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Federal Capital Administration report of the Royal Commission: Issues relating to Mr Griffin

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1911- 15 - 16- 17 .





R O Y A L C O M M I S S I O N .


Presented by Command ; ordered to be printed, 15th March, 1917.

[Cosf o f P a p e r .— Preparation, not given; 980 copies; approxim ate cost of printing and publishing £28 15s.]

I ’ rin lC i! a n il P n b ' i s l i n l f u r t h e C . o v k k n m e n t o f t h e O j m m o n ’ W K - u .t ii o f A c s t r a i . i a b v A i . u k r t J . M i n m ,

< K i v e i n m e n t l ’r i n t e r f o r t h e S t a t e o f V i c t o r i a .

No. 378.— F 3631 (C.5264).



To H is Excellency the Right Honorable S i r R o n a l d C r a u f u r d M u n k o

F e r g u s o n , a Member of H is Majesty’s Most Honorable Privy Council, Knight Grand Gross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Commonwealth of Australia.

M a y it p l e a s e Y o u r E x c e l l e n c y —

1. In discharge of the duties imposed upon me by your Excellency’s Commission issued on 14th June, 1916, directing me to inquire into and report upon certain m atters concerning the D epartm ent of Home Affairs, and its officers and persons whose services are engaged by or on behalf of the Commonwealth in relation to the Territory for the Seat of Government, and certain other m atters referred to in questions asked, answers given, and speeches made in the House of Representatives, more specifically stated in the said Commission, copies of which questions, answers, and speeches are attached thereto ; and the further Commission issued by your Excellency on 17th July, 1916, directing me to inquire into, and report upon, the question whether any public money has been wasted in the Territory for the Seat of Government in connexion with the construction of works or buildings or in adm inistration by or on the advice of any officer of the D epartm ent of Home Affairs, whether directed by the responsible Minister or n o t ; I have the honour to furnish your Excellency with the first section of m y report on m atters relating to the Territory for the Seat of Government, th a t being the only question in respect of which inquiry has yet been made. The inquiry as to the questions relating to postal buildings in the various cities of the Commonwealth,

and to the Commonwealth offices, Treasury Gardens, Melbourne, has not been entered upon.

2. The sittings of the Commission for the purpose of hearing evidence extended from the 18th July, 1916, until 21st February last, frequent adjournm ents being made from time to time to meet the necessities of parties appearing a t the inquiry. In all, 52 witnesses were examined ; upwards of 40,000 questions were p u t and answered ; and nearly 400 Exhibits, some of them very voluminous, were tendered in evidence.

3. The evidence in support of charges covered innumerable acts of conduct and administration, and the attack was so strongly pressed th a t in some instances I have to determine whether works were so weakly constructed as to be dangerous and unsafe, and, on the other hand, whether these same works were not constructed of such

excessive strength as to provide evidence of waste in expenditure. In other cases charges have been made of a similarly conflicting character. The transactions of the Home Affairs Departm ent, its Ministers and officers, relating to the Federal Territory for the last six years have been under investigation, and I am satisfied th a t all m atters of any consequence, involving any suggestion of faulty adm inistration or conduct th a t have been discovered upon the closest research, have been brought before the Commission.

1 2


4. The Honorable William Webster, Postmaster-General, appeared in support of the charges made in his speeches and of the charges of wasteful expenditure, and in his labours had efficient expert and clerical assistance. His assiduous devotion to the task he had undertaken resulted in bringing before the Commission a great number of facts and matters, knowledge of which could not otherwise have been obtained. I

have to express my obligation to him for the assistance he has given me in furthering the work of the Commission. The Honorable W. 0 . Archibald also appeared at certain sittings when the evidence related to the time of his administration, and he brought before the Commission very im portant and necessary evidence. Colonel P. T. Owen, Director-General of Works, and, in his occasional absence, Mr. Thomas Hill, engineer, appeared for themselves and all other officers, and by their diligent efforts also facilitated the work'of the Commission in obtaining evidence necessary to the elucidation

of the issues raised.

5. The charges made and questions raised arrange themselves under six principal heads as follow :— (1) Issues relating to Mr. Griffin. (2) Accounts and finance a t Canberra.

(3) Wasteful expenditure a t Canberra. (4) Sewerage for Canberra. (5) Brickworks. (G) Water supply, power, and miscellaneous matters.

T propose in this section of the report to deal with the issues relating to Mr. Griffin. These issues affect his reputation and th at of Ministers and officers of the Department, and their determination is consequently a m atter of great urgency. Sectional reports dealing with the other five heads of inquiry will be issued with as little delay as possible.


G. On the questions to be determined with regard to Mr. Griffin the following facts arise : Mr. Griffin was on 18th October, 1913, appointed by the Prime Minister, the Right Honorable Joseph Cook, P.C., " Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction,” for a term of three years, at a salary of £1,050 per annum. Under his agreement Mr. Griffin was inter alia empowered—

4. (a) For the purposes of the creation and development of the Federal Capital City a t Canberra to prepare designs, specifications, plans, and documents, and generally direct the details and execution of works necessary to give effect to them and, in particular, but without limiting the foregoing words :—

Public Ways and Parks. Paving of Roads and other Ways. Street and Park Planting. City Beautification. Services and Equipment. Accessory Structures.

(b) Advise upon the future development of the Federal Capital City, including the location of structures, their co-ordination, constructional materials, and relative scale and proportions. (c) Advise upon and (if so requested by the Minister) prepare conditions of

competition for public buildings and works for the Federal Capital City and preliminary feature plans for the guidance of competitors. (g) Perform any other work in connexion with the Federal Capital City which is in keeping with the character of the position of Federal

Capital Director of Design and Construction.

7. Mr. Griffin entered upon the performance of his duties forthwith, but according to his own evidence (2220-2229)* up to 15th November, 1915, he “ had not advised as to the erection of any of the buildings erected meanwhile at the Federal City, although buildings costing £30,000 had been e r e c t e d n o r had he “ given any advice which resulted in the construction of any building or the carrying out of any works,” and his “ employment was of no use whatever to the Government in respect of any such buildings or structures,” nor had he “ given any advice in furtherance of the creation

* Number of paragraphs in Minutes of Evidence.


and development of the Federal City,” except “ with regard to the advisability of planting some cork-bark oaks,” and nothing had been done in accordance with his advice in respect of roads or bridges or in respect of the w ater supply upon which £196,000 had been spent.

8. Upon the evidence I find th a t Mr. Griffin was perfectly right as to these facts, but he had rendered some service under his contract in the supervision of his draughtsmen, who were employed upon some work preliminary to the creation of the City, and also in the preparation of a plan, 400 feet to the inch, a work th a t he had been ordered to perform, but which he always regarded as being wholly unnecessary, and intended only

to delay and obstruct him in his work. The fact is th a t during 26 months Mr. Griffin did not perform the duties of his office. The question is whether he or other persons are chargeable in respect to this default.

Mr . G r i f f i n ’s C o n d u c t .

9. No charge of neglect of duty or other like default has been made against Mr. Griffin. The evidence shows him to have been keen in his desire to perform his part in the creation of the Capital City, and thereby to add to his reputation as a city designer. I do not find th a t any official or personal act or fault on his p a rt justified or induced any official conflict. He made some mistakes, but these were not of such consequence as to justify any resentm ent by other officers. He was, for instance, going beyond his office in asking to be allowed “ to express his views and make some suggestions to the Minister regarding the proposed Portland Cement Factory (Exhibit ‘ A 1,’ page 100) for the Commonwealth.” He had not, I think, the right to do this under his contract (pi. 4 b ). T o this request a curt reply came from the Minister, the Honorable W. 0 . Archibald (Exhibit “ JB 15 ” ), informing Mr. Griffin th a t the m atter under consideration was in “ relation to the manufacture of cement for the Common­ wealth, and th a t technical advice on the processes, and engineering advice is being obtained from the responsible officers of the D epartm ent.” The letter concluded with a statem ent th a t if Mr. Griffin had any suggestion to make from the stand-point of city design he might furnish a report, and there the m atter ended. The reference to “ responsible officers ” occurs elsewhere in documents relating to Mr. Griffin and the permanent officers.

10. I think Mr. Griffin went too far also when he protested against the repairs done to the road to the north-east from Canberra as being an interference with his design. The road clearly was inconsistent with his design, but the repairs appear not to have exceeded what was reasonably necessary for its safe use, pending the formation of the roads designed by Mr. Griffin. Another error on his p a rt was th a t in his requests for information he on several occasions was not sufficiently definite, and defeated his own purpose by using terms which would include information th a t was not required, and could not without great labour be obtained. Two of these requests will be noticed later ; for the present I need only say th a t no official friction should have resulted from them. In one instance, more particularly noticed in paragraph 137 following, he made

what seems to be an unjust attack on Colonel Owen in respect of an estimate furnished by th a t officer, but this attack was made on 11th May, 1915, when he and the other officers had been in contention for twelve months, and it is in reply to statem ents in condemnation of his design and of his own professional ability.

11. Certain other m atters relating to his conduct m ust also be referred to. The Honorable W. O. Archibald in his evidence (page 21) states th a t a t the first interview he had with Mr. Griffin on 30th September, 1914, the latter “ threatened him as Minister of Home Affairs with a law-suit for breaking his agreement. The law-suit was not threatened in connexion with the cancellation of the competition ; he personally threatened law on the ground th a t he was not perm itted to carry out the terms of his

agreem ent;” and Mr. Archibald says th a t in consequence of th a t threat he referred to Mr. Garran, Commonwealth Solicitor-General, for an opinion as to his liability in the m atter. Mr. Griffin (page 59) denies th a t he made any such threat. I t appears to me th a t Mr. Archibald’s recollection cannot be quite accurate on this point, because the opinion th a t Mr. Garran furnished on 3rd October, 1914, was to the following effect:—

(1) That, in carrying out the duties of the office, the Director is subject to the directions of the Minister ; and (2) That the amount of professional and other assistance to be provided to the Director is in the discretion of the Minister.

No word of reference to any law-suit or threat of litigation is contained in Mr. Garran s memorandum, and I think th at the m atter is much more accurately put by the Minister (page 21) when he says th a t “ Mr. Griffin held he was entitled by law to practically do the whole work a t Canberra, and th a t no one could gainsay him.” Mr. Garran s opinion must have been stated with reference to an official claim of this nature.

12. Mr. Archibald in his evidence (page 11) says, “ When other officers did come into contact with Mr. Griffin, the friction came from Mr. Griffin’s side. He was rubbing them the wrong way ; ” further, th a t “ Mr. Griffin’s attitude towards the officers became so irritating th at when I asked the latter for a report, they would say they would rather

not supply one, because of the irritation th at would follow.” No other evidence of irritating action on Mr. Griffin’s part was given, and Mr. Bingle (15612) states th a t Mr. Griffin had never shown him any discourtesy or done anything to prevent official relations being properly maintained. Colonel Miller (13354) says, “ At this particular juncture (7th October, 1914), the relations existing between Mr. Griffin and myself were quite cordial. Mr. Griffin and I have always got on very well together—admirably. He was my guest a t my own house.”

13. Mr. Archibald complains of Mr. Griffin’s overbearing manner ; of his conten­ tion th a t his agreement gave him the right to do absolutely what he lik e d ; th a t one of his letters was very offensive, but th at he took no notice of i t ; and th a t he looked upon another letter (page 50, “ A 1 ” ) as a “ bluffing letter ” (Evidence, page 32). I do not agree with Mr. Archibald as to his description of either of the letters referred to, and with regard to the bearing and conduct of the two I think I was greatly assisted by watching the cross-examination of Mr. Griffin by Mr. Archibald. Some of the questions allowed were couched in terms discourteous, if not offensive (see paragraphs 948, 953, 982), and others had to be disallowed because, in my opinion, they exceeded the proper limits, while Mr. Griffin in his answers and bearing, even under extreme provocation, was always courteous. I should have disallowed two of these questions if I had not desired to see whether Mr. Griffin’s courtesy would stand the strain th a t such questions imposed upon him. Recognising the Minister’s feeling and conduct towards Mr. Griffin, as disclosed in certain parts of his evidence (presently to be referred to), I am satisfied th a t any cause of irritation that existed is not to be laid to Mr. Griffin’s charge.

14. I find on all the evidence th a t Mr. Griffin is not chargeable with default for the non-performance of the duties of his office during the term stated. The question remains whether any Ministers or officials have prevented such performance.

F a c t s P r e c e d in g Mr . G r i f f i n ’s A p p o in tm e n t.

15. To determine this question it is necessary to state the material facts preceding Mr. Griffin’s appointment. After the acquisition of the Federal Capital Territory it appears to have been a t first intended th at the Capital City should be designed and constructed by the officers of the Home Affairs Department. In October, 1908, Mr. E. M. de Burgh, Acting Chief Engineer, Rivers, Water Supply and Drainage, New South Wales, had reported on the question of water supply for the Capital (Exhibit “ B 111 ” ), and Mr. Corin, Electrical Engineer, Department of Public Works, New South Wales, had also reported on a hydro-electric scheme (“ B 111 ” ). On 27th June, 1909, Colonel Miller, Secretary to the Department of Home Affairs, in a memorandum addressed to the Minister, referred to an offer by Mr. de Burgh th a t he would, if so instructed, make a distinct recommendation as to the water supply and development of power,with estimates, on the understanding th at the scheme should be carried out by the New South Wales Works Department, and stated—

I consider it advisable that it should be definitely understood that the Department of Home Affairs will carry out the whole work at and in connexion with the Federal Capital, and that its officers are thoroughly competent to advise the Minister with respect to the progressive steps to be taken in the development of the city and the various engineering schemes connected therewith and generally.

This recommendation was indorsed by the Minister for Home Affairs, and afterwards by the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth, and forwarded to the Premier of New South Wales. In passing, it may be noted that, although this is Colonel Miller’s mind with regard to the Federal Capital, in a minute dated 30th July, 1912 (Exhibit “ B 96 ” ), he recommends th at New South Wales officers should construct a light railway to be built from Queanbeyan to the Capital.


16. The next fact to be noticed is the institution of a competition for designs for the Federal Capital. A Board, consisting of Mr. John Kirkpatrick, a rc h ite c t; Mr. J. A. Smith, engineer ; and Mr. J. M. Coane, licensed surveyor, was appointed to report on the suitability of the designs submitted, and on 14th May, 1912, the Board, by a majority, reported in favour of Mr. W. B. Griffin’s design, Mr. Coane preferring a local design.

17. The Minister, in accordance with the conditions of competition, adjudicated on the designs and awarded the first premium of £1,750 to Mr. Griffin. On 27th June, 1912, the Minister appointed a Board of Officers of the D epartm ent to investigate and report as to the suita bility of the designs for adoption for the purpose of lay-out of the City. The Board consisted o f :—

Colonel David Miller, V.D., I.S.O., Secretary, D epartm ent of Home Affairs, Chairm an; Colonel P. T. Owen, Director-General of Works ; Charles R obert Scrivener, Director of Commonwealth Lands and Survey ; Geo. J. Oakeshott, Works Director for New South Wales ; J. S. Murdoch, Architect, D epartm ent of Home Affairs ;

Thomas Hill, Works Director for Victoria.

18. On 25th November, this Departm ental Board reported th a t it was unable to recommend the adoption of any one of the designs submitted, and advised the approval of a plan of lay-out prepared by the Board itself. The Board expressed the opinion th a t its own plan of lay-out provided “ for the present and the future, and should result in the creation of a city which will be practical as well as beautiful.” This recommendation was adopted by the Honorable King O’Malley, Minister for Home Affairs, on 26th November, 1912, although he states in evidence (36905-16) th a t he preferred Mr. Griffin’s premiaited design, and was reluctantly compelled to accept the Board’s plan on account of the opinion th a t he had formed upon the reports of some officers as to the great and prohibitive cost of carrying Mr. Griffin’s design into effect. The Departmental Board’s plan differed radically and essentially from Mr. Griffin’s premiated design, and particularly in respect of residential areas, ornamental lakes, and the position of the railway through the city.

19. The Honorable King O’Malley, on 10th January, 1913, ordered a survey of the City according to the Departmental plan (34542), and on 12th March again ordered the survey of the City on the Departm ental plan to proceed (“ C 79 ” ).

20. On 21st January, 1913, Mr. Griffin wrote from Chicago to the Honorable King O’Malley (Exhibit “ B 8 ” ) stating th a t he had received a “ revised plan,” and after referring to some of its features, and referring also to his own plan and its principles, he continued :—

If I could be on the ground in consultation with your Board for a short while, as suggested in my earlier letter, there would need be no misunderstanding of aims nor loss of necessary unity and simplicity in working out the unsolved plan problems, and because of your unparalleled civic advantages, I would willingly make considerable personal sacrifice if needed to render possible a personal presentation, and to

meet all objections and suggestions in a rational and sympathetic way such as may be expected of an architect towards clients who must necessarily understand the designer’s reasons, which must in turn be conclusive under those circumstances if lie is to expect their adoption. I am willing to admit being wrong in any proposition if, after full and free discussion the client, in the form of a joint commission or board, interested only in obtaining the best results, fails to concur. It is for a careful study of the points of the here­ with enclosed explanations and for an open hearing that I ask your favorable consideration.

21. Upon this, Colonel Miller, Chairman of the D epartm ental Board (who had been appointed Administrator of the Federal Territory on 8th August, 1912,), minuted to the Minister of Home Affairs : “ There is no necessity for the consultation suggested by Mr. Griffin. The responsible officers of the D epartm ent are seized of all the facts and respecting your wishes. They are thoroughly competent to carry out the scheme, and in my opinion it would be most unwise to interfere with them .” Colonel Miller’s recommendation seems to have had approval. A t any rate, no acceptance of Mr.

Griffin’s offer was made by the Minister.

22. On 11th June, 1913, the Honorable King O’Malley, referring to the appoint­ m ent of Colonel Miller in the previous August, says, “ This gentleman has, under my instructions, held the position of Administrator since last August, and has displayed all the qualities which are essential to carrying the seat of Territory to a successful issue. The Administrator should, subject to the Minister, be vested with supreme control, and held responsible for the results.”


23. Work a t the Federal City in accordance with the plan of the Departmental Board had been carried on since November, 1912. The works included buildings at Acton, and the erection of a power-house, approved by the Honorable King O’Malley on a site in accordance with the plan of the Departmental Board, but destructive of an essential p art of Mr. Griffin’s premiated design. During 1913 construction of various works and buildings continued, but no buildings other than the power-house were erected within the City area.

24. On 25th July, 1913, the Honorable W. H. .Kelly, reversing the policy of his predecessor in office, offered Mr. Griffin travelling expenses to come to Australia for the purpose of a conference with the Board, and this invitation was accepted, Mr. Griffin arriving in Sydney in August, 1913. On 1st August, 1913, Colonel Miller, in a minute (“ B 107 ” ) addressed to the Minister and referring to Mr. Griffin’s intended visit to Canberra, wrote, “ I take it th a t your intention is th at Mr. Griffin shall meet the members of the Departmental Board, who are responsible for the design of the lay-out

of Canberra which has been adopted.” He then states their names and titles of office at full length, and proceeds, “ Please instruct me whether it is your desire th a t the Committee shall be called together a t Canberra to meet Mr. Griffin and to discuss with him the design prepared by the Departmental Board and his design on the spot.” In reply to this Mr. Kelly, on 14th August, 1913, minuted, “ I desire Mr. Griffin to study the ground (Federal Capital Site) in the first place without the presence of the Board. I desire Mr. Murdoch to meet him in Sydney and accompany him to Canberra.”

M r . G r i f f i n V is it s Ca n b e r r a .

25. Of this visit to Canberra, Colonel Miller, on 9th November, 1914, wrote, “ I met Mr. Griffin in Sydney on his arrival from America, and under instructions from the Minister arranged for him to visit the Federal Territory. On 19th August

Mr. Griffin arrived a t Canberra. W ith Mr. Scrivener, Director of Commonwealth Lands and Survey, and Mr. Murdoch, Assistant Architect, and myself, Mr. Griffin inspected the site of the Federal Territory a t Canberra and continued his inspection on the 21st, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of August, on which day he left for Sydney.

26. If Colonel Miller is correct in this statement, what was actually done was in full accordance with what he had suggested and the Minister had forbidden ; and it certainly does appear th a t all the officers named did accompany Mr. Griffin during some p a rt of his inspection a t Canberra. I t is somewhat remarkable th a t each of the officers

examined with regard to this m atter concurred in the strange assertion th a t the Minister’s minute only prohibited a formal meeting of the Board “ as a Board,” and was not intended to forbid attendance upon Mr. Griffin by the members of the Board a t Canberra. (Mr. Murdoch, 12070 ; Colonel Owen, 30732 ; Mr. Scrivener, 14300 ; Colonel Miller,


27. Already it appears from the evidence th at there was indication of some feeling of hostility by a t least some members of the Departmental Board to Mr. Griffin. Colonel Owen says (34856) th a t after Mr. Griffin had arrived he went so far as to say, but does not mention to whom, “ Why not help this man ? He cannot be a rich man ” ; an

indication th a t the person addressed had not hitherto acted in accordance with the Colonel’s suggestion.

28. On his return from Canberra to Melbourne after this inspection and while the train was a t Albury, Colonel Miller was told by the Honorable W. H. Kelly th a t he wished “ the Board to consult with Mr. Griffin on the basis of the original plan with such recommendations for amendment as they could make.” (6193.) Colonel Miller replied (6863, 9078-91) th a t he thought “ there would be trouble,” and asked the Minister to personally inform the Board of his decision. This the Minister did in Melbourne when he called the Board together in his office for the purpose. Upon the announcement being made one member of the Board asked, “ Does th a t mean, sir, th a t all our work is to go for nothing ? ” In reply the Minister said, “ I expect from you absolute loyalty in carrying out my decision.” (6863.)

Mr . Gr if f in a n d t h e B o a r d .

29. The members of the Board and Mr. Griffin proceeded to confer, and, according to Mr. Griffin’s memorandum of 13th October, 1913 (Exhibit “ A 1,” page 11), there early developed between himself and them fundamental differences in respect of the


essential features of his design. The Board accepted his scheme of lay-out for the area reserved for administrative buildings, but disagreed with him as to all other principles of his design, and especially as to the course th a t the railway should take in going through the City. The Minister, being appealed to upon this latter point, decided in favour of the railway route proposed by Mr. Griffin, and the conference then continued. Mr.

Griffin, however, was still unable to secure concurrence in respect of any essential features of his design. The conference decisions were, in Mr. Kelly’s opinion, unduly protracted, and on 15th October, 1913, he called the members of the Board before him, thanked them for their labours, and disbanded them. Mr. Kelly adm itted very frankly (6857) th a t he “ had a suspicion th a t a report was brewing against him which might be used against him in Parliament, and therefore he decided to disband the Board.” Mr. Griffin was

then appointed Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction, as stated, on 18 th October, 1913.

30. I t will be seen, th a t a very difficult position had thus been created, and one th a t contained potent elements of future discord. The members of the D epartm ental Board included all the chief officers whose concurrence and assistance would be necessary to Mr. Griffin in carrying out his work. They had had the duty and privilege of designing

a capital city, and of proceeding to create it in accordance with their own plan during the period from the time of their appointm ent in June, 1912, up to October, 1913. The work of designing was now taken from them and conferred upon Mr. Griffin. Moreover,

they had, after lengthy consideration of Mr. Griffin’s plan, found themselves unanimously unable to recommend its adoption. In particular, they had condemned it on account of what they asserted to be its excessive cost, and had substituted their own plan and

secured its adoption by the Cabinet. Now their own plan was p u t aside and th a t which they had condemned was ordered to take its place, and loyalty required th a t they should co-operate in bringing into existence a city upon a design which they thought entirely wrong in its main provisions.

31. The situation imposed a very great strain upon the loyalty of the officers who had acted as a Board, and it is quite clear th a t firm and tactful handling of the questions certain to arise between Mr. Griffin and the officers was required on the p art of the Ministerial head. If Mr. Griffin had been able to take up his duties a t once, work might have proceeded with a minimum of friction, b u t unfortunately it was necessary

for him to return to Chicago to arrange his affairs there, as he was expressly perm itted to do by his contract. Before going he drafted conditions of a competition for designs for the Parliament House buildings, and did some preliminary work which did not bring him into any close relation with other officers. There were, therefore, no oppor­ tunities of coming to a better understanding with them in respect of the points th a t had been the cause of friction during the conference. Moreover, as there was during this period no exercise by Mr. Griffin of his powers under the contract, any feeling on the p art of other officers of hostility to him and his design had opportunity to grow and intensify.

32. The charges made on behalf of Mr. Griffin are th a t certain officers, instead of being loyal to the Minister’s determination to carry out Mr. Griffin’s design, and instead of assisting Mr. Griffin in the work he had undertaken to do, by various and reprehensible means attem pted and succeeded during the first 26 months of his employment in preventing him from rendering any substantial service to the Commonwealth.

Mr . G r i f f i n C o m p la in s o f O b s t r u c t i o n .

33. In a letter written by Mr. Griffin to the Honorable W. 0 . Archibald on 13th March, 1915, he refers to— The persistent opposition, obstruction, and delay that I have had to contend against from the inception of my work at the hands of the officers of the Department, who have been, and are still I believe, striving

to have their own designs and views adopted and carried out under their own advice, direction, and control, which is a direct departure from the agreement under which I have been endeavouring to work, and in connexion with which attempt I have an uncomfortable feeling that they have secured your sympathy and support, for in regard to many important steps in the work I have been wholly, and I contend, improperly, ignored. I am now, therefore, compelled to formally, but respectfully, protest against my work being

further withheld from me, and against being required to give my time and attention to matters which I have advised you are not essential now, and are causing quite unnecessary delay in commencing work which has, for months past, been waiting to proceed, and in the preparation of essentials for other works, which should be gone on with in their due order. (Page 57, “ A 1.”)


In a further letter of 27th March (page 59, “ A 1” ), the Minister having on 23rd March asked Mr. Griffin to state definitely what work had been withheld from him, he states— Virtually all work lias been withheld, everything done at Canberra having been carried out without reference to my views. Sewerage, water supply, and similar important fundamental works are being carried out, and the former was wholly initiated by Departmental officers without reference to me and the requirements of my design, or consideration of the possible effect on the development thereof. (Page 59, “ A 1.”)

And again on 11th May, 1915, he wrote (page 71) to the Honorable W. 0 . Archibald— It w ill scarcely be credited that behind my back attempts have been made, and are being persisted in by prejudiced officers of the Department, to secure the adoption of a scheme for the Capital materially different from that submitted by me and accepted by the Commonwealth after reference to a Committee

of experts, after which I was engaged to supervise and direct the carrying out of the work. My position, however, has been consistently ignored, and J have not even had the courtesy extended to me of being asked to consider proposed alterations in the design, nor even been informed of their nature. I have repeatedly and formally protested against the diversion of my efforts to matters non-essential at this stage, which I could not but interpret as a studied attempt to prevent my dealing with matters essential to an early commencement of the work. I am strengthened in this belief by the fact that my requests for data absolutely required by me and actually in the possession of the Department, and which had been prepared during several years at great cost, have been arbitrarily withheld from me. I can conceive of no justification for this action, which it will be manifest has made it almost impossible for me to do those things which the public have a right to expect of me.

To these charges no reply was ever made by or on behalf of the Minister.

34. The protests in these letters and evidence in the inquiry enable me to arrange the case, as presented on behalf of Mr. Griffin, under five heads, as follow :—■ (1) That necessary information and assistance were withheld from him and his powers usurped by certain officers ;

(2) That he and his office were ignored, his rights and duties under his contract denied, and false charges of default made against him ; (3) That the Honorable W. 0. Archibald and members of the Departmental Board endeavoured to set aside his design and to substitute the

Board’s own plan ; (4) That in order to prevent his design from being carried out, wilfully false estimates of its cost were given ; and (5) That there was in the Department a combination, including the

Honorable W. 0. Archibald and certain officers, hostile to Mr. Griffin and his design for the Capital City.

35. Before dealing with these charges separately, it is necessary to state some further facts of general application. On 23rd October Mr. W. D. Bingle, Acting Secretary of the Department, forwarded to Colonel Miller and Mr. Scrivener a t Canberra a copy of Mr. Griffin’s contract. Colonel Miller’s knowledge of the terms of the contract is a point of importance in view of his subsequent statements, and therefore it is worthy of notice th a t although he duly received a copy from Mr. Bingle, he on 13th November

wrote to the Chief Clerk, Department of Home Affairs, inviting the Minister’s attention to the fact th at no official intimation had been received from the Minister by him respecting Mr. Griffin’s engagement, to which the reply of the Minister was th a t he would be glad to know if Colonel Miller had received in due course the Acting Secretary’s

communication of 23rd October, copy of which was attached.

Th e Am en ded P l a n.

36. On 30th October, 1913, the Honorable W. H. Kelly minuted th a t the conditions of competition for Parliament House designs were now “ intrusted to Mr. Griffin.” Mr. Griffin left for America on 15th November, 1913, having arranged before his departure for certain work to be done in the preparation of drawings by Mr. McDonald, a draughtsman working under him, and on 3rd December, 1913, Mr. McDonald handed these copies of the “ lay-out plan of the Federal City ” to Mr. Bingle, Acting Secretary, and copies of these were, under the Minister’s instruction, sent by Mr. Bingle to Colonel Miller, Mr. Scrivener, and Mr. Murdoch. On 5th December the Honorable W. H.

Kelly approved of this preliminary plan of lay-out of the Capital, and directed its insertion in the programme of competition for Parliament House buildings. This plan was printed on 29th December, 1913, and published on 1st February, 1914, in Schedule No. 17. I t was described as “ an amended plan by Mr. Griffin, showing the alterations in suburban treatm ent suggested by his closer knowledge of the locality and other


modifications th a t he considered desirable for the time being,” and it was further stated th a t “ steps had been taken to prevent anything standing in the way of the ultim ate consummation of the complete design.” Reproductions of the premiated design, and of the design, as amended, were also published in the Schedule.

37. Mr. Griffin returned to Melbourne on 12th May, 1914, and made a report on his work abroad on 9th June (Exhibit “ A 1,” page 37). On 20th May Colonel Miller wrote to the Chief Clerk—•“ Kindly advise whether Mr. Griffin’s amended design for the lay-out of the city is available ; also are there any reports by th a t gentleman ?” Mr. Bingle sent this memorandum to the Minister with the statem ent th a t he had asked Mr.

Griffin whether th a t was a final design, and th a t Mr. Griffin had said, “ T hat as far as he knew a t present it was,” but th a t “ Mr. Scrivener was having some surveys made for him of the surrounding lands, and until he got a plan of those surveys (which was beyond the promised date) and saw w hat the continuation of the main avenues shown in the design would be like, he could not state positively th a t those avenues were absolutely fixed.” Mr. Bingle further said, “ There seems a considerable am ount of uncertainty in the minds of officers who will have to do with the Federal Territory as to whether they are to regard the amended design, as published in Schedule No. 17, as one upon which they can work in any calculations they may have to make, or whether they may

expect a further amended plan, or an enlarged plan of the present design.”

38. How this uncertainty could have arisen it is not easy to see, but the Minister answered the inquiry with a definite statem ent th a t “ The amended plan already approved is the accepted plan, in which the Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction may recommend such slight modifications, if any, as the extended contour survey may seem to make advisable. In the meantime, officers should approach the Director direct as to the allocation or use of particular areas for particular purposes.” The Honorable W. H. Kelly retired from office on 17th September, 1914, and was succeeded by the Honorable W. 0 . Archibald, who remained in office till 27th October, 1915.

Ch a r g e N o. 1.

39. Taking the several charges in their order, as to No. 1— “ T hat necessary information and assistance were withheld from Mr. Griffin, and his powers usurped by certain officers” — it will be noticed th a t the first p art of the charge has strong support in Mr. Archibald’s

evidence already cited. Other specific m atters alleged in support of the charge are as follow On 10th June, 1914, there occurred an interview between Mr. Griffin and Colonel Owen which was of very great importance with respect to questions now under discussion. The recollection of the two witnesses as to th a t interview differs to some

extent. According to Mr. Griffin (page 126), after a discussion as to the sewerage scheme he asked Colonel Owen for certain information as to Federal Capital affairs which Colonel Owen refused absolutely to supply, stating th a t th a t was not Mr. Griffin’s business, and th a t when asked by Mr. Griffin whether he had read his contract, replied, “ Contract or no contract, I will give no information.” Colonel Owen says th a t the refusal was with regard to a project by Mr. Griffin to irrigate the City parks with sewage effluent. Writing

of this interview on 16th April, 1915, Colonel Owen states (Exhibit “ A 1,” page 63) th a t Mr. Griffin had applied for copies of plans and specifications of all works already under­ taken a t Canberra, and th a t he had advised the Minister th a t there was no necessity to supply such plans; th a t if specific information was required, it would be given to Mr. Griffin. “ The real position,” he writes, “ was th a t Mr. Griffin desired to take control of all engineering works, a principle which, as Director-General of Works, I resent.” Later in th a t letter Colonel Owen, referring to this interview, states, “ A

disagreement occurred when Mr. Griffin tried to assume my responsibility,” and th a t view is repeated by him in evidence (30755) when he says, “ My opinion was th a t his idea was to assume the absolute control in every way of construction of engineering works, which I contended came within my own scope as Director-General of W orks.”

40. Mr. Griffin, in a letter w ritten to the Minister on 10th June, 1914 (Exhibit “ A 1,” page 81) says, “ I have taken steps to inform myself as to the condition o affairs in the constructional work going on a t the Federal Capital, and have found th a t the Director-General of Works considers th a t this i s none of my business, and he has

declined to give me the state of the finances on those grounds, stating, however, th a t all the funds were ear-marked for definite purposes which m ust be complied Avith, and th a t


nothing would, be available for staking out and carrying into effect the plans of the City under any existing provisions. He discussed the m atter very candidly A vith me, and considers th a t design and construction should be independent of each other, and

th a t design can be laid down without reference to construction, which could then be taken up subsequently ; th a t design, in his estimation, primarily concerns aesthetics. Of course, my own understanding is quite the reverse, i.e., th at design is a consequence of constructive needs as well as functional needs, and th a t only on the broad basis of both together can it be effectively handled. Possibly, if the Director-General of Works can be set right as to this fact, he may be willing to co-operate as desired.”

Co l o n e l O w e n ’s P o s it io n .

41. It really is not of great importance whether the recollection of one party or the other as to the details of the conversation is the more accurate. The main fact is th a t in a vehement and a t one time heated discussion the real question in issue was whether Colonel Owen or Mr. Griffin was entitled to control m atters concerning the design and construction of the Federal Capital. (30852.) The contention of Co onel Owen on this point is so remarkable th a t it should be stated in his own words. He says (30794), “ My appointment was under the Executive and the Regulations under the Executive. I considered when I did that, and with all due respect I still consider, th a t I hold what practically amounts to a commission under the Crown. I did not consider a t the time when Mr. Griffin’s agreement was signed, and with all due respect I do not consider now, th a t Mr. Griffin’s agreement, which was an agreement not made under the Executive, interferes with my functions as Director-General of Works.” He explains further th a t his contention is “ That as a Royal Commission is under letters patent signed by the Governor-General representing the Crown, it requires equal authority from the Governor-General to revoke or extend it.” When asked (30799) “ As to your view

of your position, does it not come to this, th at you claim a monopoly of the exclusive right to design and construct any works in the Home Affairs Branch by virtue of what you have mentioned ? ” Colonel Owen replied, “ I think so, by virtue of an Executive appointment. I take it th a t th a t appointment can only be cancelled by the same authority—the Governor-General in Council—or some higher authority.”

42. I t is quite clear th a t the claim thus made is wholly untenable, but the more im portant question is whether it is so fanciful and unreasonable as to indicate th a t it was merely an afterthought intended to excuse his refusal to give the information to which Mr. Griffin was entitled. I have come to the conclusion th a t Colonel Owen did honestly

hold the opinion lie asserted. Soon after Mr. Griffin’s appointment Colonel Owen, who evidently was perturbed as to the possibility of a conflict of powers, obtained from Mr. Kelly an assurance th at he “ woidd still have his position as Director-General of Works ” (6803-7, 30804), and th a t “ Mr. Griffin’s appointment wT ould not interfere with his functions ” (30804, 35018) ; while the Honorable J. Cook informed him th a t Mr. Griffin’s appointment was “ in order to preserve the integrity of his plan.” All these statements were clearly correct, but Colonel Owen, I think, misunderstood them to this extent, th a t he thought they affirmed his supposed position as designer of the Federal City, and not his real position as Engineer.

43. Mr. Murdoch, architect, Department of Home Affairs, seems (11754, 12079- 12104) to have given Colonel Owen some evil counsel as to the conflict th a t would arise. Mr. Murdoch’s only concern in the m atter was th a t Colonel Owen was his official head, and according to his own evidence Mr. Murdoch had never read Mr. Griffin’s contract until it was put before him while giving evidence. I t is therefore strange th a t he, before having seen the contract, should state in evidence th a t “ Differences between Mr. Griffin and Colonel Owen seemed to him to be inevitable owing to the lack of defi­

nition of the relative duties of Mr. Griffin and other officers,” and this m atter so pressed upon Mr. Murdoch th a t he states th a t on several occasions he volunteered a suggestion to Colonel Owen th at he should ask the Government to be relieved—to be allowed to withdraw from what he considered was an unsatisfactory position. He says (12103) th a t all the trouble would have ended if Colonel Owen had withdrawn, and admits th a t it would also have ended if Mr. Griffin had retired ; th a t “ there would not have been two authorities then, and peace would have reigned.” I t is quite evident, then, th at Colonel Owen had consulted with Mr. Murdoch about the m atter, and th a t the latter, in ignorance as to the terms of contract as to which he was advising, had promoted

Colonel Owen’s belief th a t Mr. Griffin’s appointment was in conflict with his own position.


44. On the question of Colonel Owen’s own belief in this unreasonable claim to a monopoly of functions even as designer, I am assisted by his dem eanour, and also by another circum stance which appears to me to be of some A v e ig h t. W hen examining his Avitnesses Colonel OAven did not perm it them to refer to him by the appropriate

pronoun, b u t insisted upon being m entioned by his official title of Director-General of Works, and even in his OAvn evidence he frequently referred to himself in th a t Avay. The extrem e reA^erence in Avhich he held his office, as indicated by this conduct, does seem to me to be consistent Avith th e position Avhich he noAv asserts as a justification for his refusal. T hat it is no justification is equally clear. Mr. Griffin’s contract could not have been draAvn in clearer Avords to indicate his duties. The title of office is of itself a definition of his functions, and his appointm ent to th a t office Avas n o t in any Avay inconsistent AA'ith th e continued exercise of all functions appropriate to a D irector-

G eneral of Works.

45. I t is evident th a t there could be no official harmony between these officers until the point of difference between them had been officially settled. To alloAV matters to go on Avithout Ministerial decision Avould necessarily involve a con­ tinuance of official friction and disorganization. B ut Mr. Kelly, instead of taking

definite action to “ set Colonel Owen right,” merely intervieAved Mr. Griffin on the subject of his letter and asked him “ to be a little patient ” (G412), and by a minute dated 12th June, 1914, instructed the Director-General of Works to supply information, as desired, to Mr. Griffin. Mr. Kelly, in the m atter of postponing the Parliament House competition (presently to be referred to), and also in respect to another m atter of controversy betAveen Mr. Griffin and Colonel Miller, candidly explains his delay in taking definite action by the statem ent th a t a decision on any m atter of moment would, as the General Elections Avere pending, be made “ a subject of most violent political controversy ” (6499), and th a t “ ta ct and a new Parliam ent ” were required to meet the situation (6336). I t is unfortunate th a t m atters in respect to the rupture between Colonel Owen and Mr. Griffin did not receive prom pt decision. Up to 10th June the official conduct of Colonel Owen towards Mr. Griffin had not been open to any criticism, although their differences of opinion in regard to crucial m atters relating to the Federal Capital design had been the subject of Avarm discussion. From th a t date and up to the present time these tAvo officers have not acted in harmony or a t all in furtherance of the creation of the Capital City. Colonel OAven in his evidence recently before the Public Works Committee, said, “ I have not conferred Avith Mr. Griffin on this m atter (Small Arms Factory) a t a l l ; I do not think I have discussed the City plans Avith Mr. Griffin

for tAvo years (35176).

R e q u e s t s f o r I n f o r m a t io n .

46. Armed with the Minister’s minute of 12th June, Mr. Griffin on th a t date Avrote to Mr. Bmgle for “ complete information as to provision of expenditure of all moneys th a t h a v e been granted or requested in connexion Avith the works a t the Federal Capital. I shall require plans and specifications of all Avorks undertaken or projected.” This is one of the cases Avhere Mr. Griffin asked for a great deal too much. Admittedly

(15452-5), Mr. Bingle did not obtain or supply any of the information asked for. Then on 17th June, 1914, Mr. Griffin Avrote to the Minister asking to be “ formally and fully made acquainted in detail with all data in possession of the D epartm ent of Works, and all commitments regarding the Capital already entered into.” Here, again, Mr.

Griffin was asking too much, and should h a v e been so informed. No notice A v h a te v e r seems to h a v e been taken of this request, and it Avas repeated in identical term s on 1st October following, the repeated request meeting the same fate as the original. On

or about 15th June, 1914, Mr. Griffin (Exhibit “ B 22 ” ) asked Mr. Bingle for information as to A v h at Avas being done in respect of A vater supply for Canberra. Mr. Bingle minuted this request to Colonel Owen on th a t date, and the latter on 17th June sent to Mr. Bingle a full report on the Avhole m atter, Avhich Avas sent to Mr. Griffin by Mr. Bingle on the same day, an instance of expedition th a t deserves mention Avith the other cases where delay and refusal are charged.

47. On 14th September, 1914, after the General Elections had taken place, resulting in the defeat of the Ministry, Mr. Griffin wrote to Colonel Miller asking him to furnish items of amounts proposed or under consideration for recommendation to Parliament for appropriation to Federal Capital development in the ensuing year. To


this, on 16th September, Colonel Miller replied th a t the information would not be available until after the Minister for Home Affairs should have considered and dealt with the question, and suggested th a t Mr. Griffin should communicate through the Secretary as arranged by the Minister. On 16th September Colonel Miller sent this correspondence to the Secretary, saying :—•

Kindly place the accompanying correspondence before the Minister for his information. I take it • that the Minister will communicate his instructions to me when he may desire to discuss with me the matter referred to by Mr. Griffin who, as far as I am aware, lias no authority to intervene between the Minister and myself.

B ut no action was taken thereon, as the Honorable W. H. Kelly retired from office on 17th September, and the information was not supplied.

S u r v e y of Ca n b e r r a .

48. A m atter of consequence in connexion with the charge of an attem pt to usurp Mr. Griffin’s powers, and also of failing to afford him assistance, is as follows :— On 11th July, 1914, Colonel Miller wrote to the Honorable W. H. Kelly referring to the Minister’s minute of 7th July, in which it was stated “ th a t the amended plan already

approved is the accepted plan,” and said :— I shall be glad if you will kindly issue the necessary instructions to me to proceed at once with the lay-out on the ground of that portion of this design which will be required in the immediate future. Upon receipt of such instruction I shall at once make all necessary arrangements with the Director of Lands and Surveys to have the surveys carried into effect. (“ B. 124.”)

This letter is of the greatest importance in relation to Colonel Miller’s later letters and minutes, for here is a clear admission th a t the lay-out of the City could a t once proceed upon what is here called the “ amended ” plan. This plan he had received officially from Mr. Bingle on 10th July, and it was described as the “ Approved design for the lay-out of Canberra.” (Exhibit “ A 1,” page 10.) The Minister was not willing to

permit the Administrator to usurp Mr. Griffin’s functions by taking this work out of his hands, and in his minute of 30th July to the Administrator, Mr. Kelly says, “ Mr. Griffin, Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction, is to lay out the ground, and Departmental surveyors necessary to carry out his directions are to be placed at his disposal.” (“ B 124.” ) This minute was sent by Colonel Miller to Mr. Scrivener in the following terms : “ Herewith please find copy of Ministerial instruction th a t Mr. Griffin is to lay out on the ground the design of the City.” No surveyors were

placed a t Mr. Griffin’s disposal in the terms of the minute ; nor was Mr. Griffin informed th a t surveyors were available. (9687-97, 14309-18.)

49. The sequel to this m atter of affording the assistance of surveyors to Mr. Griffin would more appropriately come under the fifth charge, but it is now dealt with because of the contrast th a t is shown in the acts and attitudes of the officers in respect of this m atter when Mr. Kelly was Minister and afterwards when Mr. Archibald had acceded to office. On 1st October Mr. Griffin, who knew nothing of the minutes above mentioned, wrote to Mr. Archibald (page 41, “ A 1 ” )—

I desire to have assigned to me for field work the services of one skilled surveyor and assistant, for a period sufficient to lay down, under my direction, the essential lines on the ground to indicate the position of the base lines and main thoroughfares now determined. I suggest for this work, if available, Mr. Percival, of the Canberra staff of the Commonwealth Director of Surveys.

On 5th October Mr. Bingle telegraphed to the Administrator a t Canberra stating Mr. Griffin’s request to the Minister, and adding, “ This raises whole question scope of func­ tions upon which think you should advise Minister urgently do you propose accompanying Scrivener.”

50. To this the Administrator replied by telegram on 6th October—

Please inform Minister I strongly advise Mr. Griffin’s request for loan of surveyors and draughtsmen be refused. Until after the amended design for the lay-out of the city shall have been approved by Minister, there is no necessity for survey operations. I understand Minister intends obtaining advice respecting suitability of Griffin’s amended design prior to adoption, and recommend such a course be adhered to.

I advise Griffin should be instructed to submit design without further delay. Any survey operations should be intrusted to Director, Commonwealth Lands and Surveys. Scrivener will arrive Melbourne this after­ noon and has my minute on subject.


51. Colonel Miller on receiving Mr. Bingle’s telegram, and with a view to prevent Mr. Griffin’s request being complied with according to its terms, wrote a minute and gave it to Mr. Scrivener, who left .Canberra the same night for Melbourne. Mr. Bingle’s question whether Colonel Miller intended to accompany Mr. Scrivener shows th a t he had been in communication with the latter. Colonel Miller’s telegram contains charges

of delay against Mr. Griffin, charges which afterwards were repeated with wearisome iteration. His minute states— I desire to advise most strongly against the request made by Mr. Griffin to place surveyors under him. When Mr. Griffin shall have completed his amended design for the lay-out of the Federal City, I recognise that the Minister will satisfy himself that the design is the most suitable for the purpose, and in so doing will obtain such expert advice as may be necessary. I may be permitted to point out that the Departmental Board was unanimously of opinion that they could not advise the Minister to accept Mr. Griffin’s amended sketch design.

52. Colonel Miller then proceeds to p u t forward a claim to be intrusted with Mr. Griffin’s work—a claim which had been put forward by him in July and refused by Mr. Kelly. He writes— Should the Minister finally adopt the amended design (or any other design), I trust that lie will

then instruct me to proceed with the survey of such portion thereof as may be necessary. The survey operations would be carried out on the ground by Departmental surveyors under the control and supervision of the Director of Commonwealth Lands and Surveys, an officer possessing the highest qualifications. I regard the suggestion made by Mr. Griffin as impracticable. The Commonwealth Government has in Mr. Scrivener an eminent surveyor, and to overlook that officer in this matter would, in my opinion, be a most unwise procedure.

53. Colonel Miller was not able to conclude his minute without stating another opinion, which in his minutes and correspondence he lost few opportunities of reiterating. He says— In my opinion the time has arrived when the powers and functions of Mr. Griffin should be clearly and definitely laid down. This is essential from every stand-point, and delay in doing so may create a most unfortunate position.

54. The result of Mr. Scrivener’s interview with the Minister was th a t on 7th October Mr. Griffin was informed th a t if he would indicate upon a contour lithograph the nature and extent of the surveys required the Director of Lands and Surveys would be asked to deal with the m atter as promptly as possible, and th a t he should confer with the Director regarding any surveys desired or additional survey information

required (page 43, “ A 1 ” ) This, of course, was substituting an inconvenient and cumbersome official method of doing the survey work required for the direct method suggested by Mr. Griffin. The procedure laid down would of course be highly incon­ venient, but Mr. Griffin, wisely I think, accepted the position w ithout demur.

55. That Mr. Bingle and Colonel Miller were acting together in a desire to prevent Mr. Griffin from having surveyors “ placed a t his disposal ” appears clear. Although it seems to me th a t the direct method suggested by Mr. Griffin would have been greatly preferable, and th a t Mr. Scrivener took quite unnecessary alarm a t a supposed intrusion

on his office, and should not have persuaded the Minister to adopt the more cumbersome and dilatory system, I think th a t his action was due, or a t least mainly due, to his extreme desire to follow what he deemed to be the proper official routine. (14386-97.) W hether he attem pted to obtain an interview with Mr. Kelly when the Minister, on 31st July, directed th a t surveyors were to be placed at the disposal of Mr. Griffin, he is unable

to say ; he cannot recollect whether he did or did not try to see the Minister. (14402.)

56. The contrast in the methods used to frustrate Mr. Griffin’s requirement of surveyors, passive under Mr. Kelly’s administration, but active when Mr. Archibald was Minister, have appropriate explanation in Colonel Miller’s evidence (14572) on another m atter where a similar contrast is shown. In a submission of 20th May, 1914, as to affores­

tation, the m atter had been minuted by the Honorable W. H. Kelly, “ to be submitted to Mr. Griffin.” In spite of this minute the m atter was never subm itted to Mr. Griffin. (14747, 14762.) Another step in the m atter having been taken, Colonel Miller in his minute of 2nd October, 1914, made no submission or reference to Mr. Griffin. In

examination (14752) Colonel Miller wras asked, “ Did you omit reference to Mr. Griffin in your later minute because Mr. Archibald had come into office ? ” and he replied, “ Yes ; there was a change of policy with the incoming Minister.”


57. One complaint by Mr. Griffin as to information withheld appears in corre­ spondence for the first time in a letter dated 13th January, 1915. (Exhibit “ A 1,” page 74.) He there states th a t although he has asked for “ weir gaugings and flood discharges ”—data obviously necessary to him for calculation for water supply for lakes —these have not been supplied to him. On the same date Colonel Owen in a minute

(Exhibit “ A 1,” page 24) addressed to the Minister, asserts th a t no information has been withheld from Mr. Griffin ; th a t the “ Departm ent has prepared data for water supply, sewerage, and power, but these were not essential for the preparation of Mr. Griffin’s design ” ; and th a t “ Sir. Griffin adm itted th a t he had taken as his basis the data

furnished in the conditions of competition in 1911.” Mr. Archibald apparently con­ curred in Colonel Owen’s view, and the data required were never seen by Mr. Griffin until produced as evidence before the Commission. (363, 1906-18, 2430-2.) The Minister’s attitude is all the more remarkable, for he was in May, 1915, pressing Mr.

Griffin for information as to the lakes required, for reply to a question in Parliament, and Sir. Griffin had stated and repeated th a t he could not give the information until the data had been supplied.

58. Further, on the m atter of withheld information, the documents included in Exhibit “ B 19 ’’ appear to me to show a serious ground of complaint by Mr. Griffin as to the action of Mr. Bingle. On 3rd June, 1915, Mr. Griffin wrote to him as follows :— For tlie purpose of calculating eventual spacc requirements at the Capital, I desire any available data pertaining to the areas of accommodation accorded in Melbourne to the various branches of the Executive and Judiciary Departments of the Commonwealth.

Mr. Bingle indorsed this for favour of immediate action, and sent it on to Mr. Scrivener on 4th June, and Mr. Goodwin, then acting for Mr. Scrivener, forwarded to Mr. Bingle a memorandum dated 15th July, 1915, containing all specific items of the information for which Mr. Griffin had asked. Instead of forwarding this to Mr. Griffin, Mr. Bingle on the same date wrote to the Minister setting out the terms of Mr. Griffin’s application,

and th a t Mr. Goodwin had sent the particulars required, and then stated, “ I understand the Administrator of the Federal Territory has collected information as to probable departmental requirements a t the Capital. The request would seem to indicate th a t Mr Griffin is engaged upon some work which you are not aware of.” And Mr. Bingle submitted—

(1) Whether Mr. Griffin be asked to state for what purpose the details are required. (2) Or the Administrator be asked to supply what particulars he can [with a view to transmission to Sir. Griffin.

59. The particulars Mr. Bingle already had were all th a t were required by Mr. Griffin, and so his submission th a t the Administrator should be asked to supply such other particulars as he had as to Departmental requirements, is remarkable. I t is not consistent with an intention th a t Mr. Griffin should be assisted in his work, b u t it obtained the assent of Mr. Archibald, and Mr. Bingle accordingly, on 24th July, wrote to Mr. Griffin

With reference to your request of the 3rd ultimo for certain data pertaining to the areas of accom­ modation in Melbourne for the various Commonwealth Departments, I am desired by the Minister to say that lie will be glad to know for what particular work y ou desire such information.

60. As to this it will be noticed th a t Mr. Griffin had fully stated in his first letter the particular work for which the information was required, and even Avithout such statem ent it should have been obvious both to the Minister and Mr. Bingle th a t such information Avas necessary to Mr. Griffin. Mr. Griffin replied on 4th August Avith some excusable Avarmth:—

I am astonished at receiving, only after nearly eight weeks, your reply to my letter to you of 3rd June, desiring information for which I had verbally asked some weeks earlier. I am seriously delayed in waiting for the information asked for, the purpose of which should be perfectly self-evident when it is known that I am dealing with the question of providing space for Commonwealth Departments.

61. More than three months passed Avithout any reply to this letter, and then, Mr. Bingle still retaining the inform ation for which Mr. Griffin w a s Avaiting, on 15th November, 1915, Avrote another minute to the Minister, Avho Avas then the Honorable King O’Malley, as folloAvs :—

Mr. Griffin telephoned me this morning about a request made by him some time back (by letter on 3rd June, verbally before then) for information as to the various branches of the Executive and Judiciary Departments of the Commonwealth. The Acting Director of Lands and Surveys gathered information, as

Information N ot Supplied.

1 7

to the floor space areas at present occupied by central administration of various Departments, but the late Minister deferred dealing with the matter. It is understood that the Administrator of the Federal Territory lias collected some information as to probable Departmental requirements at the Capital. The information gathered by the Acting Director of Lands and Surveys may perhaps be sent to x\Ir. Griffin, who might at the same time be informed that it is considered that existing areas are not a definite guide to future requirements, and the information he desires can be arrived at only after consultation with the Permanent Heads of the respective Departments and serious consideration as to Departmental developments.

62. Mr. Bingle’s^suggestion ^tliat^the information which he had had in his possession for^more than four months might perhaps be sent to Mr. Griffin is not accompanied by any explanation of the reason why it had not been sent in July. The Minister m inuted th a t the information should be forwarded, and th a t Mr. Griffin should

be told to consult with heads of Departments. Mr.^Bingle, in his evidence, fails to offer any excuse for his action in this m atter, and adm its (15517-15534) th a t the infor­ mation was necessary to Mr. Griffin. He certainly states th a t he thought the Minister ought to know what was being given to Mr. Griffin, but does not say why it had been

so long withheld.

63. Mr. Bingle states (11088) th a t he “ did not deem it a p a rt of his duty to

report to Mr. Griffin on m atters concerning his contract,” and “ has no recollection of ever having done so ” ; and th a t (15613), apart from forwarding Mr. Murdoch's report as to the competition, and asking for lay-out for houses for the arsenal, he “ could not recall any request ever made by him to Mr. Griffin to advise upon or to do anything

whatever in connexion with the planning or building of the Federal City.” He further states th a t any request to Mr. Griffin to “ exercise any of his functions would be made by the Minister, but th a t he had no official knowledge of any such request.” (15614-5.) Mr. Archibald, on his part, says he “ never consulted Mr. Griffin about anything.” (Page 36.)

64. A further charge under the head in consideration is th a t officers had delayed and withheld from Mr. Griffin information th a t he desired with regard to the strata in the city area, and th a t certain borings, which he asked for, had not been supplied in accordance with his request. I think th a t Mr. Griffin in his evidence (page 101) had

forgotten the order of his requests for borings th a t he had asked for from time to time. I do not think it necessary to go fully into the facts as to this m atter, but am of opinion th a t the charge, as I have suggested, founded to some extent upon Mr. Griffin’s error of memory, has been dissipated by the evidence of Mr. Griffin (251-2), of Mr. Connell

(16797-16803 and 16798-17707), and of Mr. Hill (19902-19), and also by the documents contained in Exhibits “ B 11,” “ C 13,” and “ C 17.” The conclusion I come to is th a t not only was Mr. Griffin supplied with information asked for, but with information useful to him as to other borings which had been made by Air. Connell, and th a t reasonable expedition in compliance with his requests in this behalf was shown.

65. As to the m atter of afforestation, Mr. Griffin was not quite so fortunate. He inquired, on 14th January, 1915, of Colonel Miller for a copy of Mr. W eston’s memoranda “ of the results to date of his experiments in propagating and growing plants for afforestation, and city beautification,” and, not receiving the information,

wrote to Mr. Bingle on 2nd February asking when he might expect the documents referred to. This came before Colonel Miller, and on 4th February he m inuted to the Minister, “ Is it your desire th a t 1 shall furnish the information above referred to ? As Administrator I am responsible for afforestation to you ” ; and on 12th February the Minister somewhat ungraciously replied, “ If such a report is to hand I think a copy might be supplied to Mr. Griffin for any use it may be to him in connexion with the

design of the city.” Ultimately, on 20th March, 1915, Mr. Bingle forwarded to Mr. Griffin the list of plants tested a t the experimental nursery, with results therein shown to October, 1913, since which date, it was stated, th a t “ no im portant alterations had been necessary.”

66. On 18th September, 1914, Mr. Griffin wrote to the Acting Secretary for information concerning estimates for Federal Capital development. This letter received no reply, and on 22nd October, Mr. Griffin again wrote pressing the request for infor­ mation. The information was not furnished, but on 29th October Mr. Bingle wrote, “ The whole question of the financial provision to be made in connexion with the Federal Territory is receiving the consideration of the Minister.” The information requested was never supplied. I t is a significant fact that, although the letter states

F.3631 (C.5264) —2


tliat the m atter was on 29th October receiving consideration, the very m atter had been determined by the Minister on 1st October, when Estimates for expenditure of £105,000, including various works, had been recommended for approval to the Cabinet, and had been approved. Mr. Bingle admits “ I t is more than likely th a t he had seen the approval ” (15511), but suggests th a t the probable reason why he wrote in those terms

may have been th at the Minister was reconsidering the whole question. This suggestion, however, does not appear a t all sufficient, and I have come to the conclusion th a t in this instance also Mr. Bingle withheld from Mr. Griffin information in his possession, and which should have been supplied.

67. The foregoing instances include the principal m atters alleged in evidence under this head. I t cannot be deemed a m atter of surprise th a t instances of fruitless applications for information are not more numerous. Mr. Griffin, after his experience of the 10th, 12th, and 17th June, 1914, m ust have realized the general futility of expecting

compliance with his requests, although in exceptional instances these have met with prompt and sufficient response.

Ch a r g e N o. 2.

68. The second charge is :— “ That Mr. Griffin and his office were ignored, his rights and duties under his contract denied, and false charges of default made against him.” The first relevant m atter hereunder arises under a memorandum (Exhibit “ B 99 ” ) by

Colonel Miller to the Honorable W. H. Kelly, dated 13th March, 1914. I t appears (6519) th a t the Minister had confidentially spoken to Colonel Miller with regard to a proposal to appoint a Commission for the Territory, and had asked him to make any

suggestions as to the financial administration under such a scheme. In his memorandum Colonel Miller dealt with a number of m atters relative to such a Commission, and, assuming I think rightly, th at it was the intention of the Minister to appoint him as Chief Com­ missioner, stated his opinion th a t the Director-General of Works should undoubtedly be a Commissioner, and “ after mature consideration ” suggested the name of Mr. Thomas

Hill as the second Commissioner. W ith regard to Mr. Griffin he writes, “ I am still uncertain as to whether it would be preferable for Mr. Griffin to be a consultant to the Government or to the Commissioners, but I am inclined to the view th a t greater advantage will result from him being consultant to the Commissioners.”

69. This is relied upon as evidence of an intention to ignore Mr. Griffin and to prevent him from exercising the powers conferred upon him by his contract. To make him a consultant upon either footing suggested would certainly deprive him of his power under his contract. To make him consultant to the Commissioners, who were notoriously opposed to his views on every material m atter relating to the Capital, would enable them to impress a unanimous veto on any expression of his opinion. A Bill to create the Commission was intended, but never brought forward.

W o r k s O u t s id e t h e Ci t y .

70. On 13th June, 1914, Sir. Bingle, Acting Secretary, raised a contention which is difficult to understand, and Avhich afterward was persistently put forward by him and other officers. In his minute to the Minister, dated 12th June, 1914, referring to a request by Mr. Griffin for information, he states—

The request is a very comprehensive one, and will embrace many items, such a s ..................... roads outside the city, pipes outside the city, weirs outside the city, surveys outside the city, land acquisition outside the city, which, according to the agreement (copy attached), are apparently not any concern of Mr. Griffin’s.

71. The theory as here put forward is th a t the duty of “ creating and developing ” the Federal Capital was limited to the boundaries of the area in which the actual City was to be built, and th a t Mr. Griffin’s functions stopped a t th a t boundary. How a city could be created without a water supply having its sources outside the city boundaries, or how a modern city could be created without suburbs, is inconceivable. This, however, is only one of several instances where plain words were strangely misconstrued to the detrim ent of Mr. Griffin. In Mr. Griffin’s agreement “ services ” for the city were


expressly mentioned, and these clearly would include water supply, sewerage, power, and transport. The contention is one th a t cannot be regarded seriously, and yet it has been asserted time after time as a means of preventing Mr. Griffin from carrying on his work, and this interpretation of the contract excluding Mr. Griffin from any work beyond the City boundaries is concurred in by Colonel Miller, who says (8856), “ I always held the opinion th a t Mr. Griffin’s contract was with regard to the Federal Capital City, and not outside the City ; he had to do with m atters in the City, b u t not outside the City.”

72. Mr. Bingle also (15439) says, “ We may have interpreted the contract wrongly, but I always understood in the D epartm ent th a t it was within the city area th a t Mr. Griffin’s activities were to operate” ; further, with regard to services, he says (15444), ‘‘ If the water and electricity were delivered to him at the City boundary I do not know th a t it should be impossible to develop the Federal Capital City.” Colonel Owen (35187) puts forward the same contention when he justifies the selection of a site for the arsenal just outside the city boundary without having made reference to Mr. Griffin, by saying th a t “ the site itself was not within the City plan, although it was on the front of one

of the lakes shown in Mr. Griffin’s design.” Mr. Scrivener (14383-4) says th a t in the early stages he regarded Mr. Griffin’s powers as being confined to the City, but when he had seen the contract he “ then considered him empowered to do anything th a t was necessary for the purpose of creating the City and suburbs and services.” The Honorable W. 0. Archibald (2) also says, “ All through my administration my contention was th a t Mr.

Griffin’s business was with the Capital and not with any thing outside the Capital.” This contention as to limitation of Mr. Griffin’s authority was not dealt with by Mr. Kelly, who desired to avoid definite action pending the general elections, w ith the result th a t it was continuously asserted by officers, and until November, 1915, apparently had Ministerial sanction ; but it is very remarkable that, although the contention was constantly used to prevent action by Mr. Griffin, he never became aware th a t it had ever been raised until the documents relating to Federal Capital m atters were presented to Parliam ent in June and July, 1915.

Co l o n e l M il l e r ’s M i n u t e s .

73. In relation to this charge also, it is necessary to examine somewhat closely some documents printed in Exhibit “ A 1.” They are of a remarkable character for official documents, and indicate the sentiment and attitude of Colonel Miller, Mr. Bingle, and the Minister, towards Mr. Griffin. On leaving office Mr. Kelly had handed in to the Department some letters and reports by Mr. Griffin which, up to th a t time, had been in his possession. The first of these dated back to 13th October, 1913, five of them are dated in June, 1914, and one is of 14th September, 1914. On 2nd October, 1914, Mr. Bingle sent copies of these to Colonel Miller, with a statem ent th a t the Minister would be glad to have any representations in connexion therewith which Colonel Miller might like to make. On 6th October, Colonel Miller replied, ” If it is the Minister’s desire th a t he should be furnished with a report as to facts prior to Mr. Griffin’s engagement and on his proposals since then, it would be necessary for me to have the full te x t of the contract under which Mr. Griffin was serving,” (copies of which he had received on 23rd

October, 1913, and again on 15th November, 1913), “ together with a copy of the com­ plete correspondence which has passed between the former Minister and Mr. Griffin.” Colonel Miller further and irrelevantly wrote, “ I t is necessary from every stand-point th a t the Minister should define Mr. Griffin’s sphere of operations and his relationship, if any, to the officers of the D epartm ent and of the Administrator.”

74. W hat further definition than th a t given in the contract was required it is impossible to say, b u t this idea th a t Mr. Griffin’s position should be defined was held by other officers and continually asserted. (15566-71, 11754.) The letter proceeds, “ Judging from the general tenor of some of the reports herewith, it would appear th a t

Mr. Griffin is assuming a position which was not contemplated, and which undoubtedly will create serious difficulties. Amongst other m atters, I notice a disposition to deal with such questions as finance, light, heating, sewering, water supply, housing workmen, &c.” These specified m atters would clearly be p a rt of the work of creating and develop­ ing the Federal Capital City, and also should clearly come within m atters specified in clause 4 a of his contract. I t is difficult to realize the position th a t Colonel Miller here takes up, for he a t the same time asserts ignorance of the contract which he had

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had in his possession for more than eleven months, and attacks Mr. Griffin for attem pting ' to deal with questions not within his duties under it. The Colonel goes on to state, “ I further suggest th a t Mr. Griffin be instructed to furnish the Minister without delay with his amended design for the lay-out of the Federal City. The delay which has

occurred in this m atter is to be regretted.”

75. This statem ent contains very serious misrepresentations. Colonel Miller had received the approved plan for the lay-out of the City on 10th July, and on 11th had asked for instructions to proceed with the survey, yet, three months afterwards, he imputes to Mr. Griffin responsibility for delay on account of the want of a design for the

City lay-out. I t is quite true th a t the delay which had occurred was a m atter for regret, but th at delay was chargeable to Colonel Miller himself, as he first of all tried to usurp Mr. Griffin’s functions in respect of the lay-out, and, failing to do this, took no steps to carry out the Minister’s wishes. Finally, he blamed Mr. Griffin for delay not caused by his default. I t cannot be thought th a t this statement in any way misled Mr. Archibald, who must have had in clear memory the fact th a t Mr. Kelly had at least three times approved Mr. Griffin’s plan. Colonel Miller himself states (12844) th a t he informed Mr. Archibald of the approval of the lay-out plan by Mr. Kelly on 7th July, 1914.

76. Had this charge been made known to Mr. Griffin the tru th could have been shown by him, but the remarkable thing is th a t this letter and other documents of a similar nature attacking Mr. Griffin, and depreciating his office, were never seen by him until they were laid upon the Table of Parliament in June, 1915. I t is impossible to conceive of any course more productive of official disorganization than this procedure, by which one officer was permitted by the Minister to attack another officer not being his subordinate, and thus to undermine his reputation and depreciate his office.

77. With further reference to the charge of delay in furnishing the “ amended design ” some further facts require to be stated. Before leaving lor America, Mr. Griffin had arranged th a t a contour survey should be made to be used by him for the purposes of his plan. On his return in May, these surveys were not available. On 31st July, Mr. Griffin, after previous similar inquiry, wrote to Mr. Scrivener asking to be advised when the plan of contour survey would be available, and on 2nd August a lithograph showing the surveys was sent to Mr. Griffin. This lithograph, however, was admittedly so defective and faulty th a t it could not be used by Mr. Griffin; Mr. Scrivener described it as “ hopelessly bad.” (14284.) Corrected lithographs showing the contour survey were not supplied to Mr. Griffin until January, 1915, when he was then able to incorporate the levels and contours, now supplied to him for the first time, in his plan. From Colonel Miller’s evidence it appears th a t the “ amended design ” referred to in this letter was Mr. Griffin’s plan, as it should be when completed by the addition of the contours and levels. On 6th October, Colonel Miller knew th a t the contours were not available, for on 7th October, he (13183) wrote to Mr. Scrivener with reference to the delay th a t had occurred in the m atter with a view of expediting as far

as possible the supply of an accurate lithograph. I t should be stated here th a t the defects in the lithograph were not due to Mr. Scrivener or his staff, but to defective paper and printing. Colonel Miller had from August forward endeavoured to expedite the work, and he was, of course, aware th a t Mr. Griffin’s completion of his plan m ust await the receipt of a lithograph upon which he could safely work. Yet, in his minutes, he continually refers to this delay, but fully admits in his evidence th a t the delay was not due to any fault of Mr. Griffin. He says (13199) th a t “ Mr. Griffin was waiting to com­ plete his design because he had not these lithographs ” (13200), th a t he was “ aware th a t he had not been furnished with lithograph? ” ; and when he was asked (13202). “ Was it fair to blame Mr. Griffin for the delay without stating th a t the delay was caused by his not being furnished with a plan ? ” he answered, “ I considered it was.” Colonel Miller, in his evidence with relation to this m atter certainly makes an inexplicable explanation th a t “ these surveys were outside the City area,” and th a t “ what was required was th a t Mr. Griffin should do work within the City area.” In his statem ent of the m atter in his evidence (13183-13215) I cannot find any justification for the attack upon Mr. Griffin in the memorandum under notice.

78. The extraordinary state of affairs prevailing in the Home Affairs D epartm ent a t this time is further illustrated by another memorandum by Colonel Miller. Mr. Griffin had written to the Minister on 6th October, 1914, asking for an interview with the Prime Minister for the purpose of stating to him reasons why the Parliam ent House


competition should be “ postponed ” and not “ withdrawn.” The Minister had before receipt of this letter written to Mr. Griffin on the 7th, and Mr. Griffin had w ritten an explanatory reply on the 9th (Exhibit “ A 1,” page 16). On the 13th Colonel Miller wrote to the Minister—■

I have perused the accompanying copy of Mr. Griffin’s letter of the 9tli instant—it does not appear that he had been asked to do so—and invite your attention particularly to the first paragraph in which Mr. Griffin states “ it becomes clear that the essential f a c t s .....................have not been placed before you.” I advise that Mr. Griffin- be called upon to state definitely what he means to convey by the statement. Either it is a suggestion that essential facts are being withheld from you by responsible officers, or, on the other hand, that the responsible officers are incompetent to place matters before you in an intelligent manner.....................I have absolute confidence in the responsible officers of the Department, and in their ability to advise the Minister, also in their loyalty ; they are men of proved integrity and ability.

As to the first part of the excerpt Colonel Miller omits the im portant preceding words, “ I am in receipt of your memorandum of the 7th instant, which would appear to have crossed my communication of the 7th, which I regret, for it becomes clear,” &c. The reference to the “ loyalty, integrity, and ability,” of the “ responsible officers ” leaves a very clear inference as to Colonel Miller’s own view of Mr. Griffin’s qualities. The contrast between Mr. Griffin and the “ responsible officers ” frequently occurs in the case.

79. Colonel Miller waited for twenty days for a reply to his letter of 6th October, and then, on 26th, addressed a letter to the Minister referring to his former letter, and asking, “ Is it your desire th a t I should review the action which has been taken

respecting the appointment of Mr. Griffin, and his official connexion with the D epart­ ment ? ” and stating th a t he hesitated to take action until after the receipt of the Minister’s instructions. On 30th October the Minister replied, “ I shall be glad to receive any representations which you may desire to make on the m atter.” To this Colonel Miller replied on 9th November, but on the 3rd he had written an uninvited letter to the

Minister referring to certain letters th a t had appeared in the press, in which he stated— The delay which has occurred in the settlement of the design for the lay-out of tire city is most regrettable, and is responsible for the dislocation of the schemes which had been laid down for the continuity of works and administration. Mr. Griffin’s engagement is dated 18th October, 1913. The primary object

of such engagement was apparently the preparation by him of an amended design, which, as far as I am aware, has not yet been received.

80. Colonel Miller’s memory m ust be very defective if he really considered either of the two latter statements to be accurate. To assert th a t the prim ary object of the engagement was the preparation of an amended design is to contradict the contract itself, which was apparently then before him, and which he certainly had had in his possession for more than twelve months before this letter was written. Upon examina­

tion with regard to this statem ent he admits th a t “ no such object is stated in the contract,” th a t “ there is nothing in the contract about it,” th a t “ the statem ent was not an accurate summary of the contract,” and he gives an insufficient reason for his failure to state in this memorandum as the prim ary purpose any one of the main terms

of the contract. He says th at the reason why he did not inform the Minister of the main purposes of Mr. Griffin’s engagement was th a t he “ did not consider it necessary, as the Minister had in his own hands the contract of Mr. Griffin.” (8949-71.) And his only

basis for the statem ent th a t this “ amended design ” was “ the prim ary purpose of the contract ” was th at, in one of the papers which had reached him prior to writing, it had been stated th a t “ the original design was in the nature of a preliminary study, such as would be first prepared by an architect for a building.” He states, as a further reason

for omitting the real objects of the contract, th at “ Six days afterwards he sent in a complete statement reviewing the whole contract and giving the whole context of it.” (8967.) How far th at is a correct statement of the contents of liisletter of 9th December, 1 also w ritten to the Minister, will be presently seen.

81. The accuracy of his other statements in the letter of the 3rd th a t the amended design had not, as far as he was aware, yet been received must be condemned by his requests to the Minister of 11th July and 5th October, th a t he should be instructed to lay out the City—according to Mr. Griffin’s design. The letter of 9tli December

states the term of Mr. Griffin’s engagement, his remuneration, his right of private practice, th a t he must devote half of his time to his duties, th a t in carrying out his duties he is subject to the direction of the Minister, and th a t the amount of professional or other assistance to be provided to the Director is in the discretion of the Minister.

There is no mention whatever of his functions already set out in clauses 4 a , B,[_and c ;


and then the Colonel, having made this imperfect statement of the contract, turns a t once to the former ground of attack against Mr. Griffin by stating th a t “ the delay in the adoption of the design for the lay-out of the City is materially interfering with the establishment of the seat of Government a t Canberra, which it is estimated has been

set back by a t least two years.” The concluding words are eloquent in showing the state of Colonel Miller's mind as against Mr. Griffin, for the contract had been in existence for less than thirteen months, and yet Mr. Griffin is charged with having caused two year’s delay.

82. The other charge as to the delay in the adoption of a design is one which was continually repeated by Colonel Miller. On the same date—9th November—he addressed another minute to the Minister, and although the charge of delay had already once th a t day been laid against Mr. Griffin, Colonel Miller repeats the charge in the following statem en t:—

After careful perusal of tlie documents I arrive at the following conclusion :— (1) That Mr. Griffin should be required to comply with all reasonable despatch with the Minister’s direction to submit to him the amended design for the lay-out of the Federal City. (2) That upon receipt of such amended design the Minister will be well advised to obtain the

opinion of the best authority in the British Empire respecting the suitability of the design for the purpose for which it has been prepared ; such authority should be that of an expert whose mind will be perfectly free from bias. (19, A 1.) The latter paragraph wholly omits to mention th at Mr. Griffin’s design was the accepted design approved by the former Minister, and the suggestion of obtaining the opinion of high authority as to its suitability is an evident attem pt to prepare the way for the re-adoption of the departmental plan.

83. Colonel Miller (Exhibit “ A 1,” page 19) in this minute further states, “ The engagement of the expert consultant asked for by Mr. Griffin is not warranted. Should expert advice be necessary in the direction referred to for the purpose of the preparation of the amended design for the lay-out of the City, then the departmental officers are competent to supply the same.” As to the last three words (12757) Colonel Miller in

his evidence says th a t they mean “ supply to Mr. Griffin.” The suggestion th a t Mr. Griffin desired experts to assist him in the preparation of an amended design is putting the m atter a step further than Colonel Miller had hitherto ventured to do. Formerly the view put forward was th a t Mr. Griffin was dilatory in preparing the design. Here the suggestion is th a t he was incompetent to prepare it without the assistance of experts.

84. Next in this document Colonel Miller repeats the opinion th a t “ the relation­ ship between Mr. Griffin and the officers of the Department or the Administration of the Federal Territory, if any, should be defined,” and proceeds to state quite irrelevantly, “ As Administrator of the Federal Territory I find th a t the finances are suffering owing to the delay ” ; and concludes, “ The remarks made by Mr. Griffin respecting the relinquishment of his work in Chicago is purely a m atter for Mr..Griffin’s private business

determination ”—an observation which needs no comment.

85. On 9th November Colonel Miller wrote a third letter to the Minister, stated to be in reply to his letter of 30th October, in which he gives the precedent facts as to the award of premium to Mr. Griffin’s plan, the appointment of the departmental Board, and proceeds—

On 25tli November, 1912, the Board reported that it was unable to recommend the adoption of any one of the designs, and advised approval of the plan of lay-out prepared by the Board. The Minister approved of the adoption of the design....................... The Board’s design incorporates features from the premiated and purchased designs wherever in the opinion of the Board such a procedure was warranted.

...................The Board has taken full advantage of the fact of the great natural features of the city site, and, wherever possible, use has been made of the principle of introducing public buildings and other architectural features where they may be clearly viewed at convenient distance from approaching streets and avenues.

86. As Mr. Griffin’s design was still the officially accepted design, there can be only one reason for this eulogy of the Board’s plan, and that, of course, the purpose of obtaining a decision in favour of reversion to the Board’s plan. Further, Colonel Miller in recording the history of the m atter writes, “ On 15th October, 1913, the Board assembled in Melbourne under the verbal instructions of the Honorable W. H. Kelly, Minister for Home Affairs, to meet Mr. Griffin and to consider the amended design which


by him had been subm itted for the lay-out of the Federal City. After examining the sketch design, and hearing Mr. Griffin’s explanation of the main principles, the Board decided th a t they were unable to concur with the amended design subm itted by Mr. Griffin.”

87. W ith regard to the last paragraph it should be mentioned th a t Mr. Kelly had prohibited the taking of votes by the Board, and therefore it could hardly be said th a t the Board had decided anything, but the statem ent is substantially true, because it is quite clear th a t every member of the Board was opposed to the adoption of Mr. Griffin's plan. The phrases “ amended design ” and “ sketch design ” are not fair to Mr. Griffin. There was before the Board the premiated design, 1,600 feet to the inch, and in order to meet the wishes of the Board as to the railway coming closer to the

centre of the City, Mr. Griffin had sketched upon his design a possible route for such railway. The only “ amendment ” of the design was one suggested to placate the Board. The memorandum concludes by stating the making of an agreement with Mr. Griffin on 18th October, 1913, but makes no mention of the approval of Mr. Griffin’s

design on 1st February, nor of the Minister’s statem ent of 7th July re-affirming the adoption of the plan ; nor of Colonel Miller’s own request to be allowed to lay out the City. As the memorandum professed to be a statem ent of facts, the omission of any facts occurring after the making of the contract and showing adoption of Mr. Griffin’s plan is significant.

88. On 13th November, Colonel Miller returns to the attack on Mr. Griffin in a memorandum which is more remarkable than any of those yet mentioned. The document is in the nature of a criticism of some statem ents in a letter written by Mr. Griffin on 6th November. Colonel Miller cites the first paragraph of th a t letter as follows :—“ There has never been any suggestion of amendment of my general design of the Federal City which was completed, approved, and presented to Parliam ent ” ; and under the heading “ My Remarks ” states with regard to this—

Mr. Griffin’s design was awarded the first premium of £1,750 in the competition for designs for the lay-out of the Federal City, but such design was not approved, vide Department of Home Affairs Schedule No. 9, page 43, in which it will be seen that the Minister appointed a Departmental Board to investigate and report upon the suitability of the designs for adoption in connexion with the lay-out of the city prepared by the Board, vide Parliamentary Paper herewith. The Honorable King O’Malley approved of the adoption of the design which had been prepared by the Departmental Board, and the projection of the design on the ground was proceeded with. I am, therefore, at a loss to understand Mr. Griffin’s statement that his design had been approved.

89. The concluding words are startling. I t is difficult to see how they could have been penned in view of the fact th a t Colonel Miller had knowledge, and m ust have had a t this time clear memory, of the formal definite approval of Mr. Griffin’s plan on 5th December, 1913, 1st February, 1914, and 7th July of th a t same year. Copies of Mr. Griffin’s accepted plan had been forwarded to him by Mr. Bingle on 6th December,

1915. I t is a m atter of regret th a t Colonel Miller should have so written, and still greater regret th a t he should have attem pted to justify this statem ent in his evidence.

90. I t should be stated th a t Colonel Miller says th a t he does not think he ever saw the Minister’s direction of 7th July (9075), although he says he mentioned it to the Honorable W. 0 . Archibald (12844), and it m ust be remembered th a t the design from which he desired to lay out the Federal Capital City was Mr. Griffin’s own lay-out plan sent to Colonel Miller by Mr. Bingle. Further, in this letter of 13th November, he states as to the two reproductions of Mr: Griffin’s design appearing in Schedule No.

17, th a t one is described “ Designs submitted by Mr. W. B. Griffin, Chicago, and awarded first prize in competition,” and the other “ Amended design prepared by Mr. W. B. Griffin,” and in making th a t reference to Schedule No. 17, his own denial of the approval

of Mr. Griffin’s plan stands self-condemned, because th a t Schedule contains on page 70, under the heading “ Design for the Lay-out of the Federal Capital City,” the statem ent th a t— An amended plan by Mr. Griffin, Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction, has been published showing the alterations in suburban treatment suggested by his closer knowledge of the locality,

and other modifications which he has considered desirable for the time being. But while immediate economies (particularly in railway arrangements) are thus contemplated, steps are being taken to prevent anything standing in the way of the ultimate consummation of the complete design.


91. Following upon this Colonel Miller repeats the attack already made in correspondence, five times within five days, by saying, “ I am still of opinion th a t Mr. Griffin should carry out his contract with the Government, and under the direction of of the Minister submit the amended design upon which he has now been engaged for more than 12 months, and which until received and disposed of, either by approval

or otherwise, is delaying the establishment of the seat of Government a t Canberra,” and concludes, “ Generally speaking, I cannot understand a man with the wide experience claimed by Mr. Griffin writing in such manner to the Honorable Minister for Home Affairs. I t undoubtedly is requisite th a t Mr. Griffin’s position should be clearly defined a t the earliest opportunity, and th a t he should be informed respecting

such finding.”

92. With regard to these misrepresentations—I can use no word less harsh—it is clear th a t Colonel Miller is not the only officer implicated. Mr. Bingle, as Acting Secretary, was conversant with the term s of Mr. Griffin’s contract, and Colonel Miller’s minutes would necessarily pass through his hands. As to the statem ent th a t the primary object

of Mr. Griffin’s engagement was apparently a preparation by him of an amended design, Mr. Bingle states in evidence (15552), th a t he “ understood the purpose was for Mr. Griffin to amend his design in the light of personal observation on the ground,” and (15555) th a t “ everybody understood th a t the first thing th a t Mr. Griffin was going to do was to amend his design in the light of his personal observation.” B ut in a later reply he admits th a t “ the main purpose of the contract was the creation of the city,”

and (15559) th a t he does not think “ Colonel Miller’s statem ent on this point is accurate.” Yet, it does not appear th a t he ever took exception to the inaccuracy of the statem ent— a statement, which, if believed, would necessarily mislead the Minister.

93. W ith regard to Colonel Miller’s statement th a t he was “ a t a loss to under­ stand Mr. Griffin’s statem ent th a t his design had been approved,” Mr. Bingle had seen all Mr. Kelly’s minutes, and had forwarded the approved plan of lay-out to officers, and also knew of Mr. Kelly’s minute on leaving office on 17th Sepember, 1914. He states also (11534) th a t he is “ positive th at Mr. Archibald also saw it.” In th a t minute (Exhibit “ A 1,” page 41) there is the statem ent by Mr. Kelly th a t it had been intended by his Ministry to introduce a Bill providing for the appointment of Commis­

sioners for the Federal Capital, and it proceeds, “ Care would have to be exercised to insure the approved design submitted by the Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction being carried into effect under the Commission’s jurisdiction.”

94. And, further, Mr. Archibald himself is responsible herein because lie invited Colonel Miller—being strongly urged thereto by Colonel Miller—to write these memo­ randa, and accepted them when written without any demur as to the terms in which they were written or as to the statements which they contained. That he was misled by any misstatements in any such document I do not think likely, because I am compelled to the opinion, upon the whole of the evidence, th a t such misstatements,

damaging as they otherwise would have been to Mr. Griffin’s reputation, were incapable of adding to the Minister’s antipathy to Mr. Griffin and his plan.

95. Colonel Miller’s persistence in making the charges cited is remarkable. When giving evidence before the Public Works Committee on 10th February, 1915, the inquiry being as to the construction of a main sewer for Canberra, Colonel Miller gave evidence, evidently in the form of a statem ent (page 37), and quite irrelevantly states, “ The sequence of operations, which, of course, includes sequence of works prepared by Colonel Owen, Director-General of Works, was based upon the assumption th a t a design for a lay-out of the city would be adopted a t a certain period. In th a t particular there has been a failure. . I am not aware of any design which has m et with the approval of the Government being available. Owing to the delay which has taken place, the sequence of operations and the sequence of works have been materially interfered with. In my opinion, a delay of a t least two years has resulted.” In justice to Colonel Miller it may be mentioned th a t certain other statements of his in evidence were equally irrelevant, but the statem ent quoted m ust be taken as evidence of a desire to publish as widely as possible his former charges of delay against Mr. Griffin. There is, however, one point a t least of difference in the form of attack, for here the charge is made openly.


96. On 15th November, 1914, Colonel Miller wrote a very lengthy minute to the Minister stating the Legislative and Departm ental action necessary in respect of the Federal Capital Territory including :— (1) (d) Development of the City.

The introduction of a definite scheme for the development of the city and its gradual beautification, including parkways, avenues, other means of communication, and inter-communication, ornamental waters, and generally.

All these matters, it will be noticed, were included specifically in Mr. Griffin’s contract, and his premiated design provided for all the works mentioned. Paragraph 2 a of the minute is :— City Design.

The adoption of a design for the lay-out of the city ; until after this has been settled, it is impossible to proceed with the lay-out of the city or with its construction.

This is rather significant, because it would seem to assume th a t the Minister did not know th a t Mr. Griffin’s design had been adopted—an impossible conjecture—or th a t the Minister had determined to set aside th a t design in favour of some alternative, or to ignore both the design and its author. Paragraph 2c of the same minute dealing

with design of parkways, parks, &c., s ta te s :— Information respecting the most appropriate designs for the parkways, parks, avenues, &c., and their treatment should be now obtained for the guidance of those in whose hands these matters will be placed.

If Colonel Miller had never heard of Mr. Griffin’s design this recommendation would be intelligible. As he had insisted, on 5th October preceding, on his right to lay out the city under Mr. Griffin’s design, the suggestion certainly seems to support the view th a t he had in the interval determined to ignore Mr. Griffin’s official existence. Paragraph (3) (a) deals with the sequence and continuity of Public Works, and states :—■

The Director-General of Works should be invited to revise his original schcme for the sequence of Public Works and the staff required. He should also furnish approximate estimates of the cost involved in all works excepting railways.

This paragraph assumes th a t it is the office of Colonel Owen to create and develop the city. In (3) (b) and (3) (c) it is stated :— The Commonwealth Director-General of Works should advise on the establishment of factories for the production of materials to be used in the construction of the city, and should submit a scheme for the construction of such roads, developmental and otherwise, outside the city area as are necessary or desirable.

The concluding words would appear to contain a reference to the D epartm ental con­ tention th a t under his contract Mr. Griffin was only concerned with m atters inside the city boundary. But, except for this reference, if it is indeed a reference, to Mr. Griffin’s office, there is not from beginning to end of the report any recognition of Mr. Griffin

or of any work to be done by him under his contract or in connexion with the Federal City.

P a r l i a m e n t H o u s e C o m p e t i t i o n .

97. Another m atter relied upon under the present charge is th a t, on 14th August, 1914, Mr. Bingle wrote to the Minister with regard to Parliam ent House competition, suggesting th a t on account of the war it had become a question whether the competition should go on as announced, or th a t the time should be extended, or the competition withdrawn. This was done without reference to Mr. Griffin, whose duty it was to advise upon conditions of competition, and Mr. Kelly admits th a t Mr. Griffin should have been consulted with regard to the m atter. (6386.) A part from the contract, this is clear, for by minute dated 13th October, 1913, Mr. Kelly had said th a t the work in connexion with the competition had been intrusted to Mr. Griffin. The original conditions had been drafted by Mr. Griffin in November, 1913, revised by him in June, 1914, and published to the world on 30th of th a t month. (716, 734.) Some time after the date of Mr.

Bingle’s letter, Mr. Kelly did mention the question of withdrawal to Mr. Griffin, and the latter then asked for time to consider it in the light of events then transpiring, and to be allowed to report on the subject within a few weeks. (668.) B ut no definite action was taken, this being one of the m atters for whose decision the Minister desired the authority of a new Parliament. Then, on 17th September, 1914, Colonel Miller, without reference to Mr. Griffin, wrote a minute suggesting th a t in consequence of the war the Parliam ent House competition should be withdrawn. This was approved by the Minister, The Honorable W. 0 . Archibald, on 25th September, again without


reference to Mr. Griffin. Again, without reference to Mr. Griffin, Colonel Miller wrote on the 6th October to the Minister th a t he should revise the conditions of the competition, and on 29th October, 8th January, and 5th February, 1915, referred to his letter of 6th October, and urged the Minister to take action in the m atter. Mr. Griffin knew nothing

of these letters, and was unaware of the suggested revision of the terms of the competition.

98. The next step in connexion with the competition was also taken without any reference to Mr. Griffin. Under instructions from the Minister, Mr. J. S. Murdoch, architect, on 26th March, 1916, made certain recommendations with regard to the competition aiul the lines upon which it should go, and this report had the concurrence

of Colonel Owen, and was forwarded to the Minister. A second report was made on the same subject on 8th May by Mr. Murdoch, and approved by Colonel Owen. Mr. Murdoch stated th a t he was most anxious to avoid doing this work, as he “ con­ sidered it was Mr. Griffin’s duty' and not his. (11889.) This is borne out by Mr.

Archibald’s evidence (page 27), where he says :—• I did authorize Mr. Murdoch to compile the new set of conditions. He protested that it was hardly fair that he should be asked to do so, but I said I respectfully requested him to draw them up, and he did so.

Mr. Archibald said he intended to consult Mr. Griffin la te r ; th a t he did not consult him on the preliminary stage because he did not think the m atter sufficiently advanced. B ut one reason for his not consulting Mr. Griffin is stated in evidence (page 28), where he says—

I consulted Mr. Murdoch instead of Mr. Griffin in respect of this particular matter, for the reason that Mr. Griffin, as any one could see, had taken wonderful interest in the whole subject, and was so enthusiastic about it that to ask him whether he would be prepared to turn down this proposal would be very like expecting tho age of miracles again.

99. On 13th May Mr. Murdoch’s reports were forwarded by Mr. Bingle to Mr. Griffin “ for any comment thereon which he might desire to make,” and with a statem ent th a t it was the Minister’s intention to alter the scope of the conditions so as to make them suitable to a competition confined to British countries. Mr. Archibald, in his

evidence referring to this subject, said (page 40), “ If it were to be a world-wide competition it would be another prize to go to America.” Mr. Archibald’s prejudice against Americans in this m atter seems to dominate his reason. The object of a com­ petition was to secure the best design. Mr. Archibald here assumes th a t the best design would come from America ; therefore he determines to exclude it. In his reply on 26th May, 1916 (“ A 1,” page 118), Mr. Griffin complains th a t all th a t he had heard of the first report was what he had gleaned from the press th a t action was m aturing and th a t he had “ not been consulted upon the very grave alterations proposed.” The Department, he says, had not “ extended him the courtesy of a notice th a t such deliberations had been in progress for months.” He strongly urged th a t the competition as previously published should be proceeded with, and that it would be a breach of faith on the part of the Federal Government to proceed with the competition on the altered lines. Mr. Bingle’s reply on 31st May to this letter assured him th a t the m atter of this competition would receive consideration, but upon the documents and evidence no other action seems to have been taken upon Mr. Griffin’s protest.

100. I t appears always to have been Mr. Griffin’s experience th a t m atters occurring in connexion with the Parliament House competition were not communicated to him until final decision had been reached. Accordingly, it is recorded th a t on 14th July, 1915, Mr. Bingle forwarded to Mr. Griffin copies of correspondence th a t had been for some time

past proceeding between the Secretary and the Australian Institute of Architects. That correspondence had apparently been conducted by Mr. Murdoch, although the letters were signed by Mr. Bingle. Mr. Griffin on 17th July, acknowledging this communication, points out th a t the competitors were a t work under the conditions of

competition which were issued in June, 1914, having had a distinct promise of revival of the competition with the intimation th a t it had merely been postponed, and goes on to say, “ I am astonished at, and regret, the further step, but can offer no further comment than th at contained in my previous memorandum of 26th May last, except to point out th at, whereas the detailed technical suggestions submitted for the indorsement of the above architects are clothed with Ministerial authority, they must of necessity emanate from some architect within the Department, or some undisclosed professional source outside the Department. I must reiterate th a t the course so suggested is a limitation


of the work to local practitioners, and introduces the very gravest danger of localism, and th a t the original conditions, which in my opinion should be adhered to, avoided th a t grave error, and would give to Australia the most perfect building the world’s genius could a t this day evolve and which, I think, Australia is justly entitled to, and

should expect.”

101. In reply, on 17th August, a letter was w ritten by Mr. Murdoch, signed by Mr. Bingle as Secretary, which reminded Mr. Griffin th a t on 13th May previous he had been informed by letter th a t it was the Minister’s intention to restrict the competition to architects within the British Empire. This it will be noticed was ignoring Mr. Griffin’s right to advise upon the conditions of competition, as stated in his contract. Here,

again, a strange misconstruction of plain words was made to Mr. Griffin’s detriment. The contract says th a t he shall “ advise upon and (if so requested by the Minister) prepare conditions of competition,” &c. The departm ental reading asserted in evidence is th a t Mr. Griffin “ if so requested by the Minister should advise upon and prepare conditions of competition,” &c. Mr. Bingle’s letter further asserts th a t Mr. Griffin’s

letter of 26th May contained “ regrettable misstatements and inaccuracies, and appears to be more in the nature of an attack upon the Government’s policy of restricting the competition than a fair commentary upon the suggested amendments of the condition.” Then follows correspondence for which Mr. Murdoch is responsible, and in respect of which he has in his evidence expressed his regret th a t it should have been written.

Mr. Griffin, in his letter of 20th August, 1915, resented the suggestion contained in the letter already quoted, th a t his comments were an attack upon the Government’s policy, and, unwisely, asked for a statem ent of the “ regrettable misstatements and

inaccuracies ” said to be contained in his letter of the 26th.

102. Mr. Murdoch stated the view th a t Mr. Griffin wrote his letters under an unfounded belief th a t he, Mr. Murdoch, “ had his own motives in putting fonvard the altered conditions of competition.” (11831.) He admits th a t he himself “ wrongly thought th a t Mr. Griffin wanted to oust him ” (11798), th a t “ a friendly call would have avoided the bitterness of the correspondence ” (11837), and th a t it was “ an interminable correspondence about small things.” (11858.) I do not propose to deal with this

correspondence, but regret th a t Mr. Murdoch did not prevent its happening by making “ a friendly call ” on Mr. Griffin. I fully believe Mr. Murdoch in his assertion th a t he very reluctantly followed the Minister’s instruction with regard to suggesting varied terms for the competition. He says th a t he “ never had any desire to assist in building

Canberra ” (11799), th a t he “ hoped the whole proposal would be dropped ” (11815), and I think th a t he is sincere in saying th a t he would “ Like to see the Federal Capital strangled for a hundred years.” No im putation of a desire to usurp Sir. Griffin’s functions can be attributed to him, and I am sure th a t he regrets the necessity th a t he was under in undertaking the work of drafting new conditions as much as he regrets the corre­ spondence “ about small things ” with Mr. Griffin. H e states th a t it is “ not a t all an unusual thing for an officer to write letters which are to be sent by the Secretary,” and, although Mr. Bingle signed the letters in this case, I cannot infer th a t he incited Mr. Murdoch to write them.

103. On 15th July, 1915, from his place in Parliament, Mr. Archibald, in reply to a question by Mr. Riley as to the stage th a t had been reached in the calling of designs for Parliament House and other buildings a t the Capital, replied that, “ Certain conditions were drawn up in regard to the designs for Parliam ent House, and a copy of these was sent to Mr. Griffin. I have not yet received from Mr. Griffin a reply on the m atter.” Next day Mr. Griffin having seen this reply in the daily papers, wrote to the Minister—

May I venture to say that the reply to Mr. Riley is not correct, and you cannot have been made aware of the facts, for your request for my report came to me on 15th May last, and was complied with on 26th May and acknowledged by the Department. (Exhibit “ B 29.”)

The letter continues— Should not Mr. Riley also have been informed that not only have the condition issued in June last year been set aside, but that the substituted conditions on which I reported have also been discarded, and that proposal to abandon the competition had been made by your Department, and on the 6th instant submitted to certain architects, and was awaiting their reply, a fact which your answer to Mr. Riley would indicate had not been brought to your knowledge.


104. A reference to Mr. Griffin’s letter of 26th May shows th a t Mr. Griffin did fully deal then with the m atter of conditions of competition, and very strongly urged, as already noticed, his own contention as to the proper course to be adopted. In his reply to this letter (not sent until 17th August) Mr. Bingle acknowledges th a t the_ letter of 26th May was duly received, and th at “ The receipt of this letter certainly might have been mentioned to Mr. Riley, whom he (the Minister) did not desire to mislead in any way, only it was not regarded by him as a report on the subjects you were invited to comment upon.” This is harking back to the statem ent already cited th a t the letter was an attack upon Ministerial policy. I think it can hardly be so described, although it does set forth with some vigour the views held by Mr. Griffin to ■which the Minister was strongly opposed.

W orks at Ca n b e r r a.

105. Ignored as to the competition Mr. Griffin fared no better in respect of works contemplated or in progress a t Canberra. On 23rd September, 1914, Mr. Bingle wrote a mimxte to the Minister following upon the request of Mr. Griffin th a t Mr. Oliver should be allowed to inspect and report on water supply and sewerage for the Capital City, a retainer to Mr. Oliver having been arranged by Mr. Kelly during his term of office. As to this Mr. Bingle writes to the M inister:—

Mr. Griffin, as Director of Federal Capital Design, will no doubt be concerned as to where the reservoir and the inlet to the main are to be located, but it is not quite understood how sources of water supply and the disposal of sewage come within his province, being matters outside the city. Melbourne, for instance, draws its water supply from Healesville, 40 odd miles away, and disposes of its sewage at Werribee, 22 miles distant.

Mr. Griffin’s request was never agreed to nor even acknowledged, and Mr. Oliver was not employed to inspect and report. (84, “ A 1.” )

106. On 17th December, 1914, Mr. Griffin wrote to the Minister with reference to the fact th a t £50,000 was allowed in the Estimates for main sewers and unions, and th a t the Minister had stated in Parliament the possibility of an early commencement of the work. “ On the assumption,” writes Mr. Griffin, “ th a t this refers to the project which was suspended last year, I again submit, as in my letter to the Minister of

November, 1913, th at the expense for outfall sewer is unjustifiable, pending the determ ination of the whole sanitary scheme.” This protest passed unnoticed, except th a t on 18th December the Minister Avrote asking for a copy of the letter referred to, and the work was proceeded with, £11,645 being spent in the year 1914-15, and £22,657 in 1915-16, Mr. Griffin not being consulted or referred to in any way in connexion with the work. He was not, as I have pointed out, aware of the contention of officers th a t his functions ceased a t the City boundary. This main outfall sewrer started just outside the City boundary and extended thence for 3 miles. I t is probable th a t the contention mentioned may have been regarded as a plausible excuse for ignoring Mr. Griffin and

his protests.

107. W ith reference to this m atter of sewerage, Mr. Bingle wrote a minute on 21st December, 1914, on the question of referring the m atter informally to the Public Works Committee for inquiry, and irrelevantly observes :— Mr. Kelly, it is understood, is advocating inquiry into a scheme of dealing with the sewerage by

sedimentation tanks within the city, which, whilst perhaps suitable in thickly-inhabited countries vhere there are not facilities for disposal otherwise, has been reported upon by the engineer officers of this Department on various grounds, small amount of land available under proposed design of river flats for sedimentation tanks, liability to objectionable smell, flies, necessary for all time to cart awT ay sediment

(much like nightcarts), &c.

Why Sir. Bingle should go out of his way to depreciate Mr. Kelly’s scheme and support th a t of the engineering officers of the Department must, I think, be explained by the fact th a t Mr. Kelly s scheme was Mr. Griffin’s scheme, and th a t the paragraph was intended to support the officers in their objection thereto. Otherwise one cannot see

why Mr. Bingle should obtrude the “ engineering officers ” opinion in a minute advising th a t the Public Works Committee should determine the m atter.


.108. W ith respect to Charge 3—■ “ That the Honorable W. 0 . Archibald and members of the D epartm ental Board endeavoured to set aside Mr. Griffin’s design and to substitute the Board’s own design; ” it is clear th a t Colonel Miller in minutes already cited showed th a t he had hope of a reconsideration of the Board’s plan, and his desire in this behalf appears in m any instances

after Mr. Archibald’s accession to office. On 18th November, 1914, in reply to a letter from Mr. A. Grant, Assistant Secretary to the Local Government Board, Edinburgh, asking to be supplied with a copy of the report upon the scheme subm itted for planning Canberra, he writes, “ In compliance with the request contained in your letter of 13th August last, I am forwarding herewith copy of report subm itted by the Board appointed by the Minister to investigate and report upon the designs subm itted in connexion with the laying-out of the Federal City a t Canberra. The design for the lay-out of the City has not }^et been definitely decided upon.” The omission to mention th a t there had been a complete reversal of policy since the report had been issued is noteworthy. The last sentence is wholly misleading, unless it is based upon the assumption th a t Mr.

Archibald had determined to discard Mr. Griffin’s plan.

109. On 8th October, 1914, Mr. John Sulman, President of the Town Planning Association of New South Wales, wrote to the Minister calling attention to press reports of a suggested alteration in the planning of the Federal Capital, and in referring to the design of the Departmental Board stated th a t this had been “ strongly condemned by one of Australia's most eminent architects—the late Colonel Vernon.” Colonel Miller wrote a minute to the Minister as to this letter, and said th a t Colonel Vernon in his adverse criticism “ made a mistake which he a t once adm itted when his attention was

drawn to it, and expressed regret th at the mistake had been made, and wrote accordingly to the Honorable W. H. Kelly, Minister for Home Affairs.” H e concluded his minute with the irrelevant statem ent th a t “ Mr. Griffin has been engaged for the last thirteen months on the preparation of an amended design which, I understand, has not yet been received.” Air. Sulman, having received no reply to his letter, wrote again on 2nd February, 1915, and on 18th February received a reply th a t the Minister was now waiting for the “ submission by Mr. Griffin of a plan on such a scale and with such necessary information as will facilitate consideration being given to its adoption for the purpose

of the lay-out of the City.”

110. The statem ent with regard to Colonel Vernon is incorrect. Colonel Vernon’s criticism, published in a journal called Building on 12th June, 1913, had been strongly condemnatory of the Board’s plan. I t began by quoting a criticism from the Town Planning Revieiv, which asserted with regard to the D epartm ental B oard’s design— “ I t is obvious at once th a t this plan is the work of an am ateur, who has yet to learn the

elementary principles of laying out a to w n ;” and a p art of the Colonel’s own article is a statem ent th a t “ a critical examination of the two designs, so far as information is publicly available, gives the impression th a t the one is an emasculated reflex of the

other with the best points omitted, and a desultory scheme substituted.” On 5th July, 1913, a petition had been presented by certain architects and engineers urging the appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire into the general adm inistration relative to the buildings a t Canberra, and to review the present building design. Colonel

Vernon’s name had been mentioned as a promoter of this petition, and he wrote to the Honorable W. H. Kelly disclaiming any connexion with the m atter and asserting th a t the petitioners had not been authorized to use his name. B ut in th a t same letter he refers to his article in Building, and affirms the views therein expressed. Colonel Miller, therefore, is wholly inaccurate in his statem ent th a t Colonel Vernon had withdrawn his

condemnation of the Board’s plan.

111. On 10th February, 1915, in evidence before the Public Works Committee, from which a quotation has already been made, Colonel Miller asserted th a t “ a t present we have not in the Department a plan for the lay-out of the City/" (13718.) This statem ent may have reference to the 400 feet to the inch plan which Mr. Griffin was then engaged upon, but in its terms it would be taken as a statem ent th a t there was not and never had been a plan of such lay-out. In this sense, of course, it was entirely opposed to the facts within Colonel Miller’s knowledge a t the time, since he had twice asked for instructions to proceed with the survey before the date on which this evidence was given.

Charge N o. 3.


And with reference to this point Colonel Miller's explanation before this Commission (13728, 13755) is worthy of notice for he there affirms th a t the plan th a t he spoke of in his evidence before the Public Works Committee was “ a finished plan upon which the whole scheme could be laid o u t; a plan which is not yet in existence, and a plan upon which the whole City might be laid out from end to end.”

Q u e s t i o n s i n P a r l i a m e n t .

112. On 25th November, 1914, Senator Grant from his place in Parliament asked, “ Why has the plan of the proposed Federal City not been adopted, and who is responsible for the delay ? ” The answer given on th a t date was— A plan prepared by the Departmental Board was definitely approved by the Honorable King

O’Malley when Minister of Home Affairs, and surveys of the lay-out of the City in accordance therewith were in progress, with a view to street formation and other works being proceeded with. The late Govern­ ment stopped the work and arranged for Mr Griffin, the author of the premiated design, to visit Canberra with a view to the amendment and adoption of his design, in place of the approved one. Mr. Griffin desired further surveys, which have been made, and his finished amended plan is awaited, when urgent consideration of its merits will be given.

I t is hard to understand the reason of the reference to the Departmental Board’s plan and its approval together with the statem ent th a t consideration would be given to the merits of Mr. Griffin’s plan, unless this is to be taken as an indication th a t it was desired to ascertain whether members were prepared to approve of the reversal of the decision

in favour of Mr. Griffin’s plan.

113. Mr. Chapman, M.H.R., gave notice during November of the following question :—“ When is it expected th a t a start will be made with the lay-out of the City ? ” W ith reference to this, Colonel Miller on 30th November wrote to the Acting Secretary, Mr. Bingle, and said, repeating his earlier statements, th a t the m atter was “ awaiting the receipt from Mr. Griffin of his amended design for the lay-out of the Federal City.”

To Mr. Chapman’s question a reply was made on 2nd December in terms almost identical with tho answer already quoted as given to Senator Grant. And with reference to these replies, Mr. Griffin on 3rd December wrote to Mr. Bingle asking him— : To show to the Minister the official file, whereon the basic plan (a plan of 800 feet to the inch) is

Ministerially approved, as was communicated to me at the time, and in accordance with its adoption I was instructed by the Minister to proceed with the actual work. I am (see my letter of 1st October) ready, but (see memorandum to me of 7th October) I have been restrained from further action, and am awaiting instructions.

On this the Secretary m inuted:— So far as I can trace the records of the Department, or as any of the officers of the Department are aware, the only thing in the nature of a plan by Mr. Griffin of the lay-out of the City which has been approved is the sketch, as published in the Minister’s Schedule No 17, and that, I am advised, is merely a sketch, and insufficient for an opinion as to its merits to be formed for the purpose of projecting on the ground.

114. Mr. Bingle does not indicate the officer from whom this advice had been obtained. I t certainly could not have been from Colonel Miller, whose request to be allowed to proceed with the lay-out of the City on 11th July, repeated in his minute of 5tli October, has already been referred to. Such a statem ent could not have been made by Mr. Bingle to Mr. Kelly had he then been in office. In view of the fact th a t Mr. Bingle knew, and th a t the Minister knew, th a t Colonel Miller had urged upon the Minister th a t he should then proceed with the lay-out of the City, it is remarkable th a t it should have been made, even to Mr. Archibald. The inconsistency of Mr. Bingle’s statem ent with Colonel Miller’s minute of 5th October, does not seem to have occurred to the Minister, for the statem ent as shown by his subsequent action had his approval.

115. Another answer to a question in Parliam ent which strongly indicates the antagonism to Mr. Griffin’s design by those responsible for the terms of the answer was given on 10th December, 1914, to Dr. Maloney, who asked upon notice:— (1) If the plans of the Federal Capital have been received by the Home Affairs Department; and

(2) Are the plans of the Federal City advanced so sufficiently that certain streets and roads can be proceeded with ?

The answer to the first question is identical with th a t given on 2nd December to Mr. Chapman. The answer to the second is remarkable. I t reads— Yes, so far as tho design submitted by the Departmental Board is concerned. The sketch referred to in No. 1 is not sufficient to enable the merits of the design to be investigated; or, if approved, to be projected upon the ground. I have asked Mr. Griffin for a completed plan, and action awaits receipt of the same.


116. As to this answer it is unnecessary to do more than refer again to Colonel Miller’s readiness to project upon the ground if allowed to do so. The statem ent th a t Mr. Griffin’s sketch is not sufficient to enable the merits of the design to be investigated omits m ention of the fact th a t it had been thrice a t least officially approved, and the reference to the design of the D epartm ental Board is wholly inaccurate. I t is true th a t a survey had been ordered by the Honorable King O’Malley on the plan of the Departmental Board, but later in the year 1913 Mr. Murdoch, who had then recently visited

America and had seen the city of Washington, insisted on radical alterations of the Board’s plan. Among other things he wanted a “ Wasliington-avenue ” (11778-80). These m atters had been discussed by the Board with the result (11904) th a t Colonel

Owen, Mr. Hill, Mr. Oakeshott, and Air. Murdoch had determined th a t the alterations suggested should be made. The discussions as to alterations of the plan were still in progress a t the time of Mr. Griffin’s arrival in August, 1913, and before th a t date survey work under the original Departm ental plan had been stopped (11911). Admittedly, the Board’s plan was “ all in pieces ” a t the time of Mr. Griffin’s arrival, and of course also a t the time when this answer was given in Parliam ent. (11482, 11901.)

S e l e c t i o n o p A r s e n a l S i t e .

117. A m atter in respect of which it is urged th a t there was deliberate intention to frustrate Mr. Griffin’s plan is in connexion with the selection of a site for an arsenal a t Canberra. The Public Works Committee had considered the question of a Small Arms Factory, and had determined th a t it should be located in the Federal Capital

Territory. Colonel Owen in giving evidence before the Public Works Committee had recommended a site on the south side of the Molonglo to the east of the Capital. Mr. Griffin recommended another site to the north of the Molonglo and in th a t p a rt of the area assigned by him to industrial purposes. W riting as to this m atter on 17th July,

1915, Colonel Owen says :— I assume that the site suggested to the Public Works Committee by me, and on which my estimates were made, will be adopted ; however, before work is put in hand, my view of the matter should be submitted to the Minister for confirmation or otherwise, as he may consider right. (Exhibit “ 20.”) .

118. This m inute was recommended to the Cabinet by the Minister and submitted in the following terms : “ a t the report of the Public Works Committee

be adopted, and th a t the site be th a t suggested by the Director-General of Works in his evidence—not th a t favoured by Mr. Griffin.” Colonel Owen then recommended on 22nd July th a t the m atter of site be referred to the Public Works Committee for favour of their opinion, and the Minister for Defence, the Honorable G. F. Pearce, referred it accordingly. On the same date Mr. Griffin wrote to the Public Works Committee pointing out th a t the site of the Small Arms Factory was of vital importance to the city design. Early in September (the date was not fixed) a Committee appointed to advise on the question of site had reported in favour of No. 1 site. This Committee

consisted of Colonel Owen, Mr. Marcus Bell, Mr. John McKay, Professor Payne, and Major Gibbs. The Public Works Committee on 15th September, by seven votes to two, adopted Mr. Griffin’s (No. 2) site as against the site (No. 1) recommended by Colonel Owen ; but on 7th September, 1915, while the m atter was pending before the Committee, Mr. Hill telegraphed to Mr. Rolland a t Canberra :—

Posting to-night mail necessary plans sufficient location Small Arms Factory by Railway Surveyor Smith. Would like Richmond and yourself do any necessary laying out buildings, also treat matter confidential, as site not definitely fixed by Parliamentary Works Committee.

119. This was sent by Mr. Hill, but Colonel Owen takes full responsibility for its wording and despatch ; and Mr. Archibald in his evidence (34911-34) says with regard to this m atter th a t he pushed things on and had urged Colonel Owen to push on, because the Minister for Defence was very anxious from the time the Government approved of the arsenal being located a t Canberra to get on with the work ; th a t the Minister for Defence was urging him to avoid delay, and was very anxious th a t what he wanted done should not be delayed by the Home Affairs Departm ent. Mr. Archibald continues :—

So far as my reading of the evidence goes, Colonel Owen acted strictly in accordance with my authority and knowledge ; Colonel Owen never acted on his own authority, but in some instances I was so anxious to push things on that I said, “ No matter, I want it done ; I will approve of it to-morrow if necessary.” Colonel Owen was acting under my knowledge and authority entirely.


120. I t is very difficult to understand the reason for sending the telegram cited. The m atter had been referred to the Public Works Committee, and it clearly was risking wasteful expenditure to go to work on a site before it was known th a t th a t site would be selected by the Committee. B ut the view advanced on behalf of Mr. Griffin is th a t this strange procedure evidences an intention to compel the adoption of No. l s i t e to the destruction of so much of Mr. Griffin’s design. His industrial suburbs were on the north side of the Molonglo. To put the arsenal on the south side in residential suburbs

would be a serious detriment to the unity of his design. As against Colonel Owen, it is urged th a t all his efforts were directed to the selection of the No. 1 site as against No. 2 site, and therefore it is said th a t this shows a desire not to erect an arsenal in haste, but to deliberately destroy Mr. Griffin's design.

121. On the other hand it is to be remembered th a t the water supply for the arsenal would be much more easily, cheaply, and efficiently supplied a t No. 1 site than a t No. 2, which was remote from water supply, and therefore less suitable on th a t account, and also th a t No. 1 site had been selected by the Arsenal Committee. On the whole,

I am unable to draw, as against Colonel Owen and the Minister, the inference th a t the hasty action in this m atter arose from a desire to frustrate an essential feature of Mr. Griffin’s design. The foolish haste shown cannot be taken to indicate an attem pt to coerce the Committee to the selection of No. 1 site, and the inexplicable instruction

to treat as confidential a m atter th a t of necessity m ust be publicly performed, goes to show th a t the telegram was the outcome of thoughtless impulse, not of deliberate purpose. Colonel Owen in his evidence has stated th a t while he was engaged in Defence work from the time of the outbreak of war, he was so engrossed in military m atters th a t

he had no thought of Canberra ; his action in this m atter would seem to support th a t evidence. The immediate establishment of a Small Arms Factory was a t th a t time regarded as a m atter of overwhelming urgency, and I am inclined to think th a t the real motive for Colonel Owen’s haste was a genuine desire to carry out the wishes of the Minister for Defence.

122. The further proceedings with regard to this arsenal were also remarkable. On 28th September Colonel Owen reported th a t he had been informed th a t No. 1 site had been adopted as the site of the arsenal. No. 2 site had in fact been adopted on 15th of th a t month, but the secret was well kept. The decision was not published till more than a month after Colonel Owen’s letter was written (Exhibit “ B 12 ” ), and his information was wholly inaccurate. He left for India on 6th October following, and

did not return to Australia until 24th December of th a t year. On 15th October Mr. Hill telegraphed to Mr. Holland (the site mentioned and also the course of the loop line from the Queanbeyan to the Canberra line having been surveyed), stating th a t £40,000 for the arsenal had been approved. (“ B 253.”) Mr. Hill further states—

“ Am ordering pump and motor; you order 3-in. rising main, 4-in. supply pipe; but do nothing on site or disclose action until my arrival with approved plans next week.”

123. This injunction not to disclose action is similar to the order in the telegram of 7th September to treat the m atter as confidential. Who it was th a t was to be kept in ignorance of the action, in either case is not c le a r; certainly not the Minister, for what was being done was under his instruction. Work a t No. 1 site was begun on 21st

October, and on 22nd Air. Bingle wrote to Mr. Griffin forwarding plan showing the arsenal on No. 1 site, and asking for lay-out for 300 houses. On 27th Mr. Griffin replied th a t he was astonished a t the arsenal proposal, and said th a t it would spoil his whole design, and th a t he desired an early appointment with the Minister to discuss the m atter.

The Honorable W. O. Archibald retired from office on 29th October, and on 1st November Mr. Griffin wrote to the new Minister, the Honorable King O’Malley, a statem ent of his reasons in favour of No. 2 site. The Government decided on 9th November to reverse the decision of the Fisher Government in favour of No. 1 site, and to adopt No. 2 site.

The record of the approval of No. 1 site has not been brought before the Commission, so it is not known what amount of work preceded, and w hat am ount followed, such approval. Thereafter certain work was done a t No. 2 site, but this site was subsequently abandoned for a site a t Tuggeranong.

124. Mr. Griffin in his evidence before this Commission stated th a t the erection of an arsenal on No. 1 site would have amounted to practical destruction of his plan,


and he explains as one reason in support of this statem ent th a t it would make an industrial centre wiiere he had intended th a t the occupation should be residential only. He asserted (900) :—■ That the location of a factory on that site would have had the effect of nullifying the scheme for the

upper lake, and its location there was proposed, I suppose, because of the opinion of the officer responsible that that lake should not be provided for. 1 B ut th a t view was not put forward when the m atter was in discussion. His letter of

22nd July certainly stated th a t the question of site was “ of vital importance in its relation to general city design as well as railway organization and the lake system ” (B 12), but in his conference with the Arsenal Committee his objection was th a t the manufacture of cordite on th a t site would be “ a menace to the City.” (17520-6.) Also, on 1st November, 1915, Mr. Griffin wrote a very lengthy communication to the Minister, stating the case for No. 2 site as against No. 1. The chief objection to this No. 1 site in th a t letter is th a t it is so near to Queanbeyan th a t the workmen would live there, and thus the Commonwealth would be deprived of the increment of land value th a t would otherwise result from their residence in the Territory, and th a t ultimately the homes of the workers would extend from the arsenal to Queanbeyan in a continuous se.tlem en t; and th a t Duntroon College would “ have to pack up and move out alto­ gether.” Far from asserting th a t the arsenal would prevent the carrying out of his design with regard to the upper lake, the objection in this memorandum is th a t the arsenal would occupy a good deal of the land bordering the lake, which otherwise might be available for water frontage residences.

125. I t is very significant to notice th a t in a subsequent letter on 17th November, 1915, to the Honorable King O’Malley, Mr. Griffin states with regard to the a rsen a l:— The case regarding the arsenal on the Molonglo River is as follows :— (1) The whole surroundings of Canberra as an arsenal site are not economical.

(2) Colonel Owen has overlooked the fact that water in the stream will be warm for condenser purposes and impossible for power, which is the only utility of the water in question. (3) That the only possibility of supplying power with anything approaching economy at Canberra is to concentrate the whole of the generation at one site, and when that is done distribution

losses are so small as to render it immaterial where on the area the arsenal is situated.

There is not one word there of the present objections to the selection of this site. The objections on the ground of the destruction of his plan and the impossibility [of forming the upper lake must, in view of these two letters, be regarded as not being in Mr. Griffin’s

consideration a t the tim e when the question of site was in course of decision, and as these two objections were not then, I think, known to Colonel Owen, he cannot be charged with an intent to establish the arsenal on No. 1 site for the purpose of destroying Mr. Griffin’s design.

B r ic k w o r k s a n d P o w e r - h o u s e .

126. Mr. Griffin complains (164-5) th a t the brickworks are, for reasons stated by him, “ a nullification ” of his plan, and th a t they were “ established without any consultation with him.” That charge is not fairly made, and should not have been pressed. The brickworks were established while the D epartm ental plan was in force, and before he came to Australia. Mr. Griffin makes similar complaint of frustration of his plans with regard to the power-house. The power-house, no doubt, is a detriment to his design, but its site was fixed and its construction, as a perm anent building, well advanced while the D epartm ental plan was in force, and it is in the place intended by

th a t plan. Before the Public Works Committee, Mr. Griffin had fairly enough stated th a t he “ did not blame any one with regard to the power-house location.” An effort was made on Mr. Griffin’s behalf, but not by him in evidence, to show (35504-5) th a t he m eant by th a t answer to convey th a t some one was to blame, but he could not say who. I do not accept this suggestion. The original statem ent was true, and I cannot think th a t Mr. Griffin really wished, when before the Committee, to make an unfair charge against a person whom he could not name.

C h a r g e No. 4.

127. W ith regard to Charge No. 4 :— “ That in order to prevent his design from being carried out, wilfully false estimates of its cost were given; ” the first m atter in order of date is one th a t m ust be stated in some detail, not only because it is relied upon as proof of an attem pt to prejudice Mr. Griffin by false estimates as to the cost of his design, but also because I find myself unable to concur with the

F.3631 (C.5264).—3


Honorable W. H. Kelly in the view which he put forward in his evidence. Mr. Kelly was asked (6361) whether he a t any time detected any hostile action on the p art of any officer against Mr. Griffin. He replied :— Yes. On one occasion the Director-General of Works put up an estimate of the cost of works at the Capital, which was obviously an attack upon the accepted plan. I refused to accept the estimate, and 111 a friendly way asked Colonel Owen, who has been a friend of mine for some years, not to try that line of procedure. ^ Later, Mr. Kelly says, “ Colonel Owen is an extremely valuable officer 'within his limits, but it was a self-evident attem pt to play with my judgment by producing figures which 1 had no chance of analyzing.” (6306-6372.) He adds :—

Where a Minister is on cordial terms with principal officers, they occasionally discuss matters with him before actually putting them in the form of a Departmental document, and I think that Colonel Owen’s purpose in coming to mo with this rough docum nt was, as it were, to take the soundings of the depths and shoals and so forth.

128. I t was with extreme reluctance th a t Mr, Kelly produced the document, as he appeared to regard it as confidential and not official, but I pressed for its pro­ duction. This document (Exhibit “ B 104 ” ) contains estimates of the cost of works under the premiated design, totalling £2,241,300. Mr. Kelly apparently forgot th at this document was not volunteered by Colonel Owen presuming on the friendship existing between him and the Minister, but had been specifically called for by Mr. Kelly himself on 20th February, 1914, when he wrote, “ Kindly report as to the estimated cost of all engineering services for the Capital, showing separately cost of water (ornamental) and compensating weir, Molonglo/' The document was, therefore, an official estimate prepared in accordance with th a t request. It shows a list of 23 items of works and services required for the Federal Capital. The first column of figures is headed, “ Original Rough Estim ate of 1910,” and a footnote emphasizes the fact th a t this original estimate “ was prepared before the existence of any city plan whatever,” so th a t the estimates in this column must be taken to be mere estimates of the expendi­ ture necessary to the building of a Capital City, and not estimates in accordance Avith any particular design.

129. The second column sIioavs Iioav these original estimates had been increased by later determinations. There is, for instance, £5,000 added to £15,000 for increased supply of tim b e r; £10,000 added to the £25,000 for brickmaking, and so on. And in the third column there are the figures of increase consequent upon the accepted design. Six items only are stated in this column, so th a t in respect of seventeen of the 23 items shoAvn in the first column the estimates of cost, Avhether on Mr. Griffin’s design or on the rough estimate of 1910, plus later additions, agree. The only question as to inflation of estimates that can arise is in respect to the six items. The first increased item is at first sight startling. I t is for the raihvay from Queanbeyan, Avhich in the original rough estimate is put doAvn a t £50,000, and £350,000 is added as additional cost under Mr. Griffin’s design. But, as Colonel Owen Avas able to point out, the original estimate Avas for a railway generally on the surface Avith some cutting, Avhile the raihvay as shown in Mr. Griffin’s plan is, from end to end, in tunnel. The length of it shoAvn on the preliminary plan amounts to 12,000 feet, and it is still in tunnel a t the outer edge of the plan on each side. For 12,000 feet Colonel OAven estimates £20 per foot as the cost of the Avork, making £240,000, and, in addition, allows for ventilation and an under­ ground raihvay station (34483), and as there is hard rock on the north side of the

Molonglo, and shale on the south side, he states in his evidence th at a proper estimate for the Avliole length Avould be \rery considerably in excess of £20 per foot, a fair calcula­ tion for the cost of a double-tracked tunnel in rock being £47 per foot; th a t is £564,000 for the tunnel alone. On these figures, uncontradicted in evidence, I am unable to say th a t the addition of £350,000 in respect of the Queanbeyan to Canberra raihvay, and the further addition of £20,000 under Mr. Griffin’s design, Avhich for similar reasons has been added to the £80,000 of the original estimate of the cost of the raihvay to Yass, are either of them excessive.

No E v i d e n c e o f I n f l a t i o n .

130. I ■ appreciate the force of Mr. W ebster’s contention th a t this raihvay had been the chief source of contention betA veen the Departmental Board and Mr. Griffin, and I have no doubt th a t the opinion Colonel Owen held a t the conference as to the excessive cost of the raihvay Avas still in his mind Avhen this estimate Avas made. He himself (34391) asserts th a t he “ never thought Mr. Griffin’s raihvay a proper proposal,


and always said so when asked.” B ut as my mind on the whole m atter is in great doubt as to whether this railway could have been carried out as shown on Mr. Griffin’s plan for 50 per cent, beyond the amount estimated by Colonel Owen, I cannot infer th a t he was actuated by any motive of hostility to Mr. Griffin in making th a t estimate.

181. Another item of additional cost attributed to Mr. Griffin’s design is the sum of £120,000 for water and sewerage mains and works, the original estimate of 1910 being £203,000, and Colonel Owen’s estimate of cost under Mr. Griffin’s design, £323,000. The explanation of this difference is clear. The original estimate was based upon the idea afterwards embodied in the D epartm ental plan th a t the initial city was to be on the south side of the Molonglo. Under Mr. Griffin’s design the city was to extend to the northern side of the Molonglo, and therefore the necessary mains and out-fall sewer would have to be carried to a greater distance. The data for this estimate of £120,000 are not stated, nor on the other hand has any evidence been given to show th a t the am ount named was excessive. In the absence of such evidence I cannot draw an inference against Colonel Owen on this point, although upon mere consideration of the extra

distance involved I am inclined to think th a t £120,000 is beyond the am ount th a t would be necessary.

132. The next item of extra cost attributed to Mr. Griffin’s plan is £100,000 in respect of the railway bridge over the Molonglo, added to the original estimate of £100,000. The embankment and bridge shown on Mr. Griffin’s plan were respectively 200 feet wide and 800 feet long according to scale, 160,000 square feet, and the cost of

such a bridge would certainly be far in excess of £200,000. Colonel Owen had in consideration when framing his estimate a much narrower and cheaper bridge, and his evidence as to probable cost (34479) has not been cut down by other evidence. As to

the next item, approaches of access, £60,000 in the rough estimate with the addition of £60,000 for the approaches of access necessary to Mr. Griffin’s scheme, there is no evidence to show th a t such additional work would not have been necessary or th a t the estimate made by Colonel Owen was excessive.

133. The only remaining item is under the heading “ Ornamental W ater.” The original estimate of £50,000 is increased by £150,000, making £200,000 as the cost of the lakes in Mr. Griffin’s design. Here again the question of the treatm ent of the ornamental waters was a m atter of contention between the D epartm ental Board and Mr. Griffin, Colonel Owen in particular desiring “ ribbon treatm ent ” of the waters with natural outline, Mr. Griffin an elaborate scheme of lakes, 3,145 acres with a shore line of 34 miles, with formal outline of these shores. I t is manifestly impossible th a t Mr. Griffin’s lakes could have been completed for anything like £150,000. One item

alone—the dam a t Yarralumla—is estimated by Mr. Griffin himself to cost £84,000 ; this leaves £66,000 for the rest of the work. If Colonel Owen, upon the information which he had in March, 1914, had estimated £300,000 instead of-£150,000 as the extra

cost, I think he still would have made an under-estimate. I t m ust be noticed too th a t Colonel Owen, in obedience to the Minister’s request, had to make his estimates on such insufficient data as was available, and lie heads his columns of figures “ Rough Estim ates.” No exact estimate could then be expected, and on this point the fact is

relevant and important, th a t when before the Public Works Committee on the inquiry as to the cost of dams for ornamental water on 14th July, 1915, Mr. Griffin himself was not even on th a t date prepared to give an estimate of the cost of this item of his own

project. 134. One other m atter in connexion with Exhibit “ B 104 ” remains to be mentioned, namely, th a t unfairness to Mr. Griffin is these estimates m ight as well have been achieved by depreciating the cost of the D epartm ental Board’s design as by appreciating the cost of the estimates under his design. B ut it cannot be said th a t such a

course has been taken in this instance, because the original estimates of 1910 were, as has been pointed out, made before either of the competing designs came into existence.

E x c a v a t i o n a n d P il l i n g E s t i m a t e s .

135. Another m atter in respect of which it was alleged th a t false estimates of the works in Mr. Griffin’s design were p u t forward is shown in Exhibit “ B 3.” The conditions for Parliam ent House competition had been prepared by Mr. Griffin before his departure for America, and on 25th March, 1915, the Minister m inuted to Colonel

Owen th a t it had been stated to him th a t the conditions in connexion with the competition provided certain levels which would involve very heavy expenditure for excavation and 32


filling, and asking th at the quantities should be taken out and a report furnished as to the approximate cost. On 14th April Colonel Owen furnished this estimate. The estimate was based upon a ground level of the Administrative group, shown on the section as a t 1,870 feet above sea-level, and according to th a t level Colonel Owen reported th a t the filling would extend to a maximum of 40 feet, and the excavation to a maximum of 19 feet. He stated th a t he had not had an opportunity to estimate on the 400 feet to the inch plan recently submitted by Mr. Griffin, on which he believed the ground level was shown a t 1,872 feet above sea-level; but on the basis of the levels given on the section shown in the conditions of competition, he estimated the amount of excavation in round numbers a t three million cubic yards, and the filling in round numbers at a quarter of a million cubic yards, and th a t the balance of the consolidated filling would therefore be two and three-quarter million cubic yards. His estimate for 250,000 yards

of excavation is £20,000, and for 3,000,000 yards of filling £150,000, making a total of £170,000.

136. This estimate, according to Mr. Griffin, was inflated to the extent of a t least 300 per cent., and he states (page 68 of evidence) th a t Colonel Owen's estimate of £170,000 was based upon inaccurate data. Mr. Griffin says (page 67), “ I never fixed any levels from which such assumptions could be drawn. The earthworks cover an enormous area of land, which is assumed to be graded up to the buildings—a thing

which I never had any intention of doing. Consequently, the estimate of £170,000 was an excessive one. An estimate of the cost of the work subm itted by me to the Public Works Committee allowed for 857,800 cubic yards excavation and filling, and my evidence showed th a t only 600,000 cubic yards would be necessary. Colonel Owen’s estimate was based on estimates which were not warranted by my plan. There was nothing on th a t plan from which accurate data could be obtained.”

137. The plan referred to is part of Exhibit “ A 5,” and shows on a section the level of the “ Terrace of Departmental Buildings ” a t 1,870 feet, the level of the terrace of Houses of Parliam ent rising from 1,920 to 2,000 feet, which latter is the level of the terrace of the Capitol. Colonel Owen based his calculations upon a uniform level of 1,870 feet for the Departmental buildings, and did not accept the 1,872 feet level shown on the city plan ; to fill up to th at level would have been much more costly. There is no serious question as to the accuracy of his computation of the amount of work required to be done ; and, upon the assumption which he made as to level, his estimate is admittedly correct, except th a t it is said he has calculated the filling a t an excessive cost of Is. per cubic yard instead of 9d., on the assumption th a t the material would have to be brought from a distance, and th a t the amount £200,000 charged for excavation is already included in the filling. But even if wrong as to these calculations, I do not think the charge is made out. The charge, as made by Mr. Griffin, is th a t Colonel Owen ought not to have made his calculations on Mr. Griffin’s plans but upon a basis known to Mr. Griffin, but not then published. I t would no doubt have been proper for Colonel Owen, before making his estimate, to have communicated with Mr. Griffin to see whether the whole ground level was intended to be as shown on the plan, but the breach th a t had occurred in June, 1914, sufficiently explained why he did not seek such information, and I do not think th at Mr. Griffin is now entitled to say th a t his intention was not as shown on his p la n ; th a t he intended to have a series of terraces for the Administrative group instead of one uniform level, and th a t because such an alternation in design had enormously reduced the cost of levelling as compared with the cost involved if the level were to be as shown on the section, Colonel Owen’s cost was falsely computed. Mr. J. Noble Anderson supports Mr. Griffin’s calculation as to total cost, but this is also upon the basis of Mr. Griffin’s determination th a t variations in the levels should be made. In my opinion, therefore, this attack wholly fails. Mr. Griffin also attacks this estimate very unfairly when he writes (Exhibit “ A 1,” page 71)

It was also overlooked, and should not have been overlooked, that my scheme was an estimate for the future, and that not less than 100 years would elapse before more than an inconsiderable part of that work would be required.

B ut Colonel Owen was asked to estimate the cost of the earthworks, not the proportion of the work th a t Mr. Griffin or the Minister intended to complete a t the oustet. How it could be ascertained what proportion should be done in this century and how much in the next I cannot understand, nor can I understand how any engineer could assume th a t levelling necessary to be fully performed in order to secure an intended harmony and effect in design, should be left incomplete and unsightly for 100 years.


138. Another m atter th a t may be mentioned under this charge to the advantage, as far as it goes, of Colonel Owen, is th a t he was asked by the Minister on 30th March, 1915 (“ A 1,” page 60), to supply a return “ in connexion with the ornamental water areas shown in the plan recently received from Mr. Griffin, i.e., as to the prospective supply of water and how far it will suffice, also as to approximate cost.” This report was supplied on 14th April, 1915, and, while it elaborated details of the ornamental waters, catchment, run-off, stream losses, and requisite flow, does not contain one word as to the cost of these works. This may, of course, be mere oversight, but if he was intent on using the cost of Mr. Griffin’s design to lead to its condemnation, an admirable opportunity was here afforded him, because the estimate of the cost of the

upper lake—2 | square miles, the lower lake—3 square miles, and the dams necessary for storage on the Upper Molonglo and the Queanbeyan, would necessarily, upon any reasonable calculation, have shown very large figures indeed.

139. An attack was directed against this report because of its conclusion that, assuming it was intended th a t the level of the lake should always be m aintained, and th a t there should be a compensating river flow of, a t least, 10,000,000 gallons in the lower reaches of the Molonglo, the Queanbeyan and Molonglo rivers could not be regarded as a satisfactory source of water supply. This attack in my opinion also fails.

The data available for calculation as to the sufficiency of supply were incomplete, and and estimates of run-off, evaporation, and flow could only be a m atter of opinion, and I cannot find in this report any evidence to show th a t Colonel Owen in putting forward this conclusion did so from any motive of hostility to Mr. Griffin’s design.

R a i l w a y E m b a n k m e n t .

140. A further charge of putting forward false and inflated estimates of works necessary to Mr. Griffin’s design is made in respect of the estimate furnished by Colonel Owen (“ A 1,” page 77) of the cost of railway bridge and embankment over the Molonglo. That estimate was £381,346. Colonel Owen in giving the estimate stated

t h a t :— It must be taken a? approximate only ; the average depth of rock below the surface being taken to b? 30 feet ; and, on the basis of the levels furnished by Mr. Griffin, giving a railway level of 1,855 feet, that the height of embankment would be from 20 to 25 feet, or a height above bedrock of 55 feet with a length of 1 mile ; that the railway bridge is to be 800 feet long, with a capacity of two track, and roadway bridges to be of similar length, two in number, 40 feet wide (one on either side of the railway) ; the embankment to be water resisting, with slopes of three to one and two to one inner and outer respectively, and a water-proof core of puddle clay or concrete ; the discharge notch on the weir to be of concrete placed immediately in front of the bridges, to have a length of 800 feet, with sufficient depth of notch to discharge flood waters without appreciably raising the water level of the upper lake.

The to ta l estim ate consists of seven item s, th e m ost expensive being bridges, retaining and ab u tm en t walls £150,000, and em bankm ent £73,187.

141. Mr. Griffin’s estim ate for this work is £91,190 (“ B 33 ” ), b u t there are in his estim ates some figures th a t cannot well be accepted. F or instance, he charges to the railw ay account, and deducts from the work, half the cost of excavation and

form ation of bank, £11,030 ; and this, although perhaps a reasonable charge in adm inis­ tration, cannot fairly be m ade when the purpose is to secure a com parison w ith Colonel Owen’s estim ate, which Avas on the m ere basis of cost, irrespective of how cost Avas to be debited. This, if added to th e total, as it certainly should be, brings his estim ate up to £102,220. Then in the estim ate itself there are some figures th a t the evidence did not

satisfy me to be reasonable. F or instance, Mr. Griffin gives th e length of haul of th e various m aterials from the point of excavation to th e place of deposit as varying from 500 feet to 15,900 feet, and of his grand to ta l of 666,000 cubic yards no less th a n 252,000 cubic yards coming from the railw ay cutting have a haulage of 15,900 feet. H is estim ate of cost for m aterial other th a n rock is 6d. a cubic yard, and rock Is. 4d. ; figures th a t seem to me in th e circum stances an d on th e evidence to be far beloAV Avhat Avould be required.

Then also his estim ate differs from th a t of Colonel Owen, inasm uch as he su b stitu tes a syphon spillway for a bridge, and for such syphon arrives a t an estim ate of £76,311, Avhich is £73,689 beloAV Colonel Owen’s estim ated cost of the bridge. This altern atio n he is clearly not entitled to m ake, because a t th e tim e of Colonel OAven’s estim ate, and in fact up to the tim e Avh'en evidence Avas first given before this Commission on th e m a tter, th e raihvay crossing Avas to be provided by a bridge 800 feet long, as shoAvn on his plan, and a bridge a t this point also Avas referred to in E xhibit “ A 9,” Avhere Mr. Griffin (page 7) s t a t e s , “ A n o t h e r Aveir Avith locks on t h e lin e Avhere t h e raihvay and t h e m ain


traffic route runs around the Government reservation inundates the extensive upper bottom lands for a naturalistic lock a t 1,835 level,” and on page 14, where he describes the railway and roadway, he refers to “ the long weir bridge,” over which they will pass. A “ w e ir” a t a railway or road crossing means a “ bridge,” and even if he had not mentioned “ the long weir bridge ” it would not be open to him to claim now to substitute syphons for the bridge th a t he had described and intended, and, however costly this mode

of taking the railway across a bridge may have been, Colonel Owen was clearly entitled to make his calculation on the assumption th a t the work would be carried out in th a t way. Mr. Griffin and Mr. Anderson gave their estimate upon the basis of syphon construction, and for the reasons I have stated, I think th a t their calculations as to the cost of th a t

method of carrying out the work are made upon an erroneous basis. Mr. Anderson’s estimate of the total cost of the work is £80,000, being £45,000 for cost of embankment, and £35,000 for cost of syphons, his total measurement of embankment being 752,000 cubic yards as against Mr. Griffin’s 666,000 cubic yards. But these two estimates are very conflicting in respect of other items, for whereas Mr. Anderson calculates £45,000 as the cost of the bank, Mr. Griffin puts it at £25,909, including the £11,030 which I think, should be added. Then, in respect of the syphons, Mr. Griffin’s estimate is £76,311, while Mr. Anderson puts the cost a t £35,000.

142. Another im portant m atter in connexion with these estimates is th a t Colonel Owen took the width of embankment and bridge a t 200 feet, as shown on Mr. Griffin’s plan, and was entitled in his estimate to provide for th at width. This, however, he did not do, but provided for a double-track railway bridge, and for two road bridges, each 40 feet wide. Mr. Anderson in Exhibit “ B 87 ” shows a section of the embankment proposed, upon which his calculations were made, and from this it appears th a t the width a t the top was to be only 30 feet, and th a t the two roadways were to be a t each side and a t a much lower level, so th a t here again the basis of calculation differs so materially th a t no fair ground of comparison is afforded. Colonel Owen calculated the probable cost of the work, as indicated on the plan. Mr. Anderson and Mr. Griffin set themselves to see how an embankment could be most cheaply constructed a t this particular point, and although they may be taken to have proved th a t there is a cheaper way of carrying

out the work than as designed originally by Mr. Griffin, as far as it can be determined by his design, they have not succeeded in showing th a t Colonel Owen’s estimate was excessive.

143. In evidence in reply Mr. Griffin produced the plan (Exhibit “ B 273 ” ) which he had already put before the Public Works Committee, in order to show how the cost of the embankment could be reduced. This Exhibit shows the dam in respect of which Colonel Owen made his estimate on a width of 200 feet. Mr. Griffin’s dam is 40 feet wide at the top, with one roadway on the upstream side, while his alternative scheme before the Public Works Committee of an embankment for the purpose of a dam

only is also shown. This plan may no doubt be useful for the purpose for which it was intended, i.e., to show how economy in the work by departure from the original design could be effected, but it does not a t all assist the charge of inflated estimate which Mr. Griffin has preferred.

Y a r r a l u m l a D a m .

144. In the minute under notice Colonel Owen also states th a t the lower lake “ will involve the construction of a concrete dam, approximately 70 feet high, a t a site directly in front of the Yarralumla Homestead. The borings and levels are not sufficiently advanced to give a close estimate, but it may be taken approximately a t the present stage as a t least £75,000.” Having seen the site of this proposed dam, and comparing it with the site and cost of/the Cotter dam, it appears to me th a t if built of concrete £75,000 certainly would not be a t all an excessive cost. Mr. Anderson states as to the

Yarralumla dam th a t he would not build of concrete a t all, but would make an earth dam 82 feet high, with a 30-ft. roadway along the top, th a t only 200,000 cubic yards of material would be required, and th a t the cost of the dam itself would only be about £8,000 or £9,000. This a t the lower figure gives a cost for the earthwork of 9?d. per

yard, which surely must be a very low estimate, considering th a t a t each side of of the intended dam rock comes very close to the surface and very frequently protrudes, and th a t long leads might be required before 200,000 yards of earth were obtained! I have to accept Mr. Anderson’s statem ent th a t an earth dam would be sufficient a t th a t place, his evidence on th a t point being uncontradicfed, but if the point had not been in this way concluded, I certainly should have had a very grave doubt whether the dam


would stand in th a t position, and I certainly still have great doubt whether the cost would be as low as th a t stated by Mr. Anderson. To his estimate of £8,000 or £9,000 has to be added his further estimate of £30,000 for syphons, which brings the total cost under £40,000, and this Mr. Anderson says would be ample. I t appears to me th a t it would be

a question for engineers as to which class of material—earthwork or concrete—should be employed for a dam of such a type, and believing th a t other engineers besides Colonel Owen would prefer a concrete dam with a notch or by-wash to Mr. Anderson’s earth

dam and syphon, I cannot find in Colonel Owen’s estimate evidence of a desire to exaggerate the cost of carrying out this p art of Mr. Griffin’s design. In fact, the m atter seems to be concluded in favour of Colonel Owen by Mr. Griffin himself, for in his estimate of cost for certain works submitted to the Public Works Committee on 30th October, 1915, he states under the heading of Western Lake System—“ impoundment Yarra- lumla dam, estimate of cost £84,000 ”—a sum which contrasts strangely with Mr. Anderson’s £38,000 or £39,000, and is evidently intended to provide a concrete dam or weir.

M r . G r i f f i n ’s L a k e s .

145. Under this charge of making false estimates, lengthy evidence was given regarding Mr. Hill’s evidence before the Public Works Committee, wherein he stated the cost of cutting and excavating for Mr. Griffin’s lakes a t £405,000. This estimate was afterwards reduced by Mr. Hill to £245,000 (upon further information supplied by Mr.

Griffin as to variations in the sections and in excavation), and it was urged th a t the extent of this reduction showed grave exaggeration in the original estimate. Mr. Griffin’s own estimate of cost was £25,000, plus £8,300 for bridge approaches. Mr. Anderson, called to support Mr. Griffin’s estimate, and having made an independent examination and calculation of quantities, states (3871) the excavation a t 1,750,000 cubic yards as against Mr. Griffin’s 1,833,000 cubic yards, and accepts Mr. Griffin’s estimate of 6d. per cubic yard, although he considered it excessive. This estimate of 6d. or less per cubic yard appears to me to be far below the real cost. A great deal of evidence was given to show how cheaply excavation can be effected. For instance, evidence was given th a t Lubecker dredges could excavate, lift, and place material in the trucks at from lid . to 3d. per yard, and th a t the cost of excavating a canal, under Mr. C. Catani’s supervision (Exhibit “ B 197” ), had been 5d. per yard. B ut it seems to me to be quite impossible to accept the cost of work done under the conditions obtaining in the Lubecker case as any criterion of the cost of work to be done in the formation of lakes under Mr. Griffin’s scheme. Straightforward work in material of even consistency and free from rock affords no parallel whatever to the work th a t would have to be done a t Canberra, where p art of the excavation could be best performed by sand pump and part by grab dredge, or other excavator. The length of the leads for the filling a t Canberra, and the varied slopes th a t would have to be treated, also make this a very different proposition to th a t supervised by Mr. Catani. I should be inclined to take 6d. as the minimum cost for excavating and filling any p a rt of the material to be here dealt with. W ith all respect to the opinions of Mr. Anderson and Mr. Griffin, I am unable to accept their estimates in this respect. I am inclined to think, upon consideration of all the evidence as to cost of earthwork in this inquiry, assisted by my own observation and study of the country to be treated, th a t the figures of cost of the work stated by Mr. Griffin are far below the cost th a t would be involved, and th a t this would more nearly approach Mr. H ill’s estimate as stated in the next paragraph.

146. B ut it is in respect to quantities th a t the greater conflict has arisen in this m atter. Mr. Hill, in his evidence (19960-20014, 22029-22072), states, the method by which this estimate was arrived at. He took Mr. Griffin’s plan and instructed Mr. Francis, a draughtsman practised in such work, to take out the quantities from the sections numbered 1 to 59 on Mr. Griffin’s 400 feet to the inch plan (“ C 19 ” ). These quantities were for filling 5,434,720 cubic yards, and for excavating 950,413 cubic yards, and the estimate of cost is Is. 2d. for excavating, and Is. 6d. for filling. These quantities by Mr. Francis were then submitted to the Assistant Millitary Engineer, Major Pinchen, ’who checked them with the plan. Mr. Webster points out th a t upon Mr. Griffin’s

plan it was specifically stated th a t its object was “ to indicate roads, rail, and w ater­ way levels .............physical and other data necessary for the complete plan yet

to be supplied,” and th a t it was “ subject to variations as may be rendered necessary on due consideration of such data,” and he contends th a t Mr. Hill ought, therefore,


to have conferred with Mr. Griffin to see whether any alteration was necessary by reason of the receipt of later information necessitating alteration of the plan. This course would undoubtedly have been desirable, and no doubt would have been followed if proper official relations had obtained.

147. I t is not contended th a t Mr. Francis made any error in taking out the sections according to the plan. After this estimate of £405,000 had been p u t before the Public Works Committee, Mr. Griffin supplied Mr. Hill with 50 sections as shown on the plan. As to the reduced estimate then made by Mr. Hill, Mr. Griffin says

(page 87) The amended estimate was based solely on the information which he had asked for and received from me as to the profile of the sections of the lakes on those various points as to which he required me to give him the data for an estimate. This change in profile and quantity was in part arrived a t by an alteration in the position of No. 1 basin and in the outline of the middle basin, reducing very considerably the amount of filling required. (19, 964, 83, and “ C 19.” ) Further, in his evidence Mr. Griffin says (37107) th a t “ the difference in his sections and Mr. Hill’s accounts

for the difference in the estimates,” and he also states (37110) th a t “ the road contour surveys supplied to him were neither complete nor accurate, and th a t he had to make estimates upon the survey, and in consequence of such errors in survey he supplied to Mr. Hill sections th a t were inaccurate.” Further, Mr. Griffin’s quantities of excavation and filling vary from those arrived a t by Mr. Hill because Mr. Griffin has estimated the

cost only of the work th a t is to be done to complete the lakes. For instance, in his evidence as to section 28 (37115) he says, “ Between the bridge and the roadway is a hollow, and, as in the other case, it is not necessarily a charge on the lakes. In my opinion, it is an advantage to have these scattered places for the disposal of ‘spoil,’ ” and this is what is shown in Mr. Griffin’s sections (“ C 22 ” ), while Mr. Hill’s sections are carried out to the vanishing point of filling. (19984-6.)

148. From Mr. Griffin’s evidence and plan now produced it would appear th a t the excavation is to be completed on the formation of the lakes, while the filling beyond the boulevards is to be left until some future time when a place for the deposit of spoil from some other part of the city or its environs will be required. I have no authority to go into this question as to whether the work ought to be carried out in one way or the other, my only duty being to inquire whether the estimate made by Mr. Hill was

purposely inflated to the detriment of Mr. Griffin b u t ; it does seem to me th a t Mr. Hill was perfectly right in assuming th a t the work when done would provide for the full am ount of filling and excavation. I think it must be a first principle in engineering that, in designing work which necessitates excavation and filling, the levels should, if possible,

be so adjusted th a t the amount of earth required to be taken out shall be equal to the amount required for filling, and this being, as I assume, the proper engineering practice, Mr. Hill and his officers were justified in assuming th a t it would be followed. I am surprised th a t Mr. Griffin should put forward as a means of attacking Mr. Hill this scheme for completing lakes and boulevards, while leaving unsightly hollows beyond the boulevards to be filled up in the future at greater cost than would have been

necessary if these had been done as part of the lake work. Neither from an aesthetic nor from an engineering point of view can I come to the conclusion th a t Mr. Hill ought to have assumed th a t Mr. Griffin’s work would be carried out in the way stated by Mr. Griffin. This charge was the subject of very lengthy evidence, but I see no ground for imputing blame to Mr. Hill or other officers in respect of it.

C h a rg e N o. 5.

149. In respect of the fifth charge— “ That there was in the Department a combination, including the Honorable W. 0 . Archibald and certain officers, hostile to Mr. Griffin and his design for the Capital City” ; it is necessary in order fully to understand the course of events with relation to Mr. Griffin to ascertain and consider Sir. Archibald’s attitude towards him, as disclosed in evidence. He states (page 7), " I had no unfriendly feeling at all against Mr. Griffin..

When in office I had neither sympathy nor antipathy.” He thought Mr. Griffin’s “ engagement was a grave mistake,” nor had he a good opinion of Mr. Griffin’s capacity. In his evidence (47) he said, “ Mr. Griffin professes to be a landscape architect, a general architect, and a civil engineer. I have a t all times a suspicion of Jacks-of-all-trades.” Mr. Archibald suggests (948) th a t Mr. Griffin’s time was taken up with " grand theorizing,


moonshine, and dream ing,” and th a t to encourage th e investigation into seAverage m atters suggested by Mr. Griffin Avould m ake the Capital th e “ happy hunting ground for all the experim enters th a t are knocking ab o u t,” and th a t if he as M inister had given encouragem ent to the consideration of a scientific scheme of seAverage tre a tm e n t as proposed by Mr. Griffin, “ he Avould have had all th e m em bers of th e cracked brigade m aking a bee line to Canberra from all p a rts of th e w orld.” H e asserts (13) th a t Mr.

Griffin's idea Avas not to have any plan, “ b u t th a t he sim ply proposed to go on by

degrees, trusting to anything a t all th a t tu rn ed up. T h at a t least is Avhat Avas in m y m ind a s to Avhat he intended.....................In other Avords his idea Avas, ‘ We Avill do the b e s t Ave c a n a s w e g o a lo n g , a n d s e e hoAv t h e Avorld g o e s r o u n d .’ ” F u r t h e r , h e s a y s

( p a g e 10), “ All th r o u g h t h e c o r r e s p o n d e n c e y o u Avill s e e t h a t Mr. G r iffin d id n o t s e e m

t o h a v e a p la n , b u t Avas, a s i t Avere, f is h in g fo r o n e , a n d t h a t a s t h in g s d e v e lo p e d h e Avould

s e e Avhat Avas b e s t t o b e d o n e .”

150. The Minister’s feeling Avith regard to Mr. Griffin personally seems to have extended to Mr. Griffin’s nation. In th e House he had used th e term “ Y ankee bounder ” in reference to Mr. Griffin, and in his evidence he justified th e expression by statin g th a t Avhat he had in his mind Avhen applying that term to Mr. Griffin Avas a m an Avhose conduct is offensive to others. “ The American system of business, as I understand it, is to

endeavour to undermine everybody else, and every m an of th e Avorld knoAVs th a t th e Yankee bounder does try to undermine others.” This reference to men avIio tried “ to undermine others ” is singularly unfortunate in vieAV of some of th e official papers and correspondence attacking Mr. Griffin after Mr. A rchibald’s accession to office, from Avhich

quotations have already been made. '

O f f i c e r s ’ F e e l i n g T o a v ar d s M r . G r i f f i n .

151. The feeling as betAveen officers and Mr. Griffin is indicated by Mr. Archibald (page 10), Avhere he says :— Mr. Griffin actually accused me in words of working with the officers against him. He said the officers were working against him for the Departmental plan and influencing me against him. I would not like to say he said I was working against him, but rather that he said the officers were influencing me against him. I told him repeatedly to get that out of his mind, that the officers could not influence me against him or anybody else. It will be seen, however, all through the papers that that was his impression, an impression that these officers had a loan of the Minister and were deliberately working against him. Mr.

Griffin’s attitude towards the officers became so irritating that when I asked the latter for a report they would say they would rather not supply one, because of the irritation that would follow. I then as Minister had to ask them as officers to be kind enough to do what I had asked, and then they would say, “ Certainly, Sir, if you put it in that way.” However, the feeling was very strong. I am not built in a way to order leading officers to do this or that, and had to make strong requests to them in this regard, and they complied

with them only with reluctance...................So far as I was concerned the permanent officers of the Department were unwilling to co-operate with Mr. Griffin. The officers resented the view that Mr. Griffin took of the matter. I was in a curious position. Mr. Griffin did not think he was getting fair treatment,

and the officers were under the impression that they had to be careful in case I did not give them a fair deal. In the circumstances I had to hold the balance, but there was 110 friction................... I do not wish you to think there was any bad feeling. I had absolutely no feeling at all against Mr. Griffin on account of his attitude.

152. I t may be safely assumed th a t the attitu de of Mr. Archibald toAvards Mr. Griffin became knoAvn very early after his accession, and also t h a t t h e reluctance of officers to supply Mr. Griffin AAdth information dates back to t h e same period, even i f it had n o t been in e x is t e n c e fr o m t h e t im e of Mr. Griffin’s arrival in t h e C o m m o m v d a lth , and this assumption is supported by the subsequent facts. Mr. Griffin got very little information during Mr. Kelly’s term of office, but he Avas still more unfortunate in th a t respect after Mr. Archibald’s accession.

153. There is one m a tter I think I should note in relation to th e evidence ju s t cited, and th a t is th a t on 14th April, 1915, Mr. Archibald from his place in th e House (“ A 1,” page 64), in ansAver to a question p u t by th e Honorable Austin Chapm an, “ W hether the squabble betAveen D epartm ental officers and Mr. Griffin, Avhich has caused

so m uch delay, has been settled ?” replied, “ I am not aAvare of any m isunderstanding betAveen th e officers of the D epartm ent and Mr. G riffin; indeed, I do not knoAv A \rliat m y honorable friend is driving a t.”

A L a r g e r P l a n R e q u ir e d .

154. A m atter th a t has some bearing on the attitude of other officers to Mr. Griffin is the remarkable coincidence of thought and action shoAvn in connexion Avith the plan


of 400 feet to the inch demanded from Mr. Griffin. On 9th December, 1914, Colonel Miller, in a minute to the Minister, w ritten a t Canberra, states :— T desire to invite your attention to the serious consequence resulting from the delay which has arisen in connexion with the adoption of a design for the lay-out of the Federal Capital City. The plan of the design to be of any practical use must be drawn to a scale of say 400 feet to 1 inch, preferably, on a lithograph

of the plan of the contour survey of the city site, which has been issued on the scale referred to. This is essential in order that the surveyor may have facts to guide him when projecting the design on the ground.

155. In passing it may be noticed th a t no such requirement had been deemed necessary for the survey suggested in his minutes of 11th July and 5th October preceding. On the same date, 9th December, Mr. Griffin had an interview with Mr. Archibald, at which Mr. Bingle and Mr. Hill were also p re sen t; and although Colonel Miller’s minutes could not then have reached the Minister, a demand was made upon Mr. Griffin th a t he should immediately set about the preparation of a plan on a scale of 400 feet to the inch, with such necessary levels as would determine the grades, depths, and formation of the various works shown thereon. 1 Asked as to whose suggestion it was th a t a plan of 400 feet to the inch was required, Mr. Bingle (15536) says he “ thought the Minister had in his mind before the interview th a t a larger plan was required, and when it came to the question of a scale to be adopted, I think Mr. Hill suggested the 400 feet. That had probably been in Mr. Archibald’s mind also after conference with Mr. Scrivener.”

Mr. Scrivener cannot remember whether he did so advise the Minister, but said th a t if the m atter had been referred to him, he undoubtedly would have so advised.

156. However, the demand having been made upon Mr. Griffin, he was compelled to put aside all other work in order to produce this plan of 400 feet to the inch, and chiefly on account of delays in survey and in lithographing, the plan was not completed until 27th March, 1915. I t is not easy to see what purpose this 400 feet to the inch plan was required to serve. According to Colonel Miller, it was needed in order th a t the city might be projected on the ground, and Mr. Scrivener also states th a t a plan on th a t scale would be desirable, if not necessary ; yet it is clear th a t the 1,600 feet preliminary plan, or the 800 feet to the inch basic plan had up to th a t time been deemed sufficient for the purpose. I t is also to be noted th a t Mr. Scrivener and Colonel Miller had not put forward any objection of insufficiency of plan as a reason for preventing Mr. Griffin from proceeding with the survey on 5th October, Colonel Miller’s ground of objection being th a t he ought to do the work, and Mr. Scrivener’s objection being th a t members of his staff should not be controlled by Mr. Griffin.

157. The Minister states in evidence th a t his reason for demanding a 400-ft. plan was th a t he might have something to show to engineers and others to enable them to consider the works involved. B ut however Mr. Archibald and his officers might differ as to the purpose the new plan was intended to serve, they were united in this, th a t Mr. Griffin m ust forthwith proceed to prepare it. Mr. Griffin in his letter of 14th December to the Minister (page 50) asserted th a t his basic plan contained “ notwithstanding the apparent opinion of your staff, all th a t is needed to enable a decision to be arrived a t in respect to essentials,” and he further pointed out th a t the preparation of the 400-ft. plan would “ occasion most unnecessary delay (if it is desired to get on with construction),

and great and unnecessarily premature expense. Much of such work is only required and undertaken and would have been recommended by me as development proceeded.” Although Mr. Griffin always contended th a t the plan required was unnecessary, he proceeded w ithout further demur to its preparation. I t is a notable fact, adm itted in the evidence, th a t after the plan on the larger scale was completed it did not enable any progress to be made in connexion with any engineering or other works a t the Federal Capital on the site. The first use to which it was put was its production during evidence before the Public Works Committee more than twelve months afterwards. (9214-23, 20577-602, 20710-4.)

158. As showing the state of Colonel Miller’s mind towards Mr. Griffin the documents contained in Exhibit “ B 89 ” are instructive. On 3rd April, 1915, Mr. Bingle wired to Colonel Miller :— Minister desires to be furnished earliest moment with statement showing total cost to latest practicable

date of Mr. Griffin’s section of work under following heads : Salaries and allowances, travelling expenses, cost of material, and any other headings which you may have recorded. Matter very urgent.

On the same day Colonel Miller replied acknowledging receipt of the telegram, and stating the cost of all items as asked for, and concludes this telegram with an irrelevancy not a t all unusual in his communications when Mr. Griffin was the subject, “ Am unaware


nature of Griffin’s present employment or of duty upon which his considerable staff of draughtsmen is engaged.” The Administrator was resident, of course, a t Canberra ; Mr. Griffin carried on his work in Melbourne a t his office there. He was in no way subordinate to Colonel Miller, nor was it any p a rt of Colonel Miller’s duty to know what Mr. Griffin’s employment was, nor of the duties upon which his staff was engaged.

H u m i l i a t i n g I n t e r v i e w .

159. There are two interviews dealt with in the evidence which throw a strong light upon the difficulties of Mr. Griffin’s position and his treatm ent by the Minister and officers. On 9th December, 1914, Mr. Griffin having obtained an interview for the purpose, as he says (page 79), of having a “ heart-to-heart talk ” with the Minister as

to some statements made by the latter in a speech in the House, there were present, besides the Minister, Mr. Bingle and Mr. Hill, engineer. The Minister had some discussion with Mr. Griffin as to his plan and the necessity of obtaining further levels, and then a letter to Mr. Griffin was, in his presence, dictated by Mr. Hill and typed, and then signed by the Minister. This letter is as follows :—

Design of Lay-out of Federal Capital City.—With reference to our interview of this morning, and in continuation of my communication of the 8th instant, I would request that the plan he 400 feet to the inch scale, and cover the same area and with the same detail as the premiated design, and with such nccessary levels as will determine the grades, depths, and formations of the various works thereon shown, such plan

to be on cloth tracing, to allow of the taking of prints.

The humiliation of this strange proceeding does not seem to have been openly resented by Mr. Griffin. The letter reached him in due course through the post.

160. Later, on 20th April, 1915, Mr. Griffin having asked for an interview with the Prime Minister for conference in connexion with Federal Capital m atters and his position, Mr. Archibald wrote stating th a t “ such Conference would consist of the Prime Minister, the Minister for Home Affairs and officers, yourself, and an officer or

friend, if you so desire.” Mr. Griffin on 22nd April acknowledged this letter, stating th a t he would “ be pleased to be present at the proposed Conference, but could not at present conceive of any need for the assistance of an officer or friend.” Mr. Bingle on 21st April had written to Colonel Owen and Mr. Hill directing them to be present a t the interview.

P a p e r s O m i t t e d .

161. A charge of withholding from Parliam ent documents relating to Mr. Griffin was strongly pressed. The introductory facts are as follow :—The Honorable W. H. Kelly on 14th May, 1915, asked the Honorable W. 0 . Archibald whether he would lay on the table all papers relating to a statem ent made by the Minister to the effect th a t Mr. Griffin “ claimed to be sole arbiter as to what should be done a t the Federal Capital, and claimed the right to engage professional assistance.” The reply was th a t Mr.

Kelly was a t liberty to inspect the official files, and this he did. Then on 10th June, 1915, the Honorable Joseph Cook asked for the production of all papers th a t had passed between Mr. Griffin and the Honorable W. O. Archibald and officers of the D epartm ent, and this was promised. On 11th June Mr. Kelly pressed for the production of the “ Griffin papers,” and on 16th June the papers comprised in Exhibit “ A 1,” pages 1 to

120, were laid on the table and ordered to be printed. These printed papers, it was alleged, did not include all the documents relating to Mr. Griffin, and 52 other documents, referred to in evidence as “ the missing papers, ” were ordered to be printed by Parliam ent in September, 1916, and are comprised in Exhibit “ B 107.” I t is charged th a t the documents referred to as “ the missing papers ” were wilfully withheld from inclusion in Exhibit “ A 1.” (11370, 11406,11436.)

' 162. The officer responsible for the selection of papers to be produced to Parlia­ m ent was in this case Mr. Bingle (11084-11110), who deputed the task to an officer who could not be called, and against whom personally no charge is directed, the attack being directed against Mr. Bingle as for failure to see th a t all relevant documents were included. Looking a t “ B 107,” it is seen th a t certain documents therein should have

been produced to Parliament. No. 8, an advising by Mr. Griffin as to sewerage ; Nos. 17, 18, 20, and 21, relating to Mr. Griffin’s request for surveyors; No. 22, his offer to advise re cement works ; No. 28, correspondence as to certain work done on roads and quarries, as well as all the papers Nos. 30 to 49 relating to the Parliam ent House competition, should certainly have been included; other Papers in “ B 107,” and especially Nos. 50 to 52, were not w ith in the terms of description of the Honorabl- Joseph Cook or of the Honorable W. H. Kelly.


163. Various reasons for the omission of the relevant papers are given by Mr. Bingle. One of these is th a t only “ current correspondence ” was asked f o r ; this contention is clearly untenable. He also said th a t some of the files were a t Canberra, and th a t the m atter was rushed, and the best th a t could be done in the time allowed was done. (11122-11490.) As to the latter ground, the papers produced certainly indicate th a t there was no method in their arrangement, and little care in their selection. Some documents are included three times over, no order of dates has been observed, and in some instances letters are included Avithout the replies given, and other letters necessary to complete the correspondence are omitted. In no case can I find, with respect to any of these omitted documents, any evidence of anything more than want

of care, and this arising in p art from the fact th a t the production became, after Mr. Kelly’s application of 11th June, a m atter of sudden urgency. The fact th a t some papers were at Canberra accounts for non-production in three instances a t least. Mr. Webster pressed the view th a t as some of the omitted documents were of great im port­

ance in this inquiry they should therefore have been included in “ A 1,” but this contention cannot be accepted. I can see no evidence to disprove Mr. Bingle’s state­ ment (11479) th a t “ no paper was omitted in order to injure Mr. Griffin or to shield

an officer.”

P r o f e s s i o n a l O f f i c e r s S u p e r s e d e d .

164. A conversation which seems to be of great consequence in relation to this charge took place under the following circumstances. On 3rd May, 1916, the Honorable King O’Malley sent a letter to Mr. Brilliant, Works Superintendent a t Canberra, as follows :—

You will please take over from the Director-General of Works complete charge and supervisi in of all the works in the Federal Capital Territory, and all hands will be under you.

Shortly after receipt by Mr. Brilliant of this letter, there was an interview between him and Colonel Owen, at the instance of the latter, a t Acton House, and another interview later in Sydney on 3rd June. Mr. Brilliant had long held the position of Works Superintendent in the Territory, and in th a t office had been subordinate to Mr. Connell, Mr. Hill, and, of course, Colonel Owen. This order superseded the latter, and put Mr. Connell and Mr. Hill and other professional officers in a position subordinate to Mr. Brilliant. This reversal of position was, of course, very galling to them. Mr. Connell had had an interview on the subject with Colonel Owen, and very shortly thereafter followed Colonel Owen’s interview with Mr. Brilliant. Mr. Brilliant states th a t Colonel Owen then told him th a t the Honorable King O’Malley and Mr. Griffin were “ unreliable and irresponsible persons,” th a t he, Brilliant, “ was taking the wrong course in obeying the Minister instead of him ” (Colonel Owen), and th a t “ he would very likely find himself dealt with if he did not mind what he was d o i n g t h a t the Commission to inquire “ into the affairs a t Canberra would only last a very few days, and th a t then things would go on as before th a t “ Mr. O’Malley and Mr. Griffin would probably kick him (Mr. Brilliant) out after they had done with him, and th a t Mr. Griffin would introduce officers in keeping with his own views.” (33978-34031.)

165. Colonel Owen in his evidence as to this conversation states (34614, 36070-3) th a t it is very hard for him to remember what he did say ” a t the two conversations, th a t he was on the best of terms with Mr. Brilliant then, and did not want to harangue or bully him.” Further, he says :—

I told him that we had to pull along together, and get on with the work. Mr. Brilliant started talking about officers in a way that I did not like ; that made me very angry, and I said to Brilliant, “ The public is not paying us to have quarrels ; we are paid to carry out the work of the Government,” and I ended by saying to Mr Brilliant, “ You have to play the game, and you have to carry on.” I do nbt remember saying, “ Play the game and all will be well.” I have no recollection of saying that Mr. Griffin and the Minister were unreliable and irresponsible persons. If I had said such a thing I would remember it. I will swear I never used those words referring to the Minister. I have absolutely no recollection of using them, and if I were asked to swear one way or the other I would say, “ No, I did not.”

166. Considering the whole of th e evidence given by these two witnesses, I am impelled to th e conclusion th a t Mr. B rilliant’s evidence is correct. H e im pressed me strongly as being a very careful and straightforw ard witness, and also as a m an not likely to get excited or to act or speak Avithout due consideration. Colonel Owen is excitable,

and a p t to speak Avithout full consideration Avlien excited. I believe his evidence Avhen he says, “ I t is very hard for him to remember Avhat he did say,” as m y im pression is th a t a t these intervieAVS he Avas very excited, and not a t all likely to have a clear recollection of w hat did occur. Then, too, Mr. B rilliant’s statem en t of Avhat Avas said is clear and


consistent, and in accordance with the circumstances th a t had arisen. That Colonel Owen and other officers should feel strong resentment a t being made subordinate to one who was not an engineer is of course to be expected, and at the first conversation a t least, if not also a t the second, Colonel Owen was speaking under the impulsion of such resentm ent; and in one of the questions p u t to Mr. Brilliant in examination, Colonel Owen did seem to concede the correctness of Mr. B rilliant’s evidence. (34024.) This question was—“ Did I not ask you to play the game and stick by the officers th a t you have worked with for years ?” These words may have been inadvertently used, but they are an admission of the accuracy of the substance of the evidence given by Mr. Brilliant, for th a t evidence goes to show th a t Colonel Owen’s effort in conversation was to persuade Mr. Brilliant to work with the officers, rather than to work with Mr. Griffin and the Minister in opposition to them.

167. B ut I doubt whether I should be right in thinking th a t Colonel Owen had been actuated during 1914 and 1915 with the same animosity against Mr. Griffin th a t he did, I believe, betray and display at those interviews. The immediate cause and* as I think, the main, if not the entire, cause of the animosity a t the time of those inter­ views, was the slight th a t had been put upon the professional men by their being placed under the orders of a non-professional officer. I do not desire it to be thought th a t 1 wish in this to depreciate Mr. Brilliant or his qualifications. On the contrary, I look upon him

as being one of the ablest and most efficient officers of the Territory, and fully com petent to discharge any of the duties imposed upon him.

Mr . G r i f f i n R e i n s t a t e d i n A u t h o r i t y . -

168. The history of this whole m atter requires statem ent of the further fact th a t on 15th November, 1915, the Honorable King O’Malley, in an attem pt to end all questions of conflict between Mr. Griffin and other officers, wrote a minute stating his “ desire to give immediate effect to Mr. Griffin’s agreement,” and th a t he “ would be glad if Mr. Griffin would be good enough to furnish him, with theleast avoidable delay,

with his recommendations for carrying out such intention.” On the same date the Minister directed a minute to be forwarded to all chief officers of the D epartm ent in the following terms :— All officers of the Department are hereby required to furnish any information and assistance desired by the Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction. It is my desire to eliminate all methods and

forms of red tape in this regard, with a view to facilitating the progress of the city. The Director must be furnished with immediate acknowledgment of his requests, stating the steps being taken to comply with them. (Exhibit “ B 10.”)

169. In Schedule No, 3, issued on 1st December, 1915, the following paragraph occurs:—• Under his contract Mr Griffin was constituted Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction, and no operations or matters in connexion with that City can be initiated without his advice having been

obtained thereon.

Mr. O’Malley wrote a further minute to be sent to all concerned officers informing them “ That they are under the Director, to whose instructions they are expected to be readily responsive ; the advice of the Director will be sought on all operations and m atters in connexion with the Territory, prior to submission for Ministerial approval

and on 2nd May he directed th a t “ No commitments should be entered into w ithout reference to Mr. Griffin.”


170. Upon all the evidence, and particularly upon th a t which has been stated

or referred to in this report, I find th a t the reasons why Mr. Griffin between 18th October, 1913, and 15th November, 1915, performed no substantial p art of his duties under his contract with the Commonwealth are as stated in four of the five charges advanced in his behalf, viz., charges 1, 2, 3, and 5, and are as under :—

(1) That necessary information and assistance were withheld from him and his powers were usurped by certain officers ; (2) That he and his office were ignored, his rights and duties under his contract denied, and false charges of default made against h i m ;


(3) That the Honorable W. 0. Archibald and members of the Departmental

Board endeavoured to set aside his design and to substitute the Board’s own design ; and (5) That there was in the D epartm ent a combination, including the

Honorable W. 0 . Archibald and certain officers, hostile to Mr. Griffin, and to his design for the Capital City ; and th a t the Honorable W. 0 . Archibald and the officers mentioned in my references to the evidence under these charges are severally responsible to the extent already indicated by me for this result. B ut I think it necessary th a t I should emphasize the

fact th a t after Mr. Archibald’s accession to office it m ust have been perfectly clear to all the officers th a t the Ministerial policy was directed against the carrying out of Mr. Griffin’s design, and any acts they did in frustration of Mr. Griffin’s efforts were therefore done in furtherance, as they believed, of the Minister’s desires. I cannot say th a t this excuses them ; still the greatest responsibility in respect of the obstruction to Mr. Griffin is with the Minister. Holding the views th a t he did as to the “ grave mistake ” th a t he considered had been made in the engagement of Mr. Griffin, he should have adopted one of two alternatives ; either to have cancelled the contract and reverted to the design of the Departmental Board, or else to have allowed Mr. Griffin’s contract to be performed and his design carried out.

171. As to the fourth charge—• “ That in order to prevent Mr. Griffin’s design from being carried out wilfully false estimates of its cost were given I lind th a t it wholly fails, and th a t no such false estimates were made.

I have the honour to be, Your Excellency’s most obedient servant,

W ILFRED BLACKET, Commissioner.

D. J. QUINN, Secretary,

Melbourne, 12th March, 1917.

r.nd P u b li s h e d f o r the G o v e r n m e n t o f the C o m m o n v b a i . t h o f A u s t r a l i a bv AiBKur J. M m r t T i ,

G overnm ent P rinter for the State o f V icto ria.