Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 12 September 1906

Senator DOBSON (Tasmania) .- It is with some reluctance that I venture to take part in the third debate on this subject, since it is difficult to avoid a repetition of arguments, which must, to some extent, involve a waste of time. I feel constrained, however, to reply to some of the statements made by Senator Pulsford. I admit at once that Senator Pearce put the case for the construction of the line very fairlv and cogently, but towards the close of his address he reverted to the oft- repeated assertion that when Federation was mooted, an implied promise was given to Western Australia that this railway would be constructed bv the Commonwealth. Inferentiallv he suggested that we should be guilty of a breach of faith if we failed to undertake the work. Then again, Senator Smith told us that in dealing with this question, we ought to " think continentally." But his preiudice in favour of the line led him to deal with it solely from thepoint of view of individual States. He' urged that Tasmania and Queensland had received many advantages from Federation whilst Western Australia had received none.

Senator Staniforth Smith - That was a statement of fact.

Senator DOBSON - I wish to deal with thisquestion from a constitutional as well as from a common sense business-like, and financial stand-point. The representatives of Western Australia prejudiced their case by asserting that there was an implied promise that the Commonwealth would con struct this line. As a matter of fact, that contention was raised only when it was found that South Australia was unwilling to join with Western Australia in constructing the line, or to give its consent to the proposal.

Senator Croft - The honorable senator does not contend that South Australia is seriously withholding her consent?

Senator DOBSON - I contend that this Bill is improperly before the Senate. Our only power to deal with it is conferred upon us by paragraph xxxiv. of section 51 of the Constitution, which empowers the Parliament to make laws with respect to railway construction and extension in any State, with the consent of that State. And yet, although we have not received the assent of one of the States concerned, we are proceeding with this project. I blame the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General for agreeing to what they know is unconstitutional, and grossly wrong.

Senator Staniforth Smith - Then the honorable senator must blame every Prime Minister we have had.

Senator DOBSON - I have before me the speeches made by Mr. Reid as one of the delegates at the Federal Convention, and after perusing them I find it difficult to understand how he could possibly support this Bill. The assertion that an implied promise was given that the railway would be built by the Commonwealth, and that this had a great effect upon the people of Western Australia when they were asked to enter the Union, is, as it were, " knocked on the head" by the fact that the line was never even hinted at during the three sittings of the Convention, and that in Tasmania - at all events, so far as I know - no reference was made to it during the Federal campaign. At the Convention, Sir John Forrest declared week after week that Western Australia could not think of entering the Union unless she was granted a concession in respect to her Tariff. And it is remarkable that the delegates from that State never hinted at 'the construction of this railway as being necessary to secure her consent to the proposed Union. During the debate on the provision in the Constitution Bill giving the Parliament power to legislate with respect to

Railway construction and extension in any State with the consent of that State.

Sir JohnForrest said

I can only say that we have already built our railways up to within 400 miles of our boundary, and we shall be quite able to build other lines ourselves when we can agree with our friends to join us on the border.

Senator Croft - We urge that this line should be built for the benefit of the Commonwealth, and not of any one State.

Senator DOBSON - I would ask the honorable senator to carefully consider the quotation I have just read. Sir John Forrest went on to say -

As far as we are concerned we should like to see a great trunk line running across the Continent from east to west, and another from north to south, and we look forward to seeing this accomplished.

These quotations furnish a complete answer to the contention of the representatives of Western Australia. Sir John Forrest mentioned two other transcontinental lines, but said that Western Australia was able and willing to construct a line to the South Australian border. Notwithstanding that statement Senator Pulsford appeals to the representatives of Tasmania to show a true Federal spirit by voting for this Bill.

Senator Croft - Does the honorable senator suggest that Sir John Forrest had not this line in view when he spoke of the two trunk lines?

Senator DOBSON - I think that he had in mind the line contemplated bv Senator Neild.

Senator Croft - He must have had in mind a continuation of the Kalgoorlie line.

Senator DOBSON - In view of the remarks I have quoted, Sir John Forrest could not have had such an extension in view. In order to emphasize the point that in the early days of the Federation we are entering upon works that were never contemplated, let me read the views expressed by two or three members of the Convention. In referring to paragraph xxxiv., of section 51, of the Constitution, which relates to railway construction, Mr. Wise said -

In the last division I felt the impracticability of giving Federal control, and the power to construct any railway.

The PRESIDENT - Order. In suspending the sitting of the Senate until 2.30 p.m., I would point out that the sessional order fixes the duration of the luncheon adjournment on Fridays, but does not fix any time in respect of the luncheon adjournment on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Inasmuch as we have been in the habit of meeting on those days at 2.30, and the sessional order is silent on the point, I. assume that it was intended that on Wed nesdays and Thursdays the sittings of the Senate should be suspended from 1 to 2.30 p.m.

Honorable Senators. - Hear, hear.

Sitting suspended from 1 to 2.30 p.m. ,

Senator DOBSON - I now propose to quote a few words which Mr. Reid said at the Convention on the proposal that the construction of railways should 'be one of the powers given to the Federal Parliament. He said -

I wish to have an opportunity of saying that I have a very strong objection to the whole of this sub-section, unless it is restricted to railways for defence purposes. Any confusion in connexion with the powers of the Federal Government, and any exceptional powers, would be likely to create great mischief in the future.

He then went on to say -

For defence and military purpose, that is perfectly justifiable. For any other purpose it is absolutely unjustifiable. If we study the history of America, where such powers are so persistently abused, we can see that it might even become a question in the Federal Parliament that would exercise a malign influence upon the public life of the Commonwealth. For instance, take my friend Sir John Forrest. No more upright public man exists in the world than Sir John Forrest, but if a Federal Government should tempt him with a transcontinental railway to Perth, I should tremble for the public virtue.

Senator Millen - What a true prophet !

Senator DOBSON - He was a true prophet, for he prophesied what is now happening.

Senator Croft - He supports the ralway now.

Senator DOBSON - I have nothing to do with the way in which people change their opinions. I am concerned now to show what was in the minds of the framers of the Constitution, and that it was never conceived that under these powers we should be asked in the early days of the Federation to build 1,100 miles of railway because two of the States will not do it themselves.

Senator Croft - We can all admit that Mr. Reid, because he is Mr. Reid, has a right to chance his mind.

Senator DOBSON - I have a perfect right to quote what Mr. Reid said at the Convention, when he was speaking with more responsibility than he had when on a picnicking . expedition he made the speech at Perth "to which reference has been made. Sir John Cockburn, who has been referred to, said -

I am entirely against the amendment at present under consideration, that the construction of any railway should take place without the consent of the States concerned.

Here is another quotation from the remarks of Sir John Forrest -

We ask for nothing which is not reasonable. We are not here to ask for concessions, but simply for the treatment to which we are entitled. I do not think it should be forgotten that, although we are probably not so important as some of the other Colonies represented here, we are the owners of one-third of this Continent, and no Federation will be complete unless it embraces that great western third.

Then, referring to the proposed provision, he went on to say -

If it does not remain, some other words will certainly have to be introduced, because it will be foolish to give the Commonwealth power to take over railways or parts of railway system and not give them power to construct and extend those railways in such manner as may be necessary.

Sir WilliamMcMillan, speaking of the transcontinental railway, said -

But we all think that the time is not ripe for that yet, and that it would overburden our Federal Constitution at present.

Senator Staniforth Smith - I thought the honorable and learned senator said that the railway was never discussed at the Convention.

Senator DOBSON - The idea in the minds of the members of the Convention was that nothing could justify the construction of such a railway except for defence purposes. It was pointed out that it would lead to dual control with the States. No one desires to see a great Federal Railway Department created. We all know that it would involve tremendous expense, and an expense that was never contemplated at the Convention. The Federal Railway Department which would be required to look after this one railwaywould involve an expense for administration a-d maintenance far greater than would be involved if the work were undertaken jointly bv the two States concerned.

Senator Croft - The honorable and learned senator has been quoting from the proceedings of the Federal Convention.

Senator DOBSON - Yes.

Senator Croft - I thought that the honorable and learned senator said that the railway was never discussed there.

Senator DOBSON - I have already said that the Transcontinental Railway, with which we are dealing now, was never discussed there. I have Sir John Forrest's authority for saving that he never mentioned it at the Convention. Surely the quotation which I read before luncheon should satisfy the honorable senator. If it does not, nothing will.

Senator Croft - The honorable senator is taking advantage of the difference of a few miles north or south of a certain line.

Senator DOBSON - It has been said over and over again that by voting for this Bill and the proposed survey, we shall not be committed to vote for the construction of the railway. We do not need to be told that. It is certain that because honorable senators may vote £20,000 to inspect the country to see whether water can be obtained there in sufficient quantity to keep men and beasts alive - and we have often heard that it cannot - it will not follow that thev will be bound to vote for the construction of the railway. But when Sir John Forrest, after flinging this thing into the midst of the Federal Parliament, found that he could get a majority to vote for the survey, what did he say? He said -

I do not consider that we should incur expenditure merely for the sake of making people believe that we aTe going to do something in this direction unless we really intend to do so. I am not in favour of making surveys for any proposed railway unless the project is entered upon in a bond fide way, and unless those who are prepared to support the necessary expenditure are ready to follow up their action in this respect by supporting the construction of the line.

Every argument which honorable senators opposite bring forward in support of this measure is absolutely cut from under them bv the words of Sir John Forrest himself. Then I am told by Senator Pulsford that I should consider my position, and should regard this proposal in a Federal spirit, that I should not join with other Tasmanian senators in opposing the proposed railway. I regard this as the most unjust proposal I have ever been asked to consider. Here we have Western Australia, the richest State in the Commonwealth, making this extraordinary request. Senator Smith, in his splendid legal counsel's speech, racked his brains in an effort to show that Western Australia has got less out of the Federation than any other State in the Commonwealth. The honorable senator succeeded to a certain extent.

Senator de Largie - He proved it up to the hilt.

Senator DOBSON - He did nothing of the kind. We were told by Sir John Forrest over and over again that Federation would be a sham unless it included the great western State. He induced the other States desiring to form the Federation to permit Western Australia to maintain her special Tariff for five years. Western Australia, bv that special concession, which the other States practicallypaid her to come into the Federation, has obtained between £800,000 and £900,000.

Senator Staniforth Smith - What would she have obtained if she had not come into the Federation ?

Senator DOBSON - This money had been obtained from the pockets of her own people, I admit, but Tasmania, on the other hand, has had to suffer a loss of revenue to the extent of about £1,000,000. I am asked by honorable senators to consider this- matter in a Federal spirit, and to believe that Tasmania has gained everything, and Western Australia has gained nothing, from the Federation. If there is a "Little Australia," or an unFederal way of considering this subject, the speech delivered bv Senator Smith is a good example of it. I ask honorable senators to consider the position of Queensland and Tasmania in the matter of finance. Senator Pulsford is, perhaps, better able than any other member of the Senate to deal with this aspect of the question, and I must ask whether he has left his financial brains behind him this morning? Does the honorable senator not' know that we are within £300,000 of exhausting the whole of our spending power of one-fourth of the revenue from Customs and Excise? Does he not know that we have a right to consider seriously a proposal for the expenditure of -£1,000, let alone of £5,000,000 ? Does he not know that unless we mind what we are doing the Federal expenditure will be such that it will be necessary for us to seek other means of paying our way, because the one-fourth of Customs and Excise revenue will not be sufficient for the purpose? I am tired of referring to the number of big schemes that are before us. If we are going to vote £4.000,000 or £5.000,000. for this ralway, a similar sum for Australian defence, and £3,000,000 or -^"4,000,000 for a Federal Capital, the people at Home who lend us their money will think that we are all mad.

Senator Staniforth Smith - If they read the honorable senator's speech, they will be justified in coming to that conclusion.

Senator DOBSON - They will be justified in calling us " Jubilee Plungers" if we go on in the way proposed much longer, and they will be justified in making remarks similar to those which some honorable senators sneeringly refer to as coming from the "stinking fish party." The people of Great Britain and of other parts of the world will judge us by our actions and our laws, and if they are such as to render us unpopular^ we must pay the price of our folly. I have no desire to repeat what. 1 have already said with respect to the country through which the proposed line will pass. I read the reference to Mr. Hann's expedition, to which. Senator Styles referred, and it seemed to me to absolutely confirm all that has been previously said on the subject. This man travelled for hundreds of miles over this country, and over and over again he says that there was not a drop of water to be found. When he visited each of the three places at which Sir John Forrest obtained water he found every one of them dry. Does this not show that in a season of drought it would be dangerous for human life to be in such a locality. It is simply monstrous to saythat £20,000 would be sufficient to explore this country, to put down bores to find out whether a water supply can be obtained, and to make a flying survey of the line. It would cost three times the amount. T have quoted the words of Sir John Forrest's diary for the benefit of honorable senators before. Over and over again he makes the statement that there was not a drop of water to be found in this country, and that there was not even an emu to be seen, which is strong evidence of want of water. Senator 'Pearce tried, and to some extent succeeded, in showing that there are some hundreds of miles of what would be good pastoral country, if the difficulty of securing a sufficient supply of water could be overcome. But the better the land is, the more rich the country, and the more it is open to settlement, the more easy it will be for Western Australia to carry out the suggestion and promise of Sir John Forrest and build the railway herself. If the land along the route of the proposed railway is good land, what can be more simple than for the States concerned to build the line. They would on their own showing lose a little interest on the cost of construction for ten years. What have we been doing in Tasmania ? We are at this moment losing interest on our main line of railway, which has been in operation for the last twenty years. When almost all the railways in the other States are being run at a loss we are asked to build a line for the richest State in the Commonwealth. Is that justice? I should be a traitor to the State I represent if I did not protest against the construction of this railway on every possible occasion. I say that the coaxing and lobbying that is being done to get this railway through does not redound to the credit of those who are responsible for it. I believe that some honorable senators, like Senator Walker, have been persuaded to vote for the measure because they have been told that not to do so would be to show an un-Federal spirit.

Senator Walker - Nonsense; I believe in the proposal.

Senator DOBSON - I ask Senator Walker whether the financial institution with which he is connected will lend Tasmania £100,000 a year, and charge her nothing for the loan? Is not the financial position of each of the States a matter of importance to the Commonwealth? Honorable senators are aware that the properity of the Commonwealth depends on the soundness of the financial position of the States. I am asked to drag the State I represent into an expenditure which it cannot afford.

Senator Staniforth Smith - £900.

Senator Pulsford - Why does the honorable senator say that Western Australia is the richest State in the Commonwealth?

Senator DOBSON - I believe that it is, because of the gold it possesses, and because it is the largest State.

Senator Pulsford - It might be the largest State, but it is not the richest State.

Senator DOBSON - I believe that it is. I have been astounded at the prosperity of New South Wales, her enormous revenue, and big surpluses, but if we consider the position of Western Australia, with her gold mines, and her possibilities owing to, the enormous acreage of land she possesses, and also her small population, I believe that it can be said that she is the richest State of the Commonwealth.

Senator Pulsford - Most of the capital there is borrowed.

Senator DOBSON - There is gold there to pay for it. What is mining in Western Australia doing to-day ? It is enticing away the manhood of every one of the other States. Scores of men are leaving Tasmania for Western Australia, and in many instances they are not paying for the upkeep of the wives and children they have left behind them. It is owing to the enormous wages earned by the miners, and largely spent on the purchase of imported articles, that Western Australia has enjoyed her enormous revenue. Yet she cannot afford to build this transcontinental railway, but asks Tasmania, out of her slender revenue - already depleted to the tune of £1,000,000 - to help her in that regard. Is it not an unFederal idea for Western Australia to say to the other States - "We are quite aware that you have developed your territories by the construction of railways, but we want you to make Western Australia, our State, an exception to the rule." In his earnestness and prejudice, Senator Smith grumbled about Western Australia being so large. Is he prepared to cut off a part of the State and present it to Tasmania ? Hecomplained that Western Australia is getting no advantage from the subsidy of £1 2,000 to Burns, Philp, and Company, or from the subsidy to the steamers to carry the mails to Tasmania, and even has to pay subsidies to little steamer* running from Perth two or three thousand miles along her coast. Tasmania has only a small coast-line, but Western Australia has an enormous coast-line, and yet the honorable senator grumbles because the latter State has to pay a subsidy to some steamers to travel along her enormous coast-line. I do not know why she cannot afford to build her own railways. Sir John Forrest, who was king of the State for twelve years, said that she had built her railways, and could continue to do so ; but now the Commonwealth is asked to undertake that work on her behalf. Senator Pulsford seems to think that Western Australia is the richest State in the Commonwealth. We all know that the mines yield a great deal of wealth. The moment that the miners make a good find and obtain a tiny fortune, what do they do? They go and invest their money in land. The possibilities of Western Australia with regard to agricultural and pastoral pursuits are simply enormous. Is it fair, then, to ask Tasmania to bear a share of the cost of building this transcontinental railway? I cannot see that it is. My honorable friends are grossly unfair in hurling at me the charge that I am un-Federal in spirit. They are not treating " Tasmania rightly when they try to coax, coerce, and bully the representatives of that State into helping them to build their trunk line. The difficulties in the way of its construction are simply enormous. Who is to settle the width of gauge ? The project, as I said before, is most irregularly before the Senate. We have the consent of Western Australia, but we have really no consent from South Australia. I confess that in the document which my honorable friends pretend to regard as a consent, the Premier of that State most distinctly says that it will consent provided that it has a voice in determining the route and gauge. How honorable senators can allow the proposal to be considered in the absence of such consent, I cannot conceive. It is preposterous to say that the survey of the line is not part of the construction. Suppose that there was no Act of Parliament to authorize a survey. Do my honorable friends think that on the letters from the Premier of South Australia, the Auditor-General would pass an item of £20,000 for a survey when the Constitution prescribes that the consent of the State through which the railway is to be constructed must first be obtained? This a small matter for honorable senators opposite, but would any law\,er tell his clients that he was perfectly safe when he had obtained a letter of consent if an Act of Parliament were required ? If a lawyer is doing business for a client with a company, and knows that a consent under seal is required, will he be content with a letter from the secretary saying that the company will- consent? I venture to say that when the Commonwealth has spent, not £20,000, but £40,000, a route has been defined, and a little information has been obtained about the water supply, if it does not suit a majority of the members in the Parliament of South Australia, they will say, " No, we do not approve of the route or the gauge. We think that we might lose a little traffic if a railway were built in that direction, and therefore we shall not consent to its construction." In what position would the Commonwealth be then? Does not that possibly indicate what a folly we are asked to perpetrate? Is that the way in which Senator Walker would allow the Bank of New South Wales to conduct its affairs? la the absence of authority in the articles of association would he agree to the bank giving bonuses and annuities to old servants? I speak very strongly, because I feel that a wrong is being perpetrated against the States which are opposed to this project. I agree with the Minister of Defence that there is only one possible ground on which it can be justified, and that is the question of defence. What kind of case is there from that stand-point ? It is supposed that some day the Commonwealth- may want to transport an army from the east to the west of Australia. When will that day arrive? Certainly not in the near future. When my honorable friends have read the cablegrams as to what Germany is doing, let them not forget that the highest authorities have stated that the Navy of Great Britain at the present moment is stronger than any two navies in the world. How many years will elapse before its strength is overtaken ?

Senator Croft - But our dear coloured brothers, the Japanese, are coming along.

Senator DOBSON - Considering that we have a treaty with the Japanese, and that there is a very good feeling between England and Japan, even if there is not between the Labour Party of Australia and Japan, I think that my honorable friend might put that idea out of his mind. If, however, he is going to rest upon that bogy as a justification for building the railway, I should like to hear what he has to say.

Senator Croft - Not wholly.

Senator DOBSON - In New South Wales there is a Defence League which has issued a little journal embodying the professional opinion of some of the best soldiers in the mother State. They tell us that a railway from Oodnadatta to the Northern Territory would be far more valuable for defence purposes than would be the proposed' transcontinental railway.

Senator Playford - What military authorities is the honorable senator quoting - writers in a newspaper?

Senator DOBSON - All the military authorities who are interested in the Defence League, and who mapped out its policy. If the Minister can deny the accuracy of their statements let him do so.

Senator Playford - I do not know who they are.

Senator DOBSON - A sentence has been quoted in which Sir Edward Hutton said that it might help the question o'f defence to have this transcontinental railway built. But what were his last words on the point? He said that we would have no army to send if we had a railway.

Senator Playford - We have the men now. How would the proposed cadets get across the country?

Senator DOBSON - The Minister cannot afford to spend more than £23,000 a year to drill the youth of the Commonwealth, and yet he asks the Senate to vote £5,000,000 for the construction of a railway to take to Western Australia an army which the late General Officer Commanding told him that he did not possess.

Senator Playford - No, I do not.

Senator DOBSON - The honorable senator knows that two years ago the Labour Party reduced the' defence vote by £160,000, and left the Army without arms, ammunition, guns and accoutrements. Although he cannot afford to spend £100,000 to keep the Army up to something like the mark, yet he asks the Senate to spend £5,000,000 simply because once in a century it may have to be conveyed to Western Australia. Was there ever such folly exhibited ! Where is the Federal spirit now, or the common sense? Let me "repeat my idea of dealing in an Australian spirit with this project, bearing in mind the words of Sir John Forrest that the rich State of Western Austrafia can afford to build her trunk lines. In my opinion, Western Australia ought to do as every other State has done.

Senator Playford - What about South Australia ?

Senator DOBSON - Perhaps South Australia may not be able to afford to build a railway to her border, although she would gain all the advantage from the provision of railway communication - through her territory. This railway, if built, would be a great advantage to the two States in that it would open, up a large area of land from which they would derive enormous benefit. Possibly in the distant future it would help in the defence of the Commonwealth, and almost immediately it was built it would facilitate the transmission of the mails. On account of the utility of the railway from the stand-point of defence and carriage of mails, we ought to be prepared to give the two States a liberal subsidy towards its construction. Let us helD them in every reasonable way we can. and allow them to borrow upon the credit of the Commonwealth £4.000,000 or £5.000,000 or £6.000,000 for that purpose.

Senator Styles - No one has yet attempted to show who would work the railway when completed.

Senator DOBSON - I presume that if the Commonwealth constructed the railway it would have to create a Railway Department. I should like Senator Pulsford or Senator Walker to point out in what way my proposition is anti-Federal. Beyond all question the construction of the line is a State matter, in the first instance, though I admit that from the stand-point of defence and carriage of mails the Commonwealth is interested. Is it not only right that the two States should recognise that it is a State matter in the first instance, and a Commonwealth matter last? I do not care how liberal the Commonwealth subsidy to the States may be. I want to help Western Australia just as I desire to help every other- State, but I repudiate the notion that the construction of this railway is a Commonwealth matter entirely. It has been stated that, on each side of the route of the line, Western Australia has set aside a tract twenty-five miles wide. That reservation was ' made, I think, after the project had been criticised in the Senate, because they felt that the Commonwealth and the States which would not benefit by the construction of the railway should have an indemnity. I think it would puzzle any honorable senator, even from Western Australia, to state on what terms this tract of country is to be given to the Commonwealth. Recognising that she had made a mistake in professing that the construction of the railway was a Commonwealth matter. Western Australia offered in the first instance to guarantee the loss on the working of the line for a period of ten years. That shows clearly that it is a State matter.

Senator Styles - To benefit one State only.

Senator DOBSON - Yea Then I understand that the Western Australian Government have decided to vest land on 25 miles of each side of the line, but that it is not to be an absolute gift to the Commonwealth. It is simply to be devoted to make good any loss which mav be sustained. I do not know whether Senator Smith can tell me how the matter stands.

Senator Staniforth Smith - The Commonwealth is to have the whole 6f the revenue from the land, whatever it may be.

Senator DOBSON - "Until we recoup our loss? The matter is arranged in such an unbusiness-like way that although we are dealing with some millions of acres of land, no honorable senator can tell us in what way it is to be placed at the disposal of the Commonwealth.

Senator Staniforth Smith - I have told the honorable senator.

Senator DOBSON - Then I understand that Senator Smith agrees with me that the land is to be held in trust, and that the Commonwealth will simply receive the purchase money as a guarantee against loss.

Senator Styles - What evidence have we that it is to be held in trust?

Senator DOBSON - Before we pass a Survey Bill we ought to have the Acts of Western Australia before us, and to understand clearly what the guarantee is. The land should be ear-marked and nut into a trust; and it ought also to be insured that the Commonwealth will give no more than a Liberal subsidy for those purposes which are Federal in their nature.

Senator Walker - That can be done after the survey is made.

Senator DOBSON - The honorable senator talks one way in the Senate, and quite another way, I am sure, in his bank parlour. I do not want to have matters fixed up after, but before, the survey. I want to see the terms and conditions of the bargain, just as I should do if I were acting as solicitor for a client. If senators are going to depart from those plain business principles which guide them in the management of their own affairs, sooner or later such a method of doing things will bring disaster upon the country

Senator McGREGOR(South' Australia") [3.2L - I thought that Senator Dobson would introduce the marriage tie even in a debate of so serious a character as this. He has accused Western Australia of affecting the marriage tie in Tasmania.

Senator Dobson - The honorable senator might as well refrain from vulgar and irrelevant remarks.

Suggest corrections