22nd Parliament · 2nd Session
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. A. M. McMullin) took the chair at 1 1 a.m., and read prayers.
– I direct a question to the Leader of the Government. When effect is given to the Government’s intention to reduce the intake of trainees for military training, will there not be an excess of Government stores in hand, such as blankets? Will the Government distribute through proper channels a number of these blankets to needy aged pensioners, who have to rely now on private charity and press appeals for blankets to keep them warm during the winter?
– I have no idea of the details of the circumstances mentioned by the honorable senator, but I have no doubt that if there is substantial merit in the proposition put forward by him, it will be given sympathetic consideration by the appropriate authority.
– In view of the importance of motor spirit and petroleum products to the primary industries and the people of country districts, has the Minister for National Development examined the possibility of negotiating a flat-rate price for such products so that country interests will not be at a disadvantage compared to city industries and people?
– The proposition raised by the honorable senator has been the subject of consideration many times. The Commonwealth Government has no power of price control. Therefore, even if the Government subscribed to the view that the honorable senator has advanced, it would not have the power to act. Secondly, I believe that the industry itself regards the proposition as impracticable and unfair all round because freight rates from ports to various parts of the Commonwealth vary so considerably, depending upon the length of the haul.
– Has the Minister representing the Minister for Trade seen the announcement in the Melbourne “ Sun “ of 8th April that the British Prime Minister has decided to end the tight restrictions which have existed since the Korean war, thus opening up a big. new market for British exports to the Chinese mainland, which has a population of 600,000,000 people? As this new trade will add £40,000,000 sterling a year to Britain’s sorely strained and run-down overseas balances, will the Minister consult with his colleagues in the Cabinet with a view to getting a share of the Chinese market for Australian primary and secondary products?
– I did see the press report. I was intrigued by it, because apparently it is out of date or is in error in some directions. T had thought that the United Kingdom had been trading with China, and that is why the report stuck in my memory. Australia’s policy is quite clear. It has been stated by my colleague, the Minister for Trade, and I have the impression that only within the last few days he has restated it. We are willing and eager to do business with China as long as it is not business in strategic materials which the “ corns “ could buy and, perhaps, use against us.
– Last Thursday I asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade, in view of the fact that a trade delegation of 33 persons had left for India to stimulate the development of trade between India and Australia, what plans had been made or what prospects there were for the shipping of goods. I asked him whether it was true that there was a large backlag, of Australian cargo awaiting export, including 30,000 tons of sheet steel, which represents three ship loads. I also asked if there were any prospects of this backlag being lifted in the near future and how we could ensure a speedy delivery of future orders. I asked, too, whether any governmental authority had taken action to charter a ship or whether it would do so in the event of shipping companies being unable or unwilling to increase the cargo carrying capacity of their vessels plying between India and Australia. I now ask the Minister whether he has received an answer to my questions from the Minister for Trade.
– There was a little error on my part in that this question should have been placed on the notice-paper. I have received the following reply from the Minister for Trade: -
A trade mission consisting of 32 businessmen and one government official left Australia on 22nd March, and is now in India. The purpose of the mission is to expand trade with India. The mission was organized by the Australian Government as part of its export drive.
There is a back log of Australian cargo - almost all steel, awaiting shipment to India, but estimates of the tonnage involved vary greatly. This back log was caused mainly by the closure of Suez, which reduced shipping services between Australia and India and forced many Indian importers to look to Australia as a substitute source of supply for Europe.
Charter rates were, until recently, at uneconomic levels for Australian steel merchants. However, with the lower current rates one merchant has arranged a charter for 9,000 tons of steel to India in May.
When the normal world trade pattern is resumed it is anticipated that, as formerly, there will be an adequate shipping service to this area.
In the longer term, it has been announced by one shipping company that five new vessels will be placed on the Australia-India trade between 1958 and 1960.
– Can the Minister representing the Postmaster-General ascertain why the closing time for mails is not published in Tasmanian newspapers? In Launceston, the only indication at the post office of mail closing times is a handwritten cardboard notice, which is most inconspicuous and difficult to locate. Many people are complaining because of this very poor service.
– I shall be very pleased to obtain from my colleague, the Postmaster-General, the information for which the honorable senator has asked.
– I ask the Minister for National Development whether the figures in the “ Year-Book “, No. 41, 1955, at page 694, showing the average values of export coal in New South Wales and Great Britain, are correct? These figures disclose that in 1949 the selling price for coal at the pit head was 30s. 3d. a ton in New South Wales and 47s. lid. a ton in the United Kingdom, an advantage for New South Wales of 17s. 8d. a ton in world markets. Is the selling price of 61s. 2d. a ton in 1952, three years later, correct? In that year, the selling price in the United Kingdom was 57s. 3d., giving Great Britain an advantage of 3s. lid. a ton. Was the fluctuation of 21s. 7d. a ton in export prices, apparent from a comparison of the New South Wales and United Kingdom selling prices, responsible for the decline in the quantity of coal exported from Australia in 1953, the decline being from 385,812 tons for that year to 291,226 tons in 1954- a decrease of 94,586 tons? Did this arise from the increase of up to 500 per cent, in the profits of the colliery proprietors, provided by the Menzies Government in 1951?
– We must start with the assumption that the figures contained in the “ Year-Book “ are correct and accurate, and the next step is to construe and apply them in an efficient way. I am not familiar with the figures which the honorable senator has cited, but, as I have just said, some art must be exercised to interpret them in an intelligent way, and that is where the honorable senator falls down on the job. He regards these figures as having something to do with the loss or decline in Australia’s export trade in coal. The facts are that Great Britain and Australia are not competitors in the export trade in coal. Great Britain does not export coal, except in extraordinary circumstances, such as to meet particular needs in Europe. Australia is exporting coal to Japan. Korea and the Far East, but that coal is not competitive with British coal in that area. I do not think that a load of British coal has gone to Korea or Japan in 100 years. I think that the line from the Gilbert and Sullivan opera is appropriate - “ The birds that sing in the spring have nothing to do with the case “. The honorable senator’s question is like that.
– I think it was the flowers that bloom in the spring.
– My question relates to another case - that dealing with uniform taxation. Can the Attorney-General say when it is likely that the uniform tax case will be heard before the High Court of Australia? Has there been any alteration in the last announced decision that the two challengers are the States of Victoria and
New South Wales? Has there been any indication of intervention by any other States?
– Answering the Hast part of the question first, I have not been informed of any party to the litigation other than New South Wales, Victoria, and the Commonwealth. My latest information about the date of hearing is that it is anticipated it will be some time towards the end of April.
– My question is ^directed to the Minister representing the Treasurer or the Minister in charge of War Service Homes. In view of the fact that 75 applications were made for two vacancies in the building trade in Hobart recently, -which indicates there is available an abundance of labour, as there is an abundance of material available, will the Minister give Consideration to stepping up the available finance for war service homes for the purpose of catching up the lag in the long “waiting list for war service homes? If that could be done, it would honour a pledge given to ex-servicemen by all parties in the Parliament.
– I should be very ;glad, indeed, if it were within the Government’s capacity to increase the provision for war service homes. The Government sis doing the best it can; it has provided £30,000,000 this year, which is a very large sum by any standards, and with that provision, by and large, it is doing a very satisfactory job for the ex-servicemen.
– As it has been the intention of the Postmaster-General’s Department for some considerable time to extend and improve the facilities at the Port Lincoln post office, will the Minister representing the Postmaster-General ascertain the latest development in that matter? Apparently, the work has been held up for some time. I should like to know when it is the intention of the department to proceed with that work.
– I shall be pleased to bring the question to the notice of my colleague, the Postmaster-General, and obtain a considered reply.
– I desire to ask the Minister representing the Treasurer a question. About 1951, a great rise occurred in the price of wool, and I think it is no exaggeration to say that was followed by an orgy of speculation and spending.
– Is the honorable senator referring to coal?
– No; wool is white and coal is black. In 1951, a rise occurred in the price of wool and as a result, directly or indirectly, there was a great inflationary trend. As the same thing is likely to happen again, will the Treasurer keep a strict eye on the position and introduce counterinflationary measures so that such possible inflation may be controlled? When the Minister is replying would he mind telling us whether Gilbert and Sullivan had this Government in mind when they wrote -
A thing of shreds and patches, Of ballads, songs and snatches, And dreamy lullaby.
– I do not think I was very fortunate in my reference earlier to Gilbert and Sullivan; it had something to do with flowers, not birds. However, the honorable senator’s question is a good one. and by no means easy to answer. What he says, in effect, is that there was an upsurge in inflation in 1951 as a result of an increase in the price of wool, and because the price of wool has again risen there is a danger that that position will be repeated. I cannot answer the question in specific terms; I can only say that it is not the opinion of the Government that that will happen. In March of last year and subsequently in the budget, the Government took certain action which it believed would counteract that influence; and, indeed, the Government has just recently announced an increase in the level of imports, which is another ingredient in counter-inflationary measures.
– Has the attention of the Attorney-General been directed to p-tss reports of a meeting of union members that was held at the site of the St. Mary’s defence project to protest against alleged offensive activities and frivolous reports by Commonwealth peace officers stationed there? In particular, has the
Minister seen reports alleging that he had refused to attend a conference with union representatives to discuss the activities of the .peace officers? Will he inform the Senate whether there is any truth in the allegations that have been made against the peace officers and whether, in fact, he declined to attend a conference, as alleged?
– I have seen some newspaper reports about the matters mentioned by Senator Anderson. The reports are very biased, and completely false. Allegations were made some time ago by Mr. J. D. Kenny, acting secretary of the Trades and Labour Council in New South Wales, giving three instances of alleged malpractices by Commonwealth peace officers, which he requested to be investigated. A request was also made for a conference to take place with certain specified government officers in regard to the allegations. Investigations revealed that there was no substance at all in Mr. Kenny’s allegations. Two of the three instances mentioned by Mr. Kenny involved the removal of government property from the project. Proceedings were instituted against two men who, after due trial, were convicted. The third instance involved an allegation of assault by a Commonwealth peace officer. Investigations revealed that, apparently, an assault had taken place, but that it was committed, not by a Commonwealth peace officer, but by somebody else. I, personally, have never been asked to attend a conference although, when writing to Mr. Kenny, I indicated to him that I would be very pleased to investigate personally any suggestions that he had to offer concerning any matters that were worrying him. I have not yet had a reply from Mr. Kenny. There was one newspaper report to the effect that the Minister for Defence Production (Mr. Beale) and I had stated that the grievances - if there were any - should be taken to the Industrial Court. That is completely untrue. I shall summarize the position in this way: Neither Mr. Beale nor I was asked to attend a conference. We were asked to nominate Commonwealth officers to attend a conference in respect of three matters that were mentioned. On investigation, those three cases were found to be completely without foundation to justify a conference. Accordingly, a conference was refused. A suggestion was not made that the men should take their grievances to the Industrial Court. On the contrary, I invited Mr. Kenny tosubmit suggestions about matters in connexion with which he thought an investigation might create a better atmosphere. Up to date, I have received no reply from him.
– In the absence of the Minister for Civil Aviation, 1 desire to ask the Attorney-General a question. I shall preface it by stating that the period of active service of airline pilots usually ends when they attain 40 years of age. The nature of their duties involves responsibilities and risks comparable to those associated’ with very few other profession”!. They are obliged to spend much of their time away from their wives and families, and their expenses are high. The traditions of flying men are such that they consider their jobs and their passengers before personal factors. I know many of them personally to be men of moderate habits, without pretence in asserting themselves, despite their important position in the community. In view of the serious situation which has arisen, which involves 250 Qantas pilots in withdrawing their services from the company for one week commencing at midnight to-night, and in view of the magnificent service that has been rendered down the years by the commercial airline pilots of the Commonwealth, will the Minister call an immediate conference between the Air Pilots Association and the Qantas management for the purpose of conciliating in this very important issue as soon as possible?
– 1 am quite sure that not only my colleague, the Minister concerned, but also all honorable senators, who have had the opportunity of getting to know these pilots, share the very high opinion, in a general sense, that Senator O’Byrne has expressed concerning them. It is very unfortunate that this industrial dispute has arisen, but I do not know that canvassing or debating it here could be calculated to add to a speedy, just and equitable settlement. I have had discussions with my colleague on the matter. I know he has it well in hand; and we all trust, with the honorable senator, that a speedy, just and equitable settlement will soon result.
asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice -
– In view of the importance of the question, I asked officers of the department to give the matter some thought, and I now take advantage of this occasion to make a statement on behalf of the Government on the matter. The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as follows: -
The bureau publishes the result of its work locally and overseas in technical journals. It also publishes reports and currently has in an advanced stage of preparation an elaborate bulletin on the Carnarvon Basin, which it is hoped to publish shortly. The bureau acts as adviser and consultant in respect of geophysical work to all companies searching for oil. The bureau also assists the smaller companies with geological and other advice. It maintains a laboratory service which is used for example for reporting on core samples. It is hoped that it will be possible to improve and extend this service. The bureau has also put down three drill holes in the Kimberley Division of Western Australia to obtain geological information which will be of value to companies engaged in the search for oil.
The Government has also assisted by licensing the importation of drilling plants. In the last five years the Government has licensed the import of fourteen drilling rigs to be used in the search for oil. The cost of these rigs was approximately £4,250,000. Assistance is also accorded through income tax concessions. The broad objective is that neither the company nor its shareholders are subject to tax until profits have restored the full amount of investment in the enterprise.
A company or other taxpayer carrying on mining operations in Australia, Papua or New Guinea for the purpose of obtaining petroleum is not liable to pay any Australian tax on the income derived from those operations until the income exceeds the whole of the capital expenditure incurred by the taxpayer in prospecting or mining for petroleum and in plant necessary for the treatment of that petroleum. Dividends received by shareholders in an oil company are exempt from income tax if paid out of income non-taxable in the hands of the company. The exemption extends to dividends paid by a holding company out of exempt dividends which it has received from an operating company.
As for the recent events in the Middle East it is clear that they have re-emphasized the national importance of the search for oil. The international oil industry achieved good results in responding to the Suez crisis, and in fact supply to Australia was not interrupted at all despite the grave situation that arose. However it is obvious that if we had local sources of supply of oil they would be of immense advantage from the point of view of security of supply apart from the many other advantages that would accrue.
– I direct to the Minister representing the Minister for Trade a supplementary question, pursuant to the answer he gave me this morning. Is it a fact that the agents responsible for shipping steel to India were able to secure shipping space for one voyage only, which gave temporary relief but left the future position uncertain? Is the Minister aware that, because of this uncertainty of shipping space, and because of frequent refusals by the shipping companies to make space available for cargoes to India, certain Australian firms have decided to forgo any additional business with India, thereby losing millions of pounds worth of export opportunities and overseas credit? If the shipping companies consider charter rates too high, until such time as they have their new ships available - possibly in two or more years - would it be possible for the Government to charter a ship and make it available to the shipping companies? The Government may consider it advantageous to operate a ship at ordinary freight rates, rather than lose the present opportunities of expansion of trade with India and jeopardize the success of the trade mission which the Government has arranged.
– I do not know whether I understand the honorable senator’s question aright. I think the purport of her suggetsion is that the Government should charter a ship and then make it available to merchants at lower rates than the terms of the charter provide. Much thought would be needed before we ambarked on that means of gaining export business. I doubt whether those merchants would forgo business because of higher freights.I think that they are keen enough to go after trade if it is available. I know that we want export income badly, but a new door which would lead to many complications would be opened if we subsidized shipping freights in order to get export business.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice -
– The Minister for Labour and National Service has supplied the following replies: -
asked the Minister representing the Minister in charge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, upon notice -
– The Minister for External Affairs, who is in charge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial. Research Organization, has supplied the following information in reply to the honorable senator: -
asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice -
Will the Treasurer tabulate the figures showing the revenue collected in each State during each of the last three years: (a) from liquor, (b) from petrol, and (c) from sales tax?
– The Treasurer has supplied the following information in reply to the honorable senator’s questions: -
– by leave- On 10th April, I informed Senator Laught and Senator O’Byrne that I would take up with my colleague, the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Casey), who is in charge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, matters raised by them in connexion with experiments made by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in the field of miniraizing water evaporation. The Minister has informed me that the experimental programme of the Commonwealth Scientific -and Industrial Research Organization is not being delayed by difficulty in obtaining supplies of cetyl alcohol. It is possible that individual farmers and graziers may have -experienced difficulty in obtaining supplies due to the stocks of local distributors having been exhausted, but large quantities of the Chemical have been distributed through merchants, particularly in South Australia, and additional supplies are being obtained by importers.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization has instituted a scheme whereby licensed manufacturers and importers of cetyl alcohol of acceptable grade are authorized to endorse their product with the certification mark Si-Ro-Seal.
No doubt Australian manufacturers of chemicals will give consideration to the production of cetyl alcohol to the required specification if the demand justifies this step. Up till the present, material from only one manufacturer, who is situated in the United Kingdom, has been approved for the SiRoSeal certification mark.
When it became apparent that the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization would be in a position to recommend the use of cetyl alcohol for treatment of water storages, the organization got in touch with importers and distributors of this chemical who have shown commendable initiative in obtaining supplies with a minimum of delay.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization has given a great deal of publicity to the method of application of cetyl alcohol to small water storages up to two acres in area. Announcements have been made through the press and a leaflet entitled “ Saving Water in Dams “, giving full information about the method of application recommended, has been widely distributed.
The method recommended for application of the process to large reservoirs will be of interest primarily to public authorities, and the Commonwealth Scientific and I ndustrial Research Organization will be happy to have discussions with any authority interested.
The following bills were returned from the House of Representatives without amendment: -
Lighthouses Bill 1957.
Beer Excise Bill 1957.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing Orders suspended.
Bill (on motion by Senator O’Sullivan) read a first time.
– I move -
That the bill be now read a second time.
Honorable senators will recall that since 1950 the Commonwealth has made grants to the States for university purposes under legislation similar to that now before the Senate. The present bill seeks to make provision for continued Commonwealth assistance in this field for the years 1957 and 1958. Prior to 1950, the Commonwealth made grants to universities for research and paid substantial subsidies to meet the cost of training ex-servicemen under the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme. In 1950 a committee of inquiry into various aspects of university training and finance recommended certain principles for Commonwealth assistance to universities, . and these principles have been the basis of the various acts under which grants have been made since 1950.
The present bill follows these principles and is similar in form to the 1956 act. It does, however, provide grants for each of the two years 1957 and 1958. I have said that this legislation is based on principles recommended by a committee of inquiry in 1950. Honorable senators are aware that the Government has recently appointed a committee to inquire into the future of Australian universities. The committee will meet in July, August and September of this year under the chairmanship of Sir Keith Murray, chairman of the Universities Grants Committee in the United Kingdom. Among other matters, this committee will inquire into the financial needs of universities and appropriate means to provide for these needs. This may lead to the formulation of new principles for Commonwealth assistance to universities. Before any decision is reached, however, it will be necessary for the committee’s report to receive careful examination. Whatever may be the outcome of this committee’s investigation, it is considered desirable to assist universities in their planning by indicating to them now the extent of Commonwealth assistance available, not only for the current year but also for 1958.
If honorable senators examine the schedule to the bill, they will note that the maximum amount available, as shown in the fourth column, is £2,300,000 as against £2,000,000 in the 1956 act. This increase of £300,000 has been provided after a careful consideration of increased enrolments and costs of universities. As with the 1956 legislation, the maximum grant to be made available to each university was determined after examining enrolments, the relative costs of different faculties, and the special problems of smaller universities. Regard was also had to the capacity of the various universities to attract Commonwealth money, for, as the Senate will recall, Commonwealth grants are supplementary to university income from State grants and fees. An examination has been made of the amount universities are likely to attract under the proposed legislation, and from the evidence at ‘present available the best estimates of the maximum amounts which would be payable under this legislation are £2,250,000 for 1957 and £2,285,000 for 1958.
The amount provided for teaching and administrative costs of residential colleges has been increased from £44,000 in 1956 to £50,000 in the present bill, as shown in the fifth column of the schedule. This amount is included in the basic grant shown in the third column, but it is also shown separately to make clear the assistance provided for residential colleges. The second column shows the qualifying amount, that is, the income the university must receive from State grants and fees in order to receive the basic grant. Income from State grants and fees over and above this qualifying amount attracts additional Commonwealth money on the basis of £1 of Commonwealth money for every £3 of university income from State grants and fees. Apart from adjustments when the New South Wales University of Technology was established, and for increases in grants to residential colleges, there has been no change in the basic grant or the qualifying amount for any university.
In conclusion, I point out that the maximum amount provided by the Commonwealth for university purposes has progressively increased under successive legislation and the £2,300,000 proposed in this bill is more than double the amount of £1.103,000 provided under the 1951 legislation. I commend the bill to honorable senators.
Debate (on motion by Senator Kennelly) adjourned.
Debate resumed from 10th April (vide page 439), on motion by Senator Spooner -
That the bill be now read a second time.
– Unfortunately, there is no kind of bill with which the Parliament is more familiar than the one now under consideration. The loan for which provision is being made in the measure is the fifth of a series of similar loans that have been obtained from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the total sum being almost 318,000,000 dollars. In addition, in recent years we have had two loans from Swiss sources and one from a Canadian source.
The second-reading speech of the Minister for National Development (Senator Spooner) contains an adequate exposition of the formal details and purposes of the bill, and I do not intend, in the course of what I have to submit to the Senate, either to repeat or traverse them. I adopt and repeat all the arguments that I have addressed to the Senate down the years in relation to legislation of this kind. I believe that I have spoken on this subject on each occasion on which a bill for the borrowing of dollars from the International Bank has been under discussion in the Senate. As in the case of cognate measures in the past, the Opposition will vote against this measure.
– Yet, it voted in favour of the Loan (Qantas Empire Airways Limited) Bill.
– Yes, and I shall very clearly explain why. In the case of the Qantas loan, there was, first, a decision to obtain a particular kind of aircraft which could be obtained only from dollar sources. Secondly - and this is the vastly important point - it was made exceedingly clear to the Senate that Qantas Empire Airways Limited, which was importing the particular goods and for which the Commonwealth acted simply as agent in obtaining the loans, will be able to repay from its own resources. I highlighted that fact in the course of my remarks on the Loan (Qantas Empire Airways Limited) Bill. That brings me to a point which I shall emphasize during what I have to say to the Senate now, that is, that one of the difficulties is the lack of foreseeable provision for meeting the accumulating burden of principal and interest payments in relation to loans of this kind. That, in fact, forms one of the real bases of the objections which the Opposition offers.
Looked at as a programme by itself, there is no objection to the kind of programme that it is sought to promote. All the projects outlined in the programme attached to the second schedule to the loan agreement are worthy and necessary, but the Opposition questions both the need and the desirability of obtaining many of those goods from the dollar area. We concede at once that certain goods which are necessary for Australian industry and activity can come only from dollar sources; but we are not satisfied that all the goods which it is contemplated will be purchased with the proceeds of the loan cannot be obtained from sterling areas or areas other than the dollar area. I am happy to note that the Minister has said that import licences will not be issued against the loan if similar equipment is reasonably available from non-dollar sources. The Opposition sincerely hopes that that policy will be most rigorously followed and that, in relation to the specific goods involved, the most careful inquiry will be made not only as to whether the goods in question can be obtained abroad from non-dollar sources but also as to whether, with a little encouragement, they can be obtained in Australia.
We are very fortunate that, as recently as 3rd April, the Commonwealth Statistician has issued his statistics relating to Australia’s balance of payments. At page 11 of his report appears a table dealing with Australia’s balance of payments in the dollar area for 1954-55, 1955-56, and the first half of the current financial year. The figures are expressed in dollars, and I shall cite them in that way. I regret that I have not had sufficient time to translate them into Australian currency. From the viewpoint of Australia, they show a most adverse position in the dollar field. The current account for 1955-56 shows that Australia exported to the United States of America goods to the value of 149,000,000 dollars, but we imported from the United States and Canada 273,000,000 dollars’ worth of goods. That left an adverse balance of 124,000,000 dollars for the year. Taking into account one other relatively small item, the trade balance with the dollar area showed a deficit for the year of 115,000,000 dollars. Dealing with the invisible balance in the dollar area, Australia accumulated an additional deficit of 127,000,000 dollars. Again, taking into account another relatively insignificant item, these two figures brought the total dollar deficit on current account to 228,000,000 dollars for the year.
– Is the honorable senator dealing with two years or one?
– 1 am dealing with the financial year 1955-56, ending on 30th June, 1956. I regret if I have misled any one into thinking that I was dealing with two years. There are indications from the statement following these figures of how Australia met that deficit. First, there were public authority borrowings to the tune of 59,000,000 dollars. There was undistributed income, normally paid to dollar areas but retained in Australia, amounting to 41,000,000 dollars. There are other “’ identified transactions “ as they are described in the statement totalling 34,000,000 dollars. A balancing item of 8,000,000 dollars added makes the total 142,000,000 dollars, sufficient to reduce the overall deficit of 228,000,000 dollars to 86,000,000 dollars. That was finally met by drawing 90,000,000 dollars from the sterling areas reserves of dollars. There was another item which reduced that by 4,000,000 dollars to 86,000,000 dollars.
– What about Australia’s earnings in the dollar pool?
– I should like some information on that point. It raises, incidentally, one of the questions with which the Opposition is concerned. Australia drew just enough in hard cash to balance its budget for the year 1955-56, but as far as I know this Parliament has never been given a clear statement as to how the dollar pool operates, how its accounts are kept or what credits go to Australia in the pool, whether Australia, in fact, draws the amount, or somewhere near it, of its earnings in the dollar pool, or whether Australia is in deficit in that pool. I should be grateful, having regard to the honorable senator’s question, if the Minister were in a position to inform the Senate what is Australia’s position in the dollar pool in the sterling area. There has been an almost complete absence of information to the Senate. Frankly, I do not understand the principles governing the dollar pool operations, and on behalf of the Opposition I ask for enlightenment. There are all. kinds of suggestions that we are not given due credit for amounts that should go to Australia’s account. We have no idea how Australia stands. There may be an answer. I offer no opinion because I am completely in the dark owing to the absence of information upon which I can rely. I invite the Minister, in the course of this, debate, to say what is Australia’s position.
After examining Australia’s trading: operations during the first half of the present financial year, one must conclude that weare rather badly in deficit. At 31st December last, Australia had drawn only 6,000,000 dollars from the dollar pool, but the deficit was made up by selling: 56,000,000 dollars worth of gold to theUnited Kingdom. That means that Australia was actually exporting gold to buy dollars through the United Kingdom. That would indicate that our credit with the dollar pool has evaporated so that we are forced to act in the way I have described. Such a step should be taken only as a last resort .because the inference to be drawn> is that Australia is virtually bankrupt insofar as any claims it might want to make against the dollar pool held in the sterling area. 1 now wish to advert to the other transactions in the half-year ended last December. The trade balance in the dollar area was adverse to the tune of 43,000,000- dollars. The invisible balance was a deficit of 68,000,000 dollars, and other transactions brought the total deficit to> 92,000,000 dollars. This has been met by public authority borrowings of 15,000,000- dollars, undistributed income, 22,000,000 dollars, and omitting items of lesser consequence, by the sale of gold to the United Kingdom to the extent of 56,000,000 dollars. On the fact of it, this is a most gloomy picture. It leads to a consideration? of matters that are fundamental to the Opposition’s objection to this type of borrowing. It has gone on, now, for severalyears. Although there was an interregnum during which no principal payments were due under any of these dollar loans, the time is now with us when these capital commitments have to be met. But all the time the interest on the loans is running on. The present indications are that by about 1959 - that is a little more than twoyears from now - Australia will be obliged to pay something like 28,000.000 or 29,000,000 dollars a year in servicing these five debts.
– Does the honorable member suggest that Australia has not received value for the dollars it has borrowed?
– I will not embark upon that theme although it raises a point with which I should like to deal. 1 say to the honorable senator that I am not satisfied that the expenditure of the proceeds of the loan has resulted in an increase of the productivity dollar-earning production in Australia. I do not deny that it may have made some contribution, possibly a substantial contribution, to our productivity, but the important thing, from our viewpoint as a nation, is how far it has helped us in our dollar-earning capacity. I have very grave doubts that it has made any contribution of substance to that, particularly in the light of the figures I have cited on the trading and general position between Australia and the dollar area. As 1 have said, by 1959 Australia will be spending at least 28,000,000 dollars a year to service the five loans, including this one from the International Bank. In the light of history, it is pretty safe to say that we shall have borrowed more dollars from the dollar area, if not from the bank, in the intervening period. That amount of 28,000,000 dollars will steadily grow. If in the intervening two years we borrow another 100,000,000 dollars, the annual expenditure I have quoted of” some 28,000,000 dollars might very easily run to 38,000,000 dollars or 40,000,000 dollars in the course of a few years. Then we are going to be in the position, if this adverse trade balance persists, of borrowing money almost solely for the purpose of servicing previous loans in meeting previous interest commitments. Of course, I have only to state that proposition to affirm my next one, that that is the way to bankruptcy. There must be an end to that type of thing; it cannot go on for ever.
– With an expanding business?
– Yes. It simply cannot go on for ever. We will get to a position where we are borrowing each year the amount required to meet the principal and interest of prior loans.
– It all depends on what productivity is obtained from a previous loan.
– That is the very point I discussed with Senator Anderson.
– The honorable senator wants to go back to dollar earnings. The world market has to be considered.
– The immediate problem with the dollar area is the point I am discussing. I am not discussing the balance of payments position at the moment. We are concerned with the dollar area position, and one of the reasons we are objecting to this bill is because there is no assurance that the expenditure of the proceeds of this loan will enable Australia to increase productivity in a field that will increase our dollar earnings. That is one of the basic objections we have. No information as to that has been given by the Minister. It is not asserted on behalf of the Government that the development of the various projects outlined in the schedules of this bill will lead to increased dollar earnings. That is the great problem that faces us when we come to a consideration of this bill.
– Has the Leader of the Opposition noticed the trend of exports in that table to which he is referring?
– Yes; exports have increased, but not very substantially. From 1954-55 they increased from 142,000,000 dollars to 149,000,000 dollars. That is not a very big increase in the course of a year - 7,000,000 dollars.
– Will the Leader of the Opposition look at the first half of this year as compared with the first half of last year.
– The figure for the first half of this year is 89,000,000 dollars as against 73,000,000 dollars for the first half of last year. Of course, in looking at half of a year one may well, as the honorable senator knows, get a distorted view of the year, but the trend of the increase is there; there is no question of that. The trend of imports, too, is falling, but certainly not substantially. Imports fell from 295,000,000 dollars in the year 1954-55 to 273,000,000 dollars in 1955-56. From the second half of last year to the first half of this year they fell from. 140,000,000 dollars to 133.000.000 dollars. The trends are favorable, but I point out that they are not substantial. However, it is good to see a trend even if it is relatively insignificant.
– The public borrowings are not substantial.
– They are not substantial taking into consideration the overall position in Australia. They do not represent the greater proportion; I acknowledge that. Looked at from that aspect, they are not the great problem in our total balance of payments position. I am not loosing my perspective in relation to them. We are considering what I think will be conceded is a dollar loan. I do not think the Minister will argue that the proceeds of this loan are likely to be either sought or expended in currency other than dollars. I think I am quite safe in saying that. Every indication in the agreement is that that is the intention. The very bonds that have to he entered into express that intention most plainly; there is no doubt about that. What I am putting to the Senate at the moment is not the over-all balance of payments position in all currencies in Australia: I am looking at the position of Australia in the dollar area. In considering that, I necessarily ask the question: Could any of these goods be obtained elsewhere? The Minister has given us an assurance that that aspect will be looked into. I say to him that I hope that look will be an exceedingly thorough one because it is certain that other countries are equally proficient with the dollar area in the manufacture of certain things, the importation of which is contemplated under this measure. 1 suppose an outstanding instance is diesel locomotives. Continental countries are expert in the manufacture of such locomotives; perhaps, Germany leads the world in that particular field.
We get into the awkward position that having once committed ourselves to diesel locomotives from the dollar area, we are thereafter committed to continuing in the dollar area for spare parts and replacement parts. Once we are tied to the importation of a major item from a particular area there is an accumulating strain on dollar funds in order to keep the particular machine up-to-date. 1 think we had that experience with the type of heavy tractors that’ were brought in under lend-lease. They were American and thereafter, in order to keep them functioning, there had to be dollar expenditure for replacements and spare parts. That should be looked at when policy such as this is being determined.
– Why were they brought in from a dollar country under lend-lease? They could not be obtained from anywhere else.
– In the first place there was a war; in the next place, the United States was so much nearer; and in the third place, we were paying for the goods as we went along. As lend-lease operated, in its final wash-up, we provided, one might say, just as much for the American forces in the dollar areas as America supplied to us under lend-lease. We were in the happy position overall, one might say, of paying as we went along. That is a very different position from the situation created by this series of loans where we are borrowing more and more and as a result are becoming increasingly involved because of our obligation to repay the principal and pay interest on earlier loans.
– I should like to put the Leader of the Opposition on proof on his proposition in relation to lend-lease.
– I have made the statement and the honorable senator can investigate it. I remind him that at the end of the period it was found there was a small balance payable by America and that country agreed to make certain benefactions. It was a very small sum.
– It was about £8,000,000.
– America agreed to establish certain benefactions in this country with the proceeds. The amount was so small that, it did not ask for it back. I do not mind the honorable senator taking any steps to verify that position, but the point is that we finished near enough on balance. My colleague interjected that it was £8,000,000. Having regard to the magnitude of the transactions both ways, I have no hesitation in repeating that that was very near balance; and it justifies my comment that we were paying as we went. We were providing all kinds of services for the 1,000,000 American servicemen when they were in this area. We had a tremendous expenditure in the Pacific; we were supplying food to the American forces right throughout that area. If the honorable senator had been associated with the government in the federal sphere he would know that one of the major war expenditures was the servicing of the allied forces throughout the Pacific, more particularly with food, but also with equipment and stores of very many kinds. 1 am just putting to the Senate that that is a very different position from the one that we are now facing.
Now, I should like to direct attention to what is an allied matter. We adjust our balance with the dollar area by the investment of private capital and by borrowings. The two of those things, I suggest to the Senate, should be looked at together in order to determine their over-all effect on our economy. We find, when we examine the position of American investment in Australia - the investment of dollars - that it has grown enormously down recent years. Of course, in growing enormously, it has earned very substantial incomes, and those incomes, or a portion of them, are being remitted abroad. I think that the Senate might be surprised to learn of the growth of American dollar investment in this country in recent years. In 1950, it amounted to 201,000,000 dollars, and in 1951, it was 256,000,000 dollars.
– Remitted abroad?
– No. I am speaking of the dollar investments in Australia.
– In the form of undistributed profits?
– No, capital invested in Australian activities.
– What is the name of the publication from which the honorable senator is quoting?
– I am quoting from a publication entitled “The Business Situation”, dated August. 1956, which was issued by the United States Department of Commerce, Office of Business Economics. It is an official American publication, and gives a complete statement of the value of direct investments abroad, country by country, which runs into astronomical figures. Australia is down towards the end of the list and, despite what may appear to us to be the magnitude of the figures I am citing, in the over-all American picture they are completely insignificant. American investment in Australia in 1950 totalled 201,000,000 dollars; in 1951, 256,000,000 dollars; in 1952, it had grown to 310,000,000 dollars; in 1953, to 326,000.000 dollars; in 1954, to 393,000,000 dollars; and in 1955, to 494,000,000 dollars. That is a tremendous growth in a very short period of time. I am not denying that there are some advantages to Australia in the investment of those funds. When we look at their allocation, and their purpose in Australia, we find that, in 1955, almost half of the American capital invested here - 237,000,000 dollars out of 494,000,000 dollars - went into manufacturing; 25,000,000 dollars went into mining and smelting; and 26,000,000 into trade. A very substantial amount - it is not particularized - would have gone into the industry of petrol refining - probably the difference of 180,000,000 dollars that I have not accounted for, and which is not specified in the figures. Those figures are a very good measure of American investment in Australia and its earnings, and they are significant to us. Without going into detail, they have grown from 27,000,000 dollars in 1950 to 64,000,000 dollars in 1955. Not all of those dollars, very fortunately, were remitted by way of dividends. The majority of them were ploughed back into capital activities in Australia. They were treated as reserves, and invested in this country. I invite the Senate to consider that, had they been remitted to America, where the earning corporations are registered and exist, our adverse over-all position in relation to the dollar area would be very substantially worse than it is. I recall that 1 pointed out that trend to the Senate some considerable time ago, when speaking in another context, and I referred then to an article that had been written by Mr. C. Dawson.
– Has he an official status?
– I do not know, but he has made a most thoughtful contribution to the question of foreign investment and its influence on Australia’s balance of payments, which gives it its importance. The article was published in the “ Quarterly Review of Agricultural Economics “, which was issued by our Bureau of Agricultural Economics in April, 1956.
– That journal expressly states that all articles it publishes are the responsibility of the contributors.
– That is so. But I am expressing my own opinion when I say that it is a most valuable contribution to thought on this subject, and 1 should certainly advise any honorable senator who is interested in the question of our balance of payments to study it. The article is completely objective. It sets out five or six advantages of investment of that type, and it points to the disability. Of course, in a situation like this, one has to weigh one against the other. Mr. Dawson’s conclusions, from my point of view, are rather alarming. He states in the article -
Even more striking is the fact that the total income (including undistributed profits)-
That is what I am talking about - accruing to American companies in Australia rose, as a proportion of Australia’s dollar export income, from 10.8% in the three years ended June, 1950, to 42.6% in 1953-54.
That was a staggering increase.
– The honorable senator contends that the amount we pay for the money should be proportionate to the income that we earn from the dollar area?
– It is an excellent measuring-stick. Of course, it is the overall position that has to be determined. That is what is important. But here is a very effective measuring-stick, and I think it is pertinent to say that, whereas these commitments, actual or contingent, bore a proportion of only 10 per cent, to our export income over certain years, the proportion has now quadrupled. I think that that is a very relevant argument, and reveals a very startling position. I am not denying that we have to look at all the factors. I am merely picking one of many measuringsticks that can be selected. If any honorable senator feels that that position can be demonstrated by selecting any other element in the field and quoting percentages in relation to it, I shall be very much obliged to him if he will indicate that element. But I say that Mr. Dawson’s argument is legitimate. He goes on to say -
This rate of increase indicates that, within a few years, a decision by American companies to repatriate profits as dividends instead of ploughing them back could absorb the whole of Australia’s dollar income–
That is the threat - and force the imposition of even more drastic restrictions upon imports of developmental equipment for Australian rural industries and manufacturers.
That is the great danger. If we get to a position where the remittance of money to America means that we cannot import goods that are essential, that we have to cut down on those essential imports, whether they be replacement parts or new capital goods, it will have a very serious effect upon the level of our own national income, and there will be a very serious effect upon the level of employment in this country. That is the trend and the danger that disturbs the Opposition.
Let me read two other paragraphs from Mr. Dawson’s article. He says -
Australia’s recent experience is that the added stimulus of direct foreign investment is inflationary in an economic context, such us the present one. of pressure on key domestic resources, and that it may aggravate the imbalance in the pattern of investment.
One cannot argue against that. Bodies outside this country, which are interested in it in a business way cannot be blamed, of course, for picking the avenues which they think will yield them the highest revenue.’ That is all very well from their viewpoint; but it takes out of the hands of the Australian community the determination of the balance of investment in the country with the result that a complete disbalance could be caused by people being given a completely free rein in that matter. That argues for some selectivity and some consideration as to the points in our economy at which foreign investment is directed. We ought to be concerned to see that it does not go into an already overcrowded field. We ought to see that it is directed to sources that might be capable of earning dollars for this country. In my view, it is the height of unwisdom to allow foreign entrepreneurs to come to the country and to invest wherever they wish, regardless of the general effect upon our economy, and of the fact that they might be tying us to a dollar standard in a particular commodity or article so that thereafter we shall be forced to continue in that rut, seeking further capital goods, replacements, and that type of thing, from dollar sources.
The Opposition alleges that there is danger in that position, and that is what I argue. Any honorable senator who looks at the position must recognize that there is danger in the development of that position, just as there is a danger in the growth of income from sources that could swamp our export income. Dawson’s article concludes -
In the light of these considerations, Australia’s present and prospective balance-of-payments position would appear to call for a policy of critical selectivity in the admission of, and in the granting of assistance to, direct investment from overseas.
Now, I wish to advert to one other aspect. Fortunately, Australia can look outside itself to see the effect of foreign investment. I refer to Canada. There has been an inquiry in Canada into the effect of the investment of American dollars in that country, and I propose quoting first from the “ First National City Bank Monthly Letter”, for August, 1956, in which there are some most interesting paragraphs. In that publication, the writer refers to a report published in the spring by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. He says -
This report showed that of 12 billion dollars of foreign capital invested in Canada since 1900 nearly half came in the last decade; moreover, of the 5.4 billion dollar inflow in the latter period some 85 per cent, came from the United States. What startled Canadians was the extent to which foreign capital was found to have assumed a major role in the most dynamic parts of the economy - oil, mining, and manufacturing.
They are the particular areas where our present American investment is centred. The article continues -
As the Canadian “ Financial Post “ expressed its concern: “Most people have known that American participation in Canadian industry has been soaring since the war, but few have realized the extent of foreign domination. In 1926 Canada controlled 65 per cent, of its manufacturing; in 1953 it was 53 per cent.; to-day it may be no more than half. In 1926 Canada controlled 62 per cent, of its mining; in 1953 it was 43 per cent.; to-day it is probably lower still. Taking altogether petroleum (in all its phases), all mining and smelting and all other manufacturing, Canada in 1953 was just keeping ahead of the United States in its ownership of those aspects of Canadian business “.
– Does the honorable senator mean ownership by Canadian residents?
– The Canadian residents, through their Parliament, by proper legislation, could control the lot.
– They could. They could prohibit the export of all income, and so could we, as a matter of cold law; but, at the same time, the honorable senator must have regard to the international situa tion that might arise if any unilateral action of that type were taken. I do not think we should embark upon a consideration of what they could do. The difficulties that would arise if they acted in such a way would be terrific, but at least it does provoke the Senate into considering the danger that flows. The Government may have the power, but there would always be difficulty in exercising restraint in relation to either the return of capital or the flow of earnings from capital.
– They could impose adverse taxation on the inflowing capital.
– That is a way, but that, too, would have its repercussions if it were discriminatory. The matter is not easy. The point I am making is that the time to exercise care is at the time of entry, in seeing where it is directed.
– It is purely a matter of American private citizens buying big interests in another country.
– And with complete power of this Parliament to determine all matters in relation to foreign currency.
– If money is not wanted, they could just put up a bit of a cold wind and chill it off.
– We have needed the money; it has been helpful in Australia. I am simply pointing to the dangers we are building for the future; and I submit it is in complete argument to refer to what has happened in Canada.
– The dangers mentioned by the honorable senator could be counteracted, could they not?
– There are so many factors involved that I cannot answer “ Yes “ or “ No “ to that. One would want to consider all kinds of aspects.
– The United States of America got over the difficulties of excessive overseas investment 100 years ago.
– But when America was growing up, it was a very different world from the one we live in to-day, with all its financial and international complications. I am not denying that something could be done about it; the Opposition is directing attention to the dangerous drift because the danger is with us.
– Would it not be logical, if the honorable senator’s argument were expanded, to say that he would be opposed to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, to multilateral trade and payments to convertibility? Is not the whole modern trend of finance towards broadening financial transactions?
– 1 agree that it is; and it ought to be. I indicated earlier that I am not putting this dollar position out of perspective. I indicated that I am deliberately dealing with it in comparative isolation from the broad balance of payments position for the purpose of explaining why we oppose it, and the danger we see in the trends that are running. It is one of the arguments that we address against the bill.
– Could it not apply to sterling or any other currency in the same way?
– We are in the fortunate position at the moment that tha flow is our way. If the trend were in reverse and we had ample dollars, I would, no doubt, be addressing exactly similar arguments against the sterling area. The servicing of these loans is piling up a heavy burden for the future. I outlined to the Senate some little time ago that we expect, on the information available to us, that by 1959 we will be paying out 28,000,000 dollars a year in respect of these five loans.
– How many dollars will they be earning?
– lt is impossible to say, and on that point I am asking for information. I have asked the Minister to bc so good as to tell us what the Government’s expectation is. He cannot tell, any more than 1 can, what the loans will earn. How strong an assurance can the Minister give that the expenditure of these 50,000,000 dollars will enable Australia to increase its dollar-earning exports, or dollar earnings in any field? In actual fact, he did not attempt in his speech to give any assurance, and I doubt very much whether he can do so. I hope, with him, that dollar earnings do increase, but I should very much like him to pick out even one or two clear instances which show that the expenditure of these proceeds will enable dollars to be earned. I did not expect when I rose that I would talk at such length. Quite frankly, if I have been too long, honorable senators on the Government side must accept some responsibility for trying to help me.
– The honorable senator has had to use too many props to keep the argument erect.
– I will conclude by summarizing, in effect, our objections. I want to know how we are going to increase our exports. Surely, the Minister will concede that that is one of the first objectives, that the country must face in the light of the dollar problem.
– By exporting more cray fish tails!
– Yes, that would be a very useful addition to our exports. 1 invite the honorable senator to tell me, when he replies, of the Government’s hopes and expectations regarding an increase in our exports, not only to America, for it is very difficult to penetrate that country’s customs barriers, but also to any other dollar areas. What does the Government contemplate doing to widen the fields of export to dollar areas? What are the Government’s expectations in that matter? I have already posed the second question, incidentally. What are we doing to attract dollar-earning activities to Australia, and what are our prospects in that line? What are we doing to protect Australian industry? It is unquestionable that in many fields, some of which are named in the projects outlined in the bill, we can manufacture articles of the same type in Australia. We can make heavy earth-moving equipment and tractors. We do make tractors. Tt appears that they are dearer than the imported article, which may not be as suitable for a particular purpose as the Australian article. But, having regard to the dollar position, is it not worth while to give consideration to building up our Australian industries wherever we can do it?
– And scrap the Tariff Board?
– I am not suggesting that we scrap the Tariff Board. The Government does not always follow the board’s recommendations, although it does, pay great respect to them.
– Is the honorable senator suggesting that we break the provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade?
– 1 suggest that the Government should have a look at the position.
– The honorable senator knows the provisions of the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade on import restrictions.
– I know that there are escape clauses in it by which we are enabled to protect our balance of payments position. Surely, the honorable senator recalls that provision which is available to the Government. The argument that we 4re tied by the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade does not advert to the whole position at all. I invite him to tell us, after due consideration, how far the Government is both willing and able to go to protect Australian industry in such fields as 1 have indicated.
– How far can we protect it, pretending that it is for purposes connected with the balance of payments?
– I have not any such burglarious intent. That is not in my mind. We oppose the bill for reasons that 1 have given on many occasions in relation to similar measures in the Senate.
– We have listened to a most interesting speech by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna) in which he gave his reasons for opposing this measure. It would appear, from what he said, that the Opposition is opposed to any form of borrowing to increase productivity in Australia. For instance, he says that the value of dollars invested by America in Australia have increased in the last five years from £115,000,000 to £228,000,000. I would say that that was one of the best arguments that the Government has for going ahead with its developmental work and instilling faith in people outside Australia to invest their money in this country. The Leader of the Opposition forgets that for every £1 that we borrow outside Australia for the development of our farms, coal mines and steel industries, we create an income outside Australia. Recently, we had a discussion on coal. On the last four occasions we have borrowed money for the mechanization of our coal-fields. The dollars spent on that mechanization have lowered the “cost of coal production in the last two years by about 4s. a ton. As I said last night, recently I was down a coal mine, and I saw a Joy miner, imported from America. It is a push-button device that not only excavates a coal seam 7 feet high and 14 feet wide, but also actually loads the coal trucks as if is mined.
Sitting suspended from 12.45 to 2.15 p.m.
– When the sitting was suspended, I was replying to the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna). I remind honorable senators that the borrowing of money from the United States of America to mechanize some of the coalfields reduced the cost of coal produced in Australia during the past three years by about 4s. a ton. The machinery we imported from the United States of America, such as the Joy mining equipment, made the manhandling of coal unnecessary. Each unit of this equipment cost about £50,000. It was able to take a face through a coal seam 7 feet high and 14 feet wide without the aid of any human labour except for timbering and the pushing of buttons thai control the machine. That was one of the greatest advances that have been made in the coal-mining industry in Australia. This equipment is able to mine and load 10 tons of coal in five minutes merely on the pressing of a few buttons. The Leader of the Opposition indicated that we as Australians should not borrow dollars in his opinion. 1 suppose it is one of the principles of the Australian Labour party that we should not borrow at all from overseas.
– Hear, hear
– I remind Senator Aylett that supporters of this Government believe in encouraging capital to come to Australia, not only by way of borrowing through international loans, but also by the investment of capital, whether the investors live in the United States of America or Great Britain or elsewhere. We believe in developing Australia in that way.
– So do we.
– But the Labour party would not borrow a penny to encourage firms to come to Australia. The Caterpillar Tractor Company came to Australia because this Government borrowed money through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development to purchase Caterpillar equipment for the development of our road system. Because that machinery was bought with borrowed dollars, the company decided to erect, at a cost of some millions of pounds, a plant in Australia to manufacture its products here. Others have taken similar action.
Would the Caterpillar Tractor Company have come to Australia if we had not borrowed money in the first place to get the company’s machines for work in Australia? I say definitely that it would not have come to Australia. It would not have had the incentive. This Government believes in borrowing. Another large company, General Motors-Holden’s Limited, built a factory with outside capital so that it could produce that great Australian car, the Holden. If this Government had not encouraged the investment of that capital in Australia, the company would not have had any faith in the future of this country. It would not have been in Australia now if this Government had followed the policy of the Opposition on borrowing from overseas.
But for this Government there would not have been a General Motors-Holden’s Limited in Australia and we would not be manufacturing the Holden motor car. On four occasions the Opposition has opposed the borrowing of money from the United States of America. If it had its way, not one Holden motor car would have been manufactured in Australia for export, but because of the policy of this Government, Holdens are being manufactured and are being exported to New Zealand and SouthEast Asia in ever-increasing numbers.
The Leader of the Opposition said that American investments in Australia had increased from 200,000,000 dollars in 1950 to 494,000,000 in 1955. He said that that was bad for Australia. This Government is proud that it has been able to encourage the investment of American capital in Australia. But for these dollar loans, our agriculture would not be in the sound financial position it is in to-day. We have been able to buy equipment for the development of our farms, including pick-up balers, combines, forage harvesters, tractors and other harvester equipment. By the expenditure of 75,000,000 dollars, we have increased our agricultural production of wool alone by about 10 per cent. The “Year-Book” shows that in 1949 Australia produced 1,029,000,000 lb. of wool. This year we expect to produce 1,350,000,000 lb. of wool, of an added value of £143,000,000. That increase will be obtained largely as a result of the use of imported modern farming equipment, which could not have beer* brought into Australia unless we had obtained dollar loans.
Senator McKenna has said that by 1959” we will be forced to borrow approximately 50,000,000 dollars a year from the International Bank to meet our commitments. I wish to take him up on that point, because I believe that every penny which we borrow from outside sources for developmental works will increase our net income front exports and improve our overseas balances. Surely, if a bank lends us 50,000,000 dollars, it is not necessary for us to supply that bank with the goods which we produce. Wool, for example, is sold under the auction system, and the proceeds could be used to repay the bank. There is nothing to prevent an American company from coming to Australia and competing for our wool. As long as we are able to obtain the price that we want for our goods, we will allow anybody to come and purchase them. We would thank the Americans if they came here and bought our products. By borrowing money from overseas we are able to increase our earnings by a far greater amount than that which we borrowed. For example, if we borrow 50,000,000 dollars, as we propose to do. and have not to meet any commitments, other than interest, until July, 1959, surely by that time sufficient of the borrowed money will have been invested in Australia to enable us to meet interest and sinking fund charges from increased production.
– In dollars?
– In money. The various governments in the sterling area have a dollar pool, in which we share. All I am saying is that, if we borrow, say, £100,000,000 overseas for the development of agricultural pursuits and thereby are able to increase the value of our exports by £10,000,000 a year, it is good business for Australia. That is the very purpose of this loan.
Australia is a young country, which must be developed. We have not the necessary capital resources to develop it, and therefore we have to encourage the investment of overseas capital in Australia. Senator McKenna said that from 1950 to 1955 the investment of dollars in Australia rose by more than 100 per cent, from 200,000,000 to more than 494,000,000. That is a very good thing for Australia. Let us see how the money raised through the last four dollar loans has been expended. A sum of 20,000,000 dollars was spent on the modernization of our railways and the purchase of components for diesel-electric locomotives. At the end of the first year after the introduction of diesel-electric locomotives, the east-west line showed a credit balance for the first time. The introduction of those locomotives reduced haulage costs from 6s. 6d. a mile to approximately 3s. 4d. We note, too, that 45,000,000 dollars was spent on road construction.
The State Labour governments are only too eager, through the various main roads departments, to obtain tractors and roadmaking machinery which are becoming available following the borrowing of dollars. Australian road surfaces have improved considerably during the last five or six years. I know that in Western Australia - and I am sure that honorable senators from Victoria will be interested in this - road construction outside the metropolitan areas has increased greatly. In Western Australia in 1949, one could travel only about 400 or 500 miles on a constructed main road, but to-day one can travel almost 2,000 miles from Perth on a main road. That is due to the use of equipment which has been purchased, more recently by a Labour government, out of dollar funds. That kind of thing is happening in every State.
I note, too, that 35,000,000 dollars has been expended on modernizing our manufacturing industries, and 20,000,000 dollars on the forestry and mining industries. In Western Australia, members of the sawmilling industry have been able to purchase, with dollar funds, large tractors to take logs from the forests on to the roads and the big trucks that are needed to take them to the mills. In a Tasmanian papermill a device has been installed so that, after logs are dumped at the siding, they are not touched until they come out of the mill in the form of Burnie board and paper. Probably that equipment was purchased with dollar funds. I cannot understand the attitude of the Australian Labour party. I believe that, in the interests of the people of Australia, the Labour party, by and large, believes in automation, as we do. But how can automation be established in this country without dollars? The major source of supply of equipment is the United States, and if the workers are to have a little more leisure, dollars will have to be used to purchase equipment to bring in the era of automation that we are about to enter.
I could say a great deal more, but I do not want to deprive other honorable senators of the opportunity to make their contributions to the debate. However, I think I have convinced the Senate that this bill is a sound one, and should be agreed to. It would be a good thing if the Leader of the Opposition withdrew his opposition to it.
.- Before I address myself to the bill, I wish to correct some of the erroneous statements that have been made by Government senators, and I begin with the concluding remarks of Senator Scott. He said that dollar loans were needed to provide finance to purchase equipment for timber-getting. He referred to the big logs he had seen brought to the sawmills in Tasmania. I should like to inform the honorable senator that long before his party was the Government, and also before ever he became a member of this Senate, huge logs, such as he referred to, were being brought from the forests of Tasmania to the mills and handled just as efficiently as they are to-day, if not more so, and without American equipment. The honorable senator said, further, that dollar loans were necessary to encourage’ investment of American capital in Australia, and he suggested that if it had not been for American finance Holden cars would not have been manufactured in Australia.
– I said that there were no Holden cars when a Commonwealth Labour government was in office.
– To show how stupid and erroneous is that statement of Senator Scott, let me tell him that I travelled throughout Tasmania during the 1949 election campaign in a Holden car that had been manufactured in Australia before the Menzies Government was elected to office, and before Senator Scott was a member of the Senate. The honorable senator seems to be one of those who hold the theory that if you repeat a statement often enough, even though it be untrue, the people will believe it. Before 1949, when the present Government was in Opposition, and also during the 1949 election campaign, advertisements appeared in many newspapers signed “ Robert G. Menzies “ - he was not Prime Minister then - promising young couples that if they elected the Liberal party to office they would be able to obtain homes. That advertisement and similar statements were repeated again and again, and the people believed them.
The Minister for National Development (Senator Spooner), in his second-reading speech, said -
Import licences valued at almost 45,000,000 dollars have been issued for tractors and road construction equipment and for trucks and components for the manufacture of trucks in Australia.
Before any dollar loans were obtained from America, road work was going on just as efficiently and more economically than it is to-day. It did not cost nearly as much to put down a mile of road before this Government came into office in 1949, with the tractors, trucks and road-making equipment then being used. Why should the Government borrow dollars to buy equipment from America to displace machinery that was doing the job more economically in those days? These are plain facts that the Government cannot escape. It is of no use for the Government to argue that, it is not borrowing dollars to buy American machinery, because the Minister and his supporters have clearly stated why the loans are being negotiated. The Minister further said -
Expenditure on long-range aircraft and spares, both for our international and our domestic air services, has accounted for 35,000,000 dollars, and almost 30,000,000 dollars have been provided for plant for electric power production. 1 will concede that point, because I will not say that the things mentioned could have been bought elsewhere. However, I wish to comment on the next statement of the Minister -
The forestry and mining industries have been allotted ‘ almost 20,000,000 dollars . . .
I want to know whether this money will be spent to re-open the saw-mills that have been closed down because of the unbalanced economy of the country. Will the expenditure of that money re-employ the thousands of workers who have been dismissed from the mills that have been thrown out of production? Or will these borrowed dollars be used by the Minister for Trade (Mr. McEwen) or some other representative of the Government to go abroad to find markets for the timber that is already stacked in Australia waiting to be sold? Why does the Government want to borrow dollars to spend in the forestry industry if it is not for equipment to be used to get timber out of the forests more efficiently?
– We could not sell coal until we bought equipment to mechanize the coal mines.
– I will deal with coal later. I remind Senator Henty that until his party became the Government, timber was being produced much more cheaply than it is to-day. Australia was then able to compete in other markets, and sell its timber on an economic basis.
– There was not a quarter of the production then.
– It does not matter what the production was; at least, we could dispose of the timber produced. Production was increased, and the economy of the country was stabilized as the 1,250,000 workers were brought back from the manufacture of war materials to engage in the production of goods and services for civil life. I remind the honorable senator that since his Government has been in office the price of timber has been continually rising, and I am certain that the expenditure of dollars in the industry will not halt the increase or lower the price. If the Government intended to borrow this money to bring the economy back to a stable basis, we could understand its action.
Following the interjection of the honorable senator, I will say a word on mining because it brings me back to another of the fairy stories told by Senator Scott. He spoke about the loaders he saw during a recent visit to the coal-fields. Back in the war years - and that is not yesterday - modern equipment such as that was operating in the shale mines, loading as much in five minutes as could any equipment seen by
Senator Scott. It was provided by a Labour government and not on borrowed dollars, lt was the latest equipment that could be found anywhere in the world for dealing with shale.
– It was obtained under lend-lease.
– The government of that day acquired it without borrowing dollars as this Government is doing.
– Under lend-lease.
– What is wrong with that? An agreement was arrived at by statesmen who did not mortgage this country’s balances as they are being mortgaged to-day. If we had statesmen at the helm to-day probably we could negotiate such an agreement. What was wrong with lendlease?
– Of course, there was nothing wrong with it. It was instituted on a basis that made the Australian economy the most stable of any country. That cannot be done by borrowing dollars. Had it not been for lend-lease, and the way it was negotiated, shall we say by the statesmen of that day, our economy would not have been as stable as it was. We would have had to go on a heresy hunt, just as this Government has gone all round the world mortgaging Australia’s good name and prestige borrowing 1,000,000 dollars here and another 1,000,000 dollars there. This Government even borrowed 5,000,000 dollars in Switzerland. If such borrowing would stabilize our economy we could forgive the Government and support it. But Labour adopted the policy of lend-lease, at which honorable senators opposite are jibing, and finished up with everything balanced out. That was all we did; but it is a much different thing to mortgage the unborn children of this country who will have to bear the interest burden on the dollar loans that are being entered into for years to come.
Going a little farther we find that the loan is to be used for agricultural production. What has stepped up our agricultural production in the past? What will dollar loans do for agricultural production that we have not been able to do before? Our agricultural production was on a far more stable economic basis and our country was on a far more stable economic basis prior to dollar loans being entered into. I admit that we received some American machinery, but we did not need to borrow dollars to get it, because we had statesmen at the helm who could, through the dollar pool and our trade balances, allocate sufficient to import the machinery required for the economy of this country. That is not being done to-day. I have never heard a greater insult to the tradesmen or manufacturers of Great Britain and Australia than the statement that machinery cannot be obtained from those countries. Where is the farmer to-day who says that he cannot work his farm with a Britishmade or Australian-made tractor? He cannot be found because our farmers are patriotic enough to know that they do not need to go outside Australia to buy equipment for the purpose of producing their crops. The farmers know perfectly well that during the war years, in a life and death struggle, they could produce quite adequately with equipment manufactured in England or for that matter, in Australia. Our economy at that time was more stable than it has ever been since. The more dollars the Government borrows the more unstable our economy becomes.
Let me deal now with another erroneous statement made by Senator Scott. He tried to draw an analogy with the increase in the production of wool. Of course, there has been a slight increase in the production of wool, but were Senator Scott to go back a few years and study the seasonal conditions of Australia he would find that the number of sheep in Australia declined by millions in one year. Australia’s wool production went right down, but it gradually increased again. That increase was not brought about by borrowed dollars or imported tractors from America, but because of improved seasonal conditions. The sheep died because of drought, but naturally in the course of a few good seasons the numbers built up again. Australia as a whole has had a run of good seasons in latter years. While good seasons continue wool production will continue to increase and while the price remains high sufficient people will continue to produce wool. If Senator Scott wants to know what is playing a major part in the production of wool and is increasing the sheep-carrying capacity per acre, it is the spread of myxomatosis in rabbits. We did not have to borrow millions of dollars to spread that disease; but that action has done more to increase the production of wool than all the tractors that have been brought into Australia under dollar loans raised by this Government.
– The honorable senator’s party did not spread myxomatosis.
– All I can say is that if we are to hear many more speeches like that which we heard to-day from Senator Scott, it is a pity that myxomatosis has not been spread in this Senate. The borrowing of dollars is not as essential today as the Government contends. Both the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator O’sullivan) and Senator Scott -hailed as a great achievement the amount the Government has been able to borrow in dollars - 317,000,000 dollars or 318,000,000 dollars. Both those honorable senators held up their hands as if it were a great achievement when they were emphasizing the point. The more dollars the Government borrows the less it will achieve in the interests of Australia. Senator Scott said that because of the large amount we have borrowed in dollars our prestige was never higher overseas than it is to-day.
– The reason we can borrow dollars is that our prestige is high.
– Our prestige was -never lower overseas than it was in 1 929-30. Just prior to that, this country had borrowed and borrowed until it could not borrow another penny overseas. That is how good -our prestige was at that time. At the rate we are borrowing dollars to-day we are heading for exactly the same fate as befell the Bruce-Page Government during the I920’s. That government acted in the same way as this Government is acting. Exactly the same thing is happening to-day. lt is not the borrowing of dollars, but the stable -economy of Australia that builds up our -prestige overseas. The more this Government borrows overseas the more it will lower the prestige of this country, because it is a fact, well known to most honorable -senators opposite if not to Senator Scott, that during the war we did not borrow overseas at all to help us in the prosecution of the war. Even during the period from 1945 to 1949, when the Labour Government faced the task of re-establishing in produc tive employment about 1,500,000 persons, it did not borrow a penny-piece overseas. Despite that fact, Australia’s economy in 1949 was as sound as any in the world. We were exporting millions of pounds worth of goods more than we imported, and out overseas credit balance was higher than it had ever previously been. Ever since the present Government came to office and commenced borrowing dollars from America, our overseas balances have been dwindling.
No better evidence of what the borrowing of dollars overseas can do to our economy can be obtained than by comparing the value of our exports and overseas credit balance to-day with the position in 1949. The Chifley Labour Government did not need to mortgage Australia to the almighty dollar in order to bring about prosperous conditions, because the members of that Government were statesmen who had the interests of Australia at heart. They had no time for the profit motive. Those who own money, or think they own it. whether they be in Australia or any other country, always look for increased profits. If the leaders of the present Government can see an opportunity to increase profits for their friends by borrowing dollars from America, and bringing the mass of the workers of this country to their knees - as> a previous anti-Labour government did - they have no hesitation in borrowing overseas.
I, personally, am opposed to any form of overseas borrowing, because experience has shown that it is possible for us to maintain a stable economy by good management. On the. other hand, it is quite wrong of honorable senators opposite to say thai Labour has not encouraged the investment of overseas capital in Australia. It is vastly different for English or American manufacturers to establish industries in Australia with their own capital, from the Government saying, in effect, to overseas manufacturers, “ If you will come to Australia, wc will lend you money that we have borrowed overseas in order to enable you to become established “. The Labour government wai, able to place in productive employment every immigrant who came to this country. Unlike the present Government, Labour did not practically give way the people’s assets. During the post-war years, many industries were established throughout Australia, and there was practically no unemployment. Indeed, there was a great shortage of manpower. But what do we find to-day? The economy has gone haywire, and many factories, including saw-mills, are closing down. Unemployment is growing. Do supporters of the Government seriously believe that the proposed dollar loan will stop the drift? If they could show that the present position might be corrected by the dollar loan, we might consider it more favorably. But as matters stand, the Opposition is not favorably disposed towards the proposal.
.- Despite the importance of the measure before the chamber, I shall not speak at length. I hope that I shall be forgiven for abstaining from referring to Senator Aylett’s remarks and directing my attention to the observations that were made by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna). I cannot but express myself as deeply disappointed with the case that was presented by Senator McKenna, at a time when this country’s expansion is exciting. We need both capital and people, and we need judgment and intelligence by which that capital can be so utilized as to improve the standard of living of our people and strengthen the economy of our country.
The .Leader of the Opposition said that the proposal to borrow 50,000,000 dollars from America at an interest rate of 4) per cent, for a period aggregating some fifteen years was inflationary. Just imagine such a loan being inflationary! Of course, if the money were filtered through certain wasteful mechanisms that are operating in this country, it would become inflationary. Nevertheless, we need capital in greater and greater supplies than we can get. Senator McKenna also said that if we went on borrowing like this, we would be heading for bankruptcy. I do not really think that the honorable senator meant that the loan would be inflationary. He also said that it took about 28,000,000 dollars a year to service our present dollar loans. That is equivalent to about £14,000,000, which is only an insignificant proportion of our national income. I ask Senator McKenna to put to himself a hypothetical case in which he was responsible for bringing to Australia a multidepartmental business to undertake repairs and retail sales, and needed finance for the various departments. I think he would not dispute the proposition that it might be good business for that undertaking to raise money at interest rates of from 7 per cent, to 8 per cent. How, then, can it bankrupt the national economy if the public exchequer of this country borrows money at 4) per cent, and makes it available to expand industry, promote agriculture, and develop our road and rail services? Seeing that this money comes into the country at 4f per cent, and is retailed to the primary producers at Si per cent., and that the sum of £20,000,000 was recently called up for special account - I do not imagine that much of this 50,000,000 dollars is to go through trading banks to their customers - I should like to know how it is that when the farmer buys his agricultural machinery, and when other persons buy their supplies, the money with which they finance their purchases is charged to them at the rate of 7 per cent, or 8 per cent., or, if they buy on hire purchase, something like 15 per cent.
Senator McKenna suggested that we are in a dreadful position, that our balance in dollars is deteriorating. Does he really balance the petty cash in each pocket of his vestments each night? If, by borrowing on the dollar account, we can expand our profit on the sterling account handsomely, if we have credit in the dollar area which allows us to borrow on profit and at the same time expand in the sterling area, surely we will do that. . If, by borrowing dollars we can promote our trade in any quarter so as to improve the prosperity of the people, then surely we will.
The last matter to which I wish to address myself, and this time with determined brevity, is the aspect of our economy which this finance is promoting. I notice that agriculture and forestry are to benefit to the extent of 17,000,000 dollars, road transport is to receive almost 13,000,000 dollars, rail transport 4,000,000 dollars and industrial development 16,000,000 dollars. Let me abstain from criticism of that dissection on the ground that there is any disequilibrium in it as between the various sections. Each one of those sections of our economy is in urgent need of strengthening by capital supplies and by people who are willing and anxious to supply the energy to utilize those capital supplies to improve productivity
The only regret I have with regard to the money available to the agricultural sector is that the opportunity is not taken to supply the special needs of Australian agriculture. I refer to assured long-term finance. When I find this loan providing for repayment by gradual amounts, with a sinking fund, over fifteen years, my criticism is that the period is too short. I should like to see this loan on an irredeemable basis, if our American credit will enable us to borrow dollars on that basis, so that we can feel that this capital has been transferred to us permanently. If the agriculturists in this country did not then say, “ Give us bags of it and we will put it into the farms and yield an income of 20 per cent. on this money which is borrowed at43/4 per cent.”, then all I can say is that the Australian farmer has lost his spirit. I put before the Government for serious consideration the suggestion that we take the opportunity of this external borrowing to create a revolving fund so that once borrowed and expended the money is not exhausted, or repaid within a comparatively short period. I suggest that we borrow on such long terms that the money can be used several times before the date of redemption comes round.
Question put -
That the bill be now read a second time.
The Senate divided. (The President - Senator the Hon. A. M. McMuIlin.)
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.
Debate resumed (vide page 454).
– The Opposition raises no objection to this bill. No doubt, in the course of the discussion, Opposition senators may raise certain matters dealing with the finances of the universities as a whole. The main purpose of the bill is to provide for a further Commonwealth contribution to the finances of the universities in the various States. The bill, as the Attorney-General (Senator O’Sullivan) has explained, is similar to bills which have been introduced annually since 1951 to assist universities, although in this instance the money to be provided will cover a two-year period, whereas the previous bills related to finance for only one year.
The grant to be made under this bill will amount to about half the total administrative costs of the universities. The remainder of the money needed is received, of course, from State grants, students’ fees and donations from well-wishers. I am informed that students’ fees have been increased threefold since the year after the war. I understand that in the faculty of arts in 1945 or 1946 the fee was about seven guineas a term, and it is now about £22.
The total amount to be disbursed under this bill will be approximately £4,500,000. As I said, it is to be spread over a period of two years. The amount that was disbursed under the 1951 bill, which related to one year, was £1,100,000. Prior to 1951, money was given by the Commonwealth to universities under the post-war Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme. The Attorney-General, in his second-reading speech, referred to a special committee that has been appointed by the Government to investigate the future structure and organization of Australian universities. In view of the importance of universities in the normal life of the Australian community, that is an excellent move. As a result of the findings of such a committee, of course, the Commonwealth may have to provide extra money. The States find it extremely difficult, not only in this sphere but in all other spheres, to find the money that is necessary to do all that they desire to do, but that matter comes within the ambit of State and Federal financial relations. That is why one always hears in the various States a great clamour for money from Canberra.
I believe that the nation must play a much bigger part in the field of university education than it has played in the past. The Commonwealth cannot leave to the States the cost of construction of buildings and the major part of the running costs, if the universities are to be kept at the level at which we desire them to remain. The centenary of the Melbourne University was observed recently and a public fund was opened to finance the construction of certain buildings that were absolutely necessary. The State came to the aid of the university with a grant of £500,000, and members of the public, to their credit, contributed a like sum. This shows that we have to rely on well-wishers - and I would be the last to take any credit away from them - for the erection of sufficient buildings to enable our more brilliant young people to receive university education, but it would be much better if the system were placed on a more stable foundation.
One aspect that worries me is the lack of space in universities, particularly in the University of Melbourne. Prior to 1954, a quota system operated in the Faculty of Medicine in that university, but that quota system has since been dispensed with. However, there has been a remarkable rise in the number of students who have been failed in the first year. I am not casting any aspersions on the persons who conduct the examinations, but the position is clear that there is not enough space in the second and following years for large numbers of students. The quota system has certainly been abandoned, and I do not think that I am unfair when I say that the university authorities have found another means - by making the examinations so stiff - to get only the number that they want and can accommodate in the second year. In Tasmania, there is no medical faculty at all and I expect that Tasmanian students go to other States to study medicine. In Western Australia, medical students can take the first year, which is more or less only a preliminary to the medical course, and can do the last year of the course. That shows that throughout the universities in Australia, there is a great deficiency.
Most honorable senators must be concerned with the lack of faculties in technology in the States. I believe there is only one and that is in New South Wales. Not long ago, I attended a lecture tha; was given by the principal of the Melbourne Technical College. He expressed grave concern at the relatively small number of graduates in physics and science and engineering. He said that, in proportion to population, we show up badly compared with the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
I shall not take up the time of the Senate on a measure which has the support of both sides of the chamber, but it is interesting to note that in the “ Canberra Times “ of 9th June, 1956, Professor Oliphant stated that Russia was ahead in atomic research. A report in the “ Canberra Times “ of 30th April, 1956, stated that the retiring president of the Institution of Engineers had directed attention to the great lack of graduates in the faculties I have mentioned. All of us must feel some concern about that shortage in an age when we are approaching automation and when atomic energy must play an important part in the advancement of Australia and other nations. I do not want to enter upon a general discourse on the expenditure in developing atomic energy, but I often think that mankind would be better served if the nations could agree to spend a good proportion of the money they are expending on useful work instead of seeking new means of destruction.
I hope that as a result of the work of the committee appointed by the Government, for which I give.it credit, more young persons will be interested in education. The principal of the Melbourne Technical College, to whom I have referred, commented that remuneration was higher in other professions. If we want graduates in engineering, physics and sciences generally, we must place them on an equal footing financially with others. We are having difficulty in selling our primary products overseas and we may have to direct our attention more to secondary production. If we do thai, it might not be necessary for us to debate bills such as the one which has just passed through the Senate, but instead we will use our own brains and physical effort in Australian production.
One section of the Colombo plan about which I have no quarrel is that which provides for the education of Asian students at Australian universities. I believe in it firmly. We hear too much about communism in this chamber, but I believe that if we are to stop its growth, we must improve the standard of living of the people. By educating Asian students in Australia, we shall enable them to help lift their people to Western standards. Japan rose quickly under Western influence and became possibly the greatest manufacturing country in Asia. We must help the people of Asia and become friendly with them so that if the worst should happen, we shall have the satisfaction of knowing that at least we helped them.
I have before me the last available figures on the amounts received by universities in Australia. These figures relate to 1954, the last year for which statistics are available. They show that £7,500,000 was received from the Commonwealth Government and the State governments, from students’ fees and from endowments. Capital income was £1,500,000.
When the findings of this committee are considered, I hope that the Commonwealth Government will play a larger part in university education because I should like to see all the Australian universities handed over by the States to the Commonwealth. I say that, not with any desire that the Commonwealth should take more power to itself, but because I know that as this Parliament controls Commonwealth funds, we could at least provide that there would not be one State university without a faculty of medicine. As it is now. we have only one University of Technology in the whole of Australia.
.- I believe that a bill of this kind excites a good deal of enthusiasm in all honorable senators. The Government can be justly proud of having pursued, since 1951, a consistent policy of making available to States grants of money for the special purpose of assisting the work of the universities. Reflection upon the contribution to development by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization as an indication of what science, as one aspect of university learning, can contribute to the peaceful needs of the nation, and upon the work of the universities in the active winning of the last war, would convince any one of the importance of maintaining the work of the universities at a proper tempo, of providing for their constitution and staffing, and of providing opportunities for the population to learn at a proper standard so that the universities will not fail in their purpose.
In this connexion, I was interested when I read the report that was submitted by the grants committee of the University of New England in 1947. The chancellor of the university, on the occasion of the reinstitution of quinquennial grants, paid a glowing tribute to the work of the men of the universities in winning the war. One’s mind is taken back to certain chapters in Churchill’s history of the last war, in which he refers to the wizardry of armaments, and to a few references in such books as “ Enemy Coast Ahead “, which was written by the celebrated Guy Gibson, V.C. All such references stir the soul.
I am proud of the fact that the Government recognizes the purpose of the university, but not merely, I hope, from the viewpoint of its technological contribution, although that is very great. I have in mind also - and I am humbly -aware of all the limitations that are quite discernible to my colleagues in this chamber - the little bit of mental freedom that I obtained from literature to which I had access in four alltoobrief years at a university. The uplift that comes to the soul from a mere knowledge of the existence of any of the humanities is a tremendous help in relieving one of the sordid discontent that arises from modern economic ideologies.
The Government announced recently that it thought the time was opportune to constitute a special university committee of inquiry. The chairman is a no less distinguished person than Sir Keith Murray, who is chairman of the University Grants Committee in Great Britain. Associated with him will be Sir Charles Morris, ViceChancellor of the Leeds University, and distinguished Australian scholars. I think it would be a stimulus to read to the Senate the purpose of the inquiry. The committee will inquire into such matters as the role of the university in the Australian community, the extension and co-ordination of university facilities, technological education at university level, and the financial needs of universities and appropriate means of providing for those funds.
Wc realize that the Commonwealth has no direct constitutional responsibility for education or even for this aspect of it. Reference has been made from time to time of the lack of constitutional power in relation to the establishment of the Commonwealth Scientific and industrial Research Organization. But it is necessary to recognize the role of the university in the community, and this Government has captured the idea and has ensured that that role will not fail because of lack of finance. When one examines the bill and sees how the finances are to be distributed to the universities, one sees that care is taken to provide that the States shall receive money almost on the basis that is mentioned in the scriptural parable about the talents. I think it is most appropriate that the money that is to be made available to them from the Commonwealth exchequer should, to some degree, be proportionate to the amount that will be made available from their, own exchequers. That principal appeals to me very strongly. The other conditions that are laid down in no way infringe the sphere of operation which, in enlightened countries, is usually accorded to a proper freedom - and I emphasize the word “proper” - of university government.
This is probably the last measure of this kind that we as a Parliament will discuss before the committee of inquiry meets. X should have thought that it would have been very appropriate for the Parliament to have devoted a day and a half to a detailed discussion of problems that are of immediate concern to the Australian community, so that the committee of inquiry might have been helped when it met during the winter months. However, as I do not wish to engage in a survey of that kind now, I pass to two other matters that are germane to the bill as it is considered by the Senate in this month’ of April, 1957. The first is the need for special assistance to be given to some of the smaller universities. I have in mind particularly the University of Tasmania, which has not the necessary funds to establish the very essential faculties of medicine and agriculture. That university serves a small population. The moneys that have been made available to it have increased greatly since 1944, and particularly since 1951 when the Commonwealth assisted it. Perhaps the University of Tasmania can be said to have been established on a permanent basis only since 1944, because so exiguous were the financial supplies to it that in 1925 and 1930 debates took place in the Parliament of Tasmania as to the ability of the State to continue the university as such. It has not yet been found possible to establish faculties of medicine and agriculture in that university.
Having regard to a remark that I read in one of the mainland newspapers within the last ten days, I may be pardoned, I hope, for reminding the Senate that in the Faculty of Economics the University of Tasmania has played a leading role in Australian university life. From it have come such men as Professors Brigden, Copland, Giblin, Hytten and others. To-day, when the Commonwealth is spending so much on medicine in other aspects than university instruction, a small percentage of that money, devoted to the creation of a decentralized centre of learning in Hobart to teach medicine, would be an advancement of which in future years we could be proud, and a contribution of value to education in medicine from an Australian point of view. The establishment of a faculty of agriculture would be a great move forward, also.
I pass from that to another item which has excited attention in recent weeks - that is, legislation in the State of Queensland with regard to university government. There are those who maintain the principle of what they call academic freedom, and push it to the extent that they say that the scholars at the university should have unqualified lay control of the finance and government of the university. They get the idea, as I understand it, from the ecclesiastical origins of the two great universities of Cambridge and Oxford, but no university in Australia can aspire to that position, having regard to the extent to which all universities here are dependent on State finance. But there has been maintained up to the present - fortunately, effectively - a consistent school of thought that denies to the State as a State a degree of interference with uni versity government that may be calculated to discourage scholarship for scholarship’s sake, and to interfere with conditions on grounds other than those associated with the merits of learning - grounds that appeal to the peddling politician of the day.
When a measure such as that now before the Queensland Parliament is being considered, it becomes this Senate to strike a note of apprehension because there is registered, as a deliberate attempt on the part of the government of the State to gain undue interference with the university government. I am indebted to one of my Queensland colleagues for the opportunity of perusing the Queensland bill to-day. That measure provides that if, in relation to an academic post, an applicant has been unsuccessful because of the decision of the governing body of the university - on which, nl ready, the government has such a preponderating voice, I think some fourteen members in a Senate of 27 who are appointed by the executive government of the day - the academic applicant will have the opportunity to state his case before a new body to be created by this measure, 1 board of appeal. That proposition should he rejected completely on two grounds by anybody who is jealous for the proper freedom of university government. The first is that the legislation enables the government o set up an ad hoc tribunal - one which is constituted to deal with that case. Everybody’s sense of justice will rebel against a n tribunal set up by politicians to deal with particular cases.
– But that is industrial practice, is it not?
Senator WRIGHT__ Certainly not. One thing that can be said to the credit of the arbitration and conciliation system of the Commonwealth is that the commissioners and judges are appointed in line with the traditions that stem from the British judiciary, namely, independence of tenure. If T. have a dispute, or if a person so unlike me as Senator Willesee has a dispute, me members of this tribunal are as free and independent as God’s sun, which shines on the just and the unjust alike, to deal with ri. But a university tribunal such as is proposed in the Queensland bill is a negation of that fundamental principle. This board of appeal is to consist of a chairman whowill be appointed by the executive government of Queensland, a second member will be a representative of the disappointed applicant - his nominee or a representative of his union, if he is a member of an industrial union. The third member will be a nominee of the body governing the university against whose decision the applicant is appealing. A mere recital of this proposal - to use an ingenious, incisive phrase, is a satire on government.
– On other occasions when bills of this nature have come before the Senate, I have adverted to the general principles implicit in them and have expressed my views from time lo time on the development of our university system and the growth and significance of universities in our national life. I think the adoption by the Commonwealth of the principle of financial assistance being given to State universities1 from Commonwealth funds is, on the part of the central- government, a recognition of what I call the growing significance of the part universities are playing, and must necessarily play at an increasing tempo, in the development and progress of our country.
I did not intend on this occasion, in the dying hours of this sessional period, to canvass my views in the Senate. I anticipated however, and my anticipation has been proved correct up to this point, that the controversial legislation, relating to the government of the Queensland university, which was introduced in the Queensland Parliament and has now been passed and, according to the press, will be submitted for the Royal Assent, would be raised during the debate on this bill. Apparently, it was proposed to raise it in another way yesterday, but it was decided to raise the matter during the course of this debate. Very acrimonious criticism in another place has been directed bv Government members from Queensland to the provisions of the Queensland bill and I feel that, as objectively as can be, the position should be related to the Senate, because we have before us a bill to provide financial assistance for the government of universities in Australia, including the University of Queensland.
Therefore, for some minutes, I propose to advert to the principles of this bill and to try to explain- to the Senate, according to the published statements, the justifications which have been advanced for the adoption of the Queensland legislation. I have no doubt that other speakers on the Government side, later in this debate, will possibly canvass the same subject-matter. Senator Wright has raised it briefly and, at this stage, it is appropriate for me to deal with it. We are all jealous of the independence of universities, in the fields of administration and scholarship. That has been a matter of pride always to citizens in all British communities. Most of us, even those who are more radical than others, are always reluctant, without justification and perhaps grave warrant, to disturb the longstanding and valuable tradition that universities should be autonomous in their government. That is a long-standing tradition, and, I suppose, is virtually universal. It is well known that all responsible governments, such as the Queensland Government, which has always shown a tremendous regard and solicitude for the University of Queensland and has been most generous in providing for its financial development, should adopt that attitude. As a result of its financial help we have now the genesis of a magnificent physical university in Queensland. That Government has now. suddenly decided to take some action which interrupts that tradition.. I think it is only fair that the case presented by such a government should be presented to this chamber, and T propose to do that.
Senator Wright has very briefly, though completely accurately, canvassed the main principle which is the fulcrum of the Queensland bill and which is being challenged by many people, including members of the Government. The principle is that an appeal board should be constituted which should be available - Senator Wright did not make this point - to existing members of the permanent academic staff and the non-academic staff of the university in the case of promotions, or in the case of appointments to positions for which any such person has been an applicant and has been unsuccessful. The appeal board, therefore, is available only to permanent members of the academic staff. I shall leave the non-academic staff because the whole of the criticism that has been levelled has application to the academic staff. The appeal board has to be constituted, to use Senator Wright’s term, necessarily ad hoc. with a chairman nominated by the Governor in Council, a member nominated by the appellant, from the union of which he may be a member, or, if not from the staff association, and a third member to be a nominee of the senate. Of course, it is an ad hoc body. But how often are committees of investigation and tribunals of appeal ad hoc bodies? As Senator Willesee properly interjected, appeals boards set up under State and Commonwealth Public Service acts are ad hoc bodies. For that matter, I suppose a royal commission is an ad hoc body. I am not impugning for one minute the integrity of any royal commission, but the point is that it is constituted for a particular investigation, if that is the interpretation to be given to the words ad hoc, and it is not perpetually in existence; it is not created in anticipation of circumstances that may or may not arise, to be given vitality and life when the situation arises.
– At one time a royal commission was odious to the British people.
– As a matter of practice, royal commissions, investigating bodies and public service appeal tribunals are ad hoc in that sense; but nobody has suggested, on the general ground, that because they are ad hoc they are therefore liable to subornation or undue influence. That has seldom, if ever, in my recollection, been suggested in our community. Therefore, I say that although the body contemplated in the Queensland bill is in that sense ad hoc, it must be similarly exculpated and excused from any charge that has never been levelled against any similar body. That, in principle, is the main feature of that bill which is under challenge. As I say, the Queensland ‘ Government, in deciding to provide this opportunity to a disappointed applicant who may consider himself a victim of injustice, has cut across what has been the long-standing tradition.
– Tell us why that government is doing that.
– That is what I am coming to. It is, as I have said, a responsible government which has shown a magnificent practical sympathy for the University of Queensland and for university education in general. When such a government elects to do that, we can presume, in the first place, there must be some justification for its action. We are entitled to presume there must be adequate justification and, on the announced statements of Ministers speaking in the State Parliament during the passage of the Queensland bill, there appear to have been instances which provide such justification; and to those instances I propose to refer briefly.
– They were Mr. Gair’s men.
– I do not think it is fair to say they were Mr. Gair’s men, because that is not true. He probably does not know any of the people concerned. When I put before this chamber the facts from which the Queensland bill arose, as outlined by the Premier and other State Ministers, I am sure it will be conceded at least that there have been instances which give concern and cause for rather grave disquiet. The Queensland Government, in its wisdom, considered the circumstances to be such as to warrant some intrusion on the administrative independence and control of the University of Queensland. 1 direct attention to references in the Queensland Parliament which have given rise to that legislation and which Senator Kendall has asked to be supplied to the Senate. I cannot, of course, speak of these things from personal knowledge. They are not matters to which I have given personal attention, and I am sure that honorable senators will appreciate that fact. I rely on the published statements in the Queensland Parliament by the Minister responsible for the passage of the bill. I cite a statement from a speech by Dr. Dittmer, who spoke on the second reading of the bill, on 27t.h March. Dr. Dittmer. is a member of the State House, a graduate of the University of Queensland, and was a member of the senate of the university. I do not know whether he still is. This is what he said -
If the honorable member for Sherwood is interested enough - and apparently he has taken a lot of interest in the Bill - he should take the trouble to investigate appointments of the university over the years. He will find that many of the staff are dissatisfied. It is no use talking about one disgruntled member.
I presume that a statement like that would not be made by a man of his status without due weight and consideration. That is the first reference I make to the justification for this bill. Mr. Gair, the Premier of Queensland, instanced one particular case during the debate. If 1 may be pardoned by the Senate, I shall make a reference - not a very long reference - to it, so thai honorable senators shall have a complete picture of the circumstances that actuated the Queensland Government in this matter. When speaking during the second-reading debate on 28th March, Mr. Gair is reported to have said -
A Queensland Rhodes scholar who had won distinction here and abroad and who had served six years in the armed forces did not receive the recommendation of the local committee for a particular position. The committee, I understand, favoured a man born in Poland who was residing in Western Australia. He was favoured because he had done some work associated with his faculty during the period when the Queensland Rhodes scholar was serving in the armed forces at Milne Bay and other theatres of war The recommendation of the local committee was defeated by one vote when it came before the Senate. It was a very good thing that it was defeated, because otherwise there may have been a public scandal about what could quite easily have been regarded as unjust treatment of a brilliant son of Queensland.
I do not know the respective merits of the two applicants. I could guess the name of the Queensland person referred to, but I do not know the other person by name, reputation, inference or anything else. I could not make a judgment. I know of another instance, which is possibly even more serious. It concerns an appointment to a chair at the university of Queensland. Mr. Gair stated during the same debate -
Comparatively recently, in the appointment of a professor to a faculty, certain things happened which, to say the least, left much to be desired. I ask honorable members to listen carefully to this because they claim to be so much concerned about the composition of appeal boards. The local committee appointed to make recommendations for the appointment did not include one person connected with the faculty concerned. I am also reliably informed that the Australian applicants were reduced to two - one from Queensland and one from Western Australia - but neither of them was interviewed by the committee or any member of it. Furthermore, the retired professor of the faculty was not a member of the committee, nor was he even consulted on the choice of his successor. On the other hand, the advisory committee in London interviewed some of the overseas’ applicants and it was on its recommendation that the appointment was made.
I think the next sentence is pregnant with importance, lt is tremendously significant, and I shall read it wilh all the deliberation I can -
Another peculiar and I might say unsavoury feature of the appointment was that one of the referees nominated by the successful applicant was also a member of the London committee.
Taking the last comment first, I do not think anybody could justify the procedure that was adopted in that case. A committee of inquiry, investigation, and interview was appointed in London to interview the overseas applicants. One member of that committee had, in fact, been a referee, and had provided a reference to the applicant for the position.
– I expect that he provided it in complete confidence.
– I do not know. I do not blame the applicant for what happened, but I do blame the person who gave the reference and then sat on the selecting board. It was undoubtedly a demonstration of bias. If it had occurred on a bench of magistrates, and was known, it would have invalidated, on appeal, a conviction by that bench. I think the honorable senator would agree that bias at that level would certainly not survive a challenge to the conviction in any court of appeal. In the absence of any court of appeal in this case, nothing could be done, and the applicant got the benefit, the tremendous advantage, of having his referee helping to make the selection of himself. I have related two instances. The first concerned, not the attempted passing over, but the possible passing over of a Queensland applicant, a Rhodes scholar, and a man who had served at Milne Bay - a brilliant son of Queensland, whose appointment was saved by only one vote. The second was in connexion with the appointment of a professor. The Australian applicants were not interviewed at all, and the overseas applicants were interviewed by a committee, one member of which had a particular interest in one candidate. Do not honorable senators think that some action was warranted, in view of occurrences of that nature? Do they not regard these things as significant and important?
– I do not even know whether they are true.
– I presume that they would be true. I could not imagine the
Premier of Queensland, whom everybody knows is a man of courage and integrity, placing before the Queensland Parliament a case which was based on untruths or even inaccuracies. I ask Senator Kendall: Does he not think that some action was warranted? I should like him to answer that question.
– Some action, yes.
– I should like him to suggest the course of action that might have been taken. From a very long memory, I recall an incident that happened in Sydney in 1941, and I am sure that Senator McCallum, who, I understand, will be speaking during this debate, was associated with the University of Sydney at that time, though he was not, I presume, connected with this incident. No doubt he has a recollection of it. I ask honorable senators to bear in mind the salient facts that I have put before the Senate in relation to these appointments. First, a distinguished soldier, who was qualified for the position, was very nearly passed over in favour of somebody else. He was saved by only one vote. In the other case, Australian applicants were not interviewed. The retiring professor of the faculty was not consulted, and no member of the faculty was on the interviewing board.
I take Senator McCallum’s mind back to a sub-leading article in “ The Bulletin “ of 12th November, 1941, headed “No Serviceman Need Apply “, in relation to an applicant from New Zealand for appointment to the professorial staff of the Sydney University. Among the applicants were Professor Julius Stone, the present incumbent of one of the chairs of law, Mr. Williams, Mr. Latham, and Mr. Brown. I think that Mr. Latham was. a son, or a nephew, of the former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia. The Senate selected Mr. Latham and Mr. Brown. The Senate, according to “The Bulletin”, was then subjected to some pressure. The decision was overruled, and Professor Julius Stone and Mr. Williams were appointed. The pertinent part of the article in “ The Bulletin “ relating to this incident reads as follows: -
Justices Halse-Rogers and Davidson, Professor John Peden and former Attorney-General Manning resigned from the Senate as a protest against that body’s deciding to appoint two 34-year-old Maorilanders - one the gentleman championed by Mr. Landa - to vacant chairs at the Law School in reversal of a previous decision. Justice HalseRogers was Chancellor of the University. Professor Peden, who is President of the Legislative Council, was Dean of the Faculty of Law, one of the positions in question.
In announcing his resignation as Chancellor and Senator, Justice Halse-Rogers reviewed the circumstances which had led him to take this serious step.
Canvassing whether, the war being on, it was necessary to make an immediate appointment, he proceeded -
There was no lawyer on the professorial board or its committee.
In other words, there is this fantastic parallel developing between this series of incidents and the ones to which I have referred in Queensland. The report continues -
It “ claimed to have selected the best men ‘”. but since no lawyer had been consulted, and no one had been called before either board or committee to “ speak of personal knowledge of Brown or Latham “, two Australian applicants on war service in Britain, “ the claim was open to doubt “.
The Australians, Brown and Latham, and the two Maorilanders Stone and Williams, were “ four outstanding candidates “. The two Maorilanders “ came before the board “, and “ apparently made a great personal impression “, a fact which “ emphasized the disadvantage under which Brown and Latham suffered “.
Again, here is this fantastic parallel. Two applicants were not physically interviewed by the board. Two others were, and Brown and Latham suffered the very major disadvantage of not being able to leave a personal impression on those whose duty it was to select and recommend applicants for appointment. The report then says -
It was not possible to judge of the capabilities of the candidates as teachers merely from public writings. Personality in teachers is an important factor, and there is little chance of judging of personality except by contact. “These views” the distinguished judge proceeded, were accepted by “ every legal member of the Senate at that time “. Then another legal member arrived on the Senate as an eleventh hour nominee of the House to which Mr. Landa belongs.
I am putting this before the Senate, although some of the personalities involved were members of the Labour party in New South Wales, because later ! propose to show that university senates, at any time, are subject to interference and lobbying, and that appeal boards would be in much the same position as are, in fact, university senates. The report goes on -
Mi. Martin, the Labour Attorney-General campaigned briskly for Mr. Landa’s protege. Beaten on the first Senate division in which he voted, he ascertained that Mr. Landa’s protege had twice tried to enlist, and made the most oi this fact before the final division was’ taken. While very creditable to Mr. Stone, it in no way removes the objection to turning down the two Australians on war service without giving them the opportunity granted to the two Maorilanders not on war service, at the instance of gentlemen who are doubtless vets., botanists, psychologists and so forth, but are decidedly not authorities on law. This point was emphasized by Justice Davidson supporting his learned brother -
In the selection of candidates for chairs in other faculties, representatives of those faculties were present at the deliberations of the professorial board. No representatives of the faculty of law or members of the legal profession were present when recommendations for occupants of its chairs were being considered by the board.
There, we have the completion of this amazing parallel. A serving soldier was passed over in New South Wales, as happened in Queensland. Australian applicants were not interviewed by the selecting board while the appointees were. Again, no representative of the faculty concerned was consulted in the Sydney Case. As the Queensland Premier has said, no representative was consulted in the Queensland case. The position was so grave that it precipitated a crisis on the senate and four members of the senate, including the chancellor, resigned. But what did that do for the disappointed applicants? There was no redress available to them. Obviously, a grave injustice had been perpetrated, in the opinion of two judges of the Supreme Court who would at any time be judges of justice or injustice, and in the opinion of two others; yet no remedy was available to those who had been victimized. Unfortunately, nothing could be done.
As I say, in almost parallel and identical circumstances arising fifteen years later, and publicly disclosed by the Premier, the Queensland Government then says, in effect, “ We cannot allow such a thing to happen here. Some redress must be provided. The mere gesture of resignation from those who oppose such injustice is completely inadequate and does nothing whatever to rectify it. In those circumstances, we will try, at least, to provide some remedy for those who have been the victims of gross injustice “. In pursuance of that line of thought, and in view of the instances the Queensland Government had brought to its notice, it decided to introduce a board of appeal. Significantly, the Premier of Queensland is reported in to-day’s press as having said -
The Government will ‘hold to this legislation unless it can be convinced that any other alternative and better method is available.
There may well be an alternative and better method; neve iti iel ess, 1 think it will be necessary to weigh the question of the perpetuation of the possibility of individual injustice against the system of introducing a court of appeal.
The next question that arises is whether, by its nature, the court of appeal must be the creature of the government of the day. Over the years, as private endowment has diminished from year to year, and government support has increased, we have seen government nominees moving on to the university senate not only in Queensland but also in other States. For years, there has been a majority of State government nominees on the Senate of the University of Queensland, but, in spite of the magnificent opportunity afforded by having such a majority, at no stage has there been any suggestion of any political pressure or any undue interference with that body. That is because of the type of persons who have been nominated by the Government. They have been men of the character of two distinguished archbishops, eminent engineers and lawyers and eminent men in medicine, men who, in no conceivable circumstances, could be puppets of anybody. That shows not only that no interference could, or did, take place but also, that it was in the mind of the Queensland Government, by the nature and selection of personnel from so many fields of commerce and industry and from the professions, that the last thing that Government wanted was such interference, ls there any reason in logic to think that that Government has now changed its mind and that whereas it wanted no interference before - it set up a senate with which there could not be any pressure or interference in any circumstances - it now wants to create a board of appeal which will become merely its puppet? That suggestion completely defies logic, and, obviously, does little justice to the intention of the State government which is providing a means of redress in cases of injustice to the members of the existing staff of the University of Queensland.
I think it can be fairly conceded that the members of the senate of that university are most conscious of the importance of the task which is reposed in their hands, of the dignity that attaches to it, and of the tremendous responsibilities which it entails. For that reason, I am sure that any nominee of the university senate to any such court of appeal will be a person who will be activated by the tradition and standards of the university itself. An appellant will have the right to nominate somebody on his behalf. If he is not a member of a union, the staff association, which in this case has indicated opposition to the bill, may nominate a representative on the appeal board. That would immediately give one representative who might be disposed to uphold the decision of the senate and another who would be there to protect the applicant.
What does the Queensland Government contemplate in respect of the chairman of the proposed board? The Premier has even gone so far as to say that a Supreme Court judge will probably be the nominee in particular cases, and’ that in special cases a university professor, perhaps the dean of a faculty from another university skilled in that field, could easily be selected as the nominee. I have no doubt that a great deal of the feeling engendered by and surrounding that legislation arises from stimulation of opposition by those who are not completely informed about its intent and comprehension and what it actually does. I am sure that when that bill is read against a background of the history of the University of Queensland, and the relations of the Queensland Government with it, it will be assessed objectively as a genuine attempt by that government to provide a basic right to those who are now deprived of it. lt is to the credit of the Queensland Government, which is providing so much of the finance for this university, that it has exercised no direct control of policy that might be considered unfair, unwise, or unwarranted. I cannot help comparing the difference, when 1 look at the housing legislation which was brought into this chamber and which is now operating, whereunder the Commonwealth Government provides money to the States, with a contingency that some hundreds of thousands of pounds will be made avaliable only if the political policy or political attitude of the government providing the finance is adopted by the recipient. That is an unconscionable condition precedent, and if anything like that occurred in the relations of the Queensland Government with the University of Queensland, I would attack it just as trenchantly and as honestly as I attack the condition precedent that this Government attached to the provision df money to the Queensland Housing Commission.
Honorable senators are anxious to rise reasonably early to-night. I know that they have transport obligations. But 1 have put those facts before this chamber, because it is important, not only that the status of the University of Queensland be maintained, but also the attitude of the Queensland Government be understood and fairly assessed. I am sure that anybody, seeing what is intended by the legislation and how it is to operate, will at least admit that the Queensland Government has found a situation requiring attention and rectification in the interests of the individual. If injustice is to occur to an individual, a sense of malaise will pervade the whole of the university in which he continues to work. The mere fact that the legislation is new and unique is not in itself any reason to condemn it. Certainly, legislation coming from Labour governments has, historically and traditionally, been new and unique, and, while bitterly criticized at the time, it has distinguished itself in subsequent experience. I am confident that that will be the fate of the legislation that I have been discussing.
– Since it is now an established principle that this Parliament votes annually amounts of money for State and provincial universities, we should, instead of concerning ourselves wholly with the matters that the last speaker has discussed, direct our attention to the nature and the function of the university. Not only from what the last speaker has said, but also from the whole of that miserable, sordid debate in the Queensland Parliament, and from what I have read in the newspapers and letters I have received, I find that most of the people discussing the matter have not the faintest notion of what a university is.
– I rise- to order! 1 direct your attention, sir, to Standing Order 418, which reads -
No Senator shall use offensive words against either House of Parliament or any Member of such House, or of any House of a State Parliament. . . .
I suggest that Senator McCallum has offended against that standing order.
– What are the words?
– “ Sordid debate.”
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Wood). - Order! The point of order is not upheld.
– May I direct your attention, sir, to these rulings-
– I will withdraw the words without qualification. I want to get on with the debate and not waste time. If the word “ sordid “ is offensive, let us call it “ X debate “ or “ Y debate I wish to recall the Senate to some consideration of the nature and functions of a university. These are, first, to give a liberal education; secondly, to do research and train research students; and, thirdly, to train people in certain occupations. Unfortunately, most people appear to think that the last is the only one, and therefore that the sort of machinery which is applicable in ordinary life is applicable to a university. I am not one of those who think that any government, Federal. State, or one such as exists in Great Britain, has the right to do anything it likes with any institution. That is one of the great heresies of the modern age.
Universities are older than any State. They are one of the greatest growths of civilization and, had I time, I could talk about that and nothing else. The universities began about the twelfth century merely as guilds of teachers. The very word “ university “ docs not mean what many people think it means. It has nothing to do with universality, lt is simply the Latin word for “ guild “ or, if you like, “ union “. The early universities were nothing but that. They had to be licensed according to the laws of that day by the chancellor - I think that was his title - of the cathedral. These universities developed their own life, and from them came much of the wisdom and the knowledge that the world inherits to-day. Now many people would say what a far call it is from the University of Paris in the twelfth century to the University of Queensland to-day, but certain principles have decided certain methods of doing business. For centuries the universities developed with no assistance from the government except the right to exist and to be protected as any other guild or union was protected.
In the nineteenth century in England - I take England specifically, but there were other countries where similar things went on - it became necessary to bring these universities up to date, and the sort of reformer that we sometimes find here might have interfered and destroyed their growth, and set up some little devices that have been found suitable in another sphere. The man mainly responsible for reforming the universities of Oxford and Cambridge was Mr. Gladstone, the great Liberal Prime Minister, and. though he was a distinguished graduate of Oxford, he did not take it on himself to say what should be done. He set up royal commissions, which presented reports, and on those reports legislation was based. Then the universities were let completely alone. The British Government has done that again and again, and the Attlee Government, when it had to deal with universities, the national government before it, and every other government that has dealt with universities in Great Britain, have followed that principle. To-day we know that the universities draw far more of their revenue than they formerly did from the State.
The Premier of Queensland has been reported - I will withdraw it if he did not say it - as saying that he who pays the piper calls the tune. If that is so, he is not paying the piper; we are partly paying the piper. But that is not a position in which you can put an institution like that. The only way in which universities can function is as independent corporate bodies, subject to the law of the land and under their own government. The objection that I have to what has been done in Queensland is simply that it has taken a most vital part of the control of the university out of the hands of the senate and put it in the hands of a public servant or a judge, or somebody else.
I do not care who he is. It is completely fatal to the growth of a university if that is done.
Reverting to my story, the great University of Sydney - it is one of the great universities of the world - was set up in 1851 by an act of the Legislative Council, and it actually came into operation in 1857. It has grown steadily from a very small seminary, almost, where one learned only the classics and a few other things, into a great multi-purpose university, but never at any time has any government tried to upset the fundamental principle that the university itself decides all cases of discipline, promotion and appointment. If the Government wants something else done, it brings in an act of Parliament.
One of the best acts ever passed - and one of the most salutary - was that passed in my youth which provided bursaries to allow persons to take degrees at the university. Previously, there had been only privately endowed bursaries. These bursaries permitted many ordinary people to study medicine and to take degrees. I remember that a snobbish undergraduate of the day, whom 1 took seriously at the time but now find laughable, wrote these lines -
All the Lizzies and the Lilts And the nuts of Surry Hills Are going to be dubbed M.D.
That was the reaction of a certain type of undergraduate. The Government of New South Wales brought its weight to bear when reform was necessary at the university. It was all the same whether the government was non-Labour or Labour. I believe the senate should be constructed in such a way .that the Government has liaison with it, but does not control it. There are far too many government representatives on the Queensland University Senate, but I agree with Senator Byrne that they are of a very high quality. I have studied the list, and 1 agree fully with Senator Byrne on that point.
I have here the constitution of the Sydney University, and it is similar to the constitutions of most of the State universities. There are four government nominees on the Senate. They are appointed by the Cabinet directly, and they include one from the Legislative Council and one from the-
Legislative Assembly. The teaching staff, including the professors and others, elect five. The fellows - that is, the graduates and certain other persons who go into the body called the Convocation, called in Queensland the Council - elect ten, and the fellows nominate three others to make the total thirteen. The undergraduates elect one, and finally the Vice-Chancellor sits on the Senate ex officio. That is an admirable body. 1 can give honorable senators some information about the university Senate, because I have been appointed the representative of this chamber on the council of the Australian National University. Our position is somewhat similar to that of the university senate. The membership is a little different, but we never meet as groups. 1 do not know of any occasion when groups have voted against other groups. The only serious division of opinion that I remember was within the academic group itself, where there are little groups and factions. That shows that they are human. i do not remember any occasion when I have disagreed - at least to the point of a vote - with my colleague, Senator Dorothy Tangney, or with Mr. Beazley from another place. In general, the parliamentary representatives seem to see eye to eye on most matters. Among the people who have given the wisest advice are the businessmen who are not graduates of any university.
I believe the system works very well, indeed. If there is cause for discontent is there any reason why it should be taken out of the hands of the senate, which is the controlling body, and handed over to somebody outside? I should like to explain ro honorable senators the positive evil that would flow from such action. A university is made by great teachers. Without teachers who are more than merely graduates who qualify with high honours, without teachers who are able to inspire their pupils, a university never becomes great.
When 1 think of the Sydney University of my day, I think of four men - Sir Mungo Maccallum, Sir Francis Anderson, Professor Arnold Wood and Professor James Bruce - and possibly a few others, who live to-day in my memory with as much reality as any face I see before me now. They were men whose actual words still reverberate through my mind. 1 know, also. that the Queensland University began with a band of very fine teachers. It started with that tradition.
I do not condemn Mr. Gair’s action, and I will not inquire into why he took it. lt might have been a well-intentioned attempt to correct a wrong. I know something about the cases cited by Senator Byrne in Sydney, and I know that the case in which one of the men mentioned is still a professor, it could not be said that the two men appointed did not have excellent academic records and proven scholarship. I know Professor Julius Stone, and I know that he is a man of great scholarship.
I think “ The Bulletin “ articles quoted by Senator Byrne show the type of bias thai should be kept out of this matter. All these incidents show that, on occasion, university senates may have made mistakes. That is true, but I do not believe that a better body of men could be found than the governing body of the university. It includes persons of all types. There are men who have been selected by the Parliament itself, and others chosen by the Governor in Council. If honorable senators look through the names of those associated with any of our universities, they will find there the names of persons who are most honoured in the community. It is an insult to such men to prefer judgment on any person appointed by the government of the day.
We must approach this problem in the spirit of finding a way by which we can be sure that the money provided is well spent. I have this suggestion to make, and I admit that it is not original: I think there should be set up a permanent university grants committee. As Senator Wright has reminded us, one has operated in England. I commend the action of the Government in appointing a commission under Sir Keith Murray to examine the question generally, and any suggestion I make as to means of reform is subject to the findings of thai committee. If no such committee is set up. we ourselves will be condemned to try to find out whether the money is being spent correctly or not. If it is found that a disappointed applicant for the post of professor can be appointed by an outside body to the staff of a university, that university will lose status, not only in Australia and the British Commonwealth of Nations, but throughout the world. It will no longer be a university in the sense in which that term has commonly been understood.
There has been much talk about political -opinions in universities, and about whether people should have academic freedom. If we get men of the right calibre that problem does not arise. I have mentioned the names of four of my teachers. Those four men all had strong opinions, including political opinions, and they varied, but they were just and objective, and I could tell you now what some of them said on both -sides of a question. I can recall some questions towards which at the time, being young, I adopted a certain attitude, but towards which to-day, being older, I would possibly adopt the reverse attitude. I remember clearly, as a result of the teaching of that great Liberal, Arnold Wood, the political history of England. He had 1n’s own prejudices, and the men whom I -admire to-day are sometimes the men for whom he had scant admiration but. to whom he was always just.
If we get a man of the right calibre, there can be no question of bias or of poisoning the minds of the students. No outside arbitrator can possibly be as capable of deciding whether a man is of the right calibre as is the governing body of a university. Since I became a member of the council of the Australian National University, the most comprehensive inquiries have been made with regard to appointments. On each occasion on which an appointment has been made, a committee - specially qualified to judge the qualifications of applicants - has presented a report. Every member of the council has received a brochure giving full details. I have studied those brochures very carefully, and in no «ase have I voted in favour of an appointment unless I was satisfied that the prospective appointee was the right man. If every member of the council does that - and I. believe they do - what better means could there be of making a just decision?
I shall conclude by summarizing certain points that I should have preferred to make the main theme of my speech. First, I approve the grants, but 1 had hoped that they would be greater. Secondly, I believe that the governing bodies of universities, whether they be provincial, State or Commonwealth, should decide how to spend the money. I do not think we should interfere by directing them to support one project and to ignore another. I think we should appoint a permanent universities grants commission to ensure that the universities have high academic standards, and to enable us to say with a clear conscience that we have voted money for a good purpose.
.- I support the bill. Although the sum of money that is to be allocated seems to be large, I do not think that it will solve the universities’ present financial problems. Pending the findings of the committee of inquiry, the allocation is at least a step forward.
Contributions are being made to university funds on a fairly large scale by the Federal and State Governments. Very considerable contributions, I regret to say. are also being made by students in the form of fees which, in a number of cases, are much higher than they can really afford to pay. I regret to say, too, that a commensurate contribution is not being made by Australian business organizations, which rely upon many of our universities to provide them with technically trained graduates. In contrast to the situation notably in Great Britain and the United States of America, there is a tendency for business organizations not to make the contribution towards university training that they should. I know that in recent years there have been notable exceptions. I do not propose to name them, but some firms have done excellently. Unfortunately, considerable funds, speaking generally, are available to business organizations in this period of overflowing prosperity. They are able to distribute substantial profits and to make presents to their shareholders in the form of bonus issues; but they do not follow the example of similar organizations in America. Britain and other countries by making contributions to our universities for technical training.
Lack of finance for universities has serious effects. Our universities, such as they are, are forced to operate under most undesirable accommodation and staffing conditions. Professors and others are expected to teach and train far larger groups of students than they would be expected to train in a properly conducted university. If finance was available, it would be possible to decentralize much of our university training. 1 have in mind the University of New England at Armidale, and the institution which was established by the Victorian Government at Mildura just after World War 11., but which was forced to close because of lack of finance and a properly trained staff. It is urgently necessary for more money to be. made available to our universities from both government and private sources. If that was done, we could decentralize university training and also provide residential colleges. If students are to get the utmost cultural benefit from association with a university, it is essential that they should be in residence at the university instead of visiting it at odd hours during the day purely for the purpose of eventually obtaining a certificate. Because of the lack of finance, I feel that our university training is concentrated too much upon the acquirement of a degree and too little upon giving to students that all-round training in the humanities which is essential to getting the best from a university.
Until the universities get the necessary money, university training in Australia will, in many ways, be unsatisfactory. In some cases, rooms are overcrowded, and in other cases students have to be turned away. Those difficulties must be faced up to, and ( hope that the committee of inquiry will investigate them. If university training is to bc extended, it will be necessary to obtain suitable staff, even before money and buildings are provided. If we do not make available rewards which are commensurate with those that are offered overseas, we cannot expect to get the best staff; and nothing but the best should be good enough for Australian universities.
I should like to have spoken at greater length but, as honorable senators are eager to get away, 1 shall curtail my remarks. I do not wish particularly to become involved in the Queensland dispute; but. having been a teacher for nineteen and a half years and a member of the teachers’ organization, let me tell honorable senators that one principle for which we as teachers fought was that, if one applied for a position and was rejected, one should have the right of appeal to an independent tribunal. If that principle, which was adopted in Victoria by a Labour government with the Liberal party voting in favour of it, is good enough for teachers at secondary and primary schools, 1 see no reason why it should not be good enough for universities which deal only with the tertiary side of education. 1 do not know whether the suggestions that have been made in regard to the Queensland happenings are true or false, but we. teachers found that there were times when it was a case not of what one knew but whom one knew. That kind of thing happens throughout the community. I repeat that I am not making any suggestion about the situation in Queensland beyond saying that I see nothing wrong with the principle - and it has been adopted in the Public Service - that, if a man considers he has a right to a certain position to which he has not been appointed, he should have the right of appeal to an independent tribunal
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.
Bill returned from the House of Representatives without amendment.
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. A. M. McMuIlin). - I have to inform the Senate that to-morrow, 12th April, the Principal Parliamentary Reporter, Mr. W. J. M. Campbell, will retire from the service of the Commonwealth Parliament. For 34 years, as reporter, deputy leader and leader of the “ Hansard “ staff, he has been associated with the preparation of the official report of parliamentary proceedings. He joined the staff in 1923 when the Parliament sat in Melbourne, and he is now the only member of the staff who reported the Parliament at that time.
Mr. Campbell began his career as a journalist in Broken Hill in 1908, and a few years later moved to Adelaide, where he worked on metropolitan newspapers until 1921. His duties took him into the press gallery in the South Australian Parliament, and from there it was an easy transition to the South Australian “ Hansard “ staff. In 1923, he joined the Commonwealth Parliamentary Reporting Staff, becoming Second
Reporter in 1947 and Principal Parliamentary Reporter in 1948. In 1955, he was called upon to effect a major break with routine by organizing the production of a daily “ Hansard “, thus bringing the Australian Parliament into line with the legislatures of Great Britain, Canada and the United States of America.
As well as being a conscientious and efficient servant of the Parliament, Mr. Campbell has played an active part as a citizen of Canberra. For 30 years, he has been prominent in the civic, cultural and religious life of the city, and the period of bis retirement will, I am sure, be busy and fruitful. The Parliament is losing the services of a capable officer, but Mr. Campbell will now have more time to devote to those public activities that have always claimed his interest.
I tender to Mr. Campbell the respect- of all honorable senators and hope that, with his wife and family, he will enjoy many happy years of retirement. Speaking personally, my association with Mr. Campbell in his official position has been very happy. 1 have always found him ready and willing to assist, and his deep interest in his work showed that his one desire was to see that “ Hansard “ was a true and correct record of the proceedings of the Parliament. We owe much to Mr. Campbell for his work on “ Hansard “, and also for his friendliness and the advice that he has always been so willing to give when the occasion arose. On behalf of the staff of the Senate, also, I extend to Mr. Campbell our very best wishes.
– by leave - On behalf of my colleagues - and when 1 say that, I mean honorable senators on both sides of the House - I am very happy to associate myself with the good wishes expressed by you, Mr. President, towards Mr. Campbell. In the hurly-burly of our political life the path we tread is not always a pleasant, rosy and enjoyable one, but one of the bright and most enjoyable features is the friendships we make with those who so loyally and efficiently make Parliament work.
Mr. Campbell is a very distinguished member of that body of devoted parliamentary servants, who, for a large number of years, has given of his utmost, without stint and with great distinction and unselfishness, in his efforts to make Parliament work efficiently. In my association with him he has been to me - and I know to most, if not all of us - a trusted friend, guide and philosopher. Nothing has been too much bother for him, and his loyalty and devotion to his work have been most signal.
I always thought that the life of a “ Hansard “ reporter, particularly the Chief “ Hansard “ Reporter, would be a particularly onerous and strenuous one, ‘ but 1 ask honorable senators to look at the youthful expression on this ** boy “ here to-day. Most of us on this side look at least old enough to be his grandfather! However, it is a very pleasant thought to feel confident that Mr. Campbell will be able to enjoy a very long and active retirement. It is common knowledge to those who know him that he has already spent a great deal of time in civic, cultural and religious work in the community in which he lives. He will now have more time to devote to those institutions and causes so close to his heart, and to which he has contributed so generously in the past.
On behalf of the Senate, I have great pleasure. Mr. President, in associating myself and my colleagues with your remarks, and I extend to Mr. Campbell our appreciation of the great services he has rendered in the past. We add our earnest wishes, also, that he may have a very enjoyable retirement.
– by leave - When 1 waa told, yesterday, that Mr. Campbell was to retire at the end of this week. I had some very mixed feelings. My first feeling was one of surprise, and it arose on two counts. The first has already been mentioned by Senator Osullivan, lt took me by complete surprise to learn that Mr. Campbell was even near his retirement. I join with Senator O’sullivan in thai particular matter. I congratulate Mr. Campbell upon the fact that the years have been particularly kind to him. and that they have sat very lightly upon his brow and upon his shoulders. I congratulate him upon his obvious fit ness to embark upon a long and happy course of retirement. The second element of surprise was that he has now been Principal Parliamentary Reporter for nine years, having been appointed to that position in 1948. If 1 had been asked how long he had been in that position I should have said for only three or four years at the most. Such a statement goes to show how very interesting honorable senators make life in this chamber, and how very quickly time does go.
The second feeling that I had was one of very deep regret at the termination of my regular association with Mr. Campbell. I certainly will miss his cheery greeting as we foregather for the day’s events here, and the little asides that he and I had from time to time on the interesting happenings in the Senate. I have no doubt that he will miss them, too.
My third feeling is one of envy. As 1 looked down the years to 34 years ago, and thought of the state of mind of the then young Mr. Campbell, I - as I believe every honorable senator would have been - was filled with envy. Here was the young man on the parliamentary reporting staff, realizing that as long as he has good health, behaves himself and survives, he has before him an uninterrupted association with the Parliament for 34 years. Any honorable senator, afflicted with doubts as to his future, would have loved to be able to change places with him at any time.
On behalf of the Opposition, in particular, although like the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator O’sullivan) I am certain I can speak for everybody in the Senate, I welcome the opportunity to thank you, Mr. Campbell, for your long record of faithful service to the Parliament and the people of Australia, a service as unobtrusive as it has been highly efficient. 1 would say that each of us is indebted to Mr. Campbell for presenting our words of wisdom in better guise than they perhaps deserved. For years, I have paid to Mr. Campbell the compliment of not reading the proofs that came to me from his staff. He warned me that I should not do that, and that one day I would fall in - that was his expression to me. You may retire, Mr. Campbell, secure in the knowledge that I. at least, did not fall in under your regime; and 1 believe that your traditions will be so carried on that 1 will be encouraged in not performing that really awful chore of reading the flats.
I am delighted to notice that you are retiring right at the zenith of your powers, both intellectual and physical. In sporting parlance, you are going out at your top. You are retiring as the head of your department, having reached the apex of your career. That fact must bring great satisfaction to you and your family, and it does,, in fact, rejoice us. 1 think every man ought, to retire when he is right at his top. I stayed in football a little too long. I recall that, at the age of 33, I resigned from the game of football when a stab-kick from one of my friends got between my hands and: hit me on the nose. I then realized that I: was over the top. Mr. Campbell, of course, is going out in the happy position of beingright at his top.
My one fear in connexion with Mr.. Campbell is that he will write his memoirs,, that he will caption them “Politicians I have known “. If he does succumb to that temptation - and he has had a good look at us, I should imagine, down the last few decades - I beg him to temper truth with mercy and let us preserve some vestige of the glamour we think is ours. I am encouraged to believe he will not succumb to that temptation, because, looking at him, I think he is too young in mind and outlook to spend very much time in the past.
We of the Opposition, in particular, wish him good health, long life, great happiness, and peace of mind above all, and we hope that will continue down the next 34 yearsof his well-deserved retirement. We wish him success in furthering all the community interests to which he has made a most notable contribution in and about Canberra, f trust that he will take the opportunity, with his .wife, to visit his daughters who are now scattered far and wide. One is in the National Library at Darwin, and a -visit to her would make a very interesting trip. Another daughter is headmistress of the Dudley House School in Suva, Fiji, an establishment for Indian girls run by the Methodist Mission. Another daughter is married and is living in Queensland. I have no doubt that Mr. Campbell will be looking forward in his retirement to the opportunity of travelling and meeting them.
I say to Mr. Campbell, through you, Mr. President, “ We of the Senate shall remember you very warmly and gratefully. We of the Senate will miss you “. I conclude, Mr. President, by expressing the hope that this is not good-bye to Mr. Campbell, but only au revoir. and that we willi have the pleasure and privilege of meeting him around the Parliament on many occasions in the future.
– by leave - The members of the Australian Country party would like to associate themselves with the remarks that have been made on this the occasion of the retirement of Mr. Campbell from the position of Principal Parliamentary Reporter. I have had the pleasure and honour of knowing Mr. Campbell for a good many years, and during that period, I think 1 am right in saying, we have been great friends, i. as well as many other honorable senators, will miss his cheery presence in this chamber day by day. I am sure he will not be able to keep away from this place where he has been for so many years. We will, no doubt, see him in the galleries when he comes along to see that we are doing our job as it should be done. 1, too, can hardly believe that he has reached the retiring age of 65 years. He has done great work in Canberra in various spheres, but I understand that his first love has been the Young Men’s Christian Association of which he has been president. I do not know whether he is president of the organization at the moment, but he has occupied that position for quite a number of years. In view of that fact, I readily realize why he looks so young. As long as he takes a great interest in the youth of Canberra, it is obvious that he will stay youthful himself. 1 am quite sure that in his retirement he will carry on his activities, particularly in the Young Men’s Christian Association. It is an experience to be able to look forward to and he will be able to devote his energy to those activities to the full.
On behalf of the members of the Australian Country party in the Senate, I trust that he will be spared for many years, to enjoy health and happiness with his wife and family in his retirement. I am certain that he will not be able to sit down and look around; he will want to be active and to get on with the job. We wish you. Mr. Campbell, the best for many years to come in your retirement.
– by leave - 1 should like, on behalf of my party, to add my good wishes to Mr. Campbell on his retirement. One thing I can say is that my party has not given him as much work as the Opposition and the Government. 1 am sure that when he retires it will give him very much pleasure to sit in the galleries of the Senate and watch his erstwhile willing slaves at work. We tender him our thanks for what he has done and the help he has given us, especially in the correction of the rather long and not so grammatical speeches which we have sometimes made. When we have read the reports of them in “ Hansard “ we have frequently said. “ Well, I did make a very good speech after all “. We wish Mr. Campbell long life and happiness, and enjoyment of the rewards of an outstanding career; and we add our felicitations to those expressed by previous speakers.
– by leave - I should like to join with honorable senators who have spoken in paying tribute to Mr. Campbell. Much has been said of the very important part he has played in the life of this Parliament, but my mind goes back to the work he did in South Australia. Actually, it was before my time; but he worked as a reporter, first on the daily newspapers in Adelaide and later on the “ Hansard “ staff of the South Australian Parliament. I am sure he is remembered with affection by very many people in that State. Mr. Campbell is one of the best friends I have in Canberra. When I was elected to the Senate in 1949, he did a great deal to help me to overcome my initial difficulties. Mr. Campbell was associated with my late father, who was a member of the South Australian Parliament, and I should like to say that, since coming to Canberra, I have enjoyed many conversations with him about the events of other days. I appreciate very much the many services that he has performed for me in this part of the world, and I endorse what previous speakers have said about his comparatively youthful appearance. He has played a leading part in many activities in Canberra, and I am sure that he will continue to do so. His good work on behalf of the young people of Canberra, and particularly in connexion with church activities, is greatly appreciated. On my own behalf, and on behalf of other people with whom Mr. Campbell was formerly associated in South Australia, 1 should like to extend to both him and his wife every good wish for the future.
– by leave - I am one of those who was associated with our very worthy friend, Mr. Campbell, during the early days of the South Australian Parliament when, ot course, politics were conducted in a hurlyburly manner, somewhat different from the sedate proceedings in this chamber. When [ first met Mr. Campbell, he was a member of the press gallery of the South Australian Parliament. Subsequently, he joined the official “ Hansard “ staff of that Parliament. In both his press and official capacities in South Australia, Mr. Campbell frequently gave me, and my colleagues, valuable advice in relation to publicity matters. It is almost 40 years since we became friends, and throughout that period Mr. Campbell has been most helpful to me in many ways.
In the absence of Senator Critchley, I should like to associate him with my remarks. My colleague was elected to the South Australian Parliament about the time that Mr. Campbell joined the “ Hansard “ staff there. Consequently, Senator Critchley’s association with our friend has been only about three years less than mine. Mr. Campbell has always been a very conscientious parliamentary officer. I take this opportunity to thank him sincerely for the valuable advice that he has given to both Senator Critchley and myself from time to time in connexion with the variations in parliamentary procedure as between the Commonwealth Parliament and the South Australian Parliament. 1 agree with the observations that have been made by previous speakers, that Mr. Campbell’s looks certainly belie his age. One would’ never think that he has attained the age at which retirement from the Service is compulsory. Doubtless, he looks forward to being able to do, in his retirement, many of the things that he has been unable to do because of his parliamentary ties. I associate myself with all of the good things that have been said about Mr. Campbell this afternoon, and I wish him and his wife good health, prosperity and every happiness in the years ahead.
Motion (by Senator O’sullivan) agreed to -
That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn till Wednesday, 1st May, at 3 p.m., unless sooner called together by the President by telegram or letter
Senate adjourned at 5.21 p.m., till Wednesday, 1st May, unless sooner called together by the President by telegram or letter.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 11 April 1957, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1957/19570411_senate_22_s10/>.