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Wednesday, 3 August 1904


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN (EdenMonaro) - It is not my intention to speak at great length, because so much has already been said on this subject. Had it not been for the statements of some honorable members, I should hardly have deemed it necessary to say anything at all. The advantages of adopting the district which I favour are so apparent that the place has only to be seen, or to be spoken of, to commend itself to all who view the question from the national rather than the provincial standpoint. I was rather surprised to hear the honorable member for Wentworth follow the line of argument which has been used by a number of other representatives of New South Wales, by mainraining that the people of that State expected to receive, as the price for joining the Union, the location of the Capital within its borders. The honorable member stated that at the first referendum fewer than 80,000 persons voted for the Bill, and that the requisite majority would not have been obtained had it not been promised that the Seat of Government of the Commonwealth would be situated in New South Wales. I deny that that is so. No doubt, in the mother State, there was a strong feeling that the Capital should be situated within its borders, and many persons supported that view when urging the acceptance of the Constitution. But to-night we must deal with this matter from the Federal stand-point. We have to select a site where the Capital will remain, not for a few years, but for all time. Consequently, we must choose the best site available, observing the provision in the Constitution, not only literally, but in its spirit as well. The meaning of the Constitution is so clearly expressed that it does not require explanation, and, therefore.. I do not propose to deal with it. I intend rather to address myself to some of the speeches which we have heard regarding certain of the proposed sites. In the first place, I ask the Committee to remember who they are who made those speeches. 6q'

The remarks of the honorable member for Moira are fresh in .our memory,, and, therefore, I shall commence with them. His objection to the Dalgety site is that it is too cold, and he had a great deal" to say of the miserable weather and the snow which he met there. Yet, in the next breath he told us that the Snowy Mountains are nearer to Tooma - which he favours - than to Dalgety ; and he had so much to say about the beauty of the Tooma climate that I almost expected to hear him recite the poem entitled "Beautiful Snow." He did not, however, give us to understand why the snow on one side of Mr Kosciusko should be colder than the snow on the other side of it. That has not been made clear. Then again the honorable member told us, with the same cocksureness that has characterized him throughout, that he questioned the sufficiency of the water supply at Dalgety.


Mr Kennedy - I quoted the report of the Commissioners.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I do not propose to answer the statement of honorable members, who, bereft of every other opportunity of traducing the Dalgety site, express doubts with regard to the water supply.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am glad the honorable member is getting a "turn" about the water supply.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The great sorrow of the honorable member's life is that he cannot show us any water at Lyndhurst. The honorable member is reputed to be a great temperance advocate, and Fe knows that unless an expenditure of upwards of £2,000,000 is incurred, it will be impossible to provide an adequate water supply at Lyndhurst. Mr. Pridham is my authority for that statement. No temperance man ought to advocate the adoption of the Lyndhurst site, because water will be so scarce that it will be necessary to lock up the water, and leave the whisky outside. We can fully understand that the honorable member is very touch v about any reference to the question of water supply. The honorable member for Moira stated that there was.no timber at Dalgety; but he informed us that he had not visited that part of the country since 1884.


Sir William Lyne - There was more timber there then than there is now.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The interjection made by the honorable member reminds me of the fact that he has now submitted his sixteenth site. He started with Lyndhurst ; then he raved about Tumut, became enthusiastic about Gadara and Lacmalac, afterwards advocated the claims of Albury, and finally urged that Tooma and Welaregang should receive; favorable consideration. The record of the honorable member's performances in this respect will prove as interesting reading as Leaves from an Office Boy's Diary. So rapid has been his progress, that it reminds us of the entries - " Monday, hired out; Tuesday, tired out; Wednesday, fired out." I shall have something to say with regard lo the honorabje member, whose statements upon this Capital question entitle him to be regarded as the New South Wales Jack the Giant-Killer. The honorable member- for Moira referred to the very large expenditure that would be involved if our present railway systems were extended to Southern Monaro. He forgot to tell us that, according to the figures given in the report recently quoted by the honorable member for Wentworth, at the very lowest possible estimate, an expenditure of £500,000 would be entailed if railway communication were established be- tween the Victorian system and Welaregang. That money would have to be spent for the sole purpose of connecting Welaregang wilh the Victorian system. The same authority states that it would only be practicable to construct a railway from the New South Wales side, at an outlay that would amount to at least £300,000 or £400,000, unless a detour were made by way of Albury. I am quoting from the report, and propose to allow honorable members to decide for themselves.


Mr Kennedy - That information is not contained in the report.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I have obtained my information from the reports presented to us. I am endeavouring to show how the honorable member for Moira has been induced to act upon information supplied by the honorable member for Hume, or some one else. I give the honorable member credit for good intentions, but he should remember that the way to a warmer place than Tumut is paved with good intentions, and should be more careful in accepting statements made to him by interested parties. The honorable member for Moira said that it was very questionable whether the Southern Monaro tableland could produce sufficient food to supply the requirements of a population of 50,000.


Mr Kennedy - There again I quoted from the report of the Commissioners.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Let us see what one authority has to say with' regard to that district. His statement reads as follows : -

I think if there is a district in which a railwav should be constructed it is from the tableland to the port of Eden. There is no finer port in the Colony, and there is no finer country at the back of it. It is certainly to be regretted that the construction of the line has been left so long in abeyance. There is no possible doubt that the port must become a great shipping port, and it will become a great centre of population.


Mr Kennedy - Who was that authority ?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member for Hume.


Sir William Lyne - I spoke of the Bega district.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The Bega country is close at hand, but it is not at the back of Eden.


Sir William Lyne - Oh, yes, it is; quite close to it.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Since that time - within the last five years - the honorable member for Hume has advocated the construction of a railway through the Southern Monaro tableland. He Has said that it was a shame that there was no railway there, and has described the glories and wonders of the district. Now he tells us a series of Munchausen stories with regard to other sites. The words I have quoted represented the opinion of the honorable member five years ago. but no. one expects him to hold that opinion now.


Sir William Lyne - I had not seen the district. What I was referring to was the Bega country.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Bega is on the coast, and cannot be described as situated at the back of Eden. It is of no use for the honorable member to endeavour to escape from his dilemma in that way.


Sir William Lyne - I am not endeavouring to escape.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I know that the honorable member frequently wishes that Hansard had been burnt, because he knows that by its means he can be confounded out of his own mouth.


Sir William Lyne - No; I like Hansard. I was acting on the statements of the honorable member, and had not seen the place.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The statement I have quoted was made in 1891, before I had the pleasure of the honorable member's acquaintance.


Sir William Lyne - No, no.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Politically, I mean. I believe that the honorable member was quite right in the statement he then made. I desire now to quote another statement made at the same time by a man who did a great deal for Federation, and whose name has not been mentioned in connexion with this debate. All those who believe in Federation should remember his name with respect. I refer to the late Sir Henry Parkes. He said -

It does not follow that because this very fine port has, from one cause or another, been neglected, that it will continue to be neglected. When that district is opened by railway communication, to which, in my judgment, it is richly entitled, Eden, which has a very fine harbor, will become the site of a very important maritime city. I have that faith in the progress of this country that I have long foreseen that, although retarded by unfavorable circumstances, this result is certain by the very force of growth from without. . . Twofold Bay has been the victim, if I may so term it, of singular neglect. I do not say whose fault it is. It is very difficult to distinguish ; but, certainly, before many years, Twofold Bay, where the town of Eden is situated, will become one of the most important places in New South Wales. I have no doubt whatever of that. As far back as 1873 I advocated the construction of a railway to the port, to bring the traffic of Monaro to the bay.

That was . the honest opinion of a man who knew the country, and. it was backed up by that of the honorable member for Hume.


Sir William Lyne - That railway has not been constructed yet.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - No, and if the honorable member has his way, it will probably be some little time before the railway is built. The time, however, for logrolling in connexion with railways on the part of the honorable member has gone by.


Sir William Lyne - The honorable member tried to log-roll one or two railways with me.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - It is fortunate that we have such a publication as Hansard. Its records are such that it induces us to accept the statements of- the honorable member with not the proverbial grain, but a bag of salt. The honorable member, when he spoke last night, made an attack upon the late Mr. Alexander Oliver.


Sir William Lyne - I did not attack him.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member expressed regret that the late Mr. Oliver had made a certain report. 6 q 2


Sir William Lyne - Yes; I regretted that he had issued his last report.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Because it did not suit the honorable member.


Sir William Lyne - I did not say that.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - No ; the honorable member did not say so, but we know what the honorable member's policy is- He has openly announced it to be win, tie, or wrangle.


Sir William Lyne - I am going to win.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member will neither win, tie, nor wrangle. He may walk about and boast that he will be able to turn a number of honorable members, that in fact he has their votes in his pocket, but he will find that other honorable members have opinions as well as himself, and that whilst they may, as I do, entertain a very warm personal regard for him, they will not sacrifice their principles in order to please him, by voting for his latest fad. I would remind the honorable member, who has boasted that he will be able to turn round a. number of honorable members, that he should not "halloa" before he is out of the wood.


Sir William Lyne - I have never made such a statement.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I confidently appeal for the support of honorable members who knew Mr. Oliver, when I say that no man in New South Wales was better fitted for the task intrusted to him. The honorable member for Hume appointed him. He is very clever in selecting good men for' certain work, and he often gets into great trouble over them. He selects good men, and whilst everything goes to suit him they are all right. After appointing Mr. Oliver, with the approbation of the people of New South Wales, he has turned round and accused him of having found fault with the conclusions of the Royal Commission appointed by the Commonwealth Government. I have nothing to say against the Commissioners. As I told the honorable member for Moira, no one doubts their honesty ; but a great many persons doubt the impartiality of one member of the Commission.


Sir William Lyne - That is a very unfair thing to say.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I intend to say what I think.


Sir William Lyne - It is very unfair even to think it.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I intend to prove it.


Sir William Lyne - The honorable member cannot prove it.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Perhaps not to the satisfaction of the honorable member. The late Mr. Oliver was appointed by the New South Wales Government to report upon the various sites suggested for the Federal Capital. About sixty sites were offered. Mr. Oliver went round the country and made patient inquiry into the respective claims of about thirty of these.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - He inquired closely into the merits of fourteen sites.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - He made a general inquiry in respect of about thirty sites, but he examined the claims of fourteen of them very carefully. What was the result? He advised that Bombala was the best site available, with Yass and Orange coming next in that order. He also added that if Tumut were connected by rail he would have to include it in his list of the most eligible sites. The honorable member for Hume has declared that the late Mr. Oliver had a peculiar habit of selecting men who were incapable of doing the work which was assigned to them.


Sir William Lyne - I did not say that.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member said that he did not select men who were at the top of their profession.


Sir William Lyne - The honorable member has no right to make what he knows to be misstatements.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Mr. Oliversingled out the sites which I have mentioned. What do we find? That after three or four years of inquiry the most suitable sites have been practically narrowed down to those which the late Mr. Oliver selected in the first instance. That is a great compliment to that gentleman, and it is a pity indeed, now that he is in his grave, that comparisons should be made between him and some of the other Commissioners. The honorable member for Hume has found fault with the late Mr. Oliver for taking exception to the appointment of Mr. Kirkpatrick to the Capital Sites Commission. I have no desire to say anything derogatory to Mr. Kirkpatrick, but I do hold that to compare him with the late Mr. Oliver, from the stand-point of ability to sift evidence, is like comparing a 6 feet by 8 feet tent with the Parliament House in which we sit. In justice to his memory, I claim that the honorable member for Hume indulged in a most unfair attack upon him. The honorable member has been going round the country talking about the blizzards experienced at Bombala. No doubt he thought that the cry would catch on; but, as a matter of fact, it has become such a standing joke that when people see him approaching they exclaim, " Here comes Bombala's blizzard Bill." It may be an interesting sort of joke, but, unfortunately, this is not a question to joke about. Personally I do not mind the honorable member's statements, but I feel that it is my duty to point out how misleading they are, lest some honorable members who are not acquainted with the facts might be disposed to believe them. What does the honorable member know about Bombala? He went there, and was upon the sick-list. He immediately obtained a special coach, and asked to be driven home as fast as possible. When he arrived at Cooma, he declared that it must be a Godforsaken place, because it contained no refreshmentroom.


Sir William Lyne - No; the honorable member for Perth was with me at the time.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Yes ; and the honorable member has pictured the terrible misery of the honorable member for Perth. No doubt he was very much disgusted with that honorable member when he found that, despite all that had been told him during this sick coach journey, he had voted for the selection of Bombala. I say that we should get along much better if honorable members would rely upon the merits of the sites which they advocate, instead of attempting to traduce other sites, in the hope that some honorable member will be foolish enough to believe their statements. The honorable member for Hume has been going about affirming that neither the Dalgety nor the Southern Monaro site has any chance of being selected, in the hope that some honorable members will support the Tooma site.


Sir William Lyne - What did the honorable member, say about typhoid at Tumut?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - What did the Capital Sites Commissioners say?' The evidence taken by them was to the effect that one creek supplied a number of typhoid cases for1 a period of seventeen years.


Mr Watson - Oh, no.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I say that my statement is correct.


Mr Watson - I should like the honorable member to quote the particular passage from the evidence. It was stated that, there had not been a single case of typhoid for seven years.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - It ishardly the province of the Prime Minister to chime in, with a view to helping the honorable member for Hume. He has given him sufficient help in the past. It is a fortunate thing for me that, to a certain extent, the honorable gentleman is muzzled. Some of the statements which he has made against the Monaro district will not bear analysis.


Mr Watson - I have never spoken upon the subject.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - But during the last Parliament the Prime Minister made desperate efforts to prevent the Monaro site from being selected. He made it a personal matter against the Monaro district.


Mr Watson - A personal matter against the honorable member?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - No, but the Prime Minister used his Own personal popularity with honorable members to prevent the Monaro district from being selected. He has sworn a sort of vendetta against that district. However, I do not mind his opposition, because he fights in the open. The honorable member for Hume has stated that trees will not grow in the Monaro district.


Sir William Lyne - There are very few trees there.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - If honorable members will peruse the report of the Commissioners, they will find that it contains a reference to the " inexhaustible forests " of Bombala. That, I think, is a sufficient answer to the statement of the honorable member. When he was asked where all the opossum skins came from if there were no trees at Bombala, he solemnly declared that they were ground opossums. Had they been under-ground opossums, he might have been an authority upon the subject.


Sir William Lyne - Will the honorable member produce a few more inventions?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I know what is responsible for this wonderful change on the part of the honorable member. The other day the Age published a copy of a letter which had been written bv the honorable member to a newspaper in his district, in which he declared his conviction that a majority of .honorable mem-' bers were in favour of selecting the Bombala site.


Sir William Lyne - I do not think I said that.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member did say it. His letter is headed : " The New Idea," and it appeared in the Age of the 4th July last. That journal says -

A Riverina paper has received a letter from Sir William Lyne, stating that there is no doubt that a majority in the Federal Parliament is against the sites near the town of Tumut. Sir William Lyne states that he is now endeavouring to get the area selected for Bombala so extended that it will take in Tumut. Members who visited the Murray site with Sir William Lyne have impressed others with the suitability of that locality, and it is likely there will be a sufficient number to support the new idea. He says that any amount of underground engineering is going on in favour of Bombala, and some of his colleagues in the late Ministry are the principal movers.


Sir William Lyne - That is not my letter.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Not only is it the honorable member's letter, but the Gundagai Independent, which is published in his own constituency, reprints it, criticises it, and frankly declares that if a Tumut site cannot win by the adoption of other tactics than these, it is preferable that it should be left out in the cold.


Sir William Lyne - That is the honorable member's paper.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I have never been in Gundagai. That is the statement made by a newspaper which is published in the. honorable member's own district.


Sir William Lyne - Will the honorable member read the statement from the Gundagai Independent?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I will read it for the benefit of the honorable member presently.


Sir William Lyne - That was Mr. Reid's letter.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member induced Mr. David Reid to come to Melbourne to be exhibited as a product of the Tumut district, but he sent him home very rapidly when I. discovered that all his early life had been spent in the Monaro district. The Gundagai Independent takes the honorable member to task for having made such a fatal blunder. A little while ago, Mr. B. R. Wise affirmed that the Monaro tableland was a verv suitable place for the establishment of the Federal Capital. The honorable member for Hume immediately denounced him for having interfered. He said that Mr. Wise had no right to indulge in any such criticism. Apparently, nobody has a right to criticise. I have no desire to say anything against the Tooma site, because I have not seen it. But I have seen the Albury site, and there is not much difference between the two. The former is a little closer to the snow line, but its altitude is about the same as is that of Alburv. It is between 1,100 and 1,600 feet above sea level. . The last Parliament decided that no site should be eligible for selection which had an altitude of less than 1,500 feet, but that provision has been carefully eliminated from this Bill. Why? In my opinion, because its omission suited the district represented by the honorable member.


Sir William Lyne - The honorable member has been told that I knew nothing about the matter, and consequently it is not fair for him to make that statement.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I do not say that the provision was eliminated at the instigation . of the honorable member, but I believe that it was omitted to suit his district. Otherwise, how is it that when one of the surveyors discovered that the sites in the Tumut area, which had an altitude of more than 1,500 feet, were not suitable for the Federal Capital, inquiries were immediately set on foot in respect of sites with a less altitude. Was it merely a remarkable coincidence?


Sir William Lyne - That is a very unworthy insinuation.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - In view of the suggestions made last night by the honorable member as to trickery having been resorted to, I am not much concerned about his complaint. There is certainly reasonable ground for inquiring what was the reason for this change.


Sir William Lyne - I do not know the reason. The honorable member should ask the Prime Minister; the honorable member knows that I was not aware that the alteration had been made until he mentioned it to me.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member will have an opportunity presently to refute my statements if he can. Is it not singular that even to-day we have no information showing whether Tooma has an elevation of 1,100 feet or of 1,500 feet.


Sir William Lyne - Had the honorable member taken the trouble to look at the map he' would have gained the information for himself.


Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It has an elevation of between 900 and 1,100 feet.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member for South Sydney, whose word will be readily accepted, states that Tooma has an elevation of between 900 and 1,100 feet.


Sir William Lyne - If he makes thatstatement after looking at the map his word is not worth much.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I shall not comment on the honorable member's statement as to the old lady who died a day or two ago at the age of 102, after living in the Upper Murray district for fifty years. That is a very feeble way to attempt to bolster up the merits of a' particular site. The honorable member has been examining the list of deaths in the district, in order to discover such cases, and is welcome to any evidence of that kind that may be forthcoming. I have no objection to his bolstering up the claims of Tooma in that way, but I certainly object to his making an assertion about the Southern Monaro district which he is unable to prove. He told the Committee last night that a cousin of mine had been sent to the Upper Murray district, with a view to influence honorable members against its selection. I can only say that I have inspected the sites in company with other honorable members, who know the country as well as, if not better than, the honorable member "for Hume. I was not aware that I had a cousin living in that district; but if I have, he shows his good sense in speaking against its selection. One reason why I doubt whether the man in question is a cousin of mine is that I do not think it possible that he would leave Southern Monaro for that part of New South Wales. Then the honorable member has made various suggestions- as to the timber resources of the Southern Monaro district. It has been drummed into our ears to such an extent that there is no timber in that district that we are constrained to examine the reports of the Commissioners who were appointed by the honorable member to ascertain the real facts. And what do we find ? We find that they refer to the inexhaustible forests to be found there. We have also statistics as to the output of saw-mills in Southern Monaro.

Are those saw-mills engaged in cutting up blocks of ice? ,


Mr Robinson - -Possibly granite.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - It is, to say the least of it, somewhat singular that the honorable member for Hume should assert that there is no timber in the neighbourhood of Dalgety or Bombala, when there are three saw-mills in the district, and they carry on a thriving and lucrative business. Another assertion made by the honorable member for . Hume was that Cooma was supposed to comprise the best lands in the Monaro district. Every honorable member who comes from New South Wales knows what reliance can be placed on such a statement. It is said that the railway constructed to Cooma does not pay. But what are the facts associated .with the construction of that line? In New South Wales a Public Works Committee, consisting of Members of Parliament, deal with every proposal to build a railway. They analyze the reports, consider the estimates, and having gone closely into all the facts make a recommendation to Parliament. The Prime Minister was at one time a member of that Public Works Committee, and will be able to tell the Committee that it invariably makes an exhaustive inquiry in regard to all the proposed works submitted to its consideration. One of the boasts of the Committee is that it has saved the State many millions of pounds by refusing to recommend many works which have been suggested. After the Public Works Committee have inquired into a proposal to construct certain lines, the Railway Commissioners are asked to make a report on the lines selected for construction by the Public Works Committee. That Committee, however, while the honorable member for Hume was in office, in New South Wales, reported in favour of the construction of the Cooma line, and the Railway Commissioners subsequently stated that they were amazed to find so great an area of good country stretching away from Cooma farther south. On commercial grounds - quite apart from any suggestion as to the establishment of the Federal Capital in that district - they recommended the construction of the line. That is my answer to the honorable member's assertions. The railway estimates are open for inspection, but it is unnecessary for me to deal fully with the figures, because honorable members are already familiar with them. I would point out, however, that an old estimate of the cost of constructing a railway from Cooma to Dalgety is £127,000. We are told that we may take off 20 per cent, from many of the old estimates, so that in (round figures the construction of the line to Dalgety, which is half way between Cooma and Bombala, would involve an outlay of about £100,000. To carry on the line to Bombala would require the further expenditure of a similar amount.


Mr Kelly - What would be the cost of constructing a railway line from Bairnsdale to Dalgety?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I might as well ask the honorable member what it would cost to construct a railway line from Lyndhurst to Fremantle. All these railways will be made in due course. Surely the honorable member knows that it is not proposed to do everything at once. Much has been said about the cost of a water supply for Dalgety or Bombala, but we have Mr. Pridham's report that an outlay of over £2,000,000 would be necessary to secure a water supply at Lyndhurst. We have a further estimate as to what the cost would be per head, provided that the population of the Capital were sufficient to pay the cost of every gallon of water brought to Lyndhurst. Honorable members who favour that site have carefully refrained from mentioning the aggregate cost of a water supply, but I shall give the Committee some facts bearing on the question. I have nothing to say against Lyndhurst, all that I desire is that honorable members shall be in possession of all the facts, and that they shall consider them.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the honorable member Mr. Pridham's report as to the cost of a water supply for Lyndhurst ? The £2,000,000 is the cost with working expenses capitalized.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - It is remarkable that the honorable member for" Macquarie has not seen fit to give the Committee the estimate of the total cost.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - There is a running river flowing bv the Dalgety and Bombala sites, and if either of these were selected, the only expense which would have to be incurred to secure a water supply for the Capital would be in providing a tank or a pump or something of the kind. If we selected Lyndhurst it would be almost impossible for the residents of the Capital to obtain a drink of water. When I visited that site we could not obtain one. The honorable member for Hume also told us a story about the Bairnsdale railway and the zigzag.


Sir William Lyne - I have the plans here.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Some of the honorable member's plans in regard to the settlement of this question will fall to the ground. I am prepared to accept the opinion of the Chief Victorian Railway Commissioner in preference to that of the honorable member for Hume, in regard to the extension of the railway from Bairnsdale to the border. The Commission appointed by him report that the Chief Victorian Railway Commissioner stated that a railway from Bairnsdale via Orbost would have to be constructed for State purposes, quite apart from any question as to the establishment of the Federal Capital at Bombala or Dalgety. The honorable member is very ingenious in endeavouring to saddle the sites in the Southern Monaro district with all the expense of building such a line. If we established the Capital at Dalgety or Bombala, the first expenditure necessary would be incurred in supplying railway communication ; but there would be no occasion to spend any money in securing a water supply. We should have a pure stream of running water at hand,' and practically every other requirement would be available, so that no additional expense would be incurred. On the other hand, it would be impossible to construct a railway to Tooma from Victoria, or to connect that site with the railway system of New South Wales, without incurring a very heavy outlay. We have also to consider whether we should for all time have to rely on a railway for the carriage of heavy freights to the Capital, or whether we should avail ourselves of the great highway of the world - the ocean waterway - which is within fifty miles of Bombala. Comparisons are odious, and I should not make them, but that I desire to answer some of the statements of the honorable member for Hume. The Commissioners appointed by him when Minister of Home Affairs report that the Chief Railway Commissioner of Victoria said that a railway from Bairnsdale via Orbost w.ould have to be constructed for State purposes. That should be a sufficient answer to his assertions in that respect. When speaking last night the honorable member referred to tricks and strategy and other like methods, which he said had been resorted to; but any one who gets the best of him when fighting on these lines should be welcome to his victory. He stated that Bombala and Dalgety were further south than is Welaregang, but I have had the map measured, and find that Dalgety is in a direct line nearer Sydney than is the Upper Murray site. The honorable member is not very sure on that point, but if the Upper Murray site were nearer Sydney than is Dalgety, he would have no hesitation in mentioning that fact. If a railway were constructed to Tooma it would have to strike in at Queanbeyan, and it would be necessary to tunnel under Mount Kosciusko, and, indeed, right through the Australian Alps. On the face of it, the suggestion that such a railway should be constructed is too absurd to receive a moment's consideration. The honorable member admits that for three years - during the life of the first Federal Parliament - he was of opinon that the selection of the Upper Murray site would be unfair to Sydney, and he credits the honorable member for Grampians with having introduced that site into the arena. We know that the honorable member for Grampians, and the honorable member for Moira spoke out for the Upper Murray site when this question was before us last session; but what assistance did they receive from the honorable member for Hume, who was then Minister of Home Affairs? He might very well have granted the inspection which they asked on behalf of the Upper Murray site, just as he granted my request that Dalgety should be inspected. I desire to acknowledge that in that respect the honorable member treated Dalgety very fairly.


Sir William Lyne - I am glad to hear that I did something right.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - If the honorable member for Grampians, and the. honorable member for Moira thought that the Upper Murray site was such an excellent one, why did they not take action ? What were they doing ? Were they asleep ?


Mr Skene - We were not quite as clever as was the honorable member.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - While those who favoured other sites succeeded in obtaining reports from the Commissioners, they sat quietly by, and it was only at the last moment that they were able to secure the consideration of the Upper Murray district. If Tooma is to be seriously considered, why should it not be scrutinized as. closely as other sites have been?


Mr Kennedy - We shall be delighted to have it examined.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member became rather heated this evening when he was referred to a statement in the report of the Commission on the Murray River, that the water was slimy. What position should we occupy if, without any information as to the altitude of the Upper Murray site, the area available, the cost of providing an adequate water supply, and the characteristics of the climate, and only a hazy notion of whether it could be connected with the railway system of New South Wales - with nothing before tis save that snow-capped hills can be seen in the distance - we selected that site? If it went forth to the world that we had selected that site, in the absence1 of any information in regard to all these important points, would not our proceedings appear farcical in the eyes of the people? The honorable member for Hume raked up one or two photographs of the Upper Murray district, and exhibited them in this House. 1 should like to know whether they are not photographs of country on the Victorian side of the river.


Sir William Lyne - One of them is.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I invite him to inform the Committee how far the site which he now so warmly advocates is from the River Murray, and what he has to say as to the unearned increment about which he waxed eloquent last session, when he submitted a map of Tumut to the Committee, and pointed to the large area of Crown land which we might secure there. It would be interesting to have an explanation on that point, and to know why he has changed the opinion which he held for three years that the selection of the Upper Murray site would be unfair to New South Wales.


Sir William Lyne - Tt would be just as fair as would be the selection of Bombala or Dalgety.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - But Bombala and Dalgety were in the list originally submitted to us in the last Parliament.


Sir William Lyne - And I objected to both of them.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - In the first report made by the late Mr. Oliver on something like thirteen different sites, Southern Monaro was placed first for water. The Commissioners which the honorable member appointed objected to go to Dalgety.


Sir William Lyne - Only one member of the Commission objected.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I am not going to attack any of the officers.


Sir William Lyne - Only one objected to go to Dalgety, and it was not Mr. Kirkpatrick.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The report of Mr. Kirkpatrick, against whom I say nothing, was a most remarkable one, as coming from a Commissioner who put the Bombala and Dalgety sites, whatever their faults may be, nearly last on the list in regard to water supply. The honorable member for Hume possibly knows that the absence of a water supply is a strong objection, and that is why he thought it necessary to say something unkind about Mr. Oliver, who merely repeated what his engineers had told him. Mr. Oliver only said what he thought, and what was thought by a great many people in the country, namely, that Mr. Kirkpatrick, no doubt unconsciously, was biased in favour of two particular sites. It is remarkable, however, that both of these sites happen to be in the district represented by the honorable member for Hume. I am sorry that the honorable member for Hume should drag these remarks from me. No one knows better than that honorable member what the honorable and learned member for Balaclava and Sir Alexander Peacock said in regard to Albury. Both of these gentlemen expressed the opinion that to select Albury would be unfair. We remember the desperate efforts made by the honorable member for Hume in support of Albury - how he stood on the hilltop there, in the midst of one of the regular daily duststorms, ' and said, " Gentlemen, there is a lovely site here if we could only see it." The honorable member for Hume knows that it was the visit of honorable members to Tumut which killed the chances of that site. Tumut was regarded as a compromise, but that visit, as I say, put it "out of the running." We can remember the honorable member for Hume standing on the Tumut site, and as the perspiration poured off him, remarking - " This is a most invigorating climate." What has made the honorable member change his .mind as to Albury ? What is the difference between Tumut, Tooma, and Welaregang? Why did he not stick to Gadara, Lacmalac, Tomorroma, or one of the other sites on which he was previously so keen ? Did not Mr. Chesterman make an enthusiastic "report in favour of Tooma ? But in that report he was like Mr. Kirkpatrick, not speaking from official records, but from memory. The honorable member forgets that Mr. Chesterman enthused about Tomorroma and Batlow.


Sir William Lyne - It was the Prime Minister who discovered Batlow.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Possibly Mr. Chesterman thought that he was following a pretty good judge, and would get a strong backing. The honorable member for Hume is clever enough to know that the Prime Minister would not think of voting for the Upper Murray site. The Prime Minister, however, is in favour of Batlow, and by including Lacmalac, Tumut, and Tomorroma all in one district with Batlow, the honorable member for Hume has been clever enough to "gather in" the Prime Minister. The worst of it is that when the Prime Minister makes up his mind he sticks to his determination, whereas I should be very glad to see him change and give his support to the Monaro sites. I do not wish to say anything more about the honorable member for Hume's tirade of abuse in regard to Monaro, nor do I want to say anything against the site which he favours. The honorable member's statements are in cold type, and in my own simple way I have endeavoured to analyze them. Judging by the lightning changes on the part of the honorable member for Hume, those honorable members who propose to rely on his judgment will have to make changes equally dazzling.


Mr Robinson - Is this an attack on the honorable member for Grampians?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member for Grampians has consistently advocated the Upper Murray site; he has never said that the selection of such a site would be unfair to New South Wales, or that any place under an altitude of 1,500 feet is unsuitable. I have, however, a private grievance against the honorable member for Grampians, who has not only endeavoured to defeat the selection of the site which I favour, but has now stolen my leader. We hear nothing now from the honorable member for Hume about the wonderful maize and tobacco crops at Tumut. The honorable member used to tell us of maize which topped the fence, and of tobacco crops which were so strong that the product was unsaleable. The honorable member was, however, reminded that where such tobacco and maize can be grown - although the soil may be fertile- 'is hardly a place in which men can live with comfort. The honorable member is in posses sion of about half-a-dozen maps, but I guarantee that amongst them we could not find that large map which he used to take around amongst honorable members in order to show the immense area of Crown lands available at Tumut. We all know that there are plenty of experienced men looking for good land - that many are found balloting for one area - and it is nonsense to tell us that there are now any great areas of good Crown land available. As a matter of fact, there is no such land available; it is all locked up in reserves, or is so far away from markets as to be of no use. If this Upper Murray site is to be seriously considered by honorable members, then, in justice to -the country, and in justice to ourselves, we ought to have some further information regarding it. We ought not to be such arrant fools as to select a place about which we know nothing.


Mr Kelly - We do not want any further delay.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Nor do I, but delay is preferable to a crime; and it would certainly be a crime to select a place without full knowledge. I am told by honorable members who have visited the Upper Murray site that the land is very fertile, that there is plenty of water, and that the climate is good. I have no doubt that these statements are true - that honorable members honestly believe that the climate and the water supply are all right. But we must 'remember what the honorable member for Wentworth said to-night when he told us of the thirteen running streams which could be seen from the Bombala site coming down the hillside like so many streaks of silver. The report of the engineer was that a water supply could be got by gravitation, and a nice case was built up for Bombala, until the mistake in this connexion was discovered. Mr. Oliver, who' has been taken to task by the honorable member for Hume, frankly admitted, like an honest man, that a mistake had been made, but he did not admit that water could not be brought to Bombala by gravitation. Such a work is only a questionof money. We should have to go further back for the water; and the same remark applies to all the sites. No doubt watercan be seen flowing through the Upper Murray territory, but it is a question of the distance it would have to be carried to the Federal Capital.


Mr Kennedy - Sixteen miles.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - No doubt the honorable member honestly believes- that that is the distance. I was under a similar impression in regard to Bombala, but I now admit that it would be necessary to go further back in order to obtain . water by gravitation. Indeed, if we go back far. enough we can get water from the Snowy River ; and, according to the reports we have received, there are great falls half-way between Bombala and Dalgety, which could be utilized for the provision of cheap pumping power. Let us look at the question from another aspect. Let us leave the Royal Commission which made the peculiar report to which I have referred, and ask ourselves what was done by the late Parliament. The late Government have been taken much to task for not expediting this matter. It seems to me, however, that a great deal of expedition was used. The reports which were called for took a long time to prepare, and when they had been supplied, certain votes were given by honorable members, and changes took place in this House. We fixed on an altitude of 1,500 feet as necessary for the Capital, and further reports were called for. And what happened when the House proceeded to vote? At first Bombala was at the head of the poll, but by degrees other sites were dropped out, and at last Tumut defeated Bombala by one vote, the supporters of the Bombala site then transferring their support to the former. The Bill was sent backwards and forwards between the two Houses, but we came to no conclusion. It was then determined to get further information, and the right honorable member for Swan was asked to make an inspection with a view to' a report. Who is Sir John Forrest?


The CHAIRMAN - Order ! The honorable member must not address other honorable members by name.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I was speaking of the right honorable member for Swan in connexion with the report he made. The honorable member for Macquarie has told us, what is perfectly true, that Mr. Wade is a great engineer, to whom, on a question of water supply, we should pay much attention. We all know the late Mr. Oliver's reputation, and read with respect any report he may have written. But if there is one man who is fitted more than another to make an inspection of the kind - who, by his past experience in exploration and his known impartiality in the matter, is capable of giving an unbiased opinion - it is the right honorable member for Swan. That is not merely my opinion, a similar expression having been used by the honorable member for South Sydney. It is possible that the honorable member for Darling and others behind the Government might not be inclined to accept the opinion of the right honorable member for Swan on arbitration or . other industrial matters - although in Western Australia the right honorable gentleman showed his liberality in these directions - but his greatest political opponents must admit that it was a very happy idea to ask him, as Minister of Home Affairs, to visit this part of the Commonwealth and make a report.


Mr Kelly - The right honorable member was "personally conducted."


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - No doubt the right honorable member was " personally conducted" by Colonel Owen; but I cannot understand why the honorable member for Wentworth should take exception to that fact.


Mr Kelly - I take no exception.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Why does the honorable member remark, with a sneer, that the right honorable member was " personally conducted " ?


Mr Kelly - There is no sneer.


Mr Watson - I think the honorable member for Eden-Monaro went part of the wav with the right honorable member.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I did not go round with the right honorable member on that occasion. I did accompany him in May, two years ago, on a visit to the Monaro sites. The Prime Minister, I am very glad to say, is now to a certain extent muzzled, but I can remember the wild statements which he made in regard to Eden-Monaro, and which he was unable to prove.


Mr Watson - I can prove 'every statement I made.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Whyshould the Prime Minister suggest that the fact that I accompanied the right honorable member for Swan would influence the opinion of that gentleman ?


Mr Watson - I do not think that the presence of the honorable member for EdenMonaro would make any difference to the right honorable member for Swan.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - We have heard a good deal about the blizzards in the Eden-Monaro district, but it must be remembered that honorable members made their visit in winter - in May or June.


Mr Watson - In May.


Sir William Lyne - April.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member's statement as to the visit being paid in April is very like his story about the blizzards. At any rate, I did not make the mistake which the honorable member made when he took honorable members on a visit to Tumut in the summer time, with the result that the chances of that place were killed "in one act." We have to ask ourselves what were the qualifications of the right honorable member for Swan to make a report of the kind desired. In his report he laid down the essentials for a Capital Site, looking very carefully into the facts connected with the whole of the sites; and it is remarkable that a large majority of those who made personal visits of inspection are in favour of Monaro.


Mr Skene - The right honorable member for Swan has not seen Tooma.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - In my opinion if the right honorable member for Swan were to see Tooma and believed that it was a better site than Dalgety, he would have no hesitation in saying so I am sure that every other honorable member believes the same of him. It is an insull to him to say that he gave his opinior with regard to Dalgety simply because I went with him. He also had with him Colonel Owen, the Inspector-General of Public Works, a very able engineer, who probably has no axe to grind. He knows the Monaro country well. He has been camping there.


Sir William Lyne - Trout fishing.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - If honorable members want fish stories they can get them from the honorable member for Hume. What does Colonel Owen say ? He reports strongly in favour of Southern Monaro. I point to these as the opinions of disinterested experts, whose reputation, to a large extent, hangs upon their judgment of these various sites. They stand by Southern Monaro thoroughly. Is it not a remarkable thing that the bulk of the Victorian members and the bulk of the New South Wales members respectively are supporting either the Upper Murray or the Lyndhurst site? I do not say that they are not honestly supporting those sites. I give all honorable members full credit for honesty, and believe that they will vote for the site which they consider to be best in the interests of the Commonwealth. But, nevertheless, is it not remarkable that the Upper Murray vote . will be principally given by Victorian members, whilst the Lyndhurst vote will be principally given by New South Wales members? Is it not also a remarkable fact that the bulk of the members from other States who have no personal interest to serve in favouring one site more than another, are supporting the Southern Monaro site? I should be quite prepared to take the decision of honorable members representing the other States, and to let the representatives of Victoria and New South Wales stand aside altogether.


Sir William Lyne - That is verv rich!


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I ' know what the verdict would be. Of course, I do not propose to take such a course; but still it is remarkable that the bulk of the independent opinion of this House is in favour of the Southern Monaro site. A great many speeches have been delivered with regard to the Federal Capital. It has been considered from many standpoints. We had a very glowing speech from the honorable member for Richmond. He dwelt upon the beauties and the glories and the grandeur of a Capital such as Australia should possess, assured us that the site for which he intended to vote was most beautiful, and urged that- it was necessary that we should consider picturesqueness. But is it not a peculiar thing that the honorable member was not able to assure the Committee that he had even seen the site which he proposes to support? The. honorable member for Gwydir also made a very able speech. It was a fine descriptive speech, and any one who heard it must have admired very much the earnestness with which he entered into details. In the course of his remarks he read a long letter which he had sent to the Sydney Daily Telegraph, in which he set forth some facts which had been given to him - probably by the honorable member for Hume - showing that during the drought the Upper Murray site was able to maintain fifteen sheep or one bullock to the acre.


Mr Spence - The Daily Telegraph reported the honorable member as making a two hours' speech in favour of Tooma.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The fact is that the honorable member for Gwydir, after making a very able speech in support of the Southern Monaro site, dwelling strongly upon the reports of the experts, declared that he intended to vote for a site which he knew nothing about, except that he had been there for a very short time, in company with the honorable member for Hume. That was a remarkable position to take up. It does some credit to the honorable member's imagination that he should attempt to arrive at a conclusion on such slender evidence. The right honorable member for East Sydney has assured the Committee that the finger of destiny is pointing to Lyndhurst. All I can say is that, if we were to select Lyndhurst on account of its accessibility, we should be taking a very short-sighted view of our responsibilities. It would be very peculiar if we were to select a site for the Capital on account of the conveniences which at present prevail in regard to ths conveyance of Members of Parliament, and were to ignore the fact, which I take to be certain, that within a very few years, wherever we fix the Capital Site, the district will be riddled with railways. It is taking a shortsighted view to say that we should clump down the Capital at ;some place where there is a railway at present, whilst ignoring the means of communication that are bound to be provided in the future. The honorable and learned member for Wannon has urged that the Capital ought to be located in Sydney, on the ground that that would lead to a saving in expenditure, but I would remind the Committee that there could then be no return whatever to the Commonwealth in the shape of unearned increment. . The effect would simply be to make the corner blocks and the good sites that are now held by private individuals worth far more money, without the Commonwealth receiving any return. We ought to put the Capital in the bush, on the score of economy. It does not need any argument to show that 1 " bush Capital," as it is called, would be very much cheaper for the people of Australia than a Capital situated in one of the great cities. I venture to say that of the three western sites Lyndhurst is the worst. Its supporters may bolster it up as much as they please, but it seems clear to my mind that if any western site is to be chosen, Lyndhurst certainly ought not to be favoured. Either Orange or Bathurst would be preferable. The strong feeling in favour of Lyndhurst is simply a reflex of the opinions expressed by the Sydney daily newspapers. Honorable members get a good deal of their politics from these journals. Their views are drummed into us every morning. I do not, however, question the honesty of the supporters of the Lyndhurst site. I am quite sure that the honorable member for North Sydney would not support it unless he believed in it. I can also quite understand the anxiety of the honorable member for

Macquarie to see it selected. I feel like that myself sometimes regarding Monaro.


Sir William Lyne - Is the honorable member supporting Bombala or Dalgety?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I will "tell the honorable member if he will answer a question which I put to him. I am quite prepared to take the area that was selected by the Senate. I think we ought to have a large area. I wish to have a gateway to the sea, and also an entrance from another State. It is in my opinion for Parliament to select the area, and the choosing of the actual site is rather a matter for experts.


Mr Robinson - But what about the honorable member's constituents?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Probably the honorable and learned member for Wannon is one of those who consider the desires of their constituents a good deal. Personally, I have no hesitation in saying that I like the Bombala site, and believe in it.


Sir William Lyne - Which site is the honorable member going to vote for?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I believe that Bombala is the best site.


Sir William Lyne - Is the honorable member going to vote for it?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I will vote for a district or territory, not a particular site. I have made a careful analysis of the opinions of honorable members, and I know that very few of them are prepared to vote for Bombala. I am not fool enough to throw away my vote. I am not prepared to follow the course which the honorable member for Hume took on a former occasion. I am not going to urge honorable members to vote for Dalgety, while I myself vote for Bombala. I urge them to vote for Monaro district, and leave the selection of the exact site to experts. In this way all selectors of Monaro will stand solidly together. I strongly resent the inference of the honorable and learned member for Wannon; and as for the honorable member for Hume, he should be one of the last to make the insinuation which his question implies. He, himself, on the occasion of the first ballot, voted for Albury, whilst he urged other honorable members to vote for Tumut, deserting one site after another, and afterwards trying to placate the supporters of Tumut by talking vaguely of a railway. An honorable member who pursues such a course should be the last to ask a question. I ask the honorable gentleman now to come out from his ambush. I ask him if he is prepared to tell the Committee for which site he intends to vote. I pause for the honorable gentleman's reply. There is no fear that I shall get an answer to that question. This is but an instance of what the honorable member for Hume will try to do. I tell the Committee frankly that I believe Bombala is the best site; but as a large number of honorable members have assured me, in a perfectly straightforward way, that they believe in Dalgety, and will vote for it, while they will not vote for Bombala, I say frankly that when we come to the question of the selection of the exact site, I shall vote for the site in the Monaro district which I think will win.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the honorable member think he ought to do that ?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member for Macquarie has done some funny things himself. He was at one time very much concerned as to how he should vote, but I believe he has come to a conclusion on the subject at last. I am free to admit, however, that in little matters of this kind, if we required any one to watch the honorable member for Hume, no one could do it better than the honorable member for Macquarie.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the honorable member made a careful analysis of the voting that is likely to be recorded for Tumut and Tooma?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I have been asked a question, and I have had no hesitation whatever in answering it. I should like "to know whether there is any other information I can give honorable members. I am acting entirely above board, and I am saying exactly what I think on this matter.


Mr Kennedy - Is that something unusual?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - It may be' the opinion of the honorable member for Moira that it is something unusual for me to say what I think, but if I desired an opinion on that subject I should not go to the honorable member for it.. The honorable member usually speaks his mind pretty frankly, and I can well understand why he is not prepared to accept my analysis of his statements. He realizes now that he has had a lot of absurd statements pumped into him by some one else, probably the honorable member for Hume, and he has given them out here like a phono graph. The honorable member now wishes to take it out of me, because I have shown that there is nothing in those statements.


Mr Kennedy - I have not stolen the honorable gentleman's leader.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - It is rather hard for the honorable member for Moira to have to renounce the honorable member for Hume, but I can well understand why he should do so when he finds that that honorable gentleman lid him astray at the start.


Mr Kennedy - The honorable gentleman never mentioned the subject to me.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable' member for Moira now admits that it would be better that he should not follow the honorable member for Hume in the future. We have heard a great deal of the productiveness of the different sites. When the honorable member for Gippsland quoted certain figures, showing the productiveness of the Monaro district, the honorable members for Hume and Macquarie pooh-poohed the idea of anything growing in that district. They at once stated that what Mr. Coghlan . said could not be correct. His statistical records of the wheat and maize grown in the Monaro district are not accepted by the honorable member for Hume.


Mr Watson - In garden plots.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Garden plots are not . troubling the Prime Minister at the present time. There are other plots that are worrying the honorable gentleman.


Mr Robinson - Preference plots?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I have ascertained that one of the mills at -Bombala has refused to take any more of the wheat grown in the district, because it is blocked up, and we know that there are mills also at Cooma and at other towns in the district. If honorable members should ask why settlers in the Monaro district cannot grow wheat for export, the answer is because they are so far from the railway. I need not give merely my own assertions, or the figures of Coghlan. I am prepared to accept the statistics quoted by the honorable member for Gippsland. That honorable member is very careful in submitting, figures in this chamber, and I am prepared to accept the figures he has quoted without entering upon an argument with the honorable member for Hume as to whether Coghlan had not some reason or other to falsify his statistical register in order to show that the productiveness of the soil was greater in the Monaro district than in other districts of New South Wales.


Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - What is the birth rate?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I am referring to the productiveness as regards wheat and maize. I know that Bombala and the district around it can hold its own with any of the other districts of New South Wales. I can state as a fact that on the coast below Bombala, and within ten miles of the radius fixed by the Senate, land required for growing maize brought at public competition £100 per acre.


Sir William Lyne - That is at Bega, on the coast.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Yes, at Bega; but the honorable member for Hume contended some time ago that the Monaro district could not furnish food supplies for the Federal Capital.


Sir William Lyne - That is not in the Monaro district.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I am glad that the honorable member is finding something to which he can take exception. The honorable gentleman would not accept the statistics quoted by the honorable member for Gippsland, nor would he accept Cog/dan's statistics; and I now ask him why people should give such high prices for land in the district? If the honorable gentleman asks me why they do not give similarly high prices for land in other parts of the Monaro district, the answer is that it is because there is no means of getting the products of the land to market.


Sir William Lyne - Because there is no good land.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable gentleman may make that bald assertion if it pleases him, but he knows that it is because there is no means of getting the products of the land to market. The honorable gentleman must be aware that on Bibbenluke and Gunningrah there are 100,000 acres which are supposed to be suitable for close settlement, and they are only -waiting for a railway to the district. He must be aware that at Nimitvbelle, with an elevation of 4,000 feet, the Mount Cooper estate was recently inspected by New South Wales Government experts, who recommended the Government to purchase the estate for purposes of closer settlement.


Sir William Lyne - It is not fit for closer settlement.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable gentleman has- seen it only when dashing through in a coach, but Government experts, after an inquiry extending over eight or nine days, have decided that it is fit for closer settlement, and have recommended that the New South Wales Government should buy it for that purpose. That is looked upon as one of the poor places in the district. Honorable members may take exception to it, because the value is fixed at £2 10s. per acre. The reason for that again is because there is no railway communication to this land. There are 60,000 acres on Bibbenluke, 40,000 acres on Gunningrah, and 30,000 or 40,000 acres on Maharatta. I can appeal to honorable members, who know as much about country as does the honorable member for Hume, and who were driven out before breakfast to look at these places, to say whether these estates are not suitable for closer settlement. The country is poohpoohed because a high value is not put upon it, when we know that the reason is that at the present time no one can do anything with the land but graze sheep or cattle there. The honorable member for Moira has stated as one of his own experiences that he took his horses to Monaro, and they could not live on the grass there;' that he had to stable-feed them. I can appeal to the honorable members for Grey and Capricornia, who drove from Cooma south for seventy miles, and returned by the same route for twenty miles, when they made a detour of fifty miles to get back to the station, to say whether in that journey they saw any country on which horses could not live. I need not say anything about the record which the Monaro district has for horses. The district is renowned for its horse-breeding establishments, and what object the honorable member for Moira could possibly have in making such an absurd statement I am at a loss to understand.


Mr Kennedy - I have stated hard facts.'


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member can have only one idea in his mind in making such a statement, and that is, to endeavour to persuade honorable members that the country around the Monaro district will not keep horses.


Sir William Lyne - It is too sour.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member for Hume, who has pumped a lot of absurd statements into the honorable member for Moira, says that the country is too sour. I give the honorable member credit for honesty of purpose, but I can appeal against his opinion to honorable members who know as much about country as he does, and who have been through the Monaro district for. over 100 miles.


Mr Poynton - I. know that we saw some line fat bullocks there.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I appeal to the honorable member for Moira to say what object he could have in making such a statement as he has made.


Mr Kennedy - I have had to Live there; the honorable gentleman has not.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I do not dispute the fact ; but I must question any - thing said by an honorable member who will make so absurd a statement as that to which I have referred. I have no hesitation in saying that there is no honorable member who has visited the Monaro district, no matter how much he may condemn the Monaro sites, or how anxious he may be to secure the selection of a site in another district, who will give any credit to a statement of that kind.


Mr Kennedy - No stock-owner on Riverina will take stock from Riverina to Monaro to thrive. That can be proved.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - All I can sav is that the honorable member is welcome to prove it if he can. The honorable member for Moira is usually very careful, but he destroys our confidence in him when he makes a statement of that kind. The honorable member for Grampians knows something about country, and although he has said some unkind things of the Monaro district because he does not like it. and because he favours the Upper Murray 'site, he would never have asserted that horses would not live in the district.


Mr Kennedy - No stock-owner on Monaro would take stock off Riverina and put them on to Monaro to thrive.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - If that be so, how is it that during the last two years, when we had a drought, nearly all the stock from the Riverina side were brought to the Monaro district? I have figures here to bear that out, if the honorable member cares to see them.


Mr Spence - I did 300 miles through the district in a fortnight with a pair of horses that were fed on grass all the time.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - It is hardly worth while to answer such statements, but if honorable members will consider the statistics of stock in the Monaro district they will find that during the drought, men on Monaro made nearly the freehold prices of their land by renting it to people who brought starving stock from the Riverina country. Mr. McCaughey paid thousands of pounds in rent for Monaro country for his stock.


Mr Watson - For country just above Tumut.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - On which side of the mountain were the sheep ?


Mr Watson - Mostly on the western side. I saw his stock there, or, at any rate, thousands of them.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - That statement is like the honorable gentleman's story about the unfortunate boy whom he found asleep beside a milk-can. We all know that there is some good country on the Tumut side ; but does the Prime Minister say that Mr. McCaughey's stock was not chiefly on the Monaro side?


Mr Watson - I do.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I am acquainted with most of the men in the Monaro district. I know the size of their runs, and in many cases the rentals which they received. I drove through Mr. McCaughey's sheep, and I say that most of them were ir. that district. I was not in theTumut electorate at all. Many men on the Monaro country got nearly as much, and some of them quite as much, for taking starving stock from the plains during the eighteen months' drought, as the freehold of their land could have been purchased for prior to that period.


Mr Watson - In many cases high rents were paid for land on which ordinarily people would not dare to place their sheep.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - When I tried to pin the honorable member for Moira down to his statement about horses, he began to speak of cattle and sheep ; and now the Prime Minister has come to his rescue by saying that a good many of Mr. McCaughey's sheep were, during the drought, placed on the Tumut country. I do not dispute that. He had sheep all over the country.


Mr Watson - He had more sheep on the Tumut side than on the Monaro side.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - There were five times as many sheep on the Monaro side as on the Tumut side. It is not that the country is so much better, but that there is so much more of it.


Mr Skene - At Tooma he had five sheep to the acre.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member for Gwydir spoke of there being fifteen sheep to the acre, so that the honorable member for Grampians has come clown ten. Perhaps if I commenced to whistle he would make a reasonable statement.


Mr Skene - What I say is true; and the sheep were brought away fat.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I have seen 100 sheep to the acre ; but they were in a yard. If the honorable member can gull the honorable member for Maranoa, who has said that he will support the Monaro site, with that sort of garden stuff, his statements may do him some good ; but otherwise they cannot be expected to influence any one who knows a miner's right from a homestead lease.


Mr Skene - I spoke from personal experience. There were 15,000 sheep on 3,000 acres. '


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The Prime Minister had a brother-in-law in the Monaro district, against whom I have nothing *o say, because he was a very good constituent, and voted for me every time ; but the honorable gentleman has stated that he is strongly opposed to the selection of the Monaro site, because of a fearful time which his brother-in-law had in a snowstorm.


Mr Skene - Is that where they have churches with chimneys?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member must be mending his ways to know anything about churches at all. The Prime Minister has made a great deal' of the statement of his brother-in-law that Monaro is a very cold place.


Mr Watson - At any rate, I have never mentioned it in this chamber.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member has mentioned it privately to many.


Mr Watson - Incidentally, I told the honorable member about the occurrence.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - No doubt it is awkward to have these stories raked up again. I hope that the men of the Monaro district, and the men of the Moira district, will hear that the honorable member for Moira has stated that horses will not live on Monaro. Let honorable gentlemen listen to the following statement about Tumut, which appeared in a newspaper dated 3rd February : -

Earth tremors were felt here about i o'clock this morning, and some residents assert that they were the most distinct ever experienced. Houses were shaken violently, and apparently some portions of the town were affected more than others. The current travelled south- One distinctly audible shock, with vibrations and rumblings, lasted over a minute. It was elicited at the Observatory this afternoon that a slight shock had been felt at Adelong at 1.15 this morning. No other stations reported any disturbance.-

That paragraph is, in my opinion, a legitimate answer to the story told by .the brotherinlaw of the Prime Minister. The honorable member for Lang also spoke about the cold. He said that he had had a- very cold trip when passing through Nimitybelle one summer's night.


Mr Watson - Yes, and I have also had a very cold drive through Nimitybelle during a summer's night.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Those are the sort of statements which I have to combat. The Prime Minister wishes it to be inferred that it is distressingly cold in the Monaro country in the middle of summer, and those who believe such extreme statements will, of course, hesitate before going there. I regret that the honorable gentleman should thus go back to his old practices. In many respects it has improved him to have more responsibility and less liberty ; but he should not, even as a joke, say that the climate of Monaro is so bad as to be distressingly cold at night in the middle of summer. Such absurd stories are an insult to the intelligence of honorable members. The honorable member for Macquarie also spoke about the cold of the Monaro district ; but let him listen to the following paragraph from a newspaper dated 9th June, 1.903 : -

ORANGE, Monday. - There was a heavy fall of snow this morning, the ground being covered to a depth of three inches. It was much heavier at the Canobolas. Light rain has been falling all day, with a cold westerly wind. There are no indications of the weather clearing, and another snow storm to-night is probable. All holiday sports had to be postponed.

Similar reports came from Blayney, Lithgow, and other places in the district, while the Observatory records show that, on the same day. the weather in Monaro was perfect. I do not seriously contend that therefore the Monaro climate is warmer than the Orange climate. I quote the statement to show the absurdity of some of the statements made by the honorable member. Thefollowing article, however, is one to which I think the Committee generally would do well to pay attention : -

It was in some measure unfortunate that the Australian Federation was not cradled in time of war or other great national stress. The easy and comfortable conditions under which the union came to birth - the only difficulty being the petty and undignified one. of soothing the squabbling jealousies of various provincialists - deprived the new nation of much that would have been valuable in forming a character. Australia begun federated life too' much under hot-house conditions. The evil effects of this have shown themselves on various occasions, but never so conspicuously as in the discussion as to the location of the Federal Capital. From many sides comes a clamour against a "bush capital," and plaintive arguments as to the " discomfort " and " inconvenience " to legislators if the Federal Parliament sits anywhere outside Melbourne or Sydney. In other quarters, whilst there is a grudging acquiescence to the proposal that the Legislature "should move away from the flesh-pots of the 'great cities, there is an eager desire to veto any proposed site which has real or fancied hardships of climate or access. The time has come to remark to those gentlemen of the Federal Parliament who are desirous of staying in one of our great cities, and to those who are so querulously anxious that a site should be chosen with prompt access by Pullman car, and with a soft and complaisant climate, that the whole purpose of the Federation is not to provide comfortable hotel quarters for those who chance now to be its legislators. The Bulletin wishes to say this firmly, if a little reluctantly. This paper has never joined in that cheap and nasty adulteration of Radicalism which seeks the favour of the unthinking by belittling the representatives of the people and attacking their so-called " fat salaries " and " enormous perquisites." That is a Tory game to cripple the service of the public so that the public may be the more easily victimised. But, whilst Australia should give the best that it can to its Parliament and Ministers, concession must stop short of keeping back the development of the nation in the interests of the marble bath and the civilized cocktail of the Legislature. So soon as these things can be provided, consistently with the national interests, they should be ; the legislator is worthy of his bath and his cocktail. But if the nation needs it, the Legislature should be content with a bullockdray capital. It must be the nation's interests first and those of the nation's servants second.

It is ridiculous to hear, as one may hear, members of the Federal Parliament arguing that the Bombala site for the Capital - the only truly national site so far proposed - is impossible, because, for a while, members would have to travel some of the distance by coach, and because the climate there is sometimes cold. . This is an old woman's attitude. These "dainty affetuosos" who would sacrifice a nation's interests rather than submit to a little jolting or an occasional sharp blast of wind, show themselves in a wholly contemptible light. It is their misfortune, perhaps, rather than their fault, that such paltry ideas should infect their minds. The daily papers, with their draper souls, constantly preach paltriness and cowardice in national affairs, and there has been in Australia of late no stirring deed to rouse the mind from sluggishness. Federation was born in peddling times. The very Capital site location was made matter of degraded huckstering by George Reid. Eureka and the AntiTransportation movement are far remote from these days, and the spirit aroused by those great outbursts of national feeling has, to a great extent, faded away. Else it would be impossible for an Australian public man to balance against the arguments in favour of a truly national Federal Site his personal liability to catch a cold! in his nose.

Ignoring the cold-in-the-nose issue, the conditions which a locality must satisfy to make it truly - suitable for an Australian Capital may be briefly recapitulated as follows : -

The area must be the sole property of the Federation, and must be sufficiently large to secure for the Australian people all the increment in land values which the building of the Capital will give. An area of 100 square miles would be inadequate even for the building of a city ; and it would leave the larger share of land value increments to the private landlords outside the area. Greater Melbourne has an area of 250 square miles, and that area by no means embraces all the land which has largely increased in value by . the mere building of the city. If an area of 100 square miles, dedicated for a Federal city, were an exact square, and the city were built in its exact middle, it would only be a distance of five miles from the Federal G.P.O. to some private landlord's area.' If, as it is more reasonable tesuppose, this exact mathematical regularity were not obtainable, it might be only half-a-mile from the Federal city to the outside area where the private landlord annexed the profits.

The area must be of such a character as to permit of a real city arising, with good agricultural lands contiguous, with room and facilities for factories and arsenals. Either an easy coal supply or water power must be available.

A bracing and sturdy climate is desirable. The Federal area should be a nursery for the Federal soldiers and sailors and public servants.

A Federal port is absolutely essential. The present humiliating tribute agreement with Britain cannot be endured for ever. In time the Commonwealth must have its own navy ; it will then want its own dockyards and harbor. Further, the Federal Capital should not be surrounded on all sides by the area of any one State, and be dependent solely on that State for its means of communication.

Of the various sites under consideration there is only one that meets all these requirements - the Eden-Bombala area. In view of the necessity for economy - the Commonwealth cannot very well buy up Newcastle and the Hunter River valley - it is probably the only site available in the whole Commonwealth. And it answers to the natural needs in a fashion almost absolutely complete. An area can be secured stretching from an excellent harbor on the coast towards fine, bracing highlands, where might be bred men who could beat Maorilanders at football or steal cattle from a Highlander of the 16th century. Railway communication with the great State capitals can be effected without any enormous difficulty. There is. a splendid water supply - the only really genuine hall-marked, never-failing Australian river, the Snowy, passes through the land, and water for every requirement, from the. generation of electrical power for running factory machinery to the dilution of the politician's whisky, is available. It is fitted, by reason of its cheap water power, to be the greatest and most economical manufacturing site in Australia - water is even cheaper than coal. A harbor suitable for the naval and trade necessities of a Federal Capital is in existence. There need be no cramping of the area resumed, as 5,000 square miles, of mostly Crown lands, can be obtained. On the Eden-Bombala site, in short, the Federation may found a city and a State which will serve every national purpose, and wield a great influence in breaking down those provincial jealousies which are the chief obstacles to the progress of the Union.

Then the Bulletin appeals to the Labour Party as follows : -

The Bulletin in particular appeals to the Labour Party to stand to the national and patriotic attitude on this great issue. That party has, so far, shown itself the most consistently Federal and Australian of the three organizations in the Parliament ; it would be a fitting crown to its work in the first Australian Legislature if it were to stand unitedly for the national, as opposed to the provincial, or the personally selfish, view in the selection of the national capital.

These statements were published in the Bulletin of 1 st October, 1903, and I think that they afford honorable members plenty of food for reflection. They indicate what we require.


Mr Wilks - The article reads like a circus poster.


Mr Kelly - It is absurd.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The honorable member for Wentworth and the honorable member for Dalley may think that this is a subject for joking; but I regard it as very serious. I do not suppose that the honorable member for Wentworth will be prepared to go back to his constituents and tell them that the national platform laid down by the Bulletin is an absurd one.


Mr Kelly - Who wrote the article - some authority ?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - The statements I have read are contained in a leading article published in the Bulletin, and I clare say the writer is as good an authority" as is the honorable member for Wentworth, with all his cocksureness and his great political experience. No matter who the writer may be, he has presented hard facts, which cannot be gainsaid. Now, I desire to deal with the claims of some of the other sites, which have been put forward. The honorable member for Macquarie does not care about the Bulletin statement, but I would ask him to follow me whilst I refer to Mr. Pridham's report. The honorable member has asserted that Mr. Wade's report, upon which he relied, was based on Mr. Pridham's figures. I have just as high an opinion of Mr: Wade as has the honorable member for Macquarie, but I took exception to his being called upon to give evidence as a special advocate of a particular site, unless we also obtained the tes timony of Mr. Pridham and other officers of high standing. Now I shall refer to some of the figures contained in Mr. Pridham's report, which was presented to this House in May, 1904. The right honorable member for Swan in his report says -

None of the creeks I saw were running when I visited Lyndhurst on 5th April. The Belubla River was dry at Carcoar, the Mandurama, the Grubbenbong, and the Coombing Creeks were also all dry. It must, therefore, be clearly understood that should the Capital be established at Lyndhurst, the water supply must be obtained by conservation, and not from perennial streams. The principal water-course - the Belubla River - is not perennial, and runs through an inhabited country, including the towns of Blayney and Carcoar. It is, therefore, under existing conditions, out of the question for a pure water supply. The proposals to obtain from conservation by placing dams across four separate water-courses, viz., Coombing Creek, Flyer's Creek, Cadiangullong Creek, and Brown's Creek, sufficient water for a population of 89,000, and when the population increases beyond that number to pump water twenty-two miles from a large storage reservoir in the Lachlan River, does not seem to mark out this site, so far as water supply is concerned, as one amply favoured by nature for the Seat of Government of Australia. The enormous cost of this water supply {videMr. Pridham's report, herewith, marked Appendix B), namely,. £2, 728,030, is, in my opinion, a serious handicap to this site.

We gather from this that an outlay of nearly £3,000,000 would be involved in providing an adequate water supply at Lyndhurst, and it remains for the honorable member for Macquarie to show us that such an expenditure would be justified. The right honorable member for Swan says further -

As there is no perennial stream near Lyndhurst, there is no reasonable possibility of generating electricity to any larg"e extent by water power. Mr. Pridham's report, herewith, Appendix B, paragraph 5, shows that no adequate power would be forthcoming from the Lachlan River; this factor may, therefore, be considered as practically non-existent.

There is the statement of Mr. Pridham, together with the cold analysis of the right honorable member for Swan, which speaks for itself. I ask why an endeavour should now be made to ram down our throats a supplementary report by Mr. Wade? Mr. Pridham is a tried and trusted official, who is supposed to be the best authority on water-power in the Commonwealth. The honorable member for Macquarie knows that there are no running streams in the Lyndhurst district, and that the statement recently made by the honorable member for - Maranoa in regard to the inadequacy ' of the water supply there was perfectly correct. We have had glowing descriptions of the possibilities of conserving water at such places as Orange,

Albury, Bathurst, and Goulburn. The New South Wales Government provided the money for carrying out some of these schemes, and yet during the dry summer of eighteen months ago the inhabitants of the town of Orange were placed upon a half supply, whilst at Bathurst they were driving tunnels, with a view to Obtaining additional supplies of water.


Mr DAVID THOMSON (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) - They have been doing that for years.


Mr Page - The water is highly mineralized.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Exactly. The honorable member for Macquarie has stated that there is copper to be found all over the district. It is for him to explain how the difficulties which now present themselves are to be overcome. To my mind it is unfair to cast an aspersion upon Mr. Pridham. He tells us that the cost of providing an adequate water supply at Lyndhurst would be over £2,000,000.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Read his full statement.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I have not his full report before me.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It does not suit the honorable member's purpose to read it.


The CHAIRMAN - Order ! I would point out that standing order 280 expressly forbids interruptions, and also lays it down that every honorable member addressing the Chair has a right to make his speech in his own way.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I admit that I have infringed the rules of the House, and I am very sorry for having done so. At the same time I should like to point out that when I was speaking the honorable member did not hesitate to ask me a number of questions, which I answered in the most civil way.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Mr. Pridhamgives the following details in reference to supplying Lyndhurst with water for a further population of 90,000 by pumping by steam from the Lachlan : - Estimated cost of works (one-tenth cost of dam, pipe line, pumping, machinery, &c), £581,200; estimated annual cost of pumping 9,000,000 gallons per day, 1,600 feet, at 3d. per I,000 gallons, too feet high, £65,696, which, capitalized at 4 per cent., means £1,642,400; maintenance of main, capitalized at 4 per cent., £9,250; total, £2,232,850.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That result is obtained by capitalizing the working expenses.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Exactly. Water will not run up hill a distance of 100 feet. If we selected the Lyndhurst site it would be absolutely necessary to make provision for a pumping scheme, unless we were prepared to depend upon a system of driving and tunnelling for water. The honorable member for Macquarie has cleverly endeavoured to delude honorable members. Personally, I am content to let them decide this matter for themselves. The honorable member has stated that at Lyndhurst a supply of 135,000,000 gallons per day could be utilized for purposes of irrigation. I really think that the honorable member has made a mistake.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - They are not my figures, but those of Mr. Wade.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Mr. Wadehas just returned from America, where he has been reporting upon the Mississippi, and I think that the honorable member for Macquarie has mixed up the two reports. Is it not absurd for the honorable member to contend that while Orange, which contains a population of a couple of thousand, had to be put upon half supply last summer, Lyndhurst could be provided with 135,000,000 gallons per day? .


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Of what river is the honorable member talking?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - There is no river there. In the first instance the honorable member relied upon the Macquarie River, but when all the punts there got stuck up he fell back upon the Lachlan. I look upon his statements as absurd. He cannot explain away1 Mr. Pridham's figures. This is not an Age story, but Mr. Pridham's story. I think that upon this matter the Committee will prefer to accept the opinions of disinterested men who have no axe to grind, rather than the assertions of the honorable member. To make statements which they could not prove, would be worth more than their reputations. That is why I was anxious that Mr. Wade should be heard at the bar of the House. There is no running stream at Lyndhurst, and there is no chance of obtaining an efficient water supply there. To attempt to make honorable members believe that water would be cheap at so much per gallon is utterly ridiculous. Any such argument must necessarily be based upon the assumption that all the water which falls during a great storm can be conserved and sold. In conclusion, I wish to say that I am content to allow the Eden-Monaro site to stand for itself. That district has held its own unaided by the daily press. With the exception of the Adelaide Advertiser, and the Launceston Telegraph, which supports the selection of a national site at Bombala, it has received no assistance from the daily newspapers. It is true that it has had the powerful support of the Sydney Bulletin.


Mr Wilks - In the early days it had the support of the Sydnev Morning Herald.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - That is so, but that organ has since withdrawn its support. No doubt the advocacy of its claims by the Bulletin has been of great assistance to it. No matter how impartial we may desire to be - no matter how careful we may be in making any statement in regard to a site which we favour - there can be no doubt that in regard to any site which is in his own electorate, or in close proximity to it, an honorable member is inclined to think what he hopes, and cannot be classed as free from prejudice. But the great majority of honorable members representing other States, and those possessing expert knowledge, are in favour of Monaro, and have supported it from the first What is the position taken up by the Senate? That is a States' 'rights House, and it seems to me that it is a good thing that we have such a Chamber. When listening to the debate on this question one would be inclined to imagine that there were only two States to be considered. Tasmania is rarely mentioned, unless one ofits representatives rises to protest that it should not be left out of consideration, and we hear very little about Queensland in the course of these acrimonious discussions. The whole question seems to be New South Wales versus Victoria.


Mr Fisher - New South Wales against New South Wales.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Many men would imagine from the 'debate that there was no Golden Mile, no Coolgardie, no great State of Queensland, and no State of South Australia to be considered by us in making a selection, and, in these circumstances, it is well that we have a States House. One is prone to think that the members of another place should be more likely to be free from local prejudices than are honorable members of this House, who come into very much closer contact with those directly interested in the various sites, and the fact that the Senate has from the first supported the selection of the Monaro district should carry some weight. The great majority of honorable members representing other States also support that district, and, unlike the honorable member for Hume, the honorable member for Macquarie and myself, they cannot be accused of having an axe to grind. This should be an indication that the Monaro district has much to recommend its selection. Another point is that the majority of honorable members, who have inspected the various sites, are in favour of the Monaro district, although I have yet to learn that those who have made a personal inspection are better qualified to determine this question than are those who have not done so. An honorable member may say. " I have seen such and such a site, and I think that it should be selected," but, after all, many questions associated with the selection of a site can be dealt with only by experts. Experts must furnish us with information which they are specially qualified to give, and it is for the clever men in the House to dissect their reports, to analyze them, and to determine, on the information before them, which of the sites dealt with possesses, in the most marked degree, the main essentials for a Federal Capital. It is for this reason that I do not lay any special stress on the fact that the majority of those who have inspected the several sites suggested are in favour of the Monaro district. An important point in favour of the Monaro district is that it will be connected, sooner or later, with a main line of railway. No one would be so foolish as to suggest that the Prime Minister is in favour of the expenditure of an enormous sum in the establishment of a bush Capital. No one would accuse him of proposing to immediately spend millions on securing railway communication and an adequate water supply for the Capital ; but as the citv grows, various estimates of expenditure will be submitted to our consideration, and we shall gradually provide all that is necessary. Dalgety could be. connected with the railway system of New South Wales at a cost not exceeding £1.00,000. while Bombala could be connected with it at a cost of about £200,000 ; for many years, little or no expenditure would be necessary in order to secure a pure water supply. Men have secured a supply that would be sufficient for all requirements from the Snowy River, bv means of a miners' race, their only capital being their pluck and their faith in the ground to which they have carried it. We have the evidence of the Chief Victorian Railway Commissioner ' that a line will have ' to be constructed from Bairnsdale viti Orbost for State purposes alone, and there can be no doubt that B.ombala will be connected byandby with Eden. If the Capital be established in this district, those who travel to it oversea, via Eden, will have a chance to enter it through the Federal gateway. That* is a very important factor. By means of a railway it will have its own gateway to the sea. We may pooh-pooh the suggestion at the present time that there is likely to be any trouble between the Commonwealth and the State, but any one who has given this question serious consideration must recognise that there is a possibility of friction, and that it is therefore desirable that the catchment area of our water supply should be within Federal territory, and that there should be an entrance to the Capital from two States. Monaro has its own water-shed, and its great expansibility is also a great factor in favour of its -selection. In the Monaro district we have a State in itself - a territory which has never been developed, but is capable of vast improvement. If we select this district, we shall hear the school-bells tingling where to-day the sheep bells ring, and with a railway bringing a market to our door, we shall have manyhappy families and homes, where to-day there are but a few boundary riders' huts. That is a point which we have to consider. We must have a good climate, a reasonable water supply, and the opportunity for great development, so that as the city grows, and the people desire more room there will be ample scope for expansion With these essentials the Capital will become the centre of a great population and the home of a great people. We should select a site that will not be on the verge of inferior country. We do not wish to select a site merely because it is a beautiful spot that can never become anything more than a -glorified village. The climate of the Monaro district speaks for itself; the records of the temperature are open for inspection. It has been said that the cold is more intense in Monaro than in any other part of New South Wales ; but it has a bracing climate, cold frosts, days of sunshine, and nights of brilliance unknown in foggy regions with their forbidding desolate chills. There is no damp chilly atmosphere in Monaro, and we ought to hesitate before \ye pass by such a district. I would point out that many honorable members visited it not in mid-summer when everything is beautiful, but during the coldest months of the year, when they could not see Monaro at its best. That fact should be borne in mind when we are dealing with this question. Should we not ask ourselves whether the Federal Capital is not likely to develop into a great sanitorium if a suitable site be selected ? Every visitor to Australia will journey to the Federal Capital to see what it is like, and if it possesses a bracing climate, and is surrounded, by beautiful scenery, magnificent caves, sparkling waterfalls, and snow-capped mountain ranges - if it be a district in which to spend a pleasant holiday - it is likely to attract a large population. It is extremely probable that the Parliament will meet in the summer months, so that honorable members will practically go for a change of air to the Federal Capital. Honorable members who are in good health are likely to do much better work in a district where the climate is good and the air is bracing than in one in which the atmosphere is as humid as is that of many of the big cities of Australia. The fact that the Monaro district has so fine a climate is an argument in favour, of its selection. Its scenery is magnificent. Some of the finest caves in Australia are to be found there; Kosciusko is in sight, the great Snowy River flows through the territory, and the snow-capped hills are to be seen in the distance. The allegation as to extreme weather on the Monaro may be answered in many ways. The other day I wrote asking for how many days the schools at Dalgety and Berridale had been closed on account of bad weather, because I regard that as a very good test of the climate. The reply I received shows that the school at Berridale, which is a little township near the Snowy River, between Dalgety and Cooma, had never been closed one day on this account. Dalgety is a small hamlet, to which children have to come, perhaps, five or six miles, and on wet days some no doubt are kept at home. If only two or three children attend, school may be closed ; but I find that during the past fourteen years this has happened only on two occasions. Similar facts may be related of Bombala, where, some honorable members assert, the climate is worse than in other parts of the Monaro. I think honorable members are satisfied that the Commission would not, without foundation, have reported on what they term the " inexhaustible forests " of ' the Monaro ; and there is not the slightest doubt that in the area may be found some of the finest timber in Australia. That report, coupled with the fact that there are three saw-mills at work at the present time, renders quite absurd the statement that there is no timber. No doubt there are rolling plains without timber, but so there are in Queensland and other States, and I have yet to learn that such country is avoided as worthless. We have to consider how products and merchandise can be conveyed to and from the Capital. I hope that the Federal city, especially when water power can be obtained, will become a great manufacturing centre, and, that being so, the cost of freight must be taken into account. Other things being equal, ought we to select a place like Lyndhurst, which would mean a tremendous train haulage over mountains, or a place like Tooma, which would mean railway carriage of 400 or 500 miles?. Or, should we select a place within fifty or sixty miles of a good port? Water carriage, as we all know, is cheaper than railway carriage everywhere.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It would cost £1,656,263 to build a railway from Cooma to the port of Eden.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - At any rate, I simply put this suggestion forward as' worthy of consideration. I am not endeavouring to ram my convictions down the throats of honorable members. I am. not making bald statements ; I am merely puting forward facts which mav have been overlooked. By spending millions, Lyndhurst could no doubt be provided with that water on. whicli I lay so much stress. In Western Australia, the dry, arid country around Kalgoorlie reminded me very much of Lyndhurst ; and yet the right honorable member for Swan, when Premier of that State, conveyed water over a distance greater than that between the Snowy River and the site which the honorable member for Macquarie advocates. Therefore, if Lyndhurst were selected, the matter of a water supply might be an objection, though not a fatal one. A water supply can be obtained from the Snowy River by the expenditure of millions, though such an expenditure cannot, of course, create good country, and it would be very difficult to justify the cost.


Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Would the heights permit the flow?


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - I hardly think the heights would ; at any rate, the expenditure of money would provide a water supply. The Eden-Monaro site would be close to our own sea-gate; and as to the statement that Twofold Bay would not make a good harbor, I should like to read the following quotations from Mr. Oliver's report, to which I have previously referred : -

Dropping the part of critic with pleasure for a more congenial role, I may, perhaps, be permitted to point out that, without surrendering just claims to favorable consideration in respect of features such as climate, fertility of soil, and building materials, Southern Monaro holds an exceptional, and, indeed, an unique position in respect of -

1.   A Federal harbor in Twofold Bay. This means access by sea for passengers and goods from all States of the Australian Union by the Commonwealth's. own port. At a cost, now calculated by the Hydrographic Officer of the Public Works Department at£150,000, for a breakwater half-a-mile in length, and two jetties to cost £30,000 each, this harbor will be as secure an anchorage as Port Jackson. In the future it will be capable of being an effective naval base.

2.   Federal railways from the port of Twofold Bay to the Capital, and from the Capital to Cooma. These would be Federally owned and worked, and thus all friction with State-owned railways would be avoided.

In the same report Mr. Halligan, New South Wales Government Hydrographer, writes as follows : -

In accordance with instructions received from the principal Engineer for Harbors and Rivers, in response to a request fromyou that an officer should be sent to Eden to report on various martens concerning the establishment of a Federal port at Twofold Bay, I beg to report having visited Eden on the 22nd ultimo, and returned to Sydney on the 4th inst.

During this time I made a careful examination of Twofold Bay and the surrounding district, to enable me to express opinion- 1st. As to the necessity for improving the existing harbor accommodation ; 2nd. The best position for a breakwater (if necessary) ; 3rd. The quality and amount of stone available for harbor works and town buildings, &c. ; 4th. The disposition, lengths, and sizes of wharfs, docks, &c. ; 5th. The best position of a town, having reregard to drainage, water supply, &c. ; 6th. The quality and amount of timber, clay, &c, available for buildings; and 7th. The best means of supplying the new town with water.

It is difficult to understand how the existing township of Eden came to be placed in its present position. Weecoon Bay, or Snug Cove, is shallow and small, and is not protected from the south-east gales, or the prevailing south and south-west winds ; the access to the wharf from the town is bad, and must remain so ; the majority of the houses in the town are exposed to every wind that blows, and the steepness of the ground makes the site about the worst that could be chosen for a town. The difficulty, if not the impossibility, of finding a suitable site for a railway station, is also a serious objection to the adoption of Eden as the site of a future town. A much more favorable site exists at the south east corner of the bay, known 'as East Boyd. This part of Twofold Bay is sheltered from all but the north-east winds, which do not raise the same amount of sea as a southerly or south-east wind of equal strength, for reasons which it is not, perhaps, necessary to state here. My own observations go to prove that, with a light southeast swell coming into Twofold Bay, there was much less range at East Boyd than at the wharf at Eden, and the pilot and others informed me that this was the case in all weathers, except, of course, when a " black north-easter " was blowing.

On account of the sudden alteration in the trend of the coast at Gabo Island, the northwast winds which prevail on the coast of New South Wales during the summer months, are changed to S.S.E., south, and S.S.W. winds on the Victorian coast, and the small strip of coast between Gabo and Twofold Bay is a neutral zone, in which the north-east winds do not blow with the same regularity as they do further north. Still there are times when they attain considerable strength, and in order to afford protection from them, and to deflect the south-east swell, I propose to run a breakwater in the position shown by blue lines on the attached helio Its length need not exceed 2,640 feet mile), and at the outer end there is 9 fathoms of water. With a breakwater 15 feet wide on top, And 16 above high water, with inner slope i£ to i, and outer slope to i, the cost would be £150,000, and it would insure protection in all weathers over an area of '8 of a square mile with a depth of over 4. fathoms. This area could be increased, if necessary, by the construction of training walls, and by dredging, as shown by blue lines on helio, to 1 j square miles.

He goes on to show how this tremendous area might be increased. He deals with the timber supply for engineering purposes, and shows that there are great forests in the immediate vicinity. But I am dealing particularly with the bay, and with the benefits that must accrue to the Federal Capital if built in the proximity of a great harbor. Sooner or later these breakwaters must be constructed, and the harbor will be made perfectly safe. It must become a great naval base. Being situated half way between Melbourne and Sydney, it will have to be fortified at some time. Are there not great inducements for us to fix the Capital at a place like that? No doubt the construction of a railway would be costly. It might even amount to £8,000 or £10,000 a mile. But sooner or later that line will have to be built. We do not expect all these things to be done at once. It is idle to suppose that the whole of the cost of erecting the Federal Capital will be saddled upon the early years of Federation. I look at this matter from several stand-points. Naturally, as a New South Wales member, I pay great attention to it from the stand-point of the interest of that State. New South Wales is anxious to have the question settled. How can we best arrive at a settlement? The honorable member for Perth told the Committee that he intended to change his vote from Monaro to Tooma, because he knew that that would mean delay. Perhaps there will be some delay, but not much. We certainly want further information before we can think of choosing the Tooma site. The honorable member for Wentworth showed from the estimate from which he quoted that the railway to Tooma on the Victorian side alone would cost at least £500,000. On the New South Wales side there is a great distance to cover, and. it is doubtful whether it is practicable to connect the site with Sydney unless we come down to Germanton and make such a wide detour as would be absurd. We have to consider what inducement the Commonwealth has to offer to New South Wales to build that railway to the border. There is a feeling that a great injustice will be done to New South Wales if Tooma is selected. There will undoubtedly be great turmoil and trouble about it. There will also be great dissatisfaction if there is protracted delay. On the other hand, we know that Lyndhurst is not likely to be accepted by the Senate, which has an equal right with this House to express its opinion with regard- to the selection of the Capital. It certainly would be a very difficult matter, indeed, to induce the Senate to come round to that way of thinking. .But if we select the Monaro site, there will be no delay whatever. Beautiful as the Upper Murray site may be, and eligible as it may be, its selection is likely to cause not only months, but years, of delay. It will stir up all the old provincial feeling in New South Wales. We have had full information with regard to only three districts, those of Lyndhurst, Tumut, and Monaro. Of those three only two are now in the running. Tumut is dead, so far as this House is concerned. Of the two districts which are left, and about which we have full information, the Monaro is the only one the selection of which would lead to an immediate settlement of the question. I do not wish to delay the Committee longer. I thank honorable members for having listened to me so patiently. I do not very often take up their time, and the importance of the question must be my excuse for having occupied more time than I intended. I have not tried to decry other sites. I have simply pointed to hard facts. I have been asked by the honorable member for Hume which site I intend to vote for. I presume that he has asked that question to try to put me in an awkward corner with regard to my constituents. I have no hesitation in giving an answer. T do not admire the spirit that prompts the question, but I will reply frankly and honestly. I believe that Bombala is the best site, though it will cost more money to bring the Snowy River water there than to Dalgety by gravitation. But sufficient water can be brought from the Delegate River by going higher up for the offtake. I recognise that the best land is around Bombala. I am a great believer in territory. We want a. large territory. We cannot think of putting, the unearned increment into the pockets of a few private land-holders. I have told the land-holders in my electorate that they will not get a pound more than they are entitled to out of the Commonwealth Government if I can help it. If we were going into this matter as a private speculator, should we not take a large area so as to secure the unearned increment? Why should we not get some recompense for' the money which we have to spend ? I have yet to learn that those who are in favour of the Commonwealth taking a small area have the support of the people of New South Wales. I am prepared to fight that battle in any electorate in the State. When the question is put to the people, " Are you prepared to put the unearned increment into the pockets of the land-holders or into the coffers of the Commonwealth?" there can be but one answer. Consequently I have no fear as regards the proposal put forward by the present Government. I hope that whenever the selection is made, the Government will see that the area required is sufficient to enable us to recompense ourselves, and in time to get back more than the establishment of the Capital will cost - sufficient, in fact, to provide a source of considerable income to the Commonwealth. I have said that I believe Bombala to be the better of the two sites mentioned in the Monaro district. Although I hold that the selection of the actual site is a matter which must be left to experts, I am in favour generally of taking the territory defined by the Senate, with the exception that I think there is no necessity to go right into Pambula, and the rich country where the settlements are. They might be avoided by skirting the mountain range, and then striking down to the coast. We might also go a little further west to take in the full catchment area of the snow country, which is of very little value. If that were done, we should have a reasonable area of 5,000 or 6,000 square miles, on which there is very little settlement at the present time, which is of very little value to New South Wales, and from which that State is now obtaining very little revenue. Settlers are paying a few pounds a vear for areas of 20,000 acres in what is called the " snow country," which would be valuable as a part of the catchment area, if required for the Federal Capital. The real reason why there is so very little settlement in the district is the want of railway communication. I recently drove about thirty-five miles from Bombala to Bungarbay, and passed through two or three houses on big stations. They said to me that the town was quiet, and I replied that I wondered it was not dead. Until people are given an opportunity of getting access to these lands, we cannot expect to have settlement in the district.


Mr Spence - The Senate did not recommend that we should take over the whole of the area to which the honorable gentleman has referred.


Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - They have recommended that we should take over a great portion of it. I have carefully analyzed the votes likely to be recorded. I am satisfied that a majority of honorable members will vote for Dalgety rather than for Bombala. I think we should select the district, and leave the exact site for experts to decide; but I am prepared to bow to numbers. I am not prepared to prejudice the interests of my district because a majority of honorable members are not of my opinion. I still maintain, however, that we should take a fairly large territory, and allow experts to select the actual site of the Federal city after close investigation. 'That is the only way in which we can arrive at a proper conclusion. Above all things I hope that we shall now arrive at some conclusion which will settle this question. Honorable members must give and take, and agree to compromise in this matter. If they cannot get their first choice, they must fall back upon their second. I repeat that I regret that we are about to take a vote in such a way that a district favoured by only a minority of honorable members may score a win. I would again urge, if it were possible, that Mr. Speaker and two other honorable members should be appointed to look carefully into some scheme which would result in the pitting of one district against another, so that the site favoured by an absolute majority might win. Strongly as I hold that the Monaro sites are the best, I have no desire to win by any unfair tactics, or unless there is a majority of the Federal Parliament in favour of one of those sites. I say that we should gravely consider the Bill as it has come down to us from another place, embodying practically the unanimous opinion of men who come not only from New South Wales or Victoria, but also from the great State of Queensland, from Tasmania, Western Australia, and South Australia, men who have no personal interest to serve, and who cannot be biased to the extent that honorable members of this Committee may be biased in thinking what they hope. I trust that we shall now select the site of the Federal city, and select it in the best place in Australia for the purpose. I hope that in a very short period of time we shall be enabled to get there, and that we shall start, as I understand the Government ' propose, in a very small way, so that the Parliament House, public buildings, parks, streets, roads, and water supply will grow gradually with the requirements and necessities of the place. Let us establish the city in a good spot, I say, in Southern Monaro, and if we do I am satisfied that future generations will recognise that we have decided upon the best spot in Australia for the purpose, and one of which we can always be proud.







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