25th Parliament · 1st Session
The Senate met at 10.30 a.m.
– 1 have to announce that the President, Senator the Hoa. Sir Alister McMullin, will be absent from the sitting of the Senate this day. In accordance with Standing Order No. 29 the Chairman of Committees, Senator McKellar, will lake the chair as Deputy President.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Mckellar) took the chair, and read prayers.
Motion (by Senator Paltridge) agreed to -
That during the absence of the President, the Chairman of Committees shall on each sitting day take the Chair of the Senate as Deputy President and may during such absence perform the duties and exercise the authority of President in relation to all proceedings of the Senate and to all proceedings of Standing and Joint Statutory Committees to which the President is appointed.
Motion (by Senator Paltridge) - by leave - agreed to -
That unless otherwise ordered, the days and times of meeting of the Senate for the week commencing 9th November will be, Monday, 9th November, at 2.30 p.m.; Tuesday, 10th November, at 2.30 p.m.; Wednesday, 11th November, at 10.30 a.m.,; Thursday, 12th November, at 10.30 a.m.; Friday, 13th November, at 10.30 a.m.
– My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. As senior Ministers of the Government will receive £15 a day travelling allowance as from 1st November, junior Ministers £12 a cay, the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives £15 a day, and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives £12 a day, will the Minister advise the Senate when the Government proposes to grant a reasonable travelling allowance to the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate?
– It is only as recently as yesterday that legislation was passed in this chamber in connection with Parliamentary salaries and allowances which made specific provision for the allowances referred to by the honorable
F.12499/M.- [Yi21 senator. Until the legislation is again before the Parliament for amendment, there will be no further alterations.
– 1 ask the Minister representing the Acting Minister for Health whether he would care to comment on a statement made yesterday by the Acting Minister for Health that a research scientist had isolated a hepatitis virus as a first step in the production of a vaccine to combat infectious hepatitis which has become a major health problem in recent years, particularly in Victoria.
– It is true that the Acting Minister for Health yesterday released a publication giving some information on the matter referred to by the honorable senator. I believe that it is of considerable general interest. I would like to comment that infectious hepatitis has been a major public health problem in Australia for the past 12 years. Statistics are available which suggest that last year 9,513 cases were recorded throughout Australia. There were 3,840 cases in Victoria, 2,822 in New South Wales, 1,433 in Queensland, 293 in South Australia, 145 in Western Australia, 856 in Tasmania, 104 in the Northern Territory and 20 in the Australian Capital Territory. The Acting Minister for Health indicated that the National Health and Medical Research Council project at Fairfield Hospital, in Melbourne, had a research scientist. Mrs. Cole, engaged on research and that she had been able to isolate a virus from hepatitis sufferers. The scientist, an American woman virologist working under a Council grant, is at present carrying out an extensive series of tests to confirm that the virus she has isolated is that of hepatitis. She is also trying to find out whether there is more than one type of the virus. Tt may well be some years before it is possible to produce a vaccine against hepatitis. This could be done only after the hepatitis virus had been definitely identified and when the feat of culturing it had become a routine rather than, as at present, a most difficult achievement.
The Acting Minister for Health pointed out that there was a degree of scientific caution at this stage but that everybody felt confident that the virus had been isolated by Mrs. Cole, who is the worker involved.
If this is so, it will make a tremendous contribution to the health of the Australian community in the future.
– My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. Will the Minister consider prohibiting the importation of all tobacco leaf until the tobacco industry in Queensland is rehabilitated and all the unsold leaf on hand has been sold?
– The Minister for Primary Industry is attempting to get agreement on a stabilisation scheme for the tobacco industry. 1 think it would be quite inappropriate to make any comments about matters of policy or things of that nature while that attempt is being made. The implementation of a stabilisation scheme requires the co-operation not only of the growers but also of the manufacturers, and it certainly requires the complete cooperation of the States. I repeat that in all the circumstances it would not be appropriate for me to make any comments on the matter now.
– At the appropriate time this morning, that is soon after question time, my colleague the Acting Minister for External Affairs will be making a statement on the latest act of aggression by Indonesia.
– I direct a question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate who, no doubt, has seen in various newspapers reports that trouble seems to be brewing in regard to the refining of the oil that has been found in Queensland. 1 cannot say whether or not the reports are true, but I think that they are of sufficient importance for the Minister to tell the people of Australia that the oil that has been found in Australia will in no way be kept off the market through the machinations of the refining companies. Will the Minister comment on this suggestion?
– I am aware that there is considerable interest in the matter raised by Senator Kennelly. I shall consult with my colleague, the Minister for National Development, and suggest to him that if there is anything that he is in a position to say at the moment he might consider making a statement.
– Has the attention of the Minister representing the Minister for the Navy been directed to reports that the British destroyer “ Duchess “, which is being loaned to Australia to replace the lost “ Voyager “, is a naval white elephant? Is it a fact that the “ Duchess “ will cost £300,000 to refit? Is it also true that the destroyer was offered to Australia on loan on very handsome terms? Can the Minister tell the Senate what the terms are and when refitting of the vessel will be completed?
– I shall refer this question to the Minister for the Navy to get a complete answer for Senator Drury, but 1 suggest that when the honorable senator appears to give credibility to some newspaper report to the effect that the “ Duchess “ is a naval white elephant, he allows himself to be easily deluded. “ Duchess “ did have some minor engine trouble, 1 believe, and this is probably the basis of the report which has led the honorable senator into accepting the entirely false statement that “ Duchess “ is a white elephant. I will obtain a full answer for him.
– Has the attention of the Acting Minister for External Affairs been directed to an article in the 9th October issue of the “Commercial and Economic News Bulletin “, circulated by the Commercial Bureau of the United Arab Republic
Embassy in Canberra, supporting the boycott or blacklisting imposed by the Arab Boycott Office in Damascus on Australian firms trading with Israel? As the Minister for Trade and Industry stated in another place on 15th September 1954, in reply to a question on this subject by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, that it was the policy of the Australian Government to facilitate free trade by the Australian commercial community both ways - exports and imports - will the Government make representations to the Government of the United Arab Republic in connection with the article to which I have referred, and try to do something positive to bring about the removal of this boycott which is directed against a substantial number of Australian business firms?
– I have not seen the article referred to; it has not been brought to my attention. I do not know whether the kind of action mentioned in the article would have any effect on any Australian firms, or even whether this kind of action has been taken against an Australian firm. I do not think that is particularly material in any case. Advocating this kind of action against Australian firms trading with other firms in other countries is bad enough, irrespective of whether it is put into practice. I shall have the article to which the honorable senator has referred brought to me so that I may read it, and I shall talk with my colleague, the Minister for Trade and Industry, to see whether something can be done to stop, if it is happening, action which would I believe be repugnant to all Australians.
– By way of preface to my question, which is to the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, I point out that Sir Thomas Playford, the Premier of South Australia, referred in a recent radio and television statement to the possibility in the near future of using in South Australia the gas flow from wells in the southern part of the Northern Territory and in the northern part of South Australia. What is the departmental officers’ assessment of the natural gas flow from the Northern Territory which may be available for use in’ South Australia?
– I will ask my colleague, the Minister for National Development, to supply the information requested as soon as possible.
– I address my question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. According to a recent Press report, Mr. Campbell intends making a further attempt on either the water or the land speed record in Australia. Has the Government been approached on this matter? Does it intend to make any contribution, by way of either cash or services, to this attempt? If it does, how much cash and what services are to be made available? If the Government intends to make available cash and/ or services for this attempt by an individual on speed records, what justification can it give for expending taxpayers* money in this way? I ask this question because in a previous record attempt in Australia the Commonwealth did make available services - I know that for sure - and perhaps cash.
– I am not familiar with the Press report to which Senator Sandford has referred, nor am I aware of any approach that has been made to the Commonwealth Government in respect of assistance for a further attempt on the land speed record. The best I can do is to inquire whether Mr. Campbell has made a request to the Commonwealth Government, and if there is information available which I can supply to the honorable senator I shall certainly do so.
– I address to the Minister representing the Prime Minister a question which arises from the Estimates debate of last evening. I ask: Will the Government give immediate consideration to the making of a grant to the National Nursing Education Division of the Royal Australian Nursing Federation and the National Florence Nightingale Committee of Australia, as requested by them? Could an early reply be provided?
– The point is that a request has been made and, as I understood from the honorable senator last night, it has been rejected.
– I did not know that, nor did I say that it had been rejected. They have received nothing, but they have never had a fiat rejection. The Government said that the matter would toe considered in the 1962-63 Budget.
– Apparently a request has been made, and just as apparently it has not been granted. The honorable senator is now asking, in effect, whether the Prime Minister will reconsider his decision not to comply with the request. I suggest that the honorable senator place the question on the notice paper, and in that way it will be brought to the attention of the Prime Minister.
– 1 direct a question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Recently, he indicated that the restrictive trade practices legislation would be introduced during this sessional period. As there is only one sitting week left, does the Government intend to bring in a bill, or is it still running away from this problem? If the matter is not to be proceeded with, would the Government stop its blarney and tell the people the truth about the pressures to shelve it which have been exerted on the Government by its powerful friends?
– I assure the honorable senator that the Government is not running away from this problem. I am not aware of the exact position, but I shall inquire of the Attorney-General and let the honorable senator know what the situation is. I repeat that the Government is not running away from its undertakings, and that is not blarney.
– My question is directed to the Acting Minister for External Affairs and arises from a question asked earlier by Senator Hendrickson. Has the Minister’s attention been directed to a report by the British Medical Research Council that .there was a more than twofold increase in the average concentration of radio-active strontium in the bones of young children between the second half of 1962 and the second half of last year, and that this result was to be expected in view of the large scale atmospheric nuclear tests held in the autumn of 1961 and 1962, before the conclusion of the partial nuclear test ban treaty? If the Minister has not seen the report, will he immediately call for a copy of it? If it is found that the facts are as stated, will he lodge with the French authorities another protest against their proposed tests in the Pacific, and also make a request through the British Government, which recognises the government of mainland China, for China to become a signatory to the test ban treaty?
– I have not read this report, but I have read about the increase of the amount of strontium in the bones of children in the northern hemisphere. This is a matter of how much strontium there was before the nuclear tests, by how many microcuries - if that is the correct measuring term as I think it is - the concentration has increased, and whether the present concentration is regarded by scientists as being dangerous. I was under the impression that it was much below what scientists would regard as a dangerous concentration. That is not to say that such a concentration is a good thing, but merely that it is not as dangerous as might be thought. As the honorable senator probably knows, the Government has its own advisory committee on radiation. The committee reports to the Government on the various changes as they take place.
As to the second part of the honorable senator’s question, I think the Australian Government has already made it perfectly clear on many occasions,, both to France and to China, that it believes that the signing of the nuclear test ban treaty by both countries, and the keeping of the treaty afterwards, is what would be required by the world generally, and that that is what Australia would like. I do not think another protest at this point, or another bringing of the views of Australia to the attention of those countries, would serve any special purpose. That has been done many times already.
– I wish to direct a question to the Minister who this morning is discharging the duty of representing the Minister for Trade and Industry. The question refers to the announcement by the British Government of the imposition of, T think, a 15 per cent. duty on imports. There is provision in our tariff legislation that any industry in England affected by a proposed tariff in Australia shall have the right to have the tariff deferred for 90 days, so that consideration can be given to it. I ask the Minister whether there is any reciprocal mechanism to protect Australian industries from the impositions that the Wilson Government has proposed.
– I regret that I am not able to answer the honorable senator’s question. I will bring it to the attention of my colleague immediately and get the information that the honorable senator is seeking.
– I direct a question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Last week I asked him whether, since the recent Chinese nuclear explosion, any approach had been made by the Commonwealth Government to the Government of China urging that Government to adhere to the nuclear test ban treaty. I asked him to inform me, in view of the fact that we enjoy no diplomatic relations with China, what method of communication, if any, had been used to make the approach. The Leader of the Government then informed me that he would consult with his colleague, the Acting Minister for External Affairs. When I asked the question again on Tuesday, the Leader of the Government said that he was not in a position to give me an answer. May I take it from the answer by the Acting Minister for External Affairs to the question just asked by my colleague, Senator McClelland, that the answer to my question should be: “No”?
– I shall be in a position to supply the information sought by the honorable senator in a few minutes.
(Question No. 307.)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services, upon notice -
Has the Government any plans to rectify the position disclosed in the 1963-64 report of the Director-General of Social Services that the Department of Social Services in Adelaide occupies space of inferior standard and in a somewhat inaccessible location which is inconvenient for the public?
– The Minister for Social Services has supplied the following answer to the honorable senator’s question -
The Department is most conscious of the need to ensure that its office accommodation is adequate both in regard to area and standard, and that it is appropriately located from the point of view of being readily accessible to members of the public.
It has long been realised that the building occupied by the Department’s State headquarters in Adelaide has features which make it not altogether satisfactory for the purpose for which it is utilized. However, all endeavours to secure alternative accommodation have been unsuccessful.
With no immediate prospects of being able to obtain accommodation in a more suitable building, the Department has had many improvements effected to its existing space, and it will continue to ensure that the best possible standards are maintained until space in a more suitable building can be secured.
(Question No. 310.)
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Housing, upon notice -
Where in the Homes Savings Grant Act does the Minister obtain the authority to disregard as acceptable savings in any one year prior to 1965 any savings in excess of threequarters of total savings or £560?
– The Minister for Housing has providedthe following answer to the honorable senator’s question -
The authority for limiting the amount of acceptable savings in any savings year commencing prior to 1st January, 1965, is section 20(1) of the Homes Savings Grant Act 1964, which leaves with the Secretary of the Department a discretion to determine the amount, if any, of a grant made under the Act.
It was thought reasonable to accept some savings in excess of £250 in any of these savings years, and sub-sections (1.) (a) and (9.) of section 22, in association with section 20(1.), were designed to give the Department this discretion. It was never the intention that therewould not be a limitation on the amount of acceptable savings in this early period, and this was made clear when an amendment was moved for the insertion of section 22(9.) in the Bill as originally presented (page 2101, “ Hansard “, 19th-20th May, 1964).
– On 22nd Octo- ber Senator Cohen asked me a question without notice as to whether the Government, since the explosion by mainland China of a nuclear device last week, had made any approach to the Chinese Government urging it to sign the Nuclear Test Ban
Treaty. In view of the fact Australia had no diplomatic relations with China, Senator Cohen asked through what channel of communication the Government had made its views known, if in fact it did so. I am now in a position to state that the Government has not made any approach to the Government of Communist China since the explosion of an atomic bomb by the Communist Chinese, urging that Government to sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Prior to the explosion, the Government did, on more than one occasion, express its belief that all countries should sign and abide by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and, as early as August 1963, the Minister for External Affairs, in a parliamentary statement dealing with Australia’s ratification of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty noted that China had rejected the Treaty and expressed the hope that the Chinese Communist leaders would reconsider their position. More recently, after the Chinese exploded their bomb, the Minister for External Affairs, in a public statement on 17th October 1964, again said that, in spite of disappointment, Australia would continue to work for the acceptance of the Test Ban Treaty by all countries, including Communist China.
(Question No. 241.)
asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as follows -
Such material as is available for answering the honorable senator’s questions has been provided to the Australian Universities Commission by the several universities. The bases of collection occasionally differ and a strict comparison between universities is thus not possible; nor is there complete information available within each university.
There were no quotas for 1964 at the universities of Queensland - apart from certain restrictions on the admission of interstate and overseas students to the Faculty of MedicineNew England, Tasmania or the Australian National University.
For the other universities the situation is as follows: -
Sydney - 1,435 qualified students were unsuccessful in being offered a place in the 14 quotas imposed.
New South Wales - All qualified students seeking admission were offered places.
Melbourne - 758 qualified students were unable to gain admission. A considerable number of these, however, had also applied to Monash.
Monash - 354 qualified applicants were not offered places.
Adelaide - 21 qualified applicants, not admitted to the two quotas, one in Medicine, one in Physiotherapy, were not enrolled at the University in any other faculty.
Western Australia - No qualified students eligible for admission were rejected. Entry to the medical course however, is restricted to students normally resident in Western Australia and to South East Asian students who have passed the local matriculation examination.
New South Wales - The 120 applicants not offered places in Medicine were given the opportunity to enroll in any alternative course.
Melbourne - 121 students excluded from various faculties of first choice were admitted to other faculties.
Monash - There were 224 students who were refused their faculty of first choice but were offered a place in a subsequent faculty. Of these 81 accepted and enrolled.
Adelaide -50 students who were refused admission to the two quota courses were enrolled in other courses.
Western Australia - The two students excluded from a faculty of their first choice were admitted to another faculty. 2(c).
Sydney- Full information is not available, but 418 of the 1,183 New South Wales Leaving Certificate and matriculation examination applicants who were unsuccessful in gaining admission to the University, gained admission to the University of New South Wales, the University of New England ar the Australian National University. Of these 282 were admitted to faculties similar to those to which they sought admission at the University of Sydney.
Other Universities - This information is not available for the other universities, though from Melbourne and Monash universities jointly, 660 students were rejected.
(Question No. 242.)
asked the Minister repre senting the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice -
– The Minister for Labour and National Service has furnished the following answers -
While my Department has done a deal of study on the future of the work force, for much the same reasons as are referred to above, to date I have not thought it would be useful for the Department to produce the sort of detailed forecast done in the United Kingdom. It is to be borne in mind that in Australia the rapid growth of our economic development, including the population growth due to migration, adds to the hazards of forecasting.
(Question No. 270.)
Senator ORMONDE (through Senator
O’Byrne) asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice-
How many applications for financial aid, under the science laboratories scheme, have been received from Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist schools in New South Wales?
In order of moneys received by these schools, (a) what are the names of the first ten schools in each denomination, (b) where are such schools, and (c) how many pupils are enrolled in each school?
– A number of schools indicated their interest in receiving assistance. They were ‘then sent a questionnaire for completion. The answers to the honorable senator’s questions are as follows -
– by leave - The Senate will be aware that a further group of between 50 and 60 Indonesian raiders landed by sea on the Malayan coast some 20 miles south of Malacca yesterday morning. From interrogation of members of the group who were captured after the landing, it is clear that the force includes a substantial number of regular personnel of the Indonesian armed forces. Immediate counter action was taken toy security forces which included Australian troops, and the situation is well in hand. A substantial number of surrenders has already occurred and the operation appears to he heading for a failure as complete as that of the earlier Indonesian landings in Pontiane and Labis. It was only last month that an overwhelming majority of nine of the eleven members of the Security Council supported a resolution deploring the Indonesian paratroop attack which took place on 2nd September and calling on Indonesia to respect the territorial integrity and political independence of Malaysia. Only the casting of a veto by the Soviet Union prevented the adoption of this resolution, which constituted an unequivocal endorsement of Malaysia’s right to a free and independent existence without outside interference.
Honorable senators know that the Government has several times repeated its determination to fulfil the pledge made for the defence of Malaysia at the time of its formation. This pledge to defend Malaysia against armed invasion or subversive activity, supported or directed or inspired from outside Malaysia, was made clear in the statement of the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) to the House of Representatives on 25th September 1963. We have tried on many occasions to make plain to Indonesia the dangers to herself and to the whole region which are inherent in her reckless prosecution of her policy of opposition to Malaysia. None of the objections which Indonesia has publicly voiced about the formation of Malaysia could ever reasonably be held to justify her planning and executing policies of armed attack and subversion in Malaysia. This was clearly the opinion of all members of the Security Council except the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia.
It was our hope that following the world censure expressed by the Council Indonesia would cease her acts of hostility. Unfortunately, this has not happened. In recent weeks there have ‘been further attacks in Borneo and now we see another attack by a group of raiders on the coast of Malaya itself. This time, at the request of the Malaysian Government, Australian troops are assisting Malaysian and other Commonwealth forces to round up the raiders, and thus for the first time we have a situation where Australian forces are engaged in direct military action against Indonesian forces. This is not a situation of our choosing. It is a situation brought about by Indonesia’s deliberate decision to defy the expressed opinion of all except the Communist members of the Security Council and to resume armed raids on Malaysia.
The action which Malaysia and her allies are taking is in full accordance with the United Nations Charter, article 51 of which safeguards the right to individual or collective self defence in the event of armed attack until such time as the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. In view of the involvement of Austrlian forces, the Government will report to the United Nations the measures undertaken to assist Malaysia to defend itself against this unprovoked attack.
– by leave - On behalf of the Opposition, I deplore the provocative action of Indonesia in relation to yesterday’s incident. The activity, of course, is small in scope but nevertheless very irritating in effect, and it could have results of far reaching importance on the whole question of peace in the South-East Asian area. Therefore, it must be looked at as a matter of great importance. The situation that the Minister has explained is not calculated to improve relations between Indonesia and Australia, and that is unfortunate because we wish to preserve the friendliest relations with the Indonesians, in bringing about whose independence we played a major part.
The incidents narrated by the Minister make even more acute the need for adequate defences in Australia and, I would say, sharpen the need for the Government to put before the Parliament its proposals in that regard. I hope that before the Parliament rises some time next month we shall have a full statement by the Government on our defence situation. The news that has been announced by the Minister today will, of course, have relevance to that position. The Opposition warmly supports the idea that, with the engagement of Australian troops, the Government should report the position and the reasons for our involvement in Malaysia to the United Nations.
– by leave - I am glad that the significance of this incident was dwelt upon. Due to the drift of the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition, I feel that it is not presumptuous of me, and indeed that it is my duty, to rise. This is not an occasion on which we should be debating our defences. We have done that, and we will do so again. According to the Minister’s statement, Australian troops, for the first time, are confronting Indonesian troops. This is so important that the Government has seen fit to report the matter immediately to the United Nations. I hope that every endeavour will be made and that every agency of that Organisation will be used to prevent further contact between the two countries.
Never let it be forgotten that the attitude of Indonesia towards Australia has been moulded largely by Australia’s attitude to the emergence of Indonesian independence. The hope lies, first, in the disintegration of the Indonesian Government and the irresponsibility that prevails in it, and secondly, in the possibility that, by diplomatic means, this incident may be prevented from spreading. I rise to emphasise the importance of preventing, by diplomatic means and the agencies of the United Nations, the significance of the first clash between Australian and Indonesian troops from becoming intensified.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing Orders suspended.
Motion (by Senator Paltridge) proposed; -
That the Bill be now read a first time.
Debate (on motion by Senator McKenna) adjourned.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing Orders suspended.
Bill (on motion by Senator Paltridge) read a first time.
– I move -
That the Bill be now read a second time.
This Bill will provide for expenditure in 1964-65 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for other than the ordinary annual services of the Government. As I have explained previously, this measure contains those appropriations for which, in the opinion of the Government and its legal advisers, a good case cannot be made out for the view that they are for the ordinary annual services of the Government. Pending completion of the discussions to which I also referred, no alteration has been made to the form of the measures which was adopted in May. The amounts sought for various departments are shown in detail in the Second Schedule to the Bill and total £2,368,000. This Bill seeks an appropriation of £1,368,000, the balance of £1,000,000 having already been granted under the Supply (Special Expenditure) Act 1964-65.
The main points regarding the proposed expenditures contained in this Bill were dealt with in the Budget speech. The schedule to the Bill is the same as that contained in the document “Particulars of Proposed Expenditure for other than the Ordinary Annual Services of the Government in respect of the Year Ending 30th June, 1965” which has already been examined in detail by the Senate in Committee. I commend the bill to honorable senators.
Debate (on motion by Senator McKenna) adjourned.
Bill returned from the House of Representatives with an amendment.
Consideration of House of Representatives’ amendment.
Section ten of the Principal Act is repealed and the following sections are inserted in its stead: - “10c. - (l.)The Governor-General may delegate to the Military Board or to an officer of the Military Forces any of the powers to appoint and promote officers of the Military Forces conferred upon him by sections ten and ten b of this Act. “ (2.) A delegation under this section may be made applicable to appointments or promotions of officers -
House of Representatives’ amendment -
Omit sub-section (2.) of proposed section 10c, insert the following sub-section: - “ ‘ (2.) A delegation under this section may be made applicable to appointments or promotions of officers to specified Tanks or to ranks of a specified kind and either in the Military Forces generally or in a specified part of the Military Forces.”.
– I move -
That the amendment made by the House of Representatives be agreed to.
The amendment is essentially a drafting amendment to clarify the true intention of the sub-section, which is that any or all of the powers of delegation in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of sub-section 10(2.)(c) should be capable of operation by the GovernorGeneral. As presently provided, this power would be restricted to not more than one of those paragraphs. An example of what is required by the sub-section is that the Governor-General should be able to delegate the power to appoint officers to, say, (a) the Regular Army Supplement - that is, a specified part of the military forces; (b) in the rank of second lieutenant or lieutenant - that is, to a specified rank in the forces; or (c) where such ranks are probationary or substantive - that is ranks of a specified kind; or to delegate his power to promote officers (a) in the C.M.F. as an example of a specified part of the military forces; (b) up to the rank of captain - as an example of a specified rank;or (c) whether temporary or substantive - as an example of ranks of a specified kind.
I repeat that the amendment is a drafting amendment designed to give effect to the intention of the amendment of the Act which was originally presented.
.- The subsection proposed to be amended is repeated almost exactly in the words of the proposed amendment, with the addition only of the words “either in the military forces generally.” Those words gave a power of delegation somewhat wider in scope than that contained in the proposal that was last before the Senate. The Opposition offers no objection to the amendment.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Resolution reported; report adopted.
Bill returned from the House of Representatives with an amendment.
Consideration of House of Representatives amendment.
Sections eight to sixteen (inclusive) of the Principal Act are repealed and the following sections inserted in their stead: - “ 11. - (1.) The Governor-General may delegate to the Naval Board or to an officer of the Naval Forces any of the powers to appoint and promote officers of the Naval Forces conferred upon him by sections eight and ten of this Act. “ (2.) A delegation under this section may be made applicable to appointments or promotions of officers: -
House of Representatives’ amendment -
Omit sub-section (2.) of proposed section 11, insert the following sub-section - “ ‘(2.) A delegation under this section may be made applicable to appointments or promotions of officers to specified ranks or to ranks of a specified kind and either in the Naval Forces generally or in a specified part of the Naval Forces.”.
– I move -
That the amendment made by the House of Representatives be agreed to.
The form of this amendment is exactly the same as that recently agreed to by the Senate in relation to the Defence Bill.
– The position here is identical with that in relation to the Defence Bill, except that the words added in this case are “ either in the Naval Forces generally “. The comments that I made on the earlier amendment apply to this one.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Resolution reported; report adopted.
Bill returned from the House of Representatives without amendment.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing Orders suspended.
Bill (on motion by Senator Anderson) read a first time.
– I move-
That the Bill be now read a second time.
It is now proposed to extend the period of operation of the Copper and Brass Strip Bounty Act 1962, under which bounty has ceased to be payable in respect of copper and brass strip sold after 30th September 1964, for a further maximum period of six months to 31st March 1965. It is the purpose of this Bill to implement this proposal. A review of the industry is, at present, being undertaken by the Tariff Board which is investigating the level of protection which should be afforded to the Australian production of copper and brass sheet, strip, and foil, and heat exchanger units of the types used with internal combustion engines, that is in motor vehicle radiators.
The completion of the inquiry and the issue of the relevant report has been delayed by unforeseen complications such as the recent wide fluctuations in world copper prices which the Board must take into consideration. Consequently, insufficient time remained before 30th September 1964 for the Government to receive, study and act upon the Board’s report. In order to provide the necessary time required for these steps, and also to continue the present level of assistance to the industry, this Bill extends the copper arid brass strip bounty legislation until 31st March 1965, or a date to be proclaimed, whichever first occurs. I commend the Bill to honorable senators.
Debate (on motion by Senator O’Byrne) adjourned.
Debate resumed (vide page 1473).
– I am grateful to the Commonwealth Government, and to my colleagues, for an opportunity to visit India, Pakistan and Ceylon earlier this year. I had a most interesting and informative tour of those countries. The Bill now before the Senate, which appropriates the sum of £670,413,000, includes provision for the Department of External Affairs, which sponsored our goodwill visit. I want to say that, in my judgment, the money provided by the Department was money very well spent. It is important that we do not outwear our welcome in these goodwill visits. The Australian Parliament should reciprocate the generous hospitality shown by the Asian Governments and Parliaments to our visiting Australian parliamentary members by inviting a number of their parliamentary members to visit Australia in return. This would be a splendid way of creating and cementing goodwill with our Asian neighbours. In my opinion the visits, to be a success, must be on a two-way basis.
I was hopeful of having an hour to speak on the Appropriation Bill so that I might give the Senate a full coverage of the impressions I gained on my recent tour. But the Bill has been brought forward for discussion when the proceedings are being broadcast and my time is limited to 30 minutes. Therefore, I am obliged to cut down my speech, but I shall deal with the Kashmir question, Indian nonalignment policy, and one or two matters of lesser importance if time permits’.
On arrival at Karachi, the commercial capital of Pakistan, we were met by Mr. McNicol, the High Commissioner for
Australia in Pakistan, and were taken to a new hotel, the Intercontinental. This is a grand tourist hotel and the only hotel on our tour which had women employed on the different floors. We laid a wreath on the grave of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, in honour of the founder of Pakistan. A magnificent tomb is in course of erection to honour his memory. Jinnah is really venerated by the Pakistani people. Above the grave a massive dome of concrete and brick rises up to 108 feet and will be faced with marble.
Karachi had a population of 300,000 at the time of partition but it stands now at 2i million people. From Karachi we travelled by air to Rawalpindi, the federal capital, approximately 1,000 miles distant. We found the inland dry heat in midsummer very trying and the temperature ran up around 110 degrees Fahrenheit during the whole period of our visit. Therefore, we were delighted to make the journey to Murree, one of the hill stations of the British days, in order to meet the President, Ayub Khan, at his palace situated between 7,000 feet to 8,000 feet above sea level where it was delightfully cool and pleasant. We had an interesting talk to President Ayub Khan who is a most impressive figure. He gave us the viewpoint of Pakistan on relations with India. He informed us that he had a very high regard for the Australian Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) whom he thought to be one of the big men of our time.
On arrival in Lahore by air from Rawalpindi, we were very graciously received by the Government of West Pakistan. Later we called on the Speaker of the provincial Assembly and were given seats of honour in the Assembly. As I moved about Lahore, I recalled that Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay and had worked as a journalist on the Lahore “ Civil and Military Gazette “ in the 1880’s. His powerful verse and prose were widely read throughout the world and at almost every stratum of Indian life. His “Barrack Room Ballads”, “Kim”, and many other great writings on Anglo-Indian life must have derived their inspiration from his early experiences of military and civil life in Lahore. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907 at a time when British power throughout the world was nearing its peak. The British Empire about that time was vividly described by
Daniel Webster, of the United States of America, of dictionary fame, as -
A power, which has dotted over the surface of the whole globe, with her possessions and military posts, whose morning drumbeat, following the sun, and keeping company with the hours, circles the earth, with one continuous and unbroken strain, the martial airs of England.
Kipling expresses the same thought in other words -
We ‘ave ‘eard of the Widow at Windsor,
It’s safest to let ‘er alone,
For ‘er sentries, we stand by the sea and the land,
Wherever the bugles are blown.
Take ‘old of the wings o’ the mornin’
And flop round the earth till you’re dead,
But you won’t get away from the tune that they play
To the bloomin’ old rag over ‘ead.
It was Kipling who wrote that powerful and beautiful invocation to the Divine Power, known to us all as the “Recesstional “. During my short stay in Lahore, I took time to pay a silent tribute to the memory of Kipling, a great soul who belonged to an age that has passed away. Lahore was one of the famous cities of India. It is now a city of Pakistan, but is situated very close to the border of India. Fears were expressed that trade would not flow so freely from the Indian side as in other days. The Government of Pakistan is currently engaged in the extension and improvement of the city. New residential colonies have been raised, and parks and gardens laid down. Three great Mogul Emperors, Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan, at different periods held their courts in Lahore and built many beautiful palaces, . mosques, gardens and other progressive works.
Perhaps the most troublesome barrier to good relations between India and Pakistan concerns Kashmir. Throughout history Kashmir has been an unhappy country, subject to constant invasion many dynastic changes with visitations of pestilence such as cholera and famine. Nevertheless, I think every member of the delegation would have enjoyed a visit to Kashmir, situated as it is in the uplands of the Himalayan massif and enjoying on the whole a very delightful climate. The Vale of Kashmir was described to me as very beautiful with many lakes and mountain streams. The area has manifold scenic attractions and tourist possibilities. The very name of Kashmir has a romantic ring. The Indian Love Lyrics written by Amy Woodforde Fenden had their setting in Kashmir. Who amongst us does not remember the Kashmiri Love Song - “ Pale Hands I loved beside the Shalimar”? The name “Shalimar” means “ abode of love “ and derives from the ancient and sacred language of India, Sanskrit. The Shalima Gardens at Srinagar, capital of Kashmir, were laid down in 1618 A.D. and at Lahore in 1642 A.D. These beautiful gardens have been world famous for more than 300 years.
Now let us consider Kashmir from the more practical side, as nobody is able to live on love and beautiful surroundings. Kashmir has an area of 82,255 square miles which is roughly equal to the area of England, Scotland and Wales. The population is 4½ million not many considered against the combined populations of India and Pakistan which run to. the order of 550 million people. From what I could gather Kashmir is not a rich country. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people. The country itself is almost entirely mountainous. The soil is not fertile and only about 5.6 per cent. of the total area is cultivated. Forests cover about one-eighth of the total area, which provides a limited revenue of about £1 million per annum. It does not seem to me that this Kashmiri territory is worth all the disputation, ill will and monetary expenditure which have been associated with it since partition.
Mr. S. K. Patel, of India, speaking at the Overseas Press Club in New York on July 31st last, said that India and Pakistan were spending the equivalent of about £150 million on armaments. Neither nation, he said, could afford to spend their money in that way. At present a large part of the Indian Army is tied down watching the Pakistan Army and vice versa. When we were in India there was some talk that Mr. Shastri’s new Government was anxious to settle the question. I am sure that is so, but can agreement be reached on the terms? It was generally conceded in both India and Pakistan that there can be no real peace between their countries until some settlement is reached on Kashmir. The Indians say that historically Kashmir belongs to India. An instrument of accession was constitutionally drawn up, signed and delivered by the Hindu ruler - Hari Singh of Kashmir - to Lord Mountbatten who accepted it on behalf of the British Government as a legal and binding document. The Indian leader, Mr.
The Indians also say that there are 50 million Moslems in India and the Government of India has the ever present responsibility of protecting the Moslem minority against riotous attack by the Hindu majority. The Indian Government really feels that if Kashmir were delivered over to the Pakistanis it would lead to awful bloodshed within India and possible war with Pakistan. The Pakistanis say that in accepting the accession to India of Kashmir the British Government laid down the condition that a plebiscite should be undertaken when law and order had been restored to determine the wishes of the Kashmiri people. The Pakistanis, therefore, say that the vital condition of the Indian partition settlement has not been honoured. They say that the Kashmiri people have not been given any voice in the matter; that no plebiscite has been taken and- the Kashmiris are being denied the right of self-determination. The Pakistanis say that the United Nations has recommended that a plebiscite be taken; that the Pakistanis favour the plebiscite; that the Indians are committed to a plebiscite but are holding out.
The Kashmir trouble is currently before the Security Council of the United Nations again. Unofficially, some Indian leaders said to me that as Kashmir had a population which was 80 per cent. Moslem and Pakistan is a Moslem country, a plebiscite would be a foregone conclusion once Moslem religious feeling was stirred up. These Indians said further that in .these circumstances Kashmiri Moslems would vote to join Moslem Pakistan. Another point of view was expressed to me by an Indian gentleman. He said: “What is all this rumpus about the Kashmir question. There is no such question, and if there was one it is finished. Kashmir stands as a part of India.” This was said with an air of great finality.
The President of Pakistan, Ayub Khan, informed’ us that his country wants peace with all its neighbours and particularly so with its close neighbour, India. The Indians also want peace with Pakistan, but Kashmir is the constant irritant. It would be a cause for rejoicing if the distinguished leaders of both India and Pakistan could come to an understanding on the Kashmir question in a spirit of good will and mutual respect. On 13th October I heard in a broadcast that the Indian Prime Minister returning from the conference of non-aligned countries in Cairo called into Karachi for a talk with President Ayub Khan of Pakistan. I hope that some good results will ensue. Both India and Pakistan need assistance from western nations and this assistance should be made available to them whilst they are governed by moderate men of politics.
After having observed the poverty which exists in many parts of India and Pakistan, I would have thought that grain was a prime and urgent necessity, but it seems that India is receiving wheat under a generous United States aid scheme, limited only by the capacity of Indian ports to handle the quantities of wheat despatched by the United States authorities. No doubt there are also problems of storage and distribution.
The Minister for Primary Industry (Mr. Adermann) has stated that consultations are proceeding with representatives of the Indian Government on the basis of help for India in other fields. The- provision of capital equipment for developmental purposes is one example. We should do all we can to help both India and Pakistan. India is the last large free country in Asia. If she is able to maintain her Parliamentary institution and if her plans to develop India were to succeed, her accomplishments in freedom could threaten the strength and existence of Communist China by the force of example. Red China is bent on stifling India sooner or later by force of arms or by swinging the Indian people over to Communism. In the atmosphere of distrust which surrounds both countries, many Indians are convinced that the Pakistanis have joined up with China, not out of any love for China, nor have they anything in common, but it is done on the sole basis of aggression against India. On the other hand, many highly placed Pakistanis believe that the Indians are getting massive aid from Western countries, not to fight China but to make war on the Pakistanis. This situation is tragic when one remembers that Hindus and Moslems lived together in terms of neighbourly good will, except for sporadic outbreaks of racial feeling under the British Raj. They all worked together for the India which sustains them all. Can this fraternal spirit ever be restored? If India and Pakistan are to develop they must be good neighbours. They must trade and thrive together.
In my view, partition has brought about a great weakness in the whole sub-continent through the disunity it has produced. A unified India of 600 million people would have been one of the world’s great powers. lt would have been a match for both Russia and China and would have thereby helped to maintain a strong balance of power in the interests of peace and order in the world. Australia stands on terms of good will with both countries. Personally, I found much to admire in both the Indian and Pakistani leaders and people. It is distressing to see both countries in violent disagreement over the Kashmiri question, and the Australian parliamentary delegation most sincerely hopes that some acceptable solution will be found, with good will on both sides.
We left Lahore about 9.30 p.m. for Dacca and arrived in the capital of East Pakistan at about 2.30 a.m. in heavy mon.soonal rain. We were cordially received next day by the Governor of East Pakistan. After leaving Government House we proceeded about 10 miles to the Adamjee jute mills, which proved to be a veritable hive of industry. The mills coyer an area of about four square miles and employ about 30,000 hands. We were shown woolpacks and wheat sacks ready for despatch to Australia and to other parts of the world. The flight from Dacca across to Calcutta was perhaps the most pleasant of all our air trips over the sub-continent. The fields below were a rich emerald colour, cut through with rivers and lesser waterways. The Hoogly River flowed placidly by as we approached Calcutta. Calcutta was the historic capital of British India until the Great Durbar - the third - held in 1911 when King George V and Queen Mary were proclaimed Emperor and Empress of India in person on that great occasion. New Delhi was then named as the capital of India instead of Calcutta. Old Delhi is the ancient capital of Hindustan. It is nearly equidistant from Bombay and Calcutta. This city has played a most important part in the whole chequered history of India. New Delhi, in the opinion of people who are competent to judge, is one of the best designed cities in the world. The planning was done by a world famous artist and architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, during the British days. New Delhi has wide tree lined streets, parks and gardens, and wonderful buildings which are erected in a blend of English colonial, Hindu and Mughal styles. Old Delhi bears evidence of its turbulent past. There are monuments, mosques and minarets, temples and forts standing out against the skyline in this ancient city of India.
We had the very great pleasure of being received by the President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, a very kindly and distinguished gentleman who holds our Prime Minister in very high regard. We also called on the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Hukam Singh, who later entertained us to dinner in the Lok Sabha. The Speaker is a friend of Sir Alister McMullin, the President of the Senate. When our visit to India was first projected we all looked forward with great eagerness to meeting Mr. Nehru, the Prime Minister of India at the time. His death before we left Australia shocked us all. When we did finally arrive in New Delhi we all were most hopeful of meeting Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was the late Mr. Nehru’s successor. Unfortunately, Mr. Shastri fell ill and had to cancel arrangements already made for his visit to London to attend the conference of Commonwealth Ministers. Later Sir James Plimsoll informed us that he had received information about Mr. Shastri’s continuing illness and that, on doctor’s orders, he was not well enough, to see us. This was a big disappointment to all the members of the delegation.
Mr. Shastri, the second Prime Minister of India since independence was achieved, is very short in build, being 5 feet tall. He must have plenty of quality, because the late Mr. Nehru thought very highly of him. Mr. J. K. Galbraith, a former United States Ambassador to India, said recently -
There is more iron in his soul than appears on the surface. He listens to every point of view; he makes up his mind firmly and his decisions stick. He is the kind of man who is trusted.
He has been dreadfully poor all his life and is supremely honest. After my return to Australia, I saw Mr. Shastri being interviewed by a competent Australian newsman on television. As a result, I would say that he possesses deep wells of inner power and strength and that he could well be the man of the hour to cope with India’s vast and complex problems.
Within the next 10 years India will have a population of about SOO million people. Great industrial development is being undertaken in India at present, and this is bound to increase. It is not easy to break into a market like this, because India lacks a sufficiency of foreign exchange to pay for other than high priority requirements. The Indian Government is encouraging foreign investments, and both Indian and Australian traders are getting closer together on what are termed joint ventures. Those Australian businessmen who are able to make such agreements at this particular period will get in on the ground floor, so to speak, and thereafter will grow with increasing strength as the Indian economy expands and prospers.
The late Mr. Nehru espoused a policy of non-alignment, which was equivalent to neutralism, in the post-war period. No doubt he was influenced in his thought by Mr. Gandhi, who advocated non-violence in the struggle for independence. Mr. Nehru and other leaders in India were persuaded that, if a nation offered no provocation and looked after its own affairs, it could not possibly antagonise its neighbours. That pleasant thought was good in theory, but in practice it did not work. The Indian policy suited the aggressors of Red China, whose armies invaded northern India. The Chinese might have persisted but for the fact that world opinion was heavily ranged against them. Even the Communist Party of India turned against their Chinese comrades and condemned the invasion. The Indian Communists also had to deal with the mounting anger of the Indian people.
The Chinese attack forced India to embark on an expanded arms programme. Aid is being given to India by the United States. The Pakistanis say it is massive aid, and they are upset about it. Aid is being accorded to India also by the United King dom and Australia, but I think it is fair to say that India is meeting the main burden of defence costs. We were informed that India is to receive 120 million United States dollars for military aid. In September last, the Indian Defence Minister, Mr. Y. B. Chavan, told the Indian Parliament that the combined military aid of the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia would enable India to maintain a well equipped Army of 825,000 men under a five year defence plan which he had formulated. Mr. Chavan said that the Russian offer was worth about £75,500,000. The Russians will accept payment for the military aid in Indian currency in easy instalments spread over several years. The Russians will supply India with three squadrons of MIG21 jet fighters, one submarine, frigates, helicopters and tanks, the tanks being light enough for mountain warfare, and also air to air and ground to air missiles. India will continue her policy of non-alignment despite this aid, but in the nature of things she will be drawn closer to the countries which have befriended her.
Many Indians believe that the Chinese, attacks were designed to divert Indian expenditure from her programme of economic advancement and development to that of defence so that Communism would prosper amongst the Indian masses because of the misery and distress that would be caused by the failure of plans to increase food production substantially. If in the next few years the Chinese are able to dominate South-East Asia, backed up by a Communist Government in India, the Russians and the Pakistanis might well sleep uneasily on their beds. No nation can live alone in the world of today. We all need friends to help us against the predators and the neo-colonialists, who are to be found mostly amongst the Communist and fellow traveller countries, in these changing times.
In conclusion, I should like to pay a well deserved tribute to our tour leader, the Honorable J. D. Anthony, whose youthful bearing, cheerful nature and capacity to say and do the right thing on all occasions attracted a warm hearted response from our hosts in the three countries we visited. Australia is privileged to have three High Commissioners of the calibre of Sir James Plimsoll in India, Mr. McNicol in Pakistan and Mr. Ballard in Ceylon. We all appreciated the bonhomie and good fellowship of the protocol officers and other officials who, on behalf of their Governments, accompanied us on the tour. We all are indebted to the great courtesy and kindness which were accorded to us by the Governments of India, Pakistan and Ceylon. We express our thanks accordingly.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a first time.
– I move -
That the Bill be now read a second time.
The purpose of this measure is to appropriate the amounts required for expenditure in 1964-65 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund other than those amounts provided by special appropriations and the Appropriation (Special Expenditure) Bill. The amounts sought for each department are shown in detail in the Second Schedule to the Bill, the sum of these amounts being £1,094,117,000. This Bill seeks an appropriation of £670,413,000, the balance of £423,704,000 having already been granted under the Supply Act 1964-65.
The expenditure proposals of the Government were outlined in the Budget Speech and the details included in the Schedule to this bill have already been examined under the procedure whereby the Senate in Committee has taken note of the amounts included in the document “ Particulars of Proposed Expenditure for the Ordinary Annual Services of the Government in respect of the year ending 30th June 1965”.
I commend the Bill to honorable senators.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without requests or debate.
Consideration resumed (vide page 1474).
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
– Before I make specific reference to an important matter, I wish to pay tribute to the inspired speech to which we have just been treated by Senator Maher. His lyrical references to the love songs of Kashmir find some response in my soul. Approaching the Schedules to this Bill, I claim also that I am almost completely impervious to satire. I refer to that part of the Second Schedule, under the Department of the Treasury, which gives a platinum point to the satire represented by this Bill, and which reads -
Advance to the Treasurer -
To enable the Treasurer -
to make advances that will be recovered during the financial year, in respect of expenditure that is not expenditure for the ordinary annual services of the Government; and
to make moneys available for expenditure, being expenditure that is not expenditure for the ordinary annual services of the Government -
particulars of which will afterwards be submitted to the Parliament; or
pending the issue of a warrant of the Governor-General specifically applicable to the expenditure . . .
It occurs to me to inquire whether this passage gives expression to a motion which is as novel as the slim and tenuous tissue that is this Bill, now diminished in a financial sense to the cadaverous form of £2.368 million instead of about £200 million, as its predecessors provided. But we can pass by any further reference to that issue, because it is now ready for cooking and will be cooked on the occasion of the introduction of the first bill of this kind next year. Here we have a proposal to issue to the Treasurer this year £1 million credit for unspecified items. What I want to know is whether or not previous appropriation Bills have included an item of this character, that is, an advance to the Treasurer, to enable him to make advances and provide money for expenditure the details of which the Parliament will receive afterwards, or expenditure that is to be made pending the issue of a warrant of the Governor-General specifically applicable to it.
The amount involved is only £1 million this year, but if it is a novel notion of the Federal Treasury in Canberra, it might be like that biblical cloud which, appearing on the horizon no bigger than a man’s hand grew to great dimensions. The principle of allowing the inclusion in an Appropriation Bill, of an item in respect of which the details are not unspecified, is to be resisted by any Parliament that is jealous of its duty to scrutinise expenditure in any responsible fashion. I should like to be informed whether or not the item to which I direct attention is a novel item, and I should like to have some indication of some of the purposes to which the money is to be applied.
– The purpose of the provision of this amount of £1 million is the same as that of the £16 million which is appropriated under the Appropriation Bill.
– We discussed the £16 million under the big Appropriation Bill. Have you the reference to it?
– It is at page 103 of the document before the Committee. The £1 million which is appropriated under the Appropriation (Special Expenditure) Bill can be applied only to those departments which are mentioned in the schedule to the Bill - the Department of Health, the Department of Primary Industry, the Prime Minister’s Department, the Department of Shipping and Transport and the Department of Social Services - and used only within those Departments.
I do not think that the principle employed involves any departure from an existing practice. Indeed, I understand the words used are the words that have been used in the appropriation of the Treasurer’s Advance for many years.
– These are the words that appear on page 103?
– I have just explained - I do not know whether the honorable senator was here - that because there is an Appropriation (Special Expenditure) Bill it is necessary to have in that Bill an appropriation for an Advance to the Treasurer, in the same way as there has always been an appropriation for an Advance to the Treasurer in the Appropriation Bill. That is all.
– That is what I have said. These words are applicable to what appears on page 103, justifying what appears there.
– They are precisely the same. I am pointing out to the honorable senator that the appropriation of £1 million under this Bill is made in the same form and in precisely the same words as have been used for many years for an appropriation of this kind under the Appropriation Bill. The particular items on which any amounts from this vote will be spent will be spelt out with particularity when the document “ Expenditure from Treasurer’s Advance “ is published at the end of the year. That paper will be before the Senate and will give an opportunity for detailed and particular examination of the expenditure.
Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) 112.231. - I gather from what the Minister has said that this particular item, as expressed, is not new; that it has been expressed in this form for a number of years; and that it does not have its origin in the recent revision that has taken place of the Treasury papers. The second thing I want to comment upon is that in a Bill providing for special expenditure, in which the appropriations amount to £2.368 million, £1 million, or practically one-half of this amount covered by the Bill, represents undetailed appropriation. One-half of the amount covered by the Bill is not detailed in its appropriation.
Senator PALTRIDGE (Western Australia - Minister for Defence) [12.241. - I take the opportunity to assure the honorable senator that there is no new departure here. The same practice is applied to this measure as has been applied to the Appropriation Bills for many years.
Senator MATTNER (South Australia) [12.251. - That may be true, but I am in a difficult dilemma now. The Minister referred to page 103. In view of what has happened, I would not think that this is following exactly what has gone before. On the question of splitting the annual services, the debate revolves around expenditure for ordinary annual services. We are told that the Treasury has great difficulty in sorting out what is not ordinary annual government expenditure. The amount has been whittled down now to a little over £2 million. Last year it was £180 million. But the matter goes further than that. Even with the £2 million put before us, the Treasury still will be in tremendous doubt as to what £1.5 million will be for. I think this matter can be left. I will not speak any further on it, but it will remain in my mind as one which warrants much greater debate. Kindly as the Minister’s reference has been, in my perhaps innocent mind I believe that what is stated in Division No. 590, on page 103, is not following a precedent.
, - I want to reply to that statement. I would not like the honorable senator to get the impression that the appropriation of this £1 million under the new legislation represents something which is new in principle or something which is a departure from practice. He said, in effect: “ You have not done this before in relation to this Bill “, referring to the Appropriation (Special Expenditure) Bill. We have not, because there has never before been an Appropriation (Special Expenditure) Bill. But there is now, and it has been found necessary to appropriate this amount under that BUI. It is a case of no bill, no appropriation.
– Did the Minister say that this item has not been in the Appropriation (Works and Services Bill) before?
– No. There has always been an appropriation.
– An item expressed in this way?
– In each of the two appropriations Bills?
Senator PALTRIDGE__ I understand not. Before this change was made the entire appropriation for the Advance of the Treasurer was made in the ordinary annual services bill. I think this represents an improvement, if I may express a personal view. We appropriate in this Bill a portion of the Treasurer’s Advance which will ultimately represent special expenditure.
– As an item in special expenditure legislation it is a novel item.
– It is novel to the extent that the Bill is novel. You cannot maintain the details of a procedure when you alter the procedure itself. You have to adjust the details to suit the altered procedure. That is all we have done.
Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.
Bill read a third time.
Debate resumed from 29th October (vide page 1402), on motion by Senator Paltridge -
That the Bill be now read a second time.
.- This Bill has for its purpose the amendment of the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission Act. The main amendments relate to the borrowing powers which are contained in section 30 of the Act. The Minister for Defence (Senator Paltridge) referred in his second reading speech to the substantial capital expenditure which the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission faces over the next few years for the construction of new vessels which it has on order or intends to build, and for associated shore facilities. Under the Act, the borrowing power of the Commission is limited to £5 million. It is on this point that we on this side of the Senate present our main opposition to the Bill. In other respects we support it. It appears that the limit of £5 million unnecessarily inhibits and circumscribes the scope and the initiative of the Commission. In view of all the circumstances and of the activities of the Commission, the Government could well have made provision for a higher limit than £5 million. It is the intention of the Opposition to move at the Committee stage that the amount of £5 million be increased to £10 million.
It is interesting to note that the Minister stated that the proposed new section of the Act is in the same terms as section 31 of the Australian National Airlines Act 1945- 1961, which controls the operations of the Australian National Airlines Commission. To discuss a topical subject, during the recent festivities associated with the welcome extended to the Boeing 727 aircraft when they arrived in Australia, the managing director of Ansett Transport Industries Ltd. remarked, amongst other things, that this indicated the expansion of airlines and of the need for finance. He pointed out that while the total cost of taking over Australian National Airways Pty. Ltd. had been £3i million, that was the cost of only one new Boeing 727. That comparison illustrated how aircraft costs have increased over the years. The same comment may be made, of course, in regard to shipbuilding costs.
No debate on a matter such as this should be allowed to pass without reference to the splendid achievements of the Australian National Line. Those achievements are a source of great pride to mc personally and reflect tremendous credit on the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, the Commissioners, and especially Mr. Mercovich, the General Manager. The Commission’s report which has been presented to this Parliament is studded with references to wonderful achievements. As a representative of Tasmania, I can say that the Australian National Line is one of Tasmania’s greatest friends and allies. Since its advent, not only has it revolutionised our maritime services, but also it has given the people of Tasmania a standard of service which they had never previously enjoyed. The regularity, the reliability and the high standard of the services are appreciated very much by the people of Tasmania.
The Australian National Line has gone into competition with other shipping lines on the fairest of terms and has shown its ability to compete at every level. Perhaps, in the circumstances, there could be reservations concerning the terms, because restrictions have been imposed on the A.N.L. The inhibiting and circumscribing of the line so as to prevent it from performing the duties which I believe the people of Australia, and particularly the people of Tasmania, would like to see it perform, is a matter on which I want to develop my argument. During the last year we have had considerable controversy in Tasmania relating to the This matter bears on the competition provided for the Australian National Line by the Union Steamship Co. of New Zealand Ltd, which is operating the “ Seaway King “
Union Line was able to obtain promises - whether or not they were in the form of contracts, I do not know - that it would bc able to go into Hobart. Yet, strong pressure was being exerted on the Australian National Line to direct all its services to Hobart, against competition which had had the advantage of being organised before the “ Empress of Australia “ began to operate. At the time of the controversy I was asked what I thought would be the future schedules of the “ Empress, of Australia “. I felt quite certain in my mind that the matter would be dealt with efficiently and fairly by the members of the Commission. As things have’ turned out this year, the people of Tasmania are quite happy with the arrangement.
Under the Act as it is framed at present, the Commission is limited to borrowing for temporary purposes on overdraft with a maximum of £5 million. The Bill seeks to extend the sources from which funds may be obtained. Under the new proposals, the Commission will be able, subject to the necessary approval, to borrow money other than by bank overdraft, and also to borrow from the Treasurer out of moneys appropriated by the Parliament for the purpose. The very attractive report of the Commission for 1964 shows the liabilities of the A.N.L. They are: Bank overdraft £1,876,187, accounts payable, £885,666, accrued charges £557,458, provision for income tax £1,250, 000, and proposed dividend £985,507, a total of £5,554,818. It seems absolutely ridiculous that specific arrangements should be made for limiting the overdraft or borrowing capacity of the Line to £5 million when the report shows that there are current liabilities of more than £5i million.
The figures disclosed in the annual report are well worth quoting. During 1963 the Line carried coastal cargo amounting to 7,139,134 tons, compared with 6,046,040 tons in 1963 - an increase of 1,090,000 tons. Overseas cargo carried in 1963 amounted to 5,250 tons and was nil in 1964. I will have something to say about that later. lt is interesting to note that in 1963 the Line carried 90,968 passengers and in 1964 90,837 passengers. These figures show that it is working to its maximum carrying capacity as far as passengers are concerned.
The difference in the numbers carried in the two years is only a little more than 100. This indicates the popularity of the services provided, the regularity of the schedules, and the general attraction that the Line has for both business people and tourists. Its popularity has been sustained. In 1964, the Line made a profit before tax, of £2,265,847, compared with £2,089,932 in the previous year. This represents a gain. The Line pays income tax to the Commonwealth. For some reason or other, this Government believes that it must impose income tax on its own instrumentalities. It does so in the case of the Australian National Line, notwithstanding that the whole purpose of the Line is to try to hold freight rates so that shipping costs which become part of the costs of production of industry can be kept as low as possible. The Line has to borrow money and pay interest on the money it borrows. This imposes a considerable burden. It could borrow, perhaps, from the Commonwealth at favorable rates; but on the other hand, in an emergency it might have to go on the open market and pay high rates of interest. The Line paid £1,230,436 in income tax in 1963,-1964, but despite that it showed a net profit, after tax, of £1,035,411. The percentage of net profit to capital, after paying income tax, was 6.3 per cent, in 1964, compared with 8.2 per cent, in 1963.
The assets of the Line comprise ships, land, buildings, plant and equipment. Between 1963 and 1964 the value of the ships increased from £29,932,545 to £32,444,755 and the value of land and buildings increased from £658,548 to £1,148,868. During the past year the Line purchased eight acres of land at Mort Bay in Sydney on which to construct a passenger and cargo terminal.
Sitting suspended from 12.45 to 2.15 p.m.
– When the sitting was suspended I was reviewing the activities of the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission over the past year. In January 1964, the Commission launched the “ Empress of Australia “ and on 9th June it launched the “Musgrave Range” at the Whyalla shipyards. On 5th October 1963 the Commission launched the “ Jeparit “ at Brisbane and the vessel was commissioned on 4th February 1964. It has ordered two additional vehicle deck ships, one for the Melbourne-Brisbane trade and the other to operate between Melbourne and Sydney. The Commission has also conducted negotiations with a view to placing an order for a bulk carrier of 47,000 tons dead weight. The excellent report of the Commission for 1963-64 shows that the Australian National Line is being operated to the limit of the powers granted to the Commission by the Government and we have high hopes for its future.
I mentioned earlier that the Commission had purchased eight acres of land at Mort Bay, Sydney, and had let a contract for the construction of a passenger and cargo terminal on the site. On the figures available to me, I calculate that a considerable investment is represented by that land. In view of the bright future of the Australian National Line, there is a golden opportunity for the Government and the Commission to increase that investment by purchasing further areas of land in the immediate vicinity of the Mort Bay site. If the opportunity is not grasped now, it might never occur again. I understand that an area about twice the size of the land already bought by the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission is available for purchase now.
I strongly recommend that every consideration be given to the purchase of the land because there is no shadow of doubt that the Australian National Line has been established on such firm foundations that the Commission and its assets have become an invaluable part of our commercial and defence complex. This is more apparent in view of factors operating throughout Australia and, indeed, the world today. A reliable and well equipped shipping line is just as important to our defence system as it is to our trade and economy. The Australian National Line has a most promising future despite the administration of this Government. I foresee more progressive governments and I would not like to see inefficiency and circumscription of the Commission’s activities because of lack of foresight.
I hope that the Minister for Defence, in his reply, will express some opinions on the feasibility of my suggestion that more land be acquired at Mort Bay. It can be accepted that this will be the headquarters of the Australian National Line. The anticipated expansion of the Line’s activities in the coming year will take it into trading areas of Queensland that it did not service previously. The report of the Commission directs attention to the entry of the Australian National Line into the southern ports - North Queensland service. That alone illustrates my point that because of its character, this Line will be called upon to provide an essential coastal shipping service. I have seen no mention in the report, except in a negative way, of any expansion into the overseas shipping trade. In 1963, cargo carried overseas totalled 5,250 tons but there is no record of any overseas cargo having been carried in 1964. lt has been pointed out often that we must look to a situation in which we will have to protect and preserve our overseas trade balances in a keenly competitive world. We have to protect our economy in every way possible, and one way to do this most effectively is the transport of our evergrowing volume of exports. That need is related to my point of view that the basic facilities should be provided at the headquarters in Sydney for such an expansion of the Commission’s activities.
– The honorable senator will have to get the Seamen’s Union to grow up first.
– I feel that the Australian National Line, inspired by its objectives, can offer a new era in employeremployee relationships in that respect. By comparison, I believe, the Commission will show the conference lines and other lines run by private enterprise how to overcome the problems of employee-employer relationships by a proper approach. I have every confidence that that will be the experience.
I have already mentioned the importance of the Australian National Line to Tasmania. The “ Bass Trader “ which plies regularly between the mainland and Bell Bay, has become part of the everyday life of northern Tasmania. People in northern Tasmania who export to and import from the mainland have only words of praise for the service rendered by the “Bass Traders “ That statement applies also to the “ Princess of Tasmania”. The heavy demand for bookings on this ship continues. I think that that one point should be cleared up. I refer to the distribution of quotas to the various booking agencies. I gather that a lot of people make tentative bookings a long way in advance and when the bookings are co-ordinated, it is discovered that there are cross bookings which, because of the duplication, create vacancies that could have been used by people who genuinely wanted to travel at a time when heavy bookings caused them to abandon their intention. I suppose it is a matter of management and checking. It is an area that should be investigated to see that the people who are given such generous and elastic concessions by the Line do their utmost to ensure that the maximum use is made of every berth and other accommodation facilities on both the “ Princess of Tasmania “ and the “Empress of Australia”. In his review, the Chairman said -
For the past six years, Australian National Lino freight rates have been held, or reduced in certain trades, an achievement made possible, inter alia, by the efforts of the management and the staff afloat and ashore; by virtue of the additional revenue forthcoming from new tonnage paid for out of reserves and the full employment of the fleet, to which 1 have referred. This year, £3 million has been invested in the “ Empress of Australia “, “ Musgrave Range “ and the “ Jeparit “; and the terminals and other facilities to serve the needs of the fleet.
Upon the advent of the last two mentioned ships-
He referred to the “ Musgrave Range “ and the “ Jeparit “ - together with the “ Empress of Australia “, the Australian National Line will operate roll-on rolloff services embracing Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Launceston (Bell Bay), Devonport and Burnie. The “ Empress “ will also re-establish a passenger link between Sydney and Hobart after a lapse of 24 years.
The Hobart to Sydney service will certainly fill a long felt want. Another competitor has already entered the field, perhaps because of the stimulus provided by the A.N.L. Tasmania will gain from the services provided and 1 feel certain that there will be sufficient business to make these ventures profitable.
The advent of the roll-on roll-off ships has a tremendous impact on the Waterside Workers Federation. The number of waterside workers employed in Hobart has fallen to about half of its previous strength. The possibilities are that there will be a further reduction. The legislation which has already been introduced in this Parliament to provide for retirement benefits for waterside workers has made possible the implementation of a plan to see that the replacement of personnel on the waterfront has not been kept at a level as high as previously, so that the numbers have been reduced. Nevertheless, the new methods of loading and unloading have had. a very big impact on the port of Hobart where the salaries and wages received by the people who were regularly employed on the normal handling of Cargo have been drastically reduced. In many cases the services of waterside workers have been dispensed with.
I have quoted widely from the annual report from 1964 of the Australian National Line because I have wished to make the point that the great constructive factors within the policy of the A.N.L. should be given every encouragement by this Parliament. The figures for the’ operations of the Line show that it could compete with any other business organisation, and even excel in its activities. I commenced my speech by offering my congratulations to the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and the Commissioners, and also to Mr. Mercovich, the General Manager, for being able to carry on this splendid organisation in a manner that brings credit to themselves and can attract only praise from the people of Australia.
Apart from the reservation that the Opposition would prefer to see the amount of £10 million substituted for the. amount of £5 million,, so that the fullest possible scope for the activities of the Australian National Line may be created, the Opposition supports the measure.
– in reply - The Opposition does not oppose the measure before us, but proposes at the Committee stage of the debate to submit an amendment to increase the borrowing powers of the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission. Senator O’Byrne referred in his speech to a proposed amendment. I do not propose to discuss it now, but to take the opportunity at the Committee stage to give what I believe are very sound reasons why the proposal submitted by the Opposition should be rejected. I wish to make one or two extremely brief comments upon points referred to by Senator O’Byrne, apart from the proposed amendment. I heard with considerable satisfaction the terms he employed to refer to the Commission. I remind him that it was the present Government which established the Australian Coastal . Shipping Commission in 1956. .
– Was that after the Government could not sell its ships?
– This Government established the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission in 1956 arid authorised it to commence operations on 1st January 1957, after there had taken place in this chamber a debate which included, among other things, a point of criticism by the Opposition which today Senator O’Byrne finds to be a point of commendation. He referred to the valuation of ships. I have pointed to that reference in his speech, because when the proposal was before this House, the Opposition - and I think Senator O’Byrne was on this particular bandwaggon - took the opportunity to criticise . the Government for, as it said, making the Commission take on charge ships at excess cost. I notice that my friend, Senator Kennelly, has a volume of “ Hansard “ reports in front of him. He should be interested to study the passage to which I have referred. It took me some time to convince the Opposition that what the Government was doing was to make the ships available at fair average prices which, if operations were conducted economically, would allow the Commission a reasonable opportunity to make a profit. I have taken a snippet from Senator O’Byrne’s speech to relate it to what he subsequently said - that here is a story of growth, of expansion, of service to the community, of great constructive characteristics. I remind the honorable senator that the Commission is the creation of this Government and that over the years since its establishment, operating under an Act which was freely criticised by the Opposition, it has gone from strength to strength in competition with other shipping lines. It has built an extremely modern fleet and has done all the things that one would expect a normal commercial enterprise to do, even paying taxation. It has done all those things and has prospered to the extent indicated by Senator O’Byrne.
Having said that, I would be remiss in my duty if I did not remind honorable senators that when the Government set up this shipping line it did so in circumstances which were unusual to say the least. It is not the policy of this Government to move aggressively into an area occupied by private enterprise. It was made completely clear in 1956 that the Government’s purpose in establishing the Line was to make available to the people of Australia a service which, because of a variety of circumstances, private enterprise was unable to do. Having undertaken the establishment of this shipping line the Government then said that it was its first duty to see that the line was conducted efficiently and in accordance with competitive private enterprise principles. When Senator O’Byrne sees merit in the record of this organisation, I should say that the record is attributable to the fact that it has been run efficiently under efficient direction and under an act drawn up by this Government.
Senator O’Byrne spoke of some inhibitions and circumscriptions. Well, if his other remarks are right, this story about inhibitions does not live. There is no evidence in the accounts or the records that this organisation has suffered any inhibition. Its fleet has expanded and it has more than mct many requirements, especially in the provision of special ships for special jobs. No curtailment of its activities is revealed. Indeed, the Australian National Line has led the field in many ways. There has been no curtailment of its justifiable business requirements for capital or curtailment in respect of the availability of loans. I will refer to that matter specifically during the Committee stages.
There have been no limitations placed on the Line in respect of its requirements for the acquisition of assets. Senator O’Byrne referred to what he described as the need for more land at Mort Bay. The Australian Coastal Shipping Commission, with the full approval of the Government, has acquired all the land that it wants at Mort Bay. I do not know whether Senator O’Byrne puts himself in the position where he feels that he should go along to a meeting of the Commission and persuade it that it needs more land than it decided it needed. The Commission does not want to acquire more land at Mort Bay. It wanted more land in South Melbourne some little time ago. The Commission did not want the land immediately but as a commercial concern it saw the need for acquiring land next to its premises in the area over the river for subsequent expansion. The need was not immediate but the proposal came before the Minister for Shipping and Transport at that time and he recognised the proposal as a reasonable business requirement and did not object to the purchase of the land by the Commission. If the honorable senator speaks of inhibitions and circumscriptions it is up to him to show where they are. This government organisation has operated efficiently, I acknowledge, under a first class board of commissioners. Incidentally, with one exception, it is the same board as was appointed back in 1956. There has been only one alteration. Mr. David Bell, ®f Western Australia, has replaced the first West Australian member, Mr. Keith Edwards, who was the Vice-Chairman. As for the other members, they were all appointed by this Government.
In conclusion, all I want to do at this second reading stage is to say that I can agree with Senator. O’Byrne to this extent: The Government and I, and, I believe. Government supporters share the satisfaction that Senator O’Byrne feels at the success of this government organisation, a success which derives solely from the fact that the organisation is run, not as a Socialist organisation, but as a competitive business organisation on sound Liberal principles.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
Clauses 1 to 3 - by leave - taken together, and agreed to.
Section thirty of the Principal Act is repealed and the following section inserted in its stead: - “30. - (I.) The Commission may, with the approval of the Treasurer, borrow moneys from time to time in such amounts “ (6.) The amounts borrowed by the Commission and not repaid shall not at any time exceed Five million pounds.
.- I move -
Iti proposed section 30 (6.) leave out “ Five “, insert “Ten”.
My reasons for moving this amendment have already been canvassed and the Minister for’ Defence (Senator Paltridge) has given an undertaking that he will state the policy of the Government and tell us of the needs, of the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission. However, honorable senators on this side of the chamber consider that, in view of the inflationary process over the years since 1957, the expansion of the Commission’s activities, and the added responsibilities it will meet from time to time, the limit of the borrowing power to an amount of £5 million is too low. The Opposition considers that the administration of the Australian National Line has been proved to be in very safe hands and that the economic practices carried out by the Commission are such that it has been able to achieve success. We on this side feel that the extension of the limit of borrowings to £10 million would be in keeping with the provisions in similar legislation which have altered limits such as this over a period of years in order to keep pace with other organisations. I ask the Committee to support the amendment.
– The Government does not accept the amendment that has been moved by Senator O’Byrne. The honorable senator was not so emphatic when speaking to the amendment as he was earlier. What he has just said carried with it the implication that in one way or another the Government has kept the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission away from a source of funds to which it might legitimately expect access. That plainly is not so. Senator O’Byrne made some scant reference to the Commission’s accounts, but if one looks at and studies the accounts for a period of years it becomes apparent that the Commission could not have made the balanced progress that it has made if it had not had available a satisfactory and proper source of funds.
I remind honorable senators that this clause is the second amendment of the borrowing powers of the Commission. The Commission’s borrowing limit was increased in 1962 from a level of £1 million to the existing level of £5 million. The amendment contained in the clause is designed to widen the area from which that sum of £5 million might be raised. Oddly enough, the clause meets the specific request of the Commission itself. The Commission has not asked for an increased borrowing limit. The Commission, knowing full well how best to con duct its own affairs, accepts this limit of £5 million as one which it can service satisfactorily, at the same time being able to make proper, business arrangements for the replacement of its fleet and so ‘ forth. Knowing the members of the Commission as I do, I do not doubt for one minute that, if they had thought they needed a limit greater than £5 million, they would have said so. They have not expressed any such wish. It is the Australian Labour Party which has expressed the wish. I do not know whether Senator O’Byrne has been to a meeting of the Commission, but if he has he misunderstood what happened there. The Commission does not want an increase in its borrowing limit.
The honorable senator referred, in support of his argument, to the fact that at 30th June last the Commission had certain current liabilities. There is nothing odd about an organisation of this kind having liabilities as at 30th June.
– Except that the liabilities amounted to £5 million and that is the limit of the borrowing capacity of the Commission. It was a coincidence that the figures should have been the same.
– If the honorable senator looks more closely at what are described as current liabilities, he will find that they are not in every case immediate liabilities. Indeed, one is a provision of £1£ million for income tax, which may not become due for many months hence. That provision is carried in as a current liability, but that does not mean that it is a liability for a cash payment to be made on the knocker. If the honorable senator cares to relate to the current liabilities the cash flow that might be expected - he did not give any consideration to the cash flow - he might well find that there will be an availability of cash which will make it quite unnecessary for the Commission to ask for more by way of borrowing limit.
In advancing the argument that a limit of £5 million was not sufficient, the honorable senator apparently overlooked the fact that the current borrowing of the Commission does not run to £2 million. Yet he says that the Commission needs not £5 million but £10 million. All these facts fully support the view that I have expressed. Of greater importance still is the fact that the Commission, which to use Senator O’Byrne’s words runs its organisation very well - I do not disagree with him - has not asked, as I said earlier, for a borrowing limit of more than £5 million. If the Commission asks for more and if it can establish a cas& - I have no doubt that it would be able to support any request it might make - it will be listened to very sympathetically indeed. In the meantime we prefer to take the advice of this very successful Commission rather than that of the Labour Opposition.
Clause agreed to.
Remainder of ‘ Bill - by leave - taken as a whole, and agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.
Bill (on motion by Senator Paltridge) read a third time.
Debate resumed from 29th October (vide page 1403), on motion by Senator Anderson -
That the Bill be now read a second time.
– The Senate is being asked to consider two Bills affecting the dried fruits industry, one being a major Bill and the other a minor Bill. Perhaps they are both relatively minor, but they are important in that they are designed to give to the Dried Fruits Control Board greater flexibility in its operations. In brief, the main Bill is designed to give effect to the unanimous recommendations of the Dried Fruits Control Board. It provides for the insertion in the Dried Fruits Export Control Act of a provision to give the Board optional authority to appoint an additional member to the Board who would ex officio be the Chairman. This provision would be operative only where the Board decided, with the approval of the Minister, upon the appointment of the Chairman from outside the ordinary membership.
It is of passing interest to note that during the four years of its operations the Board has taken the view - no doubt the Senate would say it has done so wisely - that it is preferable to have somebody from outside the industry as Chairman of the Board.
I think that the Senate will agree that this is a step in the right direction and that it will give greater flexibility to the Board’s operations. The Bill also proposes to extend the term of the Chairman from one year to three years. This, too, is a practical proposition which should meet with the approval of the Senate. I very strongly believe that appointments of one year’s duration are impractical. They do not produce any sense pf permanency, and indeed it is no encouragement to persons who submit themselves for appointment to important offices when they know that within a very short period of months they will have to consider again the question of reappointment. My only criticism, if I were to criticise, would be that the term could have been extended even beyond three years. The Bill also provides for the Board to have authority to appoint a Deputy Chairman. This is a very minor machinery matter, admittedly, but it too has the essence of practicality. The Board is also to have authority to appoint executive committees and to delegate powers to such committees. This is a very satisfactory arrangement. It is rather surprising that during the Board’s operations extending over 40 years it has lacked the authority to do the necessary and ordinary things which are associated with the activities of such boards.
The second reading speech delivered by Senator Anderson, who represents the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr. Adermann) makes passing reference to the dried fruits stabilisation scheme. I, too, wish to make fleeting reference to the scheme and to express the hope that it is progressing in such a way as to meet satisfactorily the requirements of growers, particularly in my State, South Australia. Indeed, it might be considered that the time is appropriate for the Senate and another place to be given some indication of the progress of the scheme, which has been in operation for some time. I have a feeling, which is no doubt shared by honorable senators on both sides of the chamber, that already some weaknesses in the scheme may be manifesting themselves. Perhaps if the Senate had an opportunity to examine these matters, we would be enabled to suggest corrective measures. I hope that before long a report on the progress of the stabilisation scheme will be submitted to the Senate.
The second bill is purely a machinery measure, lt provides for the word “ Australian “ to be added to the title of the Dried Fruits Control Board and for the substitution of the terra “ raisins “ for the term “ lexias “. These are inconsequential but nevertheless necessary amendments. Australia being a party to the international pricing agreement, it is necessary for our Board to be identified positively with the name “ Australian “ in the title. The word “ raisins “ has become much more widely used, and it is much more descriptive than the word “ lexias “. The amendments are proper and in order.
It is fair to say that the Australian Labour Party has always taken a lively interest in the progress and welfare of the Australian dried fruits industry. I think it would be true to say that senators on both sides of the chamber, particularly from Victoria and South Australia, where the bulk of the dried fruits industry is located, have taken a particular interest in this field. It is pleasing to notice, both in the Senate and in another place, in the past twelve months or so, increasing interest in, and recognition of, the valuable part that this industry plays in the field of exports and Australia’s overseas balances. This is an extremely valuable primary industry, and both chambers of the Federal Parliament are rapidly recognising it as such.
The only other matter to which I wish to refer is the pending retirement of the present Chairman of the Dried Fruits Control Board, Mr. Eugene Gorman Q.C. I think it would be remiss of me not to take this opportunity to express appreciation, which I know is shared by other members of the Opposition and Government Senators, of the efforts that Mr. Gorman has made through the years and of his great contribution not only to the Board’s operations but to the Australian dried fruits industry generally. Indeed, it would be true to say that he has made a notable contribution in the field of world trade, inasmuch as he, more than any other person, was responsible for the present international pricing arrangement, which I think could be described as a sort of worldwide rationalisation of the dried fruits industry. Its value is recognised by all- of the countries which subscribe to it. When Mr. Gorman retires, as I believe he will within the next 12 months, it will bc with the knowledge that he has made a contribution, on both a national a’nd an international basis, to the dried fruits industry, which will be a monument to him down the years. I conclude by stating that these measures have the wholehearted concurrence of the Opposition.
– in reply - It is pleasing to note that the Opposition supports this legislation. I hasten to endorse the reference by Senator Toohey to the work of Mr. Eugene Gorman Q.C, the Chairman of the Dried Fruits Control Board. Over the years he has made a tremendous contribution to the industry. When he leaves the Board, it will be with the knowledge that he has .made a great contribution not only to the industry but also to the economic structure of Australia at large. We know that this industry assists our overseas reserves to the extent of £8 million or £9 million a year and that there is a degree of stability which augers well for the future.
Senator Toohey outlined some of the main features of the Bill. I do not propose to canvass them again because they were stated fairly clearly in my second reading speech. However, he raised one query on the effect of the stabilisation scheme. As he and other honorable senators know, this stabilisation scheme has been in operation only since May 1964. That is a rather short period on which to base any judgment but I am happy to say, on the advice of my officers, that, speaking in the broad, the scheme has been an unqualified success. It appears that it will function in the very best interests of the people engaged in the industry. It is obvious that adjustments will have to be made as the scheme progresses. The fact that this Bill proposes to alter the structure of the Board is evidence of the need that arises from time to time to make’ adjustments. In any stabilisation scheme pockets of problems will arise. The important thing is to know that you have a Board which is well constructed, knowledgeable in its. activities and capable of meeting those situations.
Prices have been stabilised in our export markets under the international pricing agreement concluded by the industries of Turkey, Greece and Australia. Our main pack - sultanas - is selling well. There was an all time record pack of this variety in 1964 and another six months or so may elapse before the pool will be able to make a complete assessment of the position. It is very pleasing to know that the Opposition supports the Bill. I am grateful for the Opposition’s co-operation in giving it a speedy passage.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second itme
.- It is not my intention to delay the Committee at any length. I have had the honour to know Mr. Eugene Gorman for a long period, and it gives me very great pleasure to learn what he has done for this industry and the very great interest that he has displayed in it. 1 met him recently in London, and in the course of conversation I said to him :”How are things?” He replied: “I think I have sold Australia’s dried fruits at such a price that I am liable to get into trouble”. Having known him for years, I thought then that if anyone could get in and out of trouble it was this man.
I regret that he desires to retire. The years have treated him very well, and if he persists in his attitude Australia will lose a wonderful servant and one who has rendered excellent service to an industry that has been more or less up and down, if I may use that term, for many years. I. rose only to say how pleased I am with his work. I hope that before the time comes next year when he has stated that he will retire he will have given his decision further consideration. I know of no other industry in this country which needs a man of Mr. Gorman’s selling ability. With that I close, expressing delight at the work that Mr. Gorman has done,
– Apropos of the point so well taken by Senator Kennelly, let me say that Mr. Eugene Gorman was really the chief architect of the international pricing agreement. That is a wonderful achievement, in which he can take great pride and joy.
Bill agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.
Bill (on motion by Senator Anderson) read a third time.
Consideration resumed from 29th October (vide page 1404), on motion by Senator Anderson -
That the Bill be now read a second time.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.
Debate resumed from 29th October (vide page 1405), on motion by Senator Gorton -
That the Bill be now read a second time.
– The Opposition supports this Bill, which is designed to reconstitute the statutory office of Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth, an office which was created by the SolicitorGeneral Act 1916. Apparently it has been the Government’s intention for some time - as was announced last year - that upon the retirement of Sir Kenneth Bailey from the office of Solicitor-General the two posts of Secretary to the Attorney-General’s Department and Solicitor-General would be separated. Up till the present time those two posts have been occupied by the one person. Indeed, honorable senators will recall that there have been only three occupants of the position of Solicitor-General. Each of them has made a distinguished contribution to the public life of the country and to the development of the Commonwealth interest in the law and of its position in the law ever since 1916. The first Solicitor-General was Sir Robert Garran, and later there was Sir George Knowles. Then there was Sir Kenneth Bailey, who recently retired and who is now Australia’s High Commissioner in Canada. The standards set by those gentlemen in the discharge of the duties of this important post were very high indeed.
The Opposition supports the measure. We believe that it is in the interests of the administration of justice. It is proper that these offices have been separated and that h is now proposed to appoint the SolicitorGeneral to be the second law officer of the Commonwealth after the Attorney-General. Clause 12 of the Bill sets out the proposed functions of the Solicitor-General. They are -
to act as counsel for -
It will be seen that this is a very challenging office and one that will carry heavy responsibility. It will provide an opportunity to the person appointed to it to carry out extremely important functions on behalf of the Commonwealth and to devote his full time to acting as senior counsel for the Commonwealth. He will not be bogged down in the heavy administrative duties that pertain to the position of permanent head of an important department of State. He will be able to concentrate on the office of senior Crown counsel.
The creation of this position is following the example of the States of New South Wales and Victoria, in which the office of Solicitor-General is separated from that of head of the Attorney-General’s Department. In my own State of Victoria, the development was comparatively recent. It was not until about 1952 that Victoria appointed a Solicitor-General to carry out, in the State sphere, the type of functions that arc to be entrusted to the SolicitorGeneral appointed under this Bill. Sir Henry Winneke was the first occupant of that important position and he held it until his recent appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria. The creation of the separate office of Solicitor-General was certainly an important step forward in the administration of the law in Victoria.
I am not so familiar with the office of Solicitor-General in New South Wales, but it is my understanding that the position is completely separated from administrative duties, and that it is a comparable position to that now being created by this Bill.
– That is right.
– My colleague, Senator Murphy, informs me that I have stated the position accurately. I do not propose to delay the Senate with a detailed examination of the provisions of the Bill. Proper provision seems to have been made for pension rights and, in the event of an appointment not being renewed, for retirement at the end of the first period of appointment after seven years. Clause 16 provides for the payment of a lump sum equal to twice the amount of the annual salary as at the expiration of the term of the appointment. To my mind it is not clear whether that is a retiring allowance so that only a small portion of it would attract taxation, or whether it is to be regarded as money earned in the year in which it is actually paid. I do not know whether the Minister for Works (Senator Gorton) is in a position to elucidate that point. The terms of the clause are not specific on that matter.
I note that, although under clause 17 the Attorney-General has the power of delegation of many matters to the SolicitorGeneral, it is not proposed to delegate to him the Attorney-General’s powers under the Telephonic Communications (Interception) Act 1960. That provision merely follows what was stated in the 1960 Act where there was a specific exclusion of the delegation under the Solicitor-General Act of 1916. I do not think it alters the position, but continues it as it was prior to the introduction of this Bill. We welcome the Bill and we support it. We trust that it will open the way for the appointment of a distinguished legal figure to this important office in the administration of law in the Commonwealth.
– I also welcome the Bill and, from my reading of it, I admire the effort of the Government to get a really first class person for this position. I have been very interested in the remarks of Senator Cohen. With the experience he has had at the Victorian Bar, his contribution to the debate was most worthy and useful. At the present time, the offices of Solicitor-General and head of the Attorney-General’s Department are combined. As a consequence, no matter how competent the holder of the offices may be, it is not possible for him to fulfil both offices with the dexterity and attention to detail that they require.
There has been an enormous increase in the amount of work carried out by the Attorney-General’s Department over recent years. Within the last three or four years there has been work in connection with the matrimonial causes legislation. The drafting of the legislation involved attention to detail to ensure that it would work while it was at the teething stage. I believe that that legislation is working well now, and the permanent head of the Attorney-General’s Department can take great credit for that fact. There has been an enormous amount of detail in connection with bankruptcy legislation, and also there have been the efforts of the Commonwealth to evolve legislation in conformity with State legislation. I refer to the proposed company legislation in that regard. So it is apparent to me that this separation of functions is long overdue, and I welcome it.
I also welcome it for another reason. There will now be vast scope for the permanent head to ensure the adequate training of the personnel of his Department. Some may say that that should be comparatively easy, because most of the top jobs in the Attorney-General’s Department can be filled by lawyers - practising solicitors who can be recruited from the States. That may well be so in what might be called the advising section of the Department, but there is a section which has to do with parliamentary drafting and the drafting of regulations, agreements and treaties. It is most difficult to recruit from outside persons skilled in such drafting work. It might be possible to recruit some from the drafting sections of the State Attorneys-General, but in doing that the Commonwealth would be denuding the States of experienced and rather precious personnel.
I should like to think that the separation of these offices will give some hope that in the future the permanent head of the Department - who will be left with mainly administrative work - will be able to pay some attention to the training of draftsmen for parliamentary and regulation work. I believe, that these people will have to be trained in the atmosphere of the Commonwealth. As honorable senators will appreciate, there is a jargon used by draftsmen that can be learnt only by being a draftsman. This is very important, because there is a tendency in legislation coming before the Parliament now to leave a wide discretion to persons such as the Commissioner of Taxation. I believe that the tendency to leave a wide discretion in the hands of such dignitaries exists only because draftsmen have not been able to find precise words for the Parliament to put into legislation. This is particularly noticeable at the end of a series of sittings of the Parliament, when there is a rush of legislation. It would be inhuman to expect the present trained staff of the Attorney-General’s Department adequately to cope with the requirements of the Parliament at such a time. This is a major problem that will have to be attacked by the Attorney-General’s Department. I welcome the fact that this division will provide the opportunity to concentrate on a matter that I regard as being of supreme importance.
I pay a tribute to the work being done by the present Parliamentary Draftsman and his staff, but I think the time has come when the Department should concentrate on providing more adequate training and on making it possible for young men to gain the experience which would enable them to fill positions that cannot be filled by personnel recruited from outside. For this reason - a minor reason, some might say - I welcome the Bill. It will enable the permanent head to concentrate . some of his energies along the lines I have indicated.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
.- I ask whether the Minister could help me on the point I raised in relation to clause 16.
– Senator Cohen, being a Queen’s Counsel, will understand that I cannot give any undertaking in this, matter, and that even if I did give an undertaking it would not be of any legal significance. AH I can do is direct the honorable senators attention to section 26 (d) of the Income Tax and Social Services Contribution Assessment Act, which provides -
The assessable income of a taxpayer shall include - (d) live per centum of the capital amount of any allowance, gratuity or compensation where that amount is paid in a lump sum in consequence of retirement from, or the termination of, any office or employment . . .
.- I did not raise the question in order to anticipate a decision that the Commissioner of Taxation might give at some date in the remote future, but merely to see whether the matter could be put beyond argument. I should have thought that it was the intention of the Government to make this a retiring allowance in the real sense.
[3.32], - I am interested in this matter from the viewpoint of attracting to this important position the most highly qualified person possible. One of the inducements for a person to accept appointment for seven years will be, as the Minister for Works (Senator Gorton) pointed out in his second reading speech, that if the appointment is not renewed at the end of that time he will get a payment in respect of a further two years to enable htm to re-establish himself in practice. That, unquestionably, will be one of the great inducements to a person with high qualifications to accept the office. If there is a doubt at this stage as to whether the amount to be paid will be treated as a retiring allowance, and it is thought that it may have to bc included in the officer’s income tax return for the year in which he receives the payment, a prospective applicant might well bc discouraged. It is all very well to say that he will get two years’ salary, but if that sum has to be taxed in the year of receipt the effect will be that he will lose two-thirds of it.
I lake it that the Parliament intends, by approving of this measure, to offer a substantial inducement to a person of outstanding qualifications, but if the net result is that he finishes up with one-third of the amount in his hands, and the Treasurer of the Commonwealth gets back the other two-thirds, this will not be much of an inducement. One does not expect the Minister to give a legal opinion on the matter and say whether the payment fits the description of a retiring allowance, a gratuity or whatever words are used in the Income Tax and Social Services Contribution Assessment Act, but I suggest it would be wise at this stage to describe the payment in the terms that are used in the section of the act from which the Minister has just read. I am perfectly certain his advisers could add a word or two to this provision which merely states now that the person concerned has to be paid an amount equal to twice the amount of his annual salary. If the words “ by way of retiring allowance “ were added, that would tend to project the meaning clearly in the terms of the income tax legislation. Would it not be possible to do something of that sort so that there would be no doubt about it? I think the opportunities for getting the best candidates might be restricted unless they are assured on that point.
– Certainly if there were any need for further clarification of something which most honorable senators would consider to be clear already except in the most extraordinary circumstances, I would obviously have to consult the AttorneyGeneral (Mr. Snedden). I presume also that before one put into a specific act, in respect of a specific lump sum payment on retirement, the sort of words envisaged by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna) and perhaps by Senator Cohen, one would need to consider whether writing that sort of provision into one act might not require such a provision to be put into all acts covering retiring allowances so that there would be no possible chance later of anybody saying; “This has been written into one act but not into another, so it does not necessarily apply “. These are matters I would have to discuss with the AttorneyGeneral. I will ask the Minister whether he and his legal advisers consider there is doubt on this matter. I doubt very much that there will be any difficulty from a practical point of view in recruiting a suitable person to this position because of any fear he might have about the words as they stand in the Bill.
Senator MeKENNA (Tasmania. - Leader of the Opposition) [3.38]. - All I can say to the Minister for Works (Senator Gorton) is that I think there is a real fear and the Government must be prepared to face up to a specific question from any applicant.
What does the Bill mean in relation to this matter? Is the amount taxable or not? That is one of the first questions a man of any intelligence must ask and having asked it, he would be no more satisfied with the answer the Minister has given than I am satisfied with it now. I think this matter should be put beyond doubt. I do not see the validity of the Minister’s argument that if you specify that this particular payment is by way of a retiring allowance, doubt will be thrown on other measures that provide retirement allowances. If the acts so described them, the argument to which the Minister has addressed himself would not arise.
– What is the definition of a retirement allowance in the income tax act?
– I do not think it is used.
– We should have the words that are used in the Income Tax and Social Services Contribution Assessment Act.
– The Minister put before us a little while ago the words that are used in the income tax measure. “ By way of gratuity “ and “ retiring allowance “ were two of the terms I have in mind.
– I did not give the definition of a retirement allowance.
– No, but reference was made to the terms “ retiring allowance “ and “gratuity”. If the Government at this point of time described the payment, it would be sufficient. At present it is merely mentioned as a payment without any description.
– All you would need would be a provision that this was to be paid by way of retirement allowance?
– That is the suggestion I am making. Then the Commissioner of Taxation would know what was intended. I suggest that it should be put beyond all doubt. Frankly, I think the Government is making a mistake in not endeavouring to put the matter beyond all doubt.
.- I find myself in a strange legal position on this matter, as with my legal knowledge I am not fully qualified to cope with it. This question arose quite suddenly and without warning. 1 should like to make it clear that I did not say I thought there was any doubt on the matter to which the Leader of the Opposition has referred. I merely indicated that anything that 1, or indeed any of us, said on this matter one way or the other has no real significance or ultimate legal validity. I do not know whether there would be any other implications as a result of the sort of amendment suggested by the Leader of the Opposition or whether it would affect other measures. I would have to discuss such matters with the Attorney-General or his advisers before I could come to a firm conclusion that any such changes should be made in the Bill.
Bill agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.
Bill read a third time.
Debate resumed from 29th October (vide page 1443), on motion by Senator Gorton -
That the Bill be now read a second lime.
.- I regret that the Opposition is unable to look as benignly upon this measure and to give it the same bipartisan support as it did in the case of the previous measure. The Bill that is now before the Senate raises some important questions although, on the face of it, it is merely a Bill to increase the number of puisne judges of the Commonwealth Industrial Court from three to four. At present the Bench of the Commonwealth Industrial Court consists of the Chief Judge and three puisne judges. Originally when the Court was first constituted in 1956 following the decision in the famous Boilermakers case, it was constituted separately from the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. At that time three appointments were made - a Chief Judge and two puisne judges. In 1960, following the retirement of Mr. Justice Morgan, two additional puisne judges were appointed to the Commonwealth Industrial Court after a bill had been passed by this Parliament increasing the number of judges from two to three. The position has remained so until today and the Parliament is now asked to increase that number again by one.
An examination of the second reading speech of the Minister for Works (Senator Gorton) in support of the Bill leads to a number of observations on the reasons for this appointment. The Minister said first that the number of judges was shown to be insufficient because of a number of other commitments that judges of the Commonwealth Industrial Court had to fulfil. Some of them are relieving judges of the Supreme Courts of the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. Further, they are judges of the Supreme Courts of the smaller external Territories such as Cocos Island, Christmas Island and Norfolk Island. The Minister says that in addition, the Chief Judge has undertaken a number of extra judicial assignments, including presiding under the Navigation Act over courts of marine inquiry, presiding over boards of accident inquiry under the Air Navigation Regulations, acting as chairman of the committee appointed to review the copyright law of the Commonwealth and as arbitrator under section 13a of the Copyright Act.
– A whole lot of miscellaneous functions.
– That is correct. More recently the Chief Judge acted as royal commissioner in the inquiry into the collision between the “Voyager” and the “ Melbourne “. It is put by the Minister that these assignments which have been undertaken by the Chief Judge - and other assignments such as that undertaken by Mr. Justice Eggleston in presiding over an inquiry into academic salaries - are calls made upon the time of the judges and presumably are to count as part of their ordinary time. The Minister mentions that these matters have accentuated a further difficulty which I think is the kernel of the matter: There is some difficulty at times in assembling a bench of three judges in order to deal with industrial cases under the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act. The Act of course does not require a bench of three judges. Any two judges of the Court can exercise its jurisdiction and in a number of important matters the jurisdiction of the Court can be exercised by a single judge. Those matters in respect of which the Court’s jurisdiction can be exercised by a single judge are referred to in section 104 of the Act, which is not amended by this legislation. Section 1 04 (1 . ) states-
Subject to this Act, the jurisdiction of the Court shall be exercised by not less than two judges.
It is not proposed, if the legislation before us is passed, to increase to three the number of judges necessary to constitute a court. On the contrary, section 104 (1.) is left unaltered and section 104(2.), which sets out the various matters in respect of which jurisdiction may be exercised by a single judge, is similarly left unaffected. Some very important matters can be dealt with by a single judge. I refer to proceedings for offences against section 5 of the Act, the section which deals with discrimination against unions, injury to employees on account of industrial action and so on.
Section 104, as I have said, deals with those matters that can be dealt with by a single judge, and enumerates these things: the interpretation of an award; the power referred to in paragraph (d) of sub-section (I.) of section 109 of the Act, which relates to the eligibility of persons to become or remain members of organisations; and the powers of the Court under sections 140 and 141, which are extremely important. Section 141 deals with applications to compel observance of the rules of a registered organisation. For practical purposes, under this Act “ registered organisation “ means a union. Section 140 deals with the disallowance of rules of an organisation, which is another extremely important matter in which one judge can exercise the jurisdiction of the Court. I mention these points to show that it is not particularly the importance of the matters that requires a full court. Important and complicated matters are dealt with under the various sections of the Act that I have enumerated. In respect of those matters, the jurisdiction of the Court can be exercised by a single judge. But in respect of matters under the punitive sections of the Act, the Court must be constituted by not fewer than two judges.
In substance, what the Minister for Works, who is in charge of the Bill, said in his second reading speech was that in order to be able to assemble a court to hear industrial cases, often at short notice, an additional judge should be appointed to give the bench a sufficient number of judges to enable the judges to discharge their industrial duties as well as their other duties as judges of the courts of the
Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and the smaller island Territories.
The Minister also mentioned that a call is now being made to supply a judge to be a member of the court of appeal in Fiji. One wonders what situation has given rise to that call, and why Australian judges, who are appointed by the Australian Government to carry out functions pertaining to the administration of Commonwealth laws, should be required to make themselves available, perhaps three times a year for two or more weeks at a time, to sit as members of the court of appeal in Fiji. We have not been given any explanation of why it should be necessary either for the court of appeal in Fiji to make the call or for our judges to respond to such a call.
All in all, what is revealed in the Minister’s second reading speech is that there is a variety of obligations - of which, only one, seems to be essential to the purpose for which the Commonwealth Industrial Court was established; that is, to exercise the judicial power of the Commonwealth in matters relating to conciliation and arbitration, or matters arising under placitum (xxxv.) of section 51 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia.
That brings me to the case that I wish to make against this Bill. The Opposition opposes the appointment of an additional judge on this occasion, because of its fundamental approach to that part of the law which is to take up a good deal of the judge’s time. We have heard of the nonindustrial matters which will take up much of the judge’s time, but we have not heard specifically about the use of the penal provisions of the Act, particularly sections 109 and 111, which has increased greatly over the last two or three years. Penalties have been inflicted on trade unionists who have been said to be in breach of their obligation to continue to work under the terms of their awards.
Our case on this point is very simple. If these sections were repealed, as we would like them to be repealed and as we would repeal them on taking office as a Labour government, there would be ample time for the judges to do all the work that could possibly be found for them under the Act. I illustrate that by referring to the trend over recent years. It will be recalled that sections 109 and 111 - the so-called penal provisions of the legislation - were introduced in 1951 over the most strenuous opposition from the parliamentary Opposition. I believe that it is necessary to refer briefly to those provisions so that honorable senators will see what our argument is all about. Section 1 09 of the Act gives the Commonwealth Industrial Court the power to order compliance with an award proved to the satisfaction of the Court to have been broken or not observed, and the power to enjoin - that is, to issue an injunction against - an organisation or person from committing or continuing a contravention of the Act or a breach or non-observance of an award.
The procedure under the legislation is this: Where there is a bans clause in an award - since 1950 there has been a bans clause in the Metal Trades Award, in respect of which there has been a good deal of industrial unrest - the employer may, when employees are on strike for any reason, take the union to the Commonwealth Industrial Court and apply under section 109 of the Act for an order enjoining compliance with the award or, in other words, for an order for the men to go back to work under pain of penalty. The penalty is a maximum fine of £500 for being in contempt of court.
Prior to this legislation there was always in the Act section 41 or its equivalent which gave the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission the power to fix maximum penalties for a breach or nonobservance of any term of an award, the penalty not to exceed £100 in the case of an organisation or an employer who was not a member of an organisation bound by the award, or £10 in the case of a member of an organisation. The effect of sections 109 and 111, which confer on the Commonwealth Industrial Court the power to punish for contempt and fix the penalties, is that an employer need not seek the imposition of a penalty on a union for the mere non-observance of an award but may go straight to the Industrial Court and get an order or injunction. From that point on, what otherwise would have been the simple industrial situation of men being on strike or withholding their labour is magnified into a contempt of court.
– I want to understand this. What is the difference? If an award contains a clause which provides that there shall be no strike, it has the effect of a bans clause. What is the difference between a breach of that clause and the description of it as being a contempt of court?
– There is all the difference in the world. In one case it is a breach of an award and there would be an appropriate penalty for that breach. The essential difference is that now the party concerned, instead of merely being liable to a penalty for failing to obey an award, can be arraigned before the Court for contempt.
– Because the Court has given them a warning in the form of an injunction.
– I will come to that. That is the first distinction, but the important thing is that the general objects of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act have been set out as including -
In a system which is ostensibly pledged to that purpose, and which the Opposition supports, there should be no need to have recourse to penal provisions.
– If both parties would agree to observe the award.
– There is, of course, provision for compulsory conferences, but there is no compulsion on the employer to approach the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission and ask for a conference or seek an amicable settlement of the agreement. The employer can ignore any possibility of negotiation or arbitration; he can go straight to the Industrial Court and seek an injunction - and he usually gets it.
– And the employee can go straight to the Commission and ask for a variation or a new award.
– Of course he can, but the employee does not have the power to seek retribution by way of contempt proceedings in the way that an employer has, because the situation does not arise in that way.
– Cannot any union get an injunction against a lockout?
– It can get an injunction against the lockout, but it must show that there is a lockout - otherwise it does not get anywhere.
I want to show that when the contempt provision of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act first came into operation in 1951 it was opposed by all responsible spokesmen on the Opposition side and in the trade union movement because it was not a genuine contribution to conciliation and to better relations between employer and employee. One can see from records of the debate that responsible spokesmen for the trade union movement and for the political Labour Party - men such as the late respected Mr. Percy Clarey - warned the Government that if this measure became law it would slow down the conciliation work of the then court and once again cause long delays in the settlement of industrial disputes, because it would throw the weight of the Government behind the employers in their efforts to discipline the unions. Mr. Clarey warned that the measure would engender greater hostility and suspicion and would make the maintenance of the smooth operation of our industries more difficult than ever. He said that it would fail to achieve its objectives.
The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator McKenna) described the penalties inflicted by the Act as vicious. He complained that the introduction of coercion into conciliation and arbitration was wrong in principle and he warned the Government that it was making a grave error. That was the initial step. But he warned also that the provision would fail because it would be opposed by the hostility of the entire trade union movement and that it would do more to discredit industrial arbitration than anything else could possibly do. Those words were prophetic. In recent years the chickens have come home to roost. In order to maintain this system, in order to attempt to make this system effective, the employers have resorted increasingly to the use of the penal provisions and have frustrated conciliation and arbitration. That is the first matter. We can go back to 1951 and read what was said then. To be fair to the Minister in charge of the Bill, Senator Gorton, at that stage he said that he was not moved by the claim that this was an attack on the right to strike because he held that there no longer exists in Australia, in practice, any untrammelled right to strike.
It is interesting to see the increasing use that has been made of these penal provisions by the employers since 1951 when the system first began. They have had no more success in solving disputes than they would have had through immediate recourse to conciliation and arbitration.
For the sake of brevity I shall refer to an article in the October 1963 issue of the “ Journal of Industrial Relations “. It is by Professor J. E. Isaac, Professor of Economics at the Melbourne University and it. is a thoughtful article which contains a number of interesting suggestions on the subject of penal provisions under the Commonwealth arbitration system. I am not concerned especially to discuss the implications of the article, but he does provide an interesting short summary, based upon statistics supplied by the Department of Labour and National Service, of the development of the system. He states -
Since 1961, the Commonwealth penal provisions have been administered more frequently, more heavily and more widely than in any previous period. In the 12 years ending 1961 there were 203 application of orders under section 109 and its precursor section 29. Of these, 109 orders were made absolute. These represent an annual average of 17 and 9 respectively and may be compared with 67 am’ 50 for 1962, in which year a larger variety of unions than usual, numbering 20, were involved as respondents in these proceedings. And the annual average for the first half of 1963 is nearly twice the corresponding figures for 1962. In the same 12 years, SO fines were imposed . . amounting to £1-3,800. In 1962, there were 28 fines amounting to £9,150. More than half of this amount was incurred by the Waterside Workers Federation, the rest being borne by eight other unions. And in the first half of 1963, 23 fines amounting to £9,200 were imposed.
That takes us to the middle of 1963. I asked a question of the Minister of Labour and National Service concerning the period from 1st July 1963 to 15th May 1964. It emerges from the Minister’s answer given on 11th August 1964 that between July and December 1963, there were 13 applications by organisations of employers for orders under section 109, and none by organisations of employees. Of the thirteen applications six were granted, six were refused and one was adjourned.
During the next period there were 25 applications by employers and none by employees. Of the 25 applications, 12 were granted, 3 were refused and 10 were adjourned. So between July 1963 and May 1964, there were 38 applications, all by employers. In the second half of 1963, 20 penalties for contempt were imposed and in the first half of 1964, 31 penalties for contempt were imposed. The fines totalled £12,500. Not one application was made by employee organisations; all were made by employer organisations. In many of these cases, fines were imposed and additional severe penalties by way of costs were imposed. Indeed, one startling feature is that the system is used to impose two penalties on the employees - fines and then large amounts for costs of the proceedings. There are two proceedings. The first is taken under section 109, when an injunction is made with costs, and the costs are always substantial. Later, the contempt proceedings are brought on and again there are penalties with substantial costs.
The fines imposed on unions for striking from 1951, when the penal provisions were first used, to 1961 total only £13,800. So far this year, the 91 fines imposed on 14 unions have amounted to £27,250. In addition, since 1950, the unions that have been fined have been ordered to pay more than £33,000 as their share of the employers’ legal costs in court actions. So it is very obvious that substantial penalties have been inflicted on the unions under these provisions. The employers have apparently adopted the policy, which the Government either supports or does not sufficiently resist, of using the court to try to put the unions on the wrong foot, to bleed the unions white, to teach them that striking does not pay and to instil discipline into them. The Government is either encouraging the employers or is not attempting with sufficient vigour to dissuade them from making these applications to the Court. “ This is a system that breeds upon itself. In May of this year, the Australian Council of Trade Unions asked the Government to repeal these provisions. Of course, counter-representations were made by the employers, who thought that the Government ought to get a bit tougher and ought to tighten the legislation to make striking an absolutely impermissible way of trying to attain industrial objectives. By September of this year - I think the position is still the same - the president of the A.C.T.U. had to say: “We are the ones who should be complaining. We met the Prime Minister and the Minister for Labour and National Service on 19th May and sought repeal of these provisions, but so far we have not received a reply.” Sections 109 and 111 permit an erroneous and repressive policy to be used. Our view is that the Government should be more positive in encouraging conciliation and should discourage the use of the Commonwealth Industrial Court as a vehicle through which fines can be imposed on unions that are on strike or in breach of an award. The Government should accede to the requests of the A.C.T.U. for repeal of the penal provisions. The requests have the support of the Opposition, but so far have not met with success. We contend that the provisions should be repealed. We should do away with this element of extreme coercion in dealing with industrial disputes. We recognise that the Government may not go as far as that, and we are not putting forward alternative proposals other than the repeal of these provisions. However, we note that the New South Wales Government, for example, which does not have a contempt provision but does have under its legislation certain provisions enabling injunctions to be issued, recently amended its law to provide that certain preliminary steps have to be undertaken before any application can be made to the Industrial Commission of New South Wales for an injunction, and one of the important provisions is that an employer seeking the intervention of the court has to satisfy the court that he has made a bona fide attempt to conciliate the dispute.
– Would you outlaw strikes except on such a condition?
– I think that the right to strike is one of the fundamental liberties of human beings. I do not say that it should be exercised capriciously. We on our side are in favour of conciliation and arbitration, because strikes bring hardship to everybody. I do not concede that under any conditions there should be any absolute prohibition on the right to strike. I think that ultimately a man must have the right to refuse his labour. That is a position from which we will not retreat.
– You should not advocate it.
– I am not advocating strikes. I am putting that there is a need for an alternative, constructive industrial policy. The Government should have an alternative approach to the matter, either by repealing the clauses or by making certain preconditions. At the moment, the jurisdiction of the court does not depend upon the failure of any prior attempt to conciliate and arbitrate. It can be invoked automatically as soon as the employer feels that he has a case based upon a breach or nonobservance of the bans clause in the award or any other clause.
Finally, the Government itself can pull its supporters off. It should abstain from offering tacit encouragement or open encouragement to employers to approach the Industrial Court to secure penalties and to try . to put the workers on the wrong foot and in contempt of court. If a more constructive, and positive policy emerges, of course, there will be more likelihood of industrial peace. The case that we make on this Bill is that if there is less recourse to the penal provisions of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act through any one of these, various possible avenues of alleviating the position - we suggest by repealing these oppressive provisions - if there is this alternative, constructive and positive approach to the problem, more judges for the Court will not be needed, because this part of the work will cease to occupy the very large amount of the Court’s time that it now occupies. An increase in the number of judges at present on this bench would not be needed if a different approach and a different policy were adopted by the Government with respect to the penal provisions. That is the main reason why we solidly oppose the extra appointment to the bench at this stage.
I think it is proper to mention one other matter in this debate, because the Minister relies on the fact that the judges have other assignments - other demands on their time. He mentions the particular assignments, including a royal commission, undertaken by the Chief Judge of the Court, I think it is fair to say that there is a very solid body of opinion in the community, and certainly in the legal profession, that judges should not undertake royal commissions. This is not something that I am raising as though it were some strong personal opinion. Ever since 1923 the Supreme Court of Victoria has taken a pretty consistent stand that its judges should not be required to sit as royal commissioners. In 1923 the then Chief Justice of Victoria, Sir William Irvine, writing on behalf of the whole Supreme Court Bench refused a request to give leave to one of the judges to sit as a royal commissioner. Sir William Irvine wrote as follows -
The duty of His Majesty’s Judges is to hear and determine issues of fact and of law arising between the King and a subject, or between subject and subject presented in a form enabling judgment to be passed upon them, and when passed to be enforced by process of law. There begins and ends the function of the Judiciary. It is mainly due to the fact that, in modern times at least, the Judges in all British communities have, except in rare cases, confined themselves to this function, that they have attained, and still retain, the confidence of the people. Parliament, supported by a wise public opinion, has jealously guarded the Bench from the danger of being drawn into the region of political controversy. Nor is this salutary tradition confined to matters of an actual or direct political character, but it extends to informal inquiries, which, though presenting on their face some features of a judicial character, result in no enforceable judgment, but only in findings of fact which are not conclusive and expressions of opinion which are likely to become the subject of political debate.
That is the view that was put by the Chief Justice of Victoria back in 1923, and which has been broadly followed since. In 1954 the Judges of the Supreme Court Bench of Victoria unanimously declined to have one of their number appointed as a royal commissioner in what later became known as the Petrov inquiry - the Royal Commission on Espionage. They were supported by a very strong statement from the Victorian Bar as follows -
The complete public confidence in the impartiality of judges is the reason for the Commonweal l lt Government’s request. But that confidence can continue only so long as nothing is done to impair it.
Judges must accordingly be entirely independent of the executive on whose actions they from time to time must sit in judgment.
They must also avoid being in any way concerned with matter which may subsequently come before them for judicial determination.
The Bar said that the function of a royal commission - ls one of investigating and ascertaining for the information of the executive facts upon which appropriate action is to be taken.
Moreover, like all executive action, the proceedings and findings of Royal Commissions may properly be, and frequently are, the subject of public controversy.
Judges are not exempt from criticism, but it is most undesirable that they should intrude into areas where their conduct, not as judges, but as persons performing an administrative function, may give rise to reflections upon them.
The view of the Victorian Bar Council at that stage was that the employment of judges as royal commissioners involved such danger to the prestige of and public confidence in the courts as to render it objectionable. The High Court of Australia has always declined suggestions that members of the Court should act as royal commissioners. I think, with one exception about 40 years ago which was described by the former Chief Justice Sir Owen Dixon on one occasion as a trifling exception, that stand has been maintained ever since. In the United States of America it is also, broadly, the consensus of opinion of the profession and of the bench that judges should not serve on commissions about which there are real controversies.
– How does that square with the recent inquiry of Chief Justice Warren into the assassination?
– I think the position is that there have been only three occasions when this practice has been departed from in the Supreme Court of the United States. One was the occasion of an inquiry by Mr. Justice Roberts into the tragic events at Pearl Harbour; another was the appointment of Mr. Justice Jackson as Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, and the last was the occasion of the recent American commission. One can only say of the recent commission that apparently the view was taken that in a matter so important as the assassination of the President of the United States the highest judicial officer in the land should preside over the commission. I think there were seven members of the commission in all. It was apparently thought appropriate that in a matter of such transcending importance the Chief Justice should accept that task. Of course, that is an’ exceptional circumstance.
I do not say that there can be no occasion when it would be proper for judges to undertake some other assignment. I do not want to put my case as high as that. I do put it on this footing though: There is a sound basis in logic and in principle for declining to make it a matter of mere practice that judges may be assigned from time to time, almost as part of a regular pattern, to extrajudicial commitments.
– If I may ask a question, it is not ordinarily accepted as a practice because sometimes -
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Wedgwood). - Order! Senator Cohen has the floor.
– Senator Wright was permitted to ask a question. I was merely going to ask. this question: Barristers are made available, are they not, on occasions? Judges should be available.
– I have said that I would not make it an inflexible rule. I am not putting it as high as that. I am merely saying that the Minister’s speech seems to contemplate the practice of members of this Industrial Court accepting assignments fairly freely to sit and report on matters which are not strictly within the purview of their judicial office. That, however, is a secondary argument.
The main basis upon which we of the Opposition oppose this measure for the appointment of an additional judge to the Commonwealth Industrial Court is that we are fundamentally opposed to the provisions of the Act which the judges of the Court are called upon to administer. If those provisions were repealed or even substantially amended and a new outlook on the part of employers and the Government were to come into being, there would be no need for the appointment being sought today. On some other occasion, if the work of this Court were to expand in ways within the proper purview of this Act, the matter would have to be given further attention. But as it stands we are not prepared to approve the appointment envisaged in this Bill.
.- It is of great interest to hear a speech such as that delivered by Senator Cohen to the Senate this afternoon. I refer to his observations with regard to the true functions of the judiciary and the emphasis he gives to his claim that the judiciary should never engage in royal commissions and - I would add this for myself- should never engage in non-judicial work. But that, as a principle, must yield to occasions when the judiciary can provide the only people whose findings of fact on great national issues will command the confidence of the country. On those special occasions the judges, no doubt, could exercise their experience, with great advantage to the. people. Having looked at the second reading speech made by the Minister for Works (Senator Gorton), I suggest that,, in relation to the Commonwealth Industrial Court, it is important to consider the miscellaneous functions that the individual judges are called on to discharge, particularly in transitory jurisdiction in Fiji and in economic investigations not of any judicial nature, such as that on which Mr. Justice Eggleston is now engaged. These functions, I think, must be looked at, particularly in considering this Court, which has to function in so inflammatory a field of jurisdiction, as was shown very cogently by Senator Cohen. The Commonwealth Industrial Court was established for the very purpose of giving effect to judicial functions as distinct from arbitral functions. But arbitral functions occupy a relationship closer to judicial functions than do royal commissions and economic inquiries.
Having made those preliminary observations about the need to preserve the absolute judicial independence of this Court, in view of its industrial function, I want to deal briefly with the main theme of Senator Cohen’s submissions. He mentioned certain powers that the Court has been given under the terms of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act. He told us frankly and forcefully that the Opposition opposes the appointment of an additional judge because of the fundamental approach of the Australian Labour Party to the jurisdiction that the Act confers on the Court. That is its jurisdiction in the enforcement of orders and awards in the industrial arbitration field, Mr. Deputy President. Standing here on the Government side of the chamber, jealous as I am of the principles of industrial justice and, I think, with zeal in no measure inferior to that of Opposition senators, I cannot help but say that for years I heard Labour advocates advance, almost- as an echo from outside industrial conclaves, the cry: “ Repeal the penal provisions in the Crimes Act.” The cry has now changed and the echo that we hear is: “Repeal the penal provisions in the Conciliation and Arbitration Act.” The penal sections of the Crimes Act are there to deal with events that represent great national dislocations of activity in industry. But we have not heard of them in this debate. I mention them only because they illustrate what 1 suggest, with respect, is a regrettably retrograde outlook on the part of Opposition senators, who are members of a movement which has the privilege especially, though not exclusively, of championing the cause of employees.
Our system in Australia has created orders and awards for the great improvement of working conditions and the steady raising of living standards for the workers. 1 wish Labour, instead of deploring the proper enforcement of those orders and awards, would catch the idea that they ought to be enforced justly and impartially against both sides and not only against the employers whose capital is utilised to bring labour to the production of resources. After 60 years of growth, the great industrial organisations have now amassed sufficient industrial power to subdue and paralyse almost any employer organisation of their own motion. If we are to protect the minority of conscientious workers who are entitled to the proper enforcement of awards, it is important that both sides should support this Court and ask it to enforce the conditions of awards in accordance with the law. What for? So that both sides of industry shall enjoy the balanced conditions that the awards prescribe for the greater advantage of the greater number of employees, as well as for the continuance of management on the part of the employer in the industry. So I look with a great degree of regret on this advocacy against the appointment of an additional judge to the Court. It is advocacy which tends to weaken the idea of the Court. I might be wrong if I use the term “ undermine”, but in a qualifying sense, that is what it really means.
Senator Cohen referred to sections 109 and 1 1 1 of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act. He said that the employers have uniformly had occasion to resort to the procedure provided for in those sections. But I say with complete emphasis and candour that these sections provide both sides of industry with equal access to the Court to seek enforcement of the provisions of awards. I hope it is not to be denied that all the employee organisations know their rights in this respect. Certainly they have the resources to enable them to go to the Court as often as they wish, to apply for an order against an employer in respect of a breach of the award. The fact that the greater number of applications have been made from the employer organisations illustrates a want of leadership among the unions.
– All the applications; not a great majority.
– I thought that was the position. Senator Cohen says that all applications up to date have been made by the employer organisations. That illustrates the grave want of leadership among employee organisations when they tend to go outside arbitration and resort to the old outmoded methods of industrial dislocation. We might well pause today to consider the utter short sightedness of those people who have encouraged the unions into an industrial debacle at General Motors-Holden’s Pty. Ltd. Instead of advising on application to the Conciliation and Arbitration Commissioner for an increase in pay or a modification of conditions, and acceptance of the impartial arbitrator’s judgment on the matter, these people with their poverty stricken outlook, have encouraged the continuance of this strike for some three weeks. It has inflicted on G.M.H. and on the men concerned, great losses which will never be recouped by either side of industry. Now it will lead to a debacle so far as the men are concerned. The advocates for this situation do not suffer but the men themselves do. That is why I stand here strongly to urge upon the Opposition that it reconsider its outlook and look to proper enforcement provisions which are conferred on the jurisdiction of the Industrial Court as the protection, not the menace or the danger, of the men who work in industry.
– The men themselves vote on the strike.
– Yes, under bad guidance and bad leadership. They look to their union advocates most often and then they look to their organisations, and they take notice of a political party that cannot resist the temptation to give a lead in a matter which gets political notoriety. These things I deplore.
I mention now one other matter to which Senator Cohen referred. He spoke about £13,000 having been imposed in penalties. I do not know on whom those penalties were imposed. He said Chat in the greater degree the penalties had been imposed on the Waterside Workers Federation. The industrial record shows that on most of the occasions when these provisions have had to be invoked they have been invoked against the Waterside Workers Federation. It is a sad fact that the control of the Federation is predominantly Communist. It is the next factor I mention that we need to consider closely when we start to grieve at the enormity of these penalties: Each one is limited to a maximum of £500. It takes precisely a levy of 6d. per member of the Federation to yield £500. So this grave injustice to the union organisation which has been the special patron of this jurisdiction of the Industrial Court amounts each time to a maximum of 6d. per member of that organisation.
– Does the honorable senator suggest that the penalty should be increased?
– Yes. In my judgment the time has arrived for an increase.
– Does the honorable senator believe in capital punishment?
– No, except in extreme cases. Is there any other information I can give the honorable senator? I have never threatened him with capital punishment.
If we are to establish improving conditions in industry by an ordered system of arbitration we must have an ordered system of law enforcement. H we are to have law enforcement in the industrial field we must have some sanction for those who break the awards and will not comply with the conditions that the best efforts of our arbitrators have been able to prescribe as a measure of justice to both parties. Therefore this advocacy for weakening the penal provisions of the Conciliation’ and Arbitration Act falls flat.
I want to take only one minute to refer to one other argument that Senator Cohen presented. He referred to the recent New South Wales provisions whereby the Labour Government of New South Wales has not repealled the penal provisions of its legislation but has inserted certain conditions as conditions precedent to either party resorting to them.
– They are not the same penal provisions as are in the Commonwealth Act.
– They are of the same nature. The fact is that the Court has jurisdiction under these sections to order compliance with any provision in an award, and it has jurisdiction to enjoin an organisation from committing, or continuing to commit, a contravention of an award. If any union were to go before the Court, when an application had been made for an order to that effect, could it be suggested with any reason that a judge would refuse to say: “I will defer this until tomorrow if the parties will immediately engage in a conference that is likely to produce a settlement of the dispute “?
Although there is no provision of that sort written, in as a compulsory condition in this jurisdiction, it is within the prudence of the judge himself to enable that procedure to be adopted; but the experience of the Court has been that no such applications have been made. Whereas there is no provision preventing orders from being made unless a prior conciliation conference has taken place, the procedure I have j List indicated is a permissible procedure which, I suggest, would be followed in almost every case if the party which was about to be penalised suggested that a compulsory conference, such as Senator Cohen suggested as a conciliation measure, were to be held.
I hope that this Court will not be embarrassed by being asked to carry out nonjudicial functions. I think that this is a court above all others that has to be kept disentangled from political and executive matters. It is a court which is subject, by reason of the very difficult field in which it operates, to a great number of men’s passions and private interests. For that reason it has to be kept in the position where it will have intuitive respect and not be encumbered by being involved in any executive or political acts.
I do not believe that there is much substance in the reasons given in the second reading speech of the Minister for the’ appointment of an additional judge but, as the whole efficacy of the Court has been challenged on the very unfortunate ground on which Senator Cohen has challenged it, ] believe that it is appropriate on this occasion to affirm the independence of the Court by voting for the measure that the Attorney-General (Mr. Snedden) has introduced for the appointment to the Court of an additional judge.
– I wish to support what has been said by Senator Cohen. I ask for -leave to continue my remarks at a later date.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.
Motion (by Senator Paltridge) agreed to -
That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn till Monday, 9lh November at 2.30 p.m.
Senate adjourned at 4.49 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 30 October 1964, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1964/19641030_senate_25_s27/>.