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Wednesday, 21 April 1915


Senator BAKHAP (Tasmania) . - In resuming my remarks, I do not think it will be out of place if I express pleasure that those members of this Chamber who, with some members of the other branch of the Legislature, were passengers by the Melbourne express train which met with an accident on Saturday morning, escaped almost unscathed. In regard to those who sustained injuries, I trust that their injuries will not be of a lasting character. I heartily congratulate all of them upon their fortunate escape. It would have been regrettable, indeed, if our parliamentary friendship had been interrupted by the hand of death. I trust that they will remain with us as long as this Parliament lasts, and that they will remember with feelings of thankfulness their escape from the lamentable accident in which, unfortunately, one poor man lost his life. On Friday last I was dealing with certain phases of the inflammatory phenomena attendant on the evolution of nations, which we call war. I was saying that our Citizen Army is an amateur force, and that in view of our continental responsibilities it is incumbent upon us to devise a more satisfactory scheme of home defence. In order to avoid unnecessarily stressing this aspect of the matter, I wish to say that the Commonwealth should have a professional army, which should be equal to at least onefourth of that maintained by the United States of America. The United States occupy a very similar position to that in which we find ourselves. Until quite recently America's territories were continental, but it now has insular possessions scattered throughout the Pacific - notably the Sandwich and the Philippine Islands. The United States, which are inhabited by a specially peace-loving population, think it necessary to maintain a standing army of approximately 300,000 men. I feel that Australia will be very unwise if she depends solely on the Citizen Forces that we have organized and. are organizine. I have pood military authority for this statement. It is almost a platitude to say that the people of the Commonwealth have shouldered tremendous responsibilities, and that they must show themselves equal to those responsibilities. We have a territory which, in the aggregate, is at least as great as that of the Roman Empire, and we must exhibit Roman qualities if our dominion is to endure. I have no hesitation in saying that we shall have to organize our Citizen Forces on a basis which will give them very much more training than they at present receive, and that the Army will have to be stiffened by regular soldiers to the extent of at least 25,000 men. It is true that this will entail very great financial sacrifices on the part of the people, but if they are not prepared to make those sacrifices, they will be unworthy of their very great heritage. Now, I intend to explore pretty well every section of this argument, and to refer to the financial phase of the question, because this is most important in relation to the proposal to organize forces for overseas service. In justice to myself, I must elaborate this phase of the question, particularly in view of the fact that some honorable senators opposite pretend to be unaware of the arguments which I have used previously in favour of levying, by conscription, on the manhood of Australia for further soldiers for the defence of the Empire. Some members interjected the other day, " What about the dependents?" and in reply to that I want them to reflect upon the fact that it has been statistically ascertained that we have in Australia approximately half a million men of military age who have practically no family ties. At least, they are not in the married state, and are between the ages of eighteen and thirty -five years. Surely, then, there is a sufficient field for recruiting by conscription the force required to assist the Empire.


Senator Lt Colonel O'Loghlin - S - Some of the single men have dependents, too.


Senator BAKHAP - A very few of them, and it would be by no means difficult to overcome that objection.


Senator Ready - Would you have conscription only for single men ?


Senator BAKHAP - Yes, at the beginning of the scheme, for it would be bad policy at that stage to bring the married men into the rank and file. It has been laid down by a great Continental historian that the true test of national greatness is the readiness of a nation's young men to fight, and, if necessary, die for great national ideals, and one of the reasons why I advocate conscription is that it will enable us to give very necessary assistance to the Empire. I stressed the fact in the columns of the Tasmanian Labour paper, some months ago, when Parliament was in recess, that we are borrowing the money from the sorely pressed Mother Country to pay our men 400 and 500 per cent. more than the British taxpayers are receiving in the trenches of Flanders, for the poor Tommies are, to a certain extent, the taxpayers of England. It is unbecoming, therefore, that this money should be borrowed to enable Australia to make war on the most expensive scale ever indulged in throughout British history. Now anybody who knows me well is aware that I am in favour of paying high wages, and I am only taking up this attitude because I believe it is incumbent on me to say that we should wage this war with the utmost vigour available, and on the most economical basis.


Senator Pearce - Surely it is somewhat far-fetched to say that the money is being found by the taxpayers in England ?


Senator BAKHAP - I do not wish to interrupt the Minister in his interjection, because it is a very pertinent one. But it is not far-fetched to say that. Does not the Minister know that the British income tax has from the 1st April been doubled ?


Senator Pearce - This money does not come from that source.


Senator BAKHAP - It may not come from that source, but at the same time it is a drain on the British taxpayer.


Senator Pearce - Not on the British Government. It does not come from them at all.


Senator BAKHAP - Is not the British Government indebted to the people of Great Britain for this money?


Senator Pearce - No; the British Government is indebted to the money lender.


Senator BAKHAP - That money will have to be refunded by the British Government.


Senator Pearce - No. The money they lend us will be recovered from the Australian taxpayers.


Senator BAKHAP - Certainly we could not render the assistance we are giving to the Empire if we had not borrowed the money from the Imperial Government and the Imperial Government are responsible to the Imperial taxpayers. I do not mean to say that the Imperial resources are not very great, but this matter deserves to be very closely discussed, and even now I understand a proposal to levy an income tax on all incomes exceeding 10s. per week is being mooted.


Senator Lt Colonel O'Loghlin - W - We could finance the war out of our own resources if we were not financing the States as well.


Senator BAKHAP - But does not the honorable senator consider the States to be part and parcel of the Australian body politic ?


Senator Lt Colonel O'Loghlin - Y - Yes; of course I do.


Senator BAKHAP - As a matter of fact, we could not have rendered so much assistance to the Imperial Government if they had not lent us the money; and in all justice to ourselves we should not attempt to carry on this war on a basis which causes us to pay our soldiers four and five times what the Imperial taxpayers are receiving in the trenches of Flanders.


Senator Guthrie - Why not?


Senator BAKHAP - For the reason that we are not able to do it, and because we should not make any invidious comparisons. On the mere money basis, £1, or even £5, a day would not be too much to pay men who are risking their lives every hour of the twenty-four; but this should not be done if it causes any invidious distinctions to be made between the troops who are engaged in the conflict. My plan for conscription is certainly not original; and I venture to say that if the war does not end within the next few months conscription will be brought into force in the Old Country, and, in the long run, it must be adopted in Australia.


Senator Ready - There does not seem to be very much need for it in Great Britain to-day.


Senator BAKHAP - As I have said, my plan for conscription is not origiual, for I find that I have unconsciously plagiarised the sentiments of two great protagonists of the Labour party. I have been set upon this track by an interjection from an honorable senator opposite, who expressed some surprise that I should advocate giving assistance to the Empire, and not paying on the scale that we are doing at present. I find that the Honorable William Hughes and Mr. Thomas, members of another place, expressed similar sentiments when the creation of the Australian Citizen Defence Forces was being discussed by Parliament, for they advocated service as a citizen obligation without any payment whatever. When I read their words, I can fancy that I can hear myself speaking. I completely identify myself with their utterances.


Senator Ready - They were dealing with an entirely different thing.


Senator BAKHAP - I am speaking of rendering assistance in the defence of the Empire, and that is of more immediate importance than the future defence of Australia. I have all the passages of the speeches marked, but I need not weary the Senate by quoting them.


Senator Pearce - We should like to hear some of them.


Senator BAKHAP - Then we shall have Mr. Hughes first. I quote from page 3094 of Hansard for 1903.


Senator Lt Colonel O'Loghlin - T - This is ancient history.


Senator BAKHAP - We are treated to a great deal of ancient history when references are made' to the establishment of the Australian Fleet and the Australian Citizen Army by honorable senators opposite. Ancient history is considered most apposite, and is quoted freely by our honorable friends opposite, when the attempt is made to establish some claim on behalf of the Labour party; but ancient history is to be relegated to the limbo of forgotten things when it tells against them. We have heard about the Australian Fleet and what the Labour party had to do in connexion with its establishment; but they always keep in the background the fact that the only persons who voted against the resolution submitted in another place which committed Australia to the establishment of a Fleet were members of the Labour party. In the course of the speech made by Mr. Hughes, Mr. Higgins interjected, " Are the men to go into barracks?" and Mr. Hughes went on to say -

I propose that they shall present themselves at such places as may be determined upon, not all at once, but in such numbers as may be considered convenient.

Mr. McCay.Are they to be paid?

Mr. HUGHES.Most emphatically, no.

Sir JohnForrest. I suppose they are to have rifles and ammunition?

Mr. HUGHES.Undoubtedly; the basic idea of my amendment is that it is the duty of every citizen to fit himself for the defence of the Commonwealth.

Quite right; and it is the basic duty of every citizen to go out to defend the Commonwealth after being made fit.


Senator de Largie - It would be their duty under conscription to fight at Is. 2d. a day?


Senator BAKHAP - What is the difference between conscripting them at 1s. 2d. a day, and asking them, as Mr. Hughes does, to go out to defend Australia for nothing?


Senator de Largie - Mr. Hughes did not ask that.


Senator BAKHAP - Surely honorable senators who are interjecting will not assert that the men who are assisting the Empire in Flanders are not defending Australia ? They are defending Australia in a very material way.


Senator Ready - Mr. Hughes never asked that the men should go abroad without payment.


Senator BAKHAP - That has nothing to do with the question. I say that if it is a sound proposition to ask Australians to fit themselves to defend Australia within Australia as an integral unit of the Empire for nothing, it is a sound proposition to ask that they should be prepared to fight alongside Imperialists who are voluntarily enlisted for Is. 2d. a day, at the same rate as those men receive. To continue my quotation -

Sir JohnForrest. Oh, yes, we must pay them.

Mr. HUGHES.Surely not. The Minister has power to call upon every male inhabitant of Australia, except those who are exempt from service. . . . It is inconceivable that when the whole nation has to respond to a call to arms every man should be paid. On the very face of it, such an idea is absurd. Therefore, since the principle of general conscription is introduced-

It is introduced in connexion with home defence. To a certain extent it has been consummated -

Therefore, since the principle of general conscription is introduced, the Minister, and not I, must bear the odium of its introduction, if there be any. The Minister surely does not propose to pay the population upon a levy en masse.


Senator de Largie - Mr. Hughes and the Labour party do not promise very much, but they are performing a great deal.


Senator BAKHAP - I completely identify myself with the opinions there expressed by Mr. Hughes. I say that it is altogether wrong for us to wage war as expensively as we are doing, in view of the fact that it may be necessary for us to continue to give assistance to the Empire for an indefinite period of time. If we knew that the war .was going to last only a month or two, we should know what we were doing, and might bo in a position to indulge in a little extravagance. We might even be more generous to the members of our Forces than we are at present, but it is essential that Australia shall continue the necessary assistance to the Empire until the war is prosecuted to a successful conclusion. It is, in the circumstances, inherently and manifestly wrong for us to be paying men 6s. per day when we are borrowing the money with which to pay them from the Home Country, that is paying her own voluntarilyenlisted soldiers at the rate of ls. 2d. per day.


Senator Guthrie - What about the honorable senator's salary; is he prepared to give up the whole of that?


Senator BAKHAP - If it were considered necessary, I should have no objection to do so.


Senator Guthrie - Does the honorable senator think that it is necessary?


Senator BAKHAP - I really believe that it is necessary.


Senator de Largie - Then let the honorable senator " stump up."


Senator BAKHAP - I believe that it is necessary to economize very greatly in some of the States of Australia, and it might be wise to consider a substantial reduction during the period of the war in the salaries of members of Parliament. We may have to do that yet.


Senator Guthrie - The honorable senator can give up his salary.


Senator BAKHAP - I have probably given up quite as much as has Senator Guthrie up to the present.


Senator Guy - How are the wives and families of the men to be supported on ls. 2d. per day?


Senator BAKHAP - I have explained that there are 500,000 single men of military age in the Commonwealth, and it isunnecessary that we should send men tothe front who have wives and families.


Senator Guthrie - But many of them are going.


Senator BAKHAP - They are volunteers, and they are taking the place of single men, and if they are injured, will involve the Commonwealth in much greater liabilities in connexion with the properly liberal pension, scheme which has been adopted.


Senator Grant - Is 6s. per day toomuch for these men ?


Senator BAKHAP - I am nob saying that 6s. per day is too much for men who voluntarily enlist, but I say that we should apply the principle of conscription in rendering assistance to the Mother Country, and should we do that, we ought not to pay the men 6s. per day.


Senator Guy - Has the honorable senator not heard that one volunteer isworth ten pressed men ?


Senator BAKHAP - I have; but I donot believe that that expression has any real military value. As the honorable senator should know, Lord Curzon hasquite recently expressed himself in regard to the amazing courage shown by young German conscripts. I am quite sure that our conscripted men would show courage at least equal to that of the young Germans. I am, in this matter, lookingahead, and considering what is done in other countries. If we prosecuted the war to a successful conclusion; the conscripted men should then te given something by the Government. They should be- rewarded neither tardily nor parsimoniously. If the war lasted two years, the men who came back uninjured should receive a bonus.


Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - What would thehonorable senator give the> men who were killed?


Senator BAKHAP - They would havefallen upon the field of honour, and weshould be under no liability in their regard, except in respect of the death of married men. It is the survivors with whom we should be concerned, and those who fought to bring about victory could be given on their return, in a lump sum, what the finances of the country could afford. That is the way to wage a war, in which we are rendering assistance to the Empire, on a sound economical basis.


Senator Guthrie - Let Lord Kitchener stand down, and let us put Senator Bakhap up.


Senator BAKHAP - I am not concerned with interjections of that sort. I can give Senator Guthrie something to chew over at his leisure. I read in the newspapers and certain magazines many interesting articles on strategy and the European military situation, written by journalists who seem to have incorporated the genius of all the tacticians who have lived and died since the birth of Julius Caesar. I will admit that the writing is very often interesting, but I do not forget that one of the most prominent of them - although probably he would like it forgotten - wrote, in 1913, in a magazine of which he was editor, that Lord Roberts was a panic-monger. In the British press and the Imperial Parliament there was an outcry, having for its object the disrating of Lord Roberts, because he was being classed as a pernicious alarmist. The truth is that British statesmen, able in many other respects, and in fact the British people generally, lack what I call the storm or danger sense. Many people in Australia who study international relationships had no doubt that Germany was arming to destroy British supremacy, and yet British statesmen - for I must call them such, because of their great achievements in other fields - seemed to be absolutely oblivious of the fact that this great armed nation was seeking to accomplish the downfall of the Empire for whose safety they were responsible. When I know these facts, honorable senators need not think that I am going to be diverted from my. argument by interjections to the effect that I ought to be in the place of these men, and that I would show them how to do things. My duty is what I conceive it to be, and if the legislators and people of Australia collectively put me down as a foolish alarmist they do so to their mortal cost. There may be some kind of patched-up peace in the next few months - a thing which I would altogether deprecate - but if that happens the storm centre will only shift. There are men belonging to armies which may be our potential antagonists within the next decade who are hoping and praying that the European war may last five or six years, because of the new and potent international combinations which they will then be able to dictate. I say in all seriousness that there are men whom innocent Australian taxpayers believe to be well disposed towards them - professional soldiers of the armies of one of the great Powers - who have expressed themselves on Australian soil, covertly, of course, but in a manner which came to my ears, to the effect that they desired to see the European war last five or six years. Why? Because European civilization would suffer from exhaustion and enable certain international movements, which they believe to be desirable, to be consummated. I cannot allude in more specific terms to what is in my mind. Honorable senators with any perspicacity can divine my meaning.


Senator Guthrie - Why not take the country into your confidence?


Senator de Largie - The censor will not allow it.


Senator Guthrie - There is no censor in this chamber.


Senator BAKHAP - The censor in this case is my own discretion.


Senator Ready - The honorable senator is not showing much discretion in the way he is talking.


Senator BAKHAP - My duty is to arouse the Australian people, through the medium of their Legislature, to the full sense of their obligations for the defence of their country.


Senator de Largie - Let us know who the blackguards are.


Senator BAKHAP - I have already said that I am prepared at any time to epitomize for the benefit of Ministers facts which I cannot more clearly outline here.


Senator Guthrie - Why not speak them out here?


Senator BAKHAP - I go about my business in my own way. Senator Needham drew attention to a most important fact, that certain contractors for military materials appear to have been, to say the least of it, lax in their supervision over the articles which they had undertaken to supply for the equipment of our soldiers. I am not saying that the statements have been proved. I spoke to a Frenchman a long while ago at considerable length about the position of his country after the Franco-Prussian war. He had been in that war, and told me that it was pitiable to see the French troops marching into Besancon almost barefooted, or with boots made of brown paper hanging from their feet. Such boots, I am sorry to say, were supplied to the French Government by British contractors. This Frenchman attributed a great deal of the loss of morale on the part of his countrymen - and the military operations disclosed the same thing - to the fact that they had suffered from the practices of fraudulent contractors on numberless occasions. I am not prone on the production of a little evidence to assume that any person is, or a number of persons are, guilty of offences, but Senator Needham undoubtedly made out a case demanding investigation. It would, perhaps, be desirable for the Minister to take into consideration the embodiment in such a measure as has just been tabled of some provision enabling us to punish most severely contractors proved guilty of fraudulent practices.


Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - They should be shot forthwith.


Senator BAKHAP - They should certainly be dealt with very severely, according to the measure of their offences. I am prepared to give the Administration drastic powers to deal with contractors who are proved to have defrauded the Commonwealth and impaired the efficiency of our troops by supplying unsatisfactory equipment.


Senator Gardiner - Why not make conscripts of them ?


Senator BAKHAP - It would be an excellent idea. One fine argument in favour of conscription is its democratic nature. With it no invidious comparisons can be made by different sections of the community as to what they have done, and what somebody else ought to do. The stern lips of the law summon men to defend the country according to law; there is no room for cavil, or for odious comparisons. Every man is called upon according to the law to fulfil his citizen obligations. Before leaving the subject of the war, let me say, not incongruously, a little about peace. Already we see a great deal of kite-flying in the papers about this peace business. The position, as I take it. and I hope I am not an altogether unintelligent observer, is that, while the German people have not yet any consciousness of the probability of defeat, the leaders of German thought, and the directors of the German armies, have no doubt in their minds that Germany's objectives cannot be realized at the present time and in the present circumstances. They see presages of defeat. Individually I admire many Germans. I admire the German Empire for a great deal of material achievement, but our duty is to our own country, and I shall regret having assisted in the voting of any money towards the assistance of the Imperial Government if Imperial statesmen, when victory is within their grasp, patch up a peace which will entail, if not on us, at least on our immediate descendants, a repetition of this terrible war. There is no doubt that, sooner or later, the British Empire and its Allies are going to achieve victory. I have always maintained that the resources of the British Empire alone, if fully exhibited and carefully economized, are sufficient to enable us to triumph over Germany.


Senator Guthrie - If nobody raises any other question, we must win eventually.


Senator BAKHAP - We will win if we exhibit our full resources, but if we are afraid to pay the price, then the victory will not be decisive, and a peace patched up by an indecisive victory will be for the British Empire the equivalent of defeat. The task is a great one, and that is why I am so insistent upon our rendering assistance to the Empire on the most economical basis, but the end cannot be in doubt, and the leaders of German thought recognise that it is not in doubt. But what are they attempting to do ? If they are covertly suggesting peace, they are attempting to do what is known in the boxing ring as smothering. They know that international combinations do not favour Germany at present. They know that they cannot immediately realize their objectives, and they hope to. induce the British Empire, in a spirit of false humanitarianism, to conclude peace - a peace which will enable perhaps present international alliances to bedissolved, and allow- Germany to remedy the weak points of its scheme, and to . more surely make an attempt to destroy the British Empire on some future occasion. If ever there was a patriotic party required in the British House of Commons, it is now. We want legislators who will stiffen their country- to its duty. We must achieve victory at all costs - not partial victory, but completely decisive victory. I ask honorable senators to picture what sort of peace it would be if the Germans consented to retire from Belgium and from France, if there was no indemnity to be paid, and if the German fleet, as regards its capital ships, was to remain intact? Do honorable senators think that the German people would have the consciousness of defeat? No; they would have the consciousness of only partial victory. They would know that they had achieved a moral victory, which would be converted into a material victory at a later stage. I hold that British statesmen will fail in their duty, as they have failed in the work of preparation hitherto, if they enter into any peace negotiations with the enemy until France and Belgium have been evacuated as a condition precedent to any discussion of peace. We must evict them by force of arms, in order to maintain the prestige of our Empire. We must drive them out, and then, although the sacrifice may be great, the status of our Empire in the world, already great, will be even greater. If the German fleet is not destroyed, or captured, or surrendered; if Germany pays no indemnity ; if she only retires from France and Belgium as the result of some peace discussion, do honorable senators flatter themselves that the British Empire and its Allies will really have won in the-war ? I will feel very sorry indeed, and will think that a great many brave men have laid down their lives in vain, and that the whole bloody and infernal business will have to be re-enacted.


Senator Guthrie - You would crush them once and for all ?


Senator BAKHAP - The whole pith and point of my argument is that we should so wage war on an economic basis that we will inevitably crush the enemy once and for all.


Senator Guthrie - What is that?


Senator BAKHAP - It is to conscript.


Senator Guthrie - On Tasmanian wages.


Senator BAKHAP - I venture to say that the Commonwealth, and all the Empire, cannot prosecute war for any length of time if it pays the soldiery fighting in our interests Tasmanian rates. I may tell Senator Guthrie, as a matter of digression, that Tasmania is, to my mind, the most prosperous of the Australian

States at the present time. We do not have processions of unemployed there.


Senator Guthrie - No; but you keep them starving.


Senator BAKHAP - I venture to say that the material position of the people of Tasmania is fully equivalent to that of the people of any State on the mainland.


Senator Guthrie - Why, the Destitute Board is keeping them !


Senator BAKHAP - There is one little matter to which I must allude. Senator Lynch, who very often delivers himself in a way which I respect, very foolishly, to my mind, dragged in some statistics which had been printed, showing the percentage of unionists who have enlisted in connexion with the forces that we are sending to the front, and the percentage of non-unionists. If ever a comparison was odious, it was that one, for there are many other questions to be considered. Now the percentage of unionists and nonunionists we are sending to the war is a very small one indeed. But what would the honorable senator say if in the peculiarly Labour stronghold of Broken Hill something occurred which I sought to drag into the discussion? Very early in the history of the war, certain men at Broken Hill - probably labourites - very much to their credit, volunteered to go to the front; but when they got into the railway carriages they had to endure contumely, hisses, and shouts from a crowd characterizing them as murderers. Why? Because they had volunteered to serve their country in the hour of its need. Are the Liberals so numerous at Broken Hill that there is a high degree of probability that it was they who. crowded on to the railway stations and hissed " Murderers " ?


Senator Guthrie - Some of your Liberals have shot at people in a train.


Senator BAKHAP - Not only is that statement ludicrous and inaccurate, but it is not even interesting.


Senator Findley - Camel-drivers.


Senator BAKHAP - That may stand as a sample of the charges which are being continually hurled at the head of the poor old Liberal party. How would Senator Lynch like me to introduce into this debate the table which was published in the Spectator and reprinted today in the Argus, showing the political colour of members of the Imperial Parliament who have volunteered for the front? That sort of thing is childish.


Senator Ready - The members of the Opposition in the Imperial Parliament behave better than your party do.


Senator BAKHAP - What would the honorable senator say if I stressed the fact that two Liberal members in this Parliament have volunteered for the front; but not one Labour member has gone ?


Senator Ready - It would not "cut very much ice."


Senator BAKHAP - Quite so; and, therefore, Senator Lynch's argument in connexion with the percentages cuts verylittle ice. That sort of argument should not be introduced into an assembly of reasoning men. It applies, as an honorable senator interjects, to all the members of the Expeditionary Forces when a Labour senator uses it, but if a Liberal used such an argument he would be decried throughout the length and breadth of the land.


Senator Guy - Was it not introduced in answer to the charge that the Labour party were disloyal ?


Senator BAKHAP - It is based on a statistical document, which I infer has been adduced at the instance of some member of the Commonwealth Administration.


Senator Guy - To show that the statement was made that the Labour supporters were not enlisting in such numbers as their opponents were doing.


Senator BAKHAP - Who said so?


Senator Guy - That statement has been in print over and over again.


Senator BAKHAP - Has any responsible member of the Liberal party given utterance to such a statement?


Senator Ready - Some of your responsible newspapers have published the statement and you have not repudiated it.


Senator BAKHAP - Let the honorable senator quote me a Liberal newspaper which has made the assertion that unionists were not enlisting in sufficient numbers because of their lack of patriotism. That is the sort of thing which passes for argument. I know what human nature is. I have never questioned the loyalty of any Australian. I knew that when British civilization was in danger all people would rally. I knew that Irishmen, Scotchmen, Welshmen, Australians, black men, brown men, and brindled men would all rally to the support of the flag, and it is the lack of knowledge of that fact which has landed the Germans where they are. These comparisons, introduced as to which section is most loyal, are most unsatisfactory and unnecessary, and will be put an end to by conscription.


Senator Gardiner - Mr. Parkhill, the secretary of the Liberal League at Sydney, published a statement in which he said that Labour men were disloyal and would pull down the English flag and hoist the German. On the eve of the elections Mr. Parkhill, secretary to the Liberal Association in New South Wales, issued that statement.


Senator BAKHAP - Tell me of anything which the secretary of the Liberal Association of Tasmania has said, and I will defend him. There is not the slightest doubt that many members of the Liberal party - and of all political parties - sometimes make statements which are not warranted by facts.


Senator Millen - Why assume that it was made?


Senator BAKHAP - I do not know that it was made. It is only alleged that it was made.


Senator Findley - It was made.


Senator BAKHAP - Senator Ready says that the Liberal newspapers throughout Australia have been decrying the loyalty of unionists, and I challenge himto produce a single instance or file.


Senator Findley - Mr. Parkhill had to apologize to the Prime Minister.


Senator BAKHAP - That is another matter.


Senator Findley - Not at all, it is the same thing.


Senator BAKHAP - He personally put a construction on some statement of the Prime Minister made some years ago.


Senator Gardiner - And he credited the Prime Minister with a desire to pull down the British flag and hoist the German.


Senator BAKHAP - I understand that Mr. Parkhill apologized for the statement he published.. Is that so?


Senator Ready - After the elections were over.


Senator BAKHAP - Is that a charge against the Labourites of being disloyal?


Senator Findley - Yes.


Senator BAKHAP - This is a sufficient illustration of the injudicious action of Senator Lynch in introducing the comparison.


Senator Guy - Why start such things?


Senator BAKHAP - We are not going to have statistics brought up in the Senate with the object of showing that the masses of the people who are not included in the iron grip of the unionists are less loyal than the unionists.


Senator Ready - The statistics are very convincing.


Senator BAKHAP - They prove nothing except that the Australian people are not rendering to the Empire that measure of assistance which they should render. That is not a party statement, is it?


Senator O'Keefe - T - There are not many people making such a statement, and I do not think that you ought to make it, because it is not correct.


Senator BAKHAP - I make the statement, and if the electors think that I am not doing my duty in speaking in this strain they can punish me when the time comes, and I will not flinch if they do. The policy of rendering assistance to the Empire is wrongly based, and it is of such a character as not to enable us to give that assistance which we could give if we thoroughly exerted ourselves and recognised our responsibilities.


Senator Lt Colonel O'Loghlin - W - We are sending as many men as can possibly be armed and equipped.


Senator BAKHAP - The honorable senator is a military man, but does he really believe it is essential that a man should have a rifle placed in his hand before he should be drilled? We could be drilling men now, and fitting them to take their places in the battle line within a week or two after rifles were placed in their hands.


Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - They would not know which end of the gun to put to their shoulders.


Senator BAKHAP - The honorable senator is talking nonsense. I venture to say that any Australian country-bred lad, if given, a military rifle, will, after two days' tuition, hit the target more frequently than he will miss it. I have heard an Australian lad who was being pressed to join a rifle club plead that he had had no experience of snooting with military rifles, although he was accustomed to a sporting rifle. He also urged that he had not yet been sworn in. Thereupon the Captain, who was also a justice of the peace, replied, " I will give you a rifle and a supply of cartridges now, so that you may commence firing straight away. I will swear you in when we get to the township." The boy's objections having thus been overcome, he took the rifle, and scored four bull's-eyes in succession. That is the sort of material which makes the Australian soldier so resourceful. The contention that we may not have sufficient rifles and military accoutrements with which to equip our Forces in large numbers is a wrong contention.


Senator McKissock - We could get more to the front if we aimed them with shanghais. The honorable senator knows that we cannot equip them:


Senator BAKHAP - Can we not equip them after they have been drilled?


Senator McKissock - Are we not drilling and equipping them simultaneously?


Senator BAKHAP - How long does it take to convert a man into an efficient soldier? The recruits who are to go into the firing line twelve months hence ought to be in training now.


Senator McKissock - We are getting the men together quicker than did the honorable senator's party.


Senator Millen - There is no justification for that statement.


Senator McKissock - The honorable senator's party fought against national equipment.


Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - I do not think that statement is true.


Senator BAKHAP - I must conclude my remarks on this phase of the matter by expressing the hope that the war will be of brief duration. But. as Lord Kitchener and Mr. Lloyd George are credited with having expressed the opinion that the struggle will be a long one, I think that we shall be acting unwisely if we do not change the basis of our assistance to the Mother Country. Before long the wisdom of my remarks will, I feel sure, become abundantly apparent. I hope that the war will be prosecuted with undiminished vigour until victory of a most decisive character is achieved.


Senator Guy - What did Sir John French say about the termination of the war?


Senator BAKHAP - He said that he did not believe in a protracted war - a war in driblets, so to speak. He declared that he believed in putting forward such a force as would crush the enemy in the shortest possible time.


Senator Guy - Did he not express the opinion that the end of the war was in sight?


Senator BAKHAP - I do not think so. Either accurately or inaccurately, Lord Kitchener is reported to have said that the war will last for three years. Mr. Lloyd George is also credited with having expressed the view that the struggle will be a long one. If it should prove to be long, my remarks will have very much keener point than they appear to possess at present. I wish now to say a word or two in reference to the Constitution. As is well known, many members of the Liberal party took a prominent part in the struggle which resulted in the consummation of Australian nationality. We assisted in getting the people to assent to the Commonwealth Constitution. That Constitution is, to my mind, a very fine instrument of government. Yet many of those who are in opposition to us to-day were so dissatisfied with it, that if the electors had hearkened to their advice, Federation would probably not yet have been accomplished.


Senator O'Keefe - I - If we get a few more decisions of the High Court there will be no Constitution left.


Senator BAKHAP - Nobody has more respect for the ability and learning of the Justices of the High Court than I have, but I regret that they have found it necessary to give a decision adverse to the Commonwealth in connexion with the action of the New South Wales Government in seizing the wheat of that State and preventing its export to other States. I am particularly anxious that the Administration shall carry that case to the highest tribunal in the Empire. If ever a, case ought to be taken to the Privy Council, certainly this one ought to be.


Senator Guthrie - The honorable senator says that the law of the High Court is bad ?


Senator BAKHAP - I do not say anything: of the sort. The honorable senator imagines that I prejudge anything when evidence is submitted to me. I do not. When I dealt with the action of the South Australian Government in prohi biting the export of wheat to Tasmania, I said that I held the opinion that such action was unconstitutional, but that I held that opinion subject to the judgment of the High Court. I do not say that the law as laid down by the High Court is bad. But there is a possibility that the judgment of that tribunal is not correct, and may be reversed on appeal to the Privy Council.


Senator O'Keefe - I - It was a unanimous judgment.


Senator BAKHAP - I am sorry to say that it was. But if the Privy Council is not to be appealed to in a case of that character, when ought it to be appealed to?


Senator Lt Colonel O'Loghlin - W - Why not appeal to the people to alter the Constitution?


Senator BAKHAP - An appeal to the highest tribunal of the Empire may disclose the fact that an appeal to the people is unnecessary. If the case be taken to the Privy Council, and the judgment of the High Court be confirmed by that august body, I will support the Ministry in any attempt to amend the Constitution so as to give effect to the undoubted intention of the Australian people when that charter of government was accepted by them.


Senator O'Keefe - Ano Another convert.


Senator Ready - That would be a way out of an awkward position for the honorable senator's party.


Senator BAKHAP - The party to which I belong is quite capable of taking care of itself. When the people become infuriated with it, it can quietly await their return to a saner state of mind. Victory and defeat are not new experiences so far as the Liberal party is concerned. The history of the Commonwealth has disclosed the fact that the National Parliament can exercise only a few very important functions. The great extent of our territory is undoubtedly a factor in the consideration of this matter. Although I am an ardent Nationalist, I believe that the functions of the Commonwealth should not be greatly extended. I am of opinion that this Parliament has quite sufficient to do in properly exercising its chief functions - those which the electors principally had in mind when they voted for the Constitution Bill. When they were asked to accept that measure, there was no doubt in their minds that by so doing they were providing the machinery for a complete system of Australian defence, and also for absolute freedom of trade between the States. I venture to say that no welldisposed Nationalist believed at that time that any State Government had power to arbitrarily hold up Australian trade. Believing, as I do, that in their acceptance of Federation, the people were animated by a desire to provide a complete scheme of national defence, and to bring about absolute freedom of trade between the States, I will support any amendment of the Constitution which may be necessary to give effect to their intentions. There is no nonsense about me - I am a Nationalist. But there are not many functions which the National Parliament can satisfactorily exercise. Those functions are few, but they are very great and important.


Senator Guy - The people thought that it could exercise a great many more functions.


Senator BAKHAP - They thought only of two things - national defence and Inter-State Free Trade.


Senator Guthrie - More than that.


Senator BAKHAP - There was a little talk about securing a uniform Matrimonial Act and a uniform Bankruptcy Act, but these measures did not vitally influence the acceptance or rejection of the Constitution. They were merely subsidiary and complementary. The two principal matters which the electors had in mind were the establishment of a scheme of national defence and InterState Free Trade. It appears that the defence power has not been seriously impaired by any judgment of the High Court. But I venture to say that the action of the New South Wales Government and its attitude towards the Constitution - notwithstanding that it has been held to be perfectly legal - is a most un-Australian one. When the war started, were not capitalists denounced for holding too much food? If a man who possessed a few pounds more than his brother citizens purchased a few extra bags of flour, was not his action roundly condemned ? What, then, can be thought of a State which, having the biggest supply of wheat, has said in effect, " We will keep the lot." I know that the present Commonwealth Administration has been criticised for having intervened in this matter, but I say unhesitatingly that it did its duty in getting the constitutional question which was involved relegated to the proper tribunal for decision.


Senator Grant - Why does not the honorable senator support the referenda proposals ?


Senator BAKHAP - What would the Commonwealth, say if the New South Wales Government declared, " Our interests are the greatest in the Commonwealth, we have the largest population, and also the greatest number of troops. Consequently, if Australia is attacked, inasmuch as our interests are the greatest, the whole of our troops will be retained within our own borders. Of course the men who drafted the Constitution were not demi-gods, but they were able men, and their names will be remembered gratefully by the people of Australia, for they brought about Australian nationality through the medium of an instrument which gained the encomiums of many Imperial statesmen.


Senator de Largie - And the curses of the majority of the people in Australia.


Senator BAKHAP - No; but people imagined that there would be Free Trade between the States, and I, without any instigation from any Liberal organization, or any member of the Liberal party, de- . finitely commit myself to this statement, that I will assist the Administration in giving to the people of Australia that power which, thirteen or fourteen years ago, and even four or five years ago, they fully believed they possessed. Just a few words now on the Tariff, and I will bring my somewhat lengthy speech to a close. All honorable senators know I am a Protectionist. I believe that the Tariff can be made a fairly effective instrument for national development in certain circumstances, but I am sorry - and my sorrow would be the more intense if I did not know human nature - that there are many Protectionists abroad who believe in Protection for themselves only.


Senator Gardiner - Most Protectionists are abroad now.


Senator BAKHAP - And there is a large majority of them in Australia at the present time.


Senator Millen - Senator Gardiner has joined the ranks.


Senator BAKHAP - I suppose most senators have experienced what I have, for I have been inundated with letters and circulars during the last month or two asking me to vote for this or that duty, and I notice that every man who is producing something, or thinks he can produce something, wants a very high, almost a prohibitive, duty. That is all right up to a certain point, but I am a Protectionist who believes that if a policy is to have any real value, it ought to work all round. Unfortunately, Protection does not hold out very much inducement to the true primary producer. We know what Germany has done with her Tariff laws, and what America has done, and knowledge of the achievements of those countries confirms me in mv opinion. But what do we find is the attitude of the people in Australia ? The majority of Protectionists take up a singular attitude - they want to get the very highest price for what they produce, and obtain what they want in the cheapest market.


Senator Guthrie - At the lowest possible price.


Senator BAKHAP - Yes, and at a low price arbitrarily fixed. What do honorable senators think of these Protectionists? They are not Protectionists at all. They are merely selfish men who are out to secure a personal advantage. Now I want to illustrate to honorable senators a matter in connexion with the mining industry, of which I have some knowledge. If silver-lead goes up £5 or £6 per ton, or £8 or £10 a ton, the silverlead miner is overjoyed; and if silver were to go up to 4s. per oz., I suppose all silver producers throughout the land would be almost frantic with pleasure. When tin went up to over £200 per ton, and when tin-miners were, of course, overjoyed, a great many people were denouncing the Colonial Sugar Refining Company for selling sugar at a price which was really below what it was ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago. If you had suggested to a lead-miner that he was getting too much for his lead, and was inconveniencing the plumber in the city, he would have regarded .you as a madman, for he felt he should receive the highest price that he could get for his product, and properly so too. But at the same time these people were complaining that the "cockies" were making too much money. I have heard miners, who were getting fairly high prices for their ores, complaining of the price of bread. Evidently they wanted the farmer to produce his wheat at the lowest possible price, while they themselves obtained the highest price in the markets of the world and in Australia. The whole position is illogical. What has happened in con nexion with the Tariff up to the present?? When a 5- per cent, increase was placed upon woollen goods, the mainland woollen, mills advanced the price in proportion very much more than the duty necessitated. What do honorable senators say about that? Did the Necessary Commodities Board consider this phase of theproblem? Is not cloth a necessary commodity for the men on the land ?


Senator Guthrie - The Minister hastold us that he has commandeered the whole of the woollen mills for military purposes.


Senator BAKHAP - I know that very well, for I am not blind to the obvious, surely. The Minister commandeered the whole output, and probably he is paying on the prices fixed before he did so, for the prices were advanced directly the Tariff was introduced. This question of the Tariff, I am sorry to say, resolves itself into a consideration of country interests as against manufacturing interests, which are largely city interests. Does anybody suggest that boots are not a necessary commodity, and does not the farmer want them ? Did the Necessary Commodities Board suggest that bootsshould be reduced 2s. 6d. a pair for the benefit of the farmer? No. The necessary commodities of Australia, in the opinion of that Board, are what the farmers produce, and, notwithstanding all the disadvantages the farmer labours, under in connexion with the Protectionist policy, the Board does not concede to the farmer the right to obtain the full market price for his productions. The tendency always is to fix the price of the farmers' commodities in a downward direction. If that is Protection, then I repudiate any association with such Protectionists. Has the Necessary Commodities Board fixed the price of a single manufactured article ?


Senator Guthrie - What about the raw material?


Senator BAKHAP - The Board has fixed the prices of edibles only, and these are the production of the farming community.


Senator Millen - Oh, no! They declared beer to be a necessary commodity in New South Wales.


Senator BAKHAP - In doing that they did not lack wisdom.


Senator Ready - It is remarkable, then, that Labour members of the New South Wales Parliament are being banqueted by the farmers.


Senator BAKHAP - I will not go into that question, for you will find a minority in regard to an expression of opinion on all questions; but I would be very satisfied indeed as to the feeling of the farmers if they were collectively asked to express an opinion by a referendum upon the justice and equity of the Act passed by the New South Wales Parliament limiting the prices of their product. That would be a more satisfactory indication to me than the giving of one or two banquets to members of the Labour party. In analyzing the position, one arrives at the conclusion that something must be done, and I unhesitatingly say that if we are going to have a Protectionist policy - a truly Protectionist policy - which will result in the imposition of heavy, almost prohibitive, duties on every manufactured article, then in justice to the farmers, I am prepared to give them a bonus on every necessary article essential to the welfare of the community which they produce, because we cannot recompense them in any other way.


Senator Guthrie - Why not?


Senator BAKHAP - Because I believe in Protection all round. I am not a fanatic, however, and if peace could be guaranteed for a couple of hundred years I would be a Free Trader, because trade is not evil. Senator Lynch, in his speech, referred to men whohad transgressed certain measures which have been passed; but, after all, most of these offences were only technical, and were so described by the Judge. Yet they are mentioned here to pillory the Liberal party. Whether this is so or not, I am not in a position to say; but let me tell Senator Lynch that during the Napoleonic wars, when trading with the enemy was absolutely prohibited, and when the Continent was placed under a sort of interdict commercially by Great Britain, trade was not found to be an evil. The French Government issued permits surreptitiously to certain French merchants to trade with England, although England then was supposed to be in outer darkness as far as continental Europe was concerned, and the English Government also issued permits - thousands of them - to British subjects to trade surreptitiously with the enemy. Some people say that trade is an evil, and that we should be absolutely self-contained. Because of our insular position it is well that we should manufacture all that we can. But we have to look at the matter broadly. If we increase the price of every manufactured article to the wool producer and the wheat producer, the men whose produce really brings us the wealth we derive from foreign countries, it is right that we should give some consideration to their case.


Senator Guthrie - We are importing wheat this year.


Senator BAKHAP - Is this a normal year? Did we not suspend the wheat duties when, if they had been imposed, they would probably have been of some assistance' to the farmers? Speaking generally, legislators are interesting people. We propose a duty for the benefit of the farmer, which in a plenteous year is of no use to him, but in a lean year, when the duty might be the means of putting a little profit into his pocket, we at once take the duty off in the interests of all the people.


Senator Guthrie - I wished to show that in the matter of wheat production Australia is not self-contained this year.


Senator BAKHAP - When we are not self-contained what do we do? We lift the duty that is supposed to exist for the benefit of the farmer and to operate to maintain the price of the article he has to sell.


Senator Gardiner - The duty was lifted this year to provide the farmer with seed wheat.


Senator BAKHAP - If that was the case, and the farming community desired the suspension of the duty, it was wise to suspend it; but if there was sufficient seed wheat in the country, and the real object of the suspension of the duty was to prevent those who had wheat realizing its full commercial value, then I say that the existence of a duty which can be removed in that way is a delusion and a snare.


Senator Needham - Does the honorable senator object to the suspension of the duty on wheat?


Senator BAKHAP - I do object, so long as the farming community has wheat to sell, and as a Protectionist, notwithstanding the fact that other Protectionists approve of the policy, I certainly object to the fixing in a downward direction of the prices of farmers' products.


Senator Needham - Does the honorable senator object, in the present circumstances, to the suspension of the duty on wheat ?


Senator BAKHAP - If the Administration were satisfied that 'there was not sufficient seed wheat in the country, the suspension of the duty was no doubt satisfactory ; but if there was sufficient seed wheat in the country to meet the farmers' needs, and the price which the farmer would otherwise have received for his product was interfered with by the suspension of the duty, I object to its suspension.


Senator Shannon - Not a bushel of seed wheat has come into Australia.


Senator Gardiner - The introduction of other wheat has enabled Australian farmers to avoid using seed wheat for other purposes.


Senator BAKHAP - -If the Australian wheat crop was not sufficient, I have no doubt that the men engaged in the trade would have made the necessary arrangement for large importations from foreign countries; but Governments have stepped in to deal with the matter, and have been under the imputation of having robbed the farming community. I shall exercise my own discretion in regard to Tariff matters. I believe that all thought of making our Tariff so high that we shall be able to produce everything we desire, and that there will be practically no Customs revenue, is a kind of delusion. I have never yet known a Protectionist country that was at the same time a strong commercial country abreast of modern civilization that did not obtain a very large revenue through its Customs House despite its Protectionist Tariff. This proves that, although Protection may be a useful expedient, lucrative and profitable trade is, after all, the objective of the commercial world. I do not think that our experience in the matter will be found to be any different from that of America or Germany.


Senator Grant - Why does not the honorable senator wind up by saying that Protection is a device to obtain revenue ?


Senator Millen - Because the honorable senator is not a single taxer like Senator Grant.


Senator BAKHAP - I know what Senator Grant is driving at. I respect the man of strong convictions who expresses himself forcibly, and is prepared to frankly say that he is in favour of something which does not commend itself to the general sense of the community. Senator Grant will admit that a Protectionist Tariff operates in two ways. It raises revenue. I never heard of a Protectionist Tariff by which revenue was notraised; and, secondly, it incidentally assists to establish industries.


Senator Grant - The prime object is to obtain revenue.


Senator BAKHAP - The original object of all Tariffs is to obtain revenue, but, incidentally, a result of a high Tariff is to enable the establishment of certain industries the products of which are sold at a higher price than must be paid for them if they are imported.


Senator Guthrie - Not necessarily.


Senator BAKHAP - I am aware there are American shovels and mining implements sold very much cheaper than those imported from Great Britain. For many years, in connexion with the tin-mining industry, practically the whole of our tools were imported, not from America, but from Great Britain, though America is admittedly a Protectionist country, and Great Britain is in theory a Free Trade country. It does not always follow that the exports of factories in a Protective country are sold at a higher rate than are the exports of similar factories in a Free Trade country. But as a general thing, if we exclude the principle of dumping, we must admit that the tendency of Protection is to prevent to a certain extent the manufacture of articles at a price at which they can be sold overseas. In Australia, with our high labour market, which I do not say is wrong, because it is one of the lines -of our social development, I do not think that a Protectionist policy will result in our being able to manufacture many articles which we can sell at a considerable profit overseas. It will, however, enable us, perhaps, to overtake our internal requirements. In that respect it will be regarded by many people as a considerable boon, but in the long run we know that we have to pay its fair price for everything that is worth having.


Senator Guthrie - There are many things which we need in this country which, owing to the war, we are unable to obtain at all now.


Senator BAKHAP - Quite so. I might mention the establishment of the Small Arms Factory as an illustration of my argument. It may cost us more to manufacture a rifle than we have hitherto, been called upon to pay for imported rifles; but; it is absolutely essential that we should manufacture rifles in Australia at the present time, and in this way Protection operates in a manner conducive to the national interest. I associate myself in connexion with Tariff matters only with those Protectionists who believe in the application of the principle all round wherever this is practicable, and I abhor the Protectionist who desires merely the highest price for the article which he manufactures, and at the same time desires to force the farmer to sell the article of primary production upon which he depends at a price lower than he would otherwise get for it.


Senator Guthrie - The honorable senator is a yes-no Protectionist.


Senator BAKHAP - There is nothing yes-no about my statement. I thank honorable senators for the attention with which they have heard me. I have redeemed my promise to be pretty discursive "and to treat fully the salient features in the Ministerial statement, and I resume my seat with a repetition of the assurance that any measures introduced by the Administration necessary for the successful prosecution of the war and the obtaining of a decisive victory by the Empire and its Allies will receive my humble support.







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