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Wednesday, 5 November 1913

Senator GARDINER - Here is a testimonial which Senator Oakes might have ascertained the correctness of without very much trouble -

Harbors and Rivers Department,

Sydney, 15th August, 1885.

Mr. HenryChinn, in severing his connexion with my Department, gives me the opportunity of testifying to his ability and zeal as a civil engineer and surveyor during the six years he was an officer under me.

For the whole of the above-mentioned period he has been engaged in connexion with the new Sydney Water Supply Scheme and Sydney Harbor and Rivers Works under my immediate control, which brought him in direct contact with me, and it affords me the greatest satisfaction to place on record my appreciation of his abilities as a professional gentleman, and at the same time express my regret at losing an officer whose services I greatly value, and who has always been a distinct gain to the Department over which I preside.

E.   O. Moriarty,

Engineer-in-Chief .

I ask Senator Oakes whether, in view of such a testimonial as that, which has remained unquestioned for twelve months during which it has been before party politicians in both Houses of this Parliament, he feels justified in asking the Select Committee to further inquire into Mr. Chinn's qualifications, at great expense to the country, by bringing professional men from Auckland, Brisbane, Perth, and elsewhere to testify to his pro- . f essional capacity ? I venture to say that we could not get professional witnesses to attend the Committee for less than £2 2s. per day, and would have to pay them travelling expenses, and it would be a cowardly thing to attack Mr. Chinn and then refuse to pay the expenses of witnesses prepared to vindicate his character. Here is one of the testimonials which was questioned. It is dated " ' Warleigh,' Brighton, Victoria, 23rd April, 1913," and reads -

Mr. HenryChinn, civil engineer, has been employed by me during a great number of years as engineer in charge of construction, &c, on almost all the large contracts I have been engaged in, and I can without the slightest hesitation speak of him in the very highest terms as a professional gentleman.

I have carried out some of the largest contracts in New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania, under both the Governments and Harbor Boards of these States; also many of the underground contracts in connexion with the Sewerage Scheme of Melbourne, and I owe a deal of my success to the untiring energy and marked ability displayed by Mr. Chinn as my engineer in all these works.

To hear of his further success will give not only me great pleasure, but the great body of contractors, with whom he is deservedly popular, and it is due to him to state he is an engineer of exceptional ability, and that no more competent and popular gentleman in his profession is known to me.

J.   Falkingham,

Railway Contractor.

That is one of the testimonials into the genuineness of which an inquiry was made by the Judge. He did not say that the case was not proved. He regretted that the original of that testimonial was not before him, but he said that there was no evidence to show that it did not exist. Here is another testimonial - a doubted one - from Messrs. Garnsworthy and Smith -

Collins-street west, Melbourne, 14th August, 1898.

Dear Sir,

At your request, we have much pleasure in committing to paper our appreciation of the valuable services rendered by you as our engineer in connexion with various contracts carried out by us under the Public Works and Railway Departments and Melbourne Harbor Trust.

The construction of the new entrance to the Gippsland Lakes was a work that necessitated more than the ordinary amount of foresight and skill, and we are confident the successful issue was only brought about by the untiring energy and exceptional ability displayed by you.

So much were we impressed with you on the above works that we determined to engage you on all future contracts, and in every instance, for a period of about elevenyears, your professional knowledge on all classes of works proved invaluable to us.

It would be hard to single out any particular branch of engineering to eulogize you on, for you are equally familiar with harbor and river works, sewerage, and railway construction ; and as the sewerage works of Melbourne were some of the most difficult ever carried out in Australia, the successful issue you brought our contracts to demands the highest praise from us.

We trust your career will be a prosperous one, and feel confident, if the opportunities only present themselves, you will do full justice to your office, and continue to earn further distinction in your profession.

Senator Long - Does the honorable senator think that Senator Oakes wishes to hear any more?

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