25th Parliament · 1st Session
Hie PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Alister McMullin) took the chair at 3 p.m., end read prayers.
– My question is directed to the Minister for Works, who represents the Prime Minister in matters of education. Is he aware that there has been great disappointment at the Government’s decision to postpone until 1965 the operation of its scholarship scheme for the pupils of secondary schools and technical colleges which was promised during the recent general election campaign? Will the Minister state the reasons for the Government’s decision? Is the co-operation of State Governments required in order to implement the scheme? Have the State Governments been fully consulted by the Commonwealth and, if so, when did the consultation take place? Has there been a lack of cooperation by any State Government? In particular, what prevents the promised scholarships from being granted during the current year, with retrospective operation? What is the estimated annual cost of the proposed scholarships?
– I do not know whether there is widespread disappointment because of the fact that the scholarships promised by the Commonwealth Government during the last federal election campaign are to be awarded at the end of 1964 end to be tenable during subsequent years. Certainly, I have not discovered from conversations with educational authorities throughout Australia a suggestion that any other course could properly have been followed, particularly bearing in mind that the announcement of the scholarships was made after the close of the 1963 school year and therefore after the time when people might have expected to sit for examinations to obtain scholarships of 1964.
The reasons for the Government’s decision were partly the one that I have just stated and also that there was at the beginning of this year no reasonable method which could be seen to fulfil the Government’s requirement that the scholarships would bc awarded completely competitively and without discrimination. The fact that there were to be scholarships was not known at the end of the 1963 school year. Also, of course, a number of students throughout Australia would have formed their plans for 1964 and 1965, deciding perhaps not to go back to school at all because at that time there was no suggestion that these scholarships would be available.
Co-operation of State governments, strictly speaking, is not required for the implementation of this scheme. The creation of scholarships and the determination of the benefits that they will carry and the conditions under which they may be awarded, are all matters that the Commonwealth can decide unilaterally under the section of the Constitution which enables the giving of assistance to students. However, it is clear that each State has its own curricula for education, its own standards, and its own system. These vary from State to State. Therefore, while the Commonwealth is able to use its authority, it is far better, more sensible, and more proper, for the Commonwealth to consult with each State in order to ensure that as far as possible what is done in each State meets the requirements and convenience both of the Commonwealth and of the State. For that purpose, I have consulted every State Minister for Education and every State Director of Education on a large number of matters relating to Commonwealth scholarships, details of administration, and grants to assist the building of science laboratories.
I cannot tell the Leader of the Opposition exactly when I had these consultations, but I have been in every State capital in the last two or two-and-a-half weeks and discussed these matters in all of them. I must say that I have not noticed a lack of co-operation by the State governments. Indeed, it was very pleasant to be received, particularly in Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, in the manner in which I was received, and to read later in the newspapers statements by the Ministers for Education of the great benefit they felt the scheme would be to the States.
It is difficult to give in detail the estimated cost of the proposed scholarships. There will be a total of 12,500 secondary and technical scholarships, each one of which will carry a living allowance of £100. That will cost £1,250,000. Also, there will be available to 12,500 students amounts of up to £100 for the cost of books and fees. It is not possible to say at this stage how many of those students will claim the entire amount available. If all claimed the full amount, the figure of £1,250,000 would be doubled.
The reasons for not being able to provide scholarships with retrospective operation are the same as those that determined the introduction of these scholarships at the end of a school year - the time which is most convenient to State Education Departments and which is fairest to pupils, because it enables them to know that they will be able to compete for the scholarships which will be tenable in the years to follow.
– Has the attention of the Minister for Health been directed to a newspaper report from the United States of America on the effects of a new drug with the trade name Parnate? Will the Minister inquire whether any of the drug is being sold in Australia? If it is, will he investigate the source and authority of the report?
– I have not seen the report to which the honorable senator refers, but my department has been particularly interested for some time now in the effects of this drug. Because of the very great interest that the Senate has shown from time to time in the safety of drugs, it might be interested to hear a brief account of the action that has been taken by the department in relation to this drug. During 1963 reports of adverse reactions to tranylcypromine, characterized by rises in blood pressure and, in rare instances, by intra-anal bleeding were noted by the Department of Health. These reports were discussed with the manufacturer and referred to the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee for expert opinion. Honorable senators will recall, of course, that the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee was brought into operation only within the last six months or so, and this was one of the first tasks to which it applied itself.
As a consequence of this discussion the manufacturer issued a ‘ letter to all doctors on 8th October, 1963, which drew attention to these side effects as well as to precautions to be taken when prescribing tranylcypromine and to contra-indications to its use. The Department of Health further drew attention to this matter in a letter to the Australian Medical Journal on 26th October, 1963. In addition, State and Commonwealth directors of health have been informed, as have various medical organizations, such as the Australian Medical Association and the Australian College of General Practitioners.
Following the widespread dissemination of this information the Government’s expert medical advisers have taken the view, with which I concur, that the use of this drug is a matter for the judgment of individual medical practitioners who have to balance its value against the potential hazards to a particular patient. No further action is contemplated unless fresh information comes to hand to alter these views.
– I ask the Minister representing the Treasurer whether he has noticed a recent press statement to the effect that the Government of the United States of America has decided to increase the price of gold by the amount by which the cost of production has increased between 1939 and 1963. In view of the need to increase Australia’s production of gold I ask whether the Government will take into consideration the increase in the cost of production here and take similar action. I point out that every one has always understood that under the Bretton Woods agreement no nation is empowered to increase the price of gold by more than a very limited amount.
– I have noticed some very interesting developments in the United States legislature in recent times with respect to the variation in the price of gold. I suggest, with respect, that the honorable senator is at fault when he says that the United States Government has made a decision in this matter. What has happened, to the best of my knowledge, is that a Senate committee has made certain recommendations to the Government in respect of a variation in the price of gold, based on a variation in costs over the period referred to by the honorable senator. To date I have seen no reference in the press or elsewhere to any decision taken by the United States Government, nor indeed to any action taken by that Government in respect of the recommendation made by the Senate committee. The honorable senator will not be surprised that in a private way and in my capacity as Minister representing the Treasurer in this chamber I have been as interested in this subject as he has been. I have been in touch with the American authorities to find out what the actual position is and have requested that they keep me informed of any developments that may occur.
– I address a question to the Minister representing the Minister for the Navy. Is the Minister aware that two days after the tragic sinking of H.M.A.S. “Voyager” I forwarded a telegram requesting information on and urgent attention to matters vitally affecting the welfare and protection of relatives of naval personnel killed or injured in the sad disaster? Is it a fact that after ten days delay, during which no reply had been received, a representative of the press also sought the same information and had a discussion with the appropriate Minister? ls it a fact that prior to that interview the press appeared to be disposed to publish the information, but subsequently decided not to do so? Does this not raise a vital issue bearing on the adequacy of protection to be given by the Government to the naval personnel and their relatives concerned in the disaster?
President, I should like to take a point of order. I think that these matters are at the present time the subject of an inquiry by a royal commission.
– Not this.
– I do not know that it is appropriate, nor do I think it seemly, for the subject to be a matter for question and answer and discussion in the Senate.
– So far, all Senator Cooke’s questions are directed to matters connected with compensation and financial protection for the relatives of deceased personnel and for personnel injured in the disaster. These questions do not in any way impact upon the subject-matter of the inquiry by Mr Justice Spicer. He is concerned with the causes of the disaster. The questions that have been prepared by Senator Cooke and are now being asked have no relation whatever to that matter.
– I do not think one could draw that inference from his questions. I did not regard them as being restricted to compensation.
– I submit that they are unquestionably restricted to matters connected with compensation for relatives. This is a matter that is afoot in a way which is in no way connected with the cause of the disaster. I had prior knowledge of these questions and addressed my mind very particularly to their relevance before the honorable senator asked them. I make my submission with a full knowledge of the whole question.
– I do not object to the question if it is restricted to compensation, but it seemed to me to be canvassing the unfortunate tragedy itself.
– It does not.
– My decision is that Senator Cooke will not encroach upon any ground that is to be covered by the inquiry which is current at the present time. The honorable senator may develop his question and I will then decide whether he is in order.
– I shall read the portion of the question I had commenced to read prior to the Leader of the Government in the Senate interposing. Is it a fact that prior to that interview - that is the interview between the Minister and the press - the press appeared to be disposed to publish the information which subsequently it decided not to publish? Does not this raise a very vital issue bearing on the adequacy of protection to be given by the Government to the naval personnel and their relatives concerned in the disaster? Is it a fact that on the day on which the Minister had the interview, or on the subsequent day, a telegram 1 yard 4 inches in length was forwarded to me setting out the Government’s attitude? Was there -any collaboration .or, agre.emen.t- between -the press and the Minister to stop the information sought by me being published in the press? Is there any reason why information sought by me and subsequently supplied by the Minister should not be published? As many unsatisfactory features of the protection of the rights and interests of naval personnel are contained in the Government’s reply, will the Minister give the Senate an early opportunity to debate the financial protection of persons affected by the disaster, whether in relation to workers’ compensation or otherwise? The word “otherwise”, refers to th, ability of the persons concerned to proceed in local courts, a procedure which, I understand, is incumbent upon them at present.
– I have no knowledge of the alleged facts that the honorable senator has just given to the Senate. If he will place his question on the noticepaper I will refer it to the Minister for the Navy and obtain an answer in duc course.
« EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA “.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport. Is it within his knowledge that, in relation to the projected operations of the “ Empress of Australia”, the Marine Board of Hobart undertook the expenditure of about £500,000 on special berthing facilities, on the basis of an arrangement that something more than half of that amount should be repaid by the Commonwealth over a period of 20 years? Is it within the knowledge of the Minister that as late as January, 1962, at the instance of the Australian National Line the Hobart Marine Board established, on a full-time basis, a special crane to be used only by the “ Empress of Australia “? Will the Minister, after consultation with the Minister for Shipping and Transport, take the earliest opportunity to indicate the use that the “ Empress of Australia “ will make of these berthing facilities?
– I am not well enough informed to answer the honorable gentleman myself. I shall take the first opportunity to confer with my colleague the Minister for Shipping and Transport and obtain as much information as is available for ‘Senator Wright
– Has the
Leader of the Government in the Senate seen a recent report in the “Australian Liberal “, the official organ of the New South Wales division of the Liberal Party, expressing dissatisfaction at New South Wales’s position with only four Ministers in the new Menzies Ministry of 25? Does tho Minister agree with this criticism? Is it also a fact that despite the proposed enlargement of the Ministry no additional Ministers have been appointed from the Senate? In the event of any future vacancies occurring in the Ministry, will the Leader of the Government make representations to the Prime Minister to have another Minister appointed from New South Wales - preferably a, Senator from that State?
– I can understand Senator McCleland’s being envious of the result of the general election and of the distribution of the portfolios. It will be a long while before Senator McClelland and his friends on the opposite side become eligible for these appointments. The position has been very carefully considered by the Prime Minister. Arrangements have been made and the Government has been constituted.
– My question is addressed to the Minister for National Development. The continuity of the search for oil, the inflow of investment money for this purpose and the economic interests of Australia make it vital that agreement should be reached promptly on the price to be paid by Australian oil refineries for crude oil from the Moonie field. Can the Minister inform the Senate whether such agreement has yet been reached? If not, where does the matter now stand?
– I think we can start upon the basis that there is no doubt that the oil will be purchased by Australian refineries and will be refined in Australia. There is no disagreement on that point between the vendor and the purchaser of the oil. Of course, it is very desirable that the matter should bc brought to finality. The oil will not be available until early April or mid-April. I have been present at discussions which have indicated that when the oil is available tankers will be available to take delivery of it.
I am quite closely in touch with the negotiations; I have conferred with the buyer and the seller. The current negotiations cover 25 per cent, of the output of the Moonie field. The point at issue is not the basic price that will be paid for the oil but how that price should vary up or down should there be fluctuations in crude oil prices. The two parties have said, in effect “ We can agree between ourselves on the price for the next six months, but we do not think that is good enough”. The present indications are that twelve or fifteen months will elapse before a market for the crude oil is available in Brisbane - the field being closer to Brisbane than to any other capital city. The two parties have said, “ We would like to work out a formula which will cover not the immediate period of six months but the whole period of twelve or fifteen months before the Brisbane refineries are completed “.
The vendor and the purchaser are negotiating with each other. My department knows the nature of the negotiations. As I said earlier, I am in close touch with the position, and I hope that the parties will reach early agreement. I have said that the current negotiations relate to 25 per cent, of the output of the Moonie field, but it is natural to conclude that the negotiations will influence the price of the remaining 75 per cent. The value of all the oil which it is estimated will come onto the market over the next twelve or fifteen months will probably be more than £4,000,000. So it will be seen that this is quite a big transaction. Both the vendor and the purchaser have knowledge of and experience in fluctuations of values, and it is natural to expect that they will be able to resolve the matter between them. I repeat that the parties have reached agreement on a basic price, but they have yet to resolve this very difficult and rather complicated problem of the manner in which the price will rise or fall over the whole period in question, and the influence of that rise or fall on this and other transactions. A factor in the other transactions, of course, is the fact that the prospective purchasers include the refineries under construction in Brisbane, one of which is an Australian refinery.
– I direct a question to the Minister for Civil Aviation. Regardless of the outcome of the present dispute between Qantas and its pilots, is the Minister prepared to set up a special Department of Civil Aviation technical committee of inquiry to investigate thoroughly whether pilots of Boeing and Electra aircraft are suffering from cumulative fatigue? Would such a committee investigate the work load of pilots on Boeing aircraft in particular compared with the work load involved in flying aircraft of earlier types and ascertain whether the work has increased? Is there a feeling of personal insecurity among pilots due to the effects of cumulative fatigue? Would the committee investigate whether the pilots are suffering from sleeplessness because of the schedules under which they operate which result in their seldom having a night’s sleep? Would the committee investigate whether increased services have resulted in reduced rest time for pilots at slipping points? Would the Minister set up a committee so that these matters could be considered quietly in a non-industrial way by technical persons capable of looking at the problem apart from the economic aspects involved?
– I did not quite catch the point of the honorable senator’s question although I think I recognized some of the language that was used. He has asked that this matter be examined in a nonindustrial manner. I think the honorable senator himself might be well informed on the procedures that are followed as a matter of practice in the physical and medical examination of pilots to ensure that no safety factor is involved as the result of a health deficiency. Pilots are examined periodically by qualified medical men. There is nothing on record that has been brought to my notice, or that has come to the notice of the Department of Civil Aviation, that suggests that any pilot currently holding a pilot’s licence is, in fact, suffering from the effects of fatigue in any form.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for External Affairs. I direct the attention of the Minister to the fact that there have been expressions of concern in British newspapers at the end distribution of funds raised by the Freedom from Hunger Campaign. Will the Minister reassure the Senate as to the end destination and management of the money raised through the Freedom from Hunger Campaign in Australia so that the contributors to and managers of the fund may be relieved of any anxiety arising from the British reports?
– I think that question could well be answered by a considered paper stating just what happens to the funds in question from the time they are collected until they are distributed with such audited accounts as are obtainable. Therefore, I should like the honorable senator to put the question on notice so that I can endeavour to get a factual reply which I think the question merits.
– I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport. Is it a fact that the Minister for Shipping and Transport has been engaged in negotiations with overseas shipping interests to continue the recently established direct freight shipping service between Australia and the west coast of South America? Have the negotiations been completed? If so, have they been successful from Australia’s point of view? Has the Minister considered the possibility of arranging for the Australian National Line to provide the necessary service?
– Overseas shipping arrangements and the negotiation of agreements in connexion with such arrangements come within the administration of the Minister for Trade and Industry. I suggest that the honorable senator address his question to that Minister and place it on the notice-paper.
– I have read the press report to which the honorable senator has referred and also other statements on this subject. I have received a number of complaints from various quarters because of the suggestion that the book should be made available. At this date I have received no application from the librarian of the Australian National University for permission to import the book, and no decision has yet been made in the matter.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Housing. Is it a fact that at the present time purchasers of South Australian Housing Trust homes are excluded from the approved savings subsidy plan? Is it correct that the Government is likely to review this policy? Can the Minister provide information on this matter?
– I cannot answer the honorable senator’s question and I do not think that any one else could do so, either. The necessary legislation is at present being drafted. Its terms are under consideration. I should expect the legislation to be brought down in the Parliament during the course of this session. The point that the honorable senator has made can then be considered. In general terms, a statement was made in the Government parties’ policy speeches that the’ subsidy- was hot to be- available for houses which were constructed by governments, the reason being that houses constructed under the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement and other governmental arrangements are already subsidized by the Commonwealth.
– Not those constructed by the South Australian Housing authority.
– I have heard of the discussions concerning the South Australian Housing Trust, but I am not conversant with the facts.
– I direct my question to Senator Henty in his dual capacity of Minister for Customs and Excise and Minister representing the Minister for Immigration. Is it a fact that intending migrants frequently ship their personal effects several weeks ahead of their own departure from countries overseas? Also, is it a fact that when these personal effects arrive in Australia they are placed in Queen’s bond and that charges accrue at a daily rate from the day of arrival? Does this mean that when a migrant who has shipped his personal effects ahead in this way eventually arrives in Australia he is presented with a large account in respect of them? If this is so, could the Minister see whether there is any way in which the charges could be reduced, if not eliminated altogether? Could he discuss with his colleague, the Minister for Immigration, the possibility of stationing at Australia House in London, at any rate, if not at other places overseas, an experienced officer from one of the customs agencies to advise migrants on the disposal of their baggage and to inform them of what will happen to it if it goes ahead of them?
– 1 have never had brought to my notice circumstances in which a migrant sent his luggage ahead of him and incurred a large account because of Queen’s bond charges. The charges that are made depend upon the number of packages and the length of time for which they remain in bond. I do not think they are excessive by any means. Although I have never had such a case brought to my notice in the period of almost eight years that I have held my present portfolio, I shall confer with the departmental officers on the matter to see. whether it is possible to assist. I shall also discuss with the Minister for Immigration the possibility of having migration officers briefed on the matter. I do not think it would be necessary to appoint special officers to handle it. I think that would involve unnecessary expense; but I make that statement off the cuff. It seems to me that this is a matter in which the migration officers and the customs officers in the various areas from which migrants come could be briefed, so that they could give full information to migrants before leaving their countries of origin. The matter is quite new to me, but I shall make inquiries of the Minister for Immigration and officers of my department.
– My question is addressed to the Minister for Health. Recently he suggested in a press statement, after a discussion with State Ministers for Health and a deputation from the Hospitals Contribution Fund of New South Wales, that many hospital and medical benefits funds were not in a financial position to enable them to increase benefits to contributors. Can the Minister assure the Senate that the funds to which he referred on that occasion are not in an acute financial position? I do not suggest, of course, that all the funds are in such a position.
– I did not say that the funds had insufficient reserves to pay additional benefits. What I said was that benefits shall not be paid from reserves. I could be accused of a play on words.
– Does that not mean the same thing?
– There is a very subtle difference. Reserves are the property of contributors and are actually held in trust for them against a rainy day. May I elaborate by saying that each table in operation must be so designed that it carries the benefits for which the contributor pays. It is from these operations that reserves eventually come, provided always of course that the benefits paid do not exceed the contributions. It is the responsibility of my department to watch these funds.
Far be it from me or, I imagine, from Senator Ormonde, to allow the impression to go abroad that funds are on the verge of, insolvency. That.-, is . not the case. I repeat that It is my department’s responsibility to watch the funds and their financial operations. It is also our responsibility, which we accept, to see that the interests of the contributors are protected on all occasions. I emphasize again that we will not allow additional benefits to be paid from reserves. We welcome on all occasions the efforts that are made to extend benefits, provided of course that the contributions are sufficient to match the benefits.
– Can the Minister representing the Postmaster-General say whether there is any truth in the report that Kalgoorlie, in Western Australia, will receive television transmissions by way of a micro-wave link connecting Western Australia with the eastern States? Has land been purchased in Merredin, Western Australia, for the purpose of erecting a tower for the proposed micro-wave link?
– I should like the honorable senator to place that question on the notice-paper so that I may bring him up to date on the latest arrangements that are being made to extend television in Western Australia. They are moving quite smoothly.
– I direct a question to the Minister for Health. What steps does the Government intend to take to protect the health of the Australian people by discouraging smoking? Is it prepared to use its powers over broadcasting and television to engage in an anti-smoking educational campaign through those media? Is it prepared to exercise its responsibility in relation to the health of persons in the Territories, and in the Public Service and the armed services, by conducting an anti-smoking campaign amongst them?
– 1 have said in this place on a number of occasions, and I repeat, that our energies as a Government are directed towards educating the younger people of this country in the dangers of smoking and lung cancer. I am sure that the honorable senator will be interested to know that as recently as last week this matter was discussed between Ministers of Health of the Commonwealth and States, who were unanimous that the best results could be obtained in this field by pursuing a policy of educating young people. It was agreed without question that unilateral action would not be as effective as concerted action by the Commonwealth and the States. A health education conference is to be held in March to discuss ways and means by which this campaign can be conducted. The honorable senator asked specifically what this Government would be prepared to do. I emphasize that it has been agreed on the level to which I have just referred that we shall get together to try to devise a policy that will be most effective in this campaign. That decision will be taken in March.
– I direct a question to the Minister for Civil Aviation, In view of the expanded services being given to the people of Tasmania by Trans-Australia Airlines in operating intra-state air schedules, will the Minister give urgent consideration to the installation at Wynyard airport, on the north-west coast of Tasmania, of modern blind approach night-landing facilities, which would provide an alternate landing aerodrome to Devonport and Launceston and would overcome the frequent bypassing of Wynyard by both airlines when weather conditions are unfavorable?
– I have recently had representations in respect of the installation of additional facilities at Wynyard. I have replied to them to the effect ;h:t we keep under continual review the requirements of all airports and that for the immediate future we cannot give Wynyard a priority in this regard.
– Earlier, I asked the Minister for Customs and Excise a question concerning the baggage of migrants. Is he aware that a great many Australians who go overseas have the same difficulty, and are unaware that if they send their baggage ahead it will be put into Queen’s bond and that heavy charges vill have accrued on their return? As this seems to be a matter which is little understood by Australians or by migrants, will the Minister consider having printed a pamphlet or notice, explaining how this difficulty may be avoided, to be presented when passports are applied for by Australians?
– A booklet is handed to travellers on leaving Australia. It is available at Australia House and other centres throughout the world, and it sets out the position regarding baggage that is sent ahead or taken by a migrant or other traveller to Australia. To the best of my knowledge, the officials at Australia House - the customs officials, particularly - are fully conversant with the position. The booklet covers the matter thoroughly.
– by leave - I take this opportunity to inform the Senate of developments that should result in Australia’s overseas airline, Qantas Empire Airways Limited, operating supersonic airliners early in the 1970’s. On 16th January the Government gave Qantas permission to negotiate early delivery positions for ten supersonic airliners, four British/ French Concordes and six American aircraft. I emphasize to the Senate that Qantas is not entering into definite purchase contracts at this stage, but simply paying deposits to reserve the earliest delivery positions it can negotiate in the production line of both aircraft
The British/French supersonic airliner, the Concorde, will fly at 1,500 miles an hour, which is 2.2 times the speed of sound, and carry 100 passengers, with a range of some 3,700 miles. The British and French Governments are spending £160,000,000 sterling on the design and development of this aircraft, which is expected to make its first flight in December, 1966. Four Concordes with spares, if delivered to Qantas, could ultimately cost the airline something in the vicinity of £35,000,000.
Three competitive airframe designs and three engine designs for the United States supersonic airliner are at present being assessed by the Federal Aviation Agency in conjunction with American airline operators. The airframe designs have been submitted by the Boeing Airplane Company, Lockheed Aircraft Corporation and the North American Aviation Company, and the engine designs by Pratt and
Whitney, Curtiss Wright and General Electric. The Federal Aviation Agency is expected to announce an initial decision in April with possibly the final decision on the selected airframe and engine in about another year. The United States Government proposes to contribute 750,000,000 dollars towards the cost of development, with the selected United States manufacturer contributing another 250,000,000 dollars.
The United States aims to produce a supersonic airliner with a higher performance than the Concorde, and the American aircraft is expected to have a speed of 2.2 times the speed of sound, or faster, and carry 125 to 160 passengers over a range of 4,000 miles. There are many additional problems associated with its construction but the aircraft is scheduled to make its first flight about the middle of 1968, which is eighteen months later than the scheduled first flight of the Concorde.
Qantas informed the Government that there was insufficient information available at present to select one supersonic type in preference to the other, and decided therefore to protect its future competitive position by reserving delivery positions for both supersonic types. Three United States airlines - Pan American World Airlines, Trans World Airlines, and American Airlines - and the United Kingdom airlines, British Overseas Airways Corporation, have reached the same decision. Qantas will defer a final decision to purchase either type until more detailed performance information is available.
Following the Government’s approval for negotiations to secure delivery positions, Qantas, on 20th January, lodged a deposit of 600,000 dollars with the Federal Aviation Agency to secure delivery positions 25, 28, 34, 39, 60 and 69 for the selected United States supersonic airliner. This deposit will be refunded if the project is abandoned or if Qantas withdraws before November, 1965.
Qantas representatives have bad discussions in Britain with the British Aircraft Corporation which, with Sud Aviation, is producing the Concorde. These negotiations are not completed, and Qantas is awaiting clarification of some points before lodging deposits for four aircraft. Among matters being discussed arc more concrete guarantees of the range capability of the Concorde, as this is of considerable Importance to an airline with long range round-the-world routes. The ideal situation would be for Qantas to buy only one type of supersonic airliner. If, however, the Concorde is available for airline service well in advance of the American supersonic airliner, and if the American machine subsequently proves to have significantly higher speed, or other special attractions, it is possible that Qantas will buy both types.
Qantas is one of the world’s largest air carriers and last year earned revenue in excess of £40,000,000. It is estimated that by 1970 it will be earning more thar £100,000,000 a year, and the Government’s decision to permit Qantas to negotiate delivery positions for supersonic airliners gives it the opportunity to maintain its leading position in the supersonic era of the 1970’s. The Government recognizes that if Qantas is to maintain its competitive position it must have aircraft as good as those of its competitors and get them at about the same time, or not significantly later than, other international airlines.
– Pursuant to Standing Order No. 28a, I lay on the table my warrant nominating Senator K. M. Anderson, Senator A. M. Benn, Senator T. C. Drake-Brockman, Senator A. Hendrickson, Senator C. F. Ridley, Senator C. W. Sandford, Senator I. E. Wedgwood and Senator I. A. C. Wood to act as Temporary Chairmen of Committees *hen requested so to do by the Chairman of Committees, or when the Chairman of Committees is absent.
Motion (by Senator Sir William Spooner) - by leave - agreed to -
That, during the unavoidable absence of the Deputy President, the President bc authorized to call upon any one of the Temporary Chairmen of Committees to relieve him temporarily in the chair, without any formal communication to the Senate.
Motion (by Senator Sir William Spooner) agreed to -
That the days of meeting of the Senate, unless otherwise ordered, be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week; and that the hour of meeting, unless otherwise ordered, be 3 o’clock in the afternoon of Tuesday and Wednesday, and 11 o’clock in the forenoon of Thursday.
Motion (by Senator Sir William Spooner) agreed to -
That on all sitting days ot the Senate during the present session, unless otherwise ordered, Government business shall take precedence of all other business on the notice-paper, except questions and formal motions, and except that general business take precedence of Government business on Thursdays, after 8 p.m.; and that, unless otherwise ordered, general orders of the day take precedence of general notices of motion on alternate Thursdays.
Motion (by Senator Sir William Spooner) agreed to -
That, during the present session, unless otherwise ordered, the sittings of the Senate, or of a committee of the whole Senate, be suspended from 12.45 p.m. until 2.15 p.m., and from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Motion (by Senator Sir William Spooner) agreed to -
That, during the present session, unless otherwise ordered, at 10.30 p.m. on days upon which proceedings of the Senate are not being broadcast, and at 11 p.m. on days when such proceedings are being broadcast, the President shall put the Question - That the Senate do now adjourn - which question shall bc open to debate; if the Senate be in committee at that hour, the Chairman shall in like manner put the question - That he do leave the chair and report to the Senate; and upon such report being made the President shall forthwith put the question - That the Senate do now adjourn - Which question shall be open to debate; provided that if the Senate or the Committee he in division at the time named, the President or the Chairman shall not put the question referred to until the result of such division has been declared; and if the business under discussion shall not have been disposed of at such adjournment it shall appear on the notice-paper for the next .sitting .day.
Debate resumed from 25th February (vide page 27), on motion by Senator Morris -
That the following Address-in-Reply to the Speech of His Excellency the Governor-General be agreed to: -
May It Please Your Excellency:
We, the Senate of the Commonwealth of Australia in Parliament assembled, desire to express our loyalty to our Most Gracious Sovereign, and to thank Your Excellency for the Speech which you have been pleased to address to Parliament.
.- The debate on the Address-in-Reply to the Governor-General’s Speech gives the Senate an opportunity to review the Government’s performances and critically examine its legislative programme. Before embarking on such a review I should like to associate myself and the Opposition with the expression of deep regret that the sudden illness of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, prevented her from making her proposed visit to our country. Her complete and rapid recovery from convalescence is the wish of the countless Australian people who regard her with loyalty and affection and who look forward to the time when she will again visit us.
In his Speech His Excellency the Governor-General expressed the views of all the people of Australia when he referred to the tragic death of President Kennedy and the people’s great grief and sense of loss at that tragic happening. It is my personal hope that President Kennedy’s successor will be inspired by the same consciousness that he held of his responsibility to the people of America and to the world to pursue every possible path towards international peace and understanding, as this is the greatest of all the problems facing mankind.
I think, too, that it becomes the Senate at this time to offer its deepest sympathy and most heartfelt condolences to the sorrowing relatives of the gallant seamen who lost their lives in the “ Voyager “ disaster. It has already been announced that a thorough investigation will be made of this tragic accident. All we can do is to pray that God will give comfort to the sorrowing people who have lost those near and dear to them.
I believe I express the unanimous opinion of the Senate when I say that the speech delivered by the new senator, Senator Morris, was a worthy one and that he is to be congratulated upon it. It was well delivered and contained constructive and well-considered views on the vital subject of the development of the north of Australia. He referred to the need for an amelioration of the living and working conditions of those people who live in the hardship zones of our continent. I remind honorable senators that Senator Morris was practically repeating the spirit and the letter of the approach of honorable senators on this side of the chamber to this most important problem. His are views that we expressed recently during the election campaign and are ones that most certainly will be given effect as soon as honorable senators on this side of the chamber occupy the Government benches. The speech delivered by Senator Morris was a challenge to the Government to cease talking and get on with the job.
Despite the fact that Senator Morris is an experienced parliamentarian in the State sphere, I agree with him that the problems to which he referred must be tackled and shared by all. The people living in those places can do little about the overall problem of putting these areas to their most effective use, unless they are assisted on a massive scale by carefully selected and efficiently directed plans devised at the highest national level. I hope that the honorable senator’s remarks will bear fruit. I congratulate him on his maiden speech.
The Governor-General referred to the partial nuclear test ban treaty concluded in August, 1963, and said that the Government holds out hope for some relaxation of world tension. He said that it is not a comprehensive agreement or ban, either in terms of membership or of content, but that the Government hopes to see it extended to cover all nations and all forms of testing so that the danger of a renewed nuclear arms race may be diminished. In the light of that statement by the GovernorGeneral it may be well to have a few thoughts on this matter and to impress upon the Senate the importance of discussing this subject and of the Government taking some part in the international moves that are being made to try to put this treaty into effect.
Recently honorable senators on this side of the chamber advocated as part of our national policy the banning of nuclear testing, particularly in the vicinity of Australia, but also in other parts of the world. Our political opponents used the press, radio and television as channels to convey the idea that the Australian Labour Party was advocating something detrimental to the security of Australia. They took advantage of the confusion that exists in the minds of people to say that this type of thing was impossible. So, surely there was a certain amount of cynicism and hypocrisy when, very early in the Speech presented to the people of Australia by the GovernorGeneral, the Government announced that it held hope for some relaxation of world tension, although the nuclear test ban treaty concluded in August, 1963, was not comprehensive.
What part did Australia play in the making of that treaty? What part is the Government playing in trying to educate Australians in the importance of such treaties? I mentioned earlier the matter of war and peace when speaking about the great ideals of the late President Kennedy. The achievement of world peace and understanding is the greatest challenge that faces mankind to-day. Therefore, the raising of this matter at this time is of great importance. The confusion that has been created on the hustings in the minds of the people, purely for political gain, does no credit to the Parliament or to the Government. 1 hope that the views expressed by the Governor-General will be expanded and developed so that Australia will participate to the full in the pursuit of this very desirable aim. Australia should take whatever action is within its power to emphasize the nuclear arms peril.
The Governor-General referred also to our foreign policy and mentioned particularly Australia’s relations with Indonesia. He said that they deeply concerned the Ministers of this Government, as they concern us all. The Government has expressed as its policy our continuance of friendship with Indonesia - an aim to be pursued with patience, frankness and realism. Those three words - patience, frankness and realism - are the essence of international relations to-day. The method that has been used traditionally in diplomacy has, in my view, to be reviewed considerably when dealing with the newly-emerging forces, not only those that are very close to us geographically, but also right throughout the world. The old methods - speaking from strength, double intention, and employment of the propaganda machine to support a view - are not good enough in to-day’s very touchy international situation, not only in Asia but also in Africa. Those three important factors - patience, frankness and realism - should be the keynote of our international relations with the new countries.
– Is there indication that such an approach would succeed?
– I can only say to tho honorable senator that recently Mr. Robert Kennedy, the envoy of our most powerful friend and ally, the United States of America, visited the countries lo our near north. He subsequently made it known that in his negotiations he had made some progress in arranging for a ceasefire in hostilities between Malaysia and Indonesia. He made it his business to visit Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia, the three leaders of the area concerned. I am quite certain that part of the information that he received during his visits to these countries would have given him a deeper insight into the logical development of the concept of Maphilindo.
– What is that concept? Explain that to me.
– It is in conformity with the abbreviations that you get to-day. There are difficulties in explaining these abbreviations. The word is made up from the initial letters of Malaya, the Philippines and Indonesia.
– lt means that there is a three-pronged problem?
– Yes, one of many multi-pronged problems.
– Mr. Kennedy had the three countries in consultation. Why has not the United Nations carried on from there and approved of its mediator?
– I think the honorable senator has posed a question that Mr. Robert Kennedy might well initiate as a matter for urgent consideration in the United Nations, but the fact is that Australia is in a position in which it has stated its policy of assistance to Malaysia. We have representation in and close contact with the capital of Indonesia just as we have with the Philippines; we are being advised constantly of the domestic situation in these countries. On the other hand we have expressed our assistance openly for only one of the parties. We are in the unfortunate position that we support the South-East Asia Treaty Organization pact which contains only one of the parties in this Maphilindo concept. In other words only one of the parties in the dispute that exists in our near north is allied to us under Seato. We have some very frank and real problems to face up to In order to get to the nub of this very important question.
The only contribution, perhaps, that I can make is to state that the alternative to the present situation with our nearest neighbour, Indonesia, is a very forbidding one. The economy of Indonesia has become run. down and has reached the stage where periodical famines and other distressing circumstances could create internal disturbances. A very strong Communist wing exists in the country. We know that communism can thrive in any country only in a state of disillusionment, poverty and hunger. The seeds of communism are present in Indonesia and any deterioration in the situation will create the conditions to which I have referred. This is a matter to which we must not close our eyes. We should support any move that has been made by Mr. Robert Kennedy, the United States envoy, to maintain the status quo by means of a cease-fire until other matters are sorted out. Despite the idiosyncracies of the President of Indonesia we should use every endeavour through our diplomatic channels to keep the door open for negotiations amongst these countries. On a recent visit, I noted a basic unity amongst the people of Malaya and Indonesia, and to a smaller extent the Philippines, because of the common Muslim religion. Despite the fact that we are Christians we must realize that a vast number of people are adherents of the Muslim religion and attempt to plan their lives according to its tenets.
– And many are Buddhists.
– That is quite true. The Buddhists too have a purpose behind their religious beliefs and are a powerful factor in the politics and social life of Asian countries. This basic unifying factor amongst the people so close to us geographically provides a common denominator which I believe should be developed and expanded. During the time the parliamentary delegation was in Indonesia we had expressed to us the views of the leaders and others in authority who were trying to develop a community of people who based their lives on the Muslim ideals and beliefs. Whether these views can be put into effect by the Indonesian and Malayan people themselves is another matter but, after all, the overwhelming majority of the 100,000,000 people in Indonesia are of Malayan stock.
We must be very careful that we take the long-range view. We must do everything possible to prevent a fraticidal war. The big challenge in the Western world to-day to religion of any sort comes from the godless atheism of communism. This challenge is a welding factor amongst the people of the western world, and we have this great problem so very close to us. Although, in the past, perhaps, it might have been profitable to speak from strength and to rumble our guns, the fact remains that while mere is a possibility, through the agencies of the United Nations, and the help of the United States of America to act as the intermediary in this problem, the policy of the Australian Government should be directed towards the three important concepts of patience, frankness and realism.
– Would you consider pressurizing the British Government to take its troops out of North Borneo?
– No. I would go as far as to say that the only stable influence in Malaysia is the western influence, and, in the overall view, I would say that that basically is the British influence. There are prospects in these areas for vast expansion of industry and commerce. The
Malayan people themselves, because of their historical background, have not the knowhow to bring about industrial and economic expansion on the scale they know is necessary for the welfare of the people. They have been glad to welcome advisers from other parts of the world. They have been glad to welcome to their offices people from the United Kingdom of great skill and experience to assist them in their economic and industrial programmes. In reply to Senator Cormack’s interjection, I should say that that is the only stabilizing influence in Malaya. The Malayans perhaps would have greater internal problems and would have been in greater confusion if it were not for that stabilizing influence.
Malaya has a greater division of population than have most of our other near northern neighbours. Forty per cent, of Malaya’s population consists of Chinese. The Chinese over the centuries have migrated to this country and have played a simple, but, in many ways, a key role in the development of the Malayan economy. The Chinese are conducting business houses, shops and other activities which have become part and parcel of the Malayan economy. That 40 per cent, of the population therefore consists of people who are not Malays. Malays constitute another 40 per cent, of the country’s population. Malaya is embarking upon a long overdue programme to bring literacy to the masses of the people. That was apparent to us when we saw school children leaving for school in the early hours of the morning and when we saw other batches coming home late in the evening. Malaya is using all available school space and is operating its schools in shifts to try to overcome the tremendous lag in literacy. People from India, Pakistan and other surrounding countries who have taken up residence over the years constitute another section of Malaya’s population.
A great problem has been created in the countries which have associated with Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia. In those countries the earlier advisers have retired from the scene and the people have been left more or less in a political, economic and social vacuum. Those people are seeking the stability about which I have spoken. Even though violent differences of opinion exist between Malaysia and Indonesia, I believe it is possible to reduce the tension which exists in this area. A widened interest in the welfare of this part of the world has recently been displayed by Mr. Robert Kennedy with the backing of the United States of America and, indirectly, of the United Nations.
I have said more on this subject than I had intended. On some future occasion I shall place before the Senate my views on many of the other subjects that were raised in the Governor-General’s Speech. No doubt my colleagues will deal with them in this debate, but I repeat that I shall do so at some later stage.
.- Mr. Deputy President, I am grateful for this opportunity to rise and support the motion that has been proposed by Senator Morris of Queensland. Doubtless all other honorable senators were as interested as I was in his description of the problems associated with north Queensland. However, I am bound to say that although I admire the force and direction with which he made his points, perhaps on a future occasion when I know him better and when the Senate has settled down to a consideration of some of the domestic problems which no doubt will engage our attention I shall make some remarks about north Queensland which might not be received with the same degree of pleasure as that with which he believes his comments should be received. I come from a southern State and I see these matters in a colder light than do the people who come from north Queensland. Nevertheless, I should like to say that I was extraordinarily pleased with and impressed by what he said and I am quite sure that he will make many useful contributions to debates on wider aspects of Australian life to which the Senate will direct its attention from time to time. I ask for leave to continue my remarks at a later stage. (Leave granted).
Sitting suspended from 4.33 to 8 p.m.
- Mr. President- [Quorum formed.]
It is the duty of the Opposition to oppose in general terms the proposals contained in the Governor-General’s Speech which is delivered by His Excellency upon the advice of his Ministers. Of course, it is the duty of honorable senators on the Government side to support in general terms the proposals made by the Government. It is well understood in the Parliament that individual members in speaking to the motion for the adoption of the Address-in-Reply have the right to deal with matters of general importance or of importance to the honorable member or the honorable senator. I wish to support the Governor-General’s Speech and the proposals in it that the Government has set before the Parliament. I propose to deal with at least three aspects of the Speech which interested me particularly.
Although I do not disagree in principle with anything that has been said in the Governor-General’s Speech, I believe that some added emphasis should be given to some of the matters mentioned by His Excellency. This afternoon Senator O’Byrne referred to the problem of Malaysia. I should like to re-emphasize this matter by reading a portion of the Governor-General’s Speech. Referring to Malaysia, the Governor-General said -
In spite of great international efforts, political tension is still high in some regions, notably in Australia’s near north. This is largely, as in the past, due to Communist pressures. But we also have what is called “ confrontation “ over Malaysia. My Government will continue to support the political and territorial integrity of Malaysia. In addition to its pledge to provide forces if necessary to assist Malaysia and Great Britain in the defence of Malaysia against externally directed aggression or insurgency, my Government is taking active measures to assist the development of Malaysia’s own defence resources.
Subsequently, His Excellency stated, in apposition to the statement I have just read -
Australian relations with Indonesia have, of course, deeply concerned my Ministers. Government policy towards Indonesia continues to be one of friendship, pursued wilh patience, frankness and realism. The major interests which we have i.i common should, if possible, be preserved. But my advisers continue to make it clear to Indonesia that we have commitments in relation to Malaysia which we will honour.
The Governor-General subsequently made two observations which are not out of context with what I have read. His Excellency stated -
Expenditure on modern equipment for the Army ls being increased from £10,000,000 to £17,300,000 each year covering a complete range of weapons, communications and radar equipment, light aircraft, water craft and vehicles. Defence expenditure has increased from £203,000,000 In 1961-62 to over £260,000,000 this financial year, and will continue to rise substantially in future years.
Obviously, this is an acknowledgment by the Government of something of which the Australian people have been well aware. We are involved at present in a situation of peril which can only form a parallel to that existing in this area in 1941. In the few moments at my disposal I want to emphasize the importance of these problems which not only concern the Australian people but fundamentally must concern the Parliament in the ensuing twelve months. In justice to Senator O’Byrne, I think I should say that he showed a clear grasp of the position in Malaysia in his speech this afternoon.
In my opinion, Malaysia is the only force in South-East Asia which shows any sense of political and economic viability in a parliamentary way. By the courtesy of the Government and the kindness of honorable senators, I was able to travel into South-East Asia in the months preceding Christmas. I hope I shall not weary the Senate if 1 traverse some of the matters I have already dealt with in communicating with various honorable senators.
Malaysia is a concept which had its birth first in the wisdom of the British Administration who handed over to the Malayan Government in 1956 a going concern after Great Britain and Australia had provided forces which enabled stability in a social sense to be obtained in Malaya. By wise and prudent administration of the British officials who were in that area in the postwar years, Great Britain was able to hand over to the new government of Malaya external credits amounting to £120,000,000 sterling as a foreign reserve. Since that time the concept of Malaya and Singapore as an independent State has been changed because of the action of the Prime Minister of Malaya - who is now the Prime Minister of Malaysia - and the very brilliant man who is now Prime Minister of Singapore. They realized that Singapore and Malaya could not exist in separation. They had to exist co-laterally and co-ordinately.
What is more, it was realized by these two men - one a Malayan of ancient lineage and one a Chinese whose family were migrants into that area perhaps 100 years ago - that this area had to develop as a multiracial .State. .-The two >. men, totally opposed in many characteristics, have subordinated themselves in an attempt to create a multi-racial State by the union of Malaya and Singapore. Part of the deal was to bring in also the Malayan components of North Borneo. Two States of North Borneo - Sabah and Sarawak - joined with Malaya and Singapore, but the territory of Brunei decided not to enter for reasons that it is not proper for me to canvass now.
No one who has been in that area can come away without an impression of the drive and enthusiasm of the people to make a success of Malaysia. The administration is efficient and is filled with a sense of social obligation to the people it governs. The people of Malaysia are attempting to make for themselves a dynamic state, in economic and political terms, by moving on a broad front. They are attempting to meet the capital needs of their country and they are also attempting, successfully I think, to overcome the problems of social advancement. They are doing these things within the scope and the manifest imperfections of the parliamentary system of government, a system which exists to protect the people. The men and women of the area recognize that this is so.
It is not possible to come away from Malaysia without a sense of well-being and of confidence that here at least there is a broad determination to promote the welfare of the people on the widest possible front, in contrast to the situation which exists in other areas where generations are being annihilated in order to obtain a degree of economic advancement at the expense of the liberty of the people. Therefore, on this basis alone I consider that Malaysia must be supported to the limit of the capacity of the Australian people. It filled me with great pleasure to note that His Excellency, in the Speech which he delivered in this chamber yesterday afternoon, re-emphasized the statement that has been made from time to time, that we will see to it that the people of Malaysia are not menaced.
I become very tired of the constant preaching, from pulpit and lectern, to the effect that we in this area are not doing enough to guarantee the integrity of Malaysia and the advancement of the area. I say that Great Britain and Australia have been able, to relieve Malaysia of some of the enormous burdens of defence, a fact which must be of great comfort to the people of that country in the circumstances in which they find themselves at the present time and to which I shall refer shortly. The cost of this burden of defence which the people of Malaysia would have to assume, without the wherewithal to do so, would amount to perhaps £1,000,000,000, not taking into account the annual upkeep that such a state of defence would involve. So, I say to honorable senators that whenever they hear condemnation of our efforts, for example, our Colombo Plan aid, they should remind the people who are making the condemnatory remarks that the mere fact that we are preserving the physical integrity of Malaysia is of incalculable value.
Let us turn to look at the situation which exists on the boundaries of Malaysia. As we know, the State of Malaysia is menaced at the present time by a system which is called confrontation. The truth is that confrontation is based upon one of its alleged logical qualities, the concept being that Malaysia represents neo-colonialism and new imperialism. It seems almost impossible to get it into the skulls of a great number of people in all parts of the world - not only in South-East Asia - that the real neocolonialism and new imperialism come not from the Western nations but from the Communist countries. I think it is not without some kind of significance that the neo-colonialism and the new imperialism of Indonesia, particularly when we look at Sabah and Sarawak, are engendered by those who spend too much time reading the political bible of Marxism or Leninism.
– Is Indonesia a Communist country?
– lt has the largest Communist Party in South-East Asia, and the man who leads the Communist Party is a member of the Government of Indonesia. He is in constant attendance at Peking. If an egg gives off a smell one must assume that there is something bad about it.
Let me contrast the economy of Malaysia with that of Indonesia, because these are two separate matters which are dealt with in His Excellency’s Speech. On the one hand we have the Malaysian economy which is proceeding in good order. Some years ago the Malaysian Government was handed external reserves amounting to £126,000,000. At the present time Malaysia’s external reserves are greater than the amount handed over in 1956. In other word’s, the Malaysians have been able to make progress with their capital promotion in both the governmental and private sectors. In addition, they have been able to proceed with their social programmes in the fields of housing, schooling, hospitalization, roads, railways, ports and so on. They have been able to pay their way and to save money at the same time. On the other hand, the nation which is menacing them is bankrupt in all these respects, lt is bankrupt in terms of capital promotion, in both the governmental and private spheres. It cannot pay its debts. It cannot feed its people. Therefore, one is left with the melancholy conclusion that one of the reasons why Malaysia is under menace at the present time is that the other sector of South-East Asia which is adjacent to Malaysia is frightened of Malaysia’s success.
One of the tragedies of men of my age, end of other honorable senators, to judge by the colour of their hair, is that we have lived during a period when a new phenomenon of dictatorship has grown up. I refer to the belief that the people are not able to govern themselves and, in fact, should not have the opportunity to govern themselves through representative institutions, and that society can be maintained and developed only by the existence of a single person whom we may call a dictator if we like. There are so many things happening to the north of Australia at the present time that remind me, and no doubt other men and women of my age, of the circumstances that existed in 1936, 1937, 1938 and 1939. A great number of excuses are being made for the existence of a dictatorship. The situation that exists in Indonesia at present is not a solitary one. There are dictators in other parts of the world, particularly in new nations. In those nations the dictators, at any rate, believe that the people cannot get along without them. Therefore, we have our fuehrers on the Asian and African scene. They do not call themselves fuehrers, but then this seems to be a century of masked words. The dictators have to be called by other names. “ The redeemer “ seems to be a rather graceful way of putting it. There is the charismatic term “ brother “, for instance. If honorable senators turn to the dictionary they will see that “ charismatic “ pertains to a favour specially vouchsafed by God. These people have no inhibitions and allow nothing to impede their right to rule. Neither have they inhibitions about the misery they impose on their people. It seems to me that they are travelling the inevitable road which other dictators have travelled.
– Would “ megalomaniac “ be a better word?
– There are various psychological conditions which seem to account for the way in which these men act. Perhaps people who lived 2,000 years ago could explain it. Any amateur psychiatrist also could explain it. It seems to me, nevertheless, that these men tread an inexorable path and that their people must go down that path with them, whether they like it or not. One of the things that inhibit us in Australia and also the people of the United States of America and the people of Great Britain, is our fear which we justifiably hold that if we take action to end the kind of situation to which I have been referring and which is bedevilling the world at the present time, the effect may be one of escalation. In other words, if we take a stand, before we know what has happened a major war may have broken out. I believe that we are being fooled by this fear. I do not think that a major war would occur. If people go about threatening to upset the peace, not only of their neighbours but of the whole world, the major powers themselves must be able to take a hand and say, “ This must go no further “. I believe that that situation has been reached now. That South-East Asia is an area of great importance to Australia was demonstrated in the period between 1941 and 1945; it is still of immense importance to Australia. Recognition of this situation is not too late. The Government could have pursued no other policies than those which it has pursued in the past ten years. I was heartened by His Excellency’s Speech, because it indicated that the nation had to strengthen itself to a major degree in the next few years in order to deal with this situation.
It appears to me that South-East Asia is an area of fundamental weakness politically in the Asian scene. I have addressed myself to honorable senators previously on this matter. I have spoken of a major political fault line running from the southern Chinese mainland right down to the islands to the north of Australia and from Burma to Oceania. Along this fault line are elements which are not in agreement as to how the situation must be handled. It is true to say that Malaysia would not be the thriving nation that it is to-day and would not be on the broad road to prosperity but for the wisdom with which the experienced men of the United Kingdom handled the situation in Malaya and Singapore from 1945 to 1956 and from 1956 to the present time. I believe that the United States of America, with its world-wide responsibility, does not understand clearly and coherently the problem which really exists in this area. I do not see the problem as the Government of the United States of America sees it and I do not think that the Government of the United States of America sees it as the United Kingdom Government sees it. Because there seems to be a lack of coherence and agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States of America, this fault line is a sort of international Tom Tiddler’s ground where great damage has been done to the peoples and nations of the area.
Many people are interfering in this situation, and until such time as there is a concert between the United Kingdom and the United States of America on how this problem is to be handled, and whether it is to be seen as an integrated problem and not as separate problems, the problem will not be solved. It seems to me that the tragedy is that in this period the people and the Government of Australia are egged on by every political theorist in the Australian National University, the Sydney University and the Melbourne University, to advance the concept that Australia has a separate role to play in this area. Australia has not a separate role to play. We have a fundamental role to play in the area through the Colombo Plan, and we do it. We have a deeper, more fundamental political role to play, but we cannot play it in isolation from either the United Kingdom or the United States of America. By some means or other the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia must try to produce a concert between the United States of America and the United Kingdom to see the whole of this area from the Chinese mainland to the northern boundaries of Australia as a single problem, which is not a matter of spheres of influence - not a matter of the United States of America regarding South Viet Nam, North Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia as areas of United States influence and the area around Malaysia as a sphere of United Kingdom influence.
– Would they have a responsibility to look at it in the same way as we do?
– I shall deal with this in a moment. The idea of being able to bring this situation under some sort of control by making gifts to these people and rendering aid such as we normally render under the Colombo Plan is no longer valid. Look at the millions of pounds that have been poured into South Viet Nam by tha United States of America and the millions that have been poured into Thailand! You, Mr. President, have seen the results of it. Look at the millions that have been poured into Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia by the United States of America! I say - I think without any hope of contradiction - that this has been so much money down the drain.
It seems to me that we have now reached a terrifying situation with a new development beginning all over the world. The so-called uncommitted neutral nations are using the fear of escalation on the part of the great powers as a means of precipitating a condition in which the world finds genocide occurring in Africa, and lawlessness in Sabah and Sarawak. People are shot down on the roads, bombs are thrown in the villages, administration officials have to travel with armed escorts, and although an agreement is made for a cease-fire, there is an immediate attempt to deliver reinforcements of food and material to fighters who are occupying sovereign areas of another nation. These so-called neutral countries are able to exacerbate the lawless conditions that exist at present. It is my opinion that if the United Nations cannot stop this lawlessness some one will have to move in, whether we like it or not, and say “This is as far as you can go. You can go no further.”.
There is much more that 1 should like to say. There is much more that perhaps I should not say. I say finally that we have no special role in South-East Asia. If it is believed in this Parliament that we have a special role in South-East Asia, this is a great illusion, because we can operate there only in conjunction with the two major powers which will bc able to sustain us if the situation becomes desperate. If we wish to sit at the table, playing the game of international stakes in terms of self-survival, we must go to that table with a pretty strong bankroll, and the bankroll must be expressed in terms of power.
.- At the outset, I endorse the opening remarks of the mover and seconder of the motion for the adoption of the Address-in-Reply with reference to Her Majesty and the GovernorGeneral. We all endorse those remarks. I have listened to two speeches, principally on Malaysia, with which I must say I agree. I agree almost 100 per cent, with all that Senator Cormack has said, but as the Opposition has only the daily press from which to obtain the latest information on what is happening in Malaysia and Indonesia, the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies), or his representative in this chamber, should make an up-to-date statement at an early stage, to inform the Parliament of any late developments in that section of the globe, as far as this can be done without giving away any secrets.
I think that the game that Indonesia is playing is very plain to everybody and that if Malaysia should go under the time would not be far distant when an attempt would be made to put Australia under likewise. We and Malaysia are sister nations of the Commonwealth and we are a friendly neighbour of Indonesia. On the one hand is a democratically elected government and on the other hand what I would term a proCommunist dictatorship. Indonesia is holding one hand out to us in friendship - and we accept it - while at the same time she is trying with the other hand to slap our sister dominion Malaysia across the face and push that country under. That is the real position in which Australia finds itself to-day, and I suggest that the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) and his colleagues must adopt all possible means to ensure that Australia plays her proper part in the preserva tion of peace and, if war comes, to ensure that Australia is properly prepared for war.
I turn now to some of the details contained in His Excellency’s Speech. I note, first, that the Government mentions that there has been an increase in the production of goods and services and that the provision of homes has increased to the stage where over 100,000 homes are now being built each year. Mr. President, we must naturally expect that. There must be these increases in a country like Australia. Indeed, if there were not a considerable increase in the production of these things each year there would be calamity in this country. The same thing applies to employment. If there were not a continual increase in employment, a continual increase in the construction of homes and so on, this country would become stagnant and there would be chaos. The Government cannot take credit for increases which are taking place year by year in a country in which the population is increasing by probably hundreds of thousands each year. These increases are natural in Australia, and they must continue if we are to survive.
The same thing applies when it comes to the intake of migrants. It was with pleasure that I heard the Government announcement that another 10,000 British migrants were to be brought to this country, because the British migrants are the ones we want. I am sick of hearing statements about migrants coming from places like Cyprus where the Greek Cypriots are trying to murder the minority Turks out of existence. In fact, in my view, Turkey would need to make no apology if she walked into Cyprus and dealt with the Greek Cypriots as they should be dealt with. I make that statement as a result of experience that I have had with Greek Cypriots in this country, and I offer no apology for making it.
I come now to that portion of His Excellency’s Speech which deals with the development of water power and what the Government is doing in this direction. This point was emphasized, certainly by Senator Prowse, and, I think, by Senator Morris. I say that the development of water power and the conservation of water in Australia could go on at a much faster rate than is the case to-day. Nobody knows better than the Government does, just -how much production can be increased by the development of water power and the conservation of water. Again, nobody knows better than the Government does what the increased population of the world is demanding each year by way of greater production of foodstuffs and things of that nature which must be produced in certain parts of the world. Australia must play a major part in supplying that increased production. While we have overseas migrants who are available to this country and while we have about 80,000 unemployed in Australia - I am subject to correction on that figure, but it is the last, figure I received from official sources-
– lt is 85,000.
– The honorable senator says the unemployed number 85,000. I realize that some of that number might be unemployable, but the great majority of those people are employable. As there is no shortage of man-power in Australia, as there is no shortage of migrants who could be brought here for the development of water power and the conservation of water, and as there is no shortage of materials in this country for this work, I should like to know what is holding the Government back. Do not let Government members tell us that finance is the problem. The only excuse for not carrying on with any major project is either lack of man-power or shortage of . materials. Otherwise the reason is lack of initiative on the part ofthe government in office. As we have both man-power and materials those excuses cannot be offered. Nor can the Government suggest that shortage of money is the reason. The Government knows perfectly well that if war broke out in this part of the globe to-morrow money would be found in hundreds of millions, in fact in thousands of millions of pounds, for destructive purposes. Therefore, I suggest money oan be found just as easily for productive purposes and. for the necessary development of Australia. If there is a lack of development - and I say there is a definite lack of it when it comes to the harnessing of water power and the development of our northern areas - the blame rests with the Government for not moving fast enough, especially when we know that there is a surplus of labour available in Australia. Senator Cormack accuses us, because we say the Government is not moving fast enough with development, of opposing the AddressinReply. That is not the position at all. The fact is that His Excellency has mentioned the urgent need for the development and storage of Australia’s water resources. We agree with what he says, but we say that the Government is not moving fast enough in carrying out this development. We merely express the hope that the Government will move a little faster in future in undertaking these developmental projects.
Senator Prowse emphasized the need for increased primary production and stated that further assistance should be given to primary producers. He objected to their being required to build homes for their employees. He stated that the primary producers were the only people in Australia who were required to do that. Let me tell the Senate that that is far from the truth. What Senator Prowse says might sound good to the primary producers, and nobody has more sympathy for the primary producers than I have, having been a primary producer once myself, but I can assure the honorable senator that there are many industries in Australia which provide homes for their workers. I could name some of them. Before some projects begin operations, areas for whole towns are surveyed and laid out, footpaths, roads and other amenities are provided, and homes are built for the workers before they are brought in to work on the project.
This type of thing is going on in Australia to-day, and it is not being done by farmers. I do not doubt that the Government itself is doing these things on some of its major projects. If it is not doing them, then other governments and other industries are. Why, it is not so long ago when the workers on the Callide coal project had to go on strike in order to get some accommodation. The commissioner who investigated the complaint said that the housing provided was deplorable, to use his own term. He said that it was almost impossible for people to get decent accommodation. Is it not up to primary industry to build homes if it wants workers to go out into the outback areas? To-day various other industries are providing homes because they know that if they do not they cannot hope to induce employees to work for them. Therefore it is not right for the honorable senator to say that the farmers are the only ones who are expected to provide homes for their employees. I will agree 100 per cent, with Senator Prowse that some primary producers could be given further assistance to enable them to provide homes for employees, but there are other primary producers who could have built whole townships for their employees out of the incomes they have enjoyed in the past. I refer in particular to the wool-growers, who received up to £1 per lb. for their wool at one stage. If they had wanted homes and facilities for their employees at that time they would have had ample funds with which to provide them. Not all primary producers are in need of assistance, or of the same degree of assistance. Bearing in mind some of the high prices received for wool and some of the prices received for wheat, would honorable senators suggest that those primary producers should be subsidized to enable them to build homes for their employees? I do not think for one moment that Senator Prowse would ask the Government to do that. I should like to hear his views on that subject. Perhaps he is referring to those primary producers when he claims that some assistance is needed because very few of the small primary producers have to build homes for employees.
I come now to another matter of great importance contained in His Excellency’s Speech. I refer to the paragraph dealing with an amendment of the Electoral Act. This needs most careful consideration because the Governor-General’s words are not clear. Honorable senators on this side of the chamber are waiting with a great deal of interest to learn the details of the Government’s proposal. I sincerely hope that there will not be created a great number of pocket borough electorates in which one voter will have the same voting power as perhaps five or six voters in another electorate. If that situation comes about we can say good-bye to democratic government in Australia. We will be heading straight for a dictatorship because the democratic principle of one vote one value will have gone completely. Therefore I assure the Senate that this is a proposal which we on this side of the chamber, who believe that democracy must be preserved at all costs, will examine very carefully when it comes along.
I refer now to the system of proportional representation and I should like to cite an instance that occurred recently, affecting both sides of the House. I do not blame the Government in this case, but I make no apology for raising the subject. I agree that proportional representation is a good system, and I think honorable senators will agree with me that it is desirable to have a reasonably strong Opposition, no matter which party is in government. Under the proportional representation system that generally is the result. However, we now find ourselves in the position where the principle of proportional representation has been negatived. If has been completely destroyed, not by any action of the Government but because of the wording of our Constitution. In making that point I bring to the notice of honorable senators Queensland’s representation in the Senate to-day. At the last Senate general election in Queensland the Liberal Party received a little more than half the votes and gained three seats against the Labour Party’s two seats. That was fair proportional representation. Unfortunately for the Labour Party, however, one of the Labour senators died although he was quite a young man. The Queensland Government honoured the principle of proportional representation by appointing another Labour man to fill the casual vacancy. Because of the wording of the Constitution, however, when the next general election came about - in this case it was for the House of Representatives only - that honorable senator had to go to the polls. The result was that by a small margin of votes Labour lost one of its representatives and the Liberal Party gained one, giving the Government a total of seven senators to our three, although the Government parties had polled little more than half the votes.
What happened to the Labour Party on this occasion could happen to the Liberal Party at any time in the future. I suggest that this is a situation that should be rectified, even if an alteration to the Constitution is required. If we want proportional representation to apply then we must amend the Constitution so that the system can apply in its true form and as we wish it to apply.
– That section of the Constitution was considered by the Constitutional Review Committee and Labour’s representatives deliberately recommended against any alteration.
– 1 cannot help what anybody recommended. That will not prevent me from expressing my views at any time in a democratically elected chamber of a democratic country. 1 should add that in expressing those views I am expressing the views of a large proportion of members of the Australian Labour Party and of the Liberal Party. Sometimes altered circumstances change one’s views. I have changed my views before to-day on certain subjects when I could see that probably I was wrong. It is always open to a wise man to change his mind, whereas a fool would not.
– Who did you say changed his views?
– I am not saying anything about that. 1 am quite capable of looking after myself - much more capable than I have been over the last few years.
Another matter that I should like to bring to the notice of the Government while I have the opportunity is the inconvenience caused to people in certain parts of Australia because of the present system of grouping numbers in telephone books. Under the present system a small city with a number of suburbs may have three or four telephone exchanges. The telephone numbers are listed under the names of the exchanges and not on a common roll for the city. To call a person you must first find out the suburb in which he lives and so ascertain the exchange prefix. I can give an illustration of this, although the one I choose may provoke some laughter. Nevertheless, it is one of the best illustrations that I can quote. I refer to the city known as the Gold Coast in Queensland. For example, to find the number of somebody living in say, Palm Beach, a person would naturally look in the telephone book for “ Gold Coast “, but he would not find it there. There are perhaps ten different exchanges, making .up that one city. I shall not. bore the. Senate by enumerating them. I can sec no reason why all numbers for the Gold Coast area should not be listed in the same way as they are for any capital city which has several telephone exchanges. I can see no reason why all telephone numbers for the district to which I have referred could not be listed in one telephone book for the Gold Coast. The Melbourne telephone book includes numbers for all the suburbs around Melbourne, and the same applies in Sydney. If that can be done in Melbourne and Sydney, why can it not be done on the Gold Coast or in any other town or city? A person cannot find a telephone number in the Gold Coast region because he has not the slightest idea under which of the tcn exchanges to look. I suggest that it would not cost any more to adopt my suggestion. The prefix could be printed before each number. It would be a very simple matter to change the form of the telephone book and to bring it into line with the books used in other cities. That would give the population of the Gold Coast the same privileges that other cities in Australia are now enjoying. If this can be done in the larger cities it can also be done in the Gold Coast. Some people say that certain authorities in the Post Office are against certain portions of the Gold Coast and do not want it to develop. All sorts of stories are put out. I can see an honorable senator from Queensland looking hard at me. Let him try to find the telephone numbers of some of his friends on the Gold Coast and he will be in the greatest difficulty. I am saying this in all seriousness. The manner in which the directory is printed is a distinct anomaly and a great disadvantage to the people who live outside of the Gold Coast. It is no great disadvantage to the people on the Gold Coast, but it is to people who live in Brisbane and in the other States who have no hope of being able to pick up a telephone book to find the number they want. They find it necessary to obtain the information from the telephone exchange. People in Queensland and other parts of Australia are at a great disadvantage because the telephone directory is printed in this manner.
My time is skipping along but there is another matter on .which I want to touch briefly. .1- mentioned earlier .that .the,- only opportunity we have of- getting a true picture of the position in Malaysia is by referring to the press. However, as we all know, there is no organ in Australia with a worse record of misrepresentation than the press. Misrepresentation is its number one line. That is one of the reasons why I ask that statements on Malaysia should be made in this chamber. I am not in the habit of accusing anybody of misrepresentation unless I have the facts to back up my statement. It has never been my policy to accuse anybody unless I can substantiate what I am saying. I am sure that all honorable senators will remember what I have suffered in the past from misrepresentation, and the persecution I experienced even wHen I was lying on the operating table in the hospital.
The press has not let up; it has started again. Thanks to the warm climate of the. Gold Coast, my health has improved. I have full permission of a large majority of the highest governing authority of the Labour movement in Tasmania to live there. Thanks to the climate of the Gold Coast I have now regained to a considerable degree the health I formerly enjoyed. I do not give all the credit to the warmth of the Gold Coast. I must give the major part of the credit to two eminent doctors in Canberra for the major role they played in bringing about the change. This was different treatment from that given by some of the doctors in Tasmania who left me to die. Had I stayed in Tasmania I would not have been here to-day and probably another vacancy in the Senate would have been filled by a Liberal.
I come back to the misrepresentation of the press. Having failed in its persecution of the past to kill me - no stone was left unturned, particularly by the “ Truth “ and the Sydney “ Daily Mirror “ in their murderous misrepresentation - a more respectable section of the press has started again. It has been stated that some of the old gentlemen of the Senate could not see out the ballot of the Labour caucus the other night. Senator Aylett was named as one who left early and did not see the ballot out. I do not mind the press calling me one of the old members of the Senate. When I retire voluntarily from the Senate I shall still be a long way from the retiring age stipulated ‘for public servants. There would be more honorable senators on the Government side ahead of me than there would be behind me. I do not take exception to that criticism. As long as I am fit and well I do not mind being referred to as old; the press could say I was 110 for all I care. The newspaper in question said that I left and did not see the ballot out. That newspaper circulates all over Tasmania and a report such as that does not sound very good. It was just another snide way in which the press, which is alleged to never tell lies but always present the truth, can put a stiletto into your back. My Deputy Leader (Senator Kennelly) last night suggested in a very courteous way that it could have been an error and that the statement might be corrected but, running true to form, the press did not have the decency to make any correction whatsoever.
.- I have very much pleasure in supporting the motion for the adoption of the AddressinReply, and in associating myself with the expression of loyalty to the Throne. I congratulate the Government on the Speech delivered in this chamber yesterday setting forth the programme that the Government is to put before the Parliament during the coming sessional period. Amongst the very important things that the Government will set out to do, two aspects are associated with northern Australia. His Excellency said -
A Northern Division of the Department of National Development has been established to assist the Government in devising further proposals for the accelerated development of the north.
His Excellency stated further -
The assessment and development of our water resources is vital to national development. My advisers are currently assisting some Stats Governments with the construction of major water storages and are giving full support to the Water Resources Council in its work.
Those are two very important aspects of the Speech delivered by His Excellency yesterday when setting out the Government’s programme for Parliament.
Before directly dealing with those matters I should like to refer to the tourist industry and to a very important conference to be held in Australia. Workshop session starts to-morrow and the conference itself commences’ on 2nd March. I refer to the
Pacific Areas Travel Association Conference which will be opened by the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) in Sydney next week. This is a very important matter because the tourist industry is so important to Australia. The last time a conference of the Pacific Area Travel Association Conference - it is known as P.A.T.A - was held was seven years ago in the city of Canberra. The fact that it is being held in Australia again indicates the increasing interest and the increasing importance of the tourist industry in the minds of the travel people of the Pacific area and, particularly on this occasion, the importance of Australia as one of the tourist areas in the Pacific. On the occasion seven years ago approximately 200 people attended the conference. The present conference will be attended by more than 600 people. They are not just a bunch of travel agents but people who represent very important interests. For instance, they represent 23 governments, 27 airlines, .10 shipping companies, 90 hotels or hotel organizations, 23 publishing houses, 299 travel agents and 40 other organizations associated wilh the travel industry. That indicates the importance of the tourist industry. 1 refer to the tourist trade as being an industry because during the term of office of the Chifley Government a conference of representatives from each of the States so designated it. They said that it created employment. I much prefer speaking of the tourist trade as an industry to referring to it as tourism, because the benefit is enjoyed by the wage earner and the salary earner as well as by people in business. It is important to have behind us the moral support of the people of Australia generally if we really want to see the tourist industry grow.
Evidence of the importance and value of the world’s tourist industry is found in Che fact that it is worth three and a half billion pounds annually. Members of the industry say that it is the largest industry in the world. However, the Pacific area, which includes all countries bordering the Pacific Ocean, including Japan, Canada, the United States of America, the South American States, Australia and the various islands and countries in between, attracts only 5 per cent, of that total income. It will be seen that the Pacific area has before it the pos sibility of building up a greater tourist industry. Europe and the United Stales of America have their own appeal. The Pacific area has a different appeal. The Pacific Ocean is bordered by many beautiful countries, including those which have colder climates and others which have a tropical appeal. The Pacific area has a romantic appeal.
Of the percentage of income that is enjoyed by the Pacific area Australia receives only £26,000,000 a year. Although that sum may not seem very large when compared to the total income of the world’s tourist industry, Australia’s tourist industry has grown at quite a fair speed. In 1959 our total income from this source was only £13,000,000. For many years the Australian National Travel Association, one of the sponsors of which was the late Sir Harold Clapp of the Victorian Railways Department, has carried on the battle of advertising Australia overseas. Governments in turn have supported the organization, and I have been very pleased to note that in recent years the Menzies Government has increased the allocation to this organization very considerably.
Some years ago I made a plea for a big allocation for this body. Now this Government contributes annually a sum of £220,000 as a base grant and pays a £1 for £1 subsidy in respect of contributions from other people who are interested in the travel industry. The result is that the Australian National Travel Association now has an annual budget of £420,000. Great Britain’s tourist industry is equal in importance, I think, to that country’s great steel industry. At least, it is one of Britain’s major industries. If Britain, which is so much closer than we are to the great centres of population, which has its own historical appeal and is so well known overseas, needs to spend more than £1,000,000 a year to advertise its tourist industry, we must match that expenditure. Because we are distant from these other countries and arc not so well known, we really need more publicity than does Great Britain. Although the Government has done magnificently in this respect, I again appeal to it to look at this need in a really liberal way. Every £1 which we spend on publicizing this country overseas brings in important overseas exchange. It is vital for us to build up our overseas credits. The amount of money that every tourist spends when he comes to Australia is a clear gain to this country.
– Do you say that the money which is being spent now is spent wisely?
– Do you mean the money that is spent on publicity by the Australian National Travel Association?
– Not always. In this respect, I think the Government should exercise some control. The kind of publicity which was put out a couple of years ago did not appeal to me and to a number of other people. There was much criticism of that publicity, which was of the sophisticated kind. Hawaii, in the central Pacific, which has done, a magnificent job in publicizing its attractions, does not use that sort of material. The publicity put out by Hawaii lets people know what they will be seeing. One advertisement published by the Australian National Travel Association depicted two children, I would estimate, approximately eight years, of age holding hands away out in the gibber country but dressed as though they were going down town. In the advertising world that kind of publicity is considered to be slick and sophisticated, but the average person is not slick and sophisticated. We should follow the example that has been set by Hawaii, Japan and other countries and let people know the scenic attractions that are characteristic of the country. I believe that the Government should have some authority to ensure that the money is spent wisely. I understand that, because of criticism, the Australian National Travel Association has changed its course.
– It has done a wonderful job, all the same.
– Yes. I was merely asked a question and I was replying. I believe it did use the wrong kind of advertising earlier. However, over the years it has done a wonderful job in developing the tourist industry. I do not desire to knock the association, because it is the instrumentality through which we work. Those who constitute the association are sincere in heart and mind in their efforts to develop our tourist industry. I believe that if the Government were to acknowledge that it has a greater opportunity now than it has had previously to assist the industry, an expenditure of £1,000,000 a year would enable us to develop our tourist industry much more rapidly. Not only would additional overseas credit, which we need badly, become available but many people who liked the country would want to stay. Another important aspect of the matter is that tourists who have a considerable amount of money would see opportunities for investment. The tourist industry could be expanded to a very great degree.
I believe that the trend is for an increasing number of people to visit the Pacific area. We in Australia should accept the challenge. I appeal to the Government to approach this matter even more generously than it has in the past. To do so would be of great benefit to Australia. Queensland would benefit greatly from an expanded tourist industry. Contrary to what many people say, I believe that Australia is different from other countries. It has a unique appeal. Many people who have travelled around the world have returned to Australia convinced that ours is a country which really has something.
While Australia is different from other countries, Queensland is different from any other part of Australia. We have tropical areas, different characteristics and refreshing scenery. A great attraction to overseas people is the Great Barrier Reef which stretches along the coastline for a thousand miles. It is the greatest reef of its kind in the world and people from overseas want to see it. Only last week, in Mackay, I noticed some Hawaiians and other visitors to a conference taking part in one of the Roylen cruises out to the Brampton islands and on to the reef. One of the experts said he believed the Great Barrier Reef was our greatest international tourist attraction.
– You have no ships from the south.
– You have air transport which is much quicker. A month or so ago a group of newspapermen from the United States of America visited Australia. They saw the wonderland of the Whitsunday islands and visited the Great Barrier Reef. The leader of the group told me it was one attraction in Australia that he would not miss. It was something he had - always wanted to see and many other visitors have the same desire. Wilh this and other attractions, we have assets to expand the tourist industry which is of great importance to Queensland.
So many people visit the Gold Coast near the border of Queensland and New South Wales that a permanent population is established there to cater for the needs of many thousands of visitors. That tourist attraction began with the idea of one man who gave its name to Surfers Paradise. It is ideas that are important in the travel industry. The Gold Coast is an example of what can be done with the development of tourist resorts. If we had a number of similar resorts developed at Mackay and along the northern coastline, thousands of people would be attracted to the Great Barrier Reef, the cities, towns and districts with their tropical vegetation, sugar-cane fields and other unusual features.
If we could develop tourist facilities at Mackay, Townsville and Cairns and promote the tourist trade to an intensity similar to that of the Gold Coast, an increased population would be drawn to northern Queensland. Thousands of people would visit the area to spend money and this in turn would necessitate an increased population to supply services and accommodation. There would be work for builders, bricklayers and plumbers. Extra staff would be needed to service hotels and motels and all the amenities that go with the tourist industry. The tourist trade does not end with the £1 note dropping into the hotel till. All this revenue circulates and if we can develop the industry in the northern area, we will be helping to develop Queensland.
This is a challenge and that is why I am attracted by the decision of the Government to set up a northern division of the Department of National Development. If this division is staffed by men of enthusiasm and ideas, the long term possibilities for the development of the northern region are so great that this project will be of great importance to Australia generally. I thought it appropriate to mention this matter since the Pacific Area Travel Association conference is to be held in Queensland. . .1, hope .that the. conference will be.’.a success. 1,-hope that-, the .over seas visitors will take away good impressions of Australia and that they will become enthusiastic ambassadors for Australia. I hope that this will give encouragement to the Australian National Travel Association and that the Government will be encouraged also to do even more to meet the challenge. Every £1 spent in advertising Australia overseas will be returned many times, bringing us valuable overseas exchange.
Many ideas could be applied to the development of the north and the matter has been discussed for some time. The challenge is to decide how the north can be developed and what can be grown there. Everything that will attract increased population will build up a bigger home market in that area. It is surprising what can be done in this way. I know that the northern and north western areas have more serious difficulties than those facing the coastal region, but certain developments take place in those areas because of the courage of men who go out to engage in development and the enterprise of those who are prepared to invest in these projects. They, in turn, will create better markets and eventually they will lead to the establishment of small secondary industries which can be expected to expand because of the increased population in the area.
I have in mind the mining operations at Mount Isa. This mine was discovered some years ago and was developed with the aid of Australian and American investment. Now Mount Isa is not just a mine. It is an area with a considerable population established away out in the north western part of Queensland. The people have been given amenities and are attracted to the area. The bauxite industry is being developed at Weipa and when it is properly in operation a few more thousand people will go there. Iron ore is to be won at Iron Range and Constance Range and this will lead to even further development. With the development of these industries and the tourist trade, the population will increase and then there will be opportunities for small industries. Development will snowball and the foundations will be laid for even greater development in the north.
The. cattle industry provides an opportunity . for development. Reference was made in the Governor-General’s Speech to further investigations by the Government into the possibilities of developing the meat trade with other countries. We see prospects for expansion because of the increased consumption of meat in Japan. There are inquiries from Italy. The trend generally is for more places to be more prosperous and consequently there is a trend towards greater production of meat. There are great possibilities for the development of the north west of Queensland for that purpose.
Recently interest has been shown in the production of ramie. It is a plant which can be cut and yields several crops a year. The bark can be turned into thread for the weaving of materials. It can be used as a fodder and as a fertilizer. The production of this plant in the warm humid atmosphere of the tropical regions could be of value to the north. Much could be done with fruit processing by using mangoes and guavas In New Zealand, every grocery store has canned guavas which were processed in South Africa- In north Queensland guavas fall by the roadside. That applies also to mangoes. In the mango season the fruit falls everywhere. Most of it is of a common variety but better varieties can be grown easily and this is an industry that could be encouraged by the new division of the Department of National Development. If the Government were to help in this respect great results could be achieved.
I have in mind a small industry about which I have spoken previously in this place and of which Senator Kendall has spoken on a number of occasions. I refer to the fishing industry. From discussions that I have had with a successful fisherman I have learned that the fishing probably is best not inside the Great Barrier Reef waters but outside them. If richer fishing grounds were found this industry would be of increasing importance. The fancy goods industry comes to mind. I know that fancy jewellery and things of that kind do not amount to much in the minds of some honorable senators, but I can remember that before the war this was a very important industry in Czechoslovakia. In the wake of the tourist industry we find a demand for fashion jewellery. In the far north of Queensland jewellery, such as necklaces, is made from shells gathered on the Great Barrier Reef. The manufacture of such jewellery could be undertaken on a greater scale. Before the war, when values were much lower than they are to-day, the fashion jewellery industry was worth quite a few million pounds a year to Czechoslovakia.
Some time ago two Dutch couples came to Mackay and decided to embark on the manufacture of clothing for women. It was not very long before they began to employ people. When I last heard of them they were employing about twenty people. We are inclined to think that we should develop only large industries, but we must remember that from little acorns big oaktrees grow. If, in the north of Australia and in other areas, we are able to promote small industries we shall be sowing the seeds of development. I believe that the Department of National Development has a great opportunity in this respect. If the persons concerned are dedicated to their task and have enthusiasm and know-how, as I believe they have, great opportunities await them, in our northern regions particularly. We are fortunate that the foundations of development in Queensland have been laid over ‘ a period of years. The sugar industry has been of vast importance to the coastal belt of Queensland, from just north of Brisbane to Bundaberg, and in the Maryborough and Mackay areas, as well as other areas. This industry has played a magnificent part in Queensland’s development. Many years ago it was thought that white people could not succeed in the sugar industry in the tropics. Not only have they succeeded; they have also made it the best and most efficient sugar industry in the world.
Difficulties exist only to be overcome. They are a challenge. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the great tourist attractions of the world, but until recent times it was difficult to journey to the reef in all weathers. It was dangerous to do so in bad weather. To-day, that challenge has been overcome. Ansett-A.N.A., one of our great domestic airlines, has paid approximately £400,000 for a twin-engine helicopter which can carry more than twenty people from the mainland to the reef. I said years ago that the helicopter was the- solution to this problem and that <if platforms were erected- on the reef helicopters could land and their passengers could step down to the reef by means of a series of stairways. One of the great wonders of the world is now more easily accessible to visitors, not only from Australia but also from other countries. No doubt the opposition airline also will enter the field, but for the moment 1 shall give credit where credit is due. The sugar industry and the tourist industry have shown what can be done to develop the north. Opportunities exist for further development. If they are accepted 1 believe that we can make the northern part of the continent a really great asset to Australia.
. -I wish to associate myself with the motion now before the Senate. I congratulate Senator Morris on his maiden speech. When he rose to speak I had vivid recollections of some one else who had spent some time in a State House of Parliament trying to get through his first speech in this chamber. For the honorable senator’s sake I am delighted that his ordeal is over. No doubt, because of the years of experience he has bad he will not find it so difficult in the future to speak in this place.
During this debate the subject of Malaysia has been mentioned in two speeches, both of which were worthy of note. I was a little afraid when Senator Cormack began to speak that in one way he may have been rattling the sword. I do not say that by way of carping criticism of his speech because he is a speaker to whom I always listen with great pleasure. Senator O’Byrne also referred to Malaysia. The areas to the north of Australia are of great importance to us, particularly when we remind ourselves that Australia is a part of Asia. The people to our north are suffering very greatly. No one can deny that the easiest conquest which communism or any other “ ism “ can make is to sow the seeds of discontent in a country in which the people are hungry and out of work and lacking in all the decent things of life.
From what one reads it appears to be true, as Senator Cormack said, that the United States of- America has poured millions of dollars into certain countries in the Far East. He queried whether that had done very much good. I often wonder whether the amount of money that we spend on the Colombo Plan, small by com parison, is helping the people as we desire to help them. If we send to those countries machines which the people are not able to use we should also send persons who can give advice on their use. lt is true that some such people have been sent to the countries of South-East Asia. Nevertheless, sometimes I wonder whether we are sending a sufficient number of technical advisers.
The more we help the nations to our north to attain a decent standard of living the fewer will be our future worries. We can help them in many ways. We grow an abundance of food. We must ask ourselves whether we are growing the kind of food that they desire. We can help them with the know-how to establish industries to provide work for their people. We can provide them with medicines and the other necessaries of life. Then the idea that the only way to obtain anything in life is through revolution will be cast out of their thoughts and we may, with the help of all the western nations, reach a stage where, instead of having to spend many more millions of pounds on defence, we can devote that money to a more useful purpose and help others to a better standard of living.
In order to help these people we must examine our own development. I want to say a few words principally about the development of the northern part of Australia. No one doubts that the picture painted by Senator Wood is authentic. Out of small beginnings some industries grow, but in order to feel safe we must people the north much more quickly than it can be peopled by the method that Senator Wood envisaged. Let us have a look at what we have done in recent years. We have commenced an irrigation project on the Ord River. We have undertaken the rebuilding of the Mount Isa railway line. I do not think that any of us can be overproud of the mineral exploitation of recent years. When some one has been fortunate enough to discover minerals, these resources have passed largely into the hands of foreign companies. We have established some beef roads. I listened to Senator Morris’s description of the Mulligan highway; I do not think that a road of that sort helps very much. With transport being conducted mainly in the air or on wheels, we must have roads that we can use in times of emergency. This was illustrated by the road from Alice Springs to Darwin which was built during World War II. We must have all-weather roads. Another recent development related to the brigalow lands.
No one would deny that these were ad hoc proposals, without a concerted plan. Queensland has had a particularly good go from this Government since December, 1961. I only hope that the north will continue to get that treatment. What I believe to have been the urge for it is no longer there. Let us now proceed with northern development as a part of the overall development of the nation. 1 could not say that I was happy with the reference in the Speech to the establishment of a northern division of the Department of National Development to assist the Government to develop the north. In the very near future we shall have before us a bill to increase the number of Ministers from 22 to 25. I only hope that one of those will be allocated to the task of developing the nation, particularly the northern part of it. From a safety point of view, this is a matter of importance to those of us who live in the south. If we continue to have a huge empty north it may not be many years before it ceases, suddenly, to be empty. The Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) and I are at one on a certain immigration policy, which I shall not mention at the moment. 1 do not want to see other people in the north, but if we continue (o have vast empty spaces we shall find it tremendously hard in the years ahead to say, “ You cannot come into this country “. I should have been much happier if one of the new Ministers had been selected to look after the development of the north. The portfolio held by the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Sir William Spooner) is a huge one. 1 do not think many of us can say that the Leader of the Government in this place has not been able to satisfy us when we have asked questions of him relating to any aspect of his department, and I say that because 1 believe in giving credit where credit is due. But I believe that to give him this extra duty is saddling him with too great a burden. Even during the election campaign I think the Prime Minister said in one of his speeches that “ planning “ was a dirty word, but, with all his political success - and no doubt it has been great - one is entitled to differ greatly with him on the question of planning. Even in this proposal he has not gone as far as I would like to see him go. Recently J read an address given by Professor R. G. Greenwood, Professor of Geography at the University of Queensland, to the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science. One statement by Professor Greenwood was reported as follows: -
The successful development of Northern Australia could not be accomplished without coordinated forward planning under Government direction as part of an overall development programme for the whole of Australia. It was pointless to stimulate those kinds of production in the north that could be achieved more cheaply and more quickly elsewhere in Australia.
I do not agree wholeheartedly with Professor Greenwood because I think that we will find that we will have to subsidize projects to develop the north.
– There is no doubt about that.
– We have a home market of only 11,000,000 people. Thank goodness that number is increasing rapidly, but 1 am afraid that the cost of developing industries in the northern part. of Australia will be so great that they will have very little hope of obtaining export markets.
– The markets are there in the East and in New Guinea.
– I shall try to answer that later. I do not see how it is possible to have successful development anywhere unless profitable markets can be found for the products resulting from the development. I think the butter subsidy is now costing about £13,000,000, and last year we gave the food canning industry a subsidy which could mean that the consumer will have to pay something extra for each can of fruit. One wonders just how great a subsidy burden the economy can stand.
This is a tremendous question. It is not merely a matter of putting people up in the north and letting them’ grow things; it is also a matter of finding markets for what they produce. We must appreciate also that it is not only a question of the cost of production. There is, as well, the cost of transporting the products to market, and if the total of these costs is such that the profit on the undertaking is not sufficient to return the people engaged in it a decent standard of living they will not stay in the north. After all, they are entitled to enjoy living standards equal to those enjoyed by people in the southern parts of Australia. We cannot expect them to be content with a living standard lower than that enjoyed by people in other parts of the country. With the economy in its present position people in the north would have no difficulty whatever in finding employment in the southern areas, and we would not be able to keep them in the north for very long if we could not offer them equal living standards.
I was rather interested when I read this comment by Professor Greenwood -
It was equally pointless to plan grandiose developmental schemes to stimulate production of those commodities that were already in full supply in the Australian market or those that could not be supplied at competitive prices in the export market.
That is exactly what I was saying. He goes on to say -
Development of the north would have to involve powerful stimulation of Government investment in public works and services, co-ordinated long-term planning between governments, heavy industry, rural interests and ali the organizations concerned with marketing.
Stressing the magnitude of the problem of planning, Professor Greenwood said -
You cannot plan for the north without also having a clear idea of the developmental policy for the west, the centre and each of the other geographical sectors of the nation.
I do not think any one could argue with that. I believe the only sound argument that one could advance is that we would have to subsidize heavily, and again I wonder just how far we can go with subsidies. We must either make the project pay or subsidize it to stay in the north, and I wonder just how long we could continue to do that. As I said earlier, I regret that the Government has not gone all the way in this instance. It has attempted to embark upon a half-baked scheme which I do not think will serve any good purpose. Now that the Government has come even that little distance I am hoping that in the not too distant future it will go the whole way. It may be quite all right to make these nice promises on the hustings,’ but the” people have now made their decision. I bow to that decision, however much I was disappointed with it, and I might say here that the Government was just as surprised as I was disappointed.
– Not a bit of it.
– Do not say that. I can deal with that point at some other time and produce proof that the Government was surprised, if the honorable senator wants proof. But the people have a right to make a decision. They have made a decision and, in this democratic country, however much one may feel the decision inside, one must bow to it and say, “ It is over. Now let us go as far as our principles will allow us and endeavour to cooperate in planning for the development of the nation.” I believe that is our job. I believe that is why we are here. Therefore, I greatly regret that the Government has not gone the whole way instead of going only half way.
The need for central planning is supported by an investigation into the development of Australia carried out by the Stanford Research Institute of California last year. The report of that body recommended that a national development council be established to carry out long-range planning, establish priorities, negotiate development ventures, give advice on policy and assist in the development of technology. At page 274 in the section dealing with uncoordinated development the report stated -
Piecemeal unco-ordinated development is both wasteful and inefficient; but it is very likely to emerge from the present haphazard system whereby agricultural, mining, industrial and transport development projects issue from different departments.
I think every one must agree with that. I do not think the Governor-General’s Speech can be taken to mean that the proposed northern, division of the Department of National Development will co-ordinate the work of all the departments that must have some say if we are to get proper national development for our north.
Let us now look at some of the projects I have mentioned. Let us consider the Ord River project. I should like to deal with this project against the background of Professor Greenwood’s observation that any particular project should be part of an overall plan. - - As We know,’- the Ord River scheme is a major irrigation and power project designed to promote closer settlement in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. 1 understand that its cost so far has been about ?5,000,000 and that in the first stage it will irrigate 30,000 acres of land. The second stage of the Ord River scheme, which I understand is to follow, will involve the building of a greater dam to irrigate about 200,000 acres. When the larger dam is built there will be a generating capacity of about 20,000,000 kilowatts. There will be approximately 50 farms on the first 50,000 acres, and possibly 300 farms when the whole region is properly developed. It is estimated that the cost of the second pari of the scheme will be in the vicinity of ?20,000,000. I understand that the principal use to which the land will be put is for the production of cotton, safflower, linseed and rice, and now there is some talk of sugar being produced there. I shall leave it to honorable senators from Queensland to say how an attempt to grow sugar in that region will fare.
Safflower is a plant which produces oil and I understand that the oil is used as one of the bases in the manufacture of paint.
– Safflower is also a fodder.
– But it is grown mainly for the oil that can be extracted from it.
– lt is also an edible oil, is it not?
– Yes, but its main use is in the manufacture of paint. Dr. Davidson, a lecturer in agricultural economics, gave an address at the University of Western Australia and spoke about the Ord River project. His address was published in “ Farm Policy “ of September, 1963. At page 54 the report states that Dr. Davidson made a careful study of the expected yields of the different crops - the average prices received for them in world markets, the freights and haulage costs, and the return on crops of different kinds from variously sized blocks. He concluded that under the most favorable conditions and using the most profitable crops a continuing subsidy would be necessary to maintain agriculture there. He found that with prices at their existing level and with existing techniques, the only profitable crop. in the area was cotton. But then he said that the whole of Australia’s requirements could be grown on 94,000 acres and could be grown more cheaply in New South Wales and Queensland.
I shall now read Dr. Davidson’s concluding remarks on the national economic implications of the Ord scheme -
The total annual subsidy of ?2.3 millions necessary to maintain the scheme if cotton and safflower are produced on 600 acre farms would be a continual drain on the Australian economy. The subsidy of ?6,785 paid to this type of farm represents a larger payment to farmers and labourers than if they were merely employed at the basic wage to live in the area and do nothing. As the scheme is located in one of Australia’s most sparsely populated areas, where the intensification of the beef industry would be extremely difficult, it is hard to see what secondary benefits would arise from the scheme.
Dr. Davidson goes on ;
The results obtained in this calculation arc not surprising. Irrigation is the type of farming least suited to Australian conditions. 1 do not altogether agree with him because in Victoria irrigation enables large towns like Shepparton and Kyabram in the Goulburn Valley to keep going. It is also responsible for maintaining the dried’ fruits industry in Mildura. I assume that Dr. Davidson was alluding only to the Ord River when he made that remark.
– Your statement on irrigation does not refer to the tropics?
– No. I am stating the position as far as my own State of Victoria is concerned. Dr. Davidson said that irrigation is labour intensive and that labour is an expensive resource in Australia, particularly in tropical Australia. The only products which have been produced profitably in Australia under irrigation are highly priced commodities such as vegetables, fruit and whole milk. Continuing Dr. Davidson said -
Products such as rice, sugar cane and butterfat can only be produced if they are heavily subsidised.
Because of the Cuban crisis the price of sugar on world markets - I hope I am correct in this - is high, as it is in Australia at present. Of course, one wonders how long the Cuban crisis will continue. I do not suppose the people in the south of Australia had any grave quarrel when they were paying- a lot more for <our< sugar than the world market price. They were prepared to do so to keep the northern portion of Australian populated. I suppose that is what Dr. Davidson was referring to when he mentioned the subsidy. He went on -
Producing relatively low-priced products under irrigation in high cost areas in tropical Australia naturally requires a heavy subsidy.
I do not think we would disagree with that. When we give the doctor’s lecture some thought we must agree that he may have something there. He continued -
With existing costs and prices, and using existing techniques there is nothing to be gained economically by proceeding with the Ord River scheme. Even if new techniques are developed which increase yields or decrease costs these will probably be equally applicable in lower cost areas in southern Australia. It is unlikely that costs will decline as the scheme develops. Even if 200,000 acres of land are irrigated, the total population will be no greater than that of Darwin, where costs of resources are equally high.
That is Dr. Davidson’s view. We have to make up our mind whether we are prepared to go on with the scheme and pay the price. The development of the north is so important to the safety of Australia that I believe we must consider some reasonable subsidy. 1 do not think that we can treat the matter as a purely commercial proposition. 1 am sure that no one on either side of the chamber would expect us to act in that way. Should we make these ad hoc decisions to start something here and start something there, even with the best of motives? I often wonder, and I think we are entitled to ask ourselves, whether we are doing the job as we ought to do it. I do not think we are, and to me that is one of the omissions that I see in the Speech of His Excellency.
If Dr. Davidson’s observations are correct - and the basis for them is fully set out and carefully reasoned - then we should ask ourselves whether we are doing the best we can. Again I want to stress the view that northern development is so important on social and defence grounds that the heavy economic cost may be warranted. But until we have a plan to enable us to know where we are going I do not think we will be able to do the job of development as we should do it.
I was interested to read an article by Mr. B. J. McFarlane which dealt with the Snowy Mountains scheme. It is entitled the. “ Development- of Australia “. I was extremely shocked to read this article. I must admit quite frankly that I had thought that the Snowy Mountains scheme was producing the results that we wanted it to produce. Mr. McFarlane is a Research Fellow of Economics at the Australian National University and his article appeared in the “Financial Review” of 21st January, 1964. Amongst other things Mr. McFarlane said -
The desire to utilise the scheme for both power and irrigation purposes requires that yet another subsidy had to be levied on electricity consumers to support the vague notion of indirect benefits of decentralised population.
I am not saying for one moment that I agree with that but, as Mr. McFarlane is a Research Fellow of Economics at the Australian National University, one must give his words some credence. I do not wish to go right through the article, but he pointed out that although the Snowy scheme is taking up the peak power load for Melbourne and Sydney, the scheme is being used to only about 25 per cent, capacity as far as its production of power is concerned. He said that the scheme does not achieve the optimum result of maximum returns from the minimum outlay. He said further that irrigation was not really a solution to drought, as Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority literature has stressed. He went on -
Dried fruits, rice and citrus production are not likely to be rewarding enough to recoup the £60,00,000 outlay to obtain irrigation water - quite apart from the £70,000,000 to £100,000,000 needed to develop farms in the area.
– I think that is correct.
– All I say is that I think the people of Australia are at least entitled to receive an answer to the criticism made by Mr. McFarlane. This article ought to be answered officially, at least by the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority, so that the people of Australia can be satisfied in their own minds as to whether the scheme is fulfilling what its founders - if I might use that word - thought it should fulfil. I have always been under the impression that if we did not have the Snowy scheme Melbourne would have to obtain at least another 25 per cent, of its requirements from Yallourn, ls not that so?
– I think so.
– I do not know how much New South Wales would have had to spend to supplement the supply of the Bunnerong station and other power stations in that State. Why must we be hit in the eye with statements such as 1 have mentioned and have to grope for the answers? I greatly regret that the Government does not propose, after the relevant legislation is passed, to appoint one of its new Ministers to undertake this very important work. We all want to hold the whole of this continent. I believe that defence expenditure will be much greater in the future than it is to-day if we do not settle people in the north. If we do not settle the north, no doubt peoples who are represented at the United Nations will say to us, “ If you cannot settle the country while other countries have too many people and cannot produce sufficient food and provide sufficient work for them, you had better look at the position “. If that were said to us, we would find it difficult to come up with a satisfactory answer. We must either settle the north or sooner or later be faced with such comments.
The population of Japan is increasing at the rate of more than 1,000,000 a year. I believe I am right in saying that Japan has more people per arable acre than . almost any other nation. When we note that Japan, with a population of 90,000,000 or 95,000,000, is expanding at the rate of 1,000,000 a year and that Indonesia has a population of approximately 90,000,000, we can visualize the increase of population in Indonesia. We can visualize, too, the annual increase in China, which has a population of approximately 700,000,000. I hope nobody thinks that I am merely putting up Aunt Sallies. We are obliged to look ahead. I hope that in the next Governor-General’s Speech reference will be made to the Government’s having looked at some of these developmental projects to which I have referred. Let us hope that it will go the whole way. Let those who have the task of planning development tell us what it will cost. It will be then for us to say whether it is right or wrong to spend that sum of money.
– I listened to Senator Kennelly with some interest, because he delivered a cold, thoughtful and considered speech without his usual fire and zest. Probably we all concede that he is a rather doughty in-fighter when he wants to take off the gloves. I would be the last person to be so unkind as to suggest that perhaps the lack of his usual fire was a result of the election of 30th November last. The motion for the adoption of the Address-in-Reply usually engenders a thoughtful speech and of course, as I said earlier, that is the kind of speech which Senator Kennelly delivered.
The honorable senator mentioned Dr. Davidson. That gentleman did speak about the Ord River, but other people who can speak with as much authority about the Ord River as can Dr. Davidson have entirely disagreed with him. I agree with Senator Kennelly’s statement that such developmental projects must receive some assistance. The honorable senator used the word “ subsidy “. I do not like that word; I prefer to use the word “ assistance “. Some of the projects we have in mind when we consider opening up the north cannot be expected to pay for a number of years. It is most unrealistic to suggest that they should.
I am not particularly happy about the suggestion that we should grow sugar cane in the area in question when we can grow adequate sugar in Queensland. If we want to assist the people who go to the north, we should consider other crops.
– Are you saying that seriously, in view of what Senator Sherrington has said?
– In view of the experience that Queensland has had in growing sugar profitably, I am not particularly happy about the growing of sugar in the Ord River area. If these projects are to attract some form of subsidy or assistance, I would prefer to see that assistance used for the growing of such crops as cotton or safflower.
It was remiss of me not to congratulate Senator Morris earlier upon his election to the Senate and upon the very able manner in which he moved the motion now before the Chair. A person such as Senator Ken Morris, who has a wealth of political experience, must enhance the prestige of the Senate. Although honorable senators opposite may disagree with him politically, doubtless they will agree that the knowledge he brings to this chamber will assist to enhance its prestige. I should like to extend my personal sympathy to those persons who lost loved ones in the unfortunate accident to the “ Voyager “. I shall not say any more about the matter at this stage, because I believe it is sub judice.
I would bc less than human if I did not say something about the general election of 30lh November. The result of the election was a magnificent victory for the Government and a very great personal triumph for the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies). It must be remembered that he was prepared to submit to the people of Australia the Government’s proposals on defence and foreign affairs. He left it to the electors to decide whether the Government’s policy or Labour’s policy in respect of Malaysia and the establishment of the naval communication station at North West Cape was right. I have very great respect for the wisdom of the electors. They expressed their attitude in no uncertain terms by returning the Government to office with a near record majority in the House of Representatives. In other words, the Australian people would not accept Labour’s policy in relation to a nuclear-free zone, assistance to Malaysia with strings attached, or the establishment of the communication station at North West Cape. This goes to show that the Australian people will not be taken in by wild promises but that they are prepared soberly and sensibly to look at the real and big problems that confront Australia to-day. These are the issues of defence and foreign affairs. I propose to deal later with defence.
Since the general election, the greatest number of questions directed to me at public meetings and in the street have related to the home savings grant scheme. I wish to mention briefly some of the major points of this scheme which have been outlined by the Minister for Housing (Mr. Bury). Persons under the age of 36 years will receive £1 for every £3 they save up to a maximum of £750 in savings. In other words, if they save £750 over three years, they will receive a tax-free gift of £250. This applies to all persons under 36 years who have been resident in Australia for at least three years. They need not be natural born or naturalized Australian citizens. However, they must indicate that they intend to continue to reside in Australia. The cost of a home under this scheme must not exceed £7,000. The commencement date has been made retrospective to 2nd December, 1963.
The fact that one of the partners in a marriage is over 36 years will not disqualify the savings of a partner who is under 36 from participation in the grant. Subject to certain conditions, money saved and used to buy a block of land on which a home is to be built will be treated as savings even though the block of land has been purchased. The grant will apply to both new and old or existing homes and also to home units provided a satisfactory title can be produced.
I hope that one point will be made clear when the bill comes before the Parliament to implement this scheme. The Minister for Housing has stated that before applying for a grant, an applicant must be married and must also have entered into a firm contract to buy or build a home. That worries me a little. A person might enter into a firm contract in the hope that he will receive £250. If for one reason or another the grant is refused, that person will have entered into a contract that he cannot f ulfil.
The Minister went on to say that there would be some persons who would want to know in advance of entering into a contract whether they were eligible for a grant and, if so, the amount of the grant. If provision is made in the bill to cover that situation, I will be happy with it. Those who want assistance should be able to state their position and ascertain whether they are eligible for a grant. Then they can go ahead and make a firm contract to build. I would not like to see the scheme so designed that they will not be able to ascertain whether they are eligible for a grant.
On 18th February an agreement on meat between United States of America and Australia was announced. Previously there had been considerable disquiet among producers of meat in Australia as to our sales of meat to the United States of America. The announcement by the Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr. McEwen) that a new agreement had been concluded was a significant event. For the first time, the Australian meat industry has a firm assurance of continued access to the United States market with a guarantee that it will enjoy a proportionate share of the rapidly expanding American market which has grown over the past two decades by about two-thirds.
In recent years, the United States of America has become Australia’s major market for beef and mutton. Over the past six years, Australia’s exports of these commodities to the United States have grown from virtually nothing to a value of about £79,000,000 in 1963. This is a very important industry. These exports of beef represent about 87 per cent, of our total beef exports. Sales of beef and mutton together to the United States of America represent 70 per cent, of all Australian meat exports. It is very heartening to the people in the industry to know that the agreement has been successfully concluded.
Under the agreement, the Australian industry will have the right to export to the United States of America this year 242,000 tons of meat. This is a little less than we exported last year but this side of the trade has been taken into account and as the market in America grows, our exports will be increased accordingly. Over the next two years our trade will rise by 18,000 tons from last year’s exports of 257,000 tons. This is very significant to Queensland and the north of Western Australia. This agreement should give confidence to the Australian industry for the investment of new capital. Development will be geared to the continuation of meat exports to the United States of America.
During the debate on the GovernorGeneral’s Speech one can wander around the world. I do not intend to wander that far, but I wish to say something about television. I want to make another plea on behalf of the people of Kalgoorlie and Geraldton whose needs are not covered by any phase of television development. I hope that the Government will look at the possibility of package television stations to serve areas which are isolated but have a concentration of population. In this connexion, I think of Kalgoorlie with some 20,000 living in an area 4 miles by 3 miles. A national package television station could be established to serve that area.
I want to ask the Government some questions regarding translator stations. I think these questions are pertinent and I should like to have an answer. I ask the Government: How many applications has the Australian Broadcasting Control Board received for licences to operate television translators since we passed the relevant legislation last year? When were those applications received? Which States did they come from and who applied for the licences? What areas are they to serve? Have any licences to operate translators been granted yet? Has there been any delay in processing applications if there are any? If so, why has there been this delay?
The promise made by the Government parties during the recent general election campaign to equalize petrol prices so that the price of petrol in Australia will not exceed the price in metropolitan areas by more than 4d. a gallon, will have farreaching effects. It is one of the most positive moves towards decentralization that I can remember. I should like to see this principle extended to cover certain other commodities, but I am a realist and I know that it could not be applied so easily to other commodities as it can be applied to a bulk commodity such as petrol. I know that this decision of the Government has been welcomed by people who live in isolated areas of Australia.
– Have you any particular commodity in mind?
– No, not at this time. I think that freight charges constitute one of the greatest factors against decentralization. Of course, such charges are a matter for the States. In the case of petrol prices, no doubt the Commonwealth will legislate to have the necessary payments made to the oil companies through the State authorities. They will not be made by the Commonwealth direct. In fact, I do not think it has the power to do so.
My colleague, Senator Wright, gave notice earlier to-day of a motion in respect of the siting of the new Parliament House. I did not know that the honorable senator intended to raise the matter. I had already made some inquiries and notes and I hope that my comments will not cut across the points -that he proposes to put forward: I maintain that this Government, which has been in office for fifteen years, cannot evade its responsibility in relation to the construction of a new Parliament House. The matter must be faced. This building is utterly inadequate for the successful conduct of the affairs of the nation. We on this side are relatively lucky, but other people in this place are being asked to work in conditions which are not conducive to the kind of government which Australia demands. Of course, the position will be aggravated in the near future because a bill is to come before the Parliament for the purpose of authorizing an increase in the Ministry. This will mean more congestion than there is at present.
I do not like to complain without putting forward constructive suggestions. We know that additional accommodation is to be erected here, but that is a piecemeal way of dealing with the problem. We should decide to build a new Parliament House. I know that there would be odium attached to such a decision. No doubt the electors would disagree entirely and say that the construction of a new Parliament House was not warranted, but our job is to accept such criticism and to get on with the work that we are expected to do. I suggest that we need to set a target in this matter. Let us assume that we set a target for ten years hence. We should begin now to appropriate a certain sum each year for the next ten years. If we put aside £4,000,000 a year, at the end of ten years there would be £40,000,000 with which to commence construction. The appropriation of money in this way also would have the effect of committing future governments, whether they be from our side of the Parliament or from the other. The government which was in office in ten years’ time would be committed to a certain extent because the annual appropriations would have been made and a fund established. I am sure that all honorable senators will agree that it would be fitting for the present Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) to round off his marvellous political career by opening the new Parliament House.
I have been led to believe that an announcement was made some time ago by the Cabinet to the effect that the new Parliament House was to be sited on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. I do not remember that objections were raised, either in the Senate or in the other place, and I certainly did not hear any objections voiced. In my view, a decision in a matter which involves a colossal sum of money and which affects the focal point of the nation should be considered by both Houses of the Parliament. We have been reluctant to move away from the Burley Griffin plan for Canberra. I understand that the plan provided for Parliament House to be sited on Camp Hill. The discussion of Senator Wright’s motion may help to make this matter clear and to indicate whether the new building is to be sited on the shore of the lake, as I believe it will be, or on Camp Hill. I have no doubt that the matter will be canvassed pretty thoroughly when the motion is debated.
I wish to turn briefly to the subject of defence. Senator Cormack covered it adequately in his speech and I do not want to gild the lily. I think that to-day Australia probably is facing the greatest and gravest international situation that it has faced in its history. I believe that the Australian people are aware of this fact and that they have shown they are solidly behind the Government in the strong line that it has taken in respect of Malaysia and Indonesia. I do not think that the line the Government has taken and the pronouncements that have been made by the Prime Minister could be stronger. Australia’s future will be decided by the events that are taking place in Malaysia to-day. When we look at the countries of Asia we should ask ourselves, “ Whom do we fear? “ I think that we fear only the Communist forces. They pose the only threat to us. Let us come right out in the open and ask, “ Which nation do we fear particularly? “ I say that the answer must be, “Red China “. Where do our friends lie? Which nations are opposed to the things to which we are opposed? We start with Thailand and we come down to Malaysia and the Philippines. Then we go to Taiwan, to Japan and on to South Korea. We have a perfect chain of defence against the things that we fear, at a distance of thousands of miles from our own shores. If that chain of defence were to be breached by the destruction of Malaysia, Australia would be dealt a body blow.
I think that we have been as patient in respect of Indonesia as one nation could be with another. I do not know whether we can believe the statements that emanate from Indonesia from day to day. Let us look at what Dr. Subandrio, the Indonesian Foreign Minister, said in the United Nations several years ago. At first, Indonesia indicated that she was not opposed to the Malaysia plan. On 20th November, 1961, Dr. Subandrio said -
When Malaya told us of her intention to merge with the three British crown colonies as one federation, we told them that we had no objection and that we wished them success with the merger so that every one may live in peace and freedom.
You, Sir, have seen what has happened, just as I have seen what has happened. The Indonesians have gone out of their way with their confrontation policy to frustrate every move that the Malaysians have made in an effort to make Malaysia work. I do not know for just how long one puts up with bullies. In my lifetime I have found, as I should think every other person in this chamber has found, that if you let a bully go on he will bully you all your life, but that if you pull out the stick the bully will collapse like a pricked balloon.
– But it has to be big enough.
– That is fair enough. Senator Ormonde himself has seen, during the course of his own political career, that the bully is the first to run if one pulls out the stick on him. I do not know for how long Malaysia can go on taking confrontation. Everything diplomatically possible has been done to achieve a peaceful settlement in Malaysia. I do not know how much longer the present unrest can go on.
I should like to mention briefly the matter of national development in the northern part of Australia, to which Senator Kennelly referred. We are told that this Government is not doing enough about northern development. Let us recall the figures. Advances of up to £20,000,000, at the rate of £2 for every £1 provided by Oueensland, were made for the reconstruction of the Mount Isa railway line. That was done a couple of years ago, and we tend to forget it. Let us remind ourselves, too, of the grants for the reconstruction of the jetties at Wyndham and Derby and for the provision of a deep water port at Broome.
Those amounts were quite considerable. We made grants and advances totalling £8,300,000 for beef cattle roads in Queensland and £3,450,000 for beef cattle roads in Western Australia. Those two amounts total nearly £12,000,000, but we tend to forget about them. Not long ago we made advances to a limit of £7,250,000 for the development of brigalow land in Queensland. Earlier, we expended over £2,000,000 on the encouragement of meat production in Western Australia and Queensland. Currently there is a beef roads programme to cost £4,750,000 in the Northern Territory. All these provisions for northern development total nearly £50,000,000. We and the public have short memories but it is well to remind ourselves of these things.
– Over what period were these moneys provided?
– They have been provided since you and I have been in this Parliament.
– Since 1958?
– Yes. Many of these provisions have been made during the past year, including those relating to brigalow development and certain beef roads. A special grant of £5,000,000 was made for development of tropical agriculture on the Ord River. We must also remember that the Government is helping to finance current developmental projects totalling £50,000,000. Including the provision made during the current year, the Government has provided at least another £50,000,000 for public works in the Northern Territory and about £40,000,000 of these works have been completed already. This amount is in addition to the amount of £50,000,000 that has been expended across the northern part of Australia. These amounts, of course, do not include projects related to defence.
In addition, in the current year the total financial provision for the works and services of the local community in the Northern Territory amounts to £19,600,000. Other expenditures will probably lift the total governmental provision in the Northern Territory itself to £25,000,000. We should do well to remember, when we are criticized in relation to national development, that all these expenditures have been approved in the period since I have been in the Senate, and that is not very long.
I note that my time has expired. I have great pleasure in supporting the motion for the adoption of the Address-in-Reply.
– At the outset, I congratulate Senator Morris upon having delivered his maiden speech in this place, and I associate myself with the expressions of loyalty to the Sovereign. I am sure we all hope that Her Majesty the Queen and the other members of the Royal Family will continue in good health and happiness. lt has been said in this chamber that it is the duty of Government senators to support the Speech delivered by His Excellency the Governor-General and the duty of the Opposition to oppose it. I think that it is the duty of the Opposition to examine critically everything that the Government proposes and to suggest ways in which these proposals may be amended. I note that the Speech refers to the number of persons in employment and the decreasing numbers of unemployed. These are matters that I examined rather critically. I find that on 16th December the total number of unemployed in Australia was 59,500, of whom 21,000, in round figures, were in receipt of unemployment benefit. Two months later, on 17th February, the number of unemployed had reached 85,809 and the number in receipt of unemployment benefit had increased to 28,649. It has been said in this chamber on several occasions that amongst the people registered for employment are some who are shifting from job to job, some who are seasonally employed, some who are unemployable, and so on. But at least we can say that the Government itself accepts 28,649 persons as being eligible for employment, capable of working, and unable to find employment. That figure, of course, does not include the younger people who are unemployed because, as honorable senators will know, no person under the age of 16 years can register for unemployment benefit. Yet, early in January the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. McMahon) circulated throughout the community an extra assessment of the unemployment position and included figures relating to young people or school leavers. He mentioned these young people as one reason why unemployment was increasing and why it increased at this particular time each year.
I do not disagree with what he said but, if these school-leavers are to be classed as unemployed, and given as a reason why the unemployment figures are increasing, surely they are entitled to receive unemployment benefit. Under this Government’s policy, the first child of a family receives 5s. Child endowment, the second child receives 10s. and, as the family increases, the child endowment increases to a maximum of 15s. for the subsequent children after the second. Therefore, if the parents of the children cannot afford to keep them at school they become a burden upon the family income after leaving school, yet the Government does not propose to alleviate that burden in any way beyond the present child endowment payments.
I notice one significant point about the published statistics. It is that last December unemployment was stated to be 1.4 per cent, of the total work force. The definition of “ work force “ would seem to be very wide, in that persons who will never be unemployed - self employed persons - are included to boost the figure. On 16th December the work force of Australia was stated to be 4,300,000. On 17th February of that year it was stated to be 4,400,000. In other words, there was an ostensible increase of 100,000 in the Australian work force in two months. By increasing the number in the work force the Government is able to hold the percentage of unemployment down to 1.9. This might be very good propaganda, but it is not very much consolation to those who are unemployed and who, I say, number 85,000. The Government admits that 28,649 of those people are eligible for employment and are unable to get it. They are Australian people who could be employed in productive work.
It is interesting to note from His Excellency’s Speech that the Government is hopeful of achieving an average increase of 5 per cent, in the gross national product over the next five years; but the Government does not say which year it takes as the base for calculating this increase. I remind the Senate that there was an increase in the gross national product in 1963, but that was an increase over the figure for 1961, when the country was in the depths of a depression created by the Government. One can show an increase in the gross national product by selecting any base year and I have been unable to find anywhere in His Excellency’s Speech any reference to a five-year plan that will enable us to increase our gross national product over the next five years. For :some considerable time now the Australian Labour Party has been ‘telling the Government that a plan for the development of Australia is required, and I think that the Government agrees with the Opposition on this, in that it has stated that its objective is an increase of 25 per cent, spread over the next five years; but it sets out no plan for achieving that target.
– You will be able to speak later, and perhaps you will he able to tell us just what is the five-year plan. That will be your task. I say that there is no five-year plan for achieving this increase, although I certainly hope that the gross national product can be increased by 25 per cent, over the next five years. I shall not be like the Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr. McEwen) who, after having been party and accessory to the creation of three depressions in the lifetime of this Government, suddenly found out that national development was the answer to Australia’s prayers. 1 did not intend to deal with the general election that took place on 30th November last, but Senator Branson said that the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) was courageous enough to go to the people on the Government’s policies on defence and foreign affairs, and received from the people a mandate based on those policies. I do not deny that the Government started off by going to the people with a defence policy and by trying to draw a line of distinction between the Labour Party’s policies on defence and foreign affairs and those of the Government but, having obtained the dissolution of the Parliament, he immediately set out to huy the people’s votes. Let me say to the credit of Senator Branson that he did mention some of the things that were used to buy votes. For instance, he mentioned housing, stabilization of petrol prices and so on. They are all good things, and I do not disagree with them, although I might disagree with the legislation that is brought down with relation to them. All that the people have before them to-day are the statements made by the Prime Minister in his policy speech.
Those statements are open to many interpretations, and the details of the legislation that will be put before us will be examined very critically by the Opposition.
– Are you suggesting that the Government’s policy was designed deliberately to buy the people’s votes?
– I have not said that. I have said that ‘the Government parties bought the votes. You can get up and say what you like afterwards. You probably will, and you will have no foundation for half of what you say.
That is ‘all I wanted to say about the general election. 1 might have more to say about it later during the session, but I do not think the Government can rightly say that it has a clear mandate from the people with respect to defence and foreign affairs. J. sincerely hope that the Government is able to defend this nation when it requires defending. I hope, too, that it is able to honour the treaties it has signed and the obligations it has accepted, for the Australian people will surely expect it to do -that.
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Alister McMullin). - Order! In conformity with the sessional order relating to the adjournment of the Senate, I formally put the question -
That the Senate do now adjourn.
(11.0]. - Mr. President, I crave the indulgence of the Senate to speak briefly on the motion for the adjournment. This occasion is of some importance because it gives us our first opportunity to mention the retirement of Mr. W. E. Dale and to pay tribute to him. Mr. Dale retired from the position of Principal Parliamentary Reporter for the Commonwealth Parliament of Australia on 5th February last. I think it can be said fairly that his retirement represents quite a mark in the history of this Parliament and quite a break with the Parliament, because he joined the “ Hansard “ staff away back in 1926. This means that Mr. Dale had no fewer than 38 years of service on that staff, for most of which he was engaged in reporting our deliberations. He welcomed into this Senate in 1928 a youthful young senator from Queensland, Senator Walter Cooper. In 1932, he welcomed another up and coming young Queenslander, Senator Gordon Brown.
As I have said, Mr. Dale joined the “ Hansard “ staff in 1926, and retired in the intermission between the last Parliament and the present one. In that period, he served fourteen Parliaments of the Commonwealth and under eight Presidents of the Senate. I am sure, Mr. President, that all honorable senators on both sides of the chamber agree that this is an occasion worthy of a few comments.
Mr. Dale came back from the First World War and commenced the study that was to lead to his mastery of shorthand and accountancy at the same time. I confess that in this respect his career was similar to my own, because that was the direction in which I turned when I came back from the First World War. I have always a fellow feeling for those who master shorthand, because I believe that the mastery of the craft of writing shorthand stays with one throughout life. Most of us have a friendly feeling for those who report our proceedings, and also, perhaps, a wish to get ourselves into their favour so that they will report us mercifully rather than with complete accuracy in the strict sense of the word.
I am sure that all honorable senators on both sides wish Mr. Dale good fortune and good health. We hope that in his retirement he will think back on the happy occasions when he reported proceedings in the Senate and forget those that perhaps were not quite so happy. I am sure we all wish that he may long enjoy the retirement that he has so well earned by such lengthy and faithful service.
– Mr. President, my colleagues of the Australian Labour Party join with me in expressing regret that the time has come for the retirement of Mr. W E. Dale. The end of his service on 5th February last was the end of a very important phase of his life. He retires in good health and full mental vigour. With Cicero, in de senectute, I believe that his best years still lie ahead. Senator Sir William Spooner has mentioned Mr. Dale’s long service with “ Hansard “ - 38 years, from 1926 to 1964. Of this period, 37 years were spent mainly in and about Canberra. Mr. Dale came here at a time when Canberra’s total population was only 2,000. He has seen this city grow in beauty as well as size, and has been, as a citizen here, an extraordinarily firm supporter of Canberra as the place in which his lot was cast. Moreover, he has been true to the Parliament, for I understand that his wife was the daughter of a man who was senior Senate attendant in those earlier days. So Mr. Dale preserved the most intimate association with everything that is parliamentary.
In the Department of the Parliamentary Reporting Staff, which we know as “ Hansard “, Mr. Dale went through the whole range of offices from clerk and accountant, initially, to reporter in 1934, Third Reporter in 1953, Second Reporter in 1957 and Principal Parliamentary Reporter last year. He had the unique experience of serving in almost the whole range of appointments on the “ Hansard “ staff and had the distinction of being its head at the end of his career. This was a very fitting end to a career of such continuous devotion.
There was one break in the continuity of Mr. Dale’s association with “ Hansard “. In 1942, Mr. Curtin, who was then Prime Minister, sent him to Melbourne for the duration of the war and part of the postwar years. There, Mr. Dale served as assistant secretary of the Administrative Planning Committee, which was appointed to coordinate and facilitate the arrangements for the American forces while they were; setting up their base organization in Australia. In the early post-war years, he was associated with the Scientific Advisory Committee and other committees that were concerned with post-war problems and reconstruction. So Mr. Dale has had a widely varied experience in and about the Parliament. In the First World War he served his country well, as Senator Sir William Spooner has acknowledged, and knew the rigours of a German prison camp for quite a period.
I have inquired about Mr. Dale’s plans for the future. He proposes, with his wife, to undertake a caravan tour of Queensland. I am sure that Senator Wood, after his speech this evening, will be pleased to hear that. Moreover, Mr. Dale, although he will continue to live in Canberra, proposes to winter in Queensland. 1 hope that he will consider spending some of the summers in Tasmania. I am assured that he has no intention of writing a book and I dare say that all of us who have been associated with him here will breathe a sigh of relief on hearing that. Mr. Dale sat here for years, and I should think that he knows our form better than we ourselves know it. He is now to devote himself to bowls and fishing and will be able, I hope, to spend a very happy time with his son, who is a legal practitioner in Melbourne. His two daughters are in Sydney. I trust that his health and mental vigour will continue and that he will keep in trim and live to a ripe old age.
I and my colleagues take this opportunity to thank Mr. Dale for his long service to the country and the Parliament. We remember his efficiency, his unassuming nature and his competence and courtesy at all times. We are beholden to him for very much. My colleagues, as I have said, join me in extending to him best wishes for a long and happy life and, above all, for the true peace of mind that he so richly deserves.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 11.10 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 26 February 1964, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1964/19640226_senate_25_s25/>.