of the particular circumstances in which we have met to-day, it was decided, with the concurrence of the Leader of the Opposition, that questions should not be called on.

Senator SHEEHAN:

– I expected that after the suspension of the sittings this afternoon the ordinary procedure would be followed, and that questions would be called on to-night. Had the Minister for Trade and Customs moved for the suspension of the Standing Orders, the motion would no doubt have been carried, but I believe that the matter should have been determined by the Senate itself.


– I have followed the ordinary procedure that is laid down in the Standing Orders. It is within the province of the Leader of the Government in this chamber to say whether questions shall be answered and, in view of the special circumstances that existed to-day, it was the wish of both leaders that, with the concurrence of the Chair, questions should not be called on. With the exception the omission of questions, the business of this chamber to-night has proceeded in accordance with the usual practice.

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Senator SPOONER:
Minister for National Development · New South Wales · LP

. - I move -

That the following Order of the Day. Government Business, be discharged: - Estimates 1952-53 - Papers - Resumption of debate.

I propose, with the consent of the Senate, to introduce the Appropriation Bill to-night. The main budget debate may then take place on that measure instead of on the motion for the printing of the Estimates.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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– I desire to inform the Senate that I have received from the family of the late Sir George Pearce an expression of thanks for the sympathy expressed by the Senate on the occasion of his death.

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– I desire to inform the Senate that I have received from Mrs. Senanayake, widow of the late Prime Minister of Ceylon, a letter of thanks for the resolution of sympathy passed by the Senate on the occasion of the death of her husband.

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Bill received from the House of Representatives.

Standing Orders suspended.

First Reading

Senator SPOONER:
Minister for National Development · New South Wales · LP

.- I move-

That thebillbe now read a first time.

I remind the Senate that this is a bill which is normally debated at the firstreading stage. I have therefore prepared a short precis of the bill, together with some appropriate comments which I think will assist the Senate in the subsequent debate. The purpose of the bill is to provide parliamentary authorization for expenditure on the ordinary services of government during the current financial year. I have already given a summary of the budget and I do not propose to canvass those matters in detail again. I shall, however, explain the expenditure proposals involved and restate the main considerations lying behind the Government’s budget proposals. The Appropriation Bill provides for items of expenditure on the ordinary services of government in 1952-53 totalling £425,500,000. This figure may be reconciled in the following manner with the estimated expenditure of £959,430,000 shown in the budget : -

This budget estimate for 1952-53 may be compared with the total expenditure of £903,895,000 in the previous year which was arrived at after excluding the realized budget surplus of £98,500,000. The main items in respect of which expenditure in 1952-53 is estimated to increase over 1951-52 are as follows.: -

Against those increases, it is estimated that savings or reductions in expenditure will be made on the following items : -

Defence expenditure in 1952-53 is estimated at £200,000,000 compared with £159,400,000 in the previous year. Navy expenditure is expected to increase by £9,600,000 due mainly to higher commitments in respect of pay and allowances, naval construction, and aircraft and aero engines. Army expenditure is expected to be £19,400,000 higher, the increase being mainly in respect of pay and allowances, arms and equipment, including maintenance, and the maintenance of our forces in J Japan and Korea. Expenditure by the Department of Air is estimated to increase by £7,500,000, the principal increases being in respect of pay and allowances and equipment and stores.

Total payments to the States this year are estimated at £177,800,000, compared with £160,900,000 in. 1951-52. The combined total of the tax reimbursement grant and the special financial assistance grant is estimated to be £15,900,000 higher than the total grants of last year. The increase of £10,500,000 in the estimated expenditure on the Postal Department, broadcasting and railways is in the main due to higher wages, salaries and other costs. The estimated increase of £6,000,000 in departmental expenditure for 1952-53 is due mainly to provision for basic wage adjustments and other cost increases.

Expenditure on war and repatriation services is expected to increase by £5,500,000 in 1952-53. Expenditure on war pensions will he higher because of the proposed increases of the rates of war and service pensions and to the greater number of recipients. Expenditure on the maintenance of repatriation hospitals is also estimated to increase because of higher wages and costs.

No provision has been made in the 1952-53 budget for a transfer of money to the Strategic Stores and Equipment Reserve Fund. An amount of £10,049,000 was transferred in 1951-52, the balance in the fund at the 30th June, 1952, being approximately £50,000,000.

The amount to be transferred to the National Welfare Fund in 1952-53 is estimated at £164,200,000, which is equal to the estimated expenditure from the fund. Under arrangements for the previous financial year, the annual appropriation to the fund was related to variations in collections of the pay-roll tax. Thus, in 1951-52 an amount of £171,700,000 was appropriated to the fund although actual expenditure from the fund in that year was £137,600,000.

The estimate for capital works and services for 1952-53 provides for a reduction of the volume of works to be carried out. Despite higher costs, expenditure this year is estimated at £106,600,000, compared with £110,600,000 last year. Reductions in expenditure on immigration, the coal industry, and on jute and jute products may be partly offset by increased expenditure on the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme and on railways.

Under the heading “ Miscellaneous Services “ expenditure on immigration services is estimated to be £1,500,000 lower than the amount expended last year as a result of the decision to reduce the intake of immigrants. Some reduction of expenditure on international development and relief is also expected.

The main savings in expenditure on bounties and subsidies in 1952-53 are estimated to result from a lowering of the subsidies on dairy products and tea and a reduction of the wool products bounty. They may be partly offset, however, by increased expenditure on the wheat stock-feed bounty.

Total expenditure for this year is estimated to increase by £55,000,000 compared with last year. If the increases of £40,000,000 in defence services and £16,000,000 in payments to the States are excluded, it will be seen that the total expenditure on other items in 1952-53 is estimated to approximate the expenditure in 1951-52 despite the substantial increase in wages and other costs which has occurred over the period. It will, therefore, be apparent that the Estimates reflect substantial economies which have been . made over a wide field of expenditure.

The problem of financing this expenditure is closely involved with economic developments that have occurred in the last twelve months. The prime elements in the economic experience of 1951-52 upon which the Government had to frame its budget were these: Wool prices fell sharply and our international reserves shrank; imports flooded in and we were forced to impose drastic restrictions upon them; rural production was set back through unfavourable natural forces; certain of the symptoms of inflation continued to show themselves, notably cost inflation and an enfeebled loan market which was unable to meet the demands of the State governments for works finance; business entered into a phase of slackness and uncertainty ; employment opportunities grew scarcer, and some transitional unemployment appeared.

The building industry has undergone some rather stern trials in recent months despite the assistance for housing granted by the Commonwealth. Last year the Commonwealth and its agencies made available approximately £70,000,000 for housing. This year more than £80,000,000 will be provided. Of this amount,- £28,000,000 will be provided for war service homes and £30,000,000 as advances to the States under the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement. In addition the Commonwealth Bank is expected to provide to building societies and to private home builders no less than £18,000,000. Additional amounts are provided in the Estimates for housing in the territories and for defence and Postal Department personnel.

Against the various features that I have mentioned could be set a greater output from the essential industries, the passing of the acute labour shortage, improvements in transport, a general increase of supplies, particularly of consumer goods, and the re-emergence of healthy competitive conditions among traders.

After weighing all these factors, the Government decided that the 1952-53 budget should be based on three broad principles. First. without running into deficit and so prejudicing economic stability, certain adjustments and taxation reductions should be made to give incentive to investors, businessmen and the community in general. These concessions would be granted to the very limit of our budgetary capacity to do so. Secondly, the large and costly works programmes of the States should not be charged against the current revenues of the Commonwealth. Thirdly, because of the change in economic conditions and the appearance of some signs of unemployment, loan raisings for essential developmental and productive works should justifiably receive some special assistance from bank credit. In order to give effect to these three principles the Government has endeavoured to reconcile prudence and responsibility with encouragement to enterprise and a checking of certain recessive tendencies in business and employment which, if left unchallenged, might wreak much damage. The shape of the budget itself may be outlined summarily in this way: Revenue, after the proposed taxation concessions of £49,570,000 have been deducted, is estimated to amount to £959,890,000; expenditure is estimated at £959,430,000. It is estimated that there will be a surplus of £460,000.

In considering the results that the budget may be expected to achieve, honorable senators should remember the limits of its influence. Whether in the next twelve months there will be further inflation, recession or stability will not depend, in the main, upon the budget proposals. In a society such as ours, the springs of economic action lie principally with business firms and individuals. Their decisions finally establish the level and pressure of economic activity. Government action can influence only the broad framework within which private enterprise works. But there is every reason to believe that this budget will help to promote that vigour and confidence which ensure and sustain a nation’s economic progress.

As I said earlier, business has exexperienced a phase of slackness and uncertainty, not, however, because, there was lack of purchasing power in the community, but rather because of a general hesitation, a doubt of the wisdom of making investment at this time. Such hesitation inevitably followed the gradual subsiding of inflation. Realizing this, the Government has drafted its budget to provide incentive, to give encouragement and to change hesitation and doubt into optimistic decision. That purpose can scarcely be frustrated, since it is supported by the bright promise of improved material conditions. Export prices are high, seasons are good, great defence programmes and works programmes are in train, our population is increasing rapidly, industrial bottlenecks have been broken and taxation is lower than that imposed in any comparable country. Indeed, the scene has never been more favorably set for enterprise.

If depression, with its unemployment, waste and suffering, re-appears in this country it will not be because the Government has miscalulated its task or because the times have conspired to produce it. It will come upon us because we have lacked faith in ourselves and. have lost sight of our manifest destiny. In this young country, with all its vast potentialities, such wilful blindness would be worse than absurd. It would be criminal. I commend the bill to honorable senators as a part of the general budget proposals of the Government.

Debate (on motion by Senator McKenna) adjourned.

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Bill returned from the House of Representatives, with amendments.

In committee (Consideration of House of Representatives’ amendments) :

Clause 34- (1.) Any of the following persons, whether a British subject or not may make an application for a patent: -

House of Representa tives amendment No. 1. - That the following sub-clause be added: - “(3.) An assignee of a part interest in an invention may make a joint application for a patent with any of the persons referred to in sub-section (1.) of this section and a patent may he granted to them jointly.”.

Clause 45 - (4.) The priority date of a claim of a complete specification lodged in respect of a further application made by virtue of section fifty-one of this Act, being a claim fairly based on matter disclosed in the provisional specification or complete specification lodged in respect of the original application, is the date of lodgment of the provisional specification or completespecification in which that matter was first disclosed.

House of Representatives Amendment No2. - That, in sub-clause (4.), the words “of lodgment of the provisional specification or complete specification in which that matter was first disclosed,” be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following words: - “ which would have been the priority date of that claim if that claim bad been included in the complete specification lodged in respect of the original application “.

Clause 76-

Objection shall not be taken to an applies cation for a patent of addition, so far as the invention is claimed in any claim of the complete specification, and a patent of addition so far as the invention is so claimed, is not invalid, on the ground only that the invention so far as claimed in any claim of the complete specification -

has been used by or with the authority of the applicant or patentee before. the priority date of that claim but after the priority date of the claim of the specification of the main invention defining the invention the improvement in which, or the modification of which, is the subject of the first-mentioned claim, or if there are two or more claims defining that invention, after the priority date of whichever of those claims has the earlier or earliest priority date; or

is obvious and does not involve anb inventive step, having regard to a publication of the complete specification of the main invention during the period referred to in the last preceding paragraph, or the use, with the authority of the applicant or patentee, of the main invention during that period.

House ofRepresentatives’ amendment No. 3. - That paragraphs (a) and (b)be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following words: - “, is obvious and does not involve an inventive step, having regard to -

the publication of the main invention before the priority date of that claim but after the priority date of the claim of the specification of the main invention defining the invention the improvement in which, or the modification of which, is the subject of the first-mentioned claim or, if there are two or more claims defining that invention, after the priority date of whichever of those claims has the earlier or earliest priority date; or

the use of the inn in invention during that period.”.

Clause 120- (5.) The validity of a claim in the specification of a patent shall not he called in question in proceedings for si. declaration under this section and the making or refusal to make the declaration does not imply that the patent is valid.

House of Representatives ices’ amendment No. 4. - That, in sub-clause (3.), thu words “making or refusal to make “ bc left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following words: - “ making of, or refusal to make,”.

Clause 139-

A patent attorney shall not practise or act as u patent attorney, or hold himself out as so practising, at an office or place of business at which specifications or other documents ave prepared for the purposes of this Act, unless that patent attorney, some other patent attorney, or some person entitled to practise as a patent attorney, is in regular attendance at, and in continuous charge pf, that office or place during the hours when that office nr place is open for business.

Penalty: Fifty pounds.

Hons? of Representatives’ amendment No. :”). - That the words “during the hours when that office or place is open for business.” be left out.

Clause 154 - (4.) A direction shall not be given under this section 80 as to affect the rights or obligations of a trustee or of the - («) legal representative of a deceased person or rights or obligations arising out of either of those relationships: or

House of Representatives’ amendment No. li. - That sub-clause (4.) (a) be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following sub-clause: - “ (4.) A direction shall not be given under this section - 155- (2.) Paragraphs (c), (d), (e) and (/) of the last preceding sub-section apply only if the applicant or patentee, before exhibiting the invention, has given to the Commissioner notice in the prescribed form accompanied by the prescribed fee of his intension to exhibit the invention and an application, for a patent for the invention has been made before the closing date of the exhibition, or, if the exhibition was open for a longer period than six months, within six months after the opening of the exhibition.

House of Representatives’ amendment No. 1. - That, in sub-clause (2.), the words “ in the prescribed form accompanied by the prescribed fee “ be left out.

Clause 159- ( 1. ) The Commissioner may correct a clerical error or obvious mistake in the Register, in a patent, in an application or specification or in proceedings under this Act.

House of Representatives’ amendment No. 8. - That, in sub-clause (1.), after the word “Act”, the following words be inserted: - “, not being proceedings in a Court “.

Clause 160- (1.) Where by reasons of -

circumstances beyond the control of the person concerned, an act or step in relation to an application for patent or a proceeding under this Act required to be done or taken within a certain time has not been so done or taken, the Commissioner may extend the time for doing the act or taking the step and permit the act to be done or the step to be taken.

House of Representatives’ amendment No. 9. - That, in sub-clause (1.), paragraph (6), the words “ a proceeding under this Act “ be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following words: - “in proceedings under this Act (not being proceedings in a court) “.

Clause 164 -

Where by this Act an application, notice or request is required or permitted to be made or signed by si person, that application may be made or signed, on behalf of that person, by a person entitled under this Act to practice as a patent attorney.

House of Representatives’ amendment No. 10. - - T 1 w . t . after the word “ Application “, second occurring, the following words be inserted: - “ notice or request “.

Clause 171 -

Where, at the hearing of an action or proceeding under this Act, a patent attorney attends in court for the purpose of assisting a party in the conduct of the hearing, the costs of a party in whose favour an older for costs is made may include an allowance in respect of that attendance.

House of Representatives’ amendment No. 11. - That the words “ the costs of a party in whose favour an order for costs is. made “ be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following words: - “and an order is made foi payment of the. costs’ of- that party, those costs “.

Senator SPICER:
AttorneyGeneral · Victoria · LP

.- I move-

That the amendments be agreed to.

Honorable senators will remember that the bill was presented to the Senate upon the recommendation of an expert committee which had investigated the whole subject-matter of patent law over a considerable period of time. The bill was passed in the form in which it was recommended by that committee.

The House of Representatives has made a number of amendments of a very technical character. They have become desirable, from a drafting point of view, as a result of further consideration of the measure. Some of them have been made as a result of representations by interested parties, and all of them were recommended by the expert committee which drafted the bill itself. I understand that the amendments to which we are asked’ to agree were adopted in another place without any dispute. If honorable- senators so desire, I shall give to them, a detailed explanation of every one of the amendments, but I assure the committee that they are all of a technical character, that they tend to improve the measure that was presented to us by the expert committee., and that they do not depart in any way from the principles that we agreed to when we adopted the measure itself. In those circumstances I suggest that the committee should readily agree to the amendments.


– -Who will get the priority of the invention that is lodged?

Senator SPICER:

– The inventor.

Senator McKENNA:
Leader of the Opposition · Tasmania

– I am interested in the comments that have been made by the Attorney-General (Senator Spicer). When the bill was before this, chamber .the Opposition gave full commendation to the measure and congratulated the Government on consolidating this very important phase of law, and modernizing it in accordance with the- views of the’ United Kingdom and other countries– The law- has important international ramifications. The fact that amendments are now desirable, despite the vast consideration that was given to the drafting of the measure by the expert committee, argues the wisdom of not accelerating the passage of legislation through the Parliament. There is real virtue in the fact that an important measure of this kind should have been laid by for a little period in order to enable further mature thought to be given to its provisions by the experts, and, above all, to allow interested parties to peruse it, independently of advisers. I congratulate the Government on accepting some of the recommendations that have been made to it by outside interests. From the consideration that I have been able to give to the measure, I am sure that it will be a vast convenience to everybody concerned with the field of patents in this country. I offer, no objection to the proposed amendments, which have my support.

The wording of the House of Representatives, amendment No. 3 reminds me of an algebraic equation. It is most confusing. I should be glad if the Attorney-General (Senator Spicer · South Australia [8.34].

would explain to me the necessity for, and the meaning of the amendment.

Senator SPICER (Victoria- AttorneyGeneral) f8. 35]. - In order to properly understand the import of the proposed amendment it is necessary far honorable senators to study the clause as printed. It provides that a patent of addition shall not be held invalid on account of prior use or publication of th& invention claimed in the patent addition by the patentee or anyone authorized by him. The clause was intended to safeguard the patentee against the prior use or prior publication of the main invention, not, as it does, against the prior use or publication of the actual invention of the patent of addition. The amendment will restrict its operation. It gives effect to the recommendation contained in paragraph 71 of the Patent Law Review Committee’s report, which has been distributed to honorable senators.

Senator O’flaherty:

– That is abundantly clear.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Resolution reported; report adopted.

page 1170


FIELD . Peas - Asian Students - Housing - Social Services - The Parliament - Estate Duty.

Motion (by Senator O’sullivan) proposed -

That the Senate do now adjourn.

Senator HENTY:

.- I wish to take this opportunity to bring to the notice of the Senate an injustice that is being done to the growers of field peas in Tasmania. Initially, the injustice was perpetrated by the previous Labour Government, but it has been continued by the present Government, During the war years a surplus of £35,790 2s. 8d. was accumulated by the Field Peas Board. This amount was paid into consolidated revenue, and repeated attempts by the board to have the money returned to it have been unsuccessful. I believe that the request has been refused on false grounds. Prior to the first year of the board’s activities many contracts had been made by the growers to supply field peas for 21s. a bushel. “When the Commonwealth decided to acquire that commodity, those contracts were nullified, and the Commonwealth Prices Branch decided 15s. a bushel should be paid for all the peas acquired during that year. This was done in spite of advice to the contrary by the Field Peas Board, which recommended that 21s. a bushel should be paid to the growers. That was the price at which growers had contracted to supply field peas prior to acquisition becoming law. To make a long story short, the growers appealed to the High Court of Australia and eventually they were awarded a price of 21s. a bushel for the peas that were acquired. It therefore became necessary for the Commonwealth to reimburse the growers to the amount of £80,000 in respect of the peas that had been acquired at 15 s. a bushel. One ‘of the reasons given by the Treasury for its refusal to return the surplus of approximately £36,000 to the board was that a loss of £80,000 had been incurred by the board in its first year. That loss was incurred by a Commonwealth instrumentality. It had nothing whatever to do with the return to the growers of field peas. I consider that this matter should be re-examined.

The second point that has been raised in the negotiations between the Treasury and those who have sought the return of this money has been that profit was made by the board as a result of overcharging the Army and other services for field peas during the war. In fact, the profits were made almost entirely from the sale of peas overseas, not from sales within Australia. These reasons for the non-return of the profit to the board will not stand the light of examination, and are unjust. The board requires the money to develop the industry, which it has brought to a very high state of efficiency. It has undertaken the cleaning of the peas, which was not previously done. It has also undertaken the purchase of better quality seed for the growers, and the texture grading of field peas for the canning industry. The improved appearance of tinned processed peas on the market has been due to the board’s assistance. The board wishes to continue to develop the industry, but it is hampered by lack of finance. It is entitled to the money that I have mentioned, which represents its accumulated profits over the years. The Field Peas Board is constituted under the Tasmanian primary products legislation. It is a co-operative board and it acts on behalf of all growers.

A precedent has been established for the action that I have proposed. The Australian Egg Board which operated under similar conditions to the Field Peas Board had its surpluses returned to it in total after the war. The Minister for Commerce and Agriculture (Mr. McEwen) recommended the payment of half of the amount to the board but the Treasury would not agree to the proposal. If there is a case for the payment of half of the amount there is a case for the payment of the whole amount. The Treasury has stated that it cannot approve of the return of this money because such action would require special legislation for the establishment of a trust fund to be controlled by the board. Legislation has been introduced on previous occasions for a similar purpose and if the Government would introduce such legislation I trust that it would have the support of senators on both sides of this chamber.

Senator TANGNEY:
Western Australia

– I should like to bring to the notice of the Minister representing the Minister for External Affairs (Senator Spicer) the living conditions of Asian students who have been brought to this country under the Colombo plan in order to study at universities in capital cities under various scholarships. These students are experiencing great difficulty in obtaining accommodation, particularly in Western Australia. Moves have been made in Western Australia and, I believe, in other States, for the founding of an international students hostel. It is true that some of our own Australian students have experienced considerable difficulty in finding accommodation, but something more than the subject of housing is involved in the matter that I have raised. These students are brought to Australia in order to be trained in the democratic way of living. They are being trained to become the leaders of their people when they return to their own communities where they will act as bulwarks against the inarch of communism in those countries. I fear that the way they are being treated in the course of their quest for accommodation at universities will not give them a high opinion of Australian living standards. Little provision has been made for the accommodation of students in Western Australia. Because of restricted accommodation at universities they are living in boarding houses, kept by landladies, some of whom are more eager to take their money than to provide them with any comforts. Many students are very dissatisfied, not because they are hard to please, but because there is definitely a colour bar against them in many parts of the community. Since the Commonwealth Government has decided to finance the education of overseas students it should go a step further and help to finance some scheme for housing them if the real purpose for which they are brought to this country is to be fully achieved. We cannot expect these young men and women, who come from good homes in their own countries, to give a satisfactory report of this country if they are treated as I have seen many of them treated here. I have met a number of them in Perth and can give details of their position if required.

Many of these students have brought to me newspapers published in the Straits Settlements and in Malaya and there is very little Australian news in them. We should obtain a great deal more favorable publicity in those newspapers. I examined about ten newspapers which had been published in Singapore just after Anzac Day and found only one item of Australian news. It concerned the number of persons who were arrested for drunkenness in Sydney on Anzac Day. The item finished with a little explanatory note that Anzac Day was a national holiday in Australia. It did not state the significance of Anzac Day. It gave no information about the way in which Anzac Day was celebrated in most of the States. The item was completely derogatory to Australia. I consider that our news and information service will not fulfill its function if it does not ensure that better publicity is given to worth-while Australian news. I hope that the Government will give attention to the two matters that I have raised. It is most desirable that adequate accommodation should he provided for overseas students where they can mingle with Australian students. They should not be expected to live in hostels on their own. The Government should also ensure that adequate Australian news is provided for publication in Asian newspapers.

Senator O’BYRNE:

– I desire to deal with a matter which if similar to the one that was raised by Senator Tangney. It concerns the position that has arisen in Launceston, Tasmania, with regard to a hostel which was recently completed for the housing of British immigrants. Government policy is now to restrict the intake if immigrants - and rightly so. The immigration plans of the previous Government were laid at a time of full employment when Australia had a developing and prosperous economy. Those conditions have changed and it is therefore necessary that immigration policy should change also. I want to stress to the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration (Senator Spicer) that the hostel to which

I have referred is now vacant. This fact was brought home to me very forcibly on Monday. A young man came into my office and informed me that his wife had left him and gone to another State because he had been unable to find accommodation for her. I know him personally and know of his love for his children, who are very young. I know the great breach that this occurrence has made in his life and the effect that it has had on his state of health. During the last two or three months a continuous stream of people have come to my office and shown me notices to quit and threatening letters that they have received from landlords and solicitors representing owners of houses who have had no place to live in themselves.

It is necessary to have flexibility in the operation of hostels in order to relieve the very pressing need of Australian families. Good working men and women have found themselves unable to keep a roof over the heads of their families. There are a hundred flats in the hostel to which I have referred, practically all of them fully furnished. They are close to an industrial suburb where a certain amount of employment is available. The Agricultural Bank, which is the administering authority for the Commonwealth and State housing scheme has not nearly been able to meet the need for housing in Tasmania. Hostels such as this unoccupied structure should be used to meet this very pressing need. During the last parliamentary session the attention of the Senate was invited to the fact that the amount of money available to the State cf Tasmania for housing purposes was not sufficient for it to continue to erect the number of houses needed in that State. Towards the end of the last financial year the Agricultural Bank was in extreme difficulties, and its position has not greatly improved since then. The bank had permission from the Australian Loan Council to float a loan which I hope will be successful. The Government of Tasmania floated a loan and raised £700,000 more than it required. The fact that that loan was over-subscribed indicates that the people have confidence in the Tasmanian Government despite their lack of confidence in the Australian Government. The Tas- manian loan was over subscribed by 30 per cent. Despite the fact that the Agricultural Bank has permission to raise funds for housing purposes Tasmania will not be able to continue building houses at the rate that it has been building them. The Government’s policy must be flexible. Australians are noted for their ability to improvise and this matter could be dealt with in a way that would bring relief to many families in Launceston. I should like to emphasize the urgency of the human problem that is involved. Families are being broken up and little children, who cannot understand what is happening, are carried about from one boarding house to another. Their lack of human habitation constitutes a blot on a society which professes to have a social conscience.

Senator KENDALL:

– I was very interested in the remarks of Senator Tangney with which I agree entirely. In Queensland we have a society known as the Oriental Language Study Group, to which people from other countries belong. It has grown to be quite a big society. These people from overseas are welcomed in this society and are invited to the homes of Australian members. The society has regular meetings at which various aspects of different countries are discussed. Usually, one man addresses each meeting and a discussion is held on the different languages. It occurred to me that I might pass on this information for the benefit of the less progressive States.

Senator AYLETT:

.- I wish to bring to the attention of the Minister for Repatriation (Senator Cooper) and the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services (Senator Spooner) the plight of age and invalid pensioners and returned soldiers, due to increasing prices. Pensions are not sufficient for the purchase of the bare necessaries of life. Even the increased pensions will not buy as much as did the pensions of three years ago. The pensioners wish the Government to hasten the passage of the legislation so that the pension increases may become operative as soon as possible and they have asked me to bring their request before the responsible Minister. Prices are still rising, hat the purchasing power of pensions lags far ‘behind. We had. hoped that when the Senate met, .after having given the House of Representatives some weeks’ start, the bills founded on the budget would be ready for out consideration, but we have been disappointed. On behalf of war pensioners, of whom there are tens of thousands, and on behalf of the age pensioners, I ask the Government to bring in its social services legislation :as quickly as possible. I hope that when the meagre increases are made to pensions they will be made retrospective at least to the beginning of this financial year. Even if that Were done, the purchasing power of the new pensions would be less than that of the pensions which were payable when this Government came into office. In any case, I believe that we “should speak of superannuation payments rather than pensions. The word “ pension “ jars my nerves.

Senator SPOONER:
Minister for National Development · New South Wales · LP

– I hesitate to join the fray, but I believe that it is my duty to do so. We should .sympathize with Senator Aylett m his losing fight to gain the votes of the pensioners. It is an unkind thing to say, but T do not think that Senator Aylett is actuated one iota by humanitarian feelings. He stood in his place and wept crocodile tears, but there was nothing in which he said that would earn him “the support of the pensioners. I am confident that the pensioners realize that this Government has done a fair thing by them in every budget that it has brought in. As Minister foi: Social Services, I was in close touch with pensioners’ associations, and I know that pensioners gave this Government credit for doing the right thing. I have said before, and I now say it again, that it is a bad thing that social services should be made a football to be kicked from one side of the chamber to the other. I am convinced that the pensioners are convinced of th: bona fides of the Government. Senator Aylett asked that pension increases be made retrospective to the beginning of the financial year.. Every time that pensions are increased some one has made that same request, and never has any government acceeded to it.

Senator Aylett:

– There could be a first time.

Senator SPOONER:

– For a number of years the party which the honorable senator supports was in office, and he could have done something then to ensure that pension increases were made retrospective. The fact that he did nothing shows hia insincerity.

Senator Aylett:

– I rise to a point of order. I ask that the Minister be required to withdraw that statement. It is most objectionable. I do not treat the Senate as a joke. When I speak on behalf of people in need I am sincere.


– What remark does the honorable senator wish to be withdrawn ?

Senator Aylett:

– The Minister for National Development (.Senator Spooner) said that I was insincere when I spoke on behalf of the people who were in need.

Senator O’sullivan:

– The honorable senator is not sincere, is he?

Senator Aylett:

– I put forward a reasonable request on behalf of a section of the community which asked me to do so, and I object to the Minister saying that I am insincere. I ask that the statement be withdrawn.


– I cannot uphold the honorable senator’s point of order.

Senator SPOONER:

– For the benefit of honorable senators, I shall repeat what I was saying. The fact is that every time that pension increases are proposed

Senator Arnold:

– I rise to a point of order. I wish to be clear about your ruling, Mr. President. I understand that, in the past, when an honorable senator claimed that a remark by another honorable senator was objectionable to him, the President invariably asked that the remark be withdrawn. Senator Aylett has asked that a certain remark be withdrawn, and you, I understand, have ruled that there is no need to withdraw it. I ask for a clarification of your ruling.


– I have yet to learn that the President has not discretionary power, and I am exercising my discretionary power now. Senator Aylett did not claim that the words were offensive to him, and, in my opinion, the words that the Minister used were not objectionable words to use in this chamber. I am the guardian of the rights of honorable senators, and I will guard them. I do not propose to uphold Senator Aylett’s point of order.

Senator Arnold:

– I again rise to a point of order. Senator Aylett claimed that the words referred to were offensive to him. Will you, Mr. President, rule that they must be withdrawn, or are we to understand that honorable senators have the right to refuse to withdraw words complained of unless ordered to do so?


– I do not propose to enter into a discussion on that point. I have given my ruling, and I am not going to discuss hypothetical issues. I have ruled that the words referred to are not offensive, and Senator Aylett did not claim that they were offensive.

Senator SPOONER:

– Once more I shall recite the facts. Time after time it has been claimed that pension increases should operate retrospectively, but the government in power has always refused to grant the claim. Senator Aylett has been a member of the Senate for a considerable time. He knows that requests for retrospective payment of pension increases have been made, and that they have been refused by governments of varying political colours. The procedure lias always been that the new pension rates operate from the date upon which the relevant legislation is passed. Therefore, I say that Senator Aylett did not establish a bona fide case.

The honorable senator further asked that the pension increases be paid as quickly as possible. He should know that the responsible Minister has already announced the date upon which the new rates will be paid. The legislation will be passed by the House of Representatives to-night, and it will come before this chamber next week. Everything possible has been done to expedite the payment of the new pension rates.

Senator Aylett:

– I desire to make a personal explanation. I was perfectly sincere in what I said. I understand from your ruling, Mr. President, that in your judgment I was not sincere. I was wholly sincere in the request that I made on behalf of age and invalid pensioners and service pensioners.

Senator McKENNA:
Leader of the Opposition · Tasmania

– I have been induced to enter this debate for one reason only, and that reason is the rudeness of two Ministers of the Crown in this chamber to-night. It is not very long ago since the Opposition was obliged to take to task members of the Government for their behaviour in this chamber. They did it very effectively, and for a considerable time there was a decided improvement. Let me remind you, Mr. President, of the wording of Standing Order 418, which is as follows : -

All imputations of improper motives and all personal reflections on members shall be considered highly disorderly.

I suggest to you, Mr. President, that when the Minister for National Development (Senator Spooner), almost immediately after he rose to his feet, accused Senator Aylett of insincerity, he was in breach of that standing order. No point of order was taken by me at the time because I could scarcely believe that the Minister was prepared to embark on conduct of that kind. I now record my most emphatic protest against his conduct. I say to all honorable senators, let us attack each other’s thoughts and ideas as violently as we like, but let us refrain from rudeness and personal attacks during our debates. In the maintenance of proper standards of conduct we are justified in expecting a lead from Ministers of the Crown, but my remarks have general application. I was shocked tonight to hear the Minister for Trade and Customs (Senator O’sullivan), from his place at the table, repeatedly querying by interjection the sincerity of Senator Aylett, who put his case courteously. I fully endorse what he said about the plight of the pensioners. It is all very well for the Minister for National Development (Senator Spooner) to mention the money increases of pensions granted since this Government has been in office, but he should remember how pension rates have fallen in relation to the basic wage, which is a guide to the cost of living. I invite the Minister to think on the plight of those near and dear to him if they had only £3 a week with which to buy everything that they needed, including food, clothing and shelter. He, as a former Minister for Social Services, should know that in the pension field 80 per cent, of pensioners have no income other than their pensions. Fifteen per cent, have income of 5s. a week or less in addition to their pensions. That carries the total Jio 95 per cent., leaving only 5 per cent, of the total number of pensioners with incomes, other than pensions, which exceed 5s. a week. If the honorable senator desires instances to be given of the plight of pensioners to-day, I inform him that in Sydney old men’s homes which had previously barred their doors to pensioners because they were not considered to be destitute are to-day throwing their doors wide open to them. I can give him particulars. Because of inflation, the most dire distress is afflicting approximately 500,000 people in the community. The great sin of this Government against those people and those in the fixed income group is its utter failure to halt cost inflation, to adopt the term of the Treasurer (Sir Arthur Fadden). In two and a half years the basic wage has risen by £5 a week, from £6 7s. a week when this Government took office to £11 7s. a week to-day. I speak of the average of the six capital cities.

I should not have entered this discussion at all but for the reflections cast upon Senator Aylett, Those reflections were wholly unjustified in the first instance, because every member of the Opposition, and I hope every honorable senator on the Government side of the chamber, is concerned about the plight of pensioners and people on fixed incomes who are caught up in the spiral of rising costs. Such people have no escape from the spiral. As Senator Aylett has stated, their plight becomes progressively worse. I think that it is a. desperate thing for a Minister of the Crown to accuse an honorable senator of insincerity because he mentions a subject about which he should most properly be concerned. The mere thought that a suggestion of insincerity should enter the mind of the Minister literally horrifies me. I reprobate the behaviour of the two Ministers to-night, and I do not do so lightly. I hope that we shall not again witness the spectacle of Ministers of the Crown reflecting upon the sincerity of any honorable senator.

Senator GORTON:

.– I should not have intervened in this discussion had it not been for the vehemence with which the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna) took to task the Ministers to whom he referred. What the honorable senator has said about the plight of aged pensioners and the concern of honorable senators on both sides of the chamber about their plight is undoubtedly true, but his statements have nothing whatever to do with the accusation of insincerity which was levelled at Senator Aylett. I revert once more to what happened when the Minister for National Development (Senator Spooner) made that accusation. Senator Aylett had stated that he desired that any relief given in the budget to certain pensioners should be made retrospective. That was the sole point of his remarks. The Minister replied that during the eight years that Senator Aylett and his Government - and he emphasized the word “ Government” - had been in office, such an increase had never been made retrospective and that, therefore, since Senator Aylett and the Government which he had supported had had such an opportunity and had passed it by, he doubted the sincerity of the honorable senator on that one point. I consider that in doing so the Minister was justified and that there is no basis whatever for the imputations which have been made against him by the Leader of the Opposition on other counts.

Senator COOKE:
Western Australia

– I direct the attention of the Minister representing the Treasurer to certain matters regarding Commonwealth estate duty. I suggest that the Government should consider revising the exemption figure in relation to property which is a part of a deceased estate. The history of the exemption is that from 1914 to 1940 estates to the value of £1,000 or less were exempt from estate duty. In 1940, the government of the day, appreciating that there had been a slight increase of property values, raised the exemption figure to £2,000, in order to protect the rights of persons who as beneficiaries of deceased owners of property had acquired moderate homes and estates which would be subject to estate duty. Since then, the basic wage has. almost doubled, and property values have almost trebled. The position is that most people who own homes to-day and who have acquired the usual domestic chattels and personal estate cannot be assessed within the exemption provision. Widows and orphans, therefore, who are beneficiaries of small estates are required to pay duty on bequests, which, prior to present, inflated values, would have been exempt. I appeal to the Government to consider adjusting this matter in order to bring the exemption figure into line with enhanced property values. I suggest that the exemption figure: should be. doubled.

Senator GUY:

.- I wish to support the remarks of my colleague from Tasmania, Senator Henty, in pleading the cause of producers of field peas.

Senator Sheehan:

– What about blue ones?

Senator GUY:

– The honorable senator would not know the difference between a blue pea and a field pea. I was about to say, before Senator Hendrickson so rudely interrupted me, a habit, for which he received a lecture not so long ago - . -

Senator Hendrickson:

– I rise to a point of order. I did not open my mouth. I realized that Senator Guy would be jealous of the case made by his colleague from Tasmania and would wish to speak on the same subject, and I am here to listen to his remarks.

Senator GUY:

– It is most unusual, for Senator Hendrickson not to open his mouth. He is constantly interjecting. However, in this instance it was his colleague. Senator Sheehan, who interjected.

Senator Sheehan:

– I accept full rosponsibility.

Senator GUY:

– I cannot understand why there should be differentiation between the producers of field peas and the producers of other products. For: instance, the profits; earned by the Australian Egg Board were returned to the producers of eggs. That is not so with the producers of peas. I understand that the profits made by the Australian Egg Board were paid into a trust fund which was controlled by the board, whereas the profits- from the sale of field peas were paid into’ Consolidated Revenue. It is not possible to extract money from Consolidated. Revenue except by means of legislation passed by this Parliament. However, that entails merely a matter of procedure, and I cannot understand why the producers of pea* should be placed in such an unfavorable position in comparison with the producers of other commodities.

It is not true to say that certain Government authorities overcharged for peas during the last war. The prices charged were fixed by the responsible prices authorities. I am most concerned that we should be sending abroad field peas which’ are ungraded and in an unclean state. I am sure that honorable senators will appreciate that such a state of affairs has an adverse effect upon our export markets: It seems to me that the Commonwealth should have power to enforce the grading of peas. As honorable senators are probably aware, apples cannot be sent abroad unless they have been graded. Only the best are shipped overseas, and our overseas apple markets are accordingly very good. It is. essential for us to build up our export trade, but we cannot do so if we allow our commodities to leave the country in an unsatisfactory condition.

Senator BYRNE (Queensland) [9.23J. - I wish to draw the attention of the Senate to certain allegations that have been made in the House of Representatives, but before, doing so I invite your direction, Mr.. President, whether I am entitled to refer to such matters.


– The honorable senator is not entitled, to do so.

Senator BYRNE:
QUEENSLAND · ALP; QLP from 1957; DLP from 1968

– Am I entitled to refer to published accounts of statements that have been made in the House of Representatives; without referring specifically to the debates during which those statements were made?-‘


– Standing Order 416 provides that -

No Senator shall allude to. any Debate of the current Session in the House of Representatibes,, or to any Measure impending therein.

Minister for Trade and Customs · Queensland · LP

– in reply - I was interested in the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna) concerning the decorum and deportment of honorable senators. We on this side of the chamber are most keen to see that the decorum and dignity of the Senate are preserved. If the Leader of the Opposition wishes to protect his colleagues from accusations of insincerity, I suggest that he encourage them to display some evidence of sincerity and to indulge less frequently in propaganda.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

page 1177


The following papers wore pre sented : -

Commonwealth Bank Act- Appointment - F. S. King-Da vies.

Conciliation and Arbitration Act- Regulations - Statutory Rules 1952, No. 71.

Copyright Act. - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1952, Nos.63, 78.

Customs Tariff (Export Duties) Act - Regulations - Statutorv Rules 1052, No. 58.

Defence Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1952, Nos. 60, 68, 69.

Defence Preparations Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1952, No. 66.

Defence (Transitional Provisions) Act - : National Security (Industrial Property) Regulations - Orders - Inventions and designs (8).

Designs Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1952, Nos. 84, 77.

Hospital Benefits Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1952, No. 72.

Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act- Regulations- Statutory Rules 1952, No. 70.

Lnds Acquisition Act - Land acquired for - Defence purposes -

Liverpool, New South Wales.

Mount Nebo, New South Wales.

Newington, New South Wales.

Reid River, Queensland.

Richmond, New South Wales.

Singleton, New South Wales.

Tamworth, New South Wales.

Tottenham, Victoria.

Department of Civil Aviation purposes - Mangalore, Victoria.

Postal purposes -

Hermit Park,Townsville, Queensland.

Newstead, Brisbane, Queensland.

Willow Creek, South Australia.

Navigation Act - Regulations - Statutory

Rules 1952. No. 59.

Northern Territory (Administration) Act - Ordinances- 1952 -

No. 20 - Electricity Supply.

No. 21 - Workmen’s Compensation.

No. 22- Pearling.

No. 23 - Darwin Administration (No. 2).

No. 24 - Dingo Destruction.

No. 25 - Regulations Publication.

No. 26 - Police and Police Offences.

No. 27- Public Health.

No. 28 - Crown Lands (No. 2).

No. 29 - Darwin Town Area Leases.

Regulations - 1952 - No. 5 (Mining Ordinance).

Papua and New Guinea Act - Ordinances - 1951- No. 76- Supply (No. 3) 1951-52.


No. 1 -Customs Tariff Surcharge 1951.

No. 2 - Customs (Rubber Export) Tariff 1951.

No. 3 - Papua and New Guinea Commerce Board 1961.

No. 4 - Workers’ Compensation 1961.

No. 5 - Deserted Wives and Children 1951.

No. 6 - Fencing 1951.

No. 7 - Pawnbrokers 1951.

No. 8- Stock Brands 1951.

No. 9 - Restaurants (Licensing) 1951.

No.10 - Petroleum Storage 1951.

No. 11 - Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 1951.

No. 12 - Fees (Surcharge) 1951.

No. 13 - Survey Marks 1951.

No. 14- Building (Papua) 1951.

No. 15- Jury (New Guinea) 1951.

No. 10- Shipping (No. 2) 1961.

No. 17 - War Deaths Registration 1951.

No. 18- Lost Registers 1951.

No. 19 - Customs (General Import Duty) Ordinance Repeal 1951.

No. 20 - Ordinances Revision (No. 2) 1951.

No. 21 - Native Economic Development 1951.

No. 22 - Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Papua) 1951.

No. 23 - Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (New Guinea) 1951.

No. 24 - Legitimation 1951.

No. 25 - Street Closing 1951.

No. 26 - Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) 1951.

No. 27- Succession Duties 1951.

No. 28 - Probate and Administration 1951.

No. 29 - Testator’s Family Maintenance 1951.

No. 30 - Treasury 1951.

No. 31 - Administrative Districts (No. 2) 1951.

No. 32 - Town Boundaries (New Guinea) 1951.

No. 33- Real Property 1951

No. 34 - Land Registration 1951.

No. 35 - Cacao 1951.

No. 36 - Evidence and Discovery (Papua) 1951.

No. 37 - Evidence (New Guinea) 1951.

No. 38 - Police Offences (Papua) 1951.

No. 39 - Police Offences (Now Guinea) 1951.

Passports Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1952, No. 67.

Patents Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1952, Nos. 61, 74.

Public Service Act - Appointments- Department -

Attorney-General’s - W. England, D. McDonald.

Civil Aviation- B. Harper, H. C. Lyford, R. M. Williams.

Commerce and Agriculture - J. D. Byrne.

Defence - W. V. Butler, K. C. Duncan.

Defence Production - L. Allan, J. L. Clay, A. D. B. Graham, J. B. Lawler, H. P. Wagstaff, W. N. Williams.

Health- W. R. Horsfall.

Joint House - J. E. Meredith.

National Development - A. W. Lindner,

Postmaster-General’s - B. H. Bishop, B. M. Byrne, R. H. Cope, P. L. Elliston. W.C. Gee, P. T. Jones, J. M. Lock, C. V. Morris. Repatriation - J. H. P. Abbott, V. J.

Bennett, H. L. Carruthers, A. T.

Clements, T. P.-Dearlove, M. R.

Edgley, J. M. Ellis, P.. S. Eyles, A. G.

Grant, C. D. Jermyn, W. K. Manning,

O’Donnell, P. V.. Rosenbain, J. H.

Smith, J. P. Swain.

Shipping and Transport - W. B. P.

England, S. W. Thomas,E. W. Whish.

Social Services - M. L. Habib, J. S. Short.

Supply - G. L. Green, W. B. Johnson.

Public Service Arbitration Act -

Determinations by the Arbitrator,&c. - 1952-

No. 52 - Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen.

Nos. 53 and 54 - Australian Workers’ Union.

No. 55 - Professional Radio Employees’ Institute of Australasia.

No. 50 - Transiport Workers’ Union of Australia.

No. 58 - Australian Broadcasting Commission Staff Association.

Regulations - Statutory Rules 1952, No. 65.

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

Canberra University College - Report for 1951.

Ordinance - 1952 - No. 8 - Supreme Court.

Regulations - 1 952 -

No. 11 (Public Health Ordinance).

No. 13 (Public Health Ordinance).

No. 14 (Motor Traffic Ordinance).

Services Trust Funds Act -

Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Trust

Fund - Annual Report by Trustees for year 1950-51.

Services Canteens Trust Fund-Annual Report for year 1950-51.

Trade Marks Act- Regulations - Statutory Rules 1952, Nos.62, 75.

Senate adjourned at 9.30 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 10 September 1952, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.