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Friday, 9 September 1904


Mr SPEAKER - Order. Personal remarks with regard to an honorable member's stature are not in order, and I must ask the honorable member not to continue in that strain.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I was merely speaking of the littleness of the honorable member's interjections. It is not right that the arch-enemy of the protectionist cause should hold the position of Prime Minister of the Commonwealth in a protectionist Parliament. How did he achieve that position ? In the first place he intrigued against the Deakin Government in a manner that was not reputable to himself, or to his followers. He publicly told his supporters to vote against that Government, whilst he saved his political skin by voting with them on the question of including public servants within the scope of the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Postmaster-General) - Can the honorable member show that the Prime Minister made the statement he has referred to?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Yes, I read t'he statement in the public press. He said that he would vote with the Government, but that he was not going to bind his' followers to adopt the same course; they could vote against the Government if they felt so disposed.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Postmaster-General) - That is very different from . what the honorable member st sited


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Two honorable members stated that they voted against their consciences simply with a view to destroy the Government.

An Honorable Member. - There were more than two who did that.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - There may have been a large number, but I heard two make that declaration. These were some of the tricks which the Prime Minister adopted to eject the Deakin Ministry from office. The late Government did not desire office. From the first, it was subjected to unfair treatment at the hands of the Prime Minister. The present PostmasterGeneral also was intriguing against it all the time.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Postmaster-General) - The honorable member endeavoured to secure my seat upon the direct Opposition benches.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The Minister is not stating what is correct. I may have sat in his seat for a few minutes, but I have never been in direct Opposition to the late Government. The Deakin Government never received fair play at the hands of the Opposition, and the Tariff would have been very much worse had it not been for the support given to the Barton Government by the Labour Party.


Mr McCay - By the protectionist members of the Labour Party.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Yes, of course. Seventy-five per cent, of the members of that party are protectionists, and they constituted our main support in passing the Tariff.


Sir John Forrest - Why should they not have supported the carrying out of the policy of which they approved ?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I do not say that they should not have done so ; but the free-traders and some of the right honorable member's bosom friends, whom he has been intriguing to bring into power, did not give us any assistance.


Sir John Forrest - I have never intrigued.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - There is no greater intriguer or- underground engineer in Australia than is the right honorable member. I was deceived for a time as to his capacity in that direction, but the scales have been removed from my eyes. There is a belief on the part of some honorable members that I occasionally resort to intrigue. Such a supposition is entirely a mistake.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Postmaster-General) - The honorable member is a pretty good hand at it.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - And the honorable member is a little better.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Postmaster-General) - I do not think so.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - It was manifest when the Deakin Government were defeated that there was no desire on the part of the Labour Party that they should be so. defeated. The party did not wish to take the place of the Deakin Government, and I know from statements made by many individual members of it that they had no desire to put that Government out of office. The Labour Party went to the country as advocates of the extension of the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill to the States railway servants. They were to a large extent returned on that issue, and were, therefore, perfectly justified in the course which they adopted in regard -to the clause in the Bill dealing with that question. Had they not adhered to the principle on which they were mainly returned, they would not have been worthy of the position which they occupied. They stood by that princiole, and the Deakin Government were turned out of office - not by the Labour Party,b ut. through the agency of the leader of the present Government.


Mr Salmon - Does the honorable member think that an honorable member should keep his election pledges?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I know that the honorable member does not keep them.


Mr Salmon - I rise to a point of order. The honorable member for Hume, mistaking an interjection which I made, has charged me with having failed to keep election pledges. I think that such conduct would be unworthy of an honorable member, and I therefore ask, Mr. Speaker, that the honorable member be called upon either to prove his charge or to withdraw it.


Sir William Lyne - I scarcely think that the point of order is a good one. The honorable member made an interjection, and I simply replied to it.


Mr SPEAKER - If the honorable member desires a statement to be withdrawn he is entitled to have his request complied with.


Mr Salmon - I wish the honorable member to prove his statement or to withdraw it.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If Mr. Speaker says that that statement must be withdrawn I shall withdraw it. I may say that I have closely watched the honorable member for Laanecoorie's political career for some little time past. It had been so circuitous that I desired to see what would be the outcome of it.


Mr McCay - If it were circuitous, it would be quite natural to thehonorable member for Hume.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The honorable member for Laanecoorie has been slightly wobbling. I 'have referred to the position of the Labour Party, because I think that their opposition to the Deakin Government has been dealt with in an unfair way. The right honorable member for Swan, as soon as he went into opposition, began to make vigorous attacks on the party. It was the first time that tie had sat in opposition during a public career extending over twenty-one years. He informs me that he never had a contest during the whole of that time, and having held office for so many years, I think he might very well have sat quietly for -a little time in opposition, instead of attacking the Watson Government as he did. As a matter of fact, his attacks should have been made not on the Labour Party, but on the present Prime Minister.


Sir John Forrest - My complaint was that the Watson Government had not a majority behind it.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The right honorable member made an all-round attack on the late Government - an attack 'which, I am afraid, was due to some soreness on his part.


Sir John Forrest - I hope not.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I may be wrong, but that was the impression which I formed. After being in office for twenty-one years, the right honorable member should have been fairly well satisfied to remain for a time in opposition.


Sir Tohn Forrest - In some respects it was ahappy release for me.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - And in others it was not. When the present Prime Minister andhis supporters had by means of intrigue secured the defeat of the Deakin Government, the Governor-General was advised to send for the honorable member for Bland - the leader of the Labour Party - and the present Prime Minister began to whine like a school boy, because the GovernorGeneral had not sent for him. He even went so far as to accuse His Excellency of having taken a wrong course. He practically charged him with having acted improperly. I was surprised to hear the right honorable member say in the course of the speech made by him a day or two ago that if anything happened to prevent the present Government carrying on the business of the country, he would dictate to the Governor-General the course to be taken by him. I have no doubt that when the right honorable gentleman called on the Governor on that celebrated Saturday afternoon, before he was officially sent for, he gave His Excellency an assurance that he could carry on the Government of the country, although he must have known that that assurance was not true. In that way I think, that the right honorable gentleman deliberately misled the GovernorGeneral, and when he says, in effect, as he did, the other day, that he is going to set aside the discretionary powers of His Excellency, and to do certain things himself, I think he assumes a power that is beyond his rights. I should not be surprised, however, at anything the right honorable member attempts. He sought on one occasion to deal in the same way with the Governor of New South Wales, but was well snubbed for his pains. He was told to mind his own business, and that the Governor would look after his own affairs.


Sir John Forrest - I had nothing to do with that, so that the honorable member need not look at me as he is doing.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The right honorable member is such a striking figure in the House, and his characteristics are so attractive that I find it difficult to avoid turning towards him, more particularly as the Government benches are practically deserted.


Sir John Forrest - Government supporters ought to be present.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The right honorable member for East Sydney lost no time in setting to work to get rid of the Watson Government. I should like, at this stage, to quote a few words from a speech made by the honorable and learned member for Ballarat, which will live in history, and will, doubtless, be referred to on many oc-' casions. I refer to the speech in which he dealt with the attitude. which the Opposition would take up towards the Watson Government. I must say, without any feeling of wanmth, that, unless the honorable and learned member for Ballarat had intended to give support to the Watson Government, he should not have recommended the Governor-General to send for the honorable member for Bland. He knew, as well as did any one in this Chamber, that the Labour Party in itself did not constitute a majority of the House. In that respect they were in the same position as the Barton Government and the Deakin Government, and if the Governor-General was to be guided in arriving at a decision by the question of whether the Labour Party constituted a majority of the House, the honorable and learned member should not have advised him to send for the honorable mem ber for Bland, unless he intended to extend some measure of support to him. Unless he was prepared to support the leader of the Labour Party he was leading that honorable member into an absolutely false position. What did the honorable and learned member for Ballarat say on the first available opportunity, after taking up his position as one of the leaders of the Opposition? In speaking for the Opposition he said -

I am charged to extend to the Government the assurance that the Opposition propose to extend to them the utmost fair play.

That was the first statement which the hon- ' orable and learned member made in this House, after recommending the GovernorGeneral to send for the honorable member for Bland, and after that honorable member had formed a Ministry. Then he went on to say -

The secret history of Cabinets is not written, or to be written ; but once in my life-time I made the fatal mistake - and it was in connexion with a State coalition Government - of failing to insist on the acceptance of the resignation I had tendered. I saw plainly enough that what I believed to be mistakes in policy were about to be made. I was entirely opposed to the particular policy then suggested, but allowed myself to be persuaded that consideration for my party and my colleagues, in which I hope I have never failed, demanded that I should sacrifice my own views to those of others. I did sacrifice my own strong views to those of others. I did so on that occasion, but shall not do so again.

Even at the time that this speech, in which the honorable and learned member admitted that he had made a mistake in joining a Coalition Government, was made, he was advising his colleagues to join a coalition. The attempts to bring about such coalition were for some time unavailing, because it was considered to be a most unholy proposal. The final result was that several of his colleagues joined the present Prime Minister. I regret that the Coalition Government was ever brought into existence, not because of any personal considerations, but because of my regard for the Protectionist Party, and for those, calling themselves protectionists, who have given themselves away.


Mr Deakin - The mistake to which I referred was not in joining a coalition, but in agreeing- to a policy to which I strongly objected.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I thought that the honorable and learned me'mber was referring to the fact that he was a member of the Gillies-Deakin Coalition Government.


Mr Deakin - I was.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - And I understood that the honorable and learned member was referring to that Government.


Mr Deakin - I referred to the mistake made by me, not in joining the Coalition Government in question, but in allowing myself to be persuaded to remain in it in spite of the fact that I saw that what I believed to be mistakes were about to be made.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I take it that the honorable and learned member said, in his concluding sentence, that he made a mistake in remaining in that Coalition Government, but that he was not going to make another mistake of the kind.


Mr Page - The honorable and learned member will yet burst up the present Coalition Government.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I desire to say that, although I have considered it necessary to make these quotations from a speech delivered by the honorable and learned member for Ballarat, there is no one who holds him in higher estimation than I do, and that I trust that whatever may] be our differences in political life, our private friendship will always continue.


Mr Deakin - Hear, hear !


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - In another part of the same speech the honorable and learned member said -

I think that we must all agree that it can only be maintained -

That is, the Watson Government - even temporarily, by that honorable granting of fair play, to which I have already alluded ; by that extension of consideration from one side of the House to the other, which enables us to discharge our common duties to the public.


Mr McCAY (CORINELLA, VICTORIA) - Does the honorable member charge the honorable and learned member for Ballarat with having failed, so far as he was personally concerned, to carry out that promise?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - - I have not made any charge against him. I have simply made one or two quotations from his speech, but I intend to show that the essence of the promise made by him on the occasion in question was not carried out. I repeat the statement, because I think it is necessary that it should be emphasized that the Watson Government, after being placedin power as the result of the action of the honorable and learned member for Ballarat, should have received a greater measure of fair play than was vouchsafed to it by the. then Opposition. A large section of the community comprising the political enemies of the Labour Party feel keenly that it did not get fair play owing to the intrigues of honorable members led by the right honorable member for East Sydney.


Sir John Forrest - What did they expect ?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - They did not expect anything from the right honorable gentleman. I am quite sure of that.


Sir John Forrest - Why should they; they turned us out?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - They did not turn us out. I have shown that it was the right honorable member for East Sydney, and not the Labour Party, who turned us out. It was, in my humble opinion, an unwise thing for the honorable and learned member for Ballarat to have made the question of the inclusion of the railway servants in the Arbitration and Conciliation Bill a vital one. I fancied that I had felt the pulse of the people; I knew my own feeling on the subject, and I told the honorable and learned member for 'Ballarat at the time, that if he did not include the railway servants some other Government would, and that the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill would never pass this House without their inclusion.


Mr Spence - And now honorable members opposite have swallowed the inclusion of the railway servants.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I admit that it was a high minded course to adopt, but in my opinion it was Quixotic to make a stand as the honorable and learned member for Ballarat did. With regard to the action of the combined Opposition, or a portion of the combined Opposition to the Watson Government, I feel that the statement made by the Prime Minister, to the effect that the battle ground was selected by the leader of the Watson Government, is absolutely incorrect. I may tell honorable members that, knowing the right honorable member for East Sydney as I do, I should not have been caught in the trap - because unquestionably a trap was laid for the honorable member for Bland. I heard the right honorable member for East Sydney, in an insinuating question across the table, lay the trap, when the honorable member for Bland said that if clause 48 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill were amended as proposed, he would take it as a vital question.


Mr Mcwilliams - Was not that selecting the battle ground?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - No; that was a selection of the clause and not of the motion for its recommittal, there is a vast difference between the two positions. The division on the amendment, proposed by the honorable and learned member for Corinella, was taken at a late hour of the evening, and the amendment -was not debated. I am aware that some honorable members who voted for the amendment regretted that they had given such a vote, when they came to understand what it was. The honorable member for Bland desired that we should go back again to the consideration of the clause with a view to its further discussion, and to the substitution of another amendment for that agreed to on the motion of the honorable and learned number for Corinella.


Mr Mcwilliams - All the members : o whom the honorable gentleman has referred voted for the recommittal of the clause.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - But the point is that the recommittal was made a combined test vote against the Watson Government, in order that honorable members opposed to that Government might obtain the vote of the Chairman of Committees, the honorable member for Laanecoorie. That was not a very reputable thing for those concerned.


Sir JOHN FORREST (SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - There was no gain in that.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - There was the pain of the vote of the honorable member for Laanecorie.


Sir John Forrest - But there was the vote of the honorable member for Barker on the other side.

An Honorable Member. - The Opposition, did not know that at the time.


Mr McCay - Everbody knew of it.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I desire to compare the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill as introduced by the honorable and learned member for Ballarat with that Bill, as it has been amended, that we may see if there is any reason why the honorable and learned member and other honorable members should take such great exception to it. As introduced by the honorable and learned member for Ballarat, the Bill contained these words - but does not include a dispute relating to employment in the Public Service of the Commonwealth or of a State, or to employment by any public authority constituted under the Commonwealth or a State.

It was on the omission of these words involved in the amendment of the honorable member for Wide Bay that the Deakin Government went out, and not on the straight question of the inclusion of State public servants. In the Bill, as originally introduced by the honorable and learned member for Ballarat, I find also that there were included persons engaged in agriculture, horticulture, and other industries connected with the soil.


Sir John Forrest - We know all about that.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I objected to that ; but I was only one in the Cabinet.


Sir John Forrest - I also objected to it.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Probably the right honorable member did. The only persons excepted under the interpretation of "industry " in the Bill as originally introduced were " persons engaged in domestic service." The amendment moved by the honorable member for Wide Bay included public servants of the States, and the amendment moved by the honorable and learned member for Wannon carried the exemption of agricultural, horticultural, and farm labourers generally. I voted for that amendment. It will therefore be seen that there were provisions in the Bill, as originally introduced by the honorable and learned member for Ballarat, which were very much more stringent than those in the Bill as it now stands. Honorable members were supporting a Bill including farm labourers, and yet they afterwards combined to put out the Watson Government when farm labourers were no longer included in the measure.


Sir John Forrest - We have not to thank the Labour Party for that.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - With respect to the now notorious clause 48, as it appeared in the Bill as originally introduced, no attempt was to be made to decide by a ballot whether an application for preference or a common rule was approved by a majority of the persons engaged in the industry concerned. There was a hard and fast provision for preference in the Bill as introduced by the honorable and learned member for Ballarat, and yet it was on an amendment which modified the stringency of that provision that the Watson Government were put out.


Mr Kennedy - It was upon a qualification of that clause that they were put out.

SirWILLIAM LYNE.- Both the qualifications of that clause submitted in the amendments proposed by the honorable and learned member for Corinella, and by the honorable member for Bland, made the clause less stringent than as it was introduced by the honorable and learned member for Ballarat.


Mr Bamford - The clause did not matter at all - the Watson Government were to be "biffed " out.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I am showing the unfair attitude which was adopted by the Opposition after the promise of fair play made to the Watson Government.


Sir John Forrest - Those promises are always given.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I do not know that they are, but I know that the right honorable member for Swan said that the honorable and learned member for Ballarat was too easv, and ought not to say those things.


Sir John Forrest - I said that the honorable and learned member was too complimentary.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Let us consider for a moment the difference between the amendment agreed to at the instance of the honorable and learned member for Corinella, and that suggested by the honorable member for Bland. The clause, as it stood in the Bill originally, provided for a preference to unionists, without any proviso. The proviso, which was the cause of the trouble, reads as follows: -

And provided further, that no such preference shall be directed to be given, unless the application for preference is, in the opinion of the Court, approved by a majority of those affected by the award, who have interests in common with the applicants.

That is held to mean that in order to decide the question a ballot would require to be taken, probably from Port Darwin to the south ofTasmania.


Mr McCay - Who holds that?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - That is generally held, and I say that if discretion in the matter is taken out of the hands of the Court, there is no other way of arriving at a conclusion than by a ballot of those engaged in the industry, which may extend from Port Darwin to the south of Tasmania.


Mr Bamford - That would be so in the case of seamen.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - It would be so in the case of seamen or wharf labourers, or of any industry having connecting links in various parts of the different States.


Sir John Forrest - It is not fair.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I am aware that the right honorable member for Swan does not desire the provision at all.


Sir John Forrest - I think it is unfair.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The right honorable member did not desire that the Bill should be passed at all.


Sir John Forrest - Why, I introduced and passed a Conciliation and Arbitration Bill mvself.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The amendment which the honorable member for Bland proposed to substitute for that agreed to at the instance of the honorable and learned member for Corinella, read in this way -

The Court before directing that preference shall be given to the members of an organization, shall be satisfied that the organization substantially represents the industry affected in point of the numbers and competence of its members.


Mr Johnson - What does " substantially " mean ?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - It means that a discretion is left to the Court, and after obtaining information in any way it thinks fit the Court would decide whether or not those words were complied with.


Mr Higgins - " Substantially " is a word which the Judges themselves use.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - That is so. The amendment suggested by the honorable member for Bland in my humble opinion is safe, is practical, and is far and away a better amendment than that agreed to on the motion of the honorable and learned member for Corinella, if the desire be to tone the clause down.


Mr Johnson - The question was whether Parliament or a Judge should make the law.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Parliament must depute some one to administer a law of this kind, and the proposal was that it should be administered by a Judge of the High Court, who would be a man not brought up in the same way as those generally employed in any industry. His education would be different, his social surroundings would be different, and he would be likely, to deal in an absolutely fair way with those making an application under the clause, certainly not to unduly lean towards them.


Sir John Forrest - He would only be a human being after all.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I should be prepared to trust the Judge. I can well understand the interjection coming from a right honorable member whose desire is to destroy the clause altogether.


Sir John Forrest - I do not believe in preference, and the honorable gentleman does - that is the difference.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - It is not preference, that is a misnomer. I remember that on the morning after the amendment moved by the honorable and learned member for Corinella was carried the Argus came out Avith a cross heading in large type, "Destruction of Preference to Unionists." There is no doubt in my mind that the clause does not specially provide for a preference to unionists ; that was merely a misnomer suggested to please those who are opposed altogether to a Conciliation and Arbitration Bill. The right honorable member for Swan was opposed to the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill.


Sir John Forrest - I introduced and passed such a Bill, and the honorable gentleman knows it.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Yes, and it was no good either! It was an Arbitration Bill without any force in it.


Sir John Forrest - The Labour Unions did not say so. They were very pleased with it, and they thanked me for it.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - At any rate it is not of very much use.


Sir John Forrest - Did the honorable gentleman ever do as much?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I think T have done a little more. I was practically the instigator of the New South Wales Arbitration Act. The Government of which I was the Premier were the authors of the measure.


Mr Spence - Hear, hear ! An effective measure !


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Yes. There has been friction in connexion with the administration of that measure ; but whenever the old order of things is disturbed, there must be friction, until the public learn to understand the new order of things.


Sir John Forrest - The measure I introduced was a copy of the New Zealand legislation of the time.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - It may have been a copy of the New Zealand legislation of the time, but that legislation has since been seriously amended. Probably the New South Wales Arbitration Act requires some amendment. No one who frames a measure of legislation can say exactly how it will act until there has been practical experience of its working; but after the rough knots have been discovered and planed off, I think everything will go smoothly in New South Wales. At all events, I initiated the measure, and my Attorney-General passed it into law.


Mr Higgins - It is the best Act in force in the States.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I have quoted certain provisions from the Bill introduced by the honorable and learned member for Ballarat which are of a far more stringent character than those in the Bill as it now stands since it was passed through Committee by the honorable member for Bland. I think that both the House and the public have come to the conclusion that the honorable member for Bland was ai. most temperate leader, although he adhered to the policy which he was elected to support.


Mr Johnson - He was more temperate while on the Treasury benches than while on the cross benches, because he was compelled to be so.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Probably that was the case. When a man is in office he feels the responsibility of the position. That is one reason why I should have liked to see the honorable member for Bland and his colleagues remain in power for a longer time. Their sense of the responsibility attaching to office would have increased. I should like to know what there; was to complain, of in their attitude, since the Bill as they have passed it through Committee is a much less stringent measure than that originally introduced by the honorable and learned member for Ballarat. To my mind, the amendment proposed by the Watson Government, giving the power of decision to the President of the Arbitration Court, instead of creating an unworkable machine, was the better one of the two, and I think that the House acted most unfairly in putting the Government out of office in the way in which they did.


Mr Wilson - How could it be unfair if it was in keeping with the rules of the House ?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - When the honorable member has been a little longer in Parliament, he will know that' there are ways of doing things which are fair, and other ways which are unfair. For instance, the night before last the present Government could have been put out by a considerable majority if the Opposition had felt inclined to put them out.


Sir John Forrest - They would not have gone out on a snatch vote.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - My experience of some of the members of the Government is that it would take many teams of bullocks to haul them from the Treasury benches. On one occasion I heard it whispered, when an adverse vote had been given, that they would adopt what I think is the French system, of getting a friend to move a vote of confidence.


Mr McLean - We would move a motion affirming that we had no confidence in the Opposition.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I had much more confidence in the honorable member before he joined his present leader than I have now, or than I can have again. The Watson Government did not cling to office.


Mr Lonsdale - They chose their own battle-ground.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - No. They did not. An attempt was afterwards made to bring about a coalition. That coalition now contains a mutilated half of the old Protectionist Party.


Sir John Forrest - More than half.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Very little more - only one or two.


Mr Johnson - What does the Opposition coalition contain?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Our coalition is in earnest, and it will be loyal.


Mr Liddell - What about the Ballarat Labour League?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I do not know about it ; but I dare say that there are a few malcontents in the honorable member's electorate, and he will probably hear from them presently. I may be wrong in my ideas of consistency, but I have tried to be consistent during my political life. I cannot understand how those who have professed to be strong protectionists could join the leader of the Free-trade Party, who has many times expressed 'his determination to destroy the Tariff if he gets the opportunity. Whilst they are reaping the fruits of office, what is taking place outside? What are the free-trade leagues doing? In New South Wales thev are making every preparation for a free-trade fight at the next elections. Has there not been a meeting of the Central League for that purpose, and are not its agents travelling all over the State at the present moment ?


Mr Wilson - What are the protectionists doing in Victoria?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The protectionists would be doing nothing if it were not for those who have stood loyal.


Mr Kennedy - Loyal to what?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I have, the greatest regard for the honorable member, but I differ from him on this matter. He has allowed the Protectionist Party to be weakened and partially destroyed.


Mr Kennedy - What has the honorable member done to keep it together? He was the cause of the split.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - No; I have done my best to keep it together. The right honorable member for Swan was the chief cause of the split.


Sir John Forrest - I have done nothing.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I may be wrong in my interpretation of loyalty, but I cannot understand how a loyal protectionist can join the arch free-trader of Australia, who has said times without number that his mission in this southern world is to bring about free-trade. The Free-trade Leagues are at present working as hard as they can in preparing to sweep the weakened Protectionist Party out of existence at the next general elections.


Sir John Forrest - The honorable member is joined to a party - the Labour Party - which has no fiscal faith at all.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - When I was in Western Australia, the right honorable member had no fiscal faith. He, on one occasion, inquired what arguments ought to be used" by a protectionist.


Sir John Forrest - Was that at Kalgoorlie ?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - No; at Fremantle.


Sir John Forrest - I do not remember the occurrence to which the honorable member refers. Is he alluding to a private conversation ?


Mr McCay - Did the honorable member for Hume tell the right honorable member what arguments to use?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I dare say that I did, though if -he listened to one of my speeches he would find there plenty of arguments. Let me quote one or two words which have been said in regard to this coalition by the Rev. Dr. Bevan -

I have no faith in coalitions. The working out of great principles is best done by means of the opposition of great parties. This is so, not only in politics, but also in the church.

That is the opinion of a man who does not keep his eyes shut to politics. Although he is a free-trader, he is an able, and, I think, an honorable and conscientious man. In the same paper is the following report of a speech made by that great free-trade propagandist, Mr. Max Hirsch: -

He admitted that the Federal crisis was touching free-trade principles most acutely. During the last three years, there had been an informal coalition between the Labour Party and the protectionists. Mr. Deakin practically said, " Give me protection, and I will give you the socialistic measures you demand." That alliance would continue unless another alliance took its place. "We have," the speaker continued, "to choose between two evils, and we must choose the lesser."

Mr. MaxHirsch is diametrically opposed to the views of the Labour Party. But when reference is made to the socialistic tendencies of that party, I would ask someone to say what Socialism is. Last night the honorable member for Darling quoted some dozen claims made by the Western farmers on the Government of Victoria.


Mr Wilson - No, the North-eastern farmers.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Our public life, and also our private life, is largely regulated by the operations of State Socialism. It is well known that I do not agree with the extreme socialistic doctrines preached by some individuals. In reference to the tobacco industry, I say unhesitatingly that I am not at present in a position to decide whether the monopoly is of such a character that State interference would be warranted.


Mr Wilson - What does the honorable and learned member for Indi say about it?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - He may know more about it than I do. I am not sufficiently well acquainted with the circumstances to justify me in deciding that a State monopoly should be created, but certainly I think that the fullest possible inquiry should be made, and that a Royal Commission should be appointed with that object in view. A Parliamentary Select Committee would not suffice, because the fullest authority must be given to obtain information from all sources. If the present tobacco monopoly is operating to the injury of the general public, it must be prevented. Those honorable members who complain of the attitude of the Labour Party in regard to the tobacco industry are themselves in favour of introducing legislation for regulating the operations of trusts. Therefore I fail to recognise the consistency of their attitude. The Prime Minister has shown himself to be an opportunist of the most pronounced type. After having attacked the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill, and having joined with others in expressing his disapproval of many of its provisions, he is now prepared to take it with all its alleged faults, and to adopt it as a Government measure. The right honorable gentleman is apparently prepared to swallow all his own statements, and to reverse the votes which he gave when he was sitting In opposition. He says that he is anxious to put an end to all friction between the Commonwealth Government and the States Governments, but at the same time he is prepared to adopt the Arbitration Bill with the provision relating to the railway servants which has, perhaps, caused more friction between the States and the Commonwealth than anything that has occurred in this Parliament. I voted for that provision, and I intend to remain firm in that attitude. I opposed the inclusion of farm labourers within the scope of the measure, and I shall act consistently in that regard also. The honorable and learned member for Wannon has 'endeavoured to show that under the alliance which has been entered into with the Labour Party;, it will be necessary for some honorable members to reverse their former votes ; but if he had read the terms of the arrangement he would have seen that there was no necessity for anything of that kind. The Prime Minister tells us that he has determined to re-establish responsible government upon a firm basis ; but I would ask how his position in regard to the Manufactures Encouragement Bill can be regarded as consistent with that declaration. If I were the leader of a Government, and I believed in the Manufactures Encouragement Bill, I should adopt it as a Government measure at all costs. The right honorable gentleman sneered at the Labour Party because of their attitude towards that measure, but he . is pursuing a similar course. The leader of the Labour Party agreed to allow me as a private individual to take up the Bill, and to afford . me every opportunity for passing it through the House. I do not suppose that the present Prime Minister will extend to me a similar courtesy.


Mr McCay - Does the honorable member want it?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Yes ; of course I do.


Mr McCay - I thought the honorable member said that he would not accept anything from the Prime Minister.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I said that I would not accept any favour at his hands. I was speaking of personal favours. I regard the Manufactures Encouragement Bill as a most important one, and I am glad to say that the members of the Labour Party have taken up a commendable attitude with regard to the measure. ' Notwithstanding all the statements of the honorable and learned member for Wannop as to their insincerity, they are prepared to loyally support the Bill. When it reaches the Committee stage, . those who desire that the industry shall be nationalized, will have a prefect right to do their best to make provision to that effect. If, however, they do not succeed, thev will not seek to wreck the Bill.


Mr McCay - That is rather a change of front.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I hope that I am not divulging any secret when I make that announcement.


Mr Wilson - Will ihe Honorable member vote for the nationalization of the iron industry ?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I shall vote for the matter to be dealt with by private enterprise, but I shall not attempt to destroy the Bill in the event of that proposal not being agreed to. I desire to see the Bill passed.


Mr Wilson - Then the honorable member is prepared to swallow one plank of the socialistic platform?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I dc not know that the proposal to nationalize the iron industry would commit us to any greater degree of Socialism than is involved in the nationalization of our railways, our tramways, and our waterworks. Fortunately the New South Wales tramways are in the hands of the Government.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Postmaster-General) - The honorable member was in favour of . selling the railways and tramways some time ago. .


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I was in favour of selling the railways about twentytwo years ago.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Postmaster-General) - It is not so long ago as that.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Yes, it was; I know, because the party to which my honorable friend belongs was in power. I was a comparative novice in public life at that time, and, having watched developments since, I have come to the conclusion that it is a matter for great congratulation that the railways of Australia are in the hands of the States. In Melbourne the tramways are in the hands of a private company, and are not worked to the same public advantage as are those of Sydney, where the travelling public derive the benefit of the interest which would otherwise go into the pockets of the proprietors of the tramways. If we cannot secure the development of our iron industry by private enterprise, there is no reason why the State should not undertake the work, so that we may derive the benefit of our national resources in the shape of iron deposits. If we were involved in war at any time, and were unable to import war material from abroad, we should be absolutely helpless, because we should have' no means of manufacturing our own arms.


Mr Page - We cannot make, a- gun barrel yet.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - We cannot yet produce a sufficient amount of steel to manufacture even one gun barrel ; therefore I think it is highly desirable that we establish the manufacture, of iron and steel at the earliest possible opportunity. The Prime Minister has made a declaration of the policy of the Government with regard to the question of preferential trade. When I stated that I intended to propose a resolution with reference to preferential trade, the Postmaster-General dared me to bring it forward, arid threatened me that it. would be kicked out pf the House. The Prime Minister has also more than once expressed himself as entirely opposed to the idea of establishing preferential trade relations with the "old country. Now he has accepted the principle. His promise, however, is only a piece of political padding. If we are to deal with the subject of preferential trade upon practical ' lines, we must impose fresh duties upon foreign goods in order to enable us to give an appreciable preference to British manufactures. If I had been in a position to do so, I should have made an offer to Great Britain without waiting for her to approach us.


Mr Fuller - That comes very well from the honorable member, who all his life has been in favour of imposing taxes upon British imports.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I am a protectionist, and not a revenue-tariffist.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - How would the honorable member raise revenue?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If revenue cannot be obtained in one way, it can be secured in another. If it be desired to encourage the industries of Australia, we must have an effective protectionist system. We cannot encourage our industries if we sweep away our Tariff walls. I do not believe in imposing duties upon small lines of imports, but upon goods which can be manufactured and consumed here upon a large scale. The present Tariff is more in the nature of a revenue than a protectionist Tariff. Honorable members have twitted me with having stated that I was in favour of fiscal peace. The fiscal question was raised not by the party to which I belong, but by the Prime Minister. I had to fight the right honorable member, and some of his principal supporters very bitterly in my own electorate, which was simply swarming with free-trade speakers during the last campaign. Sir William McMillan, the honorable and learned member for Parkes, the Prime Minister and others, did their best to secure my defeat.


Mr Wilson - This honorable member said he would not raise the fiscal issue.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE -I said that I did not wish to re-open the Tariff, because it had been in operation such a short time that we could scarcely judge of its practical working. Therefore, I was prepared to allow matters to rest for a time. Now, however, it has been proved that the Tariff is doing infinite harm to a large number of industries, particularly in Victoria. I have investigated the circumstances connected with from twelve to fourteen of our principal industries, and I find that imports are rapidly taking the place of locallymanufactured goods. The products of cheap and prison labour in other parts of the world, are being imported to the disadvantage of our own manufacturers, and workmen, and I have been informed by one large manufacturer that, unless some adjustment is made which will prevent the present large influx of imported goods, he will have to close his factory.


Mr Thomas - I desire, Mr. Speaker, to call attention to the state of the House.

A quorum not being present,

Mr. Speakeradjourned the House at 2.4 p.m.







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