4 August 1954

21st Parliament · 1st Session

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The Senate met, at 10.30- a.m.,, pursuant to the- proclamation of. His Excellency the Governor-General.

The Acting Clerk. - I have received advice that the President (Senator the Hon. A. M. McMullin) will be unable to attend to-day’s’ sittings* of the Senate., In accordance with Standing Order 2.9 the Chairman of Committees will take the chair- as Deputy President.

The Deputy President (Senator the Hon. A. D, Reid) thereupon took the chair’.

The Acting Clerk read the proclama-tion..

The Depute appointed by His Excel:lency the Governor-General- for the open. ing of tha Parliament - the Honorable Allan Russell Taylor, a Justice of the High Court of Australia - having been announced by tha Usher- of the Black Rod,, entered the chamber and took his seat on the dais.

The Deputy, through the Acting Clerk, directed’ the Usher to request the attendance of the members’ of the House of Representatives, who, being1 come,

The DEPUTY said-

Members or the- Senate! and. Members of the House of Representatives :.

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

The letters patent having been read by the Acting Clerk,

Tha DEPUTY said-

Members; of the Senate, and- Members cm the. House- oe Representatives.: “We have it in command from the Governor-General, to let yon. know that, as. soon, as members, of the House of Representatives shall have been sworn, the causes of His Excellency calling this Parliament will’ be declared by him in person at. this’ place ; and it being necessary that a Speaker, of the House of Representatives shall be first chosen, you, members of the House of Representatives will retire to the place where you are to sit, and? there’ proceed to the choice* of some proper person. t& be your Speaker; and thereafter you will present the person whom you shall so choose to His Excellency, at such time and place as he shall appoint. I’ will attend in the House of Representatives for the purpose of administering the oath of affirmation of allegiance to honorable members of that House.

The Deputy and members of the House of Representatives having retired,

Sitting suspended from 10.45 am. to 3 p.m.

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

HIS EXCELLENCY was pleased to deliver the following speech: -

Members of the Senate and Members of the House of Representatives:

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

When last I addressed you, Australia was looking forward to the first visit to these shores of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.

The visit is passed ; but it has taken its place among our most stirring memories. It has strengthened, if that were possible, the deep devotion to our Sovereign which is one of the glories of our membership of the British Commonwealth. In a speech on her return to London Her Majesty spoke words which are an enduring challenge to every one of her subjects. She said : “ . . . We return with our faith in the high destiny of our Commonwealth and Empire even stronger than when we set out. For in this and in every one of its countries men and women are looking not to the past, but to the future, and as they go forward together the efforts of each nation give added strength to the whole “.

My advisers regard their responsibilities during the life of this Parliament to be the strengthening of Australia’s security, the maintenance of a healthy economy, the development of our national resources, and the social welfare of the Australian people.

The conduct of Australia’s external relations over the last three years has been a complex task. The course of world events gives ground for concern that this task will be no less difficult during the life of the 21st Parliament.

In applying its policy, my Government cherishes and has sought to strengthen the links of the British Commonwealth. It has given full support to the United Nations. It has developed close and friendly relations with the countries of the Pacific and Indian Ocean areas. Our relations with the people of Asia and with the United States are deeply important for Australia’s future. Our special association of trust and confidence with the United States and New Zealand is symbolized in Anzus.

It was in pursuance of United Nations aims that Australia participated in action to maintain collective security against aggression in Korea. The Geneva conference on Korea failed to arrive at a permanent peace settlement which might replace the existing armistice arrangements in Korea. My Government will continue to support such a settlement on terms which are just for the Korean people.

Events in the Associated States of Indo-China have been a matter of grave concern. Communist aggression in SouthEast Asia clearly affects Australia’s safety. My Ministers, by advice and consultation, have sought peace, national justice, and a common protection against the spread of hostile power. They support the organization of regional collective security in the South-East Asian area. It is their hope that the peoples mo3t directly affected will wish to join together with one another and with other countries in defence of their common interests in the spirit and within the framework of the United Nations Charter. Such defence, so far from being a derogation from the sovereignty of South-East Asian countries, would afford international protection to that sovereignty.

Mindful of the serious international tensions and conflicts, especially in Asia, my Minister for External Affairs has, since the last Parliament, paid visits to Indo-China, India and Pakistan, has participated in the Geneva Conference, and lias visited London and Washington.

My Government will continue, with other nations, its practical contribution to the welfare of the South and SouthEast Asian area through the Colombo plan. Such measures of help encourage sympathetic understanding and good will.

My Government proposes to continue the- Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament and hopes that in the 21st Parliament all parties will participate.

My Government is undertaking a reorganization of the defence programme to achieve the maximum security that the country can provide for a long period, having regard to the needs not only of defence but also of economic stability, a steady development of population and resources, and high levels of production and employment.

The changes in policy certainly do not provide for reduction in the size and urgency of defence preparations; but there will be some adjustments both between and within the armed services, including adjustments to improve the balance between equipment and manpower.

In the field of research and development Australia is making a notable contribution through the long range weapons establishment, which is a joint United Kingdom- Australian effort for the testing of guided weapons.

Our forces abroad demonstrate our co-operation in collective defence as a member of the British Commonwealth and the United Nations.

The national service training scheme is building up the reserve forces of each of the services.

My advisers report a general and continuing state of prosperity throughout the Australian economy. The number in civilian employment is the highest ever recorded in this country; and the output of goods and services is correspondingly high. Prices have remained remarkably steady.

At 30th June, 1954, Australia’s international reserves stood at £570,000,000, an increase of £9,000,000 over the previous twelve months. During this period, my Government progressively relaxed its emergency import restrictions, and now, for the greater part of Australian imports, no limitations are imposed on the quantity that may be admitted.

The budget for the financial year 1954-55 will be among the first of the matters submitted to Parliament during this session. It will be designed to help to consolidate our present prosperity.

In the field of Commonwealth-State financial relations, my Government will introduce three measures. The first will provide for special financial assistance to the States to supplement the amounts payable under the States Grants (Tax Reimbursement) Act 1946-1948. This measure will increase the total tax reimbursement payments to. .the States m 1954-55 to £150,000,000.

The -second relates to Commonwealth payments to the States for .roads purposes. The Commonwealth Aid Roads Act 19.50 ds not due to expire “until .30th June, 1955; but, .because of the effect of the increasing production of locally-refined petrol in Australia on the payment of petrol tax proceeds to the States, my Government has undertaken a complete review of the existing legislation. The new legislation will provide for a new basis and a very substantial increase in the Commonwealth Aid Roads payments.

The third will, after the recommendations of the Commonwealth Grants Commission have been received, provide for the payment of special grants to the States of South Australia. West Australia and Tasmania.

World ^economic ‘changes have their effect on Australia’s export commodities. Though wool continues to be in a .sound position and the prospects in the United Kingdom for quality meat are favorable, wheat is selling slowly, despite lower prices. Through the Australian Wheat Board, all possible markets are being actively explored. Tor many other commodities the market circumstances point very strongly to the clear need for reducing out costs of production - if such exports are ‘to be even maintained.

The tobacco industry, after a prosperous season, has excellent prospects.

In the period of transition from bulk purchases by Government to free market operations in the United Kingdom my Government has been giving every possible assistance to the industries ‘affected. Moreover, the need for an expanded programme -of -overseas ‘trade publicity has become fully apparent, and the Government is (taking the necessary steps ito -meet the need. Tt will continue .to give serious attention to -marketing problems as they arise and, through the -continuance ‘of ite ‘ various grants in aid to Stale ‘authorities, will assist the industries concerned in the task of .bringing about a more competitive cost structure.

It is a fundamental part of the policy of my Government that the development of Australia should -proceed at the highest practicable rate. ‘This requires an adequate supply of labour and materials; sound policies for encouraging private investment and an inflow of capital; close financial ‘collaboration with the States, who are responsible for most (public works ; the encouragement of savings by monetary stability ; and a carefully .selected and vigorously executed prolamine in the Commonwealth’s own field. My advisers will continue, in respect of all these .matters, -the policies already applied. In particular, in discharge of its special responsibilities, my Government is pressing on energetically with the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric and irrigation scheme. which, in the provision of power and water, will contribute to great development both in primary and secondary industry in south-eastern Australia.

It has also agreed to the recommendation of the River Murray Commission, that the Hume Reservoir should be enlarged to 2,500,000 acre feet, the ^Commonwealth -to contribute a quarter of H&e cost , 0/ -the works. lily Government will closely examine the extent to which additional transport links, including rail links, are desirable for the development of beef production in “North Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The manufacturing industries of Australia, it is hoped, will continue -their development, so vital to the national strength. My Government will continue to accord adequate protection to efficient and economic: Australian, industries. In doing; so, it- will rely- for- -advice* on: tl* Tariff Board.

My Government regards it as essential, however, to the’ healthy and permanent development- of manufacturing industries in Australia- that there- should1 be a continuing drive by all concerned to’ increase efficiency and production and reduce, costs. All the< techniques of modern, management need to-be brought. to: bear on the: problem ; concurrently- the Trade Unions, must realize that higher standards of living will be achieved through greater productivity,, which will, come from greater team: work between, employers and employees. There are: welcome signs of increasing co-operation between management and labour.

There is now a great expansion1 of the oil refining industry. When- the> presentprogramme is completed the total, output of local refineries, will be substantially equal, to the Australian demand. My advisers, will continue to encourage the search for oil, both on the Australian! mainland and in Papua and New Guinea.. ft is also most important that the search for minerals should! be1 pursuedenergetically and’ that’ our1 production’ of minerals should’ be as high as possible. Itv particular my Government will1 press forward1 with uranium exploration and development in the Northern Territory. It will also collaborate with the State G overrun ente in’ the search for this, important mineral. The participation 0 private prospectors, both companies and individuals, in the search for uranium is> gratifying. At Bum Jungle intensive investigations have confirmed the existence of substantial bodies e£ ore and the, erection of a. large and complex, treatment, plant is virtually complete. Production should! commence next- month, well ahead of the original schedule.

In- the fieldi o£ atomic energy, research in Australia is’ being expanded as- also is the training of Australians in research establishments in the United Kingdom.

Australian gold production adds considerably to this country’s earnings of oversea funds. This industry has been adversely affected’ by a relatively static price for gold and high Tocal costs. My Government will, therefore, introduce, during this session, legislation fox the provision-, of financial assistance- to the” gold-mining industry.

The continued growth in- Australia’s economy has brought in its’ train a steadily increasing demand for workers of alt kinds.

The immigration programme for 1.954-55 will be based upon Australiana ability to. absorb migrants as- permanent settlers without disruption of the- existing, economic pattern, having regard to the contribution that migrants can make to national, strength, to development, and to primary and secondary industries.

In, the Territories of. the. Commonwealth, on the foundations laid in the past three years, further progress may he. confidently expected both in the, advancement, of the welfare of the people and in the development of resources.

In. Papua- and New Guinea the rate of investigation and. classification of land andi water resources and agricultural- output will be increased. Expanded services will improve the health,, education and social status of the natives.

My Government will, continue to.- undertake a large housing programme, bothdirectly and in conjunction-, with the States. The provision, of war servicehomes will he. vigorously pursued-.,

My Government: now proposes: that it should be- made possible under tha Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement, for tenants to purchase on liberal! terms– the homes in which they live. Negotiations have been commenced with the State Governments to reach agreement on what those terms will be. When agreement has been reached with the States legislation will be introduced to amend the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement to put my Government’s plans into operation at the earliest possible date.

My Government will continue its policy of improving social services and casing and liberalizing the provisions of the means test. To this end, the limits of permissible income and property for age, invalid and widows5 pensions will be substantially raised.

These modifications of the means test will remove from retirement some of the anxiety with which thrifty men and women have in the past been so greatly concerned.

My Government recognizes that there is no greater human problem affecting old people than that of care and housing. Very valuable work has been done by the churches and charitable bodies ; but their financial difficulties in finding the necessary capital are great. My Government will, therefore, provide on a £1 for £1 basis money towards the capital costs incurred by churches and recognized charitable bodies and institutions in building homes for the aged up to a total Commonwealth contribution of £1,500,000 a year.

Further development of the Government’s health plans will be continued. Voluntary insurance to provide for medical and hospital treatment will continue to receive the utmost encouragement and support. The Government’s scientific and medical advisers will press on with their research work aimed at bringing about continuous improvement in the standards of public health throughout Australia.

My Government is considering the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Television and will submit its policy to Parliament.

It is proposed to continue the policy of development of Canberra as the centre of Commonwealth administration.

It is intended to submit to Parliament, a comprehensive measure to replace the existing legislation relating to the acquisition of land for Commonwealth purposes.

My Government will continue its programme of reviewing and bringing up to date the law of the Commonwealth on industrial property and other matters affecting industry and commerce. In particular, it is reviewing the laws relating to trade marks, designs, copyright, and bankruptcy.

It also has under preparation proposals to relieve the pressure of judicial business in the High Court of Australia.

The Government will submit a bill to put beyond doubt the authority and powers of the Royal Commission on Espionage, and the protection of its proceedings.

A proposal will be submitted to the Parliament for the appointment of h committee of the Parliament representing both Houses and .all parties, to reviewcertain aspects of the working of the Constitution, and to make recommendations for its amendment.

Among other matters which it is hoped that committee will consider is the method of ensuring in the future some coincidence between the dates of elections for the House of Representatives and of elections for the Senate.

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

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

The Deputy President (Senator the Hon. A. D.Reid) again took the chair and read prayers.

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Assent to the following bills reported : -

Aluminium Industry Bill 1954.

Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 1953-54.

Appropriation (Works and Services) Bill (No. 2) 1953-54.

Commonwealth Employees’ Compensation Bill 1954.

Customs Tariff 1954.

Customs Tariff (No. 2) 1954.

Customs Tariff (Canadian Preference) 1954.

Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) 1954.

Dairy Produce Export Control Bill 1954.

Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Bill 1954.

Egg Export Control Bill 1954.

Loan (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) Bill 1954.

Loan (Swiss Francs) Bill 1954.

Patents Bill 1954.

Royal Commission Bill 1954.

Seamen’s Compensation Bill 1954.

States Grants (Encouragement of Meat Production) Bill 1954.

Stevedoring Industry Charge Bill 1954.

Superannuation Bill 1954.

Supplementary AppropriationBill 1952-53.

Supplementary Appropriation (Works and Services) Bill 1952-53.

Supply Bill (No. 1) 1954-55.

Supply (Works and Services) Bill (No.1 ) 1954-55.

Transferred Officers’ Allowances Bill 1954.

War Pensions Appropriation Bill 1954.

Wheat Industry Stabilization (Refund of Charge) Bill 1954.

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Motion (by Senator O’Sullivan) agreed to -

That, during the absence of the President, the Chairman of Committees (Senator Reid) shall, on each sitting day, take the Chair of the Senate asDeputy President, and may, during such absence, perform the duties and exercise the authority of President in relation to all proceedings of the Senate and to proceedings of standing and joint statutory committees to which the President is appointed.

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The DEPUTY PRESIDENT.- Pursuant to Standing Order 28a I lay on the table my warrant nominating Sena tor B. Courtice, Senator J. A. McCallum, Senator T. M. Nicholls, Senator J. O’Byrne, Senator R. W. Pearson, and Senator I. A. C. Wood, a panel to act as Temporary Chairman of Committees when requested so to do by the Chairman of Committees, or when the Chairman of Committees is absent.

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Minister for Trade and Customs · QUEENSLAND · LP

- (by leave)I desire to announce to the Senate that the following changes have occurred in the Ministry: -

The. honorable member for Richmond (Mr. Anthony) has ceased to be Minister for Civil Aviation.

The honorable member for Moreton (Mr. Francis), in addition to being Minister for the Army, has become Minister for the Navy.

The honorable member for Denison (Mr. Townley) has ceased to be Minister for Social Services and has become Minister for Air and Minister for Civil Aviation.

The honorable member for Lowe (Mr. McMahon) has ceased to be Minister for the Navy and Minister for Air and has become Minister for Social Services.

The Minister for Air and Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr. Townley) will be represented in the Senate by the Minister for Shipping and Transport (Senator McLeay).

It has become only too obvious during the last few days that the pressure of events requires the occupant of the position of Prime Minister to be free to concentrate on matters of major policy. It is the intention of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) that the Vice-President of the Executive Council (Sir Eric Harrison) will, on behalf of the Prime Minister, assume full responsibility for many matters in his department to which the Prime Minister has in the past attended personally. The Minister for Shipping and Transport will be associated with the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture (Mr. McEwen) in the work of the Commerce and Agriculture portfolio.

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Senator McKENNA:
Leaderof the Opposition · Tasmania

by leave - I desireto informthe Senate that I havebeen appointed Leader of the Opposition in theSenate and thatSenator Armstrong hasbeen appointed Deputy Leader of the Opposition. Senator Critchley hasbeen appointed Opposition Whip.

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Motion (by Senator O’Sullivan) agreed to -

That the Deputy President ‘be authorized to call upon any one of the Temporary Chairmen of Committees to relieve him temporarily inthe choir without any formal communication to theSenate.

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The DEPUTY PRESIDENT.- I have to advise the Senatethat Ihave received from Mrs. O’Malley a message thanking the members of the Senate for the resolution of sympathy and condolence which was passed on the occasion of her husband’s death.

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The DEPUTY PRESIDENT.- I have to informthe Senate that I have received a copy ofthe Opening Speech delivered by His Excellency the GovernorGeneral to both Houses of the Parliament this day.

Ordered -

That consideration of the Speech be an order of the day for a later hour of the day.

Sitting suspended from3.45to8p.m.

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– I move -

That the following Address-in-Reply to the Speech of HisExcellency the GovernorGeneral be agreed to: -

May it please Your Excellency:

We, the Senate of the Commonwealth of Australia, in Parliament assembled, desire to express our loyalty to our MostGracious

Sovereign, and to thank yourExcellency for the Speech which you have been pleased to address to Parliament.

Those who are versed in parliamentary procedure know that it is the custom for the mover and seconder of the AddressinReply to be newly elected members of the Senate. On this occasion, however, there are no newly elected members in the Senate, and I have been given the honour of moving this motion. It is an honour of whichI amvery well aware and appreciate most deeply. All honorable senators will have clear recollection ofthe notable Speech that was delivered by the Governor-General to-day. We recall that at a previous opening of the Parliament, we were privileged to have in this chamber, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second. With that recollection in our minds., we respectfully ask His Excellency to express our loyalty to our Most Gracious Sovereign. We recall with pride Her Majesty’s memorable visit to Australia and cherishthe recollection that we were able to show to the Queen in person on that occasion our great love for her.

The Governor-General to-day quoted the following section from the Speech that was delivered by Her Majesty when she returned to London after her ‘extensive travels abroad -

We return with our faith in the high destiny of our Commonwealth and Empire even stronger than when we set out . For in this and in every oneofits countries men and women arelooking not to the past,but to the future, and as they : go forward together the efforts of each nation give added strength to the whole.

We feel more than ever a part of that great family and commonwealth of nations of which the Queen is the head.” God save the Queen “ is the fervent and loyal prayer of us all. In this Parliament and throughout Australia, her loyal subjects pray that ; hers will be agreat and glorious reign,andthat we shalladvance together as members of a great Commonwealth. We look forward to a memorable Elizabethan era. I trust that our prayers will be granted and that Her Majesty’s reign will be a time of great happiness for the Queen herself.

The notableSpeech delivered by the Governor-General outlines many of the futureactivities ofthis Government, and

I was pleased to note the following passage : -

My Government will continue its policy of improving social services. In this field the Government has already achieved much. [ am confident that there will be still greater achievements. I particularly commend that portion of His Excellency’s Speech in which he said -

My advisers regard their responsibilities during .the life of this Parliament to be the strengthening of Australia’s security, the maintenance of a healthy economy, the development of our national resources, and the social welfare of the Australian people.

Those are all things in which we all believe tremendously. As a woman, I suppose it is natural that I should be very interested in social services and it is also natural that so many instances of the need for .social services should be brought before me constantly. As a sup- porter of the Government; - in this regard know that my feelings are shared by other honorable senators on this side of the chamber - I look back with warm approval upon the improvement of our social services since we came into office. Indeed, the entire scope of social and health services has been widened under this Government’s administration, and that action has proved to the people of Australia, if any further proof were needed, our sincere interest in their welfare, and our earnest desire to serve them. Never ‘before has so much been achieved in the field of social services in such a short period of time, nor has any previous government given a helping hand to so many people in so many different walks of life. I believe that our achievements are ample evidence of the importance that we attach to the establishment of a fundamentally sound scheme of social services. “We do not, of course, contend that we have evolved the perfect system, but we have, I believe, made far greater progress than any other government in this country has ever made.

I shall cite a few comparative figures to point to our record of achievement which I consider to be very worthy indeed. Let us go back to 1949 when the Menzies Government came into office. At that time, the age and invalid pension was £2 9s. 6d. a week. In five years we have increased it to £3 10s. a week. But we have done much more than that. In the same period the property limit has been increased by £500 to £1,250, and the property exemption has been raised by £50 to £150. It is proposed to raise those figures still further to £1,750 and £200 respectively. The amount of income that may be earned by a pensioner has been increased to £2 a week and this will be further increased to £3 10s. a week. The increasing of pension rates together with the alleviation of the means test mean that more people receive a pension, and more people receive greater pensions. Those things have been of great assistance to the people. Further, this Government has completely disregarded the income of the parents of invalid children between the age of sixteen and 21 years so that those children may obtain the full benefit of pension payments and rehabilitation treatment. That, too, is most important. By means of this rehabilitation treatment, the invalids are assisted to engage in some kind of occupation and I pay a particular tribute to the men and women who give instruction at rehabilitation centres. Through their efforts invalids are not only assisted to do something for themselves and in many instances to engage in employment, but also they are given courage and confidence to face the world, and to overcome their physical ot nervous disabilities. I believe these things are very important. They add up to a great record of achievement by this Government.

Let us look at the situation of blind pensioners. All of us feel deeply for people who suffer from blindness. It is right that this Government should have assisted them to the extent it has done. If we look at our record in this field of social services, we see that blind pensioners have been given a means test-free pension of £3 a week and that their permissible income has been increased from £5 17s. 6d. to £10 a week. I pay a tribute to the people and organizations who have done so much to help blind people and, through training, to make it possible for them to earn an income. “We have increased widows’ pensions. Honorable senators will recall that in 1949 a class A widow received a pension of £2 7s. 6d. a week. “We have increased it to £3 15s. a week, and such widows are permitted to earn £2 a week, instead of £1 10s. a week as before. They receive an allowance of 10s. a week for each dependent child. Pensions for other classes of widows have been increased also. Since we came into office, widows have been given considerable pension assistance.

There is another very important factor to which I must refer in dealing with the record of this Government. The introduction of free medical treatment and free medicine for pensioners has been of tremendous practical assistance to pensioners and has given them peace of mind and relief from worry. That is very important, because we all know that anxiety about hospital fees and doctors’ bills may have a bad effect on people who are ill. Free medical treatment and free medicine are of great importance, especially to age pensioners. I believe that one of the great things that will be remembered about the social services record of this Government is the assistance we have given to pensioners in that way. I feel justifiably proud, as do other members of the Government parties, of what this Government has done in that connexion.

Since we came into office, there has been a great increase of health benefits. Expenditure on health benefits has grown from £7,000,000 a year to over £35,000,000 a year. There has been a clear gain of many millions of pounds a year to the people of Australia in respect of health benefits. That brings another problem to my mind. It is estimated that this year the Commonwealth will pay to the States an estimated £13,000,000 to hospitals in Commonwealth and insurance benefits and patients’ fees. The Commonwealth has played its part in assisting the Australian people in connexion with hospitals. But what have the States done? In many States, there are far too few hospital beds. Many more beds are required throughout Australia. We often hear sad stories about long lists of people awaiting admission to hospitals owing to an inadequate number of beds. We need assistance from the States in the provision of more hospital beds. As expenditure on hospital benefits has increased, the public have come to realize that free hospital treatment is a right that they have earned by the payment of both direct and indirect taxes. I ask the Minister for Social Services whether he will present to the Senate a table showing the number of hospital beds per 1,000 of population in each State and each capital city, in order that the public may be able to judge for themselves whether the States are serving them properly in this regard. I believe that such a table would show how inadequately many State governments are providing what I believe to be very right and proper assistance in this field. A comparison of the number of beds available, say since 1949, would make very interesting reading. Information on that subject should be placed before us, because I am sure that comparative statistics in relation to the last five years would be very illuminating. Although the Commonwealth has played its part in connexion with the provision of hospital benefits, what of the States ?

I come now to the progress that has been made in the eradication of tuberculosis. It is in this field that achievement has been most spectacular. It is indeed sad that in Australia, a land of wide open spaces, and blessed with abundant sunshine, there should be so much tuberculosis. I am proud to remind the Senate that this Government has made a spectacular fight in an endeavour to eradicate this dreaded disease. When the previous Labour Government was in office, it made very little provision for the payment of allowances to sufferers from tuberculosis.

Senator Cooke:

– Labour introduced tuberculosis allowances.


– The amount of the allowance paid under Labour’s administration was only about the equivalent of the invalid pension. As a result, many sufferers from tuberculosis concealed their sickness as long as possible because they could not afford to lose time from their work to undergo treatment. This Government believed that it would be able to eradicate tuberculosis from Australia within a generation. It was apparent at the outset that we should require the co-operation of all sufferers from the disease, particularly those who had concealed their infection. Our scheme of payment of allowances to sufferers from infectious tuberculosis has been acclaimed throughout the world. I have heard visitors to this country from overseas express great admiration of the bold and generous allowance scheme that was introduced by this Government in its fight against this scourge. A tuberculosis allowance of £9 2s. 6d. a week is paid to a married man, and an additional 10s. a week is paid in respect of each dependent child. As honorable senators are aware, of course, child endowment, also, is paid in respect of children up to sixteen years of age. The previous Labour Administration paid no worthwhile allowances to sufferers from tuberculosis, but the Menzies Government, in its first year of office, paid out cash allowances amounting to almost £1,500,000. In addition, we have established many large treatment centres. During the last financial year this Government expended more than £3,000,000 on the maintenance of tuberculosis sanatoriums and treatment centres.

I should like to pay a high tribute to the many splendid members of the medical and nursing profession who have made important contributions to the fight against tuberculosis in this country. It is interesting to note that the medical and nursing professions, with the financial assistance of this Government, have succeeded in halving the death rate from tuberculosis in this country since 1949. Consequently, I am confident that the Government’s objective of eradicating this scourge within a generation of the commencement of the fight against tuberculosis will be achieved. Furthermore, when the history of health and social services benefits in this country is written, I am sure that one of the proudest pages of that history will record this Government’s efforts to eradicate tuberculosis.

I come now to the matter of hospital revenues. Labour’s policy, which did not permit hospitals to recoup their expenditure, almost bankrupted many hospitals. What a different state of affairs exists to-day ! Under this Government’s scheme, combined insurance and governmental payments to hospitals have risen from 8s. a day for each occupied bed to at least 18s. a day, and even as high as £2 2s. a day. During Labour’s last year of office the hospitals received from the Commonwealth about £7,000,000. However, during the last financial year, this Government made available to the hospitals almost £14,000,000 in Commonwealth and insurance benefits and patients’ fees. Many hospitals which formerly revealed deficits in their annual accounts now show surpluses. I have in mind one hospital that is particularly well known. I refer to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, which in 1952 considered closing about 300 of its beds because it considered it necessary to conserve its finances. That hospital has now increased its revenue by £250,000. The Royal Melbourne Hospital is also in a better financial position than previously, and the Prince Henry Hospital has now succeeded in making a profit. Those of us who are concerned with the welfare of hospitals are pleased that they have been assisted in this way. We see a picture of great achievement in connexion with medical benefits, health schemes and social services generally. This Government, realizing how important it is, not only to care for people when ill, hut also to prevent illness, introduced a free milk scheme. Throughout Australia thousands of children are receiving free milk which will assist them to have good health in later life.

The Government can be proud to be the first and only government in Australia that has made provision for free medical treatment and free medicine for pensioners. It was the first Government to make a satisfactory arrangement with the medical profession. What a wonderful age it is in which miracle, life-saving drugs have been made available free to those who need them ! Many people in Australia are enjoying good health because life-saving drugs have been made available to them free in the quantities required to ensure their return to good health. The result has been shorter periods of illness because diseases have been dealt with rapidly. Consequently, hospital beds have been freed more quickly and people have been able to get back to work more rapidly than they did previously. This policy has done a great deal for the people of Australia and 1 am proud to be a supporter of a government that has assisted them in this way.

There is one matter with which I urge the State governments to deal. On certain housing estates which are developed under the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement, the State governments should make available some houses for age pensioners. Certain houses could be built to a plan suitable for old people. Many aged couples in this country do not want to go into institutions. They are in good health and. want to go on living together in their own homes through the twilight of their years. It is tremendously important that the State governments should make some cottages available at a rental which aged pensioners could pay. It is a great pity that the States have been unwilling to incorporate small homes for age pensioners in their housing estates. Pensioners cannot afford to pay the rents that are at present asked for the cottages on these estates and I hope that the State governments will give this matter their consideration.

I again congratulate the Australian Government on its understanding of people’s needs and the consideration that it has given to the aged. I am proud to recall the promise of assistance to institutions, and church and charitable organizations which plan housing for aged couples, made by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) in the policy speech which he delivered some months ago. We in Queensland have particularly fine examples of such settlements, but the church and other charitable bodies which are concerned with their establishment experience . great difficulty in financing their expansion. In the midst of their worries came a ray of light and hope in the Prime Minister’s policy speech, in the course of which the right honorable gentleman said -

There is no greater human problem affecting lonely old people than that, of care and’ housing. Wonderful work has been done by the churches, and charitable organizations. But their financial difficulties on the capital side are great. We will provide, on a £1 for £1 basis money towards the capital costs incurred by churches and recognized charitable bodies and institutions for building homes for the aged, up to a total Commonwealth contribution of £1,500,000 a. year.

That promise has been welcomed through out the Commonwealth.

It remains now for the States to draw up plans under which a. proportion of the money provided by this Government is devoted to housing aged persons who need homes independent of those provided by institutions. When such plans are under way we shall be facing this problem in a practical manner. The welfare of the people can truly be said to be the concern of the Menzies Government. Its desire to serve the people is most clearly shown in its proud record of social services and health benefits. I trust that, in future, there will be greater co-operation on tie part of the State governments, so that the plans of this Government can be carried further forward.

Western Australia

– It is my privilege to second the motion for the adoption of the Address-in-Reply to the Speech delivered by His Excellency the Governor-General this afternoon. In doing so, I take the opportunity to congratulate Senator Annabelle Rankin on the splendid manner in which she addressed herself to the motion. In accordance with the Pai.liamentary tradition, the Speech of the Governor-General, to which we listened this afternoon, gave an indication of the legislative intentions of the Government during the ensuing parliamentary sessional period. If one seeks a passage in the Speech which epitomizes those legislative intentions, I think that it will be found in the following paragraph.: -

My advisers regard their responsibility during the life of this Parliament to be the strengthening of Australia’s security, the maintenance, of a. healthy economy, the development of our national resources, and the social’ welfare of the Australian people.,

I suggest that that passage has a very familiar ring. It describes the policy which has been applied by the Menzies Administration for the last four and a, half years, and on which it has been returned to office, at one election after another. It is a. guarantee to the. people of Australia of continued prosperity and good government. It should be observed,, however, that the Speech delivered by His Excellency the Governor-General indicated that the Government’s policy will be influenced, very largely by events taking place outside our own borders.

The Speech, contains, this significant paragraph -

The conduct of Australia’s external; relations, over the last three years has been a complex task. The course of world events gives ground for concern that this taste will he no less difficult during the life of the 21-st Parliament.

A further significant statement in the Speech refers to the necessity for Australia to re-organize its defence forces and defence potential to meet the new developments that occur from day to day so that we shall be in a position to offer the most efficient defence in case of need. The Governor-General also stated -

Events in the Associated1 States of IndoChina have been a matter of grave, concern.

Then His Excellency added baldly- ^

Communist aggression in South-East Asia clearly affects Australia’s safety.

X emphasize that passage to stress the undertone that is a characteristic of this Speech. It indicates clearly that the policies to be applied in Australia are, and will continue to be, influenced largely by the activities of Communists in other parts of the world, and particularly in South-East Asia. His Excellency has referred to Australia’s safety. It is appropriate at this point to state that Australia’s safety in that sense does not necessarily mean, military safety. It could, and probably does, mean the safety of our policy of full, employment and sound economic progress. What is happening now, and what might happen next week in otherparts of the world,, could well determine the domestic policies of this Government in matters such as levels- of taxation, the type and extent of developmental works, industrial conditions and wages, the. maintenance of high standards of living and the provision of social services. Any sudden alteration in the present precarious military situation could and’ probably would change the domestic policies of this Government, despite its excellent intentions. For- the sake of argument, I point out that such a turn of events could affect the decisions of the Government to pay the maximum possible social service benefits, and’ could alter the Government’s declared policy of reducing taxation. Such developments could be placed in jeopardy by a further act of aggression on the part of the Communists. Every Australian should realize that the policy under which he lives,, and which affects his daily life and his pocket is closely linked, in one senses to a policy that is being applied, by the Communists in other parts of. the world.

Reference was made by the GovernorGeneral to the fact that it is-, not the intention of the Government to reduce the amount that has been set aside for defence in recent years. Presumably; it will remain _ during the coming year at £200,000,000 or £216,000,000 as it was in. the year before last. In other words, the maintenance of a defence vote at about £200,000000 depends entirely on what happens elsewhere. In certain circumstances, Australians should be prepared to accept a defence vote of even greater proportions. A sudden change in the military situation may impose upon this Government the unenviable task, of recasting, its proposed’ expenditure upon- numerous services., Various developmental and works programmes throughout Australia may also be affected. During this period of general anxiety and uncertainty about events in South-East Asia, our works programmes should be linked with our defence strategy.. It is- unrealistic to allow an important component of defence - such as developmental works - to be at variance with direct defence policy. I emphasize that I am not advocating that we should abandon or vary the normal practice in connexion with loan anddevelopmental funds. I am not suggesting, for argument’s sake> that the States should stop building schools or hospitals, but I strongly suggest that when a public works project is proposed, it should be examined for its importance, to defence. That should be a determining factor in deciding whether to proceed with it or defer it.

I do not subscribe to the view that one can extend a developmental policy by cutting defence’, votes. I recall vividly, as will most honorable senators, that during the last general election campaign, many spokesmen for the Australian Labour party implied that the defence vote could be reduced considerably and that the funds so saved could be applied to developmental works. They suggested1 that we would be much better off as a result of that procedure. 1 do not agree with that viewpoint. An examination of development and defence leads inexorably to the view that the greater the development, the greater is the amount of money needed to provide for the defence of that development. If one looks elsewhere in the world, one finds that in almost every case, the country that is most developed is the one which spends most of its national income on defence. It is natural that that should be so. If development brings about an improvement in a particular area, then to a possible enemy that area is more attractive as a military target, and naturally more money is required to defend it.

Let me cite an example with which we are all familiar. Two years ago the Exmouth Gulf area of Western Australia in its undeveloped state was not a military target of any importance. Indeed, no money was required to provide, for the defence of that area. To-day, however, it presents a very attractive military target, and our expenditure on direct defence must be stepped up to afford the protection that is necessary. So it follows that as development extends, so expenditure on defence must be increased to keep pace with that development. Therefore, I do not believe in this airy fairy theory that is advanced, particularly by the honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell)., that we can have a defence policy through “development or something of that kind. Defence, like most

Other things in life, cannot be provided on the cheap. It must be paid for. For that reason I believe that we should make every endeavour to integrate the various works programmes with our defence policy. There is only one defence policy in the Commonwealth, yet there are no less than six or seven works programmes. Many of those programmes are not even remotely associated with defence, and indeed most of them are not even remotely attached one to the other. T suggest that while the present state of international anxiety lasts, we should use every endeavour to bring our developmental programmes into some sort of consonance with our defence policy.

During the recent election campaign, the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) announced in his policy speech that after the election he would consult the States with a view to setting up a small expert advisory body to act as a national development commission. The proposal was that the committee should advise the States and the Commonwealth on the relative importance and priority of the various works proposals. However, although the commission was to be purely advisory, with no statutory powers, according to press reports, the States have already rejected the proposal.

Senator Laught:

– Not South Australia.


– Apparently the South Australian Premier, Mr. Playford, has made an intelligent approach to the matter. I hope that the other Premiers who have rejected the proposal out of hand for purely political motives wil I, now that the election is over and we are in a state of relative political calm, have a further look at the idea because it is obviously one which should commend itself to mo3t Australians and which, in the long run, could .only have a beneficial effect on all the States.

When speaking of defence works, one’s mind inevitably travels to the north of Australia. As a Western Australian who is conscious of the vast scope for developmental works in the north of that State and in the Kimberleys, may I express my surprise at the action of the Western Australian Premier, Mr. Hawke, in rejecting the. Prime Minister’s suggestion. I hope that as there are so many things to be done in the north of Western Australia that must commend themselves to a development commission, Mr. Hawke will re-examine this proposal and will come to the next Premiers conference prepared to do something about it. Not only in the north of Western Australia, but also in the entire northern area of the Australian continent including the Northern Territory and Queensland, there is ample developmental work to be done. Indeed, the existing situation in South-Ea3t Asia gives new urgency to those projects. Surely at this time, when we are not actually embroiled in a war. it would be prudent policy to put into operation in our vulnerable northern areas some of the projects which at the moment are not being undertaken because in other parts of the Commonwealth money is being spent on works which have no relation to defence, and, in many instances, little relation to real development, but are proceeding only because of the political attraction which attaches to them.

I was interested to hear His Excellency say that the Commonwealth on its own part, and presumably from its own resources, would possibly do something to improve transport links, including the rail links required for the development of beef production in northern Queensland and the Northern Territory. If those matters are to be investigated, I suggest that the scope of the inquiry should be widened to include the Kimberley area of Western Australia. The Payne report on the Northern Territory in 1937 not only made certain recommendations in regard to the extension of the Queensland and Northern Territory railway services but also recommended that a railway be constructed from Wyndham to link up with the Victoria River Downs and the Daly River district in the Northern Territory. Therefore, if the Commonwealth is to examine the prospects of improving beef production in those areas, I suggest that, in the tei ms of the Payne report, an investigation be made of the desirability and practicability of building a railway from Wyndham to the areas that I have mentioned.

As another aid to beef production this Government has embarked on the air beef scheme which operates from Glenroy in the Kimberley area, and I suggest that that also be examined with a view to its extension to other areas, not, I emphasize, to the exclusion of the coastal abattoirs, but as a necessary development and as further assistance to the beef industry in that very important part of Australia. No doubt honorable senators will be interested to know that the money made available by this Parliament under the Meat Production Encouragement Act is being spent to good account in the Wyndham area of Western Australia. Encouraging progress has been made in the provision of water and in the improvement of stock routes. That is another approved aid to the beef industry, and I suggest that it too could be extended. The Derby and Broome areas have not received the same amount of assistance that has been given to Wyndham. When a meatworks has been established at Derby as is proposed, I suggest it would be of great assistance to the industry if similar assistance were given to the Derby area as has been extended to Wyndham.

All the things I have mentioned in relation to government expenditure and government works in this part of Australia are, I believe, of first importance, but we should not blind ourselves to the part that private enterprise and private investment can play in the development of Northern Australia. The utmost encouragement should be given to private investment. The Government has already considered a proposal, submitted by the North-West Rehabilitation Committee, that undertakings in the north should be freed from income tax for a period of twenty years, subject to certain conditions. One of the conditions suggested was that 60 per cent, of earned capital should be re-invested there. I understand that the Government has not seen fit to act upon the recommendations of the committee. It may well be that it was impossible to give effect to the submissions in their entirety, but, because of the urgency of the matter, I suggest that the Government have another look at the submissions to see whether they can be implemented in a modified form.

In the field of minerals, private investment, given proper encouragement, could make a lasting contribution to the development of the northern parts of this country. The general pattern of development in Australia has been that minerals have shown the way. It was mineral development that opened up Kalgoorlie and our eastern gold-fields, and also large parts of Victoria. That could happen again in the northern parts of the Commonwealth if private enterprise were given intelligent encouragement. All sorts of minerals are coming into prominance now, largely as a result of the discovery of 011 and uranium in this country. Manganese, columbite, tantalite, beryl and chrome are but a few of the minerals that exist in the north-west of Australia. To illustrate my point that the discovery and development of minerals can play an important part in our development, I can do no better than indicate what has happened in the brief space of twelve months at Batchelor in the Northern ‘Territory, where uranium has been discovered. A magnificent plant has been built there in a short space of time. It will come into operation about the middle of next month. In addition, in twelve months, a town has been built that now has a population of no fewer than 700 people. The Zinc Corporation has put up the houses and provided modern amenities such as hot and cold water., electricity, refrigerators and washing machines. The houses are designed for comfort in tropical conditions. When such amenities are provided in places that were reputed to be impossible to live in, we see that, if the job is tackled properly, large numbers of people can be attracted, to them. At Wittenoom Gorge, in Western Australia, a town that was a town only in name a few years ago, has become a place inhabited by 700 people. That is an example of the way Lu. which the development of mineral deposits helps to develop this country. Even when the mineral deposits in a district are worked out, the inhabitants of the district, seeing the possibilities of the .area, remain there and take up other pursuits.

I want to express my pleasure at the announcement that the Government intends to do something to assist our goldmining industry. I do not intend at this juncture, to emphasize the importance of that industry to Australia in general and to Western Australia in particular, because Senator Vincent has spoken on that subject on many occasions in this chamber. I, and I believe every other Western Australian in this Parliament, heard with gratification that some assistance is to be given to the Australian gold-mining industry. I am delighted at the move that is to be made in respect of housing. Any action designed to promote and encourage home-ownership in this country is one of the best steps forward that any government can take. I trust that the efforts of the Commonwealth to reach agreement with the States on this matter will be crowned with success, and that very shortly home-ownership will become a reality for people who are now renting homes built under the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement.

No speech on this occasion would be complete without some reference to the result of the recent general election. Since 1949, we have been told repeatedly by honorable senators opposite that this Government won power because it deceived the people. That was the cry raised by the Labour party after the 1949 general -election. It was raised again in 1951. When we retained control of the Senate, the charge was made against us that we had done so only by conducting a campaign of deceit. In view of the result of the last election, I am hopeful that that charge will not “be made again. If ever in the history of politics in any country a political campaign was fought on an array of irresponsible promises, it was the campaign fought by the Labour party in May of this year. That battle was lost hy the Labour party, notwithstanding that for years it had accused the Government parties of indulging in political deceit and misleading the people. Labour tried to lead the people to believe that this Government was basically crooked, but Labour was defeated crushingly at the last election. I suggest that the people returned the Government parties because they realized that the sound and beneficial administration of the previous four and a half years should be continued. They returned the Menzies Administration and rejected the glittering promises made by the Labour party because they knew that, by so doing, they would he able to continue to enjoy .a state of prosperity such as they had never known before. I congratulate the Government on its electoral success. I believe that our policy contains .all that is necessary for a continuance of the sound and prosperous conditions that we enjoy now. My fervent hope is that those conditions will not be disturbed by a further outbreak of the kind to which I referred earlier in my speech.

Senator SHEEHAN (Victoria) [9.03.- I listened with great interest to the speeches of both the mover and the seconder of the motion for the adoption of the Address-in-Reply to His Excellency’s Speech. I am sure that all honorable senators agree with their expressions of loyalty, particularly as the opening of the first session of the Twenty-first Parliament ‘by His Excellency has taken place so soon after the visit to this country of Her Majesty the Queen. When His Excellency was delivering his Speech to-day, pleasant memories were revived in the minds of those of us who were privileged to be present in this chamber when Her Majesty opened the last session .of the Twentieth Parliament.

I have noted with regret that Mr. John Edwards, Clerk of the Senate, is absent through illness. I am sure that it is the wish not only of those honorable .senators of long standing who have received the benefit of Mr. Edwards’s experience and advice, but also of the comparative newcomers to .our midst, that Mr. Edwards will recover speedily and be able to resume his onerous duties during the current session.

I appreciate fully the remarks that have been made by Senator Paltridge on the importance of the development -of defence, and I shall add my contribution to that subject at a later stage of my remarks. I should like first to deal with the provocative statement that he made towards the conclusion of has address, when he said that the Government had achieved a marvellous victory at the recent general election. I believe that the honorable senator spoke -with tongue in cheek, and that many supporters of the Government know in their hearts that they are indeed fortunate to occupy their present positions, and they appreciate the fact that two of their number have had the honour of moving and seconding this motion. I do not ‘believe for a moment that the Government is proud of its record, because while it has not lost control of “the treasury-bench as .a result of the last two general elections, it has .suffered defeats in other directions. Under the present electoral system, whereby electoral divisions are established by the drawing of imaginary lines across the country, the desire of a majority of the people to dismiss this Government has been thwarted. The overall vote of the electorate has shown clearly that the people desire a change of government. However, until the very great ‘obstacle in the way of redistribution has been overcome, we shall have to tolerate the present state of affairs. The people of Victoria suffered under such an inequitable system for a number -of .years, because the electoral boundaries prevented Labour from gaining office in Victoria. Therefore, 1 am used to the present state of affairs in the federal sphere, and I well understand the joy of the supporters of the Government at being able to remain in office despite the overall wish of the people.

Senator Kendall:

– -“Who drew the lines ?

Senator SHEEHAN:

– The present situation has resulted from a shifting .of population .rather than from the drawing of lines. Honorable senators opposite will have an .opportunity to draw the lines in the very near future, but I do not think that that will prevent Labour from gaining control of the treasury-bench in due course.

Government senators interjecting.,

Senator SHEEHAN:

Senator Paltridge stated that, .after .the last two general elections, and the last Senate election, the Opposition accused the Government of winning through deceit. The honorable senator went on to say that the Government parties had won the May election without resorting to deceit. I a« sure that only a very dense man or woman, having taken notice .of the spokesmen for the Government parties during the recent general election campaign and the pronouncements on policy that have been made since the election, would not agree that once again the Government has won an election by deceit. What did we say in our policy speech?

Senator Spooner:

– Everything !

Senator SHEEHAN:

– Of course, we did. And what did the leaders of the Government parties say? They said that, should Labour become the Government, it would not be able to fulfil promises that its spokesmen had made. The leaders of the ‘Government parties stated that, when the leader of the Labour party promised the workers of this country that if Labour were returned to office it would intervene in the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration on the very important margins issue, he was perpetrating a fraud on the workers. What is the Government’s present policy in connexion with this matter ? Since the election, the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) has stated that the Government will Place before the court reasons why margins should be increased. Indeed, the Government has already supported the payment of margins in respect of certain skilled work. There is a strange silence in the chamber; there is a complete absence of the interjections of a few moments ago. There is not the slightest doubt that the remarks that were made by supporters of the Government about cur leader’s statement that a future Labour government would intervene in the court, had a great effect upon the people of this country.

Senator Spicer:

– He said more than that.

Senator SHEEHAN:

– I might be permitted to refresh the Attorney-General’s (Senator Spicer) mind.

Senator Spicer:

– The honorable senator had better be careful.

Senator SHEEHAN:

– There is no need for me to be careful. We said in our advertisements -

Increased margins will be an immediate objective of the Labour Government when elected. The Labour Government upon election will immediately approach the Federal Arbitration Tribunal with a view to increasing margins. The value of existing margins has been drastically reduced through the Menzies-Fadden inflation. Labour will fight for justice for all who have been penalized as a result of this.

We then suggested that professional officers, banking and insurance officers, skilled tradesmen and all salary and wage earners should receive increased margins. The Government parties said that this could not be done. A lot of people have a great respect for the legal opinion of the Prime Minister. No doubt his statement on the matter convinced them that the Labour party was not sincere in putting forward its proposition. Yet Government senators have said that there was no deceit. Government parties also suggested that Labour policy in regard to the abolition of the means test was incapable of fulfilment. Yet the Government itself now proposes to liberalize the means test considerably.

I was very impressed by the speech made by Senator Annabelle Rankin in regard to the social services enjoyed by the people of Australia. She indulged in a very specious form of reasoning. Honorable senators on this side of the House have never denied that, in actual money, the people are being paid more in respect of social services than was paid during the regime of the Chifley or Curtin Governments. But the £3 10s. a week pension that is paid by this Government is not equal in value to the amount that was paid by the Chifley Government owing to the inflation that has taken place during the regime of the present Government. I think that the basic wage was about £6 a week when the last Labour Government was in office in 1949. It is now over £11 6s. a week for the six capital cities. Why has the basic wage increased? .Simply because the Arbitration Court, on the advice of the Commonwealth Statistician, has had to increase wages in order to keep up with increases in the cost of food, clothing and rent. Pensions do not represent the same percentage of the basic wage at present as they did under the Chifley Government. If the Government proposes to increase social services I hope that the increases will give a real benefit such as the Labour party proposed to give the people. But I am afraid that the people who depend upon social services will receive another disappointment as a result of having believed that the Government was sincere in its statement that a real increase had taken place in their standard of living during the Government’s term of office.

I commend Senator Annabelle Rankin for the work that she undertakes in connexion with social services. But unfortunately for her and others engaged in social service work, it is not possible for them to render a full and efficient service whilst social service schemes are financed as they are financed at present. What is the use of criticizing State governments for failing to build hospitals when they have not the wherewithal to build them? Prom what source do the States receive their revenue? Since the advent of uniform taxation this Parliament has become the paramount Parliament in this country. We are the tax-raising body and it is to us the States have to come each year in order to obtain the finance to carry on their work. The States’ sources of direct taxation are severely limited. It is of no use criticizing the States. We must accept the responsibility ourselves. I suggest to Senator Annabelle Rankin, who I think may have some influence in the councils of her party, that she should forcibly bring this matter to the notice of the Government in order that financial facilities may be given to the .States to engage in this very important work. I was pleased to hear His Excellency state that the Government would assist organizations to build homes for the aged. I should like to have seen a greater amount of money than that which was mentioned made available because it is very necessary that this work should be undertaken.

I do not know that the Government need take a great deal of credit for the amount that is being paid out in pensions. The Government is still collecting about £11,000,000 in social welfare tax. Although the name of that tax has been abolished it is still collected. Those who are in receipt of wages and salaries are still being taxed in order to finance the Social Welfare Fund. I do not agree that the Government has greatly improved the conditions of our less fortunate people.

I turn now to the matter of defence, which was raised by Senator Paltridge. Because of the trend of affairs in countries which are in close proximity to Australia, defence is perhaps the most important matter that confronts this Parliament. For many years the Australian Labour party has visualized a much happier state of society in this country than that which existed when the party was established or, indeed, is in existence at the moment. We on this side of the chamber believe in improving the conditions of the people and in attempting to make the Australian way of life envied by the rest of the world. However, we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that all those aspirations may be swept aside by people who would like to have this country for themselves. It is, therefore, important that this Parliament should take steps to preserve the country for future generations of Australians.

Industrial development represents one of the greatest contributions towards the defence of Australia. I have in front of me a very interesting document. It is a report on defence and development for the years 1950 to 1953, prepared by tha National Security Resources Board, and presented to the Parliament before it adjourned last December. As honorable senators are aware, some very eminent men serve on that board. They have presented an exhaustive survey of the resources of Australia and their application to defence purposes. The report indicates that, for the three years 1950-51, 1951-52 and 1952-53, a total of £466,000,000 was expended on defence. That is a large sum of money to be raised by such a small population as that of Australia. We on this side of the chamber never object to money being spent on defence as long as it is spent wisely and well. Unfortunately, having regard to the manner in which the £466,000,000 was apportioned, we cannot agree that that large sum was expended in the best interests of Australia.

Honorable senators will agree that the procurement of ships, aircraft, arms and equipment for the services is a very important part of any defence programme. Nevertheless, it will be seen that only £96,700,000, or 20.8 per cent, of the total expenditure, was expended in that way. The sum of £6,100,000, or only 1.3 per cent, of the total, was expended on the purchase of plant and equipment for the Departments of Defence Production, Supply and Defence. Senator Paltridge referred to the empty north of Australia and its defence requirements. I point out to him that, of the total expenditure to which 1 have referred, only £46,800,000, or 10.1 per cent., was expended on buildings, works and acquisitions. But what do we find in regard to expenditure on pay, rations, general maintenance, and support of the brass hats? It will be seen that £246,000,000, or 52.9 per cent, of the total, was accounted for in that way.


– Does not the honorable senator think that the men should be paid and fed?

Senator SHEEHAN:

– Of course. I do, but I suggest that when approximately 64 per cent, of the total defence expenditure is devoted to such purposes as the replacement of stores, equipment and so on, adequate defence is not being given f or the amount of money which the people provide.

  1. am confident that honorable senators opposite are sincere in their desire to see the country properly defended. Because that is. so, I suggest that they get down to tin. tacks and endeavour to ensure that the money which the Government asks the taxpayers tot provide is properly spent. Honorable senators may remember that,, during, the passage of the last budget in this chamber,, we were, asked to sanction the appropriation of £200,000,000 for defence purposes. They may also remember that no time at all was allowed to debate the subject. Surely the Parliament, and the people have a right to know where this money is going. In view of the seriousness of the international position, I hope that when the forthcoming budget is being debated, ample information, will be given to the Parliament concerning proposed expenditure and sufficient time given to honorable members f6r debate.

It appears likely that the Government will, suggest that because of the unsatisfactory nature of the armistice in Indo.China. and. the disturbed, state, of SouthEast, Asia generally,, it may be impossible to reduce taxes to the degree formerly promised. That will be a very serious matter. Honorable members are aware that, because of increased taxation, the development of. this country has been retarded. I refer particularly to the incidence of. sales tax, pay-roll tax, company tax and income tax. The Government must seriously consider lessening the tax load on the people. In the course of his Speech, the Governor-General referred to the need, for increased industrial productivity. Through His Excellency, the Government has- suggested that costa should be- reduced. Reference was made to the fact that there has been difficulty in selling Australian products abroad because of costs of production. Has the- Government any suggestions to advance- to overcome this problem or’ will it repeat its old cry that the only way to reduce, costs is to cut wages ? Surely industry can do something other than continually reduce wages? Surely it will not be left to the workers to meet high costs by forfeiting some of their share, of the pool.?! For too long has it been emphasized that, wages, are- responsible for the high cost, of living. I hope that every effort will be made, to induce captains of industry to improve the mechanization! of their industries and. install modern machinery. In that regard, I hope that the. Government will assist, the industries by reducing, taxation..

As. my time has almost, expired, I shall leave: other important aspects of the Governor-General’s Speech for: debate om some later occasion. I hopei that, through those: debates’,, something’ practical will! be done for the future of Australia. The Opposition: does- riot oppose the resolutionbefore the Senate, although! it. may- offer criticism. I hope that the resolution will be carried and conveyed to His Excellency.

Senator MATTNER:
South Australia

– [9.34).: - The Speech that. was. delivered by the Governor-General at the opening of the- Twenty-first Parliament; todaywas particularly notable. Many important matters come, within thescope of- the legislation that HisExcellency has outlined, and I hopethat tha debates on those matters’ in- this chamber will promote the well-being of the people of Australia. We recall with pleasure the recent visit to Australia of, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second accompanied by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. I am sure that the Royal visit has strengthened the. bonds between. Australia and the MotherCountry and added a closer personal link, between; the Sovereign and her subjects. I believe that a new age. of chivalry is being: ushered into the history of the British Commonwealth, of. Nations.

Honorable senators on. this side of the.chamber join with Senator Sheehan in his references to the illness of the Clerk of the Senate, Mr. Edwards. He- has been, a philosopher, friend and. guide to. every honorable senator and I support the graceful tribute that has been made- by Senator Sheehan to- our well-beloved officer. We- are fortunate in having- an able lieutenant far Mr. Edwards in the person of M-r. Loof, and I am sure that every honorable senator will give him every courtesy and consideration.

Fundamentally, the Governor-General’s Speech showed that the Government proposes to provide opportunities for men and women of spirit and initiative to , earn a good living, save money and own property. Superimposed upon those objectives is the worth-while effort to maintain and improve the defences of Australia so that our personal safety will be preserved from outside aggression. The atomic age that is now developing calls for a realignment of our defence forces, sources of supply and points of production that are so vital to the armed forces. “World strategy to-day embraces a new conception of defence. In this new atomic age, have we stopped to think of the effects of atomic radiation upon the human race ? We know .something of its effects upon animals and fish and there is evidence that human beings who have been subjected to such radiation may suffer genetically. 1 hope that atomic power may never again be used for mass destruction. We have much to learn about the use of atomic power before the Arcadian era that is thought to be linked with it will emerge. The development of guided missiles is of the utmost importance, and I have been pleased to note that there is a proposal for co-operation between Great Britain, the United States of America and Australia in the work that is .being done at the long-range weapons establishment at Woomera.

We are British first of all but the force of circumstances has brought us closer to the United States of America. Probably in the future we shall be linked more closely with that nation. Our defences in the Pacific are vital and our interests in that area are parallel with those of the United States of America to such an extent that the future of Australia may well determine the future safety of America. The United States of America has tremendous influence in the Pacific and, indeed, throughout the world, particularly in Europe. It has not participated actively in events in Europe only for its own safety. The United States of America has been generous to other nations, particularly since 1945. It gave assistance to European countries to he used as they thought best. In some quarters, the suggestion has ‘been made that the United States of America should have placed tags on the aid that it gave to those countries ‘“before the dollars were made available, but I believe it is to the credit of the United States of America that it allowed the nations of Europe to expend the money it provided in the way they thought most suitable.

When it invested enormous sums in Europe, the United States of .America took a serious financial risk but it also increased the quantity and quality of goods available in war-torn Europe. A tremendous amount of work has to be done to restore Europe to its pre-war standards. From my own limited knowledge, I am convinced that no nation has made a recovery equal to that of Great Britain, and in making that observation, I do not exclude the amazing strides towards recovery that have been made by West Germany. No country has done more than Great Britain since 1945 to restore the trade and well-being of its people. In some European countries there have been reactions to the aid that was given by the United States of America towards their recovery. The people in those countries are proud races boasting of great traditions. They have accepted aid from a new country gladly but with certain reservations. Nevertheless, thanks to the judgment and common sense of the United States of America, its aid has been received in a spirit of friendliness by every nation that has been assisted. American help -was not given directly to individuals or industries. It was made available to the governments of the countries concerned and they passed it on to the industries that were in the greatest need. Those industries had to pledge themselves to repay the money or lodge securities. As a result, those industries in every country had to plough back the profits that they made. They can expand with the help of outside aid from the United States of America and by returning profits into their industries. That, in turn, means lower wages for periods ranging over years and it is one reason for discontent among the working people of Europe. Perhaps it is also one of the reasons for the growth of communism in those countries. However, from a long-range point of view, those nations can achieve their former greatness only by returning profits into their industries. This hiatus before the recovery of their industries is, in my opinion, the most delicate time for the people of Europe. “When the industries have been .rebuilt - and this task is proceeding rapidly - wages will rise and prices will fall. That will have two effects on Australia: Our secondary industries will have to compete with overseas industries, but to offset that, the higher standard of living of European workers will, I hope, mean a greater demand for Australian primary products. [ am confident that our secondary industries will be able to meet the challenge from overseas and, in spite of the pessimistic talk that one hears to-day, I am sure that our primary industries will bc ready to meet any challenge that is made to them on the basis of production costs.

As I said earlier, there were many difficulties in providing aid to the free European people; but those difficulties were increased many-fold in giving aid to people under Soviet rule. We all earnestly hope that there will be freer trade between nations and better understanding and more goodwill. If Russia sends manganese and chrome to the United States of America, the United States of America must trade in return. The Ukraine is the traditional granary of many European countries, but if those European countries want wheat from the Ukraine, they must be prepared to trade with Russia. I have heard Sweden criticized. That country buys coal from Poland so that the Swedish people may have a warm hearth and surely no one will deny their right to that comfort. But Sweden can pay for the coal only by sending iron ore to Poland. Are we justified, because of this interchange of necessary commodities, to claim that Sweden is sympathetic to Soviet Russia? Obviously we are not. Coming closer to home, do we realize the value of the nickel and chrome controlled by France in New Caledonia, Tahiti and Noumea? This is a matter to which we should give considerable thought. With the crumbling of the power of France, we may find it necessary to be in a position to say that if France is thinking of leaving those possessions, we shall take whatever action is necessary to safeguard our interests there.

I digress here to point out that some of our spending is rather odd to say the least of it. Last year, Australians spent £182,500,000 on beer, wine and spirits, and £614,000,000 on food and groceries. In other words, we spent £20 per head of population on beer, wine and spirits, and £66 10s. on food. And now a word or two about this great Australian industry we hear so much about - horse racing. I read in a newspaper this week that £1,000,000 had changed hands in a betting ring in one day at Randwick racecourse recently. This may not be a subject for discussion here, but I believe that something should be done to return some of this money, by means of the Totalizator Agency Board, not only to the Government but also to the racecourse authorities. That would be a step in the right direction. Perhaps one day we may even abolish bookmakers altogether. I turn now from “neck” oil to industrial oil. I have ascertained that £375,000,000 has been invested or “ specked “ recently in oil shares. Persons not well versed in stock exchange dealings would be well advised to ponder deeply before investing more money in oil ventures. We know that £13,000,000 has been spent on oil exploration in Papua and New Guinea, and that a further £20,000,000 or £25,000,000 has been spent on the search for oil in Australia itself. Our imports of oil cost us at least £80,000,000 a year. The discovery of payable oil in Australia therefore would reduce by £80,000,000 per annum the drain on our overseas credits. In addition, our sterling exchange would be strengthened. In New South Wales £25,000,000 is being spent on the establishment of an oil refinery at Kurnell. To-day 2,600 men are employed on that project, and when it is in operation there will be permanent jobs for between 400 and 600 men, mostly Australians. At Kwinana, in Western Australia, work is proceeding on an oil refinery which will have a production capacity of 3,000,000 tons of crude oil annually. From the increased quantities of oil to be refined in Australia, the Commonwealth Government proposes to pay £25,000,000 in the near future to the States for road construction work. That is a commendable proposal, and the Government is to be congratulated upon it. I hope that local government authorities including shire councils will be able to obtain the competent road engineers and other skilled staff that will be required to ensure that this money shall be spent to the best advantage. I am sure that Senator Kendall will tell us, as a result of his experiences in the Redex trial, that the grant for road work should be nearer £50,000,000 rather than £25,000,000.

Turning again to Australia’s financial bulwark, the production and export of primary produce, I believe that the situation generally is reasonably sound, although perhaps wheat may give some cause for caution. The treatment of the wheat-growers by this Government is most generous. I am inclined to wonder whether, with the prospect of a falling wheat market - anybody’s guess is as good as mine on that subject - our financial resources will be sufficient to support the proposals that have been outlined. I say emphatically, “ Let the wheatgrower decide whether he is to continue to grow wheat or to turn to mutton or beef. The less we interfere with him the better.” The world trade in wheat is between 800,000,000 and 900,000,000 bushels a year. By the end of this year Canada may have a wheat surplus of 1,000,000,000 bushels and it is expected that we in Australia will have a substantial carryover. My view is that this carryover about which there is so much pessimistic talk, may be a godsend to us. America in 1939 had 57,000,000 acres under wheat and the production average was 13.2 bushels per acre. To-day, America has 74,000,000 acres under wheat and the production average is 17 bushels per acre. During the last few years, Australian exports of wheat and flour have averaged £90,000,000. This year the figure may reach only £60,000,000. Ve may have a carryover of from 80,000,000 to 100,000,000 bushels on the 30th November next compared with 36,000,000 bushels last year. I suggest that £90,000,000 is a substantial contribution to our overseas credits. “Wheatgrowers produce wheat to sell and not to store, and whilst I commend the

Government for making £3,500,000 available for wheat storage, I believe it would be far better to concentrate on selling the wheat. Under the International Wheat Agreement we squeezed out our best customer, the United Kingdom. We are a sterling wheat producer, and with our advantage in production costs, we should have no difficulty in selling at least 90,000,000 or 100,000,000 bushels of wheat a year.

If we are to reduce wheat acreage perhaps we can turn to meat. The world is crying for more meat. The consumption of meat in Great Britain has fallen by 40 lb. per head of population. We can supply all the meat the people of. the United Kingdom need. The days of fat meat have gone. There is less manual labour in the world to-day. The cry is for lean meat. When I was overseas recently I found that Australian lamb compared more than favorably with that of any other country, including New Zealand. It is as good or better than Argentine lamb. In the industrial areas of the world people are asking for our 28 lb. to 36 lb. lambs. When a mother goes to a butcher’s shop she wants to be able to get four or five lamb chops to the lb., and not two great fatty unpalatable ones. We can step up our meat production. There is a good market for it. Perhaps affairs in Indo-China will affect our wheat sales. The free world looks to the Indo-China area for rubber, tin, manganese and other raw materials. The area contains 164,000,000 people. With part of Indo-China in the hands of the Communists, there will be less rice for Japan and the Philippines. Could we supply more wheat to those countries? The closing of the Asian markets could have a depressing effect on Japanese production, and one can only guess the effect on India and Japan of the fall of all Indo-China to the Communists.

The issue in Indo-China is not wholly military. Its root is in nationalism, and events will have vast effects on Italy and Prance. Russia will be able to exert great pressure on both those countries with dire consequences to European defence. It could mean, and I hope it will, closer unity between Great Britain, the United States of America and Germany. One of the greatest tragedies of modern times is that Germany has fought the democracies in two major wars. Those wars have had a profound financial, impact on Australia. Prior to World War I. our £1 note was worth one sovereign.. We had no import or export controls, and we could sell gold without let or hindrance., After World War I., our internal debt was £700,000,000. After World. War II., it was. £2,000,000000i, and to-day it approaches £3,000,000,000. This has had a serious effect on our cost structure. The political Labour party at. Canberra ia the greatest die-hard tory party in Australia. It trades for its capital on conditions of 60 years, ago: It has not progressed since then. It will, not admit that conditions of labour- and” payments for labour have changed greatly in 60 years. The socialism demanded, by Labour leaders to-day is a close; brother to communism. No reasonable man will, suggest that, the Communist way of life tends to foster the brotherhood, of man. The new privileged class has. become, the- most ruthless and dictatorial in. the world. I join issue with Senator Sheehan. During the. last election campaign our opponents were- most vocal in their condemnation of the Menzies Government for having paid more than. £400,000,000 in. four years out of revenue for national developmental works. I commend it for having done so. If we canont pay for our improvements in boom times, how can we: hope to. pay interest and. instalments, iri times of scarcity?-

Another problem to which we must pay considerable attention is arbitration. We all agree that men engaged in industry can get only a certain proportion of the- national income.. I still maintain’ that the- loss of four hours work a. week from each man engaged in industry as a result of the introduction of the- 40- hour week is’ the greatest factor- that has contributed to our high cost structure:

I want to deal very briefly with- a matter that will not be popular as far as the Senate is concerned’. I refer to constitutional’ reform. I have many suggestions to make on this- matter, but a t the moment I shall, toss only one. into the ring for discussion. I have, watched the. working of this- chamber for many years-. I believe that there, should not be a Minister of the Crown in the Senate. We should have a leader of the. Senate, who would hold no portfolio*. Under his guidance, and. control,, billa could be brought into the chamber for discussion. Questions to. Ministers, could be, placed on the notice-paper. Of the. 21 Min,is,ters of this) Government, only five are members of the .Senate. Therefore,, we cannot address questions, directly to sixteen Ministers. If my suggestion, were adopted,, the Senate would become a true debating chamber and a> place for the testing of every measure brought into’ it. Let. us. make the Senate a real scrutinizing and constructive authority.

I agree that the Speech of the GovernorGeneral was a worthy one, and I have much, pleasure in. supporting the motion that was so ably moved and seconded by Senator Annabelle. Rankin and Senator Paltridge..

Senator BENN:

– I propose to confine my remarks to one paragraph of His Excellency’s speech. It states -

My advisers report a general’ and continuing state of- prosperity throughout the Australian economy. The number in civilian employment is 1 !he, highest even recorded in thos country; and the output of goods and services, is correspondingly high. Prices have remained’ remarkably steady.

What is meant by prosperity? I have no- doubt that each honorable, senator, in his own way, can define what, he means by prosperity., I have no doubt also that every member of the community has. his- idea of what is. meant by prosperity. But when we deal, with prosperity from the national viewpoint,, we must, give the very broadest meaning, to the word. When we use it in relation, to the economy of Australia, we. must, take Australian industries into consideration. I propose, to prove that the. paragraph I have- quoted is incorrect. I shall endeavour to prove also that, for certain reasons which I. shall give, the Government is heading towards financial disaster. When, we say that Australian trades and. industries, are; prosperous,, do we refer to all Australian businesses? Da we. refer to the primary, secondary and tertiary industries, or do we refer only to, some of them ?’ Every ona knows that a few Australian industries have enjoyed prosperity ire recent years,, but- it isi equally well known that some of our industries have not shared that prosperity. While I am dealing with this matter, I. want to say that in my opinion some members of the Liberal party and the Australian Country party have confused prosperity and inflation and,, as a result,, have, deceived themselves.. The number of bankruptcies in Australia is increasing. In 1949-50, there were 333 inr solvencies in this country, but in 1952-53 there were 636. That is a picture of the prosperity of Australia. Let me put my point in another way. During the last year that Labour was in office, there were 333 cases of bankruptcies in this country, but in the last financial year, during which a Liberal party-Australian Country party Government was in office, the number of bankruptcies rose by 100 per cent. The rate at which bankruptcies are occurring is,, if anything, increasing. If I had to rely on that evidence alone, I should say it proved conclusively that there was. no prosperity in Australia, because we cannot say that Australia is enjoying prosperity if people are becoming bankrupt daily.

I have no doubt that the members of the Liberal party and the Australian Country party have their own ways of assessing prosperity. When I consider whether an industry is prosperous I examine its present financial condition and, if that is sound,, I say the industry is. prosperous at that time.. But. in dealing, with national matters, it is necessary to see what the future holds for Australian industries. I say that the future of some of our primary industries is very dim. There is not in this community the prosperity about which we have, been told. Members, of the Government parties may have in mind the fact that during the last financial year the Government accumulated a surplus of £56,000,000.. But the fact that, the Government, by the imposition of, excessive taxes: - that is what it amounts, to - has, been able to accumulate a surplus of £56,000,000 in one financial year does not mean that Australia is prosperous. It means only that the Governs ment has taken more money from the people than it should have taken. What does it matter to the individual if the Government has a surplus ‘( He is no better off and no more prosperous as. a result of that..

I have said that some industries: in Australia are in a prosperous condition. One of them is the wool industry. I do not think any one will deny that that industry is prosperous,, but surely the Government is not trying, to- take credit to. itself for the present position of the industry. It has not contributed anything towards that prosperity.. It has, if anything,, gone in. the opposite direction. On one occasion it attempted to retard the progress of the wool industry by introducing a measure under which, it proposed to take, £120,000,000 from the wool-growers..

Senator Robertson:

– They got it back again.

Senator BENN:

– Perhaps Senator Robertson is too old to follow what I am saying. No credit whatever is due to the Government for the prosperity of the Australian wool industry. That industry is in a prosperous state to-day, first, because during World War Ti.,, the surplus of wool in the world was exhausted because wool was required urgently for military purposes in various countries;, secondly, because the manufacture of civilian clothing was so severely curtailed between 1939 and 1945 that in 1946 a strong world-wide demand for wool arose; thirdly, because threats of war have caused a. strong demand for wool to be maintained; and fourthly, because Australian wool-growers are independent of the Australian market for the sale of their product. Those are the factors that have contributed, and are contributing, to the. present prosperity of the wool industry.. That prosperity is not the result of any governmental action. Not all of the primary producers, of Australia are squatters.. Not all of them are enjoying the prosperity that the squatters are enjoying at present. The dairying, industry ia very important to this, country. It is carried on largely by families. Very often, the soil of dairy farms is not suitable for anything other than dairying. Grain, crops cannot be grown in some dairying country. In most cases, perhaps in all cases, the- size of dairy farms! makes them unsuitable foi general grazing purposes. What is the real position of the Australian dairying industry to-day?


– It is being threatened by the rotten Queensland Government.

Senator BENN:

Senator George Rankin has his own opinion about what the Queensland Government has done, but probably he does not know all the facts. In reply to him, let me say that only recently the costs formula, which was introduced by a Labour government, showed that dairy-farmers were entitled to an increased price for their butter. The increase was about 3d. per lb. What happened? Dairy-farmers’ organizations, at the request of some Australian Country party members of Parliament, decided that the increase should not be granted. Members of the Australian Country party have sold out to the Liberal party. The Australian Country party to-day is nothing more than a cell within the Liberal party. The people of Australia, through the Consolidated Revenue, are paying £15,000,000 a year to the dairy-farmers as a subsidy for the industry. Surely no honorable senator will say that an industry that has to be subsidized from Consolidated Revenue is prosperous. I am sure every dairyfarmer in Australia would be happy if he could believe the’ statement of this Government that his industry is prosperous. The subsidy that is being paid is the equivalent of 10 3/4 d. on a pound of butter. I have referred to the cost formula, which was introduced by a Labour government and adopted by dairy-farmers’ organizations. That formula showed that dairy-farmers were entitled to an increase of price. Why was not that increase granted? Honorable senators on this side of the chamber know how valuable the C series index is to wage-earners throughout Australia. Therefore, they have a good idea of what the cost formula means to the dairyfarmer. The C series index decides the income of wage-earners and the cost formula decides the income of dairyfarmers. We say they are parallel. But the parliamentary leaders of the Australian Country party have agreed to the policy of a Liberal government that no increase should be granted to dairy-farmers. I have studied the formula and I know that it was sound; it should have been applied. Now, it is merely a worthless piece of paper. That policy is dead, and it must go. I asked a moment ago whether the dairying industry was prosperous. I shall leave the decision to the people who are listening to the broadcast of these proceedings. Do they consider it to be prosperous, when a recession is threatening just around the corner ?

We cannot produce all the butter that is required by Great Britain. At the same time, prices in Great Britain for certain commodities are tending downwards. Denmark and other dairyproduce exporting countries are sending their products to the British market for sale in competition with Australian products. Margarine is being produced in enormous quantities on the other side of the world, and it is offering formidable competition to Australian and Danish butter. Even oil extracted from whales caught in Australian waters is shipped overseas and made into margarine to compete against our butter. My purpose in outlining the position that exists in these industries is to prove that our economy is not sound, and that the prosperity to which His Excellency referred does not. in fact, exist.

I come now to the wheat-growing industry. At .present the wheat-grower does not know whether he is in a funk or a furrow, for reasons that I shall outline. The acreage sown to wheat is dwindling year by year. In 1938-39 there were 14,000,000 acres devoted to wheat production in Australia, compared with only 10,000,000 acres in 1952-53. Do honorable senators consider that the wheat industry is prosperous? Australia produces about 500,000 tons of wheat more than we require for our own consumption. Therefore, we must have overseas markets for our surplus production. Is our wheat being sold overseas at an economic price? I have before me an article relating to the stocks on hand in several countries, which appeared in a recent Commonwealth publication. It reads- -

At ‘ the end of the 1952-53 season, 1,094,000,000 bushels of wheat remained on hand in the four major exporting countries for carry-over into the current marketing year, compared with 511,000,000 bushels at the corresponding period last year, and 605,000,000 bushels at the end of 1950-51.

Most of this wheat waa concentrated in North America. United States stocks increased from 256,000,000 bushels in the previous year to 881,000,000 bushels, and in spite of record shipments Canada had more than 360,000,000 bushels on hand at the end of the season, as against 217,000,000 bushels in 1951-52. In both cases the carry-over was higher than any previous peace-time figure.

Against this background of mounting stocks, the size of crops for harvest .this year has assumed somewhat greater significance than usual. On present indications the North American crops which are now being harvested will reach a total of l,S07,000,000 bushels, consisting of 1,203,000,000 bushels in the United States of America and 604,000,000 bushels in Canada. It is still too early for any firm estimate of the Southern Hemisphere harvests but, based on acreages under crop and conditions to date, it appears that the Argentine crop will be somewhat larger than last year’s, and the Australian crop about 30,000,000 bushels smaller. The combined output of the four countries may reach about 2,207,000,000 bushels, compared with last year’s 2,459,000,000 bushels. Including the abnormally large carry-overs, the total supply awaiting disposal would reach a huge total of approximately 3,300,000,000 bushels as against 2,970,000.000 bushels in 1952-53.

Obviously, on these figures some increase on 1 952-53 exports would be required this year if stocks are to be reduced to more manageable proportions. On present indications, however, such an increase is unlikely to be realized unless prices remain somewhat lower than in 1952-53.

I could offer additional information on this subject to prove conclusively that overseas markets on which Australia has relied in the past in order to dispose of surplus wheat are no longer available to us. Only recently a report from Ottawa stated -

Canada’s wheat exports dropped by 30 per cent, in the first ten months of the current crop year, leaving a surplus of 014,500,000 bushels on June 1st - equivalent to all the wheat she produced in 1953.

Even if I were to concede that, during the last ten years, the wheat-farmers have been engaged in a prosperous industry, I am sure that they realize that the future may not be so rosy for them. We have heard about a wheat stabilization scheme. What does it amount to? An analysis of the stabilization scheme that has been introduced shows that its net result will be that a proportion of the wheatgrowers’ income in good years will be withheld and paid to them in subsequent years when prices fall. That will be poor consolation to the wheat-growers. It is not a proper stabilization scheme. If any supporter of the Government attempts to explain why he considers the wheat industry is prosperous, I hope that he will commence by saying how it is proposed to dispose of this year’s surplus production.

Senator Robertson:

– We could give it away.

Senator BENN:

– Even the giving away of the surplus wheat would involve a problem. The Treasurer could not ask the Parliament to appropriate so much money to pay the wheat-growers, on the mere explanation that their wheat had been given away. I am thinking of the position that may arise in relation to wheat in the future, rather than the present position. Should any honorable, senator opposite embark on such an explanation, I hope that he will refer to the recent fall in the price of sorghum in Queensland by about 50 per cent., and also to the position that could develop if more sorghum were produced in Queensland, and Australia’s wheat production increased.

I come now to the poultry industry, which I regard as the small man’s industry. Because of the relatively small amount of capital needed to enter this industry, many men who have been working for wages have abandoned their jobs and entered the field. Let us consider conditions in that industry. In 1953 Australian-produced eggs were sold on the British market for as low a price as ls. lOd. a dozen wholesale. At the same time, Great Britain had on hand sufficient egg pulp to meet requirements for about two years. Recently the price of eggs in Queensland fell by ls. a dozen. Many men who have been engaged in the poultry industry for a number of years have stated their intention of returning to work on wages and leaving their wives to run their poultry farms. Having considered the cost of poultry feed, I have a good idea of what should be the economic price of eggs. I do not think that any one can believe that the poultry industry is in a prosperous condition.

I shall now deal briefly with another primary industry, the dried fruits industry, which is very important to the economy of Australia. It is also important from the point of view of employment in this country. The marketing activities of this industry are in a state of confusion. Tie Dried Fruits Control Board is endeavouring to sell all the raisins that it can in Great Britain, because the guaranteed price will operate only up to March of next year. At the termination of that arrangement it is believed that the price will be much less than £100 a ton. One can visualize what will happen to the industry unless it is placed on an economic footing.

At the beginning of my speech. I mentioned insolvencies in Australia. When we consider the conditions existing in many of our primary industries, it is reasonable to assume that there will be many more insolvencies in the future. This Government has been collecting revenue by heavily taxing the people and industry. It is interesting to consider the percentages of revenue from taxation in relation to the various taxation groups.

The following table shows a comparison of taxation collections in relation to various groups in 1949-50 and 1950-51 : -

Senator Guy:

– Can the honorable senator tell us the price of wool in those years ?

Senator BENN:

– To do so would supply further proof of the point that I am endeavouring to make. The figures that I lave cited have been gleaned from the latest available report of the Commissioner of Taxation. If, as a result of .a decline of prices, the primary producers derive less income and consequently pay less income tax, .how will the Government finance the projects that were mentioned in His Excellency’s Speech? I should be glad if following speakers from the other side of the ‘chamber would inform honorable senators of the plans that the Government has in mind in order to improve the lot of the primary producers. What plan has the Government in mind should taxation revenue fall as a result of a recession in primary industries?

Senator Laught:

– Not the reintroduction of the land tax.


– And not a capital levy.

Senator BENN:

– The Government must obtain revenue in order to carry out its defence programme, maintain the Public Service, and meet general commitments in respect of a thousand and one other items. About £528,000,000 of the Government’s revenue of £900,000,000 in the last financial year was derived from income taxation, and the remainder through indirect taxation channels.

Senator Guy:

– How did Labour propose to finance the promises that it made during the last general election campaign?

Senator BENN:

– I am afraid that I have insufficient time at my disposal at present to answer fully the question that Senator Guy has asked by interjection.

The present employment position in Australia cannot be considered satisfactory because lurking around the corner is a measure of unemployment for the people in industry. During the last eight or nine months the Government has relaxed import restrictions and allowed shiploads of goods to come into Australia. I understand that these shipments include raw materials which are important to Australian industry, but they also include goods that can be manufactured in Australia, and these imports will be sold in competition with goods made in Australia. I understand that the Government will collect increased customs duty from the larger quantities of imports. In the financial year T952-53 customs duties yielded the Government £70,000,000. During 1953-54 .fiat amount rose to £94,000,000, an increase of £24,000,000, ‘ The selling of these imports in competition with Australianmade /goods must result in some unemployment in this country. There is mot the security of employment that existed some time ago.

It is astonishing how little people know on the ‘subject of marginal payments for workers. The subject of margins was dealt with by Mr. Justice Higgins at the time that the Harvester judgment was given, when the basic wage was fixed at 7s. a day. The margins then fixed were carried forward through the war years. Subsequent to the war, the ratio of the margin to the- basic wage decreased until it was almost lost. Now it has been stated that the skilled worker is entitled to an increase in his margin. But who is to decide who is a skilled ‘ worker ? Should the marginal increases be given to none but tradesmen ? There are only 24 really skilled trades in Australia. If the members of these trades alone are given the increase there will be industrial unrest. It is not possible to pay a marginal increase to the tradesmen and refuse an increase to the man who assists him. A proportionate sum must be paid to the latter. There is considerable industrial unrest at present. It is impossible to pick up a newspaper without reading of some group of workers going on strike. Those workers belong to unions which are not dominated by Communists and which have no relationship whatever with communism. They are genuinely dissatisfied. One of the main reasons for this dissatisfaction has been the jettisoning of the C series index which has resulted in inroads being made into the basic wage. No inroad was made into the workers’ wages by sales tax until 1930, but from then on sales ‘ tax has increased, particularly whilst the present Government has been in office. The Government has claimed that it reduced sales tax last year, but it merely engaged in taxation gymnastics. It eliminated certain categories of goods from the sales tax schedule and fixed two rates of sales tax. Perhaps it believed it reduced sales tax. But what actually happened ? In the financial year 1952-53 it collected £89,000,000 in sales tax, but during the last financial year it collected £95,000,000. So the instrument of sales tax is constantly making inroads into the living standards of the people. I regret that the people of Australia were not sufficiently wise to return a Labour government at the last election. I feel sure that when they are appealed to once more they will do so.


– “Within some few months of an election having been held in a true and democratic manner, Senator Benn has expressed his regret at the decision of the people. Honorable senators on this side of the chamber, whichever way the election had gone, would have honoured the people’s decision because we believe that once the people have exercised their right on election day we, their elected representatives, should be obedient to, and guided by, their decision. I have’ no desire to refer any further to the mental meanderings of Senator Benn which have already received more attention than they deserve. Honorable senators are conscious of the fact that early in this sitting of the Twenty-first Parliament we shall have an opportunity to debate a budget which, to use the parlance of racing, will give “ an open go “ to all senators to speak on any subject that they desire. I understand that we are also to be given an opportunity to discuss the most important subject of foreign affairs. As a budget debate is coming in on the tide there are several subjects which one can leave for discussion on that occasion. This Senate is the State’s House and we, the elected representatives of the various States, should be ready to speak in support of the requirements of our own States. But so far as Tasmania is concerned, the budget debate will bc the appropriate occasion on which to raise points of particular interest and importance to the island State. Although there is a Liberal government in power I would not let it be thought that Tasmania has no worries in. the federal sphere. There is a lot of work to be done by the Australian Government and the Australian Parliament for Tasmania. I know that honorable senators on both sides of the chamber will agree on that point and at the right, time we shall speak on behalf of Tasmania on these matters.

I have had only a year’s experience in this Senate but I think that this debate on the Address-in-Reply could be used to assist us to come to a helpful decision on an important matter. The Government’s third term of office . is a just reward for honest government. This Government, with its proud record, has some big problems ahead of it in its next three years of unquestioned, unchallenged office. The Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), statesman that he is, was shrewd enough to say to the Australian people, on assuming office again, that our economy was good, but that it must be kept in balance. It could be made unstable by the unwise actions of the people and by unenlightened government. He warned’ his fellow parliamentarians and the public of that very important fact. So we are faced with the problem of maintaining a stable economy in Australia in the next three years. We know from events abroad, including those in the near north, that matters concerning our own safety and security will cause the Government and this Parliament much thought within the next few months as well as for the next three years. Foreign affairs is another problem to which this Parliament will have to devote itself during the life of the Menzies Government. Part and parcel of the foreign affairs problem is the defence of Australia. At budget time the press likes to prophesy, and it makes so many prophesies that some newspaper must make a true prophesy. Then it takes credit for having directed the Government to act accordingly. Already the press is stating that the Government may greatly increase the. defence vote, which has amounted to £200,000,000 during the last two years.

Senator Sheehan criticized the Government’s defence programme. He forgot to mention the lack of defence provisions under the Labour Government. In the next month the defence of Australia will be of the utmost importance to all of us. The Government has a sense of duty to continue the development of this country that it has instituted during the last four years. The Government realizes that it ‘must spend money on development and defence. The Government has all sorts of schemes for development, including the Snowy River scheme, but when it proposes the expenditure of money on development it must remember that it is a federal government. It is not a New South.. Wales government, nor a Victorian government, and in view of the present calibre of those governments I am grateful that it is not. The Government must remember its. taxpayers in the smaller States, such as Tasmania, when it is voting money for development.

Because immigration is- part and parcel of national development and defence, we should pay, particular .and. detailed attention -to, that: subject. We are all happy to! 5ee’;-the Government :< bringing new settlers to Australia, but are we giving sufficient thought to the question whether those new settlers are being properly treated here? We invite them to come here, and we should be shocking hosts if we did not pay particular attention to every detail regarding their future welfare. I trust that, by means of *Hansard and other avenues of publicity, three points that I wish to make will become known to the Minister for Immigration (Mr. Holt). At present it is necessary for a new settler - I dislike the term “ new Australian “ - to advertise in the daily press of his home town or city the fact that he proposes to apply for naturalization. In my opinion, that procedure is wrong for two basic reasons. First, it involves unnecessary expenditure of money on the part of the new settler, and secondly, it may give harmful information to “ iron curtain “ countries about the whereabouts of people who have fled to freedom. At the moment, the law forces them to advertise their full name and address. I suggest that the relevant regulation could be amended so that it would not be necessary for new settlers to advertise their whereabouts in that way. Surely the necessary notice could be posted at the local municipal council chambers, or some such place.

The next matter to which I wish to refer concerns immigrants who corns to this country after having spent some time in Great Britain. It seems to me that Australia, as a part of the British Commonwealth of Nations, should recognize, for naturalization purposes, time spent in Great Britain as part of the qualifying period. I hope that the Government will continue to handle the immigration programme” as it has since it took over the very progressive policy instituted by a Labour government. Both sides of the Senate will agree that immigration has always been treated as a nonparty matter, and that a wide Australian viewpoint has been adopted towards it by governments of all political colours. This Government can build on the solid foundations laid by the previous Labour Government, and I hope that the Opposition will continue to help us so build. If we are adequately to defend, and develop this country we must have a much-greater population, and if we fully , encourage immigration we shall gain our end more quickly than if we rely on our own natural increase.

Many problems face this Government, including how best to develop our economy, obtain proper foreign relations, expand our defence services and increase our intake of immigrants. However, we have great hopes of the recent discoveries of uranium in Australia so aptly referred to in His Excellency’s Speech. We also expect to find quantities of oil in this country, and we all know how valuable their oil deposits have proved to Canada, Persia and the United States.We all sincerely hope that oil in payable quantities will soon be found in Western Australia. Moreover, we have great primary industries and very important secondary industries, which are a sound foundation for faith in our future. Therefore, although we have our problemswealso have confidence in the future of this country and in the policies of the Menzies Government.

This Government has been elected to officefor three years. Unfortunately, it may have to put some restraint upon its legislative programme in 1956 when a Senate election is to be held, but. I trust that the problems associated with that election will be overcome. However, the present Government has three years of office, and I hope that it will not allow its vision to become obscured by the important problems that I have referred to but will buckle down at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning and try to settle some of the administrative details that need adjustment in this country. We must try to lessen government controls on individuals. After the last Labour Government relinquished office, we went a long way towards removing all controls from the people, but we still have some distance to go in order to give the people in this democracy their just rights. I hope that the Government will not consider that foreign affairs, defence and other large matters,aretoo important for it to spend some timein adding to the comfort, convenience andthewellbeing of individuals.

I ask for leave to continue my remarks to-morrow.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.

page 35


Motion (by Senator McLeay) agreed to-

That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn to Thursday next, at 2.30 p.m..

page 35



Motion (by Senator McLeay) proposed -

That the Senate do now adjourn.

Senator HENTY:

– I wish to draw the attention of the Government to an attempt that is being made by Japanese Communists to disseminate Communist propaganda …among Australian teen-age children.’. This attempt is all the more despicablebecause it is being done in the name of Unesco, an organization of the United Nations. Under the name of the UnescoCorrespondence Society, a noxious attempt is being made to get schoolboys and schoolgirls to become pen friends of Japanese schoolchildren, and Communist propaganda is being sent in reply to letters written to Japan, by Australian children. Some Australian children have written in answer to the. Japanese organization’s requests, and I propose to read a letter from the secretary of Unesco Correspondence Society dated the 23rd May, 1954. It is as follows: -

Dear friend,

I am very glad I have had the chance of writing to you. I am General Secretary of UNESCO Correspondence Society in Japan, which has the chief purpose of, improving mutual understanding and friendship among boys and girls from different countries through letter writing. ,

Thank you very much for the most welcome letter youwere so kind as to give to a member of ourSociety the other day. I must apologize to you , for not answering your letter sooner.

I believe friendship across the ocean will never fail to bring about the world of peace and happiness. It is the constant aim ofour Society to develop letter-writing among boys and girls.

There are many Japanese boys and girls in our charge who are very eager to make f riends with boys and girls of your country. They are really interested in the history, geography, culture, daily life of your country. They have about the same hobbies as -you :sports, stamps, viewcards, photography, dancing,music, penpals.

I have taken the liberty of sending you some letters from Japanese students of about your own age. Would you please answer one or two of them yourself, and please pass the others on to your school friends? I shall esteem it a great favor if you would kindly introduce some interesting one of the letters on your school newspaper. We shall be very glad to make pen-friends with however many boys or girls of your school.

Wishing you health and happiness.

Yours sincerely (Sgd.) EUTAKA KOSHIBA.

P.S. - I shall be extremely happy if you would kindly tell rue the name and address of your school, with the name of the principal.

In answer to that letter, a pen friend from Australia wrote to Japan and received the following letter in reply. It is signed by the person who signed the letter that I previously read. This letter reads -

Dear friend,

Thank you very much for your warmest letter to a member of our society the other day. I sincerely hope our friendship will last for ever.

It is our teenagers’ long-cherished desire to have pen friends in your country. Would you please introduce to us some of your friends who would like to hear from Japanese teenagers?

Well, here are some questions which we shall esteem it a big favor, if you would write and answer soon.

1 ) Do you know the fact that the Japanese people were the first victim of A-bombs, and of H-bombs recently?

Did you read in press that Japanese fishermen had recently suffered deadly damage from an H-bomb explosion on the Pacific Ocean?

Do you know the fact that the Japanese people are in extreme hardships, because they cannot take fish, which is one of their indispensable staple foods, on account of the radioactive influence on fish by an H-bomb explosion ?

Do you think the public opinions of the people all over the world can prohibit the manufacturing of A-bombs and H-bombs

Have you got any opinion on War and Peace ?

Would you please let me hear from you soon, if these are not too rude questions

Yours ever truly, (Sgd.) EUTAKA KOSHIBA.

I trust that the Government will take the necessary action to ensure that this despicable attempt to influence the minds of teen-age Australian children is stopped.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

page 36


The following papers were pre sented : -

Air Force Act - Regulations - Statutory

Rules 1954, No. 30.

Air Navigation Act - Regulations - Statu-, tory Rules 1954, Nos. 26, 32.

Apple and Pear Organization Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 05.

Banking Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. CO.

Broadcasting Act - R egulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 51.

Canned Fruits Export Control Act - Regu-, lations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 60.

Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 73.

Commonwealth Bank Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 61.

Commonwealth Electoral Act and Referendum (Constitution Alteration) Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 27.

Commonwealth Grants Commission Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 74.

Commonwealth Railways Act - By-law No. 90.

Conciliation and Arbitration Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 37.

Copyright Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 81.

Cotton Bounty Act - Return for 1953.

Customs Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 76.

Customs Act and Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, Nos. 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49.

Dairy Produce Export Control Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 67.

Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 33.

Defence Transition (Residual Provisions) Act - National Security (Industrial Property ) Regulations-Orders - Inventions and designs (22).

Designs Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 82.

Dried Fruits Export Control Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, Nos. 53, 68.

Egg Export Control Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, Nos. 69, 7.2.

Explosives Act - Regulations -

Orders -

Berthing of a vessel (4).

Repealing orders of general application Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Statutory Rules 1954, No. 34.

High Commissioner Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 75.

Lands Acquisition Act -

Land, &c.,acquiredfor-

Customs purposes - Hobart, Tasmania.

Defence purposes -

Bullsbrook, Western Australia.

Concord, New South Wales.

Dubbo,. New South Wales.

Glen Innes, New South Wales.

Kingswood, New South Wales.

Potts Point, New South Wales.

Rottnest Island, Western Australia.

Sunday Creek, Seymour, Victoria.

Williamtown, New South Wales.

Department of Civil Aviation purposes -

Brewarrina, New South Wales.

Broken Hill, New South Wales.

Cleve, South Australia.

Derby, Western Australia.

Forster, New South Wales.

Nyngan, New South Wales.

Parkes, New South Wales.

Warrnambool, Victoria.

Wilcannia, New South Wales.

Postal purposes -

Brungle, New South Wales.

Cambridge, Tasmania.

Coonamble, New South Wales.

Eight Mile Creek, South Australia.

Glenorchy, Tasmania.

Homebush, New South Wales.

Kickabil, New South Wales.

Laurel Hill, New South Wales.

Leeton North, New South Wales.

Mila, New South Wales.

Mingbool, South Australia.

Mount Crystal, New South Wales.

Nundle-road, New South Wales.

Queenstown, Tasmania.

Riverside, Tasmania.

South Gogeldrie, New South Wales.

Timbumburi, New South Wales.

Viewmont, New South Wales.

Land disposed of under section 63 -

Returns (4) showing manner of disposal.

Meat Export Control Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 70.

National Health Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, Nos. 35, 54, 77, 78.

National Service Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 36.

Nauru - Ordinances - 1954 -

No. 1. - Nauru Local Government Council.

No. 2.-Census.

Naval Defence Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, Nos. 28, 31.

Navigation Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, Nos. 25, 38, 39.

Northern Territory (Administration) Act -

Ordinances - 1954 -

No. 1 - Interpretation.

No. 2- Public Seal.

No. 3 - Hawkers.

No. 4 - Crown Lands.

Regulations - 1954 -

No. 2 - (Health Ordinance).

No. 3 - (Health Ordinance).

No. 4 - (Lottery and Gaming Ordinance).

No. 5 - (Crown Lands Ordinance).

Papua and New Guinea Act -

Ordinances -


No. 7 - Animal Disease and Control.

No. 9 - Motor Vehicles (Third Party Insurance ) .

No. 20 - Liquor (New Guinea).

No. 70 - Registration of Births,

Deaths and Marriages (New Guinea. ) .

No. 85- Motor Vehicles (Third Party Insurance) .


No. 1 - Lands Registration (New Guinea).

No. 3 - Land (Papua).

Patents Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, Nos. 40, 55, 56, 79.

PearlFisheries Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 58.

Post and Telegraph Act-Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, Nos. 29, 52.

Public Service Act -

A ppointments - Department -

Air - A. V. Aarons, M. L. W. Munday.

Army - G. B. Barlin, D. C. Kirton.

Attorney-General’s - C. M. Bentley, R. A. Blackmail, R. Brown, E. Winter.

Civil Aviation- J. W. Allwell, J. E. Cleaver, J. A. Falconer, R. H. Jarvis, H. M. Karsen, A. E. Lublin, J. More, C. Vahtrick.

Commerce and Agriculture - K.R. Constantine, M. T. Davies, E. E. M. Ledger.

Defence - J. E. G. Elsworth.

Defence Production - E. H. Brent, C. A. Burley, B. M. Downes, D. V. Eastwood, N. C. Grave, R. H. Jones, M. McCracken, J. W. McOrist, J. W. D. Riordan, I. C. Thomas, R. J. Wiles, R. K. Young.

External Affairs - M. J. Cook, R. P. S. Hayman, M. E. Lyon.

Health - G. A. Barr, A. P. Brammall, B. R. Dunlop, D. E. Giderson, J. C. Homewood, R. A. W. Klein, M.. E. Ladomirska, K. J. Lafferty, P. A. Murphy, J. D. O’Connor, D. V. Radford, H. C. C. Rasmussen, B. E. Welton, W. H. Young.

Interior - B. L. Lyne, A. B. Patton, K. W. Watson.

Labour and National Service - J. Whittemore.

National Development - I. F. Reynolds.

Prime Minister’s - J. A. Donnelly.

Repatriation - D. S. Brandt, K. J. Byers, M. A. Clarke, T. R. B. Courtney, W. D. Exton, A. M. Grey-Wilson, D. B. Heness, S. E. Juttner, R. I. Meyers, E. M. Palmer, D. W. Short, R. V. Southcott, E. W. Wall, J. H. Waterhouse, J. M. Wood.

Shipping and Transport - G. P. Hodge, D. W. Hodges, L.J. Prandolini, G. W. Ross, J. D. L. Williams.. :

Social Services - H. E. Doe, Z. T. Fryer, C. . B. Murphy, J. V. Simpson.

Supply - K. J. Ausburn, J. R. Baxter, J. L. Beard, P. W. A. Bowe, F. H. Carr, R. Cartwright, J. M. Cawley, R. S. Edgar, J. Herington, D. G. Hurley, N. K. Jones, N. P. Louat, J. P. McFarlane, E. C. Montgomery, D. G. Strahle, D. R. D. Warren, N. Webb, D. L. Willetts.

Territories - G. E. A. Armstrong, W. C. Baxter, W. C. Laufer, L. P. Ross.

Trade and Customs - J. J. Adams, A. T. Schneider.

Works - D. J. Amey, C. G. Balchin, I. A. Black, R. H. Bridie, D. A. Cook, D. G. Copeland, H. J. Dare, C. C. Day, P. T. Dillon, E. E. Eager, R. J. Eaton, K. Eisner.N. M.Hawkins, C. M. Humphries, G. T. Hunt, R. A. Jones, J. Kaldor, W. C. Kerr, A. Krysztal, C. K. McDonald, K. T. McGrath. C. W. McKeown, G. A. McRae, V. V. Makhno, C. S. I. Menzies, L. V. Pakchung, R. G. Perry, H. V. Pinkus, L. A. M. Pittelkow, A. Potter, L. A. Rasmussen, T. J. Schubert, I. C. Simpson, D. T. Skewes, K. R. Styles, C. W. Thompson.

Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 57. ;

Public Service Arbitration Act - Determinations by the Arbitrator, &c. - 1954 -

No. 5- Civil Aviation Employees Association of Australia.

No. 12 - Peace Officer Guard Association.

No. 13 - Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association; and Customs Officers’ Association of Australia, Fourth Division.

No. 14 - Repatriation Department Medical Officers’ Association.

No. 15 - Transport Workers’ Union of Australia.

No. 16 - Amalgamated Engineering Union and Others.

No. 1 7 - Amalgamated Engineering Union; and Sheet Metal Working Agricultural Implement and Stovemaking Industrial Union of Australia.

No. 18 - Commonwealth Legal ProfessionalOfficers’Association.

No. 19 - Commonwealth Storemen and Packers’ Union.

No. 20 - Federated Ironworkers’ Association of Australia and Others.

No. 21 - Australian Broadcasting Commission Staff Association.

No. 22 - Non-Official Postmasters’ Association of Australia.

No. 23 - Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association.

No. 24 - Professional Officers’ Association, Commonwealth Public Service.

No. 25 - Postal Telecommunication Technicians’ Association (Australia).

No. 26 - Customs Officers’ Association of Australia (Fourth Division).

No. 27 - Transport Workers’ Union of Australia.

No. 28 - Commonwealth Public Service Artisans’ Association.

No. 29 - Postal Telecommunication Technicians’ Association (Australia).

No. 30 - Musicians’ Union of Australia.

No. 31 - Postal Telecommunication Technicians’ Association (Australia).

No. 32 - Commonwealth Foremen’s Association.

Re-establishment and Employment Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954. No. 59.

Science and Industry Research Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 41.

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

Ordinances - 1 954 -

No. 9 - Medical Practitioners Registration.

No. 10 - Dentists Registration.

No. 11 - Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement).

No. 12 - Workmen’s Compensation.

No. 13 - Poisons and Dangerous Drugs.

Regulations - 1954 -

No. 3 - (Canberra University College Ordinance).

No. 4 - (Education Ordinance).

No. 5 - (Public Health Ordinance).

No.6 - (Associations Incorporation Ordinance).

No. 7 - (Education Ordinance).

Service and Execution of Process Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 83.

Stevedoring Industry Act - RegulationsStatutory Rules 1954, No. 04.

Sulphur Bounty Act - Return for year 1953-54.

Tractor Bounty Act - Return for year 1953-54.

Trade Marks Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 80.

War Service Homes Act - Land acquired at Cabramatta, New South Wales.

Wine Overseas Marketing Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 71.

Wireless Telegraphy Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 50.

Wool Tax Act (No. 1 )- Regulations - Statutory Rules 1954, No. 02.

Wool Tax Act (No. 2)- RegulationsStatutory Rules 1954, No. 63.

Senate adjourned at 11 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 4 August 1954, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.