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PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES.

SESSION 1903.

(SECOND SESSION OF THE FIRST PARLIAMENT.)

VOL.

XVII.

(Comprising the period from 17th September to 22nd October, 1903.)

F.9235.

SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

Printed and Published for the GOVERNMENT of the COMMONWEALTH of AUSTRALIA by
ROBT. S. BRAIN, Government Printer for the State of Victoria.

190 3.

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What arrangements have been made by the That a sum not exceeding £658,500 be granted Gorernment for a final fight between Albury to His Majesty for or towards defraying the

services of the year ending 30th June, 1904. and Tumut, and what is meant by the state

As I mentioned last night, I am anxious to ment that it is to be a “fair go”?

obtain supply for two months, and it was Sir EDMUND BARTON.-I ask my then my intention to ask honorable members honorable friend not to found any opinion merely to agree to the formal stages of a upon a newspaper paragraph of that charac- Bill, and deal with it finally to-morrow. I ter. We all know that these statements understand, however, that there is a general are sometimes the result of mere speculation desire that we should not sit to-morrow, and political kite flying. The motion of and that the Prime Minister is willing which I have given notice, and which will to consent to an adjournment until Tuesday be gone on with, provides for what has been next if the General Estimates and the termed a "fair go by means of an exhaus- | Works and Buildings Estimates are passed tive ballot, the regulations for which are to-night, the one clause of the Naturalizato be drawn up, with the concurrence of both tion Bill which has to be recommitted dealt Houses of Parliament, by the President and with, and the second reading of the Patents Mr. Speaker.

I have not the slightest Bill moved. Under these circumstances, I doubt that under them honorable members shall later on ask to be allowed to put the will be able to give effect to their opinions Bill through all its stages during the present by their votes with the utmost fairness.

sitting. I have already circulated a stateNEW MAIL CONTRACTS. ment giving the details of the proposed Mr. WILKINSON. I wish to know from expenditure. All I ask for is a vote to cover the Prime Minister if he has any further the ordinary services of the Departments. information to give the House in reply

Mr. Brown.—Is it proposed to put the to the question I asked him yesterday whole of the Estimates through to-night ?

Sir GEORGE TURNER. I understand concerning the regulations passed at a meet

that that is desired. ing in Brisbane about the new mail contracts, a copy of which I handed to him then? Mr. Thomson.—I presume that the items Sir EDMUND BARTON.--I have no

in the schedule of the proposed Supply Bill more information on the subject, except that, are contained in the Estimates, and that upon making inquiry in my Department, 1 the amount for which the Treasurer is ascertained that no letter covering such a reso

asking is simply a proportionate amount of

. lution had been received up to this morning. the estimate.

Sir GEORGE TURNER.- That is all. MEDICINE CHESTS: TELEGRAPH

Question resolved in the affirmative.
OPERATORS.

Resolution reported.
Mr. KIRWAN asked the Postmaster- Motion (by Sir GEORGE TURNER)agreed to
General, upon notice-

That the Standing Orders be suspended in order Whether medicine chests (with instructions as to enable all steps to be taken to obtain Supply, to the use of the medicines) are provided at the and to pass a Supply Bill through all its stages cost of the Post and Telegraph Department for without delay. telegraph operators at isolated stations where Resolution adopted. there is no medical officer within reasonable dis- Resolution of Ways and Means, covering tance ; if not, will he see that such necessaries resolution of Supply, adopted. are provided : Sir PHILIPFYSH.—The answer to the

Bill presented by Sir GEORGE TURNER, honorable and learned member's question

and passed through all its stages without is :

amendment.

SUPPLY Medicine chests and instructions for the use of medicines are

In Committee (Consideration resumed not generally supplied at such stations. The question of supplying medicines from 16th September, vide page 5164): and instructions will be considered, either in con: DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE. nexion with the district allowances provided for

Division 38 (Chief Administration) by Public Service Regulations 168 and 169, or otherwise at an early date.

£4,706. SUPPLY BILL (No. 3).

Sir JOHN FORREST (Swan-Minister

for Defence).— I should like to afford honorIn Committee of Supply :

able members a little information with regard Sir GEORGE TURNER (Balaclava- to the matters which were mentioned by the Treasurer).— I move

honorable and learned member for Corio last

;

men

are

evening. It was stated by the honorable to all new appointments, and to those serving and learned member that a large number of only when re-engaged or promoted ; and these the men belonging to the Royal Australian recommended by a Pay Committee appointed

rates were in accordance with the rates of pay Artillery were being kept in Melbourne, specially to consider the same. These new rates instead of being stationed at the forts at the of pay, as compared with the old rates of pay in entrance to Port Phillip. The inference I the three large States, where there are the largest

establishments of Permanent Artillery, viz., New gathered from the honorable member's re

South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland, are an marks was that the number of men now increase on the average daily rate for non-commisin Melbourne was larger than formerly, and sioned officers and men ; but involve a decrease in that these soldiers would be better employed Victoria in all ranks except that of warrant officer. in looking after the guns at the forts. I They are an increase on the old rates in New

South Wales and Queensland. Therefore when find that there are 232 men on the estab- non-commissioned otficers or at present lishment of the Royal Australian Artil serving, finish their period of engagement, they lery in Victoria. Of these, 142

lose in pay in Victoria, except in the case of stationed at Port Phillip Heads, 85 are at the of New South Wales and Queensland.

warrant officers, but gain in all ranks in the cases Victoria Barracks, and there are five vacancies. I am informed by the General Officer tains the view that officers are treated better

The honorable and learned member enterCommanding that there are thirty less Per than the men under the new Pay regulamanent Garrison Artillerymen now in Mel- tions. That is not so. bourne than immediately prior to Federation. facts are as follow :

I find that the This small detachment of eighty-five men is now kept in Melbourne for the purposes of adopted for them are less than the former pre

With regard to officers, the new rates of pay guarding Government House, forming guards vailing rates for the respective ranks in New of honour, escorts to the Governor-General, South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland. Whereas performing technical duties, and giving in

no non-commissioned officer or man has been structional services in connexion with the brought on the new rates unless he is re-engaged

or promoted, all officers were brought on the schools of instruction recently established new rates of pay at once, and fourteen of them in for the Militia and Volunteers. With regard consequence suffered a reduction in pay, the rule to the case of Sergeant-Major Coffey, who, being adopted that where the officer's salary was

above the maximum of the new rates, it was we were informed, had died of phthisis and brought down to the maximum. from disease contracted in South Africa, I Concerning the remarks of the honorable and am informed as follows :

learned member in reference to the reduction Sergeant- Major Coffey served with the first of 6d. per day in the pay of the carters Victorian contingent, and was invalided suffering in Victoria, I find that from phthisis. He was granted a temporary pension of 3s. 6d. per diem by the Imperial autho. When the new rates of pay were adopted, all rities on 5th August, 1901, and the State Govern. I the rates or allowances for special duty pay were ment supplemented this by another 3s. Od. per revised by the artillery otticers, and whilst deim. He died on the 18th September, 1902, and two carters in Victoria previously received ls. the widow was granted £10 for his funeral ex- special duty pay per day in connexion with penses, and has since been in receipt of an allow. carting the stores, they now, under the new ance of 21s. per week from the Patriotic Fund special duty pay, receive only 6d per day. Committee. The conditions attached to pensions The total pay, however, with these allowprovide that unless the soldier dies within twelve

ances, amounts to 4s. per diem, or 28s. per week, months of the date of contracting the illness, no and this is, of course, exclusive of their rations, pension is granted to the widow or relative.

uniform, quarters, fuel, light, and medical attendSergeant Major Coffey did not die until two

These privileges may certainly be said to years after contracting the disease.

A represen.

equal, at least, 2s. per diem more, which would tation with regard to Mrs. Coffey has, however, give a total remuneration equivalent to 425. per been sent to the Imperial Government, on 22nd week (6s. per diem, as they are paid for Sundays). May last, asking their favorable consideration It is understood that the usual pay of carters em. as regards the case of the widow.

ployed civilly is not so high as 4:25. per week. As Mr. Brown.- What was the nature of a general rule, the amount of carting done for the the reply received from the Imperial

Victorian Artillery is not very onerous. Government ?

This information was supplied to me only Sir JOHN FORREST.--No reply has as this morning, and I thought it would prove

I yet been received. With regard to the interesting to honorable members, and esstatement that the pay of the Permanent pecially to the honorable and learned memArtillerymen in Victoria had been reduced, ber for Corio, to whom I shall be very glad I find that the following are the facts :

to furnish a copy. New rates of pay for the Permanent Artillery

Mr. THOMSON (North Sydney). I had were adopted from the 1st of July, 1902, to apply intended speaking at some length upon

ance.

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various matters which are included in these largely of the members of rifle clubs—should Estimates, but as there is a general desire be armed with the most up-to-date weapons. to adjourn over to-morrow and to secure an The only way in which they can be so early division upon the amendment which equipped is by the Government providing has been indicated, I shall make my re- the arms. They are beginning to provide marks exceedingly brief. Concerning that them in the case of volunteer and partiallyamendment I merely desire to say that, paid forces ; but they seem to have made having appointed a military expert-and, up their minds not to do so in the case of consequently, having decided that an expert's that branch of our Defence Forces whose services were necessary-it is a serious step services are specially devoted to attaining to take the management of the forces out proficiency in rifle shooting. I think that is of his hands. I quite agree that it is for us a wrong policy. I am sure that, whilst to outline the policy which should be pur- keeping down expenditure in ali directions sued, and to state definitely the amount of in which a fair return for the outlay is not money which we are prepared to expend for forthcoming, this Committee is sensible and military purposes; but having done that, it patriotic enough to vote any sum that is is scarcely desirable that we should take the necessary to provide those munitions of war details relating to the control of the forces out without which all our defence expenditure of the hands of the General Officer Com- is practically valueless. That is the position manding. If we wish to do anything in which I had intended to put before the that direction we should deal either with the Committee at greater length, but in deferMinister or with the expert when the term ence to the general desire to adjourn over of his engagement has expired. For these to-morrow and to secure an early division reasons I do not think it is advisable-es- upon the amendment which has been outpecially as the saving which would be lined, I shall not occupy further time. effected is a very trifling one--for the Com- Mr. WILKINSON (Moreton). ---If I mittee to interfere in mere matters of detail. rightly understand the temper of this ParI am strongly in favour of the exercise of liament concerning matters of defence it is economy in connexion with our Defence that the Commonwealth forces shall consist Forces. But with that economy I think we of the adult male population of the Comshould have efficiency, and under the present monwealth. Indeed we have gone a little arrangement I fear that we are not getting further than that. We have decided that it etficiency. For instance, in connexion shall comprise all our male population from with our arms-our guns and rifles--and eighteen years of age upwards. In perusing with our forts we have not that perfection the report of the General Officer Commandwhich is essential if we are to be secure ing, I notice that he speaks very highly of against a sudden attack. If the South the cadet corps and the ritle clubs. But when African war has proved anything, it is that I come to examine the provision which has under conditions such as would exist in case been made in the Estimates for these of an attack upon Australia, we require not branches of our defence, I find that his so much highly trained men as troops pos- words represent so much empty sound. sessed of a certain amount of efficiency in Very little money has been appropriated for military movements, and experienced in the their encouragement. am thoroughly use of the most perfect weapons which can in accord with all that has been said by the be placed in their hands. If we do not honorable member for North Sydney, and secure that, our whole defence system rests with much more that he might have said in upon a rotten foundation. I have in my regard to the treatment of these two branches possession some data which I had intended of our defence force. I would specially direct to place before the Minister, but in deference the attention of the Minister to the fact to the desire of the Committee, I shall re- that a very large number of the men who serve it till next week, when I shall have have devoted their time, and a considerable another opportunity of addressing myself to portion of their substance to qualifying themthis matter. At the present moment, how selves as expert marksmen, have purchased ever, I shall content myself with saying their

weapons. But, as honorable that all the forces

upon

which members are aware, the barrel of a rifle is should have to rely in time of war- serviceable only for the discharge of about whether they be partially paid, volunteer, 13,000 rounds of ammunition. Time after or reserve forces, the last named consisting time the Department has been approached

own

we

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