23rd Parliament · 3rd Session
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Alister McMullin) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.
Motion (by Senator Spooner) - by leave - agreed to -
That Senator Laught be granted leave of absence for one month on account of ill health.
– Will the Minister representing the Minister for Supply comment on the accuracy or otherwise of the report from Brussels that was published in the press on 20th April last and which attributed to a spokesman of the Belgium FN rifle factory a statement that Australia had a licence to manufacture FN arms but only for her own needs and not for export? If the spokesman’s statement is correct, does the licensing agreement authorize the licensor to terminate the licence for breach of the provision which prohibits the export of FN .30 rifles from Australia? Has any protest been made or has action been taken by the licensor in respect of the FN .30 rifles that have been exported or are in process of being exported from Australia to New Zealand, Ghana and Malaya? Will the Minister table the. agreement in the Senate or make it available for inspection by members of the Parliament?
– There is an agreement which covers the manufacture of FN rifles by Australia and their export to New Zealand. A clause in the agreement provides that the Government may apply for an extension of the area to which these arms may be exported. Applications have been made and extensions have been granted to cover the export of rifles to the countries other than New Zealand to which we are now exporting.
Award to ex-Senator.
– Has the acting Minister for External Affairs seen a press statement to the .effect that ex-Senator Morrow of Tasmania has received a large sum of money from Russia? Can the Minister inform >the .Senate whether that amount is to be spent on Communist propaganda in Australia or whether the ex-senator will need to take up residence in Russia to enable him to utilize this handsome gift?
– I think I should point out initially that I am not the acting Minister for External Affairs, but merely the Minister representing the Minister for External Affairs in this place. I have heard of a gift of a considerable amount of money - I think £50,000 - which has been paid to ex-Senator Morrow for his services. The exact way in which those services were rendered to Russia was not specifically spelt out but I think it is well known to most people in Australia. I think I heard an interjection from behind me to the effect that the award was a peace prize. The exact way in which Senator Morrow earned this money for services to Russia was not clearly stated, though I think it is well known to everybody in this chamber. Whether ex-Senator Morrow has to live in Russia in order to spend this money, I am not in a position to say, but I should hope so.
– Will the Minister representing the Treasurer consider, when the next Budget is being prepared, the making of taxation concessions to industries established outside the metropolitan areas of capital cities, with a view to assisting decentralization and removing the pockets of unemployment which occur from time to time in country towns and cities?
– I should imagine that when a company decides to set up an establishment outside the metropolitan area, it does so because it sees in that location certain inherent advantages over the metropolitan area. True it is that by setting up an establishment in the country, an organization serves the purpose of decentralizing, and a very valuable purpose it is, but a decision taken by a company initially as to location of its industry would not, I feel sure, be regarded, and could not be regarded, as a reason for subsequently claiming some tax concession.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for the Interior. Will the Minister give his attention to some dangers to pedestrians which I have noticed in Canberra? The first is the speed of the traffic at the intersection of King George-terrace and Commonwealthavenue, where the establishment of a marked crossing would possibly be advisable. The second is the terrific speed of traffic at the point where Lennox Crossingroad leaves Commonwealth-avenue, and where the footpath at the corner suddenly narrows so that if two people are passing one is forced almost on to the kerb. The third is a less important danger, but one which I think many honorable senators have noticed. It results from twigs from overhanging branches on many footpaths and streets.
– Senator McCallum has, I suppose, no equal in showing interest in the development of Canberra. For that reason, I shall be very pleased to bring to the notice of my colleague the traffic danger points to which he has directed attention. I shall also ask my colleague to examine the problem of overhanging branches and limbs, and I am sure he will take appropriate action.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral. Is the Postmaster-General aware that many persons in Queensland, who have been unemployed for several months, are the holders of television licences which are becoming due for renewal? Will the PostmasterGeneral consider these cases with a view to having the time for renewal extended to suit each licensee?
– I shall bring the matters raised to the notice of the PostmasterGeneral, though I understand that the department has a system whereby progressive payments can be made on viewers’ licences and, I believe, also on broadcast listeners’ licences. It is not a timepayment system - we do not foster that. If my memory serves me correctly a form or ticket may be obtained from the Postal Department and stamps purchased in order to effect payment on either a weekly or a monthly basis. I shall bring the specific question to the notice of the PostmasterGeneral.
Award to ex-Senator.
– I address a question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Did the Minister read in the press, during the week-end, that a telegram had come from Moscow to say that an Australian citizen and former member of this Senate, to wit William Morrow, had been awarded, together with several other people, including Dr. Fidel Castro, the Order of Lenin, a medal and £50,000 in hard cash for service to the cause of peace throughout the world? In view of this high recognition by the Soviet Union of Mr. Morrow’s contribution to and special skills in the promotion of peace, could he be co-opted to help in bringing about a prompt and peaceful settlement of the civil war in Laos? Does it not appear to the Minister that a gift of £50,000 lifts our former colleague from the ranks of the proletariat to the upper echelons of capitalism?
– I read the newspaper report about this matter with a great deal of interest. I have very clear recollections of ex-Senator Morrow as a member of the Australian Labour Party in this chamber, so I was very pleased indeed to read the newspaper report. The position in Laos is so worrying for everybody concerned that I beg to be excused from answering the part of the honorable senator’s question which referred to that country. It seems to me that since Mr. Morrow advocates the principles of communism, it is only logical to expect that he will not retain such wealth. I am sure that we all expect him to distribute the £50,000 pro rata amongst the honorable senators in this chamber.
– My question is addressed to the Minister for National Development. He may remember that on 16th March last I asked him some questions concerning an oil strike at Tara, in Queensland, and the payment of a government subsidy. I now ask: Has the Minister read in the press statements reported to have been made by a Mr. Graves, the manager of Union Oil Development Corporation, to the effect that from 90 to 100 barrels of oil a day are flowing from this bore? Has the Minister received official information on the subject and, if so, can it be made available to members of the Senate?
– I well remember Senator O’Flaherty’s question on this subject. My attitude has been consistent throughout. The hole to which the honorable senator refers has been subsidized by the Commonwealth. The. drilling of the hole is expected to cost about £358,000, of which the Commonwealth is providing onehalf by way of a subsidy. As is the case with all such subsidy arrangements, the subsidy is repayable if oil in commercial quantities is found. I have consistently adopted the practice of refraining from comment on and from giving information about oil search activities because of the possible effect of such comments or information on the stock exchange, my view being that the directors of the companies concerned have responsibilities to their shareholders and that the shareholders look to the directors. The testing work at the hole mentioned by the honorable senator has been carried out in the presence of both Commonwealth and State technical officers. Details of the work have been made available to the technical officers and also to me from time to time. 1 have refrained from making them public and I propose to continue to do so. It is a matter between the directors of the company and its shareholders.
The company has now announced that oil is flowing. Therefore, I am able to confirm that. My understanding of the position is that the oil will be allowed to flow for about another three weeks in order that the volume of oil and the pressure at which it is coming out may be tested. If those tests continue satisfactorily, or perhaps irrespective of whether those tests continue satisfactorily, the next procedure will be to drill a series of holes around this site in order to test the. quantity of oil that is there. I just sound one cautionary note. What has been established - of course, it is of tremendous importance and significance to us - is further proof that we have oil in Australia; but it has yet to be proved that this is a commercial deposit and the quantity of oil there has also yet to be proved.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral. Has the progressive policy of the Government enabled people in the north of
Western Australia to have the advantage of a telephone service? In view of the fact that prior to 1949 telephone services extended as far north as Carnarvon and Meekatharra only, can the Minister advise me what telephone services are available to the people of Western Australia north of the towns I have mentioned? Can ‘the Minister also advise me of the year in which Carnarvon and Meekatharra were connected to the Australian telephonic network?
– The answer to this question requires giving details of installation dates and planning for telephone services. For that reason, Senator Scott was good enough to give me notice of his intention to ask this question and the PostmasterGeneral has supplied the following information to me: -
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for External Affairs. Has a cease-fire been achieved in Laos? If it has not been achieved, whose fault is it that hostilities are continuing? Are reports that Communist guerrilla forces from North Viet Nam are now operating inside the borders of South Viet Nam, and threaten to create a similar position to that in Laos, true? What are the prospects that the secretary of the Australian Peace Council, who has been mentioned already during question time, will, if the responsibility for these operations lies with the Communists, condemn them with the same fierce determination as he would if the boot were on the other foot?
– I am not sure whether a cease-fire has yet been achieved’ in Laos. The last news that I had on it was that both Great Britain and Soviet Russia were seeking a cease fire, that the Government of Laos was prepared for a cease-fire, but that at that stage it had not been achieved. I am not in a position to answer the honorable senator’s question about the nationality of troops: engaged. Nor, I fear, can I answer for ex-Senator Morrow, who received the Lenin Peace Prize, except to state my own firm opinion that under no circumstances would ex-Senator Morrow at any time condemn Communist action any more than he did when he sat in this chamber as a Labour senator.
– Will the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration reconsider as a matter of urgency the case of Thomas Palmer, a young British seaman, the som of a British Army officer and his Ceylonese wife, who has been refused permission to stay in Australia on the ground that, he does not look European? The young; man. is due to be deported this week. Is it a fact that the Minister for Immigration stated during the Roy Milne Lecture for 1960 that. Australia’s immigration policy is based on’ well-tried principles of maintaining homogeneity, readiness of absorption familiarity of religion and the same fundamental attitudes to living? Does not the Minister to whom my question is directed agree that Mr. Palmer, whose education has been’ up to university standard in engineering and who- has enjoyed a certain standard of living in the home of his paternal aunt in London,, measures up to our immigration standards far better than do many European migrants who have been admitted to Australia during the past decade? As Mr. Palmer cannot secure a student’s vise to complete his engineering studies at the University of Western Australia except as a full-time student, which his financial position will not permit, will the Minister consider some way of assisting Mr. Palmer, either as a Colombo Plan student or by the grant of a Commonwealth scholarship so that he may remain in Australia? His deportation, at this time would have serious repercussions on, Australia’s, relations with coloured members of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
– More than once I have told the honorable senator that it is futile to raise individual cases other than with the responsible Minister himself, who is in a position to give her a direct answer to the questions that she has asked. The honorable senator is fully aware that I merely represent the Minister for Immigration in this place and that I would have no knowledge of the details of individual cases affected by our immigration laws. If she asks me questions about immigration matters in general, such as the Government’s policy, I may be able to assist her. No Minister who merely represents a colleague in another place would be able to give a complete answer to a detailed question such as she raised, and accordingly it is a waste of time to ask for such information. Her question should be directed to the Minister for Immigration himself. If the honorable senator cannot obtain satisfaction from the Minister for Immigration then she is entitled to raise the matter in the Senate. If she places her question on the notice-paper the Minister for Immigration will give her the answer that only he is in a position to give.
– My question, which is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Trade, relates to representations made by the timber industry to, I think, the Minister for Trade, seeking emergency consideration of the industry’s present plight by the chairman of the Tariff Board. Will the Minister tell the Senate why the request that the Tariff Board consider this matter was refused?
– The Minister for Trade made an exhaustive inquiry into the circumstances of the timber industry. In another place he has made a statement on this matter. I am now relying on my recollection, and I hope it is not too far off the target. The timber industry based its claim very substantially on the effects of competition from imports, but an analysis of the situation showed that the flow of imports had not been the cause of the setback experienced by the timber industry. The same comment holds good for quite a number of other industries. 1 am not suggesting, that when import restrictions, were removed there was not an increase in imports. By and lange, the examination showed that the decline of activity in the timber industry was- not due, basically, to the lifting of import restrictions, but that there were other factors operating, such as a decline in home building and’ that some overcapacity already existed within the industry.
– Will the Minister representing; the. Minister for Labour and National Service inform me whether the Cabinet,, in its. recent meetings, has given any consideration to. placing, in full-time employment, in the future the 10,000. employees, who lost their employment, in the textile and clothing industries, out of the 15,000 employees of those industries in New South Wales?
– I think that the honorable; senator’s, question is based on a newspaper report of what somebody had said: had! happened, to some textile workers in. New South Wales, that report being, not that 10,000 people m the textile industry were, unemployed,, but that the claim, had come from an interested source that there had been some effect on 10,000 employees of that industry. That is the sole basis for the honorable senator’s question. T am not prepared to concede that it is, in fact, a truthful ‘basis. I direct the honorable senator’s attention to the statement which has been made by the Treasurer concerning the action that the Government proposes to take in specific instances. 1 believe that the textile industry was one of the industries that the Treasurer mentioned.
– The question that I direct to the Minister representing the Treasurer’ arises from the uncertainty that exists in the minds of quite a number of business people in the city of Sydney, and banking officials, who wish to install adding machines and computing machines. Can the Minister; on behalf of the Treasurer, give: an assurance that if it is decided to introduce decimal: currency in Australia, the change-over will not be effected before 1963?
– I am afraid that P can add nothing to the answer that I gave to a similar question that was asked in this chamber the week before last, and which was actually repeated subsequently by the Treasurer himself when answering a similar question in the House of Representatives. I assure the honorable senator that the matter is under active consideration, and that- a decision on it will, be delayed for no longer than is absolutely necessary.
– Oh 1 8th April, I asked a question in the following terms: -
Can the. Leader of the Government in the Senate confirm a news item which was broadcast over the national news service1 on 27th March; 1961, te the effect that ai parity: of American tourists will be- visiting Australia: later this year and that most of their, time in this country will be spent roughing it in the outback areas? Can the Minister inform the Senate whether or’ not the party will’ be watching whales being caught at Carnarvon and Albany, and does he know whether or not the Americans will hunt buffalo in the Northern Territory? If it is established that a buffalo hunt is- to be. undertaken, will the Minister make every endeavour to ensure that the buffalo that are slaughtered are slaughtered in a humane manner?’ Is the Minister aware that in some buffalo hunts buffalo are only wounded by the hunter and’ are left, lying injured for’ periods: of up to 36 hours before the skinners kill and skin the animals? Will the Minister obtain a copy of the magazine “ People of 19th August, 1959, and read an article headed “ It’s No Game for Softies “ so as to enable’ him to get a full appreciation of the torture which is inflicted’ on buffalo on such bunts?
Senator Spooner said that lie would bring the’ question to the notice of his colleague, the Minister for Territories. I should: like to know whether- a reply to my question has yet been received.
– The Minister for Territories has forwarded1 the answer to me. He; has. informed me that he- is unaware of the proposals for a party of American tourists to. visit Australia this year. Senator Poke has referred: to buffalo hunting. I am informed that the old method of shooting buffalo- from horseback has long been superseded by shooting from truck or jeep and that there are now no operators who use the old method. In any case, as a result of the fall in hide prices, there is practically no buffalo hunting’ for hides. Buffaloes shot for meat and buffaloes shot as game would not be left lying injured as was the case under the obsolete method of hunting for hides from horseback.
– My question to the Minister representing the Minister for Trade is supplementary to that asked by Senator Wright on the subject of the timber industry. Does it cost more to transport a given quantity of timber from the port of Fremantle to Adelaide than from the port of Seattle in America to Adelaide? Is it a fact that the exorbitant coastal shipping freight rate is largely responsible for the difficult position of the Western Australian timber industry? Does the Minister know whether this freight rate was taken into consideration by the. Tariff Board in arriving at its recent decision? If it was, and the Tariff Board’s decision was approved by the Government, has the Government any plan for rectifying a situation which threatens the future of the Western Australian timber industry?
– I cannot speak with any authority on the shipping freight rates from the two ports that Senator Vincent mentioned, but I do know that the high freights on cargoes carried round the Australian coast are having a detrimental effect on the Australian timber industry, as well as on other industries. I do not dispute that the Australian timber industry, which is faced with these high costs, is finding it difficult to compete with fr:~ber industries overseas. It is in much the same position as Mount Isa Mines Limited, which found that it was cheaper to send its products to America to be treated than to send them to Port Kembla. The freight rate to America was lower than that to Port Kembla. The Tariff Board’s report dealt with the peculiar disadvantage from which the Australian timber industry was suffering, particularly in New South Wales, not only from shipping freights but also from railway freights and the high royalties imposed by the New South Wales Forestry Commission. My recollection is that the Tariff Board said that these freights and royalties in New South Wales were so high that it could not lay down a rate of duty which would have the. effect of counteracting those high charges in New South Wales, without affecting the other States of the Commonwealth. The honorable senator has asked what plans the Commonwealth has for dealing with the position. I can reply to that only by repeating what the Treasurer has said - that steps are being taken to increase the rate of home-building and that that increase will have repercussions on the demand for timber.
– I wish to address a question to the Leader of the Government. Has he seen the result of a recent gallup poll, published in the Melbourne “ Herald “ of 1st May, which shows that only 14 per cent, of the public definitely supports the Government’s stand on import controls, and that an overwhelming majority definitely opposes it? In view of this demonstration that Australian opinion is clearly behind the. Labour Party’s stand on this issue, will the Minister urge the Government to re-introduce import controls instead of pursuing the blundering and clumsy policies which are causing widespread unemployment throughout the community? If the. Government will not do this, will it hold an immediate election and allow the people to elect a government which will act in accordance with their wishes?
– That is the bravest speech I have ever heard Senator Hendrickson make. At the commencement of it he referred to a gallup poll on import licensing and at the end he called for a general election. But he did not mention the results of the last gallup poll, which show that the Government’s position has been strengthened and that it inevitably would be returned to office if an election were held.
– Give us a go, then!
– You would be sorry if we gave you a go. I think we have made it quite clear that we have carefully reviewed the situation in relation to imports, that as a result of that review it has been discovered that our overseas balances will be much stronger at the end of June than we anticipated, that we have taken the precaution of drawing upon our international reserves in order to be completely fortified, that our policy has resulted in a decrease of the rate of inflation and that price levels are not rising to the extent they were twelve months ago.
– But that is not so in regard to unemployment.
– All that has been accomplished without further unemployment. Speaking from memory, I think that the total number of persons registered as unemployed is of the order of 80,000. The Government’s action is proving to be successful, to the great disappointment of Senator Hendrickson.
– Has the Minister for National Development seen Tasmanian press reports to the effect that the coal mining industry in the Fingal valley may be closed down because of loss of markets, with consequent heavy economic losses and unemployment in the area? As it has been suggested that the industry could not only be kept alive but even expanded if a thermal power station were constructed in the area, can the Minister say whether, officers of the Department of National Development have any knowledge of and experience in the construction and running of thermal power stations which could be of assistance to the Tasmanian Government in deciding whether a thermal power station could produce power more economically than the modern hydro-electric power stations now in the course of construction?
– I am sorry to say that I have not seen the newspaper reports to which Senator Marriott refers. Nor do I pretend to have any great knowledge of the coal mining industry in Tasmania. I must confess that it comes rather as a surprise to me to learn that thermal power could be produced competitively with Tasmanian hydro-electric power, which I have always understood to be the cheapest power produced in Australia. But there is a great reservoir of knowledge on this subject in Commonwealth and State professional services. If Tasmania wanted any advice or assistance, it would be readily available.
– I preface my question, which is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services, by stating that from time to time I have raised in the Senate the subject of adequate housing for paraplegics and have been told that it is a matter for State governments. I have accepted that to be the position in relation to individual paraplegics. I now ask the Minister this question: In view of the difficulty of securing adequate housing for paraplegics and other permanently incapacitated persons, will the Minister for Social Services consider widening the scope of the Aged Persons Homes Act 1954-57 to include permanently disabled persons as well as the elderly so that organizations interested in the welfare of these people may be assisted in their efforts to house them adequately as a first step towards their ultimate rehabilitation?
– I read with some interest a newspaper article on this matter a week or so ago. Of course, it opens up the old vexed question of where Commonwealth responsibility ends and State responsibility begins. The procedure up to the present time has been to restrict Commonwealth activity to the provision of homes for the aged. Whether we would be prepared to extend our activity to the provision of housing for disabled persons is a very big question. All I can say is that I shall pass on Senator Tangney’s views to the responsible Minister.
– I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Trade the following questions: First, what is the present limit of the guaranteed risk which the Export Payments Insurance Corporation is entitled or permitted to insure? Secondly, have any insured risks made default since the corporation began activities? Thirdly - this may be a difficult question to answer without notice - in what amount has default been made, if at all, and in what countries?
– I have a clear recollection that no losses have been incurred under any policies that have been issued by the Export Payments Insurance Corporation. However, I do not know what is the limit of any one risk that may be insured. Therefore, I ask the honorable senator to place his question on the noticepaper.
– I address my question to (he Minister representing the Minister for Labour and “National ‘Service. Will the Minister inform the Senate on whose direction the Commonwealth Statistician ceased to compile the statistical return known as the C series index, which for some time “has been ta’ken into consideration by .Australian arbitration courts as a factor in determining the basic wage? Will he make available to the Parliament the full information contained in the new statistical table or index which has been compiled by the Statistician ‘in lieu of the old index? Has the new index been asked for by the arbitration courts, the Commonwealth Government, or State or Federal authorities?
– I understand that in these matters the Commonwealth Statistician acts entirely on his own authority and has always done so. I understand that the new method he “has adopted - that of including a large number of commodities other than onions, potatoes and the various other items which formed the basis of the earlier index - to ascertain the cost of .living in Australia was decided upon by him without direction from anybody as being a better method, he being an impartial authority who does not speak for the Government, the Opposition, or anybody else.
– I preface my question, which is addressed to the Minister for National Development, by reminding him tff a very illuminating article that he wrote «a 7th April in .regard to the desalting of water and the Government’s pledges in that regard, and in which he said -
There still remains considerable scope for further -development of unused -surface water resources by conventional means.
I ask Are Minister: First, does he know .©f the “existence -of a ‘considerable quantity of surface water in Western -Australia which could be utilized in the .extension .of the comprehensive water .scheme which now provides for 4,000,00.0 acres of .land .but which .could, -if extended, provide for 8,000,000 acres of good arable country? Secondly, is he aware that £8,000,’000 is necessary -to complete this scheme in order (a) ito -bring 4he .-stock -carrying capacity .of the land to its maximum, (b) to provide existing farmers with an adequate -water supply, and (c) to relieve country towns of the frequent shortage of water? Thirdly, will the Minister review the recent -.rejection by the ‘Commonwealth of the Western Australian ‘Government’s approach for financial assistance, and so help materially the development of that ‘State? Fourthly, could not the Minister regard a grant >of money for this purpose as the conventional means to which he referred in his .article?
– Senator Robertson is canvassing the Jesuit of recent correspondence between the Premier of Western Australia and the Prime Minister, in ‘which ‘the Premier made representations that the ‘Commonwealth should -find this large sum of money in order to complete the comprehensive water scheme. The Commonwealth -gave very, very careful consideration to the Western Australian representations, taking into consideration the measures that are already in operation in the north-west, the extent to which oil search is “being helped in Western Australia, and the ‘contemplated railway arrangements in Western Australia, and it came to the conclusion that it was helping Western Australia very liberally. The Commonwealth hopes to continue that help in the future and considers ‘that >this -proposal is one ‘Which might reasonably be -expected to ‘be financed from the resources of the Western Australian Government, without drawing on ‘Commonwealth resources.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport. In view of the high level of mechanization on the Australian waterfront, the reduction in the .size of gangs, the diminution in the number of waterside workers employed by the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority, the improved shipping *um-round rate, the ‘disposal of uneconomic and outmoded ships, the provision of roll-on, roll-off ships, and the efficiency of the Australian shipbuilding industry, when -can the long-suffering general public expect a reduction in freight rates and a consequent reduction in the cost of commodities transported by sea?
– 1 think it as t auto say that shipping ‘Companies generally make reductions whenever possible. It has apparently escaped the attention of the honorable senator that only recently considerably reduced shipping freights’ for timber were made available to Tasmanian shippers. What he seems to overlook is that despite the advances that have been made in relation to mechanization and the provision of ships, of a special type, efficiency has not yet been reached on the wharfs. That position flows largely from- lack of discipline in the labour force. That is the biggest single item contributing to high freights in Australia to-day. I confidently predict that when that trouble is overcome there will be a significant reduction in shipping freights.
– Has the: Minister representing the Treasurer noticed a press statement to the effect that Australia’s gold and other balances m London increased by approximately £35,000,000: in the last six weeks? In view of this increase, the increase in wool prices, and the month by month decrease in imports, will the Minister say what was in the Government’s mind when it approached the International Monetary Fund for permission to draw about £70,000,000 before the end of this financial year?
– Last Thursday, when the Treasurer announced this transaction with the International Monetary Fund-, I think he made it perfectly clear that the transfer to our first-line funds overseas was not in any way to be interpreted as an expression of concern by the Government. It was. considered that these funds should be available in order to remove any doubt at all that may reside in any mind as to the stability and strength of Australia’s overseas position. The honorable senator will recall that only a few months ago this Parliament passed legislation in relation to the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank, to make increased drawing rights available to Australia. These drawing rights have been exercised mainly for the purpose of removing any lingering doubt that may remain as to the strength of our overseas financial position.
– I ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate: Was the exLord Mayor of Brisbane, Alderman Groom, correct in saying that his. defeat anil the overwhelming victory of Labour in the Brisbane City Council election were brought about by the Menzies Government’s, credit squeeze?
– The impression I gather from reading newspapers is that everyone who gets into some sort of difficulty, no matter in what direction,, promptly blames, the credit squeeze. I do not know to what extent the credit restrictions affected the municipal elections, in Queensland, but I point out to the Senate that the last gallup poll showed an increase in the Government’s popularity. It is very hard to reconcile Alderman Groom’s statement with that.
– I direct a question to the Leader of the Government. In view of the deep and abiding interest shown in the good fortune of ex-Senator Morrow in being presented by the Soviet Government with £50,000 for his work on behalf of world peace, will the Government, as it has failed to solve the unemployment problem, consider offering a prize of £50;000 to some citizen of Australia who will provide the Government with a solution of this problem?
– Senator Brown, as I understand him, proposes that we- should offer a prize of £50,000 to anybody who can- find an unemployment problem in Australia. Is that the question?’
– Who- can solve the unemployment problem.
– The answer is- that the level- of unemployment in Australia is one. of the lowest in the Western world.. At present, only 2. per cent, of the total work force is registered for employment, by comparison with 10 or 11 per cent, in Canada and 6- or 7 per cent, in the United States of America. As a result of the present policy, our percentage might even increase over the next month or so, but the consolidation of industry which is generally occurring will provide a firmer foundation and securer employment under better- conditions for the Australian people. We are watching the position very closely indeed. We shall not let unemployment develop if we can prevent it.
– Can the Leader of the Government in the Senate say whether the resignation of Mr. Tom Dougherty from the upper House of the New South Wales Parliament had anything whatever to do with the Government’s recent credit squeeze?
– I am sure that somebody will endeavour to blame us for it.
asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The Prime Minister has supplied the following answers: -
asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice -
– The PostmasterGeneral has now supplied the following answers: -
asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice -
What percentage of television fees is allocated to (a) the Australian Broadcasting Commission, (b) the Postmaster-General’s Department, and (c) general revenue?
– The PostmasterGeneral has now furnished the following answer: -
All television licence fees are paid into Consolidated Revenue and funds to meet the operating and capital requirements of the Australian Broadcasting Commission and the Post Office are provided in the votes authorized by Parliament.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice -
– The Minister for Labour and National Service has supplied the following information: -
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice -
– The Minister for Labour and National Service has supplied the following information: -
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice -
– The Minister for Primary Industry has supplied the following answers: - 1, 2 and 3. Under a three years’ agreement negotiated very recently with Japan, the Japanese fleet for the 1961 pearling season and the following two seasons will be limited to a maximum of twelve luggers which should provide reasonable opportunity to take up to the maximum of the 415 tons of pearl shell per season accepted for negotiating purposes. The Japanese quota for the 1960 season was 415 tons but the fleet took only 385 tons. The market outlook, the need for conserving the pearl shell resources, the condition of the Australian industry and the Japanese performance last year all received consideration in the negotiations.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Interior, upon notice -
What is the total amount payable per year by the Commonwealth Government for the rental of office accommodation and the housing of government instrumentalities in Hobart?
– The Minister for the Interior has stated that the amount is £46,768.
asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice -
– The PostmasterGeneral hasnow supplied the following answers: -
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice -
– The Minister for Primary Industry has supplied the following answers: -
The marine freight rate on apples and pears exported from Australia to the United Kingdom has risen from 8s.7d. stg.a bushel box in 1952 to 12s. 2d. stg.a box in . 1961.
-I havereceived from Senator Andersonan intimation thathe desires to move the adjournment of the Senate for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely - “TheCommonwealth Government shouldundertake animmediate review of the ‘Tuberculosis Agreement between the States and the Commonwealth, andofthe Tuberculosis Act 194.8, to ensure a moreeffective application of the purposes of the Agreement.”
– I move -
That theSenate, at its rising, adjourn till tomorrowat 10a.m.
– Isthemotion supported? (More than thenumber of senators required by the Standing Orders having risen in their places) -
– I thank the Senate for its courtesy in giving me the opportunity to raise this matter. I have chosen this form of the Senate because 1 believe that it is more appropriate that we should discuss the substance of the matter of urgency in isolation rather than at budget time. I have only a limited time available in which to deal with this very important matter.. Consequently, I will have to by-,pass many points about which, in different circumstances, I would speak.
I want to remind the Senate briefly of some historical aspects of the antituberculosis campaign. Prior to 1948 the government of the day, of which Senator McKenna was a distinguished member, no doubt on the advice of its medical authorities and officers, decided that the time had arrived in Australia when we as a nation should embark upon a forthright and vigorous campaign to eradicate tuberculosis as a killer of the people. We all know the effect which it has had, down through the ages, upon the people of the world. In the olden days the disease was called consumption. There are many historical references to people who died in the prime of life as a result of this dread disease.
Tuberculosis is an insidious disease which can and does affect people inthe primeof life. Although it is not hereditary, it is alleged to be contagious. From the statistics it is clear that over the years it has played a very dominant part in loss of human life. By its very nature, tuberculosis has a very real association with the social conditions which prevail in nations where it is effectively doing its damage. So, it was natural that in the post-war years in Australia the government of the day should decide that with modern clinical methods whichhad been developed, withmodern drugs that had been discovered and with all the advantages that Australia had in terms of our social conditions and climate, the time had come to embark upon , acomprehensive drive which would have the ‘effect of eliminating tuberculosis as a killer in Australia.
I give full credit to the government of the day for its initiative and thoughtfulness in launching this drive. If honorable senators look at the history of the tuberculosisagreement they will find that it was referred to at Premiers’ Conferences in 1948 and, indeed, prior to that year. I have /gone to the trouble of reading reports of the proceedings of those meetings and I have with me the report of the proceedings at the 1948 Premiers’ Conference at which the Commonwealth asked the States to co-operate in an endeavour to bring into existence an agreement which would enable the Commonwealth to provide the “ sinews of war “ and the States to embark upon litis great enterprise. Inherent in the proposals that were made were other proposals that concurrently with things done in the clinical and diagnostic fields, pensions would be introduced to take away the fears of loss of income and hospital expenses which often accompany the disease.
It must be remembered that tuberculosis was having a tremendous effect upon groups of people in their productive years. lt is an insidious disease, but if it is diagnosed early and if the sufferers are given proper treatment under modern conditions it can be completely eradicated. That was the spring-board from which the government of the day launched this effort.
The Commonwealth introduced a bill, after receiving the approval and concurrence of the States at the 1 948 Premiers’ Conference. 1 will read a passage from the report of that conference in a minute or two. 1 have here the act which was passed by this Parliament. I do not want to refer to it beyond saying that it is a Commonwealth act which was introduced into this Senate on 25th November, 1948. Senator McKenna had the honour and privilege of introducing the legislation. I commend the speech that he made on that occasion to any one who wants to read a speech which must stir anybody who has the interests of this nation at heart. An essential ingredient of the act passed by the Commonwealth Parliament was that the States were to pass complementary legislation. Although the States gave their concurrence, many of them were rather slow in introducing their complementary legislation. It is an historical fact that New South Wales took eighteen months to introduce its complementary legislation. I believe that it is a fair comment to say that although the States had the best intentions in the world they did not launch the campaign at the outset with the vigour that one might have expected, bearing in mind that the Commonwealth was providing all the funds for capital expenditure, clinical treatment, ordinary maintenance, diagnostic treatment and radiological treatment. Indeed, the Commonwealth was also introducing legislation to provide pensions.
Somebody might ask why the Commonwealth, although it had in 1946 won a referendum which gave it certain powers, did not pass this matter over to the States. Of course, that brings us back to the age-old question of sovereign States and the problems inherent in them. If you read the report of the proceedings at the 1948 Premiers’ Conference, on page 24 you find these very interesting comments -
Mr. Chifley. ; Will the States pass the necessary legislation?
Mr. Playford. Have you a draft bill?
– We have undertaken to submit to the States draft legislation to give effect to one or two aspects which Commonwealth law cannot cover. I refer to compulsory supervision and notification.
There we begin to see the pattern of one of the reasons which caused the Commonwealth to enter into this undertaking with the States, instead of undertaking the campaign itself. The speech made by Senator McKenna when he introduced the Tuberculosis Bill into this place on 22nd September, 1948, included a passage which I shall quote from page 639 of “ Hansard “. Senator McKenna can rely on me to read only the relevant part. He said -
It will be noted that the bill, by reason of doubt as to Commonwealth power, makes no provision to require the compulsory radiological or other examination of the public, nor does it attempt to make provision for the restraint of recalcitrant infectious patients or for the compulsory treatment of persons suffering from tuberculosis. These aspects, however, have not been overlooked and the States have asked the Commonwealth to prepare model legislation dealing with these matters for consideration by State governments where provision does not already exist in the State law “.
I think that the dominant factor in this matter is that the States have the constitutional power to conduct compulsory chest X-rays and so lead to an early diagnosis of the disease. I am sure Senator Dittmer will agree that early diagnosis is the key to the eradication of tuberculosis.
In September, 1960, the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Eric Woodward, speaking to the National Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis in Australia, said -
Mass X-ray surveys are directly responsible for finding more than 50 per cent, of notifiable -cases. There is need for emphasis in education and publicity about mass X-rays.
If, during the course of this debate, anybody wishes to claim that chest X-rays are dangerous and therefore should not be made, I recommend that he or she read what is known as the Adrian report. That is the report of a committee, presided over by Lord Adrian, which investigated in England’ the hazards of radiation. The committee was set up by the United Kingdom Parliament.
– In what year did the committee bring down its report?
– In 1959 or 1960, I think. The committee reported that the advantages of chest X-rays far exceed any hazards that may be involved because of radiation.
I do not want anybody to think that I am launching an attack on the tuberculosis agreement between the Commonwealth and the States. I unhesitatingly concede that the agreement has enabled a real job of work to be done. As a result of the agreement the death-rate from tuberculosis has fallen dramatically. I am sure that figures will be produced to portray that dramatic decline. No doubt the Minister representing the Minister for Health will, if he enters the debate, produce figures to show how effective the agreement has been. But having got so close to victory I claim that we are letting victory slip through our fingers. When I speak of victory I speak in terms of the absolute eradication of tuberculosis as a killer disease. It seems to me that in this fight against tuberculosis we are like, an army that goes to war against an enemy and
wins battle after battle, but never finally vanquishes its enemy. We win numerous battles against a deadly enemy, who is never finally defeated. We reach the stage of being about to fight the last major battle in which we could exterminate the enemy, but we fail to go in for the kill. We seem to fight only battles; we never gain absolute victory. We may have our enemy on his knees but we then become a little reluctant to exterminate him. Because we do not exterminate him he has time to regroup his forces and we. are forced to fight him again. That is the position in which we find ourselves in the fight against tuberculosis. The agreement between the Commonwealth and the States has done a mighty job. Anybody with any brains who has looked at the agreement will concede that. But we have lacked that little extra punch required to go in for the final victory and to wipe out this disease as a real killer of Australian citizens. I know that the death-rate from tuberculosis is down to about 200 or 300 a year in New South Wales, but we can do better than that. Since the Commonwealth is providing the money, and since it has an obligation to the taxpayers to examine the way in which that money is spent, we are entitled to ask the States to pursue their fight against tuberculosis to complete victory.
With the. concurrence of honorable senators I incorporate in “ Hansard “ the following table showing the capital expenditure re-imbursed to the States under the Tuberculosis Act 1948 to 31st December, I960:-
Under the agreement the Commonwealth has reimbursed the States to the amount of almost £14,000,000 in respect of capital expenditure. The Commonwealth has also provided £38,500,000 for maintenance and £15,700,000 in pensions, making a total expenditure of more than £68,000,000. I stress the point that, although the task embarked upon has been successful, we have fallen short of complete success.
Let me say a few words now about the way in which some of the States have tackled this problem of tuberculosis. 1 shall deal first with New South Wales, because that is a State about which I am better informed than I am about the other States. I would be pleased if senators from the other States were to join in this debate and tell us what is happening in their States. I wish to refer to a statement recently made by the New South Wales Minister for Health, Mr. Sheahan. Mr. Sheahan is a very vigorous and capable Minister for Health. Politics do not enter into this matter; I am simply stating facts. Mr. Sheahan has a thorough knowledge of the position. I propose to read a newspaper report of Mr. Sheahan’s remarks about the incidence of tuberculosis in New South Wales. The report reads -
Mr. Sheahan was speaking in Ryde Town Hall at the opening of the fifth mass X-ray survey of the municipality.
He said that throughout N.S.W. last year a sharp increase in the number of tuberculosis cases had been reported.
The Health Department had received notification of 1,533 cases compared with 1,166 the previous year.
Mr. Sheahan warned that far too many cases had not been detected.
Outlining the history of mass X-ray surveys in N.S.W. Mr. Sheahan said the first one was conducted by the Anti-tuberculosis Association in April, 1953.
The Health Department conducted its first compulsory survey the following year.
Between 1945 and 1959, 7,995 persons in N.S.W. had died from the disease, the death rate reaching its peak of 1,039 in 1942.
But by 1959 deaths from the disease had fallen to 224.
That was the position in New South Wales, [t will be seen from that statement that we got very close to victory, but we have now moved away from that position. In New South Wales, there is an element of compulsion. 1 understand that power in relation to compulsion is provided by the
National Health Act, but it is certainly not to be found in the enabling bill or complementary legislation. To my knowledge, the compulsory provision has never been implemented.
– I understand from Dr. Harris that it has been implemented.
– He is a relatively new director, and I think that he is doing an excellent job.
– He has had a lot of experience.
– Yes. But the point I am making is that the New South Wales Government has never implemented the power of compulsion in connexion with the anti-tuberculosis campaign. It is compulsory for people to vote. It is compulsory for them to register their dogs. It is compulsory for vehicles to keep to the lefthand side of the road. But in this important field, although we have had an opportunity to introduce a degree of compulsion, and to follow up the result of tests, we have never exercised the power. We have the power to ensure the effective screening of every person in the country, but we have not implemented it in New South Wales.
– Is it compulsory for people to present themselves for tests in the other States?
– 1 shall come to that position. In New South Wales, probably 75 per cent, of the people have shown that they have no fear of having their chests X-rayed. It may well be that a degree of risk exists in relation to the remaining 25 per cent. We must get among these people and find out whether they have tuberculosis. We must try to encourage people who handle food in delicatessen shops, and the like, to come forward for chest tests. It should be compulsory for them to present themselves for tests. The power of compulsion is inherent in the Commonwealth Tuberculosis Act of 1948. If the campaign against tuberculosis is to be effective, it must be carried out properly.
As Dr. Harris has pointed out, in the absence of compulsion there is a reluctance on ihe part of many parents to allow their children to undergo the Mantoux test and. indeed, many immigrants will not give permission for their children to undergo this simple, painless test which reveals a positive or a negative indication in relation to tuberculosis. New South Wales probably has done a better job in this respect than most other States, except Tasmania and Western Australia, but it has fallen down by not pushing home its advantage.
– Two Labour States.
– Let me turn to Queensland. I notice that Senator Dittmer is keeping his powder dry, as it were. I am informed that the authorities in Queensland have hardly touched the problem. They have not yet got round to conducting chest X-rays on a full-scale basis. Fewer people have been X-rayed than have not. Only now is Queensland beginning to get into top gear in the matter of screening citizens in respect of tuberculosis. I know that there are geographical difficulties in Queensland. I am the first to recognize that those difficulties exist.
– Why do you say there are geographical difficulties in Queensland?
– 1 say so because of the vastness of Queensland. The length of that State’s lines of communication also creates difficulties for many people.
– The authorities do very well in Western Australia, where they cover bigger areas.
– Yes, I am coming to that matter. Queensland has been reimbursed to the extent of £4,640,911 being capital expenditure on the building of hospitals for the treatment of tuberculosis. That State has been right on the ball in relation to capital expenditure for this purpose.
Look at the position in South Australia. At the Premiers’ Conference in 1948 the Premier of that State, Sir Thomas Playford, said that he supported the campaign but South Australia has not done a vigorous job. To date, South Australia has undertaken capital expenditure of only £660,000 in connexion with tuberculosis. A more vigorous campaign should be conducted there.
Tasmania and Western Australia get the blue ribbon in this issue. Despite the difficulties, those States have devoted themselves more vigorously to the tuberculosis campaign than have the other States. Of necessity, I am dealing only briefly with the various States. In Victoria, tests for tuberculosis have always been conducted on a voluntary basis. According to the transcript of the proceedings at the Premiers’ Conference, Victoria has the power to compel people to present themselves for tests, but it has never used that power. I have learnt on fairly reliable authority that the effective cover in Victoria has only been of the order of 40 per cent, of the population. I understand that Victoria is only now getting round to selecting a guinea pig area in which the authorities will try to get 100 per cent, coverage.
– Tuberculosis hospitals have been closed in places!
– They have been closed in New South Wales because there has been a dramatic fall in the incidence of tuberculosis in that State. The honorable senator’s interjection indicates to me that I have not yet got the message over. There are no State boundaries in the field of life and death. Even if a good job has been done in Victoria, there are still people dying from tuberculosis who might have been saved by early diagnosis. We have a decided responsibility in this direction. I contend that as the Commonwealth, under the agreement, provides the money, it should say to the States, “ Well done, but you must do better “. The authorities in Victoria are devoting their attention to what is called a guinea pig area. I say that the whole State and New South Wales should be a guinea pig area.
As the time available to me is limited, 1 just want to say, briefly, that both the Commonwealth and the States have the power in their hands to do the job that should be done. My point is that early diagnosis is important and that, by the application of modern clinical methods we can eradicate this disease.
Before long a census will be conducted and people will be required by law to answer certain questions. Why not include the question, “ When did you have your last chest X-ray examination? “ It would not cost us anything to get this information because already the people are required to answer certain questions when the census is being undertaken. I think this information should be obtained, otherwise the benefit from the coverage in the several States - it is 75 per cent, in New South Wales - might be. lost. I say with respect that, as the Commonwealth is appropriating taxpayers’ money to fight tuberculosis, and as we have the power in our hands to wipe this killer ofl the face of Australia, we should get on with the job. As I said before, we should say to the States, “ Well done, but you should do better “. By this means, we could enjoy the last victory by wiping out altogether in this country this dreaded disease.
I finish on the note - it is an odd note since it is a quotation from Senator McKenna’s speech and it was not original when he spoke the words - that peace has its victories which are no less renowned than those in war. We know that magnificent efforts are being made in the campaigns against heart disease and cancer. In the field of tuberculosis, we have the cure, but we need to carry out early diagnosis. We will fail as administrators if we do not get on with the job so that in our life-time we will see accomplished the original conception in relation to tuberculosis. We should take every step possible to eradicate this disease so that it will not continue to take the lives of good Australians and so that our people will have the greatest of all blessings - good health. I thank the Senate for the courtesy it has extended to me in permitting me to address it on this most important matter.
– Senator Anderson, has rendered a service to the Senate and to the cause of the eradication of tuberculosis by calling for a survey of the operation of the act and of the various agreements made under it between the Commonwealth and States during the past twelve years. The honorable senator made no attack upon the conception that underlies the act or upon the agreements made between the Commonwealth and the States. Quite obviously, what he is concerned with is the implementation of the various agreements by the States. I say to him at once that the mere fact that the Commonwealth lacked constitutional power to provide for compulsory examination and treatment was not the dominant reason why the conduct of the campaign was left to the States. There were a number of reasons for that. The first reason was that the States would not agree to the scheme unless the conduct of the campaign was left to them, and the second reason was that the Commonwealth did not have the administrative staff. Those were adequate reasons why the actual implementation of the scheme should be left in the hands of the States.
With even less time than Senator Anderson had at his disposal, I want to refer briefly to the history of the Commonwealth’s interest in the fight against tuberculosis. In 1945 an act was passed - it was amended in 1946 - at the instance of the Labour government of the day providing for a contribution of £50,000 per annum by the Commonwealth on a £1 for £1 basis with the States, to cover the capital expenditure involved. A similar amount was made available, again on a £1 for £1 basis, for the maintenance of the various institutions devoted to the eradication of tuberculosis. A third element was the provision of £250,000 per annum to make special allowances to sufferers from the disease, to encourage them to give up work, to seek treatment to arrest the disease and to prevent them from infecting other people.
That was the modest beginning. Late in 1946 the then Director-General of Health, Dr. Metcalfe, enthused me on the question of the grave danger that tuberculosis represented to the nation, not only because of the human misery it caused but also because of the colossal economic waste that it caused isa the community - waste that could be prevented. I took the matter to Cabinet and in June. 1948, I conferred with all the State Health Ministers in Melbourne. The scheme promulgated by the Commonwealth Department of Health was approved at a Premiers’ Conference in August of that year. I think that the main reason for the success of the scheme at the Commonwealth level was that, in the beginning, we picked the right person to be the Director of Tuberculosis. We picked Dr. Harry Wunderly, now Sir Harry Wunderly, who did a magnificent job. He was not only a man with the highest professional qualifications, attracting to himself the confidence of the medical profession, but he had the confidence of all the technical officers of the State health departments. Above all, he was blessed with a very pleasing personality that made him a wonderful advocate when it became a matter eventually of getting through the various State parliaments legislation that the Commonwealth had drafted. He met difficulties with the Legislative Council of Tasmania, but he overcame them, lt was due to his great knowledge, patience and ability that the scheme was thoroughly and soundly envisaged in the beginning, and he, more than anybody else, played a major part in securing the co-operation of the States at the official, parliamentary and every other level. It would be wrong to discuss the eradication of tuberculosis and not acknowledge the great debt that this nation owes to Sir Harry Wunderly.
The basis of the scheme in 1946, apart from the technical plans drawn up under the leadership of Dr. Wunderly, as he was then, was that as from 1st July, 1948, the Commonwealth would meet the whole of the additional capital expenditure in the States, as well as the whole of the additional maintenance expenditure incurred by the States. That was expenditure over and above that incurred in the base year, 1947-48. Any limit upon the amount to be paid to sufferers by way of the special tuberculosis allowance was lifted.
The scheme had a tentative beginning. Senator Anderson was right in saying that it took time to get the necessary legislation through the various State parliaments. Four of them put it through in 1949 and two of them took until 1950. The New South Wales Parliament was one of those two. There were difficulties, not the least of which was that involved in persuading the State parliaments that compulsory examination in the search for people suffering from tuberculosis - people who were a danger to their fellows - was an essential ingredient of the scheme. That delayed progress a good deal, but by May, 1.950, all States had passed the necessary legislation and had made provision for compulsory X-rays and examinations. They had provided for the rare occasions when a recalcitrant person will not undergo hospital treatment and, in disregard of the public interest, goes on infecting his fellows. Those are rare cases, but the State legislation completely provides for them. Unfortunately, however, not all the States have sought to exercise the power that they took.
Senator Anderson has quite fairly reviewed the position in the States. Western
Australia - despite its difficult terrain - and Tasmania are right out in the van, with extremely high percentages of their populations undergoing constant and thorough examinations. New South Wales and South Australia have done exceedingly well, but they could do better. I think South Australia could increase its staff. The States do not have to pay for any increase in staff. The Commonwealth will gladly pay, in order to make sure that the States get the staff and the facilities needed to enable them to go ahead. I pass to Queensland and Victoria. Although Victoria took power in its act to conduct compulsory X-ray examinations - which are the very base of the whole scheme - it has never conducted them. I understand, however, that Dr. King, the Director of Tuberculosis at the Commonwealth level, has recently entered into an agreement with the director in Victoria to have, as Senator Anderson has indicated, a pilot compulsory survey. Victoria has been very hesitant about embarking upon compulsory examinations, but when I say something in a moment about the position in Tasmania honorable senators will see that it is purely a matter of educating the public. With education, the people accept these examinations completely and warmly. In Tasmania the population has embraced the system and is co-operating magnificently.
Queensland, unfortunately., until the end of last year, conducted no compulsory X-ray examinations at all. Queensland and Victoria are the two States in which a real effort needs to be made in that direction. Queensland is now making a move, but it is handicapped because its Director of Tuberculosis is himself a sufferer from the disease and is at the moment, I understand, a patient in the Chermside Hospital. I have no doubt that he worked very hard on the scheme, and that probably has brought about his disability. The important thing is to find the sufferers in order to break down the chain of infection. The victims must be found before they become infectious and before they become a danger to others.
I agree entirely with what Senator Anderson has said about the absence of risk from radiation in these X-ray examinations. Not only has the Commonwealth provided the capital equipment for the
States for the past twelve years; it has provided the best of equipment. The X-ray equipment they have is of a kind which exposes the patient to a minimum of radiation. The best information available indicates that it has no adverse effect at all but that, on the contrary, it has a very beneficial effect on the community.
I should like to say a word or two about the anti-tuberculosis campaign in Tasmania as highlighting what can be done. Dr. Tremayne, the Director of Tuberculosis in that State, has supplied me with certain particulars. It is interesting to note that an X-ray coverage of between 70 and 80 per cent, is obtained in the centres of high population - Hobart and Launceston - and that the mobile units have a 95 per cent, response from the populations of some areas and in some cases more than 100 per cent, in that, when the mobile unit goes to a particular locality in which the residents are asked to co-operate, people from the surrounding areas flock to take advantage of the service. In Tasmania they really go through the sound barrier! The people there understand the importance of the campaign to themselves as individuals and in the wiping out of this disease. They look at it from the humanitarian viewpoint as well as from the economic viewpoint.
– Do they get the best results down there?
– They do. They get the most magnificent results. Dr. Tremayne has referred to one aspect of the campaign which is very significant. The mere fall in the death rate is not a very significant pointer to the success of the scheme. There is a very much better yardstick - the incidence of the disease in children of up to fourteen years of age. On that point, Dr. Tremayne has said this -
This testing has two important features, firstly, it’ sometimes leads to the discovery of an unknown infectious case, and most importantly, it provides the most accurate yardstick in the measurement of the success of the campaign.
The extensively small figures of tuberculin reactors in the schools of the State is one of the best indications of the progress towards the final eradication of the disease.
If one looks at the report of the DirectorGeneral of Health for the period 1956- 1958, one finds at page 40 a most significant table relating to the aspect of the campaign to which Dr. Tremayne referred in the passage I have just quoted. The Director-General refers, in that table, to notifications in the age group of up to fourteen years as a percentage of total notifications. It is interesting to note that in South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and Western Australia the percentage fell to a marked degree during the period from 1956 to 1958. The fall was as follows: - In South Australia, from 14 per cent, to 5.9 per cent.; in Tasmania, from 9.5 to 5.6 per cent.; in New South Wales, from 4.2 to 4 per cent.; and in Western Australia, from 5.2 to 3.2 per cent.
Now let us examine the position in the States in which X-ray examinations have not been compulsory. In Victoria the incidence rose from 6.9 per cent, to 10.5 per cent., and in Queensland from 5 per cent, to 10.4 per cent. It will be noted that in those two States there was a much higher incidence amongst the children.
– It proves that climate has nothing to do with the matter.
– Well, as Dr. Tremayne has pointed out, the real test is the effect of the campaign on the younger children. The reduction of the incidence of death may be due not so much to the anti-tuberculosis campaign itself as to new drugs, such as streptomycin, PAS and isoniazid, that have come into being.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Wood). - Order! The honorable senator’s time has expired.
Senator Dame ANNABELLE RANKIN (Queensland) [4.50]. - As Senator McKenna has just said, we are all very much indebted to Senator Anderson for having submitted this matter for discussion, and for having given us an opportunity to review what has been done in the important fight against tuberculosis and to learn a little more about what has been done in the various States. I join with Senator McKenna in paying a tribute to the first Director of the Division of Tuberculosis, Sir Harry Wunderly, and all those who have followed in his footsteps by dedicating themselves to the fight against this terrible disease.
As both of the previous speakers have acknowledged, the fight against tuberculosis in Australia has been most spectacular. I join with Senator Anderson in saying that much has been done but that much remains to be done before final victory is achieved. Let us .examine some of the fine work that has been done by the Commonwealth and State governments working together. Millions of pounds have .been spent upon diagnosis and treatment. I should like to give the Senate the benefit of some of the details of the work that has been done in my own State - Queensland. Hospitals and annexes have been provided at the expense of the Commonwealth Government. For example, we have the Brisbane Chest Hospital at Chermside - a very fine hospital of 412 beds, within the walls of which this disease is being fought. As a result of what is being done at that hospital very many people have been enabled to return to good health and to their homes. We have also the Waiben hospital with 92 beds, the Rockhampton hospital with 50 beds, the Townsville hospital with 60 beds, the Cairns hospital with 50 beds, the Toowoomba hospital with 50 beds and the Cherbourg hospital with 40 beds.
Capital expenditure reimbursed to 31st December, 1960, amounted to £4,640,911. Maintenance expenditure reimbursed to the same date totalled £5,403,266, and expenditure on tuberculosis allowances to the same date amounted to £2,304.986. The total expenditure was £12,349,163 - a very great sum, indeed. The most important aspect of the matter is that that money has enabled people to be cured of the disease and to be returned to their homes and the occupations in which they are interested.
The point that was made by both Senator Anderson and Senator McKenna in relation to compulsory X-ray examinations is of very great importance indeed. I am pleased to be able to say that Queensland now is implementing compulsory X-ray examinations. As Senator Anderson said, previously it was mainly quite well persons who attended for X-ray examination. I believe that, with the introduction of compulsory X-ray examinations, we shall discover the cases that really are in need of care. The most important aspect of such surveys is that early diagnosis is achieved. Early diagnosis means early treatment and in most cases, thank goodness, early treatment means a complete cure and -winning the battle against what would otherwise foe the .death of the patient. It also means that the infected person, who can spread infection to other people, is being cared for in hospital, and so the prospect of extension of the disease in lessened. This is of great importance, particularly to a family in which the mother perhaps does not know she has tuberculosis. Before having the X-ray she may have been infecting her children and others in close association with her. The introduction of compulsory X-rays will be of tremendous importance, more cases will be found, and sufferers will receive greater assistance.
The annual notification of new sufferers from the disease has not shown any great reduction in recent years. This means that still further effort is needed if this national campaign is to succeed. In some States the need will be for the maintenance of a diagnosis programme. In other States, where there is a higher incidence of the disease, the need will be for an intensification of the programme for cure. I should like to talk a little about the mobile X-ray units functioning throughout Queensland. Perhaps it is not quite correct to say “ throughout “. They are operating in some areas and I hope that before very long more of these units will be operating, for only by this means can many large areas of my State receive the X-ray test necessary for early diagnosis. These figures are well worthy of the Senate’s consideration. Since November, 1959, certain areas of Queensland have been proclaimed under the Tuberculosis Regulations of 1955 as areas in which all persons over the age of fourteen years must have a chest X-ray. This is a coverage of tremendous importance and it is a very great task for all those people who are working in the cause of humanity in this field.
As honorable senators know, Queensland is a very large State and great mileages have to be covered by the mobile units. The first area to be surveyed was the Cairns area, which included the territory from Mosman to Cardwell along the northern coastline, and also the inland area of the Atherton Tableland. Then the units moved south to Townsville, Ingham and Proserpine and west to Mount Isa and Camooweal, discovering in those distant areas people who were suffering from this disease. Gradually the units moved farther southwards, to Bundaberg, Maryborough, Cracow, Theodore, Eidsvold, Mundubbera, Gayndah, Childers, the Hervey Bay area, and Gympie. At present they are in the Nambour area. Honorable senators will appreciate the very large coverage that this service has provided. Looking at the map of Queensland, we realize that a very large area remains untouched. That is where we see a great need for continuance of the part being played by the Commonwealth and State Governments in the fight against this disease.
From 9th November, 1959, to 26th April, 1961, 271,347 persons were X-rayed by these mobile units. Of course, X-ray reports take longer in some instances than in others, because some abnormality is shown. Further X-rays may be needed and there are delays in compiling complete figures for surveys. The latest complete figures I have been able to get show that 402 new cases of active tuberculosis were reported from the areas in which the mobile units have made surveys. I hope that these have been discovered in time to make a complete cure possible. But may I put the other side of the picture? If the surveys had not been made, many of those 402 persons would not have known they had the disease. How many of them could then have been cured? How many would have died from tuberculosis? The importance of such surveys must he apparent to every one of us. We can say that the campaign has been very good so far as it has gone. There have been splendid achievements, but, as both Senator Anderson and Senator McKenna have said, we must have continuous surveys. Many, many more people, wherever they live, must have the opportunity for X-ray examination.
I am glad to know that proposals have been made for the extension of the tuberculosis campaign, which will mean more caravan mobile units and new accommodation for the chest clinic in Brisbane, 1 believe that this will be of tremendous importance. 1 hope it will not be very long before these -measures come into operation, because .delay in this case means that the disease cannot be fought as effectively, and the sufferer may mot be cured as quickly and, indeed, may not .be cured at all. I have already given the numbers of new 1 cases that have been disclosed by the sur veys. These show the tremendous importance of compulsory chest X-rays and the urgent need to get on with this important work and to ensure, that before very long there will have been a complete survey, which will mean early diagnosis, early separation of those who are infectious, and early treatment. This will be to many the difference between life and death, the grim reaper. That is the tremendously important feature of this fight, of which we in this country are very proud. But let us not become complacent and apathetic. Let us remember that we must be constantly vigilant. This work must proceed to the fullest extent. Every person, wherever he may be, must have the best possible opportunity of X-ray surveys, early diagnosis, and every possible care to ensure, recovery and a happy future.
We are indebted to Senator Anderson for bringing this matter before the Senate. We are tremendously indebted to the great body of men and women, doctors and nurses, others who work within hospital walls, in chest clinics and in mobile units travelling the length and breadth of the country, men and women dedicated to the fight against this disease and to helping men, women and little children along the high road to health. This campaign assures Australia of a place in the medical history of the world of which we as Australians should be most proud. Let us continue our fight against tuberculosis. Let us get rid of the dread disease. Let the men and women of this country walk free of the shadow of this illness.
.- It would not be gracious of honorable senators on this side of the chamber if we did not pay tribute to Senator Anderson for bringing this matter before the Senate and for giving us an opportunity to discuss it. We all realize the significance and importance of the eradication of tuberculosis, but frankly, I should have preferred the subject matter of the discussion to be set forth in more definite terms. In the light of the alleged or actual failure of some of the States to honour an obligation to their people in this respect, perhaps we should have embodied in the terms of the statement submitted with the motion a definite ultimatum to the .States in. relation to their performance. If for no other reason than fear of the reaction of the people of the States, the authorities concerned might in future display more interest in the health of the people. Nevertheless, the honorable senator’s motion provides us with an opportunity to discuss the subject in general terms.
There is no need to deal with the matter medically, because most people know that tuberculosis is an infection, of a contagious nature, of a particular organism. The question of heredity was passed over in rather light-hearted fashion. The role that heredity plays in the spread of the disease has not yet been determined.
– What kind of sanctions would the honorable senator impose on the States that did not do as he suggests?
– An ultimatum that money would not be provided unless they agreed to provide facilities for the people.
– In other words, that money would not be provided to save the lives of their citizens.
– In other words, if they did not observe their obligations they would have to face the rage of their people. That is the kind of thing that might be considered - an ultimatum.
– A drastic one.
– It would be a fairly drastic one, but tuberculosis is a drastic disease, as the honorable senator would know if he had ever suffered from it. There is a large morbidity and mortality rate amongst sufferers.
The discussion so far has, in some measure, been concerned with the mortality rate, and it has been said that that is not a true guide to the efficacy of the performance of the States. Regardless of the political colour of the Government at present in temporary occupation of the Treasury bench in the Queensland Parliament, I must say that the mortality rate in Queensland has decreased from 19.8 per 100,000 to 5.4 per 100,000, so that there is room for a tribute to be paid. Senator McKenna referred to examination of children and the younger people of the community. This is known as the conversion rate and is probably the best method of measuring the effectiveness of action taken to eliminate the disease.
When you make an investigation involving a large number of children and find, through the reaction or skin test, that a decreasing number has been exposed to the disease, you realize that there has been a decrease in the incidence of the disease.
There are certain matters that should be mentioned in a discussion of this subject. 1 heard Senator McKenna pay a glowing tribute to a man who is entitled to all the praise that we can accord to him. I refer to Sir Harry Wunderly, the first Director of the Division of Tuberculosis to be appointed. I think, too, that a high tribute should be paid to Senator McKenna. I admit that Senator Anderson, in quoting Senator McKenna’s words in introducing the Tuberculosis Bill, paid a tacit tribute to him. Irrespective of the work done by Sir Harry Wunderly, it was the government of the day - I am not attempting to make this a political issue - that was seized of a high sense of responsibility in this matter. That Government was the Chifley Government, which we have heard maligned so repeatedly. There had been many governments in control of the Treasury bench in the Commonwealth Parliament, but none had had such a sense of responsibility as the Chifley Government in regard to this question.
If we read the words that were enunciated at the Premiers’ Conference in 1948, at the time that Senator McKenna was Minister for Health, we see that the Commonwealth sought the co-operation of the States. I pay a tribute to every one present at that conference. They all were anxious to co-operate, but running through the thread of their ideas, as exemplified by their words, was the thought, “ How much are we going to cede? “ Some States even said, “ Because we have spent money in an endeavour to treat and eliminate tuberculosis, are we to receive less? “ They were not concerned with the overall approach to the elimination of the disease. They did not approach the matter from the national point of view, or with an awareness of the national responsibility to eliminate a disease that could be eliminated. After all, Mr. President, Australia is a land of sunshine. In this country, of all countries in the world, we have probably the best environment for the ready elimination of tuberculosis, provided that we adopt measures to counteract the other factors that are associated with its incidence. 1 believe it was the late Mr. Hanlon, the Premier of Queensland, who was the first to say at the 1948 conference, “ Well, this is a national problem “. He realized that Senator McKenna had gone to the Premiers’ Conference with a sense of national responsibility. Mr. Hanlon appreciated that it was a national problem, and through the good graces of each and every one present, an agreement was entered into.
I think that Senator Anderson has done an excellent job in bringing this matter forward, because it focuses attention on the national responsibility in relation to health. Tuberculosis is not the only national responsibility in the field of health. It is not the only disease which is spread throughout Australia. There are industrial hazards associated with various occupations. In that respect, the States, by and large, have done little, and possibly the National Parliament has done less. There are certain other features of the eradication of tuberculosis which have not yet been mentioned. We have to face up to the need for investigation. I know that the time which Senator Anderson had to discuss this big subject was limited. I have not had the opportunity or the time to investigate the subject fully, but I know that capital expenditure has decreased substantially. It has declined from £2,381,209 for the year ended 30th .lune, 1957, to £781,089 for the year ended 30th June, 1960. That decline in expenditure could reflect the efficacy of our endeavours to eradicate the disease. On the other hand, it could indicate that we are not facing up to our responsibilities, and if that were so, it would more than justify Senator Anderson in bringing this question before the Senate. If the States have met all the requirements in regard to capital expenditure, that is all to the good, but if they have not done so, it is the responsibility of the present Minister for Health in the National Parliament to see just what the States are doing and in what way they are failing.
As I see the position, one of the most important things is to have compulsory X-rays all over Australia. Because Australians, by and large, do not accept compulsion readily, associated with the X-rays there must be a programme of education with the object of pointing out to the people that this disease can be eliminated, that it can be a killer, that it can be associated with morbidity, and that it can be associated with economic disabilities. Strangely enough, Mr. President, though we in Australia are a happy people and live in a care-free land which enjoys climatic conditions that are among the best in the world, we have not a great sense of responsibility in matters of public health. In other countries, advertisements are displayed and pamphlets and booklets are distributed on a large scale in comparison with the way we advertise, in an effort to make the people heath-conscious. Tuberculosis is one disease in respect of which it is essential that people be health-conscious.
The first step is to have mass X-rays. Incidentally, since the X-rays have been changed from 35 millimetre to 70 millimetre there have been practically no errors in diagnosis. There were errors with the 35 millimetre X-rays, but now I believe that with the use of 70 millimetre X-rays the incidence of error is very small; there are no errors other than human errors, which cannot be avoided. We must have repetition of X-rays. It is no use just passing people through like a mob of cattle, branding them and saying, “ They are clear “ or “ They are not all clear”, and that is the end of it. Depending on their age, people must be brought back for repetitive X-rays.
The timing of such X-rays must be considered in terms of the industries in which the people work. If I may digress somewhat, let me say that once people are over 40 years of age, I believe that compulsory X-rays should be continued because of what has been done in the anti-tuberculosis campaign in picking up early malignant disease of the lungs. Many such cases have been picked up incidentally in this campaign.
Another measure which must be taken is educating people in relation to responsibility not only for their health but also for their environment. People have to face up to the fact that environment is important. Tuberculosis is not just a disease in respect of which, when it comes along, a person can say, “ I am suffering from it because I have been in contact with a person “. Predisposing conditions must be present - possibly under-nourishment or diminished resistance. So, the question becomes more than just facing up to finding and diagnosing the disease. We should find out why people are predisposed to it. We should educate them to adopt preventive measures, and we should teach the people who suffer from the disease that they have a responsibility not to spread it. Incidentally, I am informed that one of the biggest contributing factors is associated with the girls and men who work behind the bar in hotels. They do not realize that not only are they likely to contract the disease from their customers, but also if they suffer from it they are more likely to spread it because of their contact with so many people. All these factors must be taken into consideration in combating this disease. I think it was Senator Hannaford who disagreed with me when I suggested that an ultimatum to those States which have failed-
– I said that it was poor consolation for the unfortunate sufferers when you cut off the source of supply and use sanctions, as you suggested.
– Frankly, I do not think that any State would dare arouse the ire of its people by not accepting the responsibility to do something of a national nature which is justifiable. The States should face up to their responsibilities, and if they do not, the National Parliament should take measures to force them to do so.
– I desire to commend Senator Anderson for giving the Senate the opportunity to debate this matter. I agree with previous speakers who have said that there can never be- any complacency about public health, and particularly this disease which for many years was described as the white man’s scourge.. We are deeply indebted to Senator Anderson for giving us; the opportunity to express; our points of view. Both he and the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna) dealt with matters leading up to the signing of the agreement between the Commonwealth and the States. It is true that until the end of World War II. the problems of tuberculosis, its control and its prevention were in the hands of the States and that at the end of that world war the Commonwealth decided to enter the field. One of its first acts was to include a new division within the Commonwealth Department of Health. I join with previous speakers in paying, my tribute to the mag nificent work of Sir Harry Wunderly. In Victoria, we had another very distinguished doctor, Df. Hilary Roche, who travelled overseas and obtained the best available information on tuberculosis. He, Sir Harry Wunderly and a number of other men have rendered wonderful service to Australia in the efforts, they have made and successfully carried through, to eradicate tuberculosis.
I think Senator Anderson referred to the total amount of money that has been spent by the Commonwealth since the introduction of the scheme. It amounts to £68,2.15,064. As Senator McKenna said, that money has been paid to the States to cover capital and maintenance costs and also- to> pay allowances to sufferers from tuberculosis: I believe that the payment of such allowances makes the Australian scheme unique. I do not know that there is any other country which has decided to pay allowances to people suffering from tuberculosis in order to remove financial worry from their minds, as Senator McKenna said, while they are undergoing treatment. I believe that that has been of immeasurable help to thousands of people. It is true that those payments are subject to a means test, but the wonderful part about the treatment that is given to sufferers from tuberculosis is that the hospital treatment, drugs and surgery are provided free. In my opinion we have reason to be very proud of the Australian scheme.
Mention has been made of the fact that Victoria does not insist on compulsory X- rays;. Whilst I favour them, I believe that it is only fair to say that Victoria was dealing with the tuberculosis problem for many, many years prior to the introduction of the Commonwealth scheme. Prior to 1927 there was a clinic; there, may have been more than one. In 1927 the State Government decided to appoint a director of tuberculosis and plans for the extension of the control and prevention of the disease were set in motion. Because Victoria was very conscious of the effect of tuberculosis, it was the first State to sign the agreement with the Commonwealth. As a result of the. organization that had been set up, Victoria was able, with the funds provided by the Commonwealth, to proceed immediately with a plan of expansion. Senator McKenna and Senator Dittmer have stated that we cannot take the lowering of the mortality rate as a true yardstick of ‘the improvement that has been made in the control of tuberculosis. With the concurrence of honorable senators I incorporate in “Hansard” the following table showing certain statistics pertaining to Victoria:-
The table shows that 825 new cases were notified in 1947, which was a rate of 40.17 per 100,000 of the population. Deaths in that year totalled 677 and 855 beds were available for tuberculosis patients. In 1948, when Victoria was still without the benefit of Commonwealth aid for tuberculosis, 677 cases were notified - a rate of 32.37 per 100,000 of the population. Deaths numbered 641 - a rate of 30.65 per 100,000 of the population. The number of beds available for tuberculosis cases was 735. In other words, in 1948 there were 120 fewer beds available than in the previous year. But by 1 950, although the -number of cases notified had risen to ;836, which was a rate of 37.37 per 1(00,000 of the population, the number of deaths had fallen to 443 - a rate of 2OJ05 per 100,000 of the population. In 1 950 beds available for tuberculosis .patients numbered 1,163. That figure shows that as soon as .the States received Commonwealth .assistance they provided a greater number of beds for the treatment of this disease.
Coming to 1.960 we find that 863 cases were notified, which is a rate of 29.5 per 100,000 of the population. Deaths num bered 138-a rate of 4.7 per 100,000 of the population. There were 744 beds available for the treatment of patients, lt must be borne in mind that in 1950 the average length of stay in a sanitorium was 320 days, but in 1’960 it was 1-41. 1 think the Victorian experience is indicative of what has happened throughout Australia.
I want to say a few words about the action taken oy Victoria to eradicate tuberculosis. Victoria has not yet resorted to compulsory X-rays, but all school children, as far as I can ‘understand, .are required to have the Mantoux skin test. People who have had contact with tuberculosis sufferers, the staffs of sanitoriums and .hospitals, national service trainees and school -children approaching school leaving age are given the B.C.G. vaccination. In 1960, about 46,000 people were .given this vaccination. I agree with Senator McKenna that the greatest danger lies with children approaching school leaving age, but I point out that although .the figures in respect of this group have risen in Victoria, we .should not Jose sight of the fact that whereas, in 1948, Victoria had a population of just over 2,000,000 persons, its population will soon be 3^000,000. Victoria’s population has increased rapidly, but by 19S7 tuberculosis sanitoriums were being closed. 1 believe that opportunities exist for an intensification of the campaign against tuberculosis in Victoria but 1 must emphasize that Victoria has not been unmindful of its obligations in this regard. Although Victoria has received about £16,227,000 from the Commonwealth to cover capital expenditure, maintenance and tuberculosis allowances, it has spent in the same period about £2,800,000 from State funds. So Victoria has been well aware of the need to control and prevent tuberculosis. 1 am very grateful to Dr. Marshman, Director of Tuberculosis in Victoria, for his assurance that he will press on with a programme designed to reach the irreducible minimum in the incidence of tuberculosis in Victoria. I am sure that his campaign will be successful. One thing that the Victorian authorities could do is ask public hospitals to see that all out-patients are X-rayed. That action would go some of the way towards bridging the gap between those people who are at present voluntarily submitting to X-ray and those who are not.
The Senate and the nation are indebted to Senator Anderson for giving us the opportunity to express our opinions on this matter. I associate myself with the tribute paid by Senator Dame Annabelle Rankin to all those men and women throughout Australia and elsewhere who have made a study of this disease and who, often at great risk to their personal health, have ministered to sufferers from it.
.- I, too, congratulate Senator Anderson on raising this matter, although it must be admitted that nothing of a tangible nature can be done as a result of his action. As has been pointed out, the success of the fight against tuberculosis depends on uniformity of legislative action taken by the States.
Senator Anderson was generous enough to pay a tribute to the Labour Government of 1948 which introduced legislation to make the treatment of tuberculosis uniform throughout the Commonwealth. Since the Commonwealth lacked the necessary constitutional power to deal with the matter, the next best thing to do was to secure agreement with the States. This was done following conferences held with the States in 1948.
As a result of that agreement the necessary Commonwealth legislation was enacted. Under that legislation the Commonwealth agreed to provide the States with services and facilities for the diagnosis, treatment and control of tuberculosis. Of course, there was a safeguard. The Commonwealth also made subsidies available to universities and other institutions for investigations and research into the dreaded disease of tuberculosis. Subsidies were also paid in connexion with the overall training connected with the diagnosis, treatment and control of tuberculosis. The Commonwealth also established an advisory council. It will be seen that the Labour Government of that day, despite the constitutional limitations, did the best that it could realizing that the eradication of tuberculosis, and other matters of a like nature, are definitely a national responsibility.
The only way in which the Commonwealth could come into this scheme in collaboration with the States was by providing the finance necessary. Under the Tuberculosis Act 1948, the Commonwealth undertook to pay the additional capital expenditure and the additional maintenance involved in the campaign to eradicate the dread disease of tuberculosis. It was realized that one of the essential factors in combating this disease was to eliminate as far as possible any economic worry on the pan of sufferers from tuberculosis. Consequently, the Commonwealth Government approved a special payment to sufferers from tuberculosis and to their dependants in order to encourage the sufferers to refrain from working so that they could receive proper treatment and be properly looked after. Provision was also made for their aftercare and rehabilitation without the application of a means test. As has been mentioned - and there is some truth in this - a great scare was caused a few years ago by the press publicity that was given to the danger that is supposed to be inherent in undergoing X-ray treatment. It was stated at the time that there was a danger of X-ray examinations causing leukemia or cancer and in consequence a lot of people were discouraged from undergoing X-ray tests.
The ultimate objective is to eradicate tuberculosis. It is necessary to detect the disease in its early stages. Unless we can get uniformity among the States in the matter of compulsory X-ray examinations, it does not seem that we will be able to get very far along the road in this matter.
The debate that has taken place here today will emphasize to the States in general, and some in particular, the consequences of their failure to take advantage of the provisions of the Commonwealth legislation. This debate has emphasized the difficulty of getting uniformity among the States on any subject, no matter how important it may be.
As I have said, the Premiers of all the States agreed that early diagnosis and the cure of tuberculosis formed a national problem, a serious problem. They all agreed to bring down complementary legislation and, as has been pointed out by previous speakers, some of the States did in fact do so. Senator Anderson has told us that although there is provision for compulsory X-ray examinations in New South Wales, the power has not been fully implemented in that State. Other States, including my own State, Victoria, have not made provision for com pulsory X-ray examinations; I understand that the coverage in that State extends to only 40 per cent, of the population. Some of the figures that are contained in the thirtyeighth report of the Commission of Public Health to the Minister of Health in Victoria for the year 1959-60 are very interesting. Under the heading “Tuberculosis” the report states -
An examination of the morbidity and mortality rates for the ten years to December, 1959, shows a satisfactory decline in the incidence of tuberculosis and indicates the efficacy of modern methods of treatment of the disease. The downwards trend during this decade continues but the year 1959 brought about a slight levelling off which again indicates that although the situation is promising there is no cause to be complacent. The 1959 figure of new notifications includes an increase in the number of extra pulmonary cases which is attributed to closer liaison with private doctors and hospitals in management of these forms of tuberculosis.
With the concurrence of honorable senators, I incorporate in “Hansard” the following table in the report from which I am quoting: -
It will be seen from this table that the highest number of notifications, 1,143, took place in 1954 when the population of Victoria was just below two and a half million people, which indicates the very small percentage of notifications. In that year, the morbidity rate per 100,000 persons was 46.09. The highest morbidity rate on that basis was 46.39, in 1953, and the lowest was 27.65, in 1958. The highest number of deaths occurred in 1950, when 443 people died from tuberculosis. The lowest number of deaths from this cause occurred in 1957 and 1958, there being 145 deaths in each of those years. The highest mortality rate was 19.80 per 100,000 of population in 1950, and the lowest was 5.23 per 100,000 of population in 1958. Here again, we do not get a proper indication of what is in volved because, of the absence of compulsion in relation to X-ray examinations. To emphasize this point, I direct attention to the following paragraph that appeared in the report -
Tuberculosis case finding continued along established lines - mass X-ray surveys, tuberculin testing of contacts of notified cases and in schools and colleges, and routine health, hospital and medical practitioner services.
The report goes on to state -
The chest X-ray examination of persons according to trades and professions, e.g. hairdressers, hotel staffs-
Senator Dittmer mentioned that hotel staffs were frequently transmitters of this disease - firemen, teacher 4, &c, was maintained. A total of 6,229 hairdressers received letters recommending examination and from the 2,016 X-rayed the number of possibly active cases of tuberculosis was 9. 1 emphasize that statement. Of a total of 6,229 hairdressers who received letters recommending examination, only 2,016 were X-rayed. This indicates the very small percentage of people who attend for X-ray tests even when they are invited to avail themselves of the service. The report goes on -
The licensees of 882 hotels co-operated to such ari extent that 98S members of their staffs attended for X-ray.
Of course, that does not give any indication of the total number of employees involved in the number of hotels mentioned. I suggest that in that instance also, the number who attended for examination was very small. The paragraph continues -
The possibly active cases of tuberculosis numbered 11. . . . Of the 401,588 people X-rayed on micro-film, 174 were possibly active cases of tuberculosis. Males number 121 and females 53. Healed or quiescent cases in this group were 1,032. In addition 15,133 persons were examined on large film without previous micro X-ray. Possibly active cases number 28 males and 11 females.
There again, the report shows that of the 401,588 people who were X-rayed on one type of film and 15,133 on another type of film, only a very small percentage availed themselves of the service that is rendered free of charge. Obviously, if we wish to achieve complete success in this field, there must be uniform legislation in the various States, and uniformity of action under that legislation. This, of course, applies to matters other than those related to public health. It was indicated quite clearly in connexion with prices control.
Sitting suspended from 5.45 to 8 p.m.
– In the very little time left at my disposal, I want to re-emphasize the point I had endeavoured to make prior to the suspension of the sitting. It appears from this and other legislation that has been enacted by the Commonwealth from time to time that it is absolutely futile to expect uniformity among the States on national matters. If Senator Anderson has done nothing else, he has rendered a service in highlighting the necessity for the Commonwealth Parliament to have more power. A service for the eradication of tuberculosis has been offered to the people of Australia by the Commonwealth. This service and services covering other dread diseases such as cancer, heart disease and poliomyelitis could be operated effectively under a national scheme if the Commonwealth Parliament were clothed with sufficient power to make it a parliament that was national in fact as well as in name.
I have given figures relating to hairdressers and hotel employees. The figures for the hairdressers indicate that, of more than 6,000 who were contacted and recommended to undergo X-ray examinations, only 2,000 agreed to do so. No doubt the response would be much the same in other industries where those engaged would be liable to transmit the disease to the general public. Shop assistants come into contact with the shopping public, and railway and tramway staffs are in constant contact with the travelling public.
Prior to the suspension of the sitting, I referred to the defeat of the prices referendum in 1948. The anti-Labour parties campaigned against the proposals put forward in that referendum. If the referendum had been carried, this National Parliament would have had the power necessary to institute a uniform prices control system. It was contended by the antiLabour parties at that time that, although prices control was necessary, it could be administered more adequately by the various States. We know what has happened in that field. Tuberculosis is a dread disease, and one which causes great national concern. The Labour Party in 1948, realizing the national importance of eradicating tuberculosis, if possible, offered an eradication scheme to the States. Each State could have availed itself of the scheme to a greater extent than it has done up to date..
The figures and the facts that have been mentioned in debate have brought into the spotlight of public attention the differences that exist between the States. Senator Anderson is to be commended for initiating such a debate, although nothing can be accomplished by it. All we can do is to highlight the futility of expecting uniformity among, the States on such vital national matters. However, I suggest that we should not let the matter rest where it is, and that some endeavour should be made by the National Parliament to call a conference of the Ministers for Health in the various States. Even though the scheme has been in operation since 1948, there is no more uniformity now than there was at the beginning - as a matter- of fact, there is probably less. The States have power to make X-ray examination compulsory, but the Commonwealth lacks that power. The next best thing the Commonwealth can do is to call a conference of Ministers for Health in the various States to see whether something can be done to justify the enormous expense and the’ great research efforts that have been put into the eradication of tuberculosis. We should ensure that the health of the nation benefits as a. result of that expense and those efforts.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator the Mon. A. D. Reid).- Order! The honorable senator’s time has expired.
– I” wish to be amongst those who have congratulated’ Senator Anderson on bringing forward this subject for discussion as a matter of urgency, I do not think there is anything more important in the lives of Australian people than to grapple with the problem of the eradication of a disease such as we are discussing. As Senator Sandford said, in 1947 or 1948 a Labour Government produced a plan for a campaign’ to eradicate tuberculosis, in which it desired the co-operation of the States. The States readily agreed to the proposition put up by the Commonwealth Government that it would, find all moneys required to. be expended in excess of what was being expended prior to 1947-48 to combat this deadly disease. As the result of the scheme, the Commonwealth Government has spent over £60,00(^000 so far in an endeavour to control tuberculosis.
Some of the States are not taking as active a part in this campaign as they should be taking: Although all of the States have power to make X-ray examinations compulsory, only two States have done so up to the present time. An examination of the figures available proves that those two States are getting the best results. Senator Wedgwood has told us what Victoria was doing, but I think it can be stated quite factually that, on a per capita basis, the results obtained in Victoria are not as satisfactory as- those that have been obtained in Western Australia.. In 1950 there were 604 notifications of tuberculosis in Western Australia, and in 1960, as a result of compulsory X-ray examinations, the number of notifications fell to 363-. In Victoria in1 1950, the number of notifications was 836 and in 1959 it was 862. In that State the policy is not to conduct compulsory X-ray examinations. In Western Australia, the notifications have been greatly reduced, and in that State compulsory X-ray examinations were, conducted: during practically the whole of the time.
Since 1950 the successive governments of Western Australia have achieved remarkable results.. Senator Anderson said he’ could forgive Queensland,, because of its- size and the difficulty that would be: experienced in getting mobile X-ray equipment around the State,, for not having undertaken compulsory examinations.. But in. Western Australia, which, is. almost twice the size of Queensland, mobile X-ray units travel the length and breadth of the State. Examinations have been- conducted even as far. afield as Meekatharra, Port Hedland,. Marble Bar, Broome, Derby and Wyndham. There has been a complete coverage of the State. It is safe to say that we in. Western Australia are now starting, on our third series of X-ray examinations. No doubt that is oneof the reasons why Western Australia and other States which have compulsory X-ray examinations are achieving far better results than are the States which do not conduct such examinations.
Senator Anderson emphasized the fact that there has been considerable success in the fight against tuberculosis. Proof is available that the death-rate throughout the Commonwealth is now only one-eighth or oneseventh, of what it was formerly and that notifications of the disease have dropped by approximately 50 per cent. But, although we have achieved what we think is quite good success, I am in complete accord with the honorable senator when he says we are not doing enough and that we are not delivering the final blow. Only if the States co-operate and adopt the recommendations of the Commonwealth, and only if they conduct compulsory X-ray examinations, say, every three years, will we achieve the results that we desire. Approximately 5,900 beds are now occupied by tuberculosis patients throughout Australia. It has been stated, and I believe it can be proved, that the active campaign we are now waging against this dreaded disease will result within the next few years in one-third of those beds not being required for the purpose for which they are now used. America, which has had a compulsory X-ray examination system in operation for many years, is now turning over to other forms of medical treatment some of the hospitals which were used entirely for tuberculosis treatment.
– That is happening in Western Australia, too.
– Yes. Where compulsory X-ray examinations are conducted there is greater control over the disease. I believe that, when Senator Anderson introduced this matter for discussion, he had in mind the thought that the Commonwealth and the States should get together to ascertain what more could be done to achieve complete control. It may well be that better plans could be adopted than those we are adopting at the present time. We have achieved a certain degree of success, but some of the States are not playing their part as well as they might. If we want to knock out this disease completely - that is not impossible - all the States should take advice as to what is the best method to adopt. I believe that if the Commonwealth and the States got together, if we continued to wage this campaign, and if all the people of Australia underwent X-ray examinations every three or four years, we would eventually eradicate the disease.
I have before me a medical report which I have read with interest. It contains this statement about the outlook for the future -
Despite the falling death-rate, tuberculosis still remains a formidable problem.
Lack of any big diminution in numbers of annual notifications of new cases indicate that relatively little impression has as yet been made on the prevalence of the disease.
That was the position in, I believe, 1955-56. Since then we have made headway. The report further states -
Continued efforts should be made to locate unknown cases.
The statistics prove to the satisfaction of any one who cares to read them that tuberculosis occurs to the greatest degree in the age group of from 45 to 55 years. Many persons in that group who would tell their children that they should have an X-ray examination refrain from doing so themselves. It is they who are carrying the disease. If those people will not submit themselves to voluntary examination, they should be compelled to do so by the State governments concerned. We will never be able to get rid of tuberculosis if such people are allowed to move throughout the length and breadth of Australia.
If some form of compulsory examination is not adopted in all the States, in the not too distant future legislation may well be introduced by States that are trying to combat the disease in order to prohibit people coming from other States unless they have had an X-ray chest examination. Of recent times we in Western Australia have been greatly concerned about the entry of persons from eastern States in which X-ray chest examinations are not compulsory. It is not fair to expect a State that is trying to eradicate tuberculosis to allow people from other States to come in willy-nilly irrespective of whether or not they have had an X-ray examination. An immigrant has to pass a clinical test before he is allowed to enter the country, yet as between States we say, “ You may come over if you like “. Although X-ray examinations are compulsory in Western Australia, a person who comes to that State from another State may be there for three or four years before he undergoes such an examination.
Only good can come of Senator Anderson’s proposal. I believe that if attention had been given to recommendations that have been made in the Senate in relation to similar proposals of urgency, there would have been many fewer deaths in Australia than there have been. In conclusion, I congratulate Senator Anderson on introducing the matter, which is not at all of a political nature. I congratulate speakers on both sides of the chamber on the way in which they have attacked this problem. If the States, in their efforts to eradicate this dreaded scourge, implement some of the suggestions made in the Senate, we shall really come to grips with the problem.
.- 1 join with other senators in congratulating Senator Anderson on raising this matter. The important part of the proposal is contained in the last few words -
We all have read of the tremendous strides that have been taken since 1948, when the death rate from tuberculosis was 29.6 in 100,000. To-day the rate is down to 5.4 in 100,000. We can look back with a certain amount of pride at what has been done, but no one can do other than agree with Senator Anderson’s statement that we should not be complacent and allow the matter to stand there. 1 have vivid recollections of a Victorian Parliamentary party meeting at which I was a very strong fighter for compulsory chest X-rays. Possibly everyone of us drives a motor car. We are compelled to drive along a certain part of the road and to do many other things. Why? It is because to do these things is in the interests of the safety of ourselves and others who are driving on the roads. At times we all transgress and travel at 35 miles an hour in places where the limit is 30 miles an hour. Unless we are lucky we have to pay the penalty. We have reached a ridiculous stage in applying the policy of no-compulsion to X-ray examination. We do not compel a person to do something unless it is in the interests of the mass of the people. We pass acts of parliament to compel people to do certain things. Therefore, in a matter of health, where we have gone a tremendous way towards eradicating a dread disease, it is absurd that we appear to be frightened to carry on.
I compliment the States that enforce compulsory X-ray examinations. I am a firm believer in that. I know a charming young lady who was passing the South Melbourne town hall with two friends. All three went in for an X-ray examination, thinking it was a joke. It was not a joke, unfortunately, for one of them. It was fortunate that Providence prompted her to go in with her two companions, because after a time in a sanatorium that young lady was restored to normal health. One must give credit where it is due - irrespective of party, because this is not a party matter - to those who conceived the idea of compulsory X-rays, and to the States which were doing something along these lines within their very limited financial capacity prior to 1948. There can be no gainsaying that we have this disease on its last legs. Why do we not now go in for the kill? Having heard the views expressed by honorable senators on both sides, I suggest with great respect to the Minister that we should now go in for the kill.
Senator Sandford, in his concluding remark, suggested that the Minister for Health (Dr. Donald Cameron) convene a conference with State health ministers on this subject. All States have done an excellent job; some have done more than others. The only way to eliminate the 5.48 deaths in 100,000 attributable to tuberculosis, is to make X-ray examinations compulsory. I regularly have one. It takes about three minutes and one has the satisfaction of knowing that one’s health after many years, is all right in that direction. I see my friend, Senator McManus laughing. He possibly knew what I was hinting at.
This is a vital matter to the people of this nation. I hope that the result of this debate will be that the anti-tuberculosis campaign will get another fillip and that those States which have legislation providing for compulsory X-rays will put the legislation into effect. The Minister should ask them to implement it. If there are any States that have not passed such legislation, the Minister should ask them, “What about it? “ Having seen the ravages of this disease in the past, why should we stop when the job is almost completed? I was pleased to read the interim report of the Director-General of Health, but not too happy about the jar that he gave Victoria; no doubt Victoria deserved it. The Director-General stated -
Mass chest X-ray remains the chief medium in the search for previously unknown tuberculosis, although low attendances have reduced the effectiveness of large-scale X-ray surveys of apparently healthy people, particularly in Victoria.
I know that an act to authorize compulsory X-rays was passed in Victoria. To be quite candid, I think it was passed by a Country Party government when we were sitting in the corner. I give very great credit to whoever was responsible but, like other Victorians, I am particularly concerned because the legislation was not put into effect. Senator Wedgwood said that all school children in Victoria were X-rayed if they obtained a note of authority from their parents. I did not think that that was so.
– No, she said that they were given a skin test.
– There are mobile X-ray units moving around the suburbs of Melbourne and I think that there are two permanent centres in the city. We hear a lot about children’s teeth, and this is a very important subject.
As one who was a member of a State Parliament for fifteen years, I can say that the States always growl about the small amount of money that they receive from the Commonwealth. But money does not come into this question at all. If additional X-ray units were required for the schools, surely it would not be very difficult to provide them. A great many of the children are assembled at the schools, and it is remarkable how quickly the X-ray examinations can be done. I recognize that perhaps the ravages of this disease are not so apparent in the younger age groups as they are in certain other age groups. I cannot see why any one should say that people must not be compelled to have an X-ray examination. After all, the job is done in two or three minutes. I am certain that the wise employer prefers healthy employees, because healthy employees, for one thing, can produce much more than can sickly employees.
I was amazed by Senator Sandford’s statement regarding Victorian hairdressers. The honorable senator stated that letters were sent to about 6,000 hairdressers in that State and that only about 2,000 attended for X-ray. Of those, nine were found to give positive results. We all go to hairdressers pretty regularly, Mr. President. If only from purely selfish motives, I think that any honorable senator or member of the public would be appalled if he thought that the hairdresser who was breathing down his neck and in his face - which, of course, is unavoidable - had tuberculosis. I was concerned, too, about the statement of an honorable senator regarding employees in the liquor industry. There are pure food acts in all the States. In Victoria, and no doubt in other States, it is provided that glasses in hotel bars must be washed under running water. Most honorable senators will know that I am not very interested in those places, but I read about them. We go to a great deal of trouble to provide for glasses to be washed in that way, and yet - I think it was Senator
Dittmer who said it - employees in the liquor industry are possibly more prone to contract this disease than are employees in other industries. It seems to me that we must go a little further. I recognize the difficulties, and I admit that it is a tremendous job to get the six States to agree about anything. Perhaps it is not so difficult if you hold the purse strings and are able to say, “ It will cost you nothing to do this. Here is the money.” I do not want to be hard on the States, because their job, from a financial point of view, is not an easy one.
This debate has given the Minister for Customs and Excise (Senator Henty), who represents the Minister for Health (Dr. Donald Cameron), an opportunity to report to his colleague on the matters that have been raised. I have no doubt that the Minister for Health will read at least a part of the report of the discussion. I thing that it is the wish of a majority of honorable senators that a conference be convened for the purpose of attempting to reach a decision to go ahead with the eradication of tuberculosis, now that eradication has reached the present stage. In health matters, money should not be considered. The Commonwealth Government, irrespective of political parties, has not considered it. I understand that, so far, the Commonwealth has spent about £68,000,000 in attempting to eradicate the disease, and that sum is in addition to the amount spent by the States. This money has been expended in trying to rid the nation of a disease that caused great havoc in earlier days.
I wonder, Mr. President, whether the nutritive value of some of our foods has not been reduced by modern methods of manufacture. In saying that, I am not attempting to pose as a medical authority, but if you ever have time to watch television programmes, you may be inclined to agree with me.
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Alister McMuIlin). - Order! The honorable senator’s time has expired.
– I thank Senator Anderson for bringing this matter to the attention of the Senate, and I thank honorable senators who have spoken for the constructive suggestions that have been made during the debate. I shall certainly refer to the Minister for Health (Dr. Donald Cameron) the points that have been raised and shall ask him to give particular attention to the requests that have been made. Senator Anderson approached the matter from the point of view that although, over the years we have achieved much in our attempts to wipe out tuberculosis, in the last three years we have come to a stop, with the mortality rate remaining at five persons per 100,000 head of population. The number of notifications has now begun to increase. If honorable senators refer to the notification figures, they will see that in the last four years, while the number of notifications at first declined from approximately 4,000 to 3,900, and then to 3,582, this year they have increased to 4,084. The mortality rate has been about five in every 100,000 persons, and it will probably be approximately the same for 1960, although the figures are not yet available.
This tendency to increase must cause us concern. The national campaign to eradicate the disease has been one of the most successful campaigns that Australlia has Conducted. Our death rate of approximately five persons in every 100,000 of the population is low by world standards. There are very few countries in which the rate is as low as ours. I am advised that in Denmark, Norway and Holland, the mortality rate is in the region of the Australian figure.
I think I am right in saying that you do not inherit tuberculosis; you inherit the tendency to contract the disease. I cannot say that I am very impressed by the results of skin tests, because I think that very often, because of the tendency to inherit a proneness to the disease, the results are far more positive than the physical condition of the persons concerned would indicate. Close to Australia lies New Guinea, a country in which this disease is very prevalent. The exchange of administrative officers and travellers between Australia and New Guinea is increasing every year. Continual contact must mean that, if there are persons coming to Australia who carry the tendency to contract the disease, we shall never be actually free from it. Therefore, we must watch the statistics very closely.
When I was in New Guinea last, I was very impressed by the voluntary service that is being rendered by specialists in the field of health. Doctors and nurses go to the hospitals for a fortnight and perform chest operations in certain cases. They give their services free to the New Guinea Administration each fortnight. One team goes out and another team comes in. This is going on all the time. Of course, the disease is very prevalent in that area.
– Why is that so?
– I am not an expert on this subject, but I should think that it is because of the conditions under which the people, particularly the inland tribes, live. In the huts which they occupy there is little sanitation and fresh air. In the highlands they sleep with a fire in the middle of the hut. In my opinion, the crowded conditions under which they live in those small huts, without any ventilation, tend to breed this disease. 1 understand that the incidence is pretty high in that area.
– The incidence is higher among aboriginal children than among white children.
– Yes. The most alarming point that has arisen from this discussion is the position of school children in Victoria and Queensland. The figures Suggest that there has been a rapid increase in the disease among children up to fourteen years of ago. If this discussion, which was initiated by Senator Anderson, does nothing other than persuade those two States to look again at the proposal for compulsory X-rays, which have been so successful in other States, it will have been worth while. Compulsory X-rays have been most successful in my State, Tasmania, which is the smallest State in Australia. The record of the largest State in Australia, Western Australia, is also excellent because of compulsory X-rays. So, size does not mean anything. The job can be done if the will is there for it to be done. I am sure that we could ask Victoria and Queensland to look at this matter. If X-rays were compulsory in those two States, I am sure that the incidence of tuberculosis would be reduced and reduced quickly.
I have nothing further to add to this debate. It has been most interesting to listen to the discussion. I will bring to the notice of the Minister for Health (Dr. Donald Cameron) the points that have been mentioned during the debate. I will also bring to his attention the request made from so many quarters that he convene a conference of the States to see whether the incidence of tuberculosis can be reduced further. If the disease could be eliminated it would be a tremendous achievement, but I do not see elimination for a while, because as long as the tendency to contract tuberculosis is bred into children and while we have visitors from other countries there will always be some incidence of this disease in Australia, although it may be only in a very small way. We still have a lot to do and we must push ahead until tuberculosis has only a very small effect on the whole nation. I will ask my colleague whether he thinks it is possible to convene a conference of the States in order to make the final drive which so many honorable senators on both sides of the chamber consider should be made as early as possible.
– I do not wish to detain the Senate for long. Much has already been said on this very important subject, but I feel that I must add my few words to those already expressed with regard to the obligation which we are under to Senator Anderson for bringing this matter forward. I believe that we all have been lulled into a sense of complacency by the very success of the scheme which was inaugurated about twelve or thirteen years ago. I happened to be a member of the Social Security Committee which for three or four years investigated the problem of tuberculosis. Senator Sir Walter Cooper was also a member of that committee. In the course of our investigation we visited many sanatoriums throughout Australia and we were appalled by the results of our investigation. As a result of the research that was done by the committee, we found that between the two world wars more young people had died from tuberculosis or consumption, as most people called it in those days, than had been killed in enemy action in both world wars. That was a very sobering thought.
We also found that there was an economic cause underlying many cases of tuberculosis, and that was the fact that during the depression many people had not had proper homes and proper nutrition and therefore they had easily fallen victims to tuberculosis. That was particularly so among married men with families because men could not afford to leave their work and go into a sanatorium for two years, which was considered the minimum time necessary for treatment to cure them of the disease. The result was that by the time they did enter a sanatorium it was too late. That is why we had an appalling death rate during those years. The fact that since the inception of this campaign the death rate has been lessened so much is a tribute to all the governments, both State and Commonwealth, which have helped to implement and carry out this scheme.
We in Western Australia have been particularly fortunate in that although we have had a very large State to cover we have had in charge of the tuberculosis section of the Department of Public Health men who have been dedicated to their work. It is a job which does not call for just ordinary skill; it calls for dedication. In the person of Dr. Henzell, who was the director of the Wooroloo Sanatorium for many years, we had such a dedicated man. I am very pleased to see that the chest hospital which was built in Perth a few years ago has not been in full use. Many cures have been effected although tuberculosis was once a deadly disease. If you had it you were on the first step to the grave; the sanatorium was the next step to the cemetery. Many people had a terrific dread of even being diagnosed as having the disease. It was a really dreadful calamity. To-day, thanks to X-rays, early diagnosis and treatment with modern drugs, tuberculosis is no longer the killer that it was. The very success of the campaign has lulled us into a sense of security from which we have been jolted by the matter put before the Senate by Senator Anderson.
In Western Australia, in addition to dealing with the special age groups in which tuberculosis was found to be particularly pernicious and prevalent, we took care of children from birth when their mothers had a tendency to tuberculosis. In my suburb the department took over a large home as a hostel for the babies of mothers who were affected by tuberculosis. After being in operation for a few years, it has now been closed as a babies’ hostel because during the last couple of years there have been fewer than half a dozen babies there. That is a very good sign. It shows that young mothers are no longer becoming the victims of tuberculosis as they were in the past.
Whilst we are proud of what has been done in Western Australia, we realize that there is still a great deal to be done if the whole of Australia is to achieve the same good results as have been achieved in Western Australia, and people who have been withdrawn from the work force through the ravages of tuberculosis can be put back into the community as- quickly as possible without the human suffering which has been caused by this dread killer.
The investigation by the committee on social services and its recommendations to the government of the day resulted in two very important pieces of legislation. One was this act and agreement which we are discussing to-night and the other was the provision of special allowances for tuberculosis sufferers so that, as the disease was particularly prevalent among young men with family responsibilities, the breadwinner could go into hospital secure in the knowledge that his family would be kept in a reasonable degree of comfort while he was in hospital. Those steps were taken as the result of the work and findings of the Social Security Committee which were very well received by the government and the Minister of the day, Senator McKenna. who set the seal on the agreement that was reached between the Commonwealth and the States and did a great deal to improve the position of sufferers from tuberculosis. Only last week a television programme in Western Australia showed a mobile X-ray unit in action at some of our big industrial undertakings. Yesterday the mobile unit was in action at the Midland railway workshops. Yesterday was the third visit of the unit to those workshops. Three complete checks have been made of people in Western Australia in an effort to track down those who may be unconsciously harbouring this disease. What has been done in a large State like Western Australia, where services are necessarily costly, could be done equally well in the smaller States if only we can get co-operation between the Commonwealth and the States. I hope that Senator Armstrong’s proposal has the desired effect and I congratulate him on bringing it forward.
– I fully support the remarks passed by Senator Anderson in initiating this debate. It is vital that we increase the tempo of the campaign against tuberculosis. I understand that compulsory chest X-rays are held in all States except Victoria. The campaign against tuberculosis has met with great success since the agreement was entered into between the Commonwealth and the States. Perhaps the smallest and largest States - Tasmania and Western Australia - have had the greatest success.
It is interesting to see how much the Commonwealth has spent on the fight against tuberculosis. Between 1949 and 1960, the Commonwealth has reimbursed the States to the extent of £13,983.000 in respect of capital expenditure. In addition, the Commonwealth has spent about £38.489.000 in respect of maintenance. Allowances paid to tuberculosis sufferers during the period have totalled about £15,777,000. In all, during that period the Commonwealth has spent about £68,250,000. Over that period Tasmania has received, in respect of capital expenditure, about £260,000 and in respect of maintenance expenditure, about £1,659,000. Allowances paid to tuberculosis sufferers in Tasmania have totalled about £774,000. The total amount expended in Tasmania during the relevant period has been about £2r694,000. I think that the Commonwealth has received good value for the money spent in Tasmania. As Senator Anderson and other honorable senators implied, Western Australia and Tasmania deserve blue ribbons for the success of their fight against tuberculosis.
The number of cases of tuberculosis notified in Tasmania in 1960 was 111, and the number of persons in receipt of allowances as at 5th April, 1961, was 108. Financial assistance for the treatment of tuberculosis patients is given to four hospitals in Tasmania. Those hospitals provide 178 beds for tuberculosis patients. Statistics show that 2,261 persons died from tuberculosis in Tasmania in 1947 - a rate of 29.6 per 100,000 of the population. That figure has been reduced progressively over the years until in 1959 the number of deaths stood at 549 - a rate of 5.45 per 100,000 of the population. The 1959 figure shows a reduction of 80 per cent, on the earlier figure. The figures that I have cited show that the agreement has worked well, particularly in Tasmania. In 1951, persons in receipt of tuberculosis allowances numbered 6,548. By 1960, the number had fallen to 2,235.
In Tasmania, we have a compulsory chest X-ray scheme and since the agreement has been in operation the population has been X-rayed four or five times. In effect, we have been able to go over the whole island about five times. The scheme has been successful in reducing the number of tuberculosis cases to one in every 2,000 of the population. That is the figure for March, 1961. I think honorable senators will agree that the record is an excellent one - it certainly is a record of which Tasmania may be proud. Tuberculosis does not seem to be a great problem to teenagers or young people in Tasmania. I do not know whether the same can be said for the other States. Tuberculosis seems to strike people aged between 45 and 55. That is an age when most people are more or less at the peak of their abilities.
I agree with Senator Anderson that the national campaign against tuberculosis must be continued. With pur increasing population it is not likely that the incidence of tuberculosis .will be reduced below one in every 200,000 of the population. The most we can expect in the circumstances is to maintain that rate over the years to come. If we do that the mortality rate should remain constant. I do not think we can expect to do any more than keep the incidence of tuberculosis at the rate of one in every 200,000 of the .population. If the present campaign against tuberculosis is maintained for another 25 years there is every chance that we will stamp out the disease. The United States and Great Britain claim to have eliminated tuberculosis from their dairy herds. This has taken a long time and has cost a total of about £44,000,000, but the results have justified the expenditure of even that large amount of money.
I think that the .marked fall in the rate of death from tuberculosis has been undoubtedly due to the gathering strength of the national campaign which has been waged against the disease continuously since 1947. It has been helped, too, as Senator
McKenna has mentioned, by the newer drugs, in particular, streptomycin, P.A.S., and Isoniazid. These drugs have brought about a tremendous improvement in the situation by rendering the majority of patients non-infectious and thus preventing the spread of the disease to others. The improvement is reflected also, in the number of persons who are in receipt of tuberculosis allowances. To-day, as Senator Dame Annabelle Rankin has mentioned, patients now return to work after much shorter periods in hospital than formerly. In turn, this means that fewer hospital beds than formerly are now required for sufferers from tuberculosis. Nevertheless, the figures that have been furnished in recent years show that there has been no sustained diminution in the annual number of notifications of sufferers from tuberculosis. This demonstrates that the national campaign must be continued. In some States, of course, this is a question of maintaining the diagnostic programme and of intensifying the campaign in every way where the incidence of tuberculosis is apparent.
I do not think there is anything further I can say in the matter. Senator Anderson paid a generous tribute to Western Australia and Tasmania, to whom he accorded the blue ribbon on account of their success in the campaign against tuberculosis. I agree with his contention that it is necessary to continue the campaign so that, in the long run, tuberculosis will be eliminated altogether in this country. I have very much pleasure in supporting his assertion that the campaign should be continued, with greater vigour, wherever possible.
– [, too, wish to congratulate Senator Anderson on his forethought in bringing this matter before the Senate for discussion. It is to be hoped that quite a deal of good will eventuate from the debate. Until recently, it was felt that the campaign agar st tuberculosis throughout Australia was going on to the success .that we originally hoped it would .obtain. Let us hope that the setback that the campaign has received, over the last twelve months particularly, will be merely a temporary one. It will certainly be only temporary ,if those who are entrusted with this task intensify their efforts in the manner that has been suggested by Senator Anderson.
It is interesting to consider some of the figures that have been presented during this debate. In 1949, the death rate from all forms of tuberculosis per 100,000 of the population was 24.8, and in that year there were 3,914 notifications of all forms of tuberculosis. Turning to the year 1958, we see that again, there was only a relatively small number of notifications of all forms of tuberculosis; in that year, there were 3,948 notifications, compared with 3,914 in 1949, but instead of the death rate per 100,000 of the population being 24.8 as it was in that year, in 1958 it was only 5.4. This, I think, is a very satisfactory improvement. Let us hope that in the .next nine years the death rate per 100,000 people will fall to 1 or less.
While, naturally, I am concerned with the overall effect in Australia, I am particularly concerned with the effect of the campaign in New South Wales. Some of the inquiries 1 have made - admittedly, somewhat hurriedly - in New South Wales show that the mobile X-ray units in that State have achieved a considerable degree of success. These units visit country districts as well as the suburbs in the metropolitan areas for the purpose of conducting X-ray examinations of the residents. Those of us who have attended for X-ray examinations know how quickly an examination can be made. It makes one realize how foolish are people who do not avail themselves of this facility. After all, I think it has been firmly established that only a very slight degree of disability can occur as a result of an X-ray examination, and that there is nothing to worry about in that respect. The AntiTuberculosis Association of New South Wales has nine of these mobile clinics and the Tubercular Association has three, making a total of twelve in all. I understand, also, that there is another mobile unit on order.
Let us consider the number of sufferers. In 1957, there were 1,609 sufferers from tuberculosis in New South Wales. There were 1,388 in 1958, 1,166 in 1959 and 1,533 in 1960. In that State, the campaign in relation to in and out patients, that is, those who are intermittently in hospital, has been intensified. The campaign has been intensified also in relation to aged people in various homes, those in mental hospitals and particularly people who come into close contact with children. Those who are conducting the campaign in New South Wales have been fortunate to receive the very close cooperation of the Repatriation Department. I spoke recently to a victim of tuberculosis who has been receiving treatment at the Repatriation hospital at Concord in New South Wales over the last three or five years, during which period he has been very ill. This man was indeed loud in his praise of the treatment that he has received at the Repatriation hospital. He could not speak too highly of that treatment. I take this early opportunity to place on record this tribute -to the Repatriation Department for what it is doing for sufferers from tuberculosis.
Another aspect of the intensification of the campaign in New South Wales has been the increased attention given ‘to the education of the public generally in this field. Although, as Senator Anderson has pointed out, there is provision for compulsory X-ray examinations in New South Wales, I am afraid that the emphasis has been on the theoretical approach to the subject. I do not know of any measures that have been taken to enforce compulsory examinations. That is a pity.
Senator Wardlaw has mentioned that in Great Britain about £40,000,000 has been spent in eradicating tuberculosis from cattle. Attention is paid in New South Wales, also, to the eradication of tuberculosis from cattle. Steps in this direction were first taken in 1952, when a levy was struck on the sale of cattle in order to establish a fund from which compensation was paid in respect of cattle afflicted by tuberculosis. We feel that the efforts that have been made in this direction have been very successful. During the last three years, the means of collecting money to provide such compensation payments has been altered and now the rate is struck by the pasture protection boards. It is interesting to note that since 1952 75,375 head of cattle afflicted by tuberculosis have been slaughtered. Compensation, of course, has been paid to the owners. For those people interested in cattle, let me say that we have found that frequently the fattest beast on the property is affected with tuberculosis. That is just too bad; it has to go under the butcher’s knife, and that is all there is to it. The following list indicates the number of cattle found to be suffering from tuberculosis in the years from 19S2 to 1959-
Cattle men feel that the removal of these cattle from dairy herds is a very valuable means of attempting to combat the spread of tuberculosis. The very thought of little children having access to milk that is not completely free from tuberculosis would fill parents with the greatest of horror. Away from the dairy herds themselves, it is the general practice now for ordinary landholders to carry out testing for tuberculosis amongst milking cows.
Getting back to the general subject, I note from figures supplied by the Department of Health that £23,946,894 has been spent in New South Wales on the eradication of tuberculosis. Of that amount £6,153,821 has been paid in allowances to tuberculosis sufferers. The next highest amount paid by way of allowances to sufferers was in Victoria, where £3,947,420 was paid out. The total expenditure in Victoria, including capital expenditure, maintenance and the amount paid in allowances, was £16,227,609, compared with about £23,000,000 in New South Wales. In mentioning these figures I am not attempting to point the bone, as it were, at the other States. I am merely directing attention to what has been done in New South Wales in the hope that it will inspire some of the larger States to do more than they have done in the past. The goal is such a worthy one.
In New South Wales we have 24 hospitals and annexes provided at the expense of the Commonwealth Government. Eight of those hospitals are in country districts. Six of them have beds for 100 patients and over. The hospitals with more than 100 beds are St. Vincent’s Hospital, 100; Royal North Shore, 100; Princess Juliana Hospital, 100; Thirlmere Sanatorium for Women - or the Queen Victoria Homes - 104; Rankin Park Chest Hospital (Royal Newcastle), 114; and Randwick Chest Hospital, 160. Some hospitals have as few as ten beds. The total accommodation in these hospitals and annexes is 1,124 beds.
I feel that this has been a very worthy discussion indeed. We have a responsibility, not only to the adults in the community, but also to the children, who, in the future, will hold this country and carry it on in the way we wish it to be carried on. One of the greatest prizes we can give the children is the benefit of good health. It is up to us, therefore, to do all that we can to assist in trying to stamp out a scourge of this nature. I conclude by once again congratulating Senator Anderson on raising this matter. I hope that the discussion that has taken place this afternoon will prove to be of great benefit in the future.
– in reply - I wish to congratulate honorable senators for their generous cooperation in this matter. If the debate has proved one thing, it is that the Senate is very much aware of its function to discuss matters of national importance such as this and to bring them to the attention of the Government in the hope that good will result. I congratulate honorable senators on their approach to this subject. If 1 may use an expression that has been used quite often, they have shown a broad national outlook. 1 do not think there is much left for me to say. I accept the statement of the Minister for Customs and Excise (Senator Henty) that he will bring the matter we have discussed to the attention of the Minister for Health (Dr. Donald Cameron). I realize the magnitude of the task of the Minister and the difficulties he has to overcome. What is most important, however, is that this debate will bring home to the people of Australia the obligation they owe to their fellow citizens to ensure that they rake every opportunity to satisfy themselves that they are not suffering from this disease. They can do this by the simple process of attending a mobile X-ray unit of some other unit and having their chests X-rayed. By doing that, they will play their part in the agreement that has been entered into between the Commonwealth and the States.
I do not want to deal any further with this matter. The purpose of the discussion having been served, I ask for leave of the Senate to withdraw the motion, feeling in my heart that good has been done and that further good will ensue.
Motion - by leave - withdrawn.
– For the information of honorable senators 1 lay on the table of the Senate the following paper: -
International Labour Organization, forty-fourth session, Geneva, June, 1960 - Reports of the Australian Government, employers’ and workers’ delegates.
In the interests of economy I do not propose to move that the reports be printed, but copies will be available to honorable senators from the parliamentary officers.
Following established practice, the Senate will be informed at a later date of the action taken, or proposed to be taken, in respect of the convention and recommendations adopted by this conference.
– I have received a letter from the Prime Minister appointing Mr. Fairbairn to the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. J. B. Howse.
– by leave - When answering a question in the Senate on 21st March. 1961, I promised to give the Senate a full statement on the question of our civil aviation relations with New Zealand as soon as I was in a position to do so. I now take the first opportunity available to me to inform the Senate on this matter.
As 1 have already informed the Senate, I had discussions in Australia from 27th February to 3rd March, 1961, with Mr. J. K. McAlpine, the Minister in charge of civil aviation in New Zealand, on the general question of civil aviation relations between Australia and New Zealand. In those discussions the future of Tasman Empire Airways Limited was considered and Mr. McAlpine and I were able to reach agreement upon arrangements which we jointly recommended for adoption by our respective governments. As I announced publicly on 27th April, I am able to inform the Senate that these recommendations have now been approved by both governments.
Under these arrangements the Australian Government has agreed to sell its half share in Tasman Empire Airways Limited to the New Zealand Government for £A. 1,014,250 (£NZ.8.1 1,400). The purchase price represents the par value of the 811,400 shares which Australia held in T.E.A.L. The sale will have effect from 1st April, 1961, although payment need not be completed until March, 1965. As I mentioned in my public statement made on 27th April, the agreement approved by both governments does not envisage the sale of T.E.A.L. to “ any outside interest “ and 1 understand that the offer by Ansett Transport Industries Limited to the New Zealand Government to purchase T.E.A.L. has been rejected. As part of the new civil aviation arrangements between the two countries, Australia and New Zealand will also conclude an air services agreement which will give Australia’s international airline, Qantas, rights to fly to and through Auckland. Wellington and Christchurch and will give the New Zealand Government-owned T.E.A.L. rights to fly to and through Sydney, Melbourne. Brisbane and Norfolk Island. The air services agreement will be supplemented by a commercial arrangement between Qantas and T.E.A.L. designed to safeguard T.E.A.L.’s financial position, while permitting competitive operations between T.E.A.L. and Qantas across the Tasman. In this regard it has been agreed that T.E.A.L. mav carry more than half the traffic on the Tasman run.
As I mentioned earlier, the arrangements agreed upon between the Australian and New Zealand Governments do not envisage the sale of T.E.A.L. to “ any outside interest “, and I should inform the Senate that it is part of these arrangements that if at any time after the sale of its share in Tasman Empire Airways to the New Zealand Government that Government decides to dispose of any part of its holdings in T.E.A.L. then the Australian Government would have the option of withdrawing from or re-negotiating the arrangements now approved by both governments.
Tasman Empire Airways has operated air services across the Tasman for 21 years. The twenty-first anniversary of the first flight occurred yesterday. Originally the airline was owned jointly by the Australian, New Zealand and the United Kingdom Governments; but in 1954 these arrangements were changed and the Australian and New Zealand Governments became joint owners of the airline, each with a 50 per cent, interest. With the rapid and impressive development of international aviation and the introduction of jet-powered aircraft on the world’s air routes, it was becoming increasingly clear that continuation of our 21 -year old joint ownership of T.E.A.L. was no longer appropriate. The two governments therefore agreed that in the circumstances the New Zealand Government should assume complete ownership of its own international airline and that the traditional co-operative arrangements in civil aviation between Australia and New Zealand should take on another form. This will bc by means of co-operative commercial arrangements between Qantas, owned by the Australian Government, and T.E.A.L., owned by the New Zealand Government. In the same way as Qantas has gained benefits from close association with other Commonwealth airlines, particularly in ii>- en r,y development, so we have agreed to assist T.E.A.L. in a similar way while fully protecting the rights of Qantas.
As I have mentioned, the operation of Tasman services for many years was a matter in which the United Kingdom Government, through its partial ownership of T.E.A.L., had a financial interest. The Australian ::nd New Zealand Governments realize that in due course United Kingdom services at present operated to Australia by the British Overseas Airways Corporation under co-operative arrangements with Qantas will extend into the Pacific area, and the new arrangements between Australia and New Zealand recognize this likely development. As to whether other foreign airlines m:,v operate in the future over the Tasman. as far as the Australian Government is concerned this will depend on air service agreements between Australia and other governments involved. Of course, complementary arrangements by such governments with New Zealand would also be required. T should emphasize, however, that there is nothing in the new arrangements between Australia and New Zealand which limits the freedom of the Australian
Government - or the New Zealand Government - to negotiate such air service agreements. 1 believe that the new arrangements between Australia and New Zealand will be of great benefit to both Qantas and T.E.A.L. The travelling public will also have the benefit of a choice between the competitive services of the governmentowned international airlines of both countries which will now operate across the Tasman in close co-operation. I confidently predict that out of the new arrangements an overall expansion of air services between Australia and New Zealand will result.
Debate resumed from 19th April (vide page 575), on motion by Senator Gorton -
That the bill be now read a second time.
– The Opposition does not oppose the bill. For that reason, 1 shall address myself to it briefly. When I say that we do not oppose the measure, I really mean that we do not oppose the motion for the second reading. The Supreme Court of the Northern Territory is already in existence and is constituted under an ordinance of the Territory. The purpose of the bill is to supercede the ordinance and to establish the court pursuant to an act of the Parliament, as was done in the case of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory.
The provisions of the bill are extensive. They are almost similar in every particular to those that were used in constituting the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory. The measure provides for the appointment of additional justices to be drawn from other federal courts to serve in the Northern Territory Supreme Court in the place of the one regular judge. The regular judge, too, may be appointed as an additional judge of another federal court. We approve those provisions. As I have indicated, the Opposition supports the motion for the second reading, but at the committee stage I shall comment upon clause 9, which deals with the remuneration of the judge, and on behalf of the Opposition I shall move an amendment to clause 55.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
Clauses 1 to 8 agreed to.
Clause 9 (Salaries and travelling expenses).
– The clause provides that a judge appointed under the act shall receive a salary at the rate of £7,000 a year and that that salary shall be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which is appropriated accordingly. Last year, when the matter of salaries of Commonwealth judges was raised by this Parliament, the salary of the judge of the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court was raised from £4,750 to £7,000 per annum. That was the very substantial increase of £2,250 a year, approximately £43 a week, or about three times the basic wage. The Opposition was critical of the size of the increases of judges’ salaries and the timing, particularly when the basic wage was frozen by the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission at the importuning of the present Government.
The Opposition will certainly not vote against the clause at this stage, for two reasons. We concede that the salary of the judge of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory should not be less than that of other federal judges and particularly that of the judge of the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court. We certainly have no desire to deprive the judge of the salary for his office by voting against the clause. T simply take the opportunity to direct attention to our opposition last year to increases which now face us as established facts, and to suggest to the Government that it might be desirable to confer with the various States on the question of judges’ salaries.
We saw how Victoria and New South Wales kept competing with each other in raising the salaries of their judges, matters of relative status being involved, until the judges in those two States were paid salaries higher than those of High Court judges. 1 do not think that any one would argue against the proposition that judges of the High Court, faced with their major responsibility, , their duty as -the ultimate .appeal court in the nation, should have both their status and their -salary at a level higher than that certainly of any puisne judge in the States. By reason of what took place in Victoria and New South Wales, the Commonwealth was forced into giving very substantial increases to ‘the High Court judges. I. think that a conference between the Commonwealth and the States as to judges’ salaries and pensions - 1 shall advert to the second matter when we come to the next bill - might well determine what is to happen in the future and prevent a repetition of what has gone on, in the light of what I have said.
Clause agreed to.
Clauses 10 to 54 agreed to.
Clause 55 (Rules of court).
– This clause authorizes the senior judge - -we refer to him as the regular judge - to make rules of court prescribing the practice and procedure in the court, and sets out the type of things which the rules of court may provide. It also provides - (4.) Notice of the making of Rules of Court in pursuance of this section shall be published in the Government Gazette of the Territory, and copies of them shall be forwarded to the Attorney-General within fourteen da>s after they are made. (5.) The Attorney-General may, by notification in the Government Gazette of the Territory, disallow any Rule of Court, and thereupon the Rule so disallowed ceases to have effect.
The Opposition is concerned that if the Attorney-General, the executive officer of this Parliament, does disallow a rule of court of that type, the fact could be notified in the Commonwealth “ Gazette “ as well as in the Government “ Gazette “ of the Territory, which certainly does not come particularly to the notice of members of the Parliament, and moreover that the reasons for the disallowance should be tabled in this Parliament. After all, we are faced with an Attorney-General disallowing something in the nature of delegated legislation. The Attorney-General is responsible to this Parliament and not to the Legislative Council for the Northern Territory. He acts on behalf of the Parliament, or pursuant to his office in the Parliament, in so disallowing a rule of court. The Opposition considers, first upon the merits, that his reasons for making such a disallowance should .be made known in this Parliament, .to which he .is responsible.
– Has he a power of disallowance in respect of any rules of any other federal court?
– The Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory.
– 1 think that the Minister is right. Let me review, for purposes of comparison, what happens. Let me take, first, ordinances made by the Legislative Council for the Northern Territory under the Northern Territory Administration Act. The Governor-General who. of course, would act on the advice of the Attorney-General, may disallow an ordinance. When that takes place, the Attorney-General is required to make a statement of the reasons before each House.
– In what case?
– In the case of an ordinance of the Northern Territory, not in the case of rules of court.
– An ordinance passed by the Legislative Council for the Northern Territory?
– Yes, in other words a form of legislation. I differentiated from rules of court made by the judge, in that one is rather a more direct form of legislation and the other is a form of delegated legislation. Both have legislative and binding effect in important matters. The Judiciary Act provides that rules made by the High Court must be tabled in the Parliament and that either House may disallow the rules. That brings High Court rules immediately under the reviewing power of the Parliament, and the Parliament or either House may act of its own initiative in relation to the rules. There is an instance where the delegated legislative power conferred upon the judges is most zealously reviewed, or where the Parliament has been most zealous in saying that it should be open to review in the Parliament. There is an exactly similiar provision for the Federal Bankruptcy Court. In relation to the Australian Capital Territory, the provision is the same as is proposed for the Northern Territory.
– In what year was that act passed?
– In relation to the Australian Capital Territory? I cannot answer that.
– lt was about 1946, if my memory is correct.
– I cannot answer that question. I did make a comparison of the two acts but I did not bring that act into the chamber with me. lt has operated for quite a considerable time. It might well have been passed in 1944 or 1945, because I recall Mr. Justice Simpson being commissioned by the Labour Government of the day in certain particulars, so I think it would have been at least some fifteen or sixteen years ago. The Opposition’s viewpoint is that there should be a notification in the Commonwealth “ Gazette “ and that if the AttorneyGeneral does act to disallow some rule of court made by the judge, he should table his reasons in this Parliament. Accordingly, I move -
After sub-clause (5.) insert the following subclause: - “ (5a.) Where the Attorney-General disallows any Rule of Court, he shall cause a statement of the reasons for disallowance to be laid before each House of the Parliament as soon as possible, but in any case within fifteen sitting days of that House, after the date on which the Rule was disallowed.”.
Sena or GORTON (Victoria - Minister for the Navy) [9.40]. - I think that I should say, in answer to the comments of the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna), that there is nothing new in this legislation. The Attorney-General at the present moment has power to disallow rules of court made by the Australian Capital Territory federal court. There is no departure from that practice in the legislation which is now before the Parliament. I do not quite see that there is any justification for comparing the practice which obtains in relation to the High Court with a practice in relation to a court in the Australian Capital Territory or in the Northern Territory. The rules of court propounded by the High Court of Australia are Australia-wide. The rules of court propounded by the court in the Australian Capital Territory apply only to that Territory. Similarly, in the Northern Territory, rules of court apply to that Territory, in the same way as rules of court in the various States apply only in the States. So, there does not seem to me to be an argument for departure from the practice which now prevails in the Australian Capital Territory and which, indeed, prevails under the ordinances of the Northern Territory. 1 do not think there is very much substance in the suggestion that the disallowance of a rule of court should be published in the Commonwealth “ Gazette “ rather than in the “ Gazette “ of the Northern Territory. It is true that, in respect of the Australian Capital Territory, the law provides that the disallowance of a rule of court should be published in the Commonwealth “ Gazette “, but that is only because there is no Australian Capital Territory Gazette “. There is a Northern Territory ‘ Gazette “.
Normally speaking, if rules of court ever were disallowed by the Attorney-General, they would be rules of court applying to persons in the Northern Territory who would have easier access to the Northern Territory “ Gazette “ than to the Commonwealth “ Gazette “. So, on the whole, I think that no real case has been made out to warrant acceptance of the amendment by the committee.
.- The amendment that has been moved by Senator McKenna attracts my interest. I ask the Minister for the Navy (Senator Gorton) whether he will give the committee information on the position in relation to the Commonwealth Industrial Court and the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. We have been informed of the position in relation to the most important federal court, the High Court of Australia. In that respect, we have been informed, either House of the Parliament has power to disallow any rule of court. So, too, in the case of the Bankruptcy Court, a court constituted in about 1929, when the Parliament still commanded some respect and exercised some sense of responsibility. I am not impressed by the precedent of 1944 or 1945. Those were years when constitutional committees were voluntarily formed throughout the States and when great apprehension was entertained throughout the country because of the inroads that were being made by executive members of the Government on courts and other custodians of liberty. So, I ask the Minister whether he will let us have that information in regard to the Commonwealth Industrial Court and the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission.
On the subject of the appropriate journal for publication, it seems to me to be lacking in appreciation of the purpose of publication in the “ Gazette “ for the Minister to suggest that the Northern Territory “ Gazette “ is the proper journal in which to acquaint the members of this Parliament of what their parliamentary agent, the Attorney-General, has done. The AttorneyGeneral acts as a Minister responsible to this Parliament. Therefore, the publication should be in such a way that it will reach the minds of members of the Parliament.
In regard to the suggestion that the Attorney-General is the appropriate authority to have final power of disallowance of a judicially made rule, it seems to me that that needs more justification than simply to refer to the precedent of the period from 1944 to 1946. Rules of court, like regulations made by Ministers, boards or statutory authorities, under various acts, are a form of subordinate legislation. This Parliament has maintained a universal right and responsibility to supervise such legislation and, if necessary, to disallow it. I am not aware of any act in respect of which the Minister has power to disallow of a rule of court, other than the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court Act, of which we have been informed. I should like to hear an explanation of this provision on principle, rather than a statement which is supported only by reference to the precedent of the years 1944, 1945 and 1946.
– AH that I wish to say, Mr. Temporary Chairman, in answer to Senator Wright’s comments, is that it is not only in respect of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory that rules of court may be disallowed by the AttorneyGeneral. Such rules of court have been subject to disallowance by the AttorneyGeneral since 1933, not 1944. I are given to understand that the Attorney-General now has the right to disallow rules of court made by the Northern Territory Supreme Court and that this legislation in no way seeks to extend the power of the AttorneyGeneral. I understand that rules of court are not made in relation to the Commonwealth Industrial Court and the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission, and that those courts operate under statutory rules, which are different from rules of court.
– When I first spoke, I put my argument on the basis that the Attorney-General was an officer of this Parliament and that the Parliament was authorizing him to disallow. The purpose of my amendment was to say to that high executive officer, “ Let the Parliament know what you have done and why you have done it”. The Opposition thought that the Parliament should not abdicate its responsibility in that matter. I put that as my very first argument, and I drew some strength from practice in other courts. I think that the position in the Australian Capital Territory might well be considered to be different from that in the Northern Territory. In the Australian Capital Territory, everything that happens, in the context of which we are speaking, is known instantly in the Parliament. It appears in the Commonwealth “ Gazette “, and the access of the Parliament and parliamentarians to the relevant information is immediate and easy.
The Northern Territory is a very remote area. Events there, in the ordinary course, make little impact on the minds of mem, bers of Parliament. Even if we argue an analogy between the supreme courts of the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, I think there is ground for argument that they are in an entirely different context owing to the remoteness of the Northern Territory Supreme Court.
I support the argument on similar lines, addressed quite powerfully by Senator Wright, that the Attorney-General should be prepared to act not arbitrarily or capriciously and that in a democracy he should have a readiness, not a reluctance, to keep the Parliament informed of what he does in the important matter of disallowing regulations made under the legislative authority of this Parliament. It is subsidiary legislation, but in short it is legislation enacted with the authority of the Parliament. So, 1 again base the Opposition’s objection to the proposal and support of the amendment on the broad principle rather than on the analogies from which I sought some strength in the course of the argument I put.
.- I should like to add one comment on the information that the Minister was good enough to give the committee, in which he pointed out that the rules of the Commonwealth Industrial Court and the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission are statutory rules, that is to say, rules made by the Attorney-General or the appropriate Minister. I forget what the statute provides as to the functionary. Am I correct in saying “the AttorneyGeneral “?
– I should imagine that in fact you are correct; but I am told that it is the Governor-General.
– Yes, the GovernorGeneral. The rules of that court and commission must be laid upon the table of the Senate and the House of Representatives and I conceive that under the Acts Interpretation Act within fifteen days each House would have the power to disallow them. I hope I will, be corrected on this matter if I am wrong, because it comes to me before I have been able to consider it. So, Mr. Temporary Chairman, in relation to all the federal courts - the High Court, the Commonwealth Industrial Court and the Bankruptcy Court - each House of this Parliament has the power of supervision over that subordinate legislation. Do F understand that the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory was constituted in 1933?
– I understand that that is correct.
– By ordinance, and by act later on.
– I am told tH.nt it was constituted by act in 1933.
– ‘Forgive me if in the mildest tones I utter a warning against Canberra methods being treated as appropriate for the provinces. They might be regarded as sui generis; Canberra might be regarded as having its own particular mould, especially in the primitive days of 1933 when I suppose members of the Parliament might have been expected to have every facility for knowing exactly every document that the Attorney-General issued without much formality.
I ask the Minister to indicate that this provision now under consideration, if it is passed, will receive earnest reconsideration. Mr. Temporary Chairman, I am not enamoured of Senator McKenna’s actual amendment. I do not know why the amendment has not been submitted in exactly the same form as the provision in the Judiciary Act, namely, that if a rule of court is disallowed by the AttorneyGeneral, his disallowance be placed before each House of the Parliament and each House have power to nullify or confirm that disallowance. Each House of the Parliament should have the right to supervise the Attorney-General’s scrutiny of the rules of court made for the Northern Territory Supreme Court.
– On the last point raised by Senator Wright, I point out that the rules of the High Court are tabled and power to disallow is conferred on each House of the Parliament. In this case it is not suggested that the rules of court be tabled in the Parliament. The AttorneyGeneral is given the right to disallow, and the Opposition seeks to establish- the requirement that he should at least state his reasons and provide the machinery to enable the matter to be discussed and ventilated in the Parliament.
– But there should be some method for each House to deal with the disallowance.
– That is true. In my opinion, the important thing would be to direct the attention of the Parliament to what had happened. An Attorney-General who saw his proper responsibility to the Parliament would readily concur in that - I am not speaking of the Attorney-General as an individual; I am speaking of the office - and the Parliament itself could very speedily take the matter up. There are any number of avenues for opening up discussion and debate and proceeding to action. In the circumstances, in my opinion there is a complete difference between the case of the High Court arid what is proposed here. Rather th’an re-model the whole clause, the Opposition felt that the amendment was a better way to achieve the same degree of parliamentary responsibility.
– I want to make it clear to honorable senators who, like, myself, are laymen, that a little too much attention may be paid - indeed, in my opinion a little too much attention has been paid - to the minutia of this argument. The Supreme Court of the Northern Territory has been operating since 1911 under an ordinance which permits the Attorney-
General to do precisely what the legislation now before the committee proposes to allow him to continue to do. In this case we are not dealing with a court like the High Court, the Commonwealth Industrial Court or the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission, the judgments of which are binding throughout Australia. We are dealing with a court for a particular territory, similar to the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory or the State Supreme Courts, the judgments of which are binding only within the appropriate Territory or State. lt is quite true that the High Court, the Commonwealth Industrial Court and the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission operate under statutory rules. Those rules can be called into question by an individual member of this Parliament who seeks to persuade other members of the Parliament to agree that the rules ought to be disallowed.- Similarly, in an altogether different kind of court which has been operating in relation to a small piece- of Australian territory since 1911, if the Attorney-General disallows a rule of court as he has had the right to do for the last 50 years, that disallowance can be called into question by the honorable member for the Northern Territory. If the members of the Legislative Council for the Northern Territory, who would be the most likely to be affected by rules of court of the Northern Territory Supreme Court, did not seek, either through the honorable member for the Northern Territory or some political party, to have a rule of court disallowed, it would seem that there was little reason for that rule to be disallowed. Certainly, there are avenues by which an aggrieved person or an aggrieved party can bring before this Parliament the fact that a rule has been disallowed and ask for consideration of that disallowance. But there is no difference between what has been the practice for the last half century and what is proposed under this bill. I do not think that either Senator McKenna or, indeed, Senator Wright-
– Why “ indeed “?
– If I may say so.
Senator Wright, the junior counsel in this argument, is arguing the case first propounded by Senator McKenna. I do not think that either the leader or my friend, the junior, has sought to show that injustice could flow from the continuation of a practice which has persisted for so long, which can be called into account by the Parliament and which is not in any way unique with respect to the Northern Territory.
.- I hate to deprive the Minister for the Navy (Senator Gorton) of any unction that he may feel from referring to me as junior counsel. I hearken to his inexpert submissions on matters of this kind without any expression as to his immaturity or inexperience in relation to them. I re-assert that I will always be most pleased to listen, without resentment or reproach because of his inexperience or immaturity, to his views concerning the business of this chamber. In the fields in which I practise, as junior counsel or as senior counsel, I and my colleagues take our responsibilities individually, and when a submission is made to us we look at it objectively. One looks at this matter from the stand-point of what has been laid down by this Parliament as the proper criterion for the Parliament’s retention of supervision over subordinate legislation. The rules of the High Court of Australia, the Bankruptcy Court, the Commonwealth Industrial Court and the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission must be submitted to each House of this Parliament, and particularly to this chamber, since our vigilance was stimulated by the Regulations and Ordinances Committee, on which I have the honour to serve, as a result of activities ;n 1931. We have to-night sat in that committee and have received the assistance nf our valued legal adviser, Mr. Howard Zelling. It pleases me that the committee is so constituted that every statutory rule is examined by it in great detail from the point of view of ascertaining whether it expresses the will of Parliament as set down in the relevant statute. That is an important principle to maintain in respect of subordinate legislation. The mere fact that the territorial court of the Australian Capital Territory was so primitive that a matter such as this had to be left to the final direction of the Attorney-General does not appeal to me as a worthy precedent to be adopted by a Liberal government, jealous of the proper responsibilities of Parliament, and to be expressed in a statute relating to the Supreme Court of the Northern Terri tory in 1961. Even though Senator McKenna’s amendment does not give each House executive right to disallow the Attorney-General’s disallowance, each House is at least entitled to be informed, within fifteen days of the AttorneyGeneral’s action, of his reasons for disallowance. On those grounds it seems to me proper, from the juniority of my counselling, to vote for the amendment.
Senator Sir NEIL O’SULLIVAN (Queensland) [10.4]. - I oppose the amendment. In general principle I agree with the sentiments expressed by Senator Wright that where matters of life, interest or property are involved this Parliament very properly may exercise final and supervisory control over them. As I read clause 55, it merely provides for the way in which the court shall be run. The clause does not determine rights as between man and man. It does not even declare what those rights are. The senior judge of the court is given the right to make rules for the procedure to be followed by the court - how summonses will be served and perhaps how counsel will appear. In my humble opinion this is a small matter on which to waste the time of a national parliament. Many matters of considerably greater importance, affecting the lives, interests and property of people, do not come before the Parliament. As I see it, this clause does not impinge in any degree on the property, lives or interests of the people.
– Can you tell us how the scope of these rules differs from that of the rules of the High Court, the Industrial Court or the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission?
– Not at this moment, but I think that Senator Wright, with his wide knowledge, would know the answer to that question. Paragraph (a) of sub-clause (2.) of the clause refers to the service and execution of a process of the court. Why should the service and execution of a process of the Northern Territory Supreme Court be made a matter of interest for the National Parliament? Paragraph (b) refers to the service and execution in the Territory of the process of any foreign court. That is purely a machinery matter. Is the National Parliament to be concerned with that? Paragraph (c) refers to the issue by the supreme court of letters of request for the service in any foreign country of any process of the supreme court. Paragraph (d) refers to the regulating of any matters relating to the costs of proceedings in the court, is the National Parliament to be called together to decide whether costs are reasonable or unreasonable? Paragraph (e) deals with regulating the means by which particular facts may be proved and the mode in which evidence of particular facts may be given in any proceedings, or on any application in connexion with, or at any stage of, any proceedings. With all due respect, 1 do not think those matters are worthy of the full deliberation of a national parliament. They are matters that could well be left to the senior judge of the supreme court in Darwin, subject always to the watchful eye of the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth. In the final result the Attorney-General is answerable to this National Parliament.
– I thought I had concluded my contributions to the debate, but Senator Sir Neil O’sullivan has induced me to make a further contribution. Does the honorable senator regard as of little or no consequence a provision that authorizes a judge to regulate the means by which particular facts may be proved? Is it of no consequence, in the honorable senator’s view, that such a provision may affect not only lives but also property? This is a matter that could go to the very basis of justice itself.
– The person who makes these rules is the senior judge.
– He is the only judge. Perhaps at this moment 1 am not so very worried about what the judge may do. My amendment is directed to what the Attorney-General may do. 1 point out to Senator Sir Neil O’sullivan that some of these matters are not inconsequential. The judge has power to regulate the means by which particular facts may be proved and the mode in which evidence of particular facts may be given in any proceedings or on any application in connexion with, or at any stage of, any proceedings. The honorable senator knows how wide is the ambit of the High Court. This court relatively will have the same ambit, particularly in matters of crime, appeal, civil causes and matrimonial causes. Even when making rules as to costs, grave injustices may be done. 1 do not think they will be done, but matters of very great substance could be determined under that heading. 1 do not agree with the honorable senator that these matters of practice and procedure are inconsequential in any relative sense at all. Very often they gravely affect the major substantive rights of the parties. It could affect them adversely or otherwise. However, I am less concerned from a personal point of view with what the judge may do. 1 am more concerned with what an AttorneyGeneral may do, and it is to that point that my amendment is directed; I am aiming no blows at the court at all. 1 am asking that, if the Attorney-General decides to overrule the rules laid down by the court, at least this Parliament be told of the reasons for that. This is not a very unusual request, lt is a most modest request. In the view of the Opposition, it is a most proper request. The only thing that surprises me is that the Attorney-General did not immediately embrace it. Why should he hesitate to tell the Parliament of his reasons for disallowing a rule of a court? Senator Gorton said that there was no comparison, strictly, between the High Court, which makes rules for all Australia, and the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, that makes them for a relatively small number of people in the Northern Territory. I do not believe that the question of numbers matters when it comes to doing justice and the Parliament exercising proper control over an Attorney-General. I think it is just as important that the right thing be done at the hands of this Parliament for the few tens of thousands of people in the Northern Territory as for the whole of Australia, with relation to matters coming within the jurisdiction of the High Court. I do not think we can draw any distinction in principle between the residents of the Northern Territory and the residents of the whole of the Commonwealth when it comes to a matter of determining the responsibility of the Attorney-General to this Parliament. That is the one simple issue.
– It seems to me that in the course of this debate I have somehow disturbed my colleague from Tasmania. I want to make it clear that in referring to him as the junior counsel in this case I meant that he was the one who supported a aase first put forward, or partially supported a case first put forward, to what may be called a judicial body. I should be the last person to seek to denigrate the reputation of the honorable senator from Tasmania, because he is - or so he has always led me to believe - well and favorably known to the Bar in Hobart.
As to the other matter raised by the Leader of the Opposition, I first of all point out that rules such as those that have been referred to by him are rules which are made by the court, by the supreme court judge, and have nothing to do with the Attorney-General, except that there is a power to disallow them - not to disallow them in secrecy, but to disallow them and to publish the fact of disallowance in the Northern Territory “Government Gazette “. I shall fall back on a quotation from the Attorney-General. When this measure was being considered in committee in the House of Representatives, the Attorney-General said - . . the court is a court of the Territory and the substantive law which it will administer will be to a large extent under the control of the Legislative Council of the Northern Territory by means of ordinances . Changes in the rules of court to be made by the judge of the court will be matters that very closely concern the people of the Territory, and that is why it is considered much more appropriate that notification of both the rules and disallowance of rules, if that should take place, should be brought to the attention of the people of the Territory.
As I have already said, they will have their own means of bringing the AttorneyGeneral of the day to account in this Parliament, either through the member for the Northern Territory, through a party which is approached toy the members of the Legislative Council for the Northern Territory or through individuals from the Territory.
.- I rise primarily to make some reference to the submission that was made by Senator Sir Neil O’Sullivan. If we refer to section 86 of the Judiciary Act we see that it provides that “ The Justices of the High Court . . may make Rules of Court “ so far as they relate “ to the practice or procedure of the High Court “, and in particular for other matters not dissimilar to the five matters mentioned in clause 55 (2.) of this bill. Section 87 of the Judiciary Act provides - (1.) All Rules of Court made in pursuance of the last preceding section shall - (a) be notified in the Gazette;
– That refers to the High Court.
– Yes, but the procedure and practice of the court is a subject for regulation by the justices of the High Court. It is one of the consequences of our sense of tradition that the procedures that have been laid down toy our courts ever since they have been operating have grown into the substantive law. I think that one learned authority said of the procedure which preceded the old Common Law Procedure Act - that is, the procedure that was in effect before 1882 - that the forms of action were dead but they ruled us from the grave because they had so engrafted themselves into the substantive law of the country.
If you turn to section 223 of the Bankruptcy Act you see that it is there provided that the Governor-General may make rules, that either House of the Parliament has power to disallow them, and that the content of those rules shall be the prescribing of matters, forms and things which are required or permitted to be prescribed for the conduct of any business or for purposes relating to the administration of the act and regulating the practice and procedure of the courts having jurisdiction in bankruptcy. So the terms of the rule-making power in relation to the bankruptcy jurisdiction are, in substance, fundamental in relation to the practice and procedure of the courts. The governing words in clause 55 of this bill are, “ for regulating and prescribing the practice and procedure to be followed in the Supreme Court.” This, I believe, amply demonstrates that the submission that was made by Senator Sir Neil O’Sullivan does not bear any substance, because exactly the same content of jurisdiction in the rulemaking power exists for the High Court judges and the Bankruptcy Court as is proposed to be vested in the senior judge of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory.
– Are the words “ not inconsistent with this Act “ used?
– In each case, there are the words - which I did not think it necessary to read out - “ not inconsistent with this Act”.
-I thought so.
– Therefore, there is no substance in the idea that these matters are insignificant to the Parliament. If the Attorney-General takes the trouble to disallow a judicial rule, does that not spark the vigilance of every member of the Parliament? Does he not want to see whether or not there is justification for a Minister of the Crown to over-rule a judge? Is that unimportant as a matter of principle?
– If it sparks your vigilance, you can read the notification in the “ Gazette “.
– I am sorry, but it is a little inconvenient for me to go to Darwin.
– You would not have to go to Darwin; it would be in the Library.
Sena’.or WRIGHT.- I am sorry that that interjection was made, because what Senator Gorton has said is on a different level from that of the matter I was debating. I simply say that these rules and regulations are of the same nature and content in each case. I hope I have convinced my colleague, Senator Sir Neil O’Sullivan, to whom we are indebted for his submission, that in view of the provisions of the acts I have quoted no sensible distinction can be drawn between this case and those cases. I trust that he will yield to the force of that argument.
– Briefly, I wish to support the view advanced by Senator Sir Neil O’Sullivan, who is, if one must draw theseinvidious distinctions, a legal luminary whose standing is at least equal to that of Senator Wright. All the arguments advanced by Senator Wright in seeking to refute Senator Sir Neil O’Sullivan’s submissions have been already answered in the course of this debate. He referred to courts which have an Australia-wide jurisdiction, but he did not state that the
Northern Territory Supreme Court has been operating in this way for the last 50 years without causing anybody to go up in flames as the result of sparked vigilance. Senator Wright made no reference to the fact that any disallowance of a rule - that was the point made by Sir Neil O’Sullivan, and not that rules were made that could be bad, because that is for the judge to do - is a public matter and the notification of it is available to anybody who finds himself set afire by such disallowance. If such a person wishes to bring the matter into this Parliament he can do so and can argue the matter to his heart’s content
Question put -
That the words proposed to be added (Senator McKenna’s amendment) be added.
The committee divided. (The Chairman - Senator the Hon. A. D. Reid.)
Question so resolved in the negative.
Clause agreed to.
Schedule agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.
Bill read a third time.
Senate adjoined at 10.28 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 2 May 1961, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1961/19610502_senate_23_s19/>.