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Thursday, 28 June 1906

Mr KING O'MALLEY (DARWIN, TASMANIA) - I heard all about it. I am not attempting to reprimand the honorable member. I am only attempting to put the matter from my standpoint. I wish to congratulate the Government upon the contemplated appointment of Colonel Hoad. But I think that we ought to be fair. No man ever loses ground by being absolutely fair, as I believe the honorable member for Maranoa wishes to be. I understand that he has

Supply[28 June, 1906.] (Formal). 871 said that if any one knew anything in favour of Colonel Hoad, who is not able to come here and defend himself, he would be only too pleased to hear it. I know that Colonel Hoad is an able, progressive, and industrious officer. While I am opposed to all armies except the army of industry ; while I look upon this outcry about the defence of Australia as an encouragement to foreign nations to come and attack us ; while it is all nonsense to me, in this age of civilization and progress, to be talking about establishing and maintaining an army of butchers to murder men as savages do, I ask why, if Australia is able to produce, train, and qualify soldiers, should they be exempt because they were born in t his country? If that policy be pursued, then every sagacious father will see that his wife clears out of the country when a child is about to be bom, so that it shall be born in a foreign country, and thus be qualified to be employed in Australia. The Constitution of the United States says that its Presidency can only be held by a. person who was born therein. I lost the chance of being, elected President of the United States because I was born thirty feet outside the territory. Why should we not encourage men born in Australia to become great? It ought to be the very symbol of their power to rise that they were born here in. a democratic country. When the honorable member for Maranoa talks about Colonel Hoad having risen because of the influence of society, he is labouring under a tremendous delusion. Colonel Hoad has no social influence in Victoria.

Mr Page - When did I say that?

Mr KING O'MALLEY - My friends tell me that there was sent in a letter, in which it was stated that it was a society appointment, and if 1 am mistaken let my honorable friend put me right.

Mr Page - I never said that.

Mr KING O'MALLEY - I agree that the honorable member did not make the statement, buthe quoted it from the letter.

Mr Page - I never quoted any letter, so that the honorable member is wrong again.

Mr KING O'MALLEY - Then the Labour Christians are wrong, and, if that is so, I at once apologise to the honorable member. If Colonel Gordon or any of the social gentlemen were nominated for the position I should say it was owing to the exercise of society influence, but Colonel Hoad has risen from the ranks. In the early days of Victoria, I believe, he was a civil servant. He battled, studied and trained himself, until now he is qualified to take this position. Let us look at another side of the case. You, sir, know that on general principles I would be shot or hanged to-morrow. You know that, as a rule, men who are not successful always look upon successful men as bounders and adventurers - dangerous men in the community. We ought to be very careful before we condemn men upon the recommendation of rivals. While I am a labour member, I hope that I am just. I always hate to see any of the brethren in the House defeated, although they are opposed to me. I admit that Major-General Hutton had no wonderful use for Colonel Hoad, but that only proves that Colonel Hoad had less use for Major-General Hutton - it is as broad as it is long. Abraham Lincoln picked five generals, all failures, before securing Grant. The latter had much hard work in order to get through his examinations, and he only succeeded at the tail end on the last occasion, when he was given the rank of about a fourteenth lieutenant. He was sent out west on the plains, because he was thought not to be fit to mingle with the officers who had been first in the tests at West Point. At last Grant retired in disgust from the Army, and became a tanner; and it was through Colonel Pomeroy, who had been appointed by Governor Yates, of Illinois, to take a regiment south, that Grant was sent for. In Australia, according to the conditions which appear to be laid down, General Grant would not be allowed into the Army.

Mr Tudor - The honorable member must have a brief for Colonel Hoad.

Mr KING O'MALLEY - I have no brief, but I want to be fair. I have had such a fight for my living in Australia that my heart goes out to any man who is being kicked. When General Grant was taking his army to the Mississippi, his subordinate generals asked him why he did not prepare for a retreat, and his reply was that if they were defeated there would be none of them left to retreat. And I believe that is what Colonel Hoad would say to-morrow if he were called upon to fight. . Abraham Lincoln, in the face of every general in the States, stood by General Grant. It will be remembered that 872 Supply [REPRESENTATIVES.] (Formal). clergymen went to Washington, and asked Lincoln to dismiss Grant because the latter was drunk at the battle of Shiloh. The reply of Lincoln was an inquiry whether the clergymen could obtain for him a few barrels of the whisky that Grant had been taking, and when the clergymen asked the President why he wanted the whisky, he said he desired to present it to the other generals in order to make them fight like Grant. We oughtto be very careful not to condemn Colonel Hoad simply because he has not moved in. society in London or Berlin. When General Rosencrantz, a German general in the American Army, who had had to flee from his own country during the troubles of 1848, was tied up in the South during the civil war, Grant took an army and relieved him. I have no faith in military clock-work generals, with their numerous spurs and feathers. We know how such generals behaved in South Africa; and even the honorable member for Maranoa admitted that when the Boers were bayoneted out of a position, the officers let them back again. We want a man of ability for this position, and if Colonel Hoad does not prove that he possesses that ability, he can be removed. If 1 had my way, I would wipe out all this nonsense about the Army, and devote the £700,000 or the . £800,000 a year to placing men and women on the land. We should then have a large population, and the presence of 20,000,000 people in Australia would be sufficient to scare the nations of the world from attacking us. Why is it that the United States does not need an army? The very fact that the population of the United States is 80,000,000 acts like an electric shock on the nations of the world. What we want in Australia is population, but population we shall never get so long as we waste our money on this nonsensical military business. In an American newspaper the other day a British soldier declared that the British guns are now obsolete. I trust that Ministers, if they have made up their minds to appoint Colonel Hoad, will not withdraw from their position; and they shall then have my support through thick and thin. I know that Colonel Hoad is not a society rooster, and that is enough for me. I have been a fighting man myself amongst the Indians and that is the sort of fighting we shall have in Australia. The history of the world is simply the record of one great battle between righteousness and evil ; and while battle-fields may change, underlying principles never change.

Question resolved in the negative.

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