Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 25 May 1904

Mr MALONEY (Melbourne) - I do not propose to deal seriatim with the various assertions made by the honorable and learned member for Parkes in the lengthy speech which he has just delivered. I must state at the outset, however, that he won my sympathy when he spoke of the death of his little girl in a convent, and of the request made to him to sign a declaration as to the circumstances connected with that incident. I may safely say that he signed that document because of an honest belief that he was attesting the truth. That is a fair way of looking at the matter, and we on this side of the House can say that we have just as honestly and as conscientiously signed what we believe to be a platform calculated to uplift humanity. The tirade of abuse which has been showered upon the Labour Party would, if it were justified by the doctrines we profess, cause us to blush. But that is not the case. What do honorable members opposite propose to do? They propose to enter into a coalition with the view of ousting from office a party whose honesty has never been impugned. This seems to be a strange way of carrying on the political affairs of the Commonwealth. The honorable and learned member for Parkes did Mr. Bromley an injustice, unintentionally, no doubt, when by innuendo he suggested a proposal for interference with the family. Let me tell' him what is really proposed. We hope to secure for the children of the poor as good an education as the honorable and learned member, with his ample means, can give his own children. I should like to see every little girl sent to a convent or some equally good school.

Mr Conroy - Do we not desire to see the children of the poor well educated? The only question is how we are to set to work to bring about that desirable end.

Mr MALONEY - I am speaking under somewhat disadvantageous circumstances. It is difficult to follow the honorable and learned member for Parkes, who has had ample time in which to prepare his speech, and who has at his disposal a splendid library, and everything which wealth and the possession of fairly good brains can give. But I shall endeavour, although I have had only a few minutes in which to prepare my notes, to answer some of the statements made by him. Surely our ambition to educate the children of the poor is justifiable, and should be that of every good man. Can any one imagine . for a moment that the Great Being of 2,000 years ago, with His twelve disciples, had thirteen persons amongst them. I certainly cannot. Men who find themselves ill-provided with the means with which to start life well, often go to another country, and endeavour there to build up a communistic community. But that is very different from the present position of democratic Socialism. We are endeavouring to improve the lot of the people, and will do so. The honorable and learned member for Parkes, judging by what has fallen from his own lips, is a very wide reader, and he asserts that we have not read nearly as largely as he has done.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I did not say that. I do not wish the honorable member to misinterpret what I said. I remarked that some members of the party had probably not read what Aristotle said on this subject, and I therefore commended it to them.

Mr MALONEY - I was under the impression that, at another stage in his speecn, the honorable and learned member said that we had not read of much that had happened in the past, and, therefore, could not judge of what would be the result of giving effect to our proposals.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - No; I know that the honorable member is just as wide a reader as I am.

Mr MALONEY - I am glad that the honorable and learned member did not desire to convey the impression which he made on my mind. He has certainly misinterpreted the Victorian Labour Party's programme, although I feel satisfied that he would not wilfully do so. The leader of that party, Mr. Bromley, has no such intention as that suggested by the honorable and learned member. All that he desires is that the crowding of families into small rooms shall be done away with. Let me illustrate the point. In a Sunday school in London, a little child was given a card with the direction that she should hang it on the wall of her room ; but the little mite replied, "Please, miss, we have no wall." Anxious to know what the child meant by this assertion, the teacher went to the room occupied by the little one and her people, and found that each of the four corners in the room ' was occupied by a different family. The family of which the little girl was a member, sat in the centre of it, so that her statement was perfectly true. It is such a condition of affairs as this that we desire to remedy. '

Mr Johnson - It will not be remedied by the aid of a Government tobacco monopoly.

Mr MALONEY - We shall not have the assistance of the honorable member in remedying it.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Mr. Bromley said that the time was not ripe for that.

Mr MALONEY - The honorable and learned member, in the course of his journeyings to South Australia, will learn something, if he has not already done so, of one of the most successful attempts which has been made to save child life.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is it a voluntary, or State-aid system?

Mr MALONEY - It is assisted by the State, and without that aid it could not be carried on. There the death-rate of illegitimate children is about twentyfour per thousand. Honorable members may be interested to learn the death-rate amongst illegitimate children in West Girton. There over 700 out of every 1,000 illegitimate children die in the first year of their lives, while under the beautiful system on which society is conducted in England at the present moment the death-rate amongst illegitimate children is 343 per thousand - the second highest of which we know.

Mr Conroy - The Government have not put forward any proposal to improve upon that state of affairs.

Mr O'Malley - Give us time.

Mr Conroy - What ! Would the Labour Party delay in dealing with so important a matter ?

Mr MALONEY - We shall endeavour to deal effectively with it, but honorable members like the honorable and learned member for Werriwa would not try to do so.

Mr Conroy - We think -

Mr SPEAKER - Order!

Mr MALONEY - We are trying day by day to effect improvement, and the members of the - South Australian Parliament have shown their earnest desire to profit by the example of the town of West Girton, of which I have spoken. I was the first member of the Victorian State Parliament to mark out a seat in opposition to the GilliesDeakin coalition' Government - a coalition which still stinks in the nostrils of the people of Victoria. One of its leaders was supported by a great daily paper published in Melbourne, the influence of which was declared by the honorable member for Delatite in the' State Parliament to be so great that with its support, old man though he was, he would fight in any constituency and win. He spoke the truth. The newspaper supported one member of the coalition. While it fought against the late Mr. Gillies, and sought unjustly to down him, it sheltered Mr. Deakin. It never blamed that honorable and learned member for the faults of the coalition, but invariably threw all the opprobrium attaching to them upon the late Mr. Gillies. But what is the position of the protectionists in this House ? If I may not go back to the Greeks 300 years B.C., in seeking for an illustration, I may perhaps be permitted to refer to the schoolmaster who, when his city was- besieged by a Roman general, used to take the children of the leading families for short walks on the walls. At last this schoolmaster led the children into the lines of the army of Camillus, in the hope of obtaining some reward for his treachery. But Camillus, instead of rewarding him, placed rods in the hands of the children, and told them to beat the master back within the walls of the city. The citizens, struck by the generosity shown by the general, felt that they could not do better than surrender, and trust themselves to his honour. The leader of the Protectionist Party in this House has led that party into the meshes of the right honorable member for East Sydney and his followers. I do not know why he should have done so. His eloquence has roused many an audience to the highest pitch of enthusiasm. On the first occasion that I heard him speak in the Melbourne Town Hall in favour of the suppression of sweating, he made so strong an impression upon his hearers that any one of them would have followed him almost to the death. But when three weeks later I inquired whether' he was going to bring in a Bill to put down sweating, he replied, "What is the use?" That was my first political cold shower. It was my first experience of men who speak like angels on the public platforms, and yet in Parliament act like cats. What is 'the projected coalition going to do? The words used by the honorable and learned member for Ballarat - I quote from the Age of 24th inst. - were as follows : -

I am going to bring about this severance, gentlemen, if I can. It will be very painful - too painful for me. I shall therefore precipitate the event and leave the penalties to others.

What need is there to do anything of the kind? What necessity was there to leave the two doors open? The honorable and learned member said in my hearing in this House that the Labour Government should have a fair and square trial. Where is the fairness or the squareness of his present proposal? I, for one, certainly fail to find any indication of fairness in it. The protectionists were betrayed into the camp ' of the enemy, but the protectionists who were so betrayed will not, I am certain, be false to their promises and pledges. I have had two contests within three and a half months, but if there were a double dissolution to-morrow, I should glory in it, for as one who has perhaps addressed more meetings than has any other honorable member since my return, I know that throughout Victoria the ringing cry would be, " Sweep away the men who would lead our party, as the schoolmaster led the children of the city of which I have spoken, into the camp of the enemy." Where is the flag of Protection, which lias flown so boldly in Victoria? It has been thrown in the mud, and trampled on.

Mr Conroy - Is the honorable member helping to hold it aloft again?

Mr MALONEY - I shall do so, with the assistance of the honorable and learned member, if he is ever wise enough to give me his help. But never will words of mine accuse .that man of fine sentiments - the honorable and learned member for Ballarat -of being influenced by the bribe of office. He is not like the schoolmaster to whom I have referred. He will sulk in the corner, like Achilles in the tent, and, if the projected double-headed Ministry ever comes into power, will give it his support. Why should "there be any such intention on the part of honorable members opposite? I was speaking a night or two ago to Mr. Ashworth, a candidate for re-election to the State Parliament, who could not refrain from dragging in King Charles' head, and referring to the desirableness of fusing the three parties in this House into two. Do honorable members think that that would make the issues clear and distinct?

I do not. There are too many good demorats in this Chamber. The honorable and learned member for Ballarat will not be able to lead half of those who are said to belong to his party. He seems to soar in the clouds. He does not keep his mind on the earth. When Prime Minister, he confessed, at the Lord Mayor of Melbourne's quarterly luncheon, that, when he consented to represent an important constituency, although he knew that he would continue in politics only a year, he did not take his constituents into his confidence on the subject. Neither did he take them into his confidence in regard to the betrayal of the protectionist cause. The very night that he was uttering foolish words in Melbourne, I was addressing 4,000 of his constituents at Ballarat. I addressed then one of the largest meetings ever held in the town, and my remarks were cheered three times three, because of my success in beating the Lord Mayor of Melbourne. My opponent, when defeated, asked, " What will they say in England?" The same question was asked again when the Labour Party came into power, and it was said that stocks would fall, and the prices of shares decrease.

Mr Brown - We were told that capital would leave the country.

Mr MALONEY - I find, by reference to to-night's Herald, that in only one instance have Australian shares fallen in the London market. The shares of the Bank of Australasia are now selling at £89, whereas a fortnight ago they were as high as £90 ; but all other stock has risen in value. City of Melbourne 4 per cent, bonds are now £100, as against £99 a fortnight ago; Melbourne Harbor Trust 4 per cent, bonds are now£101, as against £100 on 10th inst. ; Melbourne TramwayTrust 4 per cent, debentures are now£105, as against £103 a fortnight ago ; Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works 4 per cent, debentures are now£100, as against £99 on 10th inst., while McCracken's City Brewery,, Melbourne, 4½ per cent, debentures are£55 10s.. as against£44 10s. a fortnight ago. It is announced in to-day's newspapers that one of the greatest democrats which America has produced is fighting for the. Presidency in' the labour interest. He is a man of vast means, and owns nine of the most powerful newspapers in the world. The right honorable member for East Sydney used an expression about feeding the tiger with milk, which recalled to me the lines of a wellknown Limerick, which run like this -

There was a young lady of Riga

Who went for a ride on a tiger;

They returned from their ride

With the lady inside,

And a smile on the face of the tiger.

I do not think that the graceful shape of the honorable and learned member for Ballarat could encompass the bulky rotundity of the right honorable member for East Sydney ; but the latter might be able to engross the slighter and more delicately built frame of the late Prime Minister. If: he has not done so physically, he has done so mentally. The bigger brains of the hero from Sydney have demolished the hero from Ballarat, who, if he had had any. backbone, might have become almost a dictator in Australia. He has, however, betrayed the cause of protection. Notwithstanding that he was many years in power in Victoria, no great measure for the benefit of humanity was passed by him.

Mr Salmon - What about the Victorian Factories Act?

Mr MALONEY - Lord help the honorable member for that interjection.

Mr Conroy - Is the honorable member for Melbourne opposed to the Factories Act?

Mr MALONEY - No ; I helped to oass it, and the honorable member for Laanecoorie also did something in that direction as he got wiser. He did not do much at first ; but he is improving every day, and I believe that he now supports womanhood suffrage. The right honorable member for East. Sydney said on Friday that he could not get the members of his party to act like a lot of performing dogs. Probably some of them are "dry dogs," or do not believe in work, or in a "Yes-No " water policy. Honorable gentlemen will remember that, when the amendment of the honorable member for Wide Bay was under discussion, some of the members of the Opposition supported it, although they were opposed to its principle, merely to get the Ministry of the day out of office. Is it possible that the honorable and learned member for Ballarat will take as his allies and friends men who then so plainly and distinctly opposed him ? I wish now to make some remarks to emphasize the need of a White Ocean policy. The P. and

0.   Company have hitherto been the greatest offenders against this policy. I fought them in regard to it eleven years ago, and I shall do so again now. Honorable members may think that it is only the members of the Labour Party who desire a White Ocean. When Made in Germany was written by Mr. Williams, it was shown that the P. and O. Company were receiving over ,£400,000 a year in subsidies from England and her Colonies, and that they took German goods, transhipped them at London, and carried them to Australia for 25 and 50 per cent, less than they charged for conveying English goods from England to Australia. Of course that infamy ceased upon the publication of the facts. The company, however, continue to give the poor unfortunate lascars whom they employ a space about twice the size of an ordinary coffin to sleep in, For years the Orient Company carried white crews, just as the German and French companies do; but ultimately the competition of the P . and O. Company compelled them to employ lascars. It has been contended, on behalf of the Iascar, that he is not cheaper than the white man, but more biddable; that" the Englishman is drunken, and gives trouble. The same thing has been said about the employment of kanakas in Queensland. To show that this practice has been spoken of by other than labour members in terms as strong as we should employ, I draw the attention of honorable members to the following report of a debate in the House of Commons on the proposal of a vote to complete the sum of ^772^15 foi the expenses of the Post Office Packet Service, published in the London Times of 12th May, 1900-

Mr. T.P. O'Connor, M.P. for Liverpool, about the principal port in Great Britain, stated that the mail subsidies paid to the P. and O. Co. by Great Britain, Australia, &c, amounted to ^400,000, and, while the House of Commons had unanimously passed a fair wage resolution, no action was taken against the P. and O. Co., who had not paid such wages, although every other Government contractor, had had to do so. He called attention to the miserable accommodation provided for the Iascar seamen on the P. and O. boats.

Mr. John Dillon, M.P., said that a British sailor should not be subjected to the competition of men who would work for less than half his wages, and live on less than half his food. The Government encouraged the greatest steam-ship company to break the law. It would be considered unjustifiable to import coloured people in thousands to work in British factories. (Hear, heart. A member of the Cabinet (Lord Selborne, son-in-law of the Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury), was at the same time a director of the P. and' O. Co., which was too influential (hear, hear) and could break the law of the country. Lord Selborne ought not to be at the same time a director of the P. and O. Co. and a member of the Government, which was shielding that company while they were breaking the law.

Mr. HavelockWilson, M.P. (Middlesborough), did not object to lascars being employed, but they should be so in the same terms with regard to wages, accommodation, and food as -British seamen. There were 40,000 lascars in the British mercantile marine, and the number was increasing, while that of the British was diminishing. The wages and maintenance of two lascars did not equal the cost of one British seaman. While 120 cubic feet of space was recommended by the British Royal Commission of Ia9I, for each seaman, lascars were allowed only thirty-six feet (barely the dimensions of a decent-sized coffin). The P. and O. Co. employed 5,000 lascars.

Those were the opinions of liberal members. I shall now quote the opinions of some of the Conservative members of the House -

Sir HowardVincent (Conservative), a prominent Imperialist, said that formerly lascars were employed only in the engine-room, but now they were employed on deck, the proportion in one case being sixty-one lascars; only twenty-nine or less than half were employed in the engineroom. Australian Governments (notably Queensland) had taken a serious view of the matter, and had refused to give contracts to vessels carrying lascars. He did not wish to say anything as to the employment of those in the engine-room, but their employment on deck had proved in several instances a great danger in times of emergency and shipwreck, and these lascars were exceedingly liable to panic.

Honorable members must have read of cases of that kind. I have read of one in which a ship was lost, and of another in which a ship was only narrowly saved because of loss of presence of mind on the part of iascar seamen.

Mr Conroy - I am sorry to say that other men have also lost their presence of mind.

Mr MALONEY - That is a statement which no one can controvert. According to the report from which I have been reading, Mr. Henry Labouchere, the member for Northampton, said -

The P. and O. Company had broken the law in a criminal manner, employing the men under conditions that fostered disease and shortened life. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Lloyd George (Liberal, Carnarvon, Wales) noticed that while on the American lines and the Castle and Union lines 90 per cent, of the seamen were British, on tramps 30 per cent., on the P. and O. Company's vessels only 25 per cent, were British.

Honorable members may not realize the seriousness of this, but it means that if British supremacy is to be maintained British seamen must be employed. If any one, be he an officer of a ship, a member of this House, or a citizen of Australia, will say that Britishers are not fit to man British ships, I contend that he lacks, in the highest possible sense, loyalty to the Empire.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Half the white men employed on British ships are foreigners.

Mr MALONEY - That is not the fault of the British seamen, but of the infamous laws that permit British ship-owners to do that which the laws of other nations do not allow in connexion with vessels flying their flags. The Norddeutscher-Lloyd is one of the largest, if not the largest, shipping company in the world, and its steamers hold nearly all the records which have been established in connexion with the Atlantic trade. That company does not receive such a large amount of money by way of subsidy as does the P. and O. Company, and yet the German Government would not permit the Norddeutscher-Lloyd to act in the same manner as the P. and O. Company are allowed to do.

Mr Conroy - The money paid to the P. and 0. Company is given in return for services rendered.

Mr MALONEY - Do not the ships of the Norddeutscher-Lloyd render any service for the money which the company receive?

Mr Conroy - For one portion of the subsidy they render no service whatever.

Mr MALONEY - The honorable and learned member will find that every ship that carries the flag of the NorddeutscherLloyd must render any service that is required of it by the Government. If the Government do not always find employment for them that is their own lookout. Mr. Weir, another Conservative member, asked--

If there were any labour - conditions in the contract. If there were not, there ought to be, as when the British flag flew over South Africa he supposed the P. and O. would have at their disposal the labour of the Matabeles, Bechuanas Swazis, and other native tribes, and these men would work for 4d. a day, and with a little training cut out the lascars.

Surely that should appeal to honorable members, and convince them that we require to employ British seamen in our ships. Admiral Field, another Conservative member, also had something to say. Admirals, as a rule, are hardly likely to entertain keen sympathies for labour, although some of them may be Liberals. Admiral Field said -

In these days of keen competition shipowners manned their vessels in the cheapest manner, but as a naval man he condemned the

Government in the strongest way because they did not insist, as foreign Governments insisted, as a condition of companies enjoying State subsidies, that they should employ a certain proportion of national seamen. (Hear, hear.) It was a grievous mistake for the Government to shut their eyes to the fact that our mercantile 'marine was fast decaying - (hear, hear) - that apprentices were few - (hear, hear) - and that 40,000 or 50,000 foreigners had displaced Britain's own sailors. (Hear, hear.) Foreigners and lascars would not fight England's naval battles, and landsmen could not man her fleet, for they were not trained seamen. He would not do anything to weaken his own Government, would not vote against his Government, but he would not vote for them, as he held they had neglected their dutv in neglecting to make the employment of British seamen a condition of mail contracts.

These were the words of an Admiral who wishes to uphold British supremacy on the seas. He justly asks how we can expect foreigners and lascars to fight England's battles. His words constitute a formidable indictment against the .way in which the affairs of the shipping companies are at present conducted. They might very well have come from the lips of a labour representative. This, however, was not the worst of the scathing criticism which was directed to the system of employing lascars. What does a Minister of the Crown say, even though one of his fellow Ministers was a director of that infamous P. and O. Company? Mr. Ritchie, the Chancellor of the British Exchequer said -

If the law had not been complied with it was not for the want of strong remonstrances. The Government had called attention to the fact that the space supplied to Iascar seamen was not the space provided for British seamen, and that the P. and O. Company were not acting in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Act. In this way the P. and O. Company had already been heavily fined.

We did not learn that from the newspapers.

He agreed that such a company should be beyond reproach, and had made his opinions known to them more than once in strong terms, that they ought to give their Iascar sailors the space required by the Merchant Shipping Act. He had gone further, and informed them, although the Board of Trade had been unwilling to prosecute, in the hope that its remonstrances might induce them to comply with the English law, the time might come when he would consider it his duty to order a prosecution if the law were not complied with .... and he hoped that in future they would not have the annual recurrence of these complaints.

Mr Conroy - That seems to show that the law was firmly administered.

Mr MALONEY - The honorable and learned member would not entertain that opinion if he knew all the circumstances.

The remonstrances were directed to the P. andO. Co., and the fines- inflicted on -what was really a side issue. So far as I can understand the laws of India permit of the infamy of herding lascars together in insufficient space, and although the vessels of the P. & 0. Co. fly the British flag, and are, 'therefore, to some extent, under the control of the Board of Trade, they are always able to plead that they are subject to the Indian regulations, and thus, to a large extent, evade the British law. More than that, one of their directors is a powerful member of the Cabinet, which makes the position worse. No honorable member, who has had experience in medical matters, will pretend that 36 feet of space, or 6 feet by 3 feet by 2 feet, is sufficient for a human being to live in. Such conditions would only be endured by lascars, who are more kicked than petted if they raise objections, and, who, although they are British subjects, occupy a servile position.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I suppose that the honorable member knows that lascars in the P. & 0. steamers do not sleep in their berths, but upon the deck. .

Mr MALONEY - I am sorry to say that the honorable and learned member is stating what is not correct.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member cannot have travelled by a P. & O. steamer.

Mr MALONEY - I have travelled by P. & O. steamers, and, as a medical man and officer. I . have visited the quarters occupied by the lascars.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have seen the lascars sleeping on deck.

Mr Carpenter - In all weathers?

Mr MALONEY - I can understand that while the vessels are in warmer latitudes the lascars may sleep on deck, but I know from my experience that they have also to sleep in the confined space1 that I have indicated.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - A coalition would cure all that.

Mr MALONEY - The honorable and learned member's ideas with regard to coalitions are not the same as mine. I had an experience extending over a year and a half of a coalition Government in Victoria, and I can safely say that that State does not want any more coalitions. That State was dragged down and degraded by it, and I hope that we shall not see a coalition Government upon the Treasury benches. Jf we had a system of electing Ministers, does the honorable and learned member think that the right honorable member for East Sydney - of whom I am not speaking in any personal sense, because he has been a kind friend to me, and always a courteous gentleman, and I have always endeavoured to reciprocate his kindly words and acts - would be elected as Prime Minister bv the people of Australia? Does the honorable member think that the honorable member for Swan, who has no follower from his own State in either House, would be elected as Prime Minister of Australia? I do not think so. Much as I admired the honorable member for Swan as a young explorer, I do not suppose for one moment that he would be selected by the people as the head of the Federal Government. Honorable members may gibe as much as they like at the labour platform, but we are loyal to it, and will fight for it to the end. The honorable and learned member for Parkes found fault with us because we took the items of our programme out of what he regarded as their proper rotation. I am certain, that the honorable member would not say that a sinner, was any the worse because he broke the ten' commandments out of rotation.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That would depend upon his purpose.

Mr Conroy - Are the members of the Labour Party breaking any of the commandments ?

Mr MALONEY - No; but we are asking honorable members to come to grips with us, and to fight matters out., We are prepared to go down with our colours flying. We know that the people are behind us, and that our intentions are good. We may not succeed at once, but we shall endeavour to carry the planks of our platform, which must be good, because, they have been adopted by honorable members opposite.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The present Ministry obtained their policy from the GovernorGeneral's Speech at the opening of this Parliament.

Mr MALONEY - The resemblance between the policy of the present Ministry and that of the projected coalition is indeed remarkable. In the forefront of the Government programme is the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill, which occupies a similar position in the policy of the coalition party. Then follow the Federal Capital Sites Bill and the Trade Marks Bill. . Both these measures figure in the . programme of ' the coalition party, as does also the question of old-age pensions, notwithstanding that some honorable members opposite have sworn a vendetta against any such proposal. The sixth item in the Government programme has reference to financial measures. Strange to say, a similar proposal finds a place in the policy of the coalition party. The Ministry propose that the consideration of the Iron Bonus Bill shall be deferred for the present, and that the Navigation Bill shall not be proceeded with, pending an investigation by a Royal Commission. The parties opposite adopt a similar attitude towards those measures. The Tariff is to be left undisturbed for two years, and the introduction of the Inter-State Commission Bill is to be postponed pending further inquiry. Thus the coalition party have adopted eleven planks out of fourteen which are contained in the Ministerial policy. What is the cause of all the present trouble ? Whv should honorable members not arrive at an agreement to elect Ministers to carry out this policy ? I can honestly sav that there has been no heart-burning or jealousy amongst members of the Labour Party because some Ministers have been chosen from among them. Come what may, we care, little. We intend to fight for the planks of our platform, and if we are dispossessed the Ministry which will adopt those planks can count upon our loyal support.

Suggest corrections